Attack of the "Killer" Black Mold

Attack of the "Killer" Black Mold

The Stachybotrys type of mold normally grows outdoors in decaying organic materials but one species of it commonly called black mold can be rather prolific indoors if not kept in check. This mold is black or dark brown in color and can appear slimy in extremely moist conditions or almost light gray in drier settings.

Several different types of mold look similar, especially those that are often found indoors so it is important to get the mold tested to determine if it is the health-compromising black mold. Knowing the exact type of mold can help pinpoint the safety precautions as well as treatment plan.

How Black Mold Thrives

This type of mold needs several things in order to thrive - a source of nutrients, moisture, time and proper temperature. Mold needs high humidity and accumulated water in order to germinate and develop. Once the growth process kicks in, less moisture is needed and it will often continue to grow even in drier conditions.

Some of the mediums that provide the best nutrient base to black mold include those with generous cellulose content such as wood, hay and straw. Because homes often start growing mold after water and flood damage, you can add building materials such as wallpaper, insulation backing, drywall, ceiling tile and anything else with paper in it.

Most molds only take a few days to grow and become visible to the naked eye while it can take black mold several weeks in order to get a good toehold. That does not mean that you are any less susceptible to the mold when you cannot see it however! This moist mold cannot adequately spread its spores quite so easily unlike when it dries up. If this mold gets into your mucosal membranes or worse, your lungs, you will have quite a health battle on your hands.

Treatment of Black Mold

When black mold is present in small quantities, you can wash the area with a bleach solution or simple soap and water. You will want to wear a respiratory mask, easily obtained in a medical supply store, during your clean-up so as to avoid breathing in the mold spores. If you have quite a smorgasbord of this mold, it would be best to call an industrial hygienist or someone well-versed in mold mediation and clean-up.

Black mold as well as other varieties can cause a number of respiratory illnesses such as asthma and allergies in addition skin rashes. It is imperative that you get treated immediately if you suspect that black mold is the cause of your health problem. And don't forget about cleaning it up; it's the best way to prevent illness as long as you are dressed in the proper safety gear.