What Does Black Mold Look Like In A House?
Black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, is a toxic fungus that can cause rashes, shortness of breath, and chronic fatigue. It is versatile, persistent, and thrives in people’s homes. If you haven’t been keeping an eye out, it could be lurking in your home right now.
Black mold loves to grow in the humid, dark areas of your house and can blend in on dark floors or walls.
But, true to its name, it’s black and more harmful than white, pink, or brown molds which may also grow in your home. It can appear in small circles close together and seem slightly fuzzy and soft.
Black mold may hide differently in different rooms and areas. Often decomposing wood and squishy surfaces might seem like natural decay — but beware. Let’s go through a few common places it festers, so you can have an easier time finding it.
Read more: Can mold be fully removed from a house?
Black Mold on Building Surfaces
Black mold feeds on cellulose, so it prefers to grow on wood. Any wood paneling you may have outside can be a solid place for it to grow. Always keep your wood dry and in open spaces. Large piles of wood provide more surface area for growth.
It also grows on and in drywall, if you see splotchy black patches on one side of drywall it is most likely soaked all the way through. Keep an eye on your drywall as often at this point the whole wall will have to be replaced.
Black fungal growth can even happen inside fiberglass insulation. When your insulation is infected it will have to be replaced as it is not keeping the elements out of your home.
Black Mold on Ceilings
Black mold is attracted to ceilings because heat rises. Poorly ventilated rooms on the top floor of your house are great breeding grounds.
It usually grows in the corners of the ceiling, the largest concentration deep in the corner and spots emanating around it. Bathrooms with poor ventilation are prime mold incubators. Showers and bathtubs that aren’t regularly cleaned can let mold grow in the grout of the ceiling. If you like to take hot showers make sure to open the window or turn the fan on!
Make sure to shine a flashlight on the ceilings of your attic too, most people don’t check their dark attics enough. Make sure to do regular inspections of your attic, this is usually a humid and poorly insulated room.
Black Mold in Basements
If you see a yellow or pink stain on your basement wallpaper, drywall, or wood — this could be a sign of mold right on the other side.
Clustered fungal growths along the molding of your floor that seem to crawl up the wall are a bad sign.
While heat rises, water sinks, and your basement is the bottom of your house where it all pools. If you have a carpeted basement watch out for dark spots. Any damp areas should be cleaned right away.
Leaks in basements are common and provide perfect conditions for mold. Check any pipes that leave from your basement and make sure there are no cracks, as mold can follow the leak right down a wall.
Read more: Can you sell a house with black mold?
Black Mold on Other Materials
Window sills are also problem areas. As condensation collects on window panes with changes of temperature, mold can follow.
It can grow inside air ducts as well, a leaky air duct provides a moist environment for black mold to grow. If you have hairy vents, this could be a sign of spores. Monitoring your air duct is important because it can blow colonies of spores throughout the rest of your home.
Kitchens are prime breeding places too. Dirty sponges and brushes should be regularly thrown out and replaced. Shed some light under your sink, even a small leak or drip can grow mold in as little as 24 hours.
Read more: How to get rid of black mold naturally
Is That Really Black Mold?
There are over 20,000 unique species of black mold. While not all are toxic, several common ones carry real health risks to you and your family. Don’t take any chances when it comes to black mold — take every sign a serious threat.
If your wood is rotting and the black spots come with a dank, musty smell, you have black mold. It can appear distinct on different surfaces. On wet surfaces, it looks slimy and on dry surfaces, it looks like ash or soot.
While testing kits are widely available, they are not necessary and could end up being a waste of time and money.
Read more: Does inactive mold need to be removed?
Get Rid of Your Black Mold Now
Once you’ve spotted Stachybotrys chartarum in your home, you need to do something about it right away. Only a trained professional can sanitize your home and stop an endemic problem. It will not stop growing unless you do something about it, so get help quickly before it’s too late.
The technicians at All Dry USA are the black mold removal experts! With over 10 years of experience keeping homes safe and dry, we’ve seen mold hiding even in the strangest places.
Call (888) 998-2379 now to stop the spread!
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