BLACK MOLD FAQ
What is black mold?
Black mold is a phrase used to describe several species of mold that can grow in our homes and other buildings. Not all molds are toxic, or even black, but several species such as Stachybotrus Chartarum (also known as Stachybotrus Atra), Caldosporium, Aspergillus, Penicilum, and Alternaria have been shown to have negative health effects on humans. Our Black mold FAQ will you clarify the confusion about mold.
What does black mold look like?
Our page PICTURES OF MOLD has some great photos and descriptions to help identify different types of mold. While it is not possible to accurately identify species by sight alone, if you have visible mold growth on your interior living space (walls, ceiling, basement, furniture, etc), you definitely have a mold problem and should conduct MOLD TESTING.
How do I get rid of black mold?
Mold is caused by excess moisture either from poor ventilation or humid air; a leak from a pipe, roof or air conditioner; or condensation from two different temperatures coming into contact such as a cold metal vent and hot air. You must first remove the source of the moisture. Then you may REMOVE THE MOLD.
How do I test for black mold?
Proper MOLD TESTING is rarely as simple as the affordable petri dish tests you buy at Lowes, Home Depot, or Amazon. These DIY tests are great for identifying a particular species, but a good MOLD TEST should also be able to give you spore counts (how many spores are in the air) and compare it to the air outside of your house. Without this perspective, you are merely paying money to determine what you already know, which is that there are mold spores in your house (they are in everyone’s house). The real questions are in what amount and what species? If you have visible growth and clear moisture source, you may be able to skip testing and go straight to MOLD REMOVAL. A follow-up test is a good idea though to ensure you did not miss something or spread spores throughout your house.
How do I clean or remove black mold?
Our DIY MOLD REMOVAL page has numerous proven recipes for solutions you can use to kill mold on any surface. Be sure to read our article on MOLD REMOVAL & REMEDIATION, as you must also be careful in containing the work area and removing infected materials, as you can easily spread spores throughout your house, creating a larger problem.
What kills black mold?
There are numerous solutions you can mix at home from our MOLD KILLERS page that when applied, can not only kill mold but prevent future growth. Our favorite solution is a Borax solution as it kills mold on all surfaces, porous and nonporous, and will also prevent future mold growth. You can also use bleach, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, tea tree oil, grape seed extract, or any number of over the counter solutions.
How do I test for black mold?
Mold testing is rarely as simple as the DIY tests available at Lowes, Home Depot, or Amazon. These kits are great for identifying a particular species, but a good mold test should also be able to give you spore counts (how many spores are in the air) and compare it to the air outside of your house. Without this perspective, you are only going to learn what we already know – there are mold spores in every home. A DIY test cannot tell you whether you have a mold infestation or colony, or whether you have hidden mold in a room. Only a quality air test that can provide you with air spore counts and comparisons can answer this question. However, if you have visible growth and a clear moisture source, you may be able to skip testing and go straight to MOLD REMOVAL. A follow up test is always a good idea though, to ensure you did not miss a mold colony during removal or accidentally spread spores throughout your house.
Is black mold dangerous?
Yes, our MOLD & YOUR HEALTH section has a comprehensive list of every associated ailment. From proven respiratory ailments such as sneezing, sore throat, asthma, red eye, itching skin, to fuzzy brain, difficulty concentrating, and sleep disorders. While not scientifically proven, a growing number of alternative health doctors and parents are raising alarms about a wide-range of life-changing effects that came from mold infestations. Some mold species do produce mycotoxins, which are extremely poisonous by-products and are known carcinogens (cancer-causing agent). Our advice is to get MOLD TESTING to determine if you have a problem so that you can get it fixed as soon as possible.
Can black mold kill you?
There is some evidence that the effects on the immune system and difference in air quality can cause increased clotting of blood. This could lead to increased chance of stroke or heart attack.
What causes black mold?
Moisture. While there are a few mold spores in every house, all it takes is for one black mold spore to land in a moist environment to start growing a colony.
How long does it take black mold to start growing?
Mold starts growing after 48 hours of moisture, which is why it is so important to remove moisture from the equation as quickly as possible after a flood or leak.
What does black mold smell like?
Musty. Do you remember how your grandma’s basement smelled? Like too much dust and moisture in the air. If you are living in the space, you might also not be able to smell it as your brain has adjusted to the smell. Get an opinion from someone who does not live there and ask what it smells like when they enter the affected area. If it smells, get MOLD TESTING to confirm your suspicions.
Does bleach kill black mold?
Bleach can kill mold, but only on non-porous surfaces such as concrete, tile, or linoleum. On porous surfaces such as wood or drywall, bleach does not penetrate below the top surface, allowing the mold to return. For more information about which Mold Removal product will work best for your affected room or surface, please refer to our Mold Removal section.
Are their certain types of people most at risk to toxic mold?
Toxic mold can affect everyone, but because we are all different, with different immune systems, gut biomes, allergies and sensitivities, each of us can be affected differently.
Often those affected the most severely are:
- Anyone with allergies, asthma or chemical sensitivities
- Immune compromised people (cancer, HIV, liver disease, respiratory conditions, etc.)
- Pregnant women