Black mold goes by the scientific name Stachybotrys Chartarum, which I am pretty sure is difficult for one to pronounce. Simply put, it is a variety of fungus that grows on damp or decaying organic matter. Here is the more information on black mold like identifying it, its health risks, treatment, etc. that will help you understand the mold better.
How to Identify It?
Black mold is commonly found in places where there is water leakage. These, damp places provide a beautiful habitat for the nasty mold. Some of the probable places where water damage occurs are laundry rooms, bathrooms, underneath leaking windows, behind wallpapers, under rotting sub-floors and basements. So now you know where to find black molds, don't you!
It grows in a specific circular pattern. It looks slimy on wet areas and like black soot, in places which were wet earlier, but now have dried. It looks like greenish black splotches of mold growth. It also develops cracks in small areas. If this description matches, you have found the sinister mold! Let's look at the symptoms and the treatment for it.
Black mold exposure causes flu-like symptoms. Some respiration related symptoms are difficulty in breathing, coughing, inflammation of the lungs and asthma. Nausea and dizziness are also common symptoms.
It can cause abnormal rise or fall in blood pressure. It causes brain damage in certain cases and produces symptoms like reduced thinking ability, loss of memory and gives chronic headaches. Toxic black mold affects eyes and turns them reddish.
Some people experience skin irritation on coming in contact with the mold. Allergic reactions like itchy nose are caused when in contact with black mold. One can feel lethargic when affected by it. UTI (Urinary Track Infections) symptoms are also experienced, when affected by it.
Caution: Toxic black mold syndrome can lead to death. If you, anybody you know or your pet show symptoms of this syndrome, then immediate medical care should be taken.
Black mold sickness in pets causes symptoms like respiratory system problems and pulmonary hemorrhage. Hence, it is important to get mold allergy treatment done before the symptoms get worse.
Here is the list of the treatments for black mold sickness.
They are available over-the-counter. They work on allergy symptoms and also on common cold symptoms. They have a drowsy effect, but there are non-drowsy antihistamines too, that are available at the drugstore.
These nasal sprays are used to cure upper respiratory track allergies. They are initial ones prescribed and have long-lasting effect. They are more effective than antihistamines.
They are easily available and come in spray, syrup and tablet form. They help to quickly relieve congestion. It's a better idea to get a prescription before using a decongestant.
In this treatment a series of allergy shots, with increasing doses are injected. These shots contain extracts of allergens, and thus help a person built immunity against the specific allergens.
It comes in a tablet form and needs prescription from the doctor. If you are sensitive to nasal sprays, montelukast is prescribed for mold allergies.
If you have irritation in the nose, this home remedy for black mold provides good relief. You can buy nasal spray over the counter or make one at home. Mix with 1 and half cup of warm water a quarter teaspoon salt. Use this solution to rinse your nose.
This is another over-the-counter available nasal spray. Using this spray helps block histamine (chemical causing inflammation). It works best if you take it before black mold symptoms affect you.
Sauna helps to remove toxins from the body. Discuss with your doctor for the sauna therapy, because in certain cases symptoms could return or get worse.
Toxins can be removed from the skin. Make a detox seaweed bath and soak for some minutes. Repeat these baths 2-3 times in a week.
Removal in Home
Now that you know where to find black mold and how to identify it, it's time to inspect mold samples. Inexpensive mold testing kits are available in the market. Take a sample of the mold for inspection. After you have found out that the sample tests positive, it's time for mold removal. Here is the treatment for black mold removal.
Step 1: Personal Safety
Equip yourself with gloves, eye-wear protection and a good quality N-95 respiratory mask, also dress-up in full clothes.
Step 2: Ventilation
Make sure you ventilate the area properly, where you have found toxic black mold. For example, if you found the mold growing under a leaky window, open the doors and windows of the room. This mold is also commonly found in basements.
Step 3: Using a Product
If the affected area is small and there is minor black mold growth, scrub and wash with detergent and water. If the area affected is large, use a solution with 1 part of bleach and 10 parts of water. Scrub clean the affected area with this solution.
If the toxic black mold area is huge and difficult to treat with bleach, use a commercial mold removal product. Follow the instructions on the label properly, in order to effectively remove it.
Step: 4 Moisture Control
To control moisture is to control black mold. Dry the wet areas in your home completely, to prevent any mold health risks. Fix plumbing problems like water leakage in the pipes, bathroom, basement, etc. The wet areas should be dried completely within 2 days. Install dehumidifiers to control moisture, and keep your indoors well-ventilated.
Though, black mold removal can be done yourself, it is better to always hire professional help. Because, agencies which deal with removing this mold use effective products, and ensure that the mold doesn't recur. Also, hiring professional help means you don't have to come in contact with black mold and suffer from any health problems.
Here are some of the most useful and important tips that one should adhere to during a black mold treatment:
- Never mix bleach with other products. They tend to react together and produce hazardous chemicals.
- Do not paint wet areas, dry them completely before painting.
- Replace mold spoiled absorbent things like carpet, ceiling and tiles.
- If you think there is a widespread of this toxic mold, contact a mold removal professional. There are professionals with good experience in black mold removal, who will help you get rid of the mold.
- Dispose the black mold garbage safely.
These were the 4 effective steps for do it yourself black mold removal. But, for huge mold affected indoors, contact professional mold removal service. Also, never ignore the mold syndrome and control the moisture level in your home to avoid any health risks.