Black mold is a type of fungus that spreads in living spaces, especially in damp environments such as bathrooms, basements, or laundry rooms. However, there is not just one black mold, but many different black molds – that is, dark-colored molds – all of which are referred to as black mold. Black mold leaves dark spots on the infected areas that typically spread in a circle. In this article, we read about How to get rid of black mold?
Mold spores spread through the air and can cover longer distances. Votes humidity and temperature, the spores can multiply quickly indoors.
Is black mold harmful to your health?
How dangerous molds depend on the genus in question. A laboratory analysis is usually necessary to determine this. The black mold species “Aspergillus niger” (also called watering can mold) and “Alternaria alternata” are considered harmful to get rid of black mold. These release harmful mold spores – so-called mycotoxins – in the room, which are harmful to human health.
Black mold can lead to allergies and asthma as well as irritating the respiratory tract and eyes. This is especially dangerous if you are exposed to black mold for a long time. Removing the mold also carries a greater health risk as mold spores are released into the air and can get into the airways. However, these two types of mold are rarely found in living spaces.
When does black mold form?
Black mold can spread particularly easily under the following conditions:
- the high humidity of over 65 percent
- Condensation on windows
- Incorrect ventilation: ventilating too long at cold temperatures favors black mold (for example tilted window instead of short burst ventilation)
- nutrient-rich environment (for example, organic materials such as wood, skin cells, paper, or food)
- mild temperatures
Wallpaper, joints, windows, or organic materials (e.g. food) are particularly affected by black mold.
Remove black mold: you have to pay attention to this
Before you remove the mold, there are a few things to consider:
- If only small areas are infected with black mold, you can remove it yourself with the help of a stiff brush or sponge. However, children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems should leave this to someone else.
- It is also important that you only remove mold with appropriate protective equipment. These include gloves, protective goggles, and a face mask or breathing apparatus. Because not only the black mold spores but also the cleaning agents can be harmful to health.
- Mold on absorbent materials cannot be removed or can only be removed with difficulty. Here it may be necessary to completely replace the materials (for example in the case of carpets, furniture, or drywall).
- If there pronounced mold growth on larger areas, you should hire a specialist. This also applies to get rid of black mold, if the mold returns after removal or if the heating and ventilation systems infested with black mold. Professional service providers can recognize by the TÜV seal, among other things.
These cleaning agents are suitable:
To combat black mold effectively, you need certain cleaning products. You can either buy agents specifically against mold growth ( biocides ) or mix an appropriate solution yourself. For example, hydrogen peroxide, one part of which mixed with two parts of water, is suitable for this. In some cases, high-percentage alcohol (at least 70 percent) and spirit are also suitable. The best thing to do, however, to get advice from an expert on which cleaning agent best suited for the existing mold infestation.
Removing black mold: step-by-step instructions
- Open as many windows in the room as possible so that when you remove the spores, they can get outside and fresh air can get into the room.
- First, scrub the infected areas thoroughly with warm, soapy water. This softens the surface and the cleaning agents can then penetrate deeper into the material.
- Pour the detergent into a spray bottle and spray the solution liberally on the affected area. Let the remedy sit for 15 minutes.
- Now scrub the surface with a stiff brush or sponge so that the solution penetrates the material and the mold removed.
- Wash the surface with clean water. This is how you remove residues of mold and cleaning agents.
- It is important that you dry the surface thoroughly with a cloth at the end to prevent new mold from forming.
This is how you can prevent black mold
- Keep the humidity low and ventilate regularly (especially after cooking in the kitchen and after showering or bathing in the bathroom). (More on this: the ideal humidity in rooms )
- Seal leaks.
- Make sure that you ventilate properly ( ideally several times a day for ten to 15 minutes push ventilation ).
- Remove condensation on windows and grout.
- Heat your living spaces evenly and ensure that the temperature is as constant as possible. This is how you can prevent condensation.
- If possible, do not dry your laundry indoors, but rather on the balcony, terrace, or garden.
- Wipe the shower, tub, and sink dry, or remove the water with a rubber squeegee.
- Do not leave the organic waste standing too long to prevent black mold from forming there, which can spread in the living space.
Test the indoor air for mold
If you suspect that there are mold spores in the room air. But you may not have (yet) located the source, you can clarify with a mold test. There are, among other things, rapid mold tests for self-evaluation; but you can also order a mold laboratory analysis to get more information.
Also read: how to apply eyeliner