There are many different types of mold. Most are harmless, but some cause health problems. Toxic mold is one type that makes people and animals sick because it produces mycotoxin. A mycotoxin is a dangerous product produced by some fungi.
Kids, animals and people with allergies normally react negatively to most types of mold. However, mycotoxins are more likely to cause health problems in anyone – even if they are healthy with a strong immune system. Possible health complications include asthma, headaches and rashes. Loss of memory and lung problems is possible as well.
One problem is mold releases spores when disturbed. The spores are invisible to the human eye. They could be anywhere in your home. The spores would remain undetected until they started to grow.
Even if the spores never grow, people can inhale them. If the spores accumulate around the home, anyone visiting will breathe the spore-infested air. In the case of toxic fungi, this is how the spores cause sickness and irritate the lungs.
The most common type of toxic mold is called Stachybotrys chartarum. It is recognizable by its greenish-black color and slimy appearance. It grows on moist materials that contain cellulose. Items that contain cellulose include drywall, paper and wood.
This type of fungi doesn’t grow on cement or tile, so you won’t find it on the tile in your bathroom. However, if you have a bathroom window, it can grow on the wooden window frame. It can also grow on the bathroom ceiling.
Even if the mold in your home is not toxic, you still need to get rid of it. The problem will not go away on its own. It will only get worse, and continue to destroy items in your home. Eventually, the air quality will worsen. Your home might even start to smell musty.
Mold removal is sometimes a complicated process. Removing a small amount from a bathroom is not a big deal. All you need is a mold remover, some gloves and time to complete the task. It’s not that simple when a large area is involved.
If you need to clean more than 30 square feet of space, a professional is the best idea. That’s a significant amount of space, and special care is required to remove the mold without spreading spores. The goal is to remove the threat, determine its origin and eliminate the problem.
There’s also the matter of the cleaning process. Depending on which method is used, odors and spores may spread. A professional can use barriers made of plastic or other material to block the infected area. The barriers prevent spores from contaminating surrounding areas. After cleaning, the professional can also check to make sure no spores have spread.
Getting rid of toxic mold is a professional job. Doing it yourself is risky because you could spread the spores. Based on what you know about the toxic fungi, you should be able to recognize it. If you think your home is contaminated, contact a professional for help.