Black mould, Stachybotrys chartarum or commonly called toxic black mold, is a type of fungus that produces its concretions in black sludge or slime. It is occasionally found in dry soil and grain, although the more common mold is usually detected in damp or moist buildings from water-and grain-filled buildings. Most cases of toxic mold are reported from buildings in the southern United States and Canada. In some cases, it can be found in other locations too.
Toxic black mould can be caused by poor ventilation, excessive humidity, or poorly-installed roofing materials. Often the cause of toxic black mould is the accumulation of moisture within the structure. A simple solution to the problem is installing adequate ventilation and/or drying techniques. If this is not possible, or if you have already addressed the ventilation problem, you should take additional steps to remove the moisture.
There are several ways to get rid of black mould. You may be able to eliminate the moisture by sealing your basement, attic, or similar area. Be sure to keep the area dry, so that no moisture can get inside and cause another problem.
Another common cause for black mould and one that is often overlooked is long-term or repeated exposure to toxins, chemicals and contaminants such as pesticides, antibiotics, and similar substances. This toxic buildup can occur in your home from laundry detergent, cosmetics, toilets, shower gels, dishwashing liquid, cleaning fluids, and more. The most common way to get rid of these toxins is by using a HEPA filter in your bathroom and/or kitchen. Also, make sure that you do not allow your pets to roam freely in the house. If your pets are not indoors, you may need to get your pets to the vet to be cleared of the toxin because they will not be able to “think on their feet” on their own.
If you have an existing water problem in your basement, attic, or bathroom, the first step is to fix that problem. This may require waterproofing, sealing, or draining. This will get rid of the moisture in the area. After this is completed, you may want to consider using a dehumidifier or swamp cooler to dry out the area to reduce the moisture. Many people also purchase an air purifier to get rid of any impurities. Some purifiers will also eliminate dust mites, mold, pollen, pet dander, and other allergens.
A third common cause for black mould in water-damaged buildings is the presence of cellulose asbestos. This is actually very common in older residential buildings and commercial structures. The reason it is such an issue is the fact that it interferes with the efficient discharge of heat and water. Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that is found mostly in older buildings as it is highly resistant to moisture. Once formed, it is very difficult to remove. This is one of the reasons it is so dangerous – once formed, it releases toxic gases and toxins into the air, which can be inhaled by occupants of the home.
Ventilation is one of the most important things you can do to prevent the formation of black spot mould in your home. If you live in a multi-story building, make sure that there is proper ventilation in each floor of the structure. In the event of major flooding, the upper stories of the structure might not leak as water will exit down the clay tile floor, while the other floors are dry. Make sure to check the upper stories often, especially in the event of a serious flood.
Now that you know exactly what causes black mould, you should know how to prevent it from forming in the first place. In addition to proper ventilation, it’s a good idea to purchase an indoor dehumidifier to keep your home from getting too wet, especially in the case of heavy rain or even a mildew outbreak. If you want to learn more about indoor condensation, you can speak to your doctor or visit a department store that sells dehumidifiers.