One of the primary reasons why homeowners panic when spotting mold in the home is the scary reputation that black mold has earned. Depending on the toxicity of the mold and the material that was fuel for mold growth, the growth in your home could be completely harmless or deadly and toxic.
Black Mold 101
First, it’s important to note that all black-colored mold is not toxic mold. Also, all toxic mold is not deadly. The most common type of black colored mold is Cladosporium, which is not fatal. Instead, it can exacerbate allergy and asthma symptoms. Other common strains of black mold include Alternaria, Aureobasidium, Dresclera, Pithomyces, Stemphylium and Ulocladium.
So, what type of black mold is toxic? Stachybotrys chartarum, which can be dark green or black in color. It is most often discovered in attics and crawlspaces, and it needs a space with continuous moisture for growth. The toxic nature of the mold comes from the hazardous mycotoxins that are released into the air and inhaled. Any black mold that releases mycotoxins is considered toxic mold.
What Leads to Black Mold Growth?
As we mentioned above, the primary spot for toxic mold growth is in the attic. Many bathroom exhaust fans and kitchen fans in older houses vent to the attic instead of outside of the home. The moist air from the bathroom will be deposited in the attic. If there is enough continuous moisture, mold can grow. Another common cause of black mold growth is flood damage and water damage that was not properly remediated. Walls and other parts of the home with a large amount of cellulose and low amount of nitrogen are food for black mold when water is left around.
Symptoms of Toxic Mold Exposure
Toxic mold and black mold can wreak havoc on your health. The respiratory system often gets the brunt of the damage, and symptoms include coughing, sneezing, throat irritation and asthma. Rashes, persistent headaches, nausea and vomiting are also signs of black mold exposure. Over time, the mycotoxins can do damage to your neurological state and lead to mood disorders and personality changes. In severe cases, the mycotoxins find their way into the bloom, which can cause heart damage and external hemorrhaging. Toxic mold is exactly what it sounds like—highly toxic.
What Should You Do?
If you have seen black mold in your home, or if you are experiencing symptoms that lead you to believe you are suffering as a result of mold exposure, get mold testing from Flood Department today. Beyond testing, we can also complete mold and water damage remediation services to restore your home.
Mold Remediation from Flood Department
Flood Department can complete a wide range of mold removal, flood damage restoration and crime scene clean-up services. To learn more about our services and get your water damage problem taken care of before it becomes worse, give us a call at 301-829-2600.