Dealing with mold is one of the worst nightmares for homeowners everywhere, but it is not as uncommon as we would like to think. In the United States, an estimated 70% of households have some kind of mold.
Houses typically contain toxic black mold in high-moisture areas like bathroom walls and windows. Apart from potential home damage, exposure to black mold may lead to several health problems. In this article, we will discuss what this fungus is and the unmistakable signs of black mold.
What Is Toxic Black Mold?
Toxic black mold is a type of fungus typically present in high-moisture areas. It refers to several mold types that have a green or black color.
People who use the term black mold usually allude to the Stachybotrys chartarum type also known as Stachybotrys atra. Many factors cause the growth of this fungus, including flooding, water damage, and leaks. It can enter homes via:
- Heating and cooling vents
Once inside homes, these fungi thrive in high-moisture, low-light environments. They can latch onto different surfaces such as carpets, fabrics, and wood.
All mold types can affect your health, but having toxic black mold inside your home presents the most risks. Fortunately, you can observe your home for signs of black mold. If you find any mold type inside your home, it’s best to contact professionals immediately.
What Are the Four Signs of Toxic Black Mold?
Toxic black mold causes all sorts of damage to homes and their inhabitants. Visual marks, a distinct odor, physical health symptoms, and mental health symptoms are the most common signs of black mold infestation.
Sometimes homeowners might notice black mold as dark rings or spots on walls and ceilings. If you see such marks indicative of water damage or pooling water, those might be the first signs of a mold infestation.
However, if you see black mold forming in your home, your problem might be worse than it seems. When you see mold growth with your naked eye, you should call a professional immediately.
All mold types have a distinct odor—an unpleasant, musty smell like a wet sock that didn’t dry properly. This sharp odor is usually indicative of significant mold growth large enough to affect your health.
If you notice this smell inside a room in your house but can’t find physical evidence of mold growth, have a mold inspector check underneath wallpaper and tiles. Usually, visitors point this smell out because homeowners get accustomed to the smells inside their house.
Physical Health Symptoms
Experts call black mold toxic for a reason. Some specialists believe that black mold releases harmful compounds called mycotoxins, causing an extensive range of health issues for adults and children alike. Apart from causing respiratory reactions, black mold may also cause severe health consequences during prolonged exposure.
These are the most common symptoms of mold exposure with more severe reactions for people with mold allergy:
- Stuffy nose
- Itchy throat
- Watery eyes
- Skin rashes
Mold exposure may be particularly harmful to individuals with asthma, a chronic respiratory disease, or a weakened immune system. Additionally, a 2016 study found that high mold levels inside a home may induce asthma in school-age children. Other studies also link mold exposure to brain dysfunction, movement disorders, and neurological deterioration.
Mental Health Symptoms
Sometimes mold exposure can cause more than physical health symptoms. It can also negatively affect several brain functions. While physical health symptoms are more common, let’s go through some mental health risks associated with mold exposure.
- Brain fog
If left unchecked, black mold can damage your home and even affect your physical and mental health. For a thorough mold check, call an inspector immediately.
Keep Your Home Safe
Dealing with toxic black mold is a nightmare. Apart from eating away at walls, tiles, and floorboards, it causes all sorts of physical and mental health symptoms. If you notice any signs of black mold—whether they’re physical or less obvious ones—it’s best to act immediately.
You can get rid of a few isolated spots with hydrogen peroxide, distilled white vinegar, or a baking soda and borax combination. However, if you can’t find the source of the black mold or find yourself dealing with a massive infestation, it’s best to call professionals right away.
Keep your home safe with our superior air quality testing services to address any mold problem. Call us today for a free in-home evaluation.