Black Mold Removal
What does black mold look like? Black mold is the common name for Stachybotris atra, also known as S. chartarum. It is actually greenish black rather than ink black in color, shiny and somewhat raised when wet, flat and dull when dry. It thrives in moist areas and feeds on carbonaceous components of cellulose, lignin and keratin.
Cellulose is the primary substance of wood, paper, and other wood based products like ceiling tiles, plywood, and cardboard. Lignin is found in vegetables and plants; it’s what makes plant fibers strong. Lignin is also in paper products. Keratin is the major component of hair, nails, fur, feathers and skin. Molds secrete enzymes that will digest these almost insoluble substances.
Accumulated dirt and organic debris in a moist corner can feed a mold colony. Sometimes, a porous carbon based material, such as a ceiling tile, may appear dry on the surface but is actually holding moisture inside, and molds can siphon up the moisture to the surface, or worse – live and thrive inside the porous material itself. Apart from making things look dirty, black mold consumes and therefore destroys the material it feeds on.
But it is not just looks that make black molds nasty. A thriving black mold colony will release spores (microscopic seeds) in the air. Mold spores themselves can irritate the skin and respiratory system, causing allergic reactions especially in babies and the elderly. Black molds also emit mycotoxins, the digestive chemical by products of molds infamous for causing internal bleeding particularly in the lungs and the brain. Continuous exposure to black mold spores and mycotoxins can be fatal.
Hidden black molds
Molds on surfaces are easy enough to see, and the extent of infestation and damage will not be difficult to check visually. Molds that are hiding under seemingly dry surfaces will need a dedicated effort. In this case, let mold removal experts from No Mold 4 Me, Inc. perform the inspection so the damage can be assessed and proper mold removal done.
Like all fungi, or any living organism for that matter, molds will require moisture, food and oxygen to live and multiply. Primary suspects for locations harboring hidden molds are porous materials in high humidity areas, such as ceiling tiles in bathrooms and laundry rooms, dry walls in proximity to leaky water pipes and drain pipes, or wood rafters under roof leaks. Wooden or wood composite windows and window sills, doors and doorframes are suspects if these are exposed to rain or garden sprinklers and not much sun. Some leaks can travel unnoticed and seep through cupboards, shelves, drawers, and even room partitions.
HVAC ducts are also favorite mold breeding places, especially when cold air is not always in use. Molds like warmth. Enclosed places that smell musty are also prime locations for mold presence.
What to do with black molds
The first thing to do when black mold is found is to hunt for other infested areas in the house. Remember, mold spores are airborne and the next infested area may not be near the first at all. Be alert for musty smells. Molds could be present even if you don’t see them.
Next, assess the extent of damage. Was only one or a couple of small moldy spots found? Small is less than a square foot involved. If a larger infestation is suspected, call a licensed professional to conduct the mold inspection and mold removal. To be on the safe side, let mold removal experts perform the inspection with the professional tools and equipment for mold detection.
After inspection, remove the infestation. Mold removal should be thorough. Mold spores are resilient. They lie dormant for many years under unfavorable conditions but capable of blooming almost overnight when the opportunity presents itself.
Small isolated mold spots may be successfully removed with household cleansers. Rags, scrubs and other contaminated materials used in the cleanup of the mold growth should be bagged and sealed in sturdy plastic before disposal in the garbage.
Heavier contaminations should be entrusted to mold removal professionals using industrial strength equipment and cleansers. Professional mold remediators have the training and expertise to safely remove black molds.
Finally, ensure that infestation does not recur. Of the three necessities for molds to thrive, – moisture, food, and oxygen – moisture levels can be controlled. Control moisture to control molds. Mold removal professionals can suggest the appropriate moisture control measures.