Identifying And Handling Black Mold

Stachybotrys, otherwise known as “black mold”, has a pretty nasty reputation. We throw around the term pretending to know what it means, but in reality, many homeowners are unaware of what black mold consists of and why it can be harmful. Why is it so important to learn how to recognize the signs of black mold both in your home and body? Is all the buzz surrounding black mold even legitimate? Since mold can grow in any location in the country—even desert dry Gilbert—we at Valleywide Restoration can’t stress how important it is to have a working knowledge of mold. 

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How does black mold grow?

Like other types of mold, black mold is the result of spores latching onto an outside environment. Mold needs a healthy dose of dampness and darkness to reproduce, and is most commonly found in materials made of cellulose like cardboard, hay, paper, wood, and wicker.

After the spores have developed into a system with supportive roots and a main body, more spores begin to be released into the air. Airborne spores can travel through air currents or through physical contact with an animal or person. With each contact, the cycle begins again. 

What does it look like?

“Black mold” is actually a misnomer. The true color of this type of mold is a deep green color. However, there are many types of green mold that exist, so stachybotrys couldn’t be referred to as “green mold”. Thankfully, many people mistake the green color for black, so black mold is fairly easy to spot. 

Why is black mold so dangerous?

People have written entire thesis statements on this topic, but we’ll boil it down. Basically, there are three levels of harm that determine the potential threat of mold:

  • Allergenic: Relatively minor in symptoms, but causes allergic reactions and asthma attacks.
  • Pathogenic: Can either cause disease or magnify existing diseases, especially in those already suffering from an acute illness.
  • Toxigenic: Causes deadly health issues in all people. Known as “toxic mold”. 

Black mold is dangerous because it can affect all three levels of harm. The list of symptoms for black mold is as long as it frightening. If you suspect black mold in your home, we recommend checking a reputable medical website or asking your doctor about symptoms. 

How to get rid of black mold

Black mold is the household equivalent to getting rid of lice. It’s hard and it can take a long time without proper supplies. Black mold is as stubborn as it gets. Because of that, do-it-yourself approaches involving over-the-counter kits or mass amounts of bleach are often ineffective. After mold spores have become airborne, it’s difficult to simply treat the visibly affected area and hope for improvement. In cases of black mold, it’s best to hire a professional. After the mold removal work is completed, the next step is to commit to preventative measures in the home. Mold thrives in damp, dark, and unclean areas. Do all you can to prevent those areas from existing in your home. Even though Gilbert is dry and hot, many homes still have little areas tucked away that are susceptible to mold. If you suspect mold damage in your home, give us a call!