Black Mold Removal In An Infested Home
BLACK MOLD REMOVAL:
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU LIVE IN A MOLD-INFESTED HOUSE?
Stachybotrys chartarum, better known as toxic black mold, is one of the most infamous toxic molds because it produces toxins called mycotoxins, which are extremely dangerous to humans. Toxic black mold is greenish-black in color, and is a gelatinous mold, which means that there is usually a slimy wet layer on the top. However, if a toxic black mold colony's water source runs out, it can appear dry and powdery. There are several molds that can masquerade as toxic black mold, so if you think you have found Stachybotrys, the best way to tell for sure is to have a mold expert look at a sample of it under a microscope. Because of the serious health effects associated with toxic black mold, if you find it in your home, you need to take immediate steps toward black mold removal. The longer you put off black mold removal, the more damage it can cause to your health and the health of your loved ones.
WHAT ARE TOXIC BLACK MOLD EXPOSURE SYMPTOMS?
Toxic black mold can cause permanent damage to your health. In extreme cases, toxic black mold has even lead to death - so be sure to begin the process of black mold removal as soon as you can. The mycotoxins of toxic black mold cause people to suffer toxic symptoms, including:
- SKIN INFLAMMATION
- RESPIRATORY ISSUES
- MENTAL IMPAIRMENT
- IMMUNE SYSTEM SUPPRESSION
- IRRITATION OF THE MUCOUS MEMBRANES
- DAMAGE TO INTERNAL ORGANS
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WHERE TO LOOK FOR TOXIC BLACK MOLD
Toxic black mold needs a lot of moisture for a long time before it can start to grow, which is why it often grows where there's been a water leak hidden from view. Leaks inside the walls, above the ceilings, or underneath the floors are common causes of toxic black mold.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) identifies the following as the most common potential mold-harboring appliances and structures:
- Cooking stoves
- Hot water heaters
- Washing machines
- Heating and air conditioning filters
- HVAC ductwork
BLACK MOLD REMOVAL: STARTING THE PROCESS
Before getting started on black mold removal, get the facts. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there's a little mold everywhere, and you can't avoid being exposed to it altogether. It grows year-round and is found both inside and outside. It's existed for at least 400 million years and doesn't need much to grow. The National Association of Home Builders says that in just 48 hours, a moist environment combined with the right room-temperature conditions can lead to mold growth. While you cannot keep mold spores completely out of your home, regular cleaning can often prevent severe problems before they arise.
BLACK MOLD REMOVAL: SELECTING A SERVICE
When considering your options for selecting a company for black mold removal, you should consider a number of factors. There's a chance you'll end up with an inexperienced remediation who doesn't do that great of a job. Do your homework and check references as well as the company's record with the Better Business Bureau.
BLACK MOLD REMOVAL: TAKING CONTROL
As previously mentioned, moisture control is key to controlling mold. Take time to check your home for water damage, especially in the basement. The CDC recommends keeping the humidity level in your home below 50% and using an air conditioner during humid months. Make sure to check your kitchen and bathroom ventilation, open windows or turn on fans when showering, and avoid carpeting bathrooms. If you have any water leaks, whether it's coming from an underground pipe or through the roof, fix it immediately.
BLACK MOLD REMOVAL: KNOW THE HEALTH RISKS
All molds have the potential to cause health problems, not just toxic black mold. The most common symptoms of mold exposure are allergic ones, including hay fever-like symptoms - sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, skin rashes. Some people have little or no reaction while others have much more sever ones. Additional reactions to mold include dizziness, headaches, fatigue, cancer, memory loss, and pulmonary hemorrhage.
BLACK MOLD REMOVAL: KNOW THE INSURANCE ISSUES
From your home insurance adjuster's perspective, damage from mold, rot, and mildew is excluded from the typical homeowner's policy, much like rust. The Insurance Information Institute says mold is covered under a homeowner's policy only if it is the result of a covered damage, like a burst pipe that flooded the basement and subsequently caused mold growth. But mold that develops from humidity or hurricane damage is a maintenance issue that the property owner is responsible for. The insurance industry argues that in order to keep homeowners insurance affordable, mold coverage wound up being excluded. If the policyholder does want mold coverage, there is going to be an additional premium for it.
For information on mold in buildings, check out our post:Got Mold? Commercial Landlord Liability