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Black Mold – Disease Symptoms, Causes and Remedies

Black mold, often referred to as toxic mold or mildew, is an increasingly common problem in many homes and buildings. When the correct conditions are given, these are: a surface that contains moisture which may be due to high humidity or humidity levels and the correct temperature, this fungus will germinate and grow in abundance. In appearance, it looks almost “furry”, however it can also be described as “dusty”.

Like any living organism, mold needs food and moisture to survive, and this is when black mold can begin to cause symptoms of ill health in humans. The symptoms are caused by something known as VOCs – Volatile Organic Compounds. Mold produces these VOCs when it feeds on the surface it is growing on and begins breaking it down to get the food it needs to flourish.

Anyone exposed to high levels of these VOCs can experience any of the symptoms attributed to black mold growth, some of which can be quite severe.

Listed below are some of the most common symptoms of disease induced by black mold:

1. Respiratory problems

2. cough

3. Nausea

4. Skin rashes

5. Memory loss

6. Dizziness

7. Problems with blood pressure

8. Asthma

9. Urinary tract infection

10. Damage to the lungs

11. Allergies: itchy or runny nose, eyes, etc.

12. Difficulty concentrating

This list shows just a few of the diseases whose symptoms can be attributed to exposure to black mold.

It goes without saying that if you suffer from any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor immediately. However, the best way to alleviate or eradicate the symptoms caused by black mold is to eradicate mold from your home for good.

As I’ve said before, black mold needs moisture to grow and the moisture inside our homes can be caused by one of two things: high humidity or humidity or a combination of both. In both cases, you need to act immediately.

High humidity is caused by excess moisture in the atmosphere. The number one cause of high humidity levels in a building is simply a lack of ventilation. As we go about our daily tasks, we create moisture and steam, for example when we cook, bathe, perhaps use a tumble dryer to dry clothes or hang wet clothes to dry around heaters – the list is endless. The problem is that without adequate ventilation, moisture in the atmosphere accumulates because it has no escape, then as the temperature cools, the moisture begins to settle on cold surfaces in the form of water droplets, this is condensation. Wet surfaces such as window frames, walls, etc. they are then the main targets for the germination of black mold spores.

Moisture is usually caused by an underlying problem with water leaks. Poor property maintenance can result in water entering through ceilings, foundations, cracks in walls, or leaking pipes. Constant dripping over time will cause a great deal of damage, and damp or wet surfaces create the ideal conditions for black mold to grow. Remember that different species of mold will grow under different conditions.

The first step to getting rid of back mold and the ill-health symptoms it can cause is to identify the actual cause of the problem.

If your problem is due to high humidity levels, it’s relatively easy to fix. Just open some windows! This is the simplest and cheapest solution, but perhaps not the best in the dead of winter. However, there are other relatively cheap alternatives, for example:-

1. Install exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom that are vented directly to the outside of the building, NOT your attic space or basements, do that and you’ll have BIG problems down the road. These will remove steam caused by cooking and bathing. Remember to keep the kitchen and bathroom doors closed to prevent moisture from spreading throughout the house.

2. If you use a dryer, it must also be vented to the outside of the building. These machines produce large amounts of steam, so going it alone will greatly reduce humidity levels.

3. Try not to dry wet clothes at home; when possible, hang it outside to dry. If you must dry it inside, hang it in an unheated room, open a window, and keep the door closed.

4. Dehumidifiers are a great tool to solve this problem. They can be a little expensive to buy, but when you have an ongoing problem, they are well worth the one-time expense. A dehumidifier will suck air in through a vent, removing moisture and pushing dry air out and emptying your water container! Obviously this is a very simplified description of how it works, but believe me, it works! The cost of running one of these units can be another concern, but they really aren’t that expensive, especially if you buy a model that has a humidistat installed. This means that it will automatically turn on and off as needed instead of running constantly. Another point to consider is that dry air is much easier to heat than moist air, so you should be able to lower your heating bill in winter.

If the cause of your black mold is moisture, the solution may not be that simple and you may need to spend quite large amounts of money to remedy the problem.

1. The first thing to do is establish why you have wet areas in the first place; If necessary, use a professional mason or plumber to assess the situation and have the necessary work done on the building. You cannot begin to eradicate black mold and the unhealthy symptoms it causes until repairs are complete.

2. If the damage is extensive, it may be necessary to replace the wood, plaster, carpets, etc. If this is not the case, the next step is to dry the area, remember: remove moisture and black mold cannot grow or spread. Opening the windows when the weather is nice will do the job, as will using heaters. A dehumidifier is once again the ideal piece of kit. For large surfaces you can hire large industrial dehumidifiers. These will get the job done much faster than heaters or open windows, and many models have the added bonus of having air filters that should help remove mold spores from the atmosphere.

Cleaning of black mold;-

The task of cleaning up any signs of black mold does not have to be expensive. However, you want it to be a non-toxic one.

There are many natural ways to clean up black mold, from soap and water and elbow grease to solutions of tea tree oil or grapefruit seed oil. However, there is a commercial mold cleanup kit that quickly and easily removes black mold and prevents it from coming back. The kit contains two solutions, the first is MOLDERIZER. This product is 100% organic, so it does not contain any harsh or toxic chemicals. It is safe to use on virtually any surface, from walls and wood to carpets and rugs, and will not harm children or pets. The second solution in the mold cleaning kit is called SAFE SHIELD. When applied after cleaning with Molderizer, it will act as a barrier and protect the surface and prevent mold from growing back in the same area.

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