Protect Your Health and Home – When You Suspect Black Mold

Decorative image of residential home with black mold.

Mold damage to a home is a challenge that many homeowners face, whether it is obvious or hidden, and whether the home is old or new.  The CDC warns that “mold can cause many health effects”, this is especially true for people with allergic sensitivities, immune conditions, and lung disease, notably for the elderly and young children. “Black Mold” is a widely used layman’s term when mold is found that is black (similar in color to an over-ripe banana) and usually associated with rather high water content and advanced damage to sheetrock, wood, and other porous interior finishes found in the typical home.  While your first response may be to tear out the damaged material yourself, once mold has advanced and has become pervasive, a DIY approach to black mold cleanup is not a good idea. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the hazards of DIY “black mold” removal and emphasize the importance of seeking professional help and considering options provided by TGE Resources, to ensure that your family stays safe and that your mold cleanup is successful.

What is “Black Mold”?

“Black mold”, scientifically known as Stachybotrys chartarum (or commonly “Stachy”) is widely known to produce toxigenic compounds. Exposure to these toxins can lead to a range of health problems, especially for those with weakened immune systems and other health conditions. While active and advanced growth of Stachy is unsightly, it also points to an equally undesirable condition where moisture has intruded into your home and where it has been sustained long enough to allow this (and often other) mold to establish and cause significant damage.  Molds such as Stachy are very different from typical indoor mold that is also found naturally outside.  Stachy, and other molds like it, require sustained wet conditions to establish, grow, and damage your home. At times, high moisture intrusion conditions can occur and be hidden from view until the mold becomes so advanced that the damage is obvious.

Knowledge is Critical

Knowing the variety of mold at its source is not as critical as determining what caused the mold in the first place.  Construction or latent defects of a home can allow moisture to intrude and mold to grow, which will degrade anything that is made of or contains cellulose.  Sewer-impacted and rising flood-water-sourced mold is particularly dangerous to your family’s health; DIY clean-up of mold-impacted, sewer-contaminated materials should be avoided, if possible.  Disturbing any advanced-growth mold regardless of source without a firm understanding of its root cause and extent can put you and your family at risk and can cause greater damage to your home than the initial loss.  Once the source of mold is found, repair of the root cause of the damage must be performed; but this must be done carefully to minimize the disturbance of mold and the release of mold-contaminated dust and debris.  TGE Resources professionals will identify the mold source, determine the extent of damage, establish its root cause, and prepare a work scope (protocol) for its professional clean-up.

Taking Control

Black mold and any other high-moisture mold thrives in damp, humid, often poorly lit environments and can grow after only 48 hours of exposure to moisture. Left undisturbed with its needs met, mold will continue to grow, spread, and release spores from its source, using household dust for transport. When active mold sources are present, even marginally suitable surfaces may become secondarily impacted by mold if enough moisture/humidity is present in the air; this puts air conditioning systems and other high-moisture areas of your home at risk.  Without the expertise of professionals, you may unintentionally spread mold throughout your home during your DIY efforts and needlessly spread mold-impacted debris from its source.  To control mold, especially those varieties that require high, sustained moisture, it is vital to isolate the area, leave it undisturbed, and reach out to a knowledgeable mold consulting professional. TGE’s team is fully licensed (in Texas and Florida), has worked within the mold industry for 28+ years, has performed as an expert witness on multiple mold-related lawsuits, and is more than capable of assisting you on making your home safe.  Don’t wait – reach out to us today!