Black mold spores are very dangerous for anyone to breathe, and if you're not vigilant, it can make its home in your home. People with COPD and asthma, as well as other types of chronic lung conditions and immunity issues, are more sensitive to any mold spore in the air, but the black molds that can grow indoors are especially harmful. If you have COPD or asthma, having black mold somewhere in your home can cause recurring exacerbations. If you keep having these exacerbations and you can't figure out why you might want to check your home for black mold.
Black mold has been known to make its home anywhere that is dark and moist, even inside a human or an animals lungs. If you happen to breathe in enough of the airborne spores of the mold known as Aspergillus fumigatus, they can begin growing inside your lungs and cause pneumonia symptoms. These types of infections, if not treated quickly enough, can be hard to get rid of.
Other types of molds that can grow in your home are all known as “mycotoxins,” and they are extremely dangerous because they specifically target existing health problems. If you have a lung condition, immune deficiency or any other kind of deficiency, these molds can be deadly. Prolonged exposure to otherwise healthy people can cause symptoms of asthma and respiratory infections.
How can black mold get into my home?
Mold spores are everywhere but usually become airborne during the spring, summer or fall, and least likely during the winter when conditions are usually too dry. They can be brought into the home on your clothing, or an animal can bring in spores on its fur. They will begin growing and thriving if they land in a spot that is mostly dark and damp, and they will attach themselves to any surface. Molds will start to eat away at drywall, wood and particle board.
How can I prevent black mold?
The first step is to prevent the build-up of moisture and condensation. This usually happens around windows, water pipes, water tanks concrete walls. Basements are the most commonplace in the home for molds to thrive, as well as underneath and around kitchen and bathroom sinks. To prevent condensation around pipes, wrap them with pipe insulation. If you have a wet, leaky basement or if you live in a moist climate, use a dehumidifier in your basement.
Clean your home often, especially in these areas. Wipe regularly around windows and doors with a cloth that has been soaked in vinegar to help prevent the growth of mold. You can also put vinegar and water in a spray bottle and use it to clean around water pipes, water tank, around and underneath sinks. Be sure to wipe these areas down and dry them thoroughly.
How do I remove black mold?
If you find black mold in your home, the first thing you should do is protect yourself and your loved ones by taking them somewhere else while the mold is being removed. If the infected mold area is less than 10 feet in diameter, you can try removing it yourself. If the area is larger than that, you will need to call in a professional.
Put on a face mask, a pair of safety goggles, rubber gloves, and clothes that cover your whole body. Spray the mold with a mold-killing detergent and scrub well with a plastic scrub brush. Rinse the area well with water and then dowse with a water and vinegar solution. Make sure the area is thoroughly dried and use a fan pointing out of a window to ventilate the area for a few hours. Immediately wash the clothes you were wearing in hot water and dispose of the rubber gloves, mask and scrub brush.
Information on this page is for reference and educational purposes only.
Page last updated: October 9, 2018