If you were to hear the word “Stachybotrys” you might laugh, ask for clarification, or just assume that it was from a foreign language. However, you were to hear this infamous fungus’ nickname, black mold, you would likely recognize it immediately. For homeowners, parents, and many others this mold has been a bane in their lives, but most people don’t fully understand what this odd fungus really is.
Black mold is a type of fungus that grows in areas with high cellulose, low nitrogen (such as fiberboard, paper, or gypsum board), and constant moisture. Homes with water damage, high humidity, or flooding make excellent locations for this mold to grow. Colonies of this mold can grow rapidly and are identified by a dark green, black color. Mold spores enter in homes from the outside through various means such as open doors, windows, vents, or being transported by humans. Once inside, if these spores land on an area with nutrient conducive to their growth, they will.
The health effects of black mold are often misunderstood. While mold can pose a threat to those who have chronic respiratory diseases, such as COPD or asthma, or those with weakened immune systems, black mold is not inherently dangerous to otherwise healthy adults. Many fears of this mold revolve around the effects that it has on children, but there is little evidence to support this. If you find black mold and have concerns consult your physician.
Black mold should be taken care of. Aside from decreasing the air quality, if allowed to grow, black mold will also do damage to your house. For the most part, prevention is the best methods. Fixing leaky pipes or other sources of water damage, as well as keeping walls, floors, and other parts of the house dry will help prevent mold from growing. Look at the CDC website for advice on how to get rid of it. In some cases, professional help may be necessary. Though a lot of emphases is place don black mold, it is not necessary to find out what species of mold you have, instead, treat all mold in the same manner.
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