Black mold is a common indoor mold that grows in humid and dark areas in homes. Just like other molds, it releases spores in the air, which can be then topically absorbed through the skin or inhaled.
Why Is Black Mold So Dangerous?
Black mold is a toxic mold which is associated with various kinds of respiratory reactions, such sneezing, sore throat and coughing as well as watery and itchy eyes.
Black mold is toxic, and prolonged exposure can have serious health consequences.
According to one study, exposure to mold during infancy led to asthma, while others have associated exposure to behavioral dysfunction, neurological deterioration, and brain inflammation.
4 Black Mold Signs and Symptoms
1. Musty Smell
Mold has an earthy, musty, and unpleasant smell. If you notice a strange smell when you enter the house, make sure you check each and every room thoroughly. If you don’t find anything, consider removing wallpaper, tiles, or plastering.
2. Visible Dark Rings and Spots (Water Damage)
Dark rings and spots on the ceilings and walls are one of the earliest signs of mold. Even if they aren’t mold, they do indicate water damage, which contributes to mold growth.
The first thing you should do is to mop it up and clean it right away using disinfectants. Get an inspector to do it in case the area isn’t accessible.
3. Respiratory Irritation
Itchy skin, watery eyes, headaches, and skin irritation are some of the most common symptoms of black mold exposure. If you are experiencing any of them, get it checked out as soon as possible.
4. Visible Growths and Odd Colors
Although black mold is black, it does have many variations. For example, you might notice a dark growth or black stain, or there could be green brown, white, or orange spots.
How to Get Rid of Black Mold
Once you have found that black mold is lurking in your home, the next step is doing something to get rid of it.
1. Kill It Yourself
To prevent spores from transporting the mold to other areas, close off the affected area using duct tape over cracks and vents. Then, clean the area with soap, water, and scrub brush. Dispose of everything that was infested. Apply a strong disinfectant to the area, ventilate, and keep it dry.
Some of the best disinfectants that banish black mold include grapefruit seed extract (mix twenty drops of grapefruit seed extract with two cups of water in a spray bottle), tea tree oil ( mix a teaspoon of tea tree oil with a cup of water in a spray bottle), white vinegar ( spray directly onto the affected area), and hydrogen peroxide ( spray a 3% concentration onto the affected area).
Once you kill mold yourself, here is how to prevent it from returning:
- Reduce humidity (Mold thrives in humid and damp environment)
- Watch for Leaks (around ventilation ducts and appliances as moisture stimulates growth)
- Improve Ventilation ( keep the home well-ventilated or use a dehumidifier )