Household Safety Tips: Preventing Black Mold

Black mold is a toxic mold that grows in the home. Knowing what it is and how to prevent it is recommended because anyone can be faced with this fungus.

What is black mold?

Black mold (Stachybotrys Chartarium) is a greenish- black fungus/ mold that grow mainly in wet or damp areas like wet leaves, hay or straw. It also grows in dry wall and wallpaper. Black mold grows well in plant, cloth, and wood type materials that has a relative humidity over fifty percent. That would explain why it is found in houses and buildings.

Black mold is not always spotted easily. You would not be able to see it under hidden surfaces like paneling, drop down ceiling tiles, dry wall, and even under carpeting. Mold will be more prominent in areas where it floods, places where there are leaks, and condensation on pipes or behind vinyl walls. Other places that black mold can be hidden is roof materials because of leaking roofs and if you have any ductwork inside the home. If you smell mold but can not see it then you know the mold is hidden somewhere under one of these surfaces.

This type of mold is toxic and is considered to be a major health hazard concern. Black mold lets off a mycotoxin (fungus toxin) which can cause mycotoxicosis (being exposed too long to toxic molds) in human beings and their pets. Mycotoxins enter your body through the airways, the skin, and the mucus membranes in the nose or mouth. Exposure to the black mold is very hazardous to your health, a few symptoms that may be experienced are;

-hard time catching your breath

-eye and skin irritations

-ongoing headaches, memory problems, and mood swings


-fevers, aches, and pains

-dry coughing and having a sore throat

Not only is black mold toxic to humans and pets, it will also destroy the surfaces and structures of where it grows. It will weaken floors, walls, and ceilings especially if it is let go and not taken care of properly. There is always the risk that it will come back, so monitoring it will decrease the risks.

How to prevent black mold in the home

There are a few ways that black mold growth can be prevented, but you need to know where your specific hot spots are. Inspect your home or building regularly, this will help you know what needs to be addressed.

If the inside of your home is humid due to the humid conditions outside, a dehumidifier will keep your home above the humidity level. This will ensure that black mold will not grow. When the air outside is dry and cold, proper ventilation is important inside your home.

If you spot condensation on pipes or anywhere else, the source needs to be found and fixed immediately. Check for any leaks in the plumbing; if it is leaking get it taken care of quick because black mold will grow real well in these conditions.

Any air conditioner pans, heating device that has a pan, and ventilation pans need to be cleaned and emptied regular. They also need to be checked every now and then to see if they are running correctly. These precaution steps will help decrease any chances there are for black mold growing in these areas.

Carpeting needs to be kept dry from spills and major wet spots. A wet/ dry vacuum and a fan will dry up the wetness. If you do not take these precautions black mold will grow under the carpet.

If you have any outside drain pipes make sure they are routed away from the building. If your foundation stays wet a lot, it will grow black mold.

Taking these precautions can help ensure the safety of your family and your pets if you have any.

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