Do you suspect that you might have a black mold infestation? If you do, it’s more serious than you might suspect.
What is toxic black mold?
(the scientific name is Stachybotrys chartarum) is a specific type of mold that invades both indoor and outdoor spaces. It thrives particularly well in damp, water-rich environments. Because of this, many structures have issues with black mold after they have suffered from flood damage or other types of water damage.
As the name implies, being in the proximity of toxic black mold can have serious health implications. If you suspect that you may have a toxic black mold infestation, you should undertake black mold removal procedures immediately.
How do you know if you have black mold?
Not every instance of household mold is going to be toxic black mold, and therefore will not require the stringent removal procedures that the more toxic variety will. So how do you tell the difference?
Well, one of the main indicators that the mold on your property is toxic is the allergic reactions and other health problems people have when exposed to it.
Black mold exposure symptoms include mental and neurological symptoms (such as confusion, fogginess, aggression, or seizures), circulatory issues, problems breathing, skin irritation, a weakened immune system, trouble with reproductive systems, vision interruptions, overall fatigue, and various other medical issues.
Prolonged exposure to the toxic black mold source only increases the intensity of the symptoms and the potential for long-term damage. Do not take a chance with toxic black mold. If you suspect that it is in your home and it is adversely affecting your health or the health of your loved ones, vacate the premises until the problem is dealt with.
In order to definitively determine if you have a toxic black mold infestation, you will need to have a black mold inspection. The safest and most certain option is to call a professional, who will conduct a thorough examination of the property.
If you do opt to conduct the inspection yourself, make sure that you check into all the small, hidden areas that black mold likes to hide. You need to make sure that you look in every nook and cranny. Remember that mold thrives in dark and damp environment. You will need to look in places such as inside the wall cavities, and focus on areas of the home such as the kitchen and bathroom or the basement, where water leaks would be most likely.
It is, however, a much better idea to pay for a professional inspection. Professionals have detection equipment that they can use which will give a much more accurate reading as to the presence or absence of toxic black mold in your property.
When it’s your health and the health of your family on the line, it’s really best not to take chances with something as serious as this toxic as black mold.
What are some ways to remove black mold yourself?
Again, while it is advisable to procure the services of a professional when dealing with the black mold problem, there are steps that you can take yourself if you so desire.
The first thing you need to make sure of is that you are safe. You need to wear protective equipment like protective eye gear, a respirator mask, sufficiently protective clothing.
Next, you will need to seal the affected rooms with plastic in order to create a barrier which the mold spores cannot cross.
Next, you should place a fan blowing out the window, to create a negative pressure (or suction) environment.
The next step is to remove the mold using products such as Borax, bleach, ammonia, or vinegar.
After the affected areas have been treated, wash items thoroughly which were in the same room as the mold infestation. Preferably, they should be washed with one of the strong mold removal products mentioned above, such as bleach.
Lastly, vacuum the area completely, and then seal mold-infested objects in plastic and dispose of them.
If the infestation is not too far progressed, following the steps above may take care of the problem. However, the most likely scenario is that you will need to call in a mold removal specialist.
What should you look for in a professional black mold removal company?
When deciding on a professional mold removal service to entrust this very important job to, don’t take the decision lightly.
The temptation when hiring any kind of professionals to do work in your home is to get estimates from a number of companies and then go with the lowest bidder. This is, however, rarely the right path to take. In most cases, the lowest bidder is the lowest precisely because the cheapness of their price is the only card they have to play. The old phrase, “you get what you pay for,” definitely applies when it comes to black mold removal companies.
Rather, base your decision on the professional competence of the company that you hire. When the mold removal specialist comes to your home or property to do the estimate, chat with them and ask them what they are looking for. Evaluate their answers to determine their level of professional knowledge and their confidence.
Also, take the reviews of other clients into account when comparing companies. You should ask every company for references, complete with phone numbers. Don’t just stop at getting the references, though, as many people do. Actually call the references and ask them what their long-term success rate has been. If the mold removal service came to their home two years ago, are their homes still free of mold?
Another place to find service reviews is online. Websites such as Yelp and Angie’s List are a resource that you can use to find multiple customer reviews aggregated in one place.
In short, toxic black mold is nothing to play around with. If you have an infestation in your home, or if you even suspect that you do, the best thing to do is to call a professional right away.