No mold in particular is black mold. Most molds are black, although the term ‘black mold’ definitely gets thrown around a lot.  Black mold is actually not a specific scientific term.  It does not refer to a specific mold species.  Most molds are just naturally black or at least dark, so the phrase ‘black mold’ is commonly used to describe any type of indoor mold that can be found in a home or other structure that has received damage from water.  Water damage that causes black mold typically comes from water leaking from a faulty pipe or from flooding.   Black mold can be dangerous to human health, especially if exposure is prolonged.

Types of Black Mold

There are a few different types of black mold found within homes and other structures.  The most common black molds include:

  • Aspergillus.  The most common black mold is Aspergillus, a mold that can be found inside the home, typically on damp wood, like studs.
  • Cladosporium mold is dark in color and soft, and can be found inside the air duct system of many homes that have been flooded.
  • Fusarium black mold thrives in buildings where extensive water damage has occurred and can usually be located beneath damp insulation and wet carpets.
  • Penicillium mold is a type of black mold that can be found on wallpaper and insulation.
  • Stachybotrys mold is usually located on tile, insulation, sheet rock, and wallpaper in water damaged homes.

Does My Home Have Black Mold?

Black mold is characterized by a strong musty odor when the heating or air conditioning is being used in a home or room where black mold growth is occurring.  Other signs of black mold include staining and discoloration on the walls or the wallpaper of the room if the mold has contaminated areas behind the wall.  The color of mold can vary from a dark green to a black color.  The moisture that causes black mold may cause the paint on your walls to peel away, which is another sign of black mold growth.

Dangerous Black Mold

As black mold feeds on the damp surfaces within a home or other building, the mold releases mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are gases that can cause headaches, flu-like symptoms, nausea, and severe allergic reactions.  If a person is more prone to airborne pollutants than others, they may experience severe respiratory distress from being exposed to black mold.  Long-term exposure to black mold can cause lung disease.  Black mold exposure treatment can help to negate some of the damage caused from black mold exposure.

Getting Rid of Black Mold

Most homes are contaminated by mold, at least to a certain level.  Nonetheless, once black mold has been detected, hiring a professional mold company is the best way to completely remove this threat from your home.  A professional can seal the area to prevent the spread of black mold spores and can remove and replace contaminated structures, like moldy insulation and drywall.  Once you have eradicated black mold from your home, black mold prevention should be practiced, including correcting poor ventilations, repairing any leaks and taking care of damaged pipes right away before they become a problem.

Here is a short video describing what black mold is

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