How Can You Tell If Mold Is Black Mold – Not sure if you have mold in your home? In some cases, you can clearly see mold growing on surfaces or in the corners of your living space. But sometimes it’s hidden and you won’t know it’s there unless you start noticing invisible signs of mold like spotty clothes, allergy or asthma flare-ups, or an unpleasant musty smell.
Mold is a common household problem, especially in homes with long-term damage or leaks. If you see signs of mold in your home, you can perform a mold test on a sample to determine if it is indeed mold and even determine the type of spores!
How Can You Tell If Mold Is Black Mold
Molds have a variety of appearances and can be found in a variety of colors. Contrary to popular belief, the term “black mold”—or sometimes “poison mold”—does not technically refer to a specific type or species of mold. In fact, Stachybotrys chartarum is the scientific name for what most people call black mold. It gets this nickname because the colonies and spores are black (or sometimes dark green). However, not all “black mold” is Stachybotrys; There are several other molds whose colonies are black, including Ulocladium and Chaetomium.
Black Mold Vs. Asbestos: Differences
Stachybotrys chartarum got its official name about 200 years ago, from the Latin word “charta”, meaning papyrus or paper. It often happens in buildings with periodic leaks, as it requires a very humid environment, such as a building that has been damaged by water. This type of mold is often found on cellulose ceiling tiles, paper backing insulation, bed sheets, wallpaper, and even fiber carpet padding in homes or buildings where it occurs.
Highly toxic compounds can be found in some species of Stachybotrys, but not all. Stachybotrys chartarum is a dangerous mold because it is capable of producing a variety of secondary metabolites from fungi that are known to cause disease in humans. Mycotoxin-producing molds are often referred to as “mycotoxins”, of which there are many species, including some species of Fusarium or Aspergillus.
Like many molds, Stachybotrys chartarum is an allergen, which can cause a variety of immune responses in humans that may persist until the mold is removed. Exposure to Stachybotrys chartarum is certainly a health problem. It is worth noting, however, that any mold that grows heavily in an inhabited space can be a health risk and should be addressed immediately.
Mold can appear in any wet place where it has an opportunity to feed on organic materials. When looking for mold in your home, it’s important to keep an eye out—and pay attention—for possible signs. Typically, mold growth hides behind furniture or appliances, making it more likely that you smell mold before you see it.
How To Identify Mold Vs. Mildew In Your Home
In most cases, mold has an earthy, musty or musty odor. Stachybotrys mold can have a particularly strong odor, which is why it is often more noticeable when it is just starting to form. However, it is important to remember that not all colonies that are black or have a strong odor are Stachybotrys and that analysis should be performed to confirm the type of spores.
If your home has suffered any type of water damage, it is important to watch for possible signs of mold growth. Mold often appears on basement walls or floors after a flood or severe water damage. Chronic or ongoing leaks from appliances, sinks and showers can also lead to mold growth. Mold does not take long to survive and grow. In fact, most molds just need water, organic matter, a dark environment and time to grow. This is why it is often found in less trafficked places in the home.
When looking for hidden mold, start by looking for any evidence of water intrusion. Although it can be difficult to find mold growth on walls, it is important to look in these areas to identify problems as quickly as possible. Moisture meters and particle counters can be used by a certified inspector to find the source of water leaks and fungal growth, and they can even help detect if there is mold in the walls, yours or not.
Remember that mold is a sign of excessive moisture and water penetration, and it can be seen or hidden behind many different surfaces. Whether due to leaky pipes or previous water damage, mold can lead to expensive building repairs and even adverse health effects, which is why mold should be handled promptly when detected.
Cleaning Black Mold
If you suspect mold growth in your home, it is important to determine the severity of the problem by testing it for mold. In severe cases when indoor mold is not treated, it can cause allergic reactions and illnesses, and create the need for expensive home repairs.
During the mold inspection, a trained professional will come to your home and use a specialized high-flow air pump attached to the cassette to collect any spores that may be present. They can also use special tubes that allow them to test inside recesses where mold often grows. Inspectors will also take an outdoor sample to compare indoor results with outdoor natural air. Once sampling is complete, the resulting samples will be sent to a laboratory, where an analyst will remove the spore trap from the tape and attach it to a microscope slide for analysis. The laboratory analyst will then identify and quantify any mold spores that may be present and generate a detailed laboratory report.
If your analysis shows that there is more mold inside your home than outside, you may choose to take a mold remedy to solve the problem. A mold or water damage repair specialist can remove affected materials (drywall, carpet, and even furniture) and use a special fan to completely dry the area. Many people choose to perform an additional mold survey after remediation to ensure that no source of mold has been missed and that the removal process was successful.
Remember that the mold remedy only alleviates the symptom. For real peace of mind about the health of your family and your home, it is important that you also identify the source of moisture that leads to mold growth in the first place and make any necessary repairs. When it comes to testing for mold in your home, professional services are available to help you find potential mold and mildew problems in your home.
What Does Toxic Black Mold Look Like? Everything You Need To Know
Water damage is the most common cause of serious indoor mold problems. After a flood, leak, or other type of moisture damage, mold can begin to grow within the first 48 hours. There are several things you can do to prevent mold after water damage, including drying the area as quickly as possible by removing the water and using a fan and/or dehumidifier.
If you live or work in a particularly humid environment, you may want to use a dehumidifier to minimize humidity on a regular basis. Maintaining a low relative humidity (<60%) can do wonders in preventing mold from forming in your home.
Other tactics to prevent mold growth include ensuring proper ventilation in enclosed areas such as bathrooms and laundry rooms, and repairing any leaking roofs, walls, or plumbing, the sooner the better.
Related: How to Prevent Mold Growth in Winter and 5 Best Ways to Prevent Mold Growth in Commercial Buildings
How To Tell If You Have Mold & What To Do If You Find It
Mold can be a difficult problem to deal with in your home. If you think you may have a mold problem, the first thing you should do is have a certified inspector assess the damage or bring a sample of suspected mold to a lab for testing. At JSE, we specialize in mold identification and can provide an accurate analysis of your sample.
Our mold lab offers quick turnaround times and our consultants can answer any questions you may have. In-house laboratory services include analysis of mold spores through direct testing of both bulk and air samples.
Mold can be an annoying problem in any household. If you suspect you have mold growing in your home, contact JSE online or at (503) 659-8338 to receive a sample for testing. Toxic black mold sounds disgusting and dangerous which can scare any homeowner. But by being able to identify black mold and understanding how to prevent and control its growth, you can help keep your home free of harmful black mold.
Black mold is more likely to appear in particularly warm, damp and humid areas of the home. Basements or crawl spaces that may have leaks or other sources of moisture are often prone to toxic black mold growth. Black mold is easily identified by its color. While most other molds are green or gray in color, toxic black mold is dark black.
Is This Black Mold? The Closet Is Very Moist In Winter. Wondering If Simple Clean Up Or Something To Get My Landlord To Fix
Black mold can cause a wide range of allergic reactions and health problems. In most cases, depending on the duration of exposure and the number of inhaled spores, symptoms can include chronic fatigue.
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