Black mold is known to be a cause of illnesses like bronchitis and asthma and has also been responsible for many infant deaths due to respiratory bleeding. It is known to be found in water-damaged buildings where fungal growth is present and the indoor air quality is poor.
Mold can be prevented if the appropriate measures are taken. The first step is gaining control of the house’s humidity. There should also be sufficient ventilation in the house, especially in the kitchen and bathroom(s). Mold can also be prevented by using mold-killing products. Finally, carpet should not be used in any bathroom as mold favors damp areas and the carpet is difficult to dry in such an area.
Testing & Identifying Mold
While there are several test kits available for purchase to homeowners and tenants, the best way to identify the mold is to contact a licensed inspector. The inspector will be able to diagnose a black mold problem if the house has one. The inspector will also search many areas of the home that include but are not limited to inner walls, drywall, carpet tiles, floorboards, and ceiling tiles.
Before the toxic mold is removed, the root cause must be found and fixed or the problem will continue. The area should be disinfected with bleach (one cup of bleach per gallon of water) unless the problem is more internal such as on carpeting. If this is the case, the affected items must be replaced. Never scrape black mold and always use a respiratory mask, and protective clothing on skin and eyes.
First, only clean one affected area at a time and seal off the room that is being cleaned. Next, dampen the affected area with water. Dry areas of mold are more likely to produce airborne spores when cleaned. Clean the damp affected area and other dry surrounding areas with a disinfectant such as bleach, and then completely dry everything that has been cleaned. Do not reuse items that have been visibly destroyed.
Symptoms of those affected by black mold are similar to symptoms of the common cold and flu. They may include but are not limited to coughing, sneezing, a sore throat, itchy or scratchy eyes, hives, rashes, lethargy, and depression. If any of these symptoms become present in someone who may be in contact with the toxic black mold, a physician should be consulted immediately as serious health effects can occur with frequent exposure to toxic mold.
Black Mold Health Effects
Black mold can cause many terrible health effects for those who have experienced prolonged exposure. These health effects may include Chronic sinus infections, complications with asthma, cancer, miscarriage in pregnant women, depression/dementia, frequent nosebleeds, open sores, spleen pain, unexplained fevers, and muscle pain. Anyone experiencing these effects should seek treatment and assistance in ridding their home of toxic mold. Even if the symptoms are treated, they will continue unless the mold is removed completely from the home.