Black mold is a neurotoxin that is common in California homes due to the humidity and the climate. If it is not removed, it can cause some very serious health risks. In fact there 4.6 million cases of asthma every year in America that are caused by mold. It is something that you should check for regularly in your home, particularly in damp bathrooms and areas that you perhaps don’t visit very often, like the basement, garage, and attic.
What exactly is black mold?
Black mold is a dangerous toxin that releases mycotoxin spores into the air we breathe. Although there are always mold spores in the atmosphere, this particular type can cause serious health issues. It has a distinctive smell that is musty and damp. Even if you can’t see the mold, it is still possible that you can smell it in your home, and it should be removed as a top priority.
Why is black mold dangerous?
Black mold can cause skin allergies and irritations and give you an unpleasant rash. When you breathe in the spores, they suppress your immune system, meaning that particularly the elderly and very young are susceptible. When you breathe in black mold spores, they attach themselves to your brain neurons, causing problems with concentration, mental ability, and headaches. Other symptoms include seizures, fatigue, fever, mood swings and coughing. Pregnant women are particularly at risk. You should also consider the pets in your home, who can suffer from similar symptoms.
How do I get rid of black mold?
Firstly you need to remove any material that has been affected by black mold. Commonly, this could be shower curtains, carpets, and furniture coverings. Any surfaces with mold need to be cleaned thoroughly using anti-bacterial spray. If the problem is serious, then you may need to employ the services of a mold remediation specialist – it is extremely unwise to deal with this yourself. If you are renovating your property, it is actually against the law to remove black mold yourself – an inspector will have to sign off the removal to ensure that all occupants are safe.
How do I prevent black bold returning?
Water and damp are the primary reasons that black mold flourishes. In your home, make sure that there is adequate ventilation, particularly in areas without windows, such as the bathroom or shower room – you may want to install an extractor fan in these rooms. A dehumidifier is also a good investment, particularly in the warm California climate. Make sure that you clean regularly and use mold-reducing sprays in the areas that are commonly affected. A solution of hot water and bleach is also very effective – 10 parts water to 1 part bleach. Finally always direct water away from your home, make sure that your guttering is working well and that there is no possibility of flooding in your basement.
Black mold in your home can be a very serious problem. Make sure that you regularly clean and check every room for the signs and smells of damp to avoid the negative effects of black mold flourishing.