Black Mold 101

April 10, 2019 10:16 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

There are a number of different types of mold that commonly grow in homes and apartments throughout the Pacific Northwest. Many of these mold types cause skin irritation, tightness of breath and eye irritation. The most egregious types of household mold, however, are three strains that produce potentially deadly mycotoxins. These types of mold are referred to as “toxic mold,” or simply as “black mold.”

If you’re considering purchasing a new home in the greater Portland region, you should consider investing in a mold real estate inspection in Portland, OR before signing a contract. This will help you ensure that the home you’re purchasing isn’t already infested with one of these dangerous mold types that has the potential to significantly impact your quality of life.

Types of black mold

In the wild, black mold typically thrives on decomposing plant matter in dark, cool and damp areas. Black mold plays a vital role in nature. It’s adept at breaking down plant matter and other sources of cellulose. Unfortunately for many homeowners and renters in the Northwest, cellulose is also present in a number of building materials, including wallpaper and wood.

One of the three mold varieties in the black mold category is Stachybotrys chartarum, which thrives in areas with lots of cellulose. This mold varietal commonly eats grains, decomposing wood, paper and other types of plant debris.

Aspergillus niger, meanwhile, doesn’t have the same voracious appetite as its more prolific cousin. This mold is capable of thriving in areas with limited available nutrition.

Memnoniella echinata consumes softer organic materials, like fibers. This mold is typically found in linens, on cotton, wool or canvas.

Black mold risks

While the specific symptoms caused by black molds differ depending on the strain, pre-existing health conditions, ventilation and more, the most important thing to realize is that black mold can cause serious neurological issues after relatively short exposure periods. The mycotoxins produced by toxic mold varieties attack the human brain, and can cause symptoms ranging from severe headaches to hallucinations and brain inflammation.

Cool, dark and wet spaces in the home make for ideal spaces for black mold to grow. Black mold thrives on water and darkness, which means that there are a few areas in your home in which it’s most likely to appear. If you invest in a professional mold inspection in Portland, OR, for instance, the technician will likely begin by investigating your bathroom and under-sink areas in the kitchen. Black mold may also form in areas where you’ve recently experienced water damage. Attics are another common area for black mold to grow.

Since 2006, Active Mold Control LLC has been a premier provider of mold real estate inspections in Portland, OR. We’re proud to work with current and prospective homeowners and multifamily property owners to identify and mitigate mold infestations. We possess the experience, tools and expertise necessary to remove even the most challenging mold growths, including black mold and toxic mold. If you’re worried about mold growth in your home, don’t hesitate to give us a call today.

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