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Published on March 16th, 2016 | by Guest Contributor


Dealing With Black Mold – 5 Steps to a Safer Home


black mold

Black mold – also called Stachybotrus chartarum – is a toxic mold. Unlike some of the standard molds that are commonly found in homes, black mold is extremely dangerous. If you think your home is playing host to black mold, follow this guide to safely deal with the noxious substance – and quickly.

Step 1 – Know what you’re dealing with

Hire a mold inspector to confirm that the mold exists in your home. The inspector will need to take samples and the send it to a lab for special testing. Once the inspector confirms the presence of black mold, you’ll need to quickly move into action to get rid of it.

Step 2 – This is not a DIY job

If you find mold growing on some old leftovers in the fridge, you can safely toss the junk into the garbage can and move on with life.

That’s not the case with black mold.

Don’t try to remove the mold or kill it with bleach – common steps you’d take with standard household mold.

This is an entirely different situation.

If you disturb the mold, the action will release millions and millions of the spores throughout your home. The CDC attributes health problems such as skin irritation, nasal stuffiness, wheezing and eye irritation, as well as shortness of breath and fever. For people who suffer from lung diseases, exposure to black mold can increase their chances for infection.

Aside from side effects for home occupants, releasing the spores into your home can lead to a problem that can’t be fixed. Millions of spores embedded in your home could be a situation that’s beyond repair.

Step 3 – Hire a pro

Unlike other molds that you can clean or kill with bleach, black mold must be removed by trained professionals. If it’s in your walls, for example, the black mold remediation specialist will cut out the affected portion of the wall. During the removal process, the specialist will seal off the portions of the home where mold was found to avoid disturbing and releasing it throughout unaffected areas of the home.

Step 4 – Mitigate the mold’s return

If you have mold in your home, it’s likely to return if you don’t address WHY the problem happened in the first place. In most cases, mold happens because of water problems. In fact, mold won’t grow if it doesn’t have water on which to live. So part of the mold inspection and remediation process involves finding the source of the problem.

Usually, once you fix the water problem, you will generally mitigate the risk of black mold in the future.

Step 5 – Find a place to stay

Because of the hazardous conditions black mold creates, most families will need to find alternative housing while remedying the situation. Stay with friends or family and pack enough clothing and hygiene items for a couple of weeks. Then, let the professionals safely rid the home of the toxic stuff and rebuild, while you remain in the safe haven.

Only move back into the home once it’s deemed completely safe. In some cases, the home may be so overwrought with black mold that the problem can’t be resolved. If this is the case, you’ll need to find permanent alternative housing. These are, however, extreme cases.

In most situations, your mold removal specialist will be able to rid the home of black mold, restore its walls and floors, and allow you to move back in and get on with life.

You shouldn’t be lax about any mold found in your home. But if you suspect black mold is a problem, act quickly to rid your home of the toxic spores. Hire a professional mold tester, don’t tackle the job yourself, use a pro instead, and find a place to stay until the problem is resolved. By working with a black mold removal specialist, you can confidently move back into your home and once again enjoy life.

Black Mold Photo from Shutterstock

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