Black molds are simply disgusting in many ways. It looks gosh-wash, smells and can make you simply sick. Thus, leaving us with no other option but to look out for ways to get rid of the back molds. If you too are looking to treat those stubborn black molds in your house, read through this HealthSpectra post. Here we attempted to gather information about what exactly these black molds are and remedies to kill the same.
What Is Black Mold?
Molds are type of fungus that grows in filaments and reproduces by producing spores that are invisible to the naked eye. Black mold are of distinctive nature and mildew like with musty odor.
Black mold is most often caused by the mold species Stachybotrys chartarum and it is toxic. Thus, Stachybotrysis is also referred to as “toxic black mold” by the media. Active mold growth requires moisture. Actively-growing mold damages the material it lives on.
Causes for Black Mold:
Several different types of mold spores may be lurking in home, causing black molds. They usually grow in unabated dark areas of basement, carpet basements, or the areas which get wet frequently. Gradually, you can expect a mold farm in those areas. You can also see the black mold in attic spaces and HVAC systems, in case the attics and ventilators are not regularly cleaned.
Is Black Mold Dangerous To Your Health?
Yes, black molds may turn dangerous to health when the mold spores are inhaled. However, the molds themselves are not poisonous or toxic, but some molds may release toxins like mycotoxins, which are secondary metabolites of micro fungi and care capable of even leading to death in humans.
Experts link up the dangers of black mold to health as harmful immune responses, infections and irritation due to the by-products of the mold. Toxicity is also linked up to the list of acknowledged responses to mold exposure. In simple adverse health effects are the result of black mold inhalation.
According to a review made by 33 studies, the risk of health in individual who spent time in damp mold environments have developed upper respiratory tract symptoms like wheeze, cough, and asthma etc. The subjects of the studies are both adults and children.
Symptoms Associated with Mold-Associated Illness:
- Light sensitivity
- Poor memory and concentration levels
- Joint pain
- Morning stiffness.
- Unusual skin sensations
- Shortness of breath
If you observe any of these symptoms consult your doctor immediately to get the right treatment. The doctor may prescribe antifungal medications. The treatment may be directed towards the colonizing fungal or mold infections of the body and may enhance the detoxification support like milk thistle, glutathione, alpha lipoid, glycine, glutamine, n-acetylcysteine, etc.
More importantly, it is essential to work to remove the black molds from your home to get away with the problem once for all.
According to the CDC, “In most cases, mold can be removed from hard surfaces by a thorough cleaning with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water.
Absorbent or porous materials like ceiling tiles, drywall, and carpet may have to be thrown away if they become moldy. If you have an extensive amount of mold and you do not think you can manage the cleanup on your own, you may want to contact a professional who has experience in cleaning mold in buildings and homes.
It is important to properly clean and dry the area as you can still have an allergic reaction to parts of the dead mold and mold contamination may recur if there is still a source of moisture.”
How to Treat or Remove Black Mold From House?
Cleaning agents are used to remove black mold but many of them are highly toxic and hence, it is essential to be careful. While treating also ensure that the area is thoroughly ventilated and wear respirator and gloves
1. Kill Black Mold With Ammonia:
Ammonia is a good disinfectant and can effectively kill molds on the non-porous and hard areas like shower doors, bathroom sinks, kitchen counters, etc. It is easily available and its active ingredients can penetrate porous materials like particle board, sheetrock, ceiling tiles, etc.
How To Use:
- Mix water and ammonia in equal parts and transfer the solution to a spray bottle.
- Spray over the contaminated areas and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
- Wipe clean a small clean area.
- Repeat as per the requirement.
Word of Caution: Ammonia can be skin and eye irritant. It fumes are quite toxic. So utmost care is to be taken while treating black mold with ammonia. It is proven poisonous and could be lethal. Do not mix chlorinated bleach with ammonia.
Alternatively, natural ways can be used for black mold
2. Baking Soda And Vinegar For Black Mold:
Other fungal agents can effectively kill the fungi at the root level. They serve as non-toxic alternatives for Ammonia and are not harsh on the environment. Vinegar comes with mild acidic properties and safe for everyday use for mold remediation. The antibacterial agent can serve you when removing black mold from kitchen sinks and bathrooms.
How To Use:
- Evenly spray white (distilled) vinegar onto the mold stains
- Alternatively, make your own vinegar and borax-water solution mixtures.
- Spray the solution on to the black molds.
Note: Never mix vinegar with bleach as they do not work effectively together. The combination could be as lethal as toxic chlorine gas.
Hard, non-porous surfaces can be killed using bleach, yet another readily available and inexpensive cleaning agent. Bleach can act up and kill even the spores of the black mold.
How To Use:
- Mix 1 cup bleach and 1-gallon water.
- Transfer the solution to a spray bottle and spray on the mold stained areas.
- Wipe off the cleaning agent after 10 minutes, using a disposable towel and a sponge.
- Use a brush to scrub the tainted areas.
- HEPA filter vacuums are applied on to the larger work areas.
- Repeat until the bleach inhibits further mold growth.
Note: Bleach cannot penetrate to reach the root level of mold on objects like cement, wood, tile grout, etc. And that is the main reason why mold stains keep coming back even after the treatment with bleach.
4. Black Mold Removal With Tea Tree Oil:
This natural essential oil comes with several advantages over using other corrosive agents like ammonia or bleach. Moreover the oil harms you and the environment the least while treating. Tea tree oil is a natural fungicide that can kill even the spores of the black mold and helps keep away the mildew from the home. It is an effective way to remove black mold.
Note: tea tree oil is toxic if swallowed. Do not ingest even accidentally. Also, wear gloves when working with any mold treating agents.
How To Use:
- Mix a cup of water with 1 tsp tea tree oil, shake well and transfer it to a spray bottle.
- Spray the mixture on the tarnished areas and wipe clean.
- Alternatively, dampen a disposable towel or sponge in the solution and wipe of the affected area.
- Leave the treated areas to dry.
More expensive mold remediation methods can be used to get away with black molds like using ice pellets or walnut shells and sand to blast away those black molds. Several eco-green methods can make the mold spores go away without hurting humans and environment. Go for the best method and seek professional help if required.