Black Toxic Mold Symptoms
If you have black toxic mold in your home you will probably suffer toxic symptoms. These symptoms are caused by the mycotoxins which black toxic mold produces.
The main symptoms from black toxic mold include mental problems, breathing problems, damage to internal organs, vision problems and pain and discomfort.
List of Black Toxic Mold Symptoms
Black toxic mold damages the immune system. This can lead to a wide range of symptoms.
Some people say that black mold could cause death. But there is no evidence yet directly linking it to fatal health effects.
However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a threat to yours and your family’s health because it surely is. It could produce mycotoxins which, when ingested, could lead to an array of conditions. Exposure to it could particularly cause the following.
How bad a person’s symptoms are depends on the amount of mycotoxins in their environment. It also depends on how long the person was exposed.
If you have a black toxic mold problem you might suffer some of these symptoms:
- Dry eyes
- Vision problems
- Mental impairment
- Neurological symptoms
- Memory loss
- Balance problems
- General discomfort
- Joint pain
- Muscle aches
- Muscle pain
- Stomach pain
- Abdominal pain
- Internal lesions
- Breathing problems
- Respiratory problems
- Burning lungs
- Bleeding lungs
- Pulmonary hemorrhage
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Burning throat
- Coughing up blood
- Flu-like symptoms
- Cold symptoms
- Nose bleeds
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Heart palpitations
- Yellow nails
- White marks under nail
- Neck boils
- Autoimmune disease
- Acid reflux
- Internal organ damage
10 Signs Your Home May Be Contaminated with Mold
Not all of these signs are “for sure,” but if you see them — especially several of them — you should suspect a problem. Let’s learn more about them.
1. Odd, musty smell anywhere
If you notice any kind of odd smell, especially a musty one, there is likely a problem. The smell may be like mildew (think of wet clothes that have sat too long), basement-musty (but stronger), and once I had mold that smelled weirdly like a permanent marker. Find the source of any odd smell.
It could be as simple as spoiled food that got tucked behind something or forgotten, or a gym bag of wet clothes left too long — these are obviously easy to fix! But if you notice an entire room has this sort of odd smell, or you smell something odd when you walk into your home, then you need to look for the reason immediately.
2. More frequent sore throats/coughs
Feeling sick lately, especially with coughing or sore throats? This can be an important sign if you haven’t been around anyone who is sick and the symptoms don’t seem to be going away.
3. Unusual feelings of tiredness
Mold can really take a lot out of you, as your body tries to fight it off. You may feel very sleepy and lack energy. You may have trouble getting up in the morning, even possibly feeling like you can’t open your eyes or like your body is very heavy. Unusual changes to your sleep habits and needs are definitely a sign something is wrong — so if it isn’t an environmental issue, you should see a professional for a medical evaluation!
4. Irritability, anxiety or depression
Mold can cause or worsen irritability, anxiety, or depression. If you are experiencing new or severe changes in your mood (especially with some of the other signs on this list), you may suspect mold. If mold is not an issue, then you should be evaluated for other medical issues, because sudden and severe changes are not normal and there is help.
5. Moisture, especially over time
If there’s an area of your home that seems to often be wet — basements and bathrooms especially — that is a major warning sign. As I mentioned above, it doesn’t take long at all for mold to grow. So, if there is ongoing moisture, even for several days in the same area, you should expect mold to start growing.
6. Any black, green, blue, white, yellow mold on any surface, no matter how small
Obviously, finding visual evidence of mold is a problem — it’s confirmation there IS mold! Take this seriously no matter what surface it is on. If it is on clothing, paper, carpets, walls, toys, furniture — anything. If it is on a small or moveable object (paper, clothing, toys) and you can identify the source of mold easily, then it may not be an issue. If, however, mold is cropping up on several different surfaces seemingly randomly, there is likely a bigger source somewhere that is releasing large amounts of spores into the air, which is causing this growth.
If you see mold on furniture, under a sink, on a wall, there is a problem. It does not matter how small it looks, or how contained it seems to be. If there is mold on part of the actual structure of your home, there is a source of water that is keeping it wet and allowing the mold growth. It may be quite a bit worse than it appears on the surface, too, as mold can burrow down deep into wood and drywall.
But! Do not try to cut a wall open and rip stuff out yourself to see how bad it is! This will send spores flying into the air and make the problem much worse! (Call a professional immediately.)
