If you’re a homeowner, one of the challenges you may face is preventing mold growth, including toxic black mold. But where does black mold come from, and how do you keep it out of your home?
Black mold is a strain of fungus called Stachybotrys chartarum. Like all molds, it reproduces by sending spores out into the air. Spores can survive in extreme conditions, and settle almost anywhere—on ceilings, in air ducts, behind walls, and anywhere else the air carries them.
Unfortunately, mold spores are present almost everywhere and will start to grow wherever they can find the right circumstances to thrive. Mold spores are nearly impossible to keep out of your home, but understanding the conditions that allow them to grow can help you protect your house from damage.
What Causes Black Mold in a House?
Black mold needs three key elements to take up residence in your home:
In order to grow and prosper, fungi need oxygen. However, even without oxygen, mold spores can still survive in a dormant state until the right conditions are present.
Any organic material can serve as a food source for mold. Cardboard, drywall, paper, wood, dust, and even lint can be enough to satisfy black mold.
Of all the types of mold, black mold needs the most water to grow. Because of this, it is commonly found in areas with water damage, leaky pipes, or high humidity.
Once black mold has found a place in your home that has the oxygen, food, and moisture it needs, it will quickly grow and spread. In fact, according to the EPA, you have only 24-48 hours to address water damage before mold begins to grow.
Preventing the ideal conditions for mold growth is the best way to keep its spores from multiplying in your house. Black mold likes warmth, humidity, and darkness. You can deter the presence of mold by:
- Properly ventilating attics, basements, bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms
- Addressing flood damage right away
- Repairing leaky faucets, pipes, and roofs
- Running a dehumidifier
If you do find black mold in your home, never attempt to remove it on your own. Mycotoxins from black mold can be very dangerous if you do not dispose of them using the proper techniques and equipment.
My Pure Environment provides free home inspections and affordable mold remediation, so contact our team of experts to help you keep your house mold-free.
How Does Black Mold Spread?
One of the most popular places for mold to grow is in a basement or crawl space. These areas tend to have the low lighting and high humidity that black mold needs to thrive.
As warm air rises from the bottom of your house, mold spores rise with it and attach themselves to curtains, furniture, carpet, books, drywall, and whatever else they can find. After that, it only takes 1-14 days for a mold infestation to colonize.
Black Mold Removal in San Francisco
Leaks, floods, and water damage are all too common in the San Francisco Bay area. My Pure Environment offers free-onsite consultations to assess your air quality and determine the best course of action for your needs.
We offer fast, affordable remediation and use less invasive techniques than traditional methods. Our dry-fog technology can destroy mold and prevent its spread without any demolition.
Call us at (415) 687-5374 or contact us online to schedule your free inspection and take the next steps toward keeping your home free from toxic black mold.