Identifying Black Mold: Where and What to Look For
identifying black mold
identifying black mold
Published on: Jul 14, 2017
Identifying Black Mold: What Does Black Mold Looks Like?
Stachybotrys Atra, or black mold is a toxic species of mold that many people come across on a daily basis. Most have at least seen or heard about it by now.
Black mold is a fungus that thrives off moisture and cellulose to survive. It can be very dangerous and may threaten the health and well being of pets and anyone who comes into contact with it.
These species of mold will produce an assortment of mycotoxins which are the major attributers to sickness and disease.
Often appearing slimy with greenish-black features and even sometimes grey. Best described by its name, being ….well, black.
Also, they will often be found anywhere moisture lies. Making it easier than some species to manage, as it will not survive long anywhere moisture isn’t.
What smell does black mold have?
Yes, its true! Identifying black mold by its smell is a great way to determine if your home or business contains black mold. The smell consists of a musty, mildew odor of which is prevalent in dampened dark areas.
You might smell a faint odor being released when your air is running. Might be due to black mold living in your ducts. A good reason why its always best to keep up with your regular Hvac duct cleaning.
Signs and Symptoms of Black Mold
Depending on the duration of exposure to these nasty mycotoxins, you might experience any one or combination of these following symptoms.
Note: These symptoms could be magnified if an infant or elderly inhales these toxins.
- Breathing Difficulties, Respiratory Illness
- Coughing (sometimes blood)
- Kidney discomfort
- Bladder discomforts
- Irritation to the sinuses
- Vomiting, Nausea
- Impaired memory and concentration
- Redness of the eyes
- Itchy eyes, mouth and nose
Toxicity levels of this mold can be extremely harmful if left untreated and allowed to grow. A good way of removing these molds is by following the smell to problematic areas in your home. (i.e. water prone, dampness)
Where Can You Find Black Mold Growing?
Honestly, just about anywhere. Mold contains tiny spores which are microscopic and have dominated the world for millennia, thriving in pretty much any environment that’s warm and moist. Mostly found outside in the soil, fungus (mold) aids in the decomposition process of nature; helping to break down organic material such as branches and leaves.
In the home, you can usually find them anywhere that’s susceptible to dark moist areas. These include ceilings, wood panel, dry wall, carpet, and behind toilets.
Most often you will be able to detect the presence of mold by its smell way before visually spotting it. There are even some instances where if improper clean-up of a water leak was performed, mold will start to grow inside your walls without notice.
As a good rule of thumb, if any mold is found inside your home or business, it should be taken care of as quickly and safely as possible. Any moisture areas in your house should also be addressed quickly.
Considering tackling this job on your own? Be sure to check out our 7 DIY techniques for removing black mold. Take extreme caution before ripping out any dry-wall, caulk, or wall-paper where mold is suspect.
Make sure to capture any mold spores before disturbing these areas. This will ensure minimum exposure and reduce their ability to spread to different areas.
If you don’t feel like you’re up for the task, be sure to give a us or any other mold remediation expert a call as soon as possible.