There are several common types of black mold, but regardless of the type that you have in your home it is important to remember the danger of black mold and take care of the problem as quickly as possible. If there is a suspicion that mold is present, it is a good idea to begin testing immediately and start the cleanup process in order to remove the mold right away.
This type of mold commonly thrives in areas that have been damaged by water or are exposed to moisture on a regular basis. In homes and businesses, if stachybotrys chartarum is present it will likely be found in areas such as wallpaper, insulation, ceiling tiles, curtains, furniture, sheetrock, carpet, etc. This is one of the worst types of black mold because it can produce mycotoxins, which can cause serious health problems when people are exposed. The danger of black mold actually lies in the exposure to these mycotoxins, so exposure should be limited as much as possible.
Symptoms of mycotoxin poisoning as a result of exposure to these types of black mold include: runny nose, sinus problems, respiratory issues, headaches, fever, watery eyes, and digestion problems. In the beginning, most people assume that they have a cold or the flu, but the symptoms don't go away like regular illnesses.
There are several other types of black mold such as fusarium spp., cladosporium spp., and penicillium spp. These types are not as serious as stachybotrys chartarum, but the danger of black mold is still present because they can also lead to a number of health conditions.
The danger of black mold is a serious issue, and some people want to know which type of mold they have in their home. The only way to positively identify the type is by taking a sample and sending it into a lab for testing. Do-it-yourself mold testing kits can be purchased at the store or online, but the most accurate type of testing is to hire a professional mold tester to take a look at the situation.
When the mold tester comes, they will determine the extent of the mold damage and provide you with a suggested cleanup plan. Their tests will tell you which types of mold are growing in your home, and how extensive the mold growth is.
Some home owners want to clean up the mold on their own, but this is a risky undertaking. The mold tester can help you decide if the job is too large to do yourself and whether a professional mold remover should be hired. Cleaning up mold is much more difficult than most people realize. For example, during the cleanup process the microscopic mold spores can cross contaminate other parts of the home, causing mold to grow in other areas. A trained professional will have the equipment and knowledge to contain the mold.
During the cleanup process, some of the equipment that should be used includes face mask filters, protective clothing, negative air machines, plastic sheeting to seal off the area, wire brushes, biocide, HEPA filtered vacuums, and any other tools that are needed to remove the materials that are affected by the mold.
Some materials in the home will need to be double bagged and discarded. For example, if carpet has been affected by mold growth then the carpet should not be re-used because it is extremely difficult to get all of the mold spores out of the fibers. Instead, the carpet and padding needs to be removed, the floor underneath should be cleaned up and treated with a biocide, and then new carpet can be used in the area.
The danger of black mold is very real, and it is not something that should be put off or ignored. If you find mold in your home, then a professional mold specialist should be consulted right away.
Black mold that was found in an attic.
Professional mold removal specialists usually offer a free consultation, during which they inspect your home, identify the cause of the mold and the extent of the problem, and give you an estimate of the cost to clean up the mold for you. You can get a list of local professional mold removal specialists here.
Even if you plan to clean up the mold yourself, a free professional consultation can be beneficial because the professional will know how to locate hidden mold that you may have missed and can give you free advice about doing the job.