How to Tell If Mold Is Toxic
Mold is highly common within all kinds of buildings and homes. It is not always symptomatic of poor hygiene. In fact, it has far more to do with excess moisture than cleaning standards.
Of course, a lack of cleanliness can worsen a mold infestation, but it isn’t the sole cause. There is no need to be embarrassed if you discover mold.
However, you may need to act quickly. While most mold is entirely harmless, other than being an unpleasant eyesore, some can be highly toxic and require professional intervention. It is not possible for the average homeowner to identify the toxicity of mold, as they can often look so similar.
Is All Mold Toxic?
In terms of toxicity, mold varies widely.
The most common toxic mold is known as Stachybotry Chartarum and is black or dark green in color. When inhaled for extended periods, it may cause harm to your respiratory system.
Unfortunately, Stachybotry Chartarum is not the only black mold out there, so it isn’t always easy to identify.
What Signs are There That Mold is Toxic?
The following are all signs that the mold within your home is more than just unpleasant. None of these on their own are surefire signs of toxic mold, but if you notice a few of these in your home, it could be time to call an expert. Let’s unpack them a little further.
The first thing you want to look out for is a persistent, foul odor in any of your rooms. This is usually the first indicator that you have a mold problem. If you can smell it but can’t see it, try locating the dampest area in your home. This is likely where the spores have spread.
Sometimes our noses can grow accustomed to smells over time, so if the growth is in your home, you may no longer notice the scent. Be mindful of what you smell when you enter your home after spending time outside or ask a close friend to see if they can smell anything off-putting. The nose knows, so don’t doubt the signs.
Toxic mold is fast-growing, so if you find mold, make sure to observe it over the following days. If you see that it has grown or expanded, then it is possible it is toxic. It often grows out in large, dark rings throughout the ceiling. It can also take the form of multiple spots. No matter how it appears, pay attention to its border and size. Regardless of toxicity, it will require professional attention.
The Color and Consistency
It isn’t just black or dark green mold you have to look out for. Some toxic mold is gray, and may even have an ash-like texture. Contrastingly, it may have a slimy or wet surface. You may even notice colorful spots, especially with orange or brown hues.
The more colorful varieties can be especially toxic. Contact a professional as soon as possible once you have found it, and don’t try to deal with it yourself. Protective gear, such as masks, may be required for removal. Leave it to the experts.
Consistently Returning Stains
Once you have discovered mold, the knee-jerk reaction is to clean it away as quickly as possible. However, this isn’t always a solution. In fact, it rarely is. Toxic mold returns with a vengeance each and every time, no matter how often you wash it down. This holds true even if you use a specific mold remover.
If you find that mold returns continuously, contact a professional for inspection immediately. It isn’t going to go away, no matter how much of a deep-clean you enforce. These things require professional intervention.
Increased Health Problems
Potentially most importantly, if you or a member of your household seems to struggle with shortness of breath or a persistent cough, it could be due to toxic mold. Identifying and removing this mold is of the highest importance, as the negative health consequences will only worsen over time.
If you have found or suspect a mold infestation in your building, contact All Dry USA for advice. Our experienced professionals will be able to advise you on your next steps, or you can arrange an inspection. Whatever your question, we will have the answer!