5 Signs Your Home Has Toxic Black Mold - And How to Get Rid of It!
The news media has been reporting on toxic black mold growth for the past few years, warning homeowners and renters about the acute dangers of having it grow in your home, and educating folks on the signs your home has black mold. It’s sometimes difficult to know what the signs your home has black mold even are, since all molds share common signs and symptoms of growth. If you’ve ever been curious about what we notice as professional mold inspectors, read on for some of the most common signs of mold growth in your home.
The most common of the signs your home has black mold growth is that you’re experiencing environment specific allergies. That is, your allergies seem to disappear when you leave the room, home, or office with a mold infestation, or they intensify when you’ve been in a particular space for a period of time. Allergies that don’t seem to lessen or intensify with the seasons are another great sign that your home may have a mold problem.
But what does a mold allergy look like?
Mold allergies are unfortunately similar to the most common of ailments, the cold and the flu. There are three types of symptoms that mold growth causes - allergic, toxic, and infections. The most common symptoms are allergic ones: sneezing, itchy eyes, and headaches are common complaints.
When it comes to signs your home has black mold growth, it’s the toxic symptoms you have to worry about. There are around 16 different kinds of mold that put out a highly toxic chemical called mycotoxins. They can cause bleeding, internal organ damage and stress, cognitive deficiency, cancer, and in extreme cases, even death.
Infections can be caused or worsened by mold spores present in your home, and infections can sprout up in your lungs, skin, or digestive system. Thankfully, these infections aren’t common in healthy people, but if you home has someone very young, old, or with an otherwise compromised immune system, they’re at a higher risk for an infection caused by mold growth.
The next of the common signs your home has black mold growth is that you can smell the presence of mold. You may not be able to see it, but mold has a distinct musty odor that is easily recognizable. If you notice this smell or anything else suspicious, you should have your home thoroughly inspected by a professional to rule out a toxic black mold infestation.
Visual Signs of Mold Growth
Seeing mold is the often the first indication that mold is even growing in your home, but it can sometimes be overlooked because it doesn’t look like what we expect. Maybe it’s the wrong colour or it seems like a smudge of dirt, but regardless of how it looks, mold growth can quickly spread throughout your home and cause a great deal of trouble. The most famous of the visual signs your home has black mold growth is that mold’s distinctive vigorous black colour, but other molds can be green, blue, rusty, or brown in tone. Some may look 3-D while others may be flat or thread like. The most important thing to do if you see mold growth is to have someone in to remove it immediately before it can spread.
If you think about the North American continent, where is it that you hear about the worst mold problems? It’s not in the dry New Mexico desert, it’s in the Pacific Northwest coast and other areas that have excessive amounts of moisture, like flood plains and low lying areas near lakes and rivers. But the truth is that anywhere you can find a source of water you can find mold growing, because moisture is the magic ingredient in mold growth. It’s the essential component and if you prevent it from accumulating and clean it up quickly if a spill, leak, or water event does happen, you’ll be ahead of your neighbours in preventing mold from growing in your home.
Seeing a lot of condensation in your home is a common sign of humidity problems, which is simply another way of talking about the amount of moisture in your air. A home with poor or inadequate insulation will likely form condensation on windows, doors, or even walls. Condensation happens when a warm substance (like heated air), touches a cold surface (like an exterior window) - the temperature difference causes the water droplets in the warm air to turn from a gas into a liquid.
An underlying sign of humidity issues
When condensation forms in your home it’s an easy to spot sign that you have a problem with humidity and that water could be building up and cause mold growth. It’s humidity in your attic and basement that can be trickier because it can cause mold growth underneath insulation or behind walls, where it can grow unchecked and unseen for months. If you notice frequent condensation buildup in your home, it’s a good sign that mold problems are on the horizon, and a preventative visit from a mold professional can help you put solutions in place to reduce your vulnerability.
Protect Yourself from Black Mold Growth
These common signs your home has black mold growth should be looked out for and paid attention to. The most infamous kind of toxic mold is Stachybotrys chartarum, in part because it thrives in man-made indoor environments and it is highly dangerous to people.
With Stachybotrys infestations, common symptoms are:
- Cognitive impairment
- Compromised Immune system
- Skin inflamation
- Respiratory problems
If you experience any of these serious symptoms and notice mold growth or have recently experienced any of the signs your home has black mold growth, get in touch with us at MoldTech and we’ll help you ensure your home is a healthy and safe place to be.