So you’ve noticed some undesirable black or green spots staining your walls and your bathroom tiles. Moreover, walking through your basement or attic, you’ve also noticed a funky, musty smell that wasn’t there before. To make matters worse, your kids are having this unusual allergic reaction that you don’t know exactly what’s causing it. What’s weird is that the allergy seemed to subside once they’ve left the house. You have this very disconcerting feeling that something is up with your house. You might be suspecting that a mold infestation is causing all these but you want to be sure and you want to know where to go from there.
What is mold?
Molds are a type of fungi that grow on wet and damp places. These are small organisms that naturally break down organic matter hence resulting to decay. Molds play an important role in biodegradation and are thus essential to nature. However, this is in the case that the mold is outdoors and growing on an organic matter outside of your home such as soil, wood or dead plants, then it is totally pretty harmless.
On the other hand, do note that mold loves moisture and so they can grow anywhere from your plant pots to your walls, insulation, carpet, tiles and even your clothes! But don’t fret yet because mold growth is actually a normal household problem and although these fungi are admittedly disgusting, they’re typically harmless and could be removed using common household products such as bleach, vinegar or baking soda.
However, not all kinds of mold are generally harmless, because there is a particular kind of mold that can potentially cause health risks. There are about 16 species of toxic mold but the most commonly found in homes is Stachybotrys chartarum or popularly known as “black mold”. Black mold releases spores in the air that contain toxins which can cause several allergic reactions when inhaled. In more serious cases, they can cause more severe effects such as skin irritation, difficulty in breathing, and inflammation of the sinus among others. People who have asthma and has a poor immune system are the ones at risk of getting sick from exposure to black mold.
Frequently, the most common areas where molds are found are places that are usually wet and damp like your shower, kitchen sinks, windows, ducts, wall interiors and the rooms inside your home where there is a high level of moisture and condensation like your basement and your attic.
Now once you’ve discovered that there is a thriving mold colony in your home, the first step that you can do is to identify what type of mold present.
3 Ways to Identify Toxic Black Mold
Molds have varying colors and textures. The non-toxic ones are typically white, yellow, or green in color. These non-toxic types of mold are quite fuzzy in appearance whereas the toxic black mold is either black or a very dark green color and has a gelatinous and slimy texture.
But sometimes it is still quite difficult to verify if the stains on your walls or on any suspected area in your home is actually mold or just dirt. A trick that you can do is to pour small drops of household bleach on the suspected surface and if the spot lightens then it is probably mold.
Another trick that you can do to identify if an area is infested with mold is by probing it with any sharp tool like a screwdriver. If you noticed that the wood or the material is already in a state of decay then it’s an indication that mold is present because mold accelerates the decay of the surface where it’s growing.
Sometimes mold isn’t easily visible because it is hiding behind the walls or some area out of sight. One strong sign that an area is infested with mold is when it gives off a distinct foul and musty odor. If you’ve noticed that recently in one or a few areas in your home, you should begin looking for the source so it’ll be easier and less time-consuming to identify problem areas especially and once you’ve hired a mold remediation expert.
Unexplainable Allergic Reaction
You shouldn’t wait for someone to get sick before taking action, but if there is anyone in your family who has been having these strange allergic reactions like skin irritation, consistent sneezing and coughing when inside the house or having a sore throat or some unexplainable shortness of breath, but gets better when they leave the house, it could be a clear indication that they’re most probably having these allergic reactions due to exposure to toxic black mold.
Don’t wait up for something bad to happen before doing a general check-up of your home. Otherwise, if you’ve already done a proper inspection of your house and you’re positive that you are most definitely struggling with a mold infestation then it is best to leave the dirty work to professionals. Not only they’ll know what to do, but they can also best handle the situation with proper gears and methods to proceed so as to avoid spreading mold spores on other areas of your home.
For mold remediation help, contact black mold Richmond for a reliable, licensed and insured team of experts.