What is Black Mold - Symptoms, Risks, Treatment (how to get rid of)

What is black mold ?

Molds are a type of fungi and they reproduce by forming spores. They can grow inside and outside your home. They love warm, damp, and humid environment. Black mold is one of the common types of household mold.

Its color is greenish-black. The tiny spores produced by mold are not visible to the human eyes. Originally, the spores came from outside environment and travel through indoor air. It sticks to moist and warm surface. (1)


Where can you find back mold?

Black mold is present in organic matter in its decomposition state such as compost, dead trees, and leaves. Indoor, you can find black mold in the bathroom, black mold in the shower, basement, ceiling tiles, under the sink, ductwork, carpets, plumbing pipes, and in moist and humid areas. (2)

 Image 1 : A house with severe black mold infestation
Photo Source : extras.mnginteractive.com

Figure 2 : A professional black mold removal using state of the art equipment, safety gear, and chemicals
Picture Source : cdn2.tmbi.com


How to tell if you have black mold?

How to test for black mold? How will you know if your house is infested with black mold? Well, there are a few warning signs and these include the following:
  • Smelling a mold odor – You will notice the presence of mold at home because of mold odor. If you notice an unusual smell, then you have to conduct a thorough home inspection before the problem gets worse.
  • Visible mold growth – If you can see visible mold growth, do not ignore it. Even the smallest amount of mold can grow into something bigger, which could result to even bigger problems. 
To be sure if there is really mold infestation in your home, the best thing to do is to hire a professional mold inspector. Mold inspectors have state of the art equipment that can detect even the smallest and hidden mold. (3, 4)


Black mold health risks (effects)

Black mold is dangerous to your health. It produces irritating substances that trigger allergic reaction, especially in sensitive people. Children and geriatric age group are sensitive to mold. The effects of black mold exposure are dangerous to your health. The allergic reaction may take place abruptly or after a period of time after exposure. Allergy to black mold symptoms include the following:
  • Runny nose
  • Frequent sneezing
  • Coughing along with wheezing sounds
  • Itchy, watery, and reddened eyes
  • Presence of rash and skin irritation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Sinus congestion
The allergic reaction is severe and warrants immediate medical attention. There could be a possibility of asthma attack. Those with chronic lung disease and immune compromised are susceptible to black mold allergy. (4, 5)

How to get rid of black mold - removal methods

There are various ways to get rid of black molds. If you want to know how to kill black mold, then keep on reading below:
  • Kill black mold using bleach – Bleach is effective in killing mold and other microorganisms like bacteria and fungi. However, it can only be used on black mold residing on a non-porous surface. It will not work on removing mold on porous materials like drywall and board.
  • Use borax – It is less toxic as compared to bleach and can be used to kill black mold on porous surface. To use the borax, you have to mix it with water and put in a spray bottle. Spray in areas where black mold and other types of mold reside. Leave the borax mixture for about 20 minutes and wipe the area to thoroughly remove black mold residue.
  • Use tea tree oil – This essential oil is known for its antibacterial and antifungal property. It is very effective in removing black mold. A small amount of tea tree oil is effective in removing black mold and other types of mold.
  • A mixture of vinegar and baking soda – These ingredients can be easily found in your kitchen. Don’t you know that you can use them to kill black mold? Prepare a cup of vinegar and mix with two tablespoon of baking soda. Put the mixture directly on the black mold infested surface, leave for a few minutes, and brush to thoroughly remove the colony of black mold. 
  • Use commercial black mold removal products – There are readily available black mold removal products out there. Some of them are tested and proven effective in killing black mold including its colony. They can also help remove black mold stain. (6,7,8)


Professional black mold removal

Black mold should be thoroughly removed including the spores. If you won’t be able to get rid of spores, then expect the black mold to form a colony again. Precaution should be observed too or else you will end up with allergic reaction. This is the reason why many opt for professional toxic black mold removal.

There are a lot of companies out there specializing in mold removal. They have the right equipment and chemicals that will thoroughly get rid of mold in your home.

During the professional mold removal process, you will be asked to move out of your home and find a temporary accommodation. If you are suffering from toxic symptoms, black mold should be thoroughly removed before you go back to your home. This is to make sure that mycotoxins from the black mold are killed and will no longer cause allergy. (9)


How to prevent black mold in the household?

The best black mold treatment is prevention. As the famous saying goes, “prevention is better than cure.” Below are the recommended ways to prevent mold in the house:
  • You have to control the moisture in your home. Mold loves to reside in moist and warm environment.
  • Avoid things or scenario that could lead to moisture build-up such as a leakage in the plumbing system. If you notice any leakage and damage to the structure of the house, you should have it repaired right away.
  • During summertime or when the weather is humid, you have to use air conditioner or air dehumidifier to somehow prevent the build-up of moisture.
  • If you are living in a humid place, you should not use carpet as it can trap down moist.
  • Keep your house well ventilated.
  • Use paint that has mold inhibitor feature. You can also add a mold inhibitor substance to the paint.
  • When taking a bath, you should turn on the bathroom fan or at least keep the window of the bathroom open. (10)
  1. www.medicinenet.com
  2. www.mayoclinic.org
  3. www.toxic-black-mold-syndrome.com
  4. www.livestrong.com
  5. www.webmd.com
  6. www.healthline.com
  7. www.biosignlabs.com
  8. www.howtoremoveblackmold.com
  9. www.wikihow.com
  10. www.mouldfacts.ca