Black Mold: What You Should Know
Sinister-sounding and potentially dangerous, toxic black mold can strike fear in the heart of any homeowner. But by being able to identify black mold and understand how to prevent and control its growth, you can help to keep your home free of toxic black mold.
Bamboo is a sustainable wood because it grows rapidly and reaches maturity in just four years. The plywood is laminated together using a low-VOC (volatile organic compound) adhesive. Bamboo is great for bathrooms because it stands up well in a moist climate. In this remodel, the bamboo vanity is topped off with a bamboo sink.
Natural Linoleum Flooring
The perfect choice for this retro-style kitchen, natural linoleum has been popular for over 100 years. It is made from all raw materials, including linseed oil, resins and wood flour. Natural linoleum is often used in hospitals because its bactericidal properties stop microorganisms from multiplying and it is easy to clean.
Eco-Friendly Carpet Tiles
Quick and easy to install, these carpet tiles are made from 80 percent post-consumer recycled poly fiber. They are stain-repellent and won’t trap dirt like traditional carpets, thereby reducing allergens in the air. But, if the squares do become dirty, you can just replace the individual squares and not the entire carpet.
Recycled Glass Countertops
Windshields, stemware and beverage bottles are bound together with concrete and fly ash (a waste by-product of coal-burning power plants) as opposed to a petroleum-based resin binder. The countertops are comparable to granite in terms of strength, scratch resistance, heat resistance and maintenance.
To make this flooring, about one third of the cork-oak tree's trunk is stripped — the tree is left undamaged and quickly regenerates new bark. Cork flooring is durable, yet it is much softer than standard hardwood flooring and it's easy to install with a tongue-and-grove locking system. In this kitchen, two colors of cork are used to create a unique pattern.
Biodegradable Hemp and Wool Carpet
This carpet is completely biodegradable since it’s made with 100-percent natural, raw materials. Hemp is nature’s strongest and most durable fiber. The carpet is naturally pigmented, rather than dyed with harsh chemicals. The adhesive used is made from natural rubber and the backing is made from jute, both of which are robust and biodegradable.
Black mold is most likely to appear in areas of the home that are particularly warm, humid and damp. Basements or crawlspaces that may have leaks or other sources of moisture are often susceptible to toxic black mold growth. Black mold is readily identifiable by its color. Whereas most other molds are green or gray in color, toxic black mold is a dark black.
Black mold can cause an array of allergic reactions and health problems. In most cases, depending on the length of exposure and the number of spores inhaled, symptoms can include chronic fatigue or headaches, fever, irritation to the eyes, mucous membranes of the mouth, nose and throat, sneezing, rashes, and chronic coughing. In cases of prolonged or severe exposure, or cases exacerbated by an allergic reaction, more extreme symptoms can present, including nausea, vomiting, and bleeding in the lungs and nose
To guard against the health risks associated with black mold, preventing and controlling mold growth in the home is the best defense. Treating areas of existing mold growth should always be done while wearing a respirator or mask rated for work with mold spores, and arms, legs and hands should be covered to prevent an allergic reaction.
Toxic black mold can cause health problems and damage to homes, but understanding how to prevent, identify and eradicate black mold will give you the tools to keep your home free of this toxic species of mold.
See also: How to Keep Your Home Healthy