7. Visible, recurrent mold/mildew in bathrooms
All bathrooms do have issues with mildew at times, just because they are often wet. Follow proper procedures to prevent this — keep shower curtains open after use to dry instead of folded up, keep shower doors open, keep the door open after you are done to allow moisture in the air to dissipate, wipe down surfaces prone to mildew, spray an essential-oil based mildew cleaner after showers, etc. If your bathroom is often having mold/mildew issues despite proper cleaning, though, you may suspect a bigger problem.
8. Fresh food spoils quickly
Have you noticed that fruit on the counter is suddenly going moldy in a matter of days? That’s not good. Many fresh foods should last between 5 and 10 days on the counter before getting moldy. If you’re seeing spoilage in 1 – 2 days, that is a very bad sign, if it is ongoing. (One or two pieces of produce spoiling quickly means it might just be that item, but a constant issue with different types of food, bought from different places, etc. is a problem.)
9. Clothes in washer get musty-smelling quickly
Everyone knows if you wash a load of laundry and leave it overnight (or for a day or two…) it’ll get musty-smelling. That’s pretty normal. But if you notice this happening after only a few hours, there’s a problem. It shouldn’t get musty so quickly. But, if there are a lot of mold spores floating around, it will.
10. Positive dust spore test
If some of these signs are making you feel uneasy, the best thing to do is a quick test. Most home improvement stores offer them, and you can even buy them online. The idea is that you take a dust sample from somewhere in your home where you suspect there is a problem using a special kit, then mail it off to a lab. They will send you a report on what types of mold are found in your home and what the counts are. Counts of penicillum/aspergillus under 100 are not typically a problem. Any amount of stachybotrys is not good. High counts are big red flag that you need to do further testing and call in professionals. Please note that although these kits are inexpensive, you’ll pay a bit more for the actual lab test. This is still far cheaper than a professional hygienist.
Different Symptoms for Different People
The symptoms that black toxic mold causes can differ from person to person. A person who is around black toxic mold will suffer some of the above symptoms but probably not all of them. And another person will probably suffer a different selection of the above symptoms.
People who have weaker immune systems will be worse affected by black toxic mold. This means children, the elderly and sick people will usually have more severe symptoms.
Treatment for Black Toxic Mold Symptoms
There is no real treatment or cure for black toxic mold symptoms. If you have symptoms from black toxic mold the only real solution is to fix the black toxic mold problem.
Recovering from Black Toxic Mold Symptoms
Once a person is no longer around toxic black mold their symptoms should gradually decrease. However some health problems can be long term or even permanent.
Black Toxic Mold Mycotoxins
The toxins which black toxic mold creates are what causes toxic symptoms. People living with black toxic mold usually breathe in the mycotoxins. However they can also ingest them or absorb them through their skin.
When a person breathes in mycotoxins they can end up lodging in their lungs and creating breathing problems. Inhaling mycotoxins is much more harmful than ingesting them. Also the more mycotoxins a person is exposed to the worse their symptoms will be.
The main type of mycotoxins that black toxic mold produces is called trithochecenes. These are some of the most toxic mycotoxins. It is also suspected that trichothecenes can cause cancer.
Black Mold Guide… Everything You Need to Know About The Harmful Spores
Home is a place where you should feel secure and safe. However, there are several elements that could make a home just as dangerous as the outdoors. Black mold is among those elements that could break the safety that it holds.
Mold, in general, is one of the most common problems in houses. It is a menace that could make your place look unsightly and uncared for. But more importantly, it is a serious threat to your health. Exposure to it could bring you allergies and respiratory illnesses.
Black mold is considered the most dangerous type of mold that could infest your home. Exposure to it could lead to rashes, fatigue, coughing and other breathing problems. In severe instances, it could cause vomiting and even lung and nose bleeding.
To avoid those health risks, you must be aware of black mold symptoms. And once detected, you must implement an immediate mold removal process.
