What is Black Mold?

Black mold or toxic black mold is a fungi called Stachybotrys chartarum which grows on damp material, that contain cellulose, such as paper, wood and drywall. Molds reproduce by releasing spores into the air which grow on any damp object they on which they land. There are thousands of different types of mold and they are ever present in the air. Most of them are not hazardous although some people are sensitive to the spores which can cause the respiratory problems. Black mold however is different as it produces mycotoxins which are toxic and can cause a whole range of health problems even in healthy people.

The floating spores are tiny and not visible to the naked eye and are only seen when they begin to grow. Black mold produces a slimy greenish black growth on damp wood and other cellulose containing materials and does not grow on tiles or cement as many other fungi do.

Black mold, like other molds, grows best in damp conditions so the places you might find it include damp basements, poorly ventilated bathrooms, around leaky water pipes, near leaky roofs and on the walls after flood damage. Exhaust fans and clothes dryer vents also could produce enough moisture to encourage the growth of mold if they're not vented properly. A serious risk arises in houses that have been flooded especially in areas where the temperature and humidity are high.

Not all molds are toxic but it is difficult to distinguish them without proper testing. It is essential therefore to remove any molds growing in your house before they spread too far. Even though molds may not be toxic they are still far from healthy to be breathing in constantly. Any signs of mold should be quickly dealt with. Mold spores can be transported very easily on animals, shoes, clothing etc. and they also come in on the breeze through doors and windows. The spores then settle on anywhere that is moist and grow rapidly. Black mold can grow on insulation, drywall, ceiling tiles, wall panelling, cardboard and many other places and can spread rapidly if not cleared up immediately. Damp basements that are not often visited can be a haven for the mold to grow.

Mold Detection is not hard if you know the symptoms to look out for that will alert you to black mold growing in your home. Black mold is a hazard and should be dealt with as quickly as possible before it causes serious health problems for your family.

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