Not all black mold is toxic, but there’s a risk. Mold color depends on conditions for growth. Black mold is also known as stachybotrys chartarum.
Several black molds produce non-toxic mycotoxins and have no effects on humans, but can trigger mold allergies, especially in people with asthma and respiratory allergies.
Toxic black mold has a long shelf life. Black mold poisoning can occur when found in attics, damp basements, shower stalls and curtains, cabinets, drywall and kitchens after prolonged exposure because it’s black mold dangerous, even for a pet.
For black mold to grow, the material needs to be wet a minimum of 72 hours with consistent moisture. You’ll find it on ceiling tiles, porous wood trim, plumbing, a window, and of course, in bathrooms.
The Danger of Black Mold at Home
Non-toxic mold strains can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems in sensitive people, but the spores from black mold can cause health problems in everyone. The extent of the health risks depend on the length of exposure.
- Black mold is a form of fungus, stachybotrys chartarum or mildew
- Black mold thrives in damp, warm and humid environments
- Black mold can grow in moist corners within a household, including inside walls, attics and basements
- Common reactions to mold are mild allergy symptoms and feeling sick
- Black mold is most harmful when ingested, not inhaled
- There are no EPA government standards that establish mold spore levels in residential or commercial buildings, or corresponding health regulations
Toxins fumes from black mold can affect the immune system and the central nervous system compromising their ability to function. Other factors that can cause a person to have a severe reaction to mold include older age, current respiratory issues, compromised immune systems and children.
Symptoms of black mold exposure at home:
- Nasal congestion
- Sore throat feel
- Skin rashes
- Itchy eyes or eye irritation
- Asthma symptoms
- Runny nose
Some people may experience more severe reactions from black mold exposure, including nausea, sinus infections, increase in difficult breathing, growing dizziness and decreased attention span. Few people die, but it’s still important to stay safe.
Clearing black mold
Sometimes black mold growth is in plain sight, but it can also hide behind walls, ceilings, and under sinks. Mold a sink can cost between $700.00 and $2,000 to clean up, which is significant money. If you suspect it’s growing in your home and property, don’t panic. Instead, the trick is to remain calm. Contract professionals for testing and an inspection, which is crucial.
Smell is the first hint of a black mold problem. Mold has a distinct mildewy odor. Once the source is located, the job begins.
Preparation for mold clean-up depends on severity of the contamination. For large areas such as entire rooms, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that homeowners hire a professional mold removal company who inspect every possible square feet long of problem areas.
Black Mold Removal Solutions
Mold removal methods include natural with tea tree oil or grapefruit. You can purchase mold removal products from an advertisement or make your own at home. Grab your tools and materials and proceed with effective caution. There are no rules because the best way to get rid of the site and any patch varies.
- Vital Oxide – Vital Oxide is a disinfectant and mold remover that can be purchased through online links and advertisement. It contains no harsh chemicals and uses chlorine dioxide for disinfecting. It has been used to kill Anthrax, purify drinking water, and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
It kills mold and mildew at the source and can stop future regrowth chances and spreads longer on tile and other building materials.
- Hydrogen Peroxide – Inexpensive and found in most homes. Use peroxide on almost all surfaces, including fabric. Test a small area first to ensure there is no discoloration.
Pour a 3% concentration of peroxide into a bottle with a spray nozzle. Saturate the surface and leave it to sit for 10 minutes. Scrub to remove mold and stains.
- Vinegar – The white version is an excellent household cleaner. It is mildly acidic, and it cleans, deodorizes and disinfects. It does have a strong smell, but it dissipates quickly. It can be used on all surfaces and kills 82% of mold spores.
To use, pour into a spray bottle. Cover the affected area and wait for one hour. Use water with a drop of dish detergent to wipe the area clean. Dry well.
- Baking Soda – This is another all-purpose household cleaning product that is great for removing mold. It is safe, non-toxic.
To use, dissolve one-fourth tablespoon of baking soda in water, then add to spray bottle. Cover the area thoroughly. Rinse the surface to remove baking soda residue.
- Baking Soda and Vinegar – For more powerful cleaning, combine with baking soda. This is a good option for those hard-to-remove stains.
Mix into a paste and spread generously onto the dried mold. Let dry, then brush to remove stains.
Tea Tree oil can also be used to kill mold. Tea tree oil has antifungal and antimicrobial properties that remove black mold. It comes from the melaleuca alternifolia plant. Another option is grapefruit seed extract. The citric acid in grapefruit seed extract is a natural liquid used to treat the cause of mold and deodorize.
You can add a teaspoon to any of the solutions above, or simply fill a spray bottle with water and add two teaspoons of oil.
An additional solution mixture to try is a combination of ammonia with one cup water and using it to scrape dried mold by scrubbing even in corners.
It’s best to stay away from bleach and water. It’s been tested. Bleach is great for whitening your whites, but not great for permanently removing black mold. In a pinch, wear rubber gloves and mix bleach with one gallon of water, and wipe the problem area until cleaned up. Try the following steps to reduce and clear the mold at home.
Before you start cleaning the mold, identify and locate the source of the moisture to cut it off, or black mold growth will continue. Check damaged doors, windows, and closets.
For do-it-yourself remove black mold, wear protective gear like gloves and N95 mask, and old clothing or coveralls. Some prefer goggles with a mask and clothes they’re ready to throw out.
Seal the area with plastic to keep mold spores from spreading and avoid entering other areas of the house while you decontaminate your clothing.
Moisten the moldy part prior to attempting to remove black mold. This will keep disturbed mold spores from going airborne. Turn off you’re a/c or heater and use an exhaust fan near outdoor openings. You can also use an air scrubber to clear the air of loose spores.
Dispose of any contaminated items such as furniture, carpet and wood. Once the area is cleared, vacuum to pick up the remaining debris.
Soak and disinfect the moldy area by using one of the solutions mentioned above. Spray the solution on the black mold and let sit for up to an hour. Then apply with a brush or sponge until mold has been removed. You may need to repeat the process.
Clean the rest of the room before unsealing the doorways. Thoroughly vacuum. Then disinfect with cleaning solution. Leave the exhaust fan or air scrubber running for several hours.
Once the area is dry, recheck to confirm it did not return after a week. Consider painting with waterproof latex paint to prevent new grows.
Black Mold Conclusion
For mold prevention, repair any leaks in a timely fashion. Homeowners should also watch and control the moisture conditions in the home while remembering to dry items well before storing them. Dehumidifiers in the bathroom, basement, kitchen, and other rooms helps prevent mold in the baseboards, drywall, crawl spaces, and other surfaces and protect their family.
You may need to call in the mold remediation experts for advanced black mold removal that create toxic fumes. Take a page from them and learn what you heard about the places it hides and the products they recommend that work. Pros share a list of information in a newsletter, too, in order to help with easier and plenty of true sources of products.
Regularly clearing out the mold every same time of the year is a means that protects your family, pet, and you at home.