However, jumping directly to the actual mold clean-up is not the right way to take care of the problem. There is a general process that you must follow to ensure the effectiveness and safety of your mold remediation
The Fungus is Among Us
The majority of us find molds repulsive and quite gross. We don’t jump in excitement at the sight of it and we definitely don’t like it growing in our own homes. It can creep underneath the carpet and floor boards, snake its way into the walls, and even start destroying our foods. Molds can grow on just about anything, as long as moisture is present. This produces a problem for people because even the smallest of water damage can assist in the development of mold. Ultimately, it can affect the structural integrity of a home and cost hundreds of dollars in remediation depending on the extent of the damage. Water damage caused by flooding, sewage back-up, plumbing and appliance leaks, leaky air conditioners and water heaters, overflows from bathtubs and sinks, damp basements and attics, and roof leaks, is subject to mold and mildew. Learning about toxic mold and mildew will help homeowners become more aware about the potential dangers it generates and why it is important to prevent mold before it worsens.
What is Mold?
Molds are micro-organisms that play the role of nature’s decomposers. It is vital to the environment because it helps decay dead substances and deposits them back into the ecosystem for re-birth. It is also destructive because it can cause mold damage to homes and allergy issues for some individuals. Moisture is its life source and as long as it is present, it can take less than 48 hours for spores to grow. In order for mold to reproduce, it begins to produce spores which are microscopic organisms carried through the air and attach themselves onto moisture rich areas allowing the continuance of growth. They start destroying and eating away at the materials they latch onto and continue spreading from there. By not drying out the moisture as urgently as possible, the mold will only become exacerbated.
What is Black Toxic Mold
Stachybotrys chartarum and Stachybotrys atra are the two scientific names of black mold. Among other mold types, it is the most infamous. And the reason is the “toxicity” always linked to its name, hence, its other common name “toxic black mold.”
Black Toxic Mold is found in moist humid places where almost any organic material provides a food source.
Greenish-black is the usual shade of black mold. It could appear gelatinous or slimy due to its top wet layer. Nonetheless, it could also look dry and powdery when its water source runs out.
Black Toxic Mold is basically similar to mildew, with both being a type of fungi. Fungi are not considered animal or plant, living in their own ‘Camelot’ of sorts. The world of fungi has some really dangerous (for humans as well as other living things) elements for sure—black toxic mold for instance. But it also includes some really great and even tasty fungi citizens;
- Edible mushrooms
Not too much to be afraid of with this list, but when it comes to Stachybotrys and Aspergillus-niger (black toxic mold) things start to take turn for the worse. Especially when we discover a colony has set up house within our own home!
A Quick Look at Mold on a Biological Level
When we look deep into the life of mold, we discover it has defined cell walls, no chlorophyll, and reproduces by spewing thousands of spores at a time into the environment. We know of about 100,000 species of fungi, leaving about 100,000 more still unknown. Any rotting organic matter is the food supply for fungi, which means we can’t live without their help in recycling dead animals and plant matter.
How Do I Know If I Have a Black Mold Problem
Human Senses Spot Toxic Mold
By using our sense of smell and sight, we can initially suspect we have a mold problem. The familiar “musky” “earthy” “rich soil-like” aroma tells our genetic memory that we have run upon something from the fungi family. But if you see mold—commonly a dark, slimy, greenish-black color—in a dark moist area, you can be pretty sure you have toxic black mold.
Why is Black Mold So Toxic
Mycotoxins are the answer to why mold is toxic. Mycotoxins are a compound that mold manufactures, and this compound is quite toxic to humans and many other living things. Fungi scientists (mycologists) believe that the toxin is made specifically for doing battle with competing organisms, and we humans are not excluded from the collateral damage
How to Prevent Black Toxic Mold
How Humidity Effects Mold Growth
If you can manage to prevent mold from happening to begin with, you will be miles ahead of the curve. But how do we prevent mold from growing? For mold to begin its life cycle in your home (or anywhere for that matter) it must have 4 critical and readily available elements;
4 Required Elements Needed for Mold Growth
- Spores for Mold Reproduction
- Nutrition (Food) for Mold to Eat
- Correct Temperature for Mold Growth
- Sufficient Moisture for Mold Growth
By removing any one of the four required elements, you remove the ability mold has for growth. Let’s take a look at each of these elements, and discover how to do battle with this abundant organism, called mold.
Tips for Getting Rid of Toxic Black Mold
These are a few recommended methods that will help get rid of mold in your home. Even though there is no real way to eliminate mold all together, these suggestions can help reduce or control how much mold growth resides within the walls of your home or building.
