What Is Black Mold, and Is It Really that Dangerous?

What Is Black Mold, and Is It Really that Dangerous?

Every homeowner has heard horror stories about black mold. It can grow in the most hidden reaches of your home, causing a myriad of health effects while eating away at the structure of your house. If it’s left long enough, you might need a home restoration team to rebuild parts of your house! At least, that’s how the stories go.

Every homeowner needs to know about mold. You never know when it’ll show up. So, what is black mold, and is it really as dangerous as everyone says?

What Is Black Mold?

Black mold’s real name is stachybotrys chartarum. Since that’s not easy to remember, most people just call it by its uncreative, color-based name. Black mold is a microscopic fungus that likes to grow on materials with high cellulose content like drywall, wood, and paper.

While there are a few elements that black mold needs to grow, moisture is the most important. Mold loves dampness! If you experience a leak or water damage on any cellulose-heavy materials, make sure you clean it up thoroughly, or you might have an unwanted moldy visitor. For anything that’s too damaged to clean up, call a home restoration team to replace the soggy materials.

What Makes It Different from Other Strains of Mold?

There are hundreds of thousands of different strains of mold in the world, so why does black mold get so much attention? The answer is in the spores.

Stachybotrys chartarum can release toxic chemicals in its spores called mycotoxins. If inhaled, these toxins can get into your bloodstream and cause some serious health effects. This is why you commonly hear black mold called “toxic mold.”

There are other strains of mold that can produce mycotoxins, but black mold is the most common of the bunch, which is why it gets the most attention.

Negative Health Effects

Having a toxic substance floating through the air in your home is never a good thing. Not only can it greatly reduce indoor air quality, but it can also cause several unwanted health effects:

  • Headaches
  • Nosebleeds
  • Stuffiness
  • Coughing
  • Skin rashes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Mood swings
  • Aches and pains
  • Memory loss

These symptoms are even worse for people with existing respiratory issues like asthma.

Unfortunately, mold poisoning can’t be detected in urine or blood, so it’s nearly impossible for medical professionals to find a direct link between mold exposure and these health effects. All they know is that people who live in places with high mold levels tend to experience these problems more frequently.

Damage to Your Home

When most people think of the dangers of black mold, they usually jump straight to the negative health effects. But mold can affect more than just your health; it can damage your home as well.

Mold needs food to survive. And what does mold eat? Your house! Black mold enjoys eating organic materials like your drywall, ceiling tiles, and even the wooden structural components of your house. If a mold infestation is left for too long, it could eat away at your support beams until your house isn’t even safe to live in structurally—never mind the health effects.

If you notice black mold growing in your attic or basement/crawl space, it could be hurting the structural integrity of your home. Call a home restoration expert right away to replace the rotten pieces of wood. Not only will it help you contain the mold outbreak, but it’ll also ensure your home is safe to live in for years to come.

How to Identify Black Mold

The simplest way to identify black mold in your home is by color. Obviously, black mold is black. Most other common household molds are either gray, white, pink, gray, or brown. If you see black-colored mold in your home, there’s a chance it’s the dreaded stachybotrys chartarum.

Unfortunately, mold doesn’t always make itself known. It can grow inside your walls or above your ceilings. In this case, you’ll have to feel it. If you constantly feel stuffy or experience any of the symptoms listed above, there’s a good chance you could be living with an unwanted moldy guest.

The only true way to identify stachybotrys chartarum is to send it to a lab, but no mold is good. If you see any type of mold, no matter the color, it should be removed right away. Call an expert mold remediation company to get rid of the infestation and perform a home restoration to make your house safe again.

What Causes Black Mold Growth?

Black mold won’t grow just anywhere. It needs the perfect conditions to settle down and start a colony (that’s what a patch of mold is called). There are six things black mold needs to grow:

  • Moisture
  • Oxygen
  • Darkness
  • Food
  • Warmth
  • Spores

Of these six, moisture is the most important. Mold loves to grow in damp places. In Florida, moisture is a major area of concern because of the humidity and amount of rain. Even if you don’t have a leak in your house, humidity levels can introduce moisture into places of your house you might not even know are problematic.

Black Mold Removal

There are plenty of DIY mold removal solutions on the internet. Unfortunately, they only remove mold at the surface; they don’t address the underlying causes. If you don’t attack mold at the source, it’s just going to come back.

If you notice any type of mold in your house, or even if you suspect it, call a mold removal company right away. They’re the only ones who will be able to find the source of your problem and eradicate it for good. They’ll remove all traces of mold wherever it hides, replace any damaged or contaminated materials, and the home restoration team will bring your house back to its former glory.

The Dangers of Black Mold

Is black mold dangerous? In short: yes. The toxic spores created by black mold can cause serious health problems for you and your family while the rest of the colony goes to work eating away at your home. If you notice any signs of mold—even if it’s not black mold—you should call a professional remediation team immediately.

Do you suspect black mold in your home? Call the pros at Central Florida Restoration Solutions. We have decades of experience helping Florida homeowners combat mold problems and prevent it from coming back in the future. We’ll eradicate mold at the source, and our home restoration experts will return your house to pristine condition. Don’t let black mold hurt your family; contact CFRS today.

How to Handle Water, Mold, Fire & Smoke Damage to Your Property

How to Handle water, mold, fire, and smoke damage to your property