Black mold, also called stachybotrys, might be rearing its ugly head in your home or business and causing physical ailments even if you don’t know it. Black mold is a type of filamentous fungi that reduces the indoor air quality and often grows on water-damaged materials. It is frequently found in humid and moist areas, such as the bathroom or basement. It is important to have it removed if you notice it, but there are also some ways to prevent the growth of this type of mold.
Black Mold Characteristics
Black mold comes in different varieties, though only a few of them are actually toxic. The best way to know it is black mold called stachybotrys is looking at its moisture and growing patterns. Though its name is “black mold”, this type of mold has a dark green, black, or grayish coloration. It is often very spotty instead one continuous discoloration, and has mold spores that are darker black and are dampened in a downward motion. There is also a mildew odor that is somewhat musty.
Symptoms of Black Mold
There are many different types of symptoms of black mold affecting humans. Some people have just one or two of these symptoms, while others have nearly every one of them. Because so many of them are related to other conditions, it is often hard to diagnose them as related to toxic black mold.
Some of the common symptoms of exposure to black mold include various
- mental issues
- respiratory problems
- skin conditions
- vision and eye problems
- circulatory problems
- immune system issues
- reproductive system issues
- discomfort and fatigue
- and emotional or behavioral changes
- confusion or disorientation
- burning of the lungs
- an irregular heartbeat
- bloodshot eyes
- skin inflammation or blisters
In addition, if you find that you are constantly fatigued, having reproductive problems, or are getting ill more easily, that might also be a sign of exposure to black mold.
How to Prevent Black Mold
Before you experience these health effects and symptoms, reduce your exposure by preventing the growth of black mold. One way to do this is by having a whole house fan, bathroom or attic fan blowing air around and letting it ventilate in these areas where mold tends to be common.
The CDC also has the following recommendations:
- Reduce humidity levels in your home or business. Aim for humidity that is 50 percent or lower with fans, air conditioner, or a humidifier.
- Add mold inhibitors in the paints used in areas like the basement, garage or bathroom.
- Do not use carpet flooring in the bathrooms or basement.
- Clean the bathroom with products known to kill mold.
- Replace flooded carpets and the carpet padding underneath.
To avoid further exposure to black mold if you notice it in your home or business, have it professionally cleaned and removed. By following the above tips, you can avoid a serious problem and prevent it from growing in the first place.