Basic Approach For Mold Cleanup
- Control moisture (reduce water activity).
- Repair any water leaks or moisture problems with flashing→ (metal barriers around fireplace [see photo at right], inlets to home, and throughout home construction where water or airflow requires control), walls, A/C units, and anywhere else moisture might gather.
- Keep home relative humiditybetween 30% and 60%.
- Vent bathrooms, laundry rooms, and other moisture rich places in the home.
- Use exhaust fans when cooking, dish washing, or cleaning.
- Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials or furnishings within 24 hours of use to prevent mold growth.
- Clean moldy surfaces with water and soap, be sure to dry them completely. Replacing porous materials that have signs of mold may be required.
- Prevent condensation from forming around windowsills, exterior walls, pipes, fireplaces, roofing, and flooring (under sinks is a primary location to monitor for this).
- Spray a 2% to 5% bleach to water solution on mold inhabited areas.
BLACK MOLD ISN’T THE ONLY TYPE OF TOXIC MOLD CAUSING SYMPTOMS
Types of Mold
Like the rainbow, mold comes in a variety of different colors. Molds can range from red, orange, yellow, green, blue, brown, tan, white, and black. Unfortunately, the color does not help you much in the situation. Color can only really help scientists determine the species of the mold but only that point in time. There is a wide belief that some colors of mold, like black, are the most toxic mold. This is a misconception because black mold is normally congenial and quite common in the environment. There are some black molds that are toxic but certain white molds are also toxic. The most common types of mold found in homes are :
It is considered one of the most common outdoor molds. But, this mold does like to make its way into households though feeding on mostly damp areas like the shower or near leaky pipes underneath the sink. Alternaria needs minimal moisture to survive so it can also be found in duct-work and upholstery. It spreads quickly and in fact, quite easily. This mold is dark in color (black or grey) and can cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks in people.
Acremonium produces very potent mycotoxins (toxins produced by fungi). They have the ability to damage the immune system, organs, bone marrow, and affect mental abilities. They are a known carcinogen. Nearly all varieties release a horrible smell. Acremonium was the primary fungus in numerous homes where the occupants experienced nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
It is commonly found indoors and can cause serious allergic reactions, respiratory infections and more severely, inflammation and bleeding in the lungs. This mold is normally seen in clusters of green circles. It can grow on insulation and walls.
It is often found outdoors but can latch itself onto wallpaper, painted surfaces, window frames, and caulking exposed to moisture. Bathrooms can be a popular area for this mold because of the constant moisture. This mold is often seen as pink or black and can cause allergic reactions in many people.
It grows in water damaged drywall areas. This mold has a musty odor and appears brown and covered in hair.
It is a unique mold because it can grow in warm and cool temperatures. It is often found growing in homes and has a taste for carpets, cabinets, and floorboards. This mold can cause pulmonary and respiratory issues as well as infections to the skin and toenails. It can appear green, brown, grey or black.
It is fast growing and can survive in cooler temperatures as well. It has been found growing on water damaged carpet and appears pale and lightly colored. This mold can cause respiratory issues, allergic reactions, and asthma attacks in people.
Common in soils these mucor molds are also often found along air conditioning systems and ducting. They are fast-growing, whitish to greyish, with usually thick growth. It is also one of the molds that causes the disease zygomycosis.
It is found growing all over your home as long as there is water damage. It latches onto carpeting, inside walls, insulation, mattresses and upholstery. It is penicillin mold both on walls and on a forgotten sandwich. Commonly found in soil, food, grains, paint, carpet, wallpaper, interior fiberglass duct insulation, and rotting vegetation. Penicillin can cause hypersensitive pneumonitis, allergic alveolitis, and asthma in certain individuals. It spreads quickly, efficiently, and appears blue, green, or white. This mold causes allergic reactions, lung inflammation, and chronic sinus infections.
It is the infamous slimy black mold that has gone viral in the media. It produces toxic compounds which can cause allergic reactions, chronic sinus infections, and asthma attacks when people come in contact. This mold also has a musty odor and thrives in very damp areas like A/C ducts or near leaky pipes
Removing Black Toxic Mold
If you have black toxic mold in your home you should not hesitate to organize getting it removed. Most people underestimate the danger of black toxic mold and wait to remove it. By the time they get it removed their health has often been badly damaged.
