Why You Shouldn't Clean Black Mold Yourself
Mold is insidious. It clings to damp buildings and sticks to moisture-filled surfaces like walls, roofs and ceilings when leaks occur. It can also actively grow on paper, furnishings, clothing and ceramic tiles.
Certain conditions enable the mold to reinforce its presence. For example, it’s partial to moist and humid environments. It can start in one area and soon take over an entire space. Normally, it’s found in bathrooms, basements and attics where there’s less sunlight exposure.
Finding Black Mold in Your Home
Mold can be easy to detect with its pungy and musty odor. If you discover black mold in your home, be vigilant. Never take it for granted. Exposure to mold, especially black mold, can have a detrimental effect on your health. It can cause severe reactions to people who may not even know they’re sensitive to it.
Molds can cause an allergic reaction, making an individual cough and wheeze even without any prior health conditions. It has a tremendous effect on the respiratory tract, leading to difficulty in breathing. It’s therefore highly recommended to avoid exposing yourself to black molds, though sometimes they are found due to health issues. If you suspect you have black mold in your home, contact a professional like Markham Services for testing. It's always best to be safe.
There are many kinds of molds, some of which take on black coloring. However, this does not necessarily mean that the mold you’ve found is black mold.
Stachybotrys chartarum, more commonly known as black mold, is the toxic mold people rightly fear. It produces 170 mycotoxins. It’s this type of mold that has been linked to a number of infant deaths. The mycotoxins present in this type can cause an individual to display inflammation, rashes and lung hemorrhage. Markham Services can help identify whether or not the mold you've discovered is this risky type.
The Danger of Black Mold Exposure
Heavy exposure to black mold can place the elderly and young children in grave condition. As mentioned, it may even lead to death. Thus, exposure to the toxicity of black mold can cause harm to our physical health. Cleaning it yourself risks a greatly increased chance of acquiring damaging health conditions by unsettling the toxins into the air.
Depending on the frequency of mold exposure, an individual’s health can be severely compromised. Those who have asthma and allergy conditions stand to suffer the most by further weakening their immune systems. Toxic mold sickness can occur and turn life-threatening.
Symptoms of Black Mold Poisoning (Single Exposure)
Even a one-time exposure to black mold can lead to the following symptoms:
- Chest tightening
- Extended headaches
- Airways carrying a burning sensation
- Coughing, sneezing and fever
- Breathing difficulties
- Stuffy nose, wheezing, nosebleeds
- Skin irritation and watery eyes
Repetitive exposure to black mold due to staying in a home or in a work environment with persistent mold presence can be toxic. It can result in a debilitating effect, rendering the individual’s immune system weakened at the onslaught of mold poisoning. It has a fatal impact on the different major organs of the body, triggering death in some cases.
Symptoms of Black Mold Poisoning (Repeat Exposure)
- The feeling of fatigue and muscle pains
- Sore throat
- Suffering from autoimmune disease
- Flu and cold
- Memory loss
- Migraine intensity of headaches
- Pulmonary hemorrhage
- Emphysema-like disease
Groups Most At-Risk for Black Mold
Mold sickness has been documented to cause severe harm to the most at-risk groups such as:
- Children and infants
- Asthmatic individuals
- Individuals with compromised immune systems
- Elderly people
- Sensitive individuals prone to allergic reactions
Preventive Steps to Avoid Mold
To keep mold away from your home and keep it habitable, it’s vital to conduct preventive maintenance. Markham Services offers preventative measures to help avoid this damaging scenario. If you’re living with people that are most at-risk for black mold poisoning, then being alert to signs of mold is helpful.
Here are some of our recommended tips:
- Inspect for water leaks. If you find one, contact a repairman to resolve the issue right away. This helps prevent mold growth
- Keep humidity levels within control through open ventilation, air conditioner and dehumidifier to optimize airflow
- During the rainy season, ensure that your home furnishings are kept clean and dry
- Have proper ventilation for basements, kitchens, bathrooms, attics and laundry areas. Place exhaust fans around your home
- Check the humidity levels throughout the day. Be extra attentive during humid months
Cleaning Black Mold in Your Home
Knowing the dangers and impact that black mold can bring to you and your family, it’s now time to address the black mold in your home. Should you clean it or let a professional handle the mold remediation?
Due to the unhealthy nature that black mold exhibits, it’s advisable to let a mold remediation expert handle the cleaning. Mold can be microscopic in size and, without meaning to, you might unintentionally spread it across your home. It may also be hard to get rid of without the proper knowledge, skill, equipment and tools.
Black mold toxins can be hazardous all around so it’s recommended to keep your distance from it. State laws require renters to report a mold problem. Landlords are responsible for resolving the issue since this can constitute a violation of the warranty of habitability. Severe health problems can put a renter’s life at risk. Thus, professional assistance is proposed to safeguard the health of the residents living in the home.
Black mold removal can be challenging and leave you vulnerable to its dangerous effects if you attempt to clean it on your own. There’s also no reassurance that you’ve performed the mold remediation properly. It’s not a task you can lightly take without considering the negative outcomes.
Case of Mold Lawsuit in Austin, Texas
An infamous lawsuit back in June 2001 resulted in a winning verdict awarding a couple $32M from Farmers Insurance. The resident cited health problems resulting from the mold damage in their home.
If you’re a landlord, then it’s within your interest to make sure your rental home is free from mold presence. On the other hand, if you’re a homeowner, you need to prioritize your health and keep mold from invading your house. In both cases, going the professional route will serve you best in the long run.
Value your health and ensure your toxic black mold issues at home are undertaken by mold specialists. If you have discovered black mold in your home or have concerns that it may be present, contact Markham Services today. We can help make sure your home will be safe long-term with our preventative maintenance, testing and inspection services.