Is Black Mold Dangerous?
Everyone has seen those black spots of mold in a bathroom or basement, which can be distressing. To make matters worse, it can quickly spread from one area of your home to several in a matter of days. While a small amount of mold generally isn't harmful, larger affected areas can cause some health risks if left untreated.
Fortunately, getting rid of mold is quick and easy if you use the correct technique. Continue reading below to learn more about black mold and what to do if you come across it.
What Is Black Mold?
Black mold is a specific fungus species known for its black/dark green appearance (hence the name). The fungus thrives in dark and damp environments, so you're likely to find it in showers, basements, and kitchens. You're also more likely to spot mold when humidity levels are high (over 60%).
No matter where you spot this pesky fungus, it's vital you call a mold removal service right away. Prolonged exposure to spores can cause mild or severe health risks to you and your family. Removal services can detect the source of the spores and other colonies not visible to the naked eye.
What Happens with Black Mold Exposure?
According to the CDC, the color of mold doesn't directly correlate to how dangerous it is. That said, you should still make an effort to remove all spores from your dwelling.
There are a few ways you can expose yourself to spores. The most common are breathing in fungal particles in the air or by consuming affected foods. It's incredibly easy to make spores airborne. You can disrupt a colony by stepping on an affected area or bumping into moldy furniture.
Some of the common symptoms of spore exposure are:
- Irritated skin
- Itchy eyes
People with asthma or respiratory problems are at more risk of severe symptoms. Some people may only experience a stuffy nose, but more severe symptoms include allergic reactions, weakened immune systems, or asthma attacks. It's vital to remove a colony as soon as you spot it.
What Are the Best Ways To Prevent Mold?
Roughly 45 million buildings in the United States have unhealthy mold levels. With those numbers, it goes without saying that you should know how to prevent spores from taking over your dwelling. Fortunately, preventing mold is easier than you may think.
Here's what to do:
- Identify the Affected Areas. If you want to remove spores from your home, you'll need to know where their colony is. Check damp areas of your home, such as the bathroom, basement, and kitchen.
- Keep Things Dry. Since moisture is what fungi need to thrive, dry wet items right away. Any wet towels, clothes, or carpets can be a prime breeding ground for spores.
- Maintain Healthy Humidity Levels. Humidity is another component a colony needs to survive. Try and keep the humidity level in your home below 60% by using a dehumidifier.
- Make Sure Your Plumbing Systems Are Working Properly. Faulty plumbing systems can cause excess moisture throughout your house. Have a licensed contractor check your plumbing regularly to make sure there aren't any busted pipes causing any leaks.
Finding black mold in your home can be unsettling. Not only is it unpleasant looking, but it can also cause health problems if left untreated. What's more, the fungus can cause damage to your home's structure over time. As a result, it's best to call a contractor to remove the colony before the problem gets out of hand.