What Does Black Mold Look Like

What Does Black Mold Look Like

Black mold appears greenish-black and slimy, but it can look gray and powdery, if it dries. It also has a musty odor. This write-up provides information about this fungus.
HealthHearty Staff
Stachybotrys chartarum or toxic black mold, is a fungus which thrives in areas that are damp, dark, and humid. If the relative humidity in any area of your home is more than 55%, then your home might get infested with this fungi. Once this fungus starts releasing spores in the surroundings, the spores start attaching themselves to surfaces that are dark and damp. The toxins released by the moldy growth can cause a variety of health problems. The only way to prevent these health problems is to get rid of this fungus at the earliest. To do so, you must be able to identify it.

How to Identify Black Mold

The infestation is most likely to occur in basements, bathrooms, kitchens, and areas where water is dripping, or leaking. At times, moldy growth can even be spotted on water-damaged wood, wallpaper, ceiling tiles, and even leather.

Though this type of mold is generally black, it could also appear in the form of greenish-black or brown patches. It might start as small fuzzy greenish or blackish-brown spots, but if mold removal methods are not employed soon, it can spread out into big patches. If your home has a musty odor, and you recently noticed black or brown patches anywhere in your home, you should use detection kits or call professionals to detect and remove it. The musty smell could also be attributed to another type of fungi called mildew.

Health Risks

The most common symptoms of black mold poisoning such as wheezing, coughing, scratchy throat, breathing problems, asthma, allergies, headaches, red eyes, lethargy, skin rashes, and altered immunity are attributed to the release of myotoxins. The volatile organic compounds that are produced can cause inflammation of the mucous membranes, and can also adversely affect one's respiratory system and the central nervous system. Prolonged exposure to these myotoxins can affect the lungs. Removal of the fungus is the first step towards preventing the allergy symptoms from worsening.

Though you can always call professionals for getting rid of it, there is also the option of using mold removal products or effective home remedies. Bleach or vinegar can be used for removing it. If the mold is dry, spray some water on it. This is to prevent the mold from becoming air-borne, as you scrape it off. Spray a solution made from water and vinegar. You can also use chlorine bleach. Leave it on for fifteen minutes and scrub it with a brush. Make sure that you wear a protective face mask and hand gloves while doing so. Make sure that you dispose off the moldy growth in sealed plastic bags. Wipe the area that you just cleaned with a solution made from a dish-washing liquid and water, and dry the area with a towel.

If you find slimy, greenish-black patches on the walls or other areas of your home, have it removed at the earliest. It especially poses health risks for people with a weak immune system, allergies, and lung problems, so take all the possible measures to prevent an infestation in future. Do repair any leaks and ensure that your home stays dry and free of moisture.