Never try to remove black toxic mold yourself. Trying to remove black toxic mold will cause many mycotoxins to be released and cause an even bigger problem for your home. You should contact a professional black toxic mold removal service who knows how to properly remove black toxic mold and contain mycotoxins.
If you are suffering symptoms from the black toxic mold you should move out of your home temporarily. Don’t move back in until the black toxic mold problem has been fixed.
Effects of Mold on Items and Surfaces
Besides its health effects, black mold also has negative effects on structures and other items it infests. For example, it could weaken a wooden surface or item given that it feeds itself on whatever nutrients it could get from it. Even fabric-made pieces, black mold could render it useless.
Because of all those problems that black mold could bring, it is imperative that you must ensure your place is free of it. But as mentioned earlier, you couldn’t just immediately jump to mold remediation feeling suspicious that you got an infestation in your home. There is a procedure that you must follow, as it was also said.
That general mold removal procedure is composed of the following steps.
- Mold Inspection –if you feel or see any of the black mold symptoms, you must promptly follow it up with an inspection. The inspection will confirm your suspicion. Not to mention, it will tell exactly where you should focus your mold remediation.But what are the signs that you must be always on the look out for?Well, generally, the health risks that it could bring are all black mold symptoms. Hence, if you’re always fatigued, coughing, sneezing and are suffering from fever, headaches and allergies, prepare to conduct an inspection as those could have been caused by mold exposure.For physical signs though, discoloration on surfaces and moldy smell are two of the things that could give you a hint of mold presence. Moisture triggers mold growth so your inspection must also cover areas near it.
- Fix the Source of the Infestation – fixing the root cause of mold growth could basically save you from future infestation. And always, moisture is the reason why mold grows. So, before you do the mold removal, find out first where moisture is coming from. If it is from a leak, fix it. If it is from condensation in your carpet or ceiling, dry it.
- Mold Removal – after confirming the black mold presence and fixing the source of the moisture, immediately implement your mold remediation. The longer you wait, the more widespread the infestation could get so you need to act quick.However, you must see to it that you could handle the infestation yourself. If it is already too massive, it’s best to hire a mold contractor to do the process.But given that you’re positive you could do the mold removal on your own, make sure that you have the right mold removal spray. Else, your remediation will surely fail. And instead of saving money could end up spending more.
- Test the Effectiveness – a successful mold removal doesn’t end in the actual remediation. You have to confirm that it works so you could also make sure that the worse of its effects are prevented.To do that, you have to take an air sample in your home. Apart from that, you have the spot where the infestation took place. Even the areas surrounding it must also be inspected.
- Prevent Re-infestation – your fixing of the source of moisture is just one step to prevent the recurrence of black mold. Besides it, you also need to apply a solution that coats or seals the surface from the spores. And another thing, see to it that your house is dry often possible, especially the bathroom and the kitchen.
Which Products are Right for Your Mold Removal and Mold Prevention?
There are now several commercial mold solutions available. However, as mentioned, you need to use the right product to ensure the success of a mold removal process. What makes a mold remediation successful though? Well, if it clears mold effectively without harming anyone’s health and without requiring too much money, then it is a successful process.
And that kind of mold removal, Molderizer could deliver. Professional mold contractors have been using it as they have long proven that it works.
Molderizer actually breaks down the mold’s DNA hence, the spores are completely removed. It does that without using harsh chemicals so it releases no acid or strong odors making the use of it a hassle-free treatment as it requires no evacuation. And more, its cuts your mold removal expenses by hundreds and probably, even thousands as it allows you to do the process yourself. You just need to spray it and you’re done.
But what about for mold prevention?
You have Safe Shield. Like Molderizer, it also contains no harmful chemicals. It seals the surface safely so you could prevent future mold outbreaks without worrying about risking your health or that of anyone else.
Ridding Your Home of Black Mold
If you have experienced water damage in your home and are wondering whether or not mold growing, you may be best served by bringing in professional help. Reputable companies can eradicate most of the mold, and help you to better approach the unique mold problems your home may present. It is crucial to call a water damage specialist immediately after seeing signs of water damage. Inspecting areas frequently that are prone to water damage can prevent the growth of mold and a whole lot of money. When it come to getting rid of toxic black mold in your life, a professional assessment can prove to be worth its weight in gold.