What is black mold
Black mold, also known by its scientific name, stachybotrys, is a form of mold that produces mycotoxins. These mycotoxins are incredibly toxic and can cause disease and even death in both humans and animals. It is theorized that mycotoxins exist because they weaken the receiving organism they infect, making it easier for more mold to grow.
What are the causes of black mold
Mold can grow anywhere and needs very little moisture to survive. However, mold growth is most common in areas with high moisture, such as bathrooms, basements, drain pipes, etc. Mold is especially frequent in areas where there have been leaks or flooding issues as well as low air circulation. This is particularly common in Illinois because the land is so flat and full of rivers and lakes, making moisture much more prevalent. That’s why Illinois residents should be especially diligent about searching for and preventing black mold growth.
What does black mold look like
Black mold is green and black in color and tends to appear slimy on the surface unless the mold’s water source has been cut off, in which case it will appear more powdery. The only way to really tell whether mold is toxic black mold or not is to have it inspected by a professional, because many types of mold look similar to the naked eye. Professionals have special training and tools to properly identify mold. They use air tests, take spore counts, and the like in order to ascertain the exact type of mold, what caused it, and how much is present.
What are the symptoms of black mold exposure
Mold tends to elicit symptoms chiefly in those who are allergic to it. However, if exposure is prolonged, mold can cause a very serious illness in anyone, whether or not they are allergic to mold. The main symptoms to watch out for include:
- Runny nose
- Blurred vision
- Bloodshot eyes
This list is by no means comprehensive, but if you or a loved one is exhibiting any of these symptoms, seek medical help right away and leave the infected area as soon as possible.
What to do if you find black mold
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms and you see or smell mold in your home, you should call a professional immediately. Since you can’t identify whether or not the mold is toxic black mold, you should act like it is in order to be safe. This means removing yourself from the affected area as soon as possible and not returning until the mold has been remediated by a professional. Black mold is incredibly dangerous for your home and your health, which is why it’s so imperative to remove yourself from exposure to it.
How to remove black mold
Because of its dangerous toxicity, black mold should not be removed by anyone but an IICRC certified professional. Touching or disturbing the mold in any way can release more mycotoxins and mold spores into the air. This will cause the mold to spread and can make whoever is in the vicinity very sick. That being said, having black mold is nothing to be ashamed of and it is something that mold removal specialists see every day. So don’t let shame or embarrassment stop you from protecting your health and keeping your home safe. Schedule an inspection or remediation for your black mold problem today so that you won’t have a bigger problem tomorrow!