Identifying and Getting Rid of Black Mold

Reader Contribution by Meggie Haneckow
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Photo by Fotolia.

Black mold puts fear into the heart of every homeowner, and rightfully so.

Black mold can be a “catch all” phrase for molds that grow in the homes of millions of people all over the world, but it almost always refers to the dangerous and potentially toxic molds that can cause a world of headache and hassle (not to mention disastrous health conditions) to those who are exposed to it on a regular basis.

As a homeowner, you’ll not only want to know exactly what black mold is and how to identify it, but also exactly what it takes to get rid of black mold.

Believe it or not, the process for getting rid of black mold isn’t all that challenging – though if it has reached an epidemic stage, you may have to call in the professionals to do the “heavy lifting” for you!

Let’s dive right in!

What Exactly Is Black Mold?

As we touched upon above, many mold variants that might pop up in your home could be described as black in color – but that doesn’t mean that all of them are toxic more dangerous.

The dangerous black mold, scientifically referred to as stachybotrys chartarum, is the one that you’ll want to watch out for. This is the dangerous mold that can cause serious health concerns, and which you need to eradicate the moment you come across it.

Identifying this mold becomes rather simple and straightforward, especially if you “follow your nose.” You are going to smell a very distinct earthy scent (not unlike rotting leaves and dirt), and you’ll be able to pick up on this smell almost immediately. Toxic black mold has a very strong and potent smell.

You will also need to look specifically in areas that are conducive to mold growth. This means dark areas that are wet, damp, and where the temperatures are never too hot or too cold. The area underneath a kitchen sink is one classic example of a place where mold might like to hide.

Breaking down the danger of toxic mold

According to the CDC, black mold isn’t poisonous by itself, but is instead very attractive to dangerous and toxic chemical compounds which connect to the mold and the spores.

These mycotoxins are chemical compounds that can absolutely wreak havoc on the human body – and they are very easily blown around with even the slightest bit of wind. A door or cabinet opening, or even just a fan blowing in your house, is enough to spread these toxins around.

Once they enter into the body, you are in big trouble. These toxins are known for specifically targeting the respiratory system, and are capable of shutting down critical bodily functions. The toxins in the mold mold will work to cripple your body from the inside out, and considering the fact that the inside of the human body is a dark, moist, and warm space, mold that enters the body will reproduce like crazy.

Use mold tests to understand what you’re up against

It is absolutely critical that you know exactly what the problem is when it comes time to get rid of black mold.

This is why you should hire contractors to come in and test for mold, as well as test the specific mold spores that you come across. Learn more about how to start the process at

How to clean black mold once and for all

There are two ways to get rid of black mold permanently:

• Purchase a number of mold destroying compounds and chemicals and spray your entire home (focusing specifically on the areas that have mold growing on them already)
• Hire contractors to come in and professionally remove black mold for you.

The easiest way to get rid of black mold is to hire the right contractors to come in and handle all of the cleaning for you. They’ll be able to destroy all of the black mold, provide you with a clean room assessment, and guarantee that your home is completely mold free today – and for the foreseeable future – thanks to the professional-grade equipment that they’ll be able to use.

If you choose to remove black mold on your own, make sure to take every single precaution possible to protect yourself while cleaning the black mold. Make sure you have gear that protects your respiratory system, as well as non-porous gloves and protective eyewear to keep it from getting on your hands or in your eyes. While removing the mold, make sure that you don’t release any extra spores into the air, and make certain that you have eradicated every single mold spore in your home to prevent it from coming back even stronger later down the line.