Identifying Black Mold
What Does Black Mold Look Like?
With over 100,000 species, mold comes in about any size, shape, and color you can think of, making it impossible to tell what type of mold you have without testing by a certified mold inspection professional.
The two most common types of black mold are:
Stachybotrys is what is commonly known as “black mold.” Stachybotrys have a black color and are pretty common as a result of floods or water damage in the homes.
When you see mold in your kitchen or bathroom, it may have a black color. This would mean that mold is Stachybotrys. Black mold, or Stachybotrys, can be caused from poor exhaust or ventilation in the areas of your home that have a lot of moisture, like bathrooms and kitchens.
Nigrospora sphaerica is an airborne filamentous fungus in the phylum Ascomycota. It is found in soil, air, and plants as a leaf pathogen. It can occur as an endophyte where it produces antiviral and antifungal secondary metabolites (wikipedia).
How Does Mold Get in Your Home?
Like any other living thing, mold needs food and water to thrive. Mold problems start when a mold spore (tiny, invisible “mold seed”) that’s floating in the air lands on a wet piece of organic material (such as wet wood or drywall), takes root and starts to multiply. Mold spores are everywhere in the air, including in the cleanest of homes.
In fact, every breath you take likely has some mold spores in it at low levels! In the home, mold usually grows wherever there is dampness and moisture including:
Or areas that have experienced flooding
If left alone, black mold can cause some negative health effects
Black mold in your home can cause you and your family some discomfort. While there is a lot of conflicting information as to if black mold can cause cancer, it can definitely lead to more slowly progressing symptoms. Black mold in your home can lead to the production of Mycotoxins – which are what can off allergic reactions to mold in some people. Learn more about Mycotoxins and other health risks of black mold →
What To Do If You’ve Identified Mold in Your Home
Removing mold yourself
Professional mold remediation can cost thousands of dollars and is often excluded from many homeowners insurance policies. But in many instances hiring a mold removal professional isn’t necessary and black mold can be removed by a handy homeowner in less than one weekend of work.
There are a lot of at-home, DIY options for removing mold. We compiled a list to make it easy for you to get rid of mold yourself!
Learn from our Mold Removal eBook
If you feel like you may be a homeowner who is up to the challenge, we’ve written an eBook that gives step-by-step instructions on how to tackle your mold problem.
For less than $20, we guarantee that you’ll save hundreds, if not thousands, of your hard-earned dollars.
Is Professional Mold Testing Necessary?
In short, usually not! Because, remember the saying: “no mold, no matter what color, belongs in a healthy home.” And that is good news because a professional mold inspection with testing can run anywhere from $300-$750. In most cases where mold is clearly visible, knowing exactly what type of mold you have is unnecessary.
We advise most of our clients to forgo the inspection process and just apply that money saved to the cost of fixing the problem. The EPA agrees that mold testing isn’t necessary in most cases.
When you should get professional mold testing
There are exceptions, however, such as when a mold inspection with testing is required as part of a real estate sale or if you require “proof” that a mold problem is present, such as for a legal dispute.
If you think you may have a mold problem, but aren’t sure, then we recommend formal testing from a professional. And if you require clearance testing to verify an “all clear” after a mold problem is fixed, then professional mold testing is necessary.
The Bottom Line – No Mold Belongs in a Healthy Home.
Be it black mold, or any other color of mold. It should all be treated the same. If you have mold, remove it.
And if you’re not comfortable tackling the problem yourself, we’re happy to provide you a quote if you’re in our service area. Just contact us for a completely free quote.