Black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, is a type of toxic mold that is often found in environments with high moisture problems and can be destructive to your health and home. Some cleanup specialists can help you safely remove black mold and prevent further damage, but is this the best way? Read on to learn more about black mold removal and whether it might be better for you to tackle it yourself.
Why should you bother about black molds?
First, it is important to understand the dangers of black mold. Black mold produces toxins called mycotoxins that can cause a range of health problems, including respiratory issues, skin irritation, and headaches.
People who are exposed to black mold can get musty-smelling, swollen lymph nodes, shortness of breath, brain damage, and even death.
If you have black mold in your home or office, you need to clean it up as soon as possible. But if you don’t know how to do it yourself, you could make the situation much worse by contaminating the air in your home or office with spores that spread it around.
You should know that black mold usually grows when only damp conditions exist between two surfaces. Moisture can come from a leaky roof or pipes, condensation in an attic or moist soil that makes it easy for fungus to grow. These fungi that create black mold thrive during warmer weather because they like warm temperatures, which is why they spread so easily during the summer months.
So, is it safe to clean black mold yourself?
The answer is yes, but only if you take the proper precautions. First, you need to wear protective clothing, including a respirator mask and gloves. You should also open all the windows in the room to get rid of any spores that might be released into the air when you start cleaning.
Next, you need to clean up any moldy surfaces with a solution of bleach and water. Be sure to follow the directions on the bleach bottle carefully so that you don’t end up inhaling any fumes.
Once all the moldy areas have been cleaned, you should dry them off completely to prevent new mold from growing.
If you’re not confident in your ability to clean black mold yourself, it’s best to hire a professional who can do it safely. However, if you do decide to tackle the job yourself, be sure to take all the necessary precautions to protect your health.
Identify the source of the mold
If you suspect there’s black mold, do some research first to see if you can find its origin. Try looking for signs that suggest water damage — like damaged wiring, discolored walls or paint peeling off — but don’t stop there.
Mold spores travel easily through air ducts and plumbing systems and are also present in soil where they’re naturally produced by fungi and other organisms. Because they’re so common, they’re not considered a cause for alarm unless they show up in unusual quantities.
Preventing future contamination
Mold is cheap compared to many other house-cleaning products; all it takes is a little water and some detergent. To keep it at bay in the future, clean surfaces that have been affected by mold and mildew with a solution of one part bleach to ten parts water.
Wash all fabrics — clothing, linens, curtains, etc. — in hot water and dry them on the hottest setting your laundry machine has. If you can’t wash something in hot water, put it in the freezer for 48 hours; this will kill mold spores.
You should also keep your home or office well-ventilated to prevent moisture from building up and creating an environment where mold can grow. Use exhaust fans when cooking or showering, open windows when weather permits, and invest in a dehumidifier for particularly damp rooms like basements or attics.
Where can you find black molds?
Black molds can be found in many places, both indoors and outdoors. They are commonly found in areas with high humidity.
Areas you should look out for black molds include, but are not limited to:
- Laundry rooms
- Crawl spaces
- Damp storage areas
Outdoors, black molds can be found in:
- Leaf piles
- Mulch beds
- Areas with standing water.
If you’ve got black mold in your home, you’re probably pretty concerned about the potential health risks. Knowing that mold can cause a variety of illnesses, you might be tempted to clean it up yourself. But if you don’t know what you’re doing and make a mistake, you could cause permanent damage to your health.
Black mold can be dangerous, and you could end up making the problem worse. So ensure you know what you’re doing, otherwise, call a professional who can safely and effectively remove the mold from your home.