Black Mold…Now What?
What is usually meant by “Black Mold” is actually a specific type of mold called Stachybotrys. This mold is actually quite dangerous to be in contact with but just because a mold is black does not mean that it is Stachybotrys.
Molds are generally black, dark grey, brown, green or white so just because a mold is black doesn’t mean it is dangerous or poses a health hazard.
All molds are able to produce mycotoxins (myco = related to fungas and toxin is a poison produced by a plant or animal) but none of them produce mycotoxins all of the time. However, certain molds are labeled “toxogenic mold” because they almost always produce mycotoxins and so are considered dangerous. Stachybotrys is a toxogenic mold.
If you have Stachybotrys you need to get it handled quickly. Until it is handled it is best to move out or at least drastically minimize your exposure to it.
If you suspect you might have Black Mold you should have a professional Mold Assessor (also called a mold inspector) do a test and send it to an accredited lab. The lab reports will either confirm it is Stachybotrys or identify the type of mold it is.
We can refer you to a licensed mold assessor in your area. We know several, one of whom is sure to be local to you.
At Mold Bros we don’t do mold testing. It is a conflict of interest for us to tell you that you have mold and then remediate your property. Years ago there were abuses so the state passed laws to prevent consumers from unscrupulous practices.
What Are My Options?
There are two approaches to handling mold, including black mold. The traditional approach has been around for thousands of years. Essentially you rip out anything that is contaminated with mold and replace it. This includes wall, cabinets, carpets, furniture, etc. The alternative is a more advanced process called Dry-Fog remediation. It was patented over 20 years ago and has been used to remediate tens of thousands of homes and businesses since them.
The traditional approach is to isolate the area of the home where the black mold is growing. This is done with plastic sheets over doorways, and entrances and then to remove any materials where the mold is growing + about 2 feet of material (wall board, etc.) around the area of the mold. This material is then discarded. There are several problems with this approach which you can read about in more detail but in short the limitations are:
- Remediators only remove what they can see.
- It can be quite expensive, often tens of thousands of dollars.
- Once the remediation is complete whatever was removed has to be rebuilt.
- Most insurance policies only cover $10,000 so the homeowner often has out of pocket expenses.
- If the “containment” fails mold can spread throughout the home.
- Cabinets, carpets, furniture, curtains, clothing often have to be discarded and replaced – which is a cost that is in addition to the cost of remediation.
- As walls are opened it is not uncommon to find additional areas of mold. The result is the costs increase and a three day remediation project can turn into several weeks.
Dry-Fog remediation is a 2-step process. The first step, InstaPURE uses the same antiseptic that is used in hospitals to sterilize surgical instruments and operating rooms. This sterilant is turned into a gas that is able to get behind cabinets, into walls, carpets and furniture — into every nook and cranny in the home that mold can go, killing mold on contact. It is EPA certified as non-toxic and is safe for your family and pets.
The second step, EverPURE, creates a microsopic barrier that kills new mold spore entering your home on contact. It is EPA certified as non-toxic and is also FDA approved for use around food.
Advantages of the Dry-Fog process include
- Fast – the entire home can receive the Dry-Fog process in less than a day.
- Non-Destructive – you don’t need to have someone rip your walls open and destroy your kitchen, bathroom and home.
- Non-Toxic – it is safe for your family and pets.
- Does not disrupt your life – you only need to leave your home for a few hours. You don’t need to spend days or weeks in a hotel.
- Less Expensive – Dry-Fog is much less expensive than traditional remediation.
- Because Dry-Fog is a gas it can get inside walls, furniture, carpets, clothing, etc. you often don’t need to discard and replace them.
This is what the Center for Disease Control (CDC) says about mold,
“Since the reaction of individuals can vary greatly either because of the person’s susceptibility or type and amount of mold present, sampling and culturing are not reliable in determining your health risk.
If you are susceptible to mold and mold is seen or smelled, there is a potential health risk; therefore, no matter what type of mold is present, you should arrange for its removal.”
Give us a call if you have a mold problem or fill out the form on this page. We can help