Stachybotrys chartarum, commonly known as toxic black mold (or simply ‘’black mold’’), is an infamous type of mold frequently associated with poor indoor air quality resulting from fungal growth on water-damaged building materials.
Is black mold really toxic?
Stachybotrys chartarum is called ‘’toxic’’ because of the toxins it produced (mycotoxins). However, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that this term is inaccurate. Here is where we have to make the distinction between toxic and toxigenic. Toxic is a term equivalent to poisonous, whereas toxigenic simply means ‘’can produce toxins’’ and not ‘’produces toxins by default’’. Admittedly, the distinction is very subtle, hence the misinterpretation.
Nevertheless, black mold is dangerous to humans, partly because it’s an indicator of other issues such as poor air quality, which can, in turn, cause a myriad of health issues. Read on to find out more.
In essence, mycotoxins are toxic chemical products of fungi. Mycotoxins are carried on the spores of black mold from anywhere in the colony. Toxic black mold can produce a type of mycotoxins called trichothecene mycotoxins, one of the most stable and also most toxic mycotoxins produced by mold. It takes a mold remediation professional to remove them completely and eliminate the risk of health dangers.
If you have mold in your home, it doesn’t necessarily mean it has started producing mycotoxins, though. Nevertheless, you should call in a professional to have the mold inspected and removed.
What does black mold look like
Contrary to what its name suggests, black mold comes in a number of different colors. There are lots of different mold species, and making the distinction is extremely difficult to the naked (especially untrained) eye, let alone determining whether it’s toxic or not. Nevertheless, what is considered toxic black mold is actually greenish-black in color. It manifests as gelatinous slimy mold due to a wet top layer. Still, if the colony of toxic black mold runs out of water, it typically appears dry and powdery.
The best (and safest) way to tell whether you have toxic mold in your home is to call in a mold removal professional serving San Diego. You need to have the mold tested in a lab to determine the species and the associated dangers.
Causes of black mold
Unfortunately, black mold is not uncommon in San Diego due to the warm climate. To grow indoors, black mold requires materials high in cellulose and low in nitrogen. This means that many building materials are conducive to black mold growth.
Black mold needs water to grow, so water damage is one of the most common causes. If you have experienced any form of water damage in your home, the water damage restoration should cover mold inspection and, if necessary, mold remediation.
Toxic black mold is the hidden danger because it grows in places that are out of sight. For example, if there is a leak anywhere in your house and it goes unfixed for a week or two, it can provide the water source for a black mold colony to grow. These leaks usually happen under the floor, inside the walls or above ceilings.
How long before black mold starts to grow
Luckily, toxic black mold needs more time and conditions to grow than most other mold species. For example, it takes up to two days for most molds to colonize, while for black mold it takes anywhere between eight and twelve days. For this to happen, a suitable environment has to be made – for example, building materials that are wet for at least one week.
Symptoms of black mold
Since black mold cannot be explicitly seen sometimes, people can experience certain symptoms that indicate the presence of toxic black mold. Some of these symptoms are nausea, tiredness, respiratory problems, skin inflammation and even hemorrhage. You shouldn’t take any of the symptoms lightly. The more exposure you get to toxic mold, the more damage it can do to your health, some of which can be permanent.
Black mold inspection San Diego
As previously mentioned, you can’t assess what type of mold you have in your home, or if it’s mold in the first place. What’s more, even if you have a general idea of where to look for mold, how would you do it? Will you drill holes in the walls trying to uncover mold in the drywall? Or will you destroy your flooring just to make sure there isn’t mold hiding underneath? Highly unlikely.
So, what to do?
Call in a reliable mold inspection service. Licensed technicians have sophisticated tools that cause minimal disturbance to your home and inconvenience to you. With approaches such as Goldmorr, drywall doesn’t need to be removed from the contaminated area, which slashes the cost of remediation because there’s little or no reconstruction needed.
Also, seasoned technicians will use leak detection tools to determine whether there are any leaks in your home and therefore – risk of toxic black mold.
During the inspection, the technicians typically look for mold odors and signs of moisture, inspect any water-damaged furniture or house structure, and check the piping system for any leaks or faults.
Black mold removal San Diego
If you disturb toxic black mold, you risk it releasing excessive amounts of spores and mycotoxins all over your house, putting your family in serious jeopardy. Should you suspect that toxic black mold has infested your home, you need a reliable mold removal San Diego service – this is exactly what KIC Restoration is known for throughout San Diego County!
At KIC Restoration, we employ the state-of-the-art Goldmorr Technology for a risk-free and cost-efficient mold remediation with lasting results. Our technicians are Certified Goldmorr Master Technicians and they are here to prevent mold issues getting out of hand. Contact us at 858-859-1998 or online!