That’s actually a leading question, because “dangerous” is a term more often used to describe a life-threatening situation, or something that can cause serious bodily harm. Black Mold is actually neither of these (despite claims in the sensational media to the contrary). However it is not good for us either – especially for people with hyper-sensitivity to it. Mold is a living substance that can rapidly grow throughout the house if left untreated, so it’s therefore best removed immediately when found.
How Black Mold Develops
Black Mold (also known as stachybotrys chartarum and stachybotrys atra) is a dark green fungus that grows under damp conditions on anything that’s low on nitrogen and high on cellulose. This means it just loves common household materials like gypsum ceiling board, fibre board, dust, paper and even lint. Here in Toronto, the change in seasons and sometimes wild weather swings can contribute to mold problems.
You’ll find it on these materials wherever they are exposed to high humidity, water leaks, condensation and even flooding. When you spot Black Mold in your house you’ll know three things for certain:
- You have a moisture problem
- You have a potential health problem
- Your household cleaning routine could be improved
Black Mold is unhealthy, but usually not an immediate medical concern – unless, that is, you have a serious upper respiratory-tract condition like asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis or a constant, wheezing cough. You don’t need to pull the sheets over your head or vacate your home. You just need to get rid of the Black Mold and tweak your lifestyle.
When You Know It’s There
Besides its characteristic musty smell, mold causes symptoms that affect the general health of residents. Constant sniffles, hacking coughs and allergic attacks are all signs that there are mold spores in their lungs, and that’s not something that’s worth continuing with. However it’s pointless trying to get rid of mold while it continues to regenerate itself. You need a two-pronged solution for the problem.
Mold grows everywhere in the natural environment. It propagates itself by giving off microscopic seeds called “spores” that are so lightweight that they travel through the air. When they come to rest on a hospitable surface that’s also moist, they take root and begin to multiply.
This part of the problem is relatively simple. Get rid of accumulated dust around the house and call in a waterproofing contractor to eliminate any damp. Wipe down all surfaces to get rid of spores. Keep at it, and your black mold infestation will slow down and may even stop spreading.
Now that you have the source of renewed mold under control, it’s time to get rid of the historic evidence. Here’s what to do (provided you are not suffering from, or susceptible to upper respiratory tract problems):Clear the house of people and pets just to be sure
- Open up all the doors and windows
- Put on non-porous gloves and protective eye-wear
- Make up a solution of one cup of bleach to a gallon of water in the garden
- Go inside, and wipe everything with the solution
- Be prepared to throw ruined fabrics away
- Leave the house to air for as long as you can
Is this a Job for a Mold Specialist?
It depends, provided the Black Mold is not too widespread, such as a leak around a bathroom pipe or under your sink. If you have more serious mold and water problems, such as in your attic or in a damp basement, you may want to call in a mold removal specialist as there may be several areas in the house where it has spread. You’ll also have to determine and fix the source of the water leak or else your mold problems will just return. If you have questions about mold or water leaks in your house, feel free to contact us here and we’ll be happy to offer some advice.
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