Dealing with Black Mold Problems

We love Arizona for its sunshine and dry climate, especially here in the east valley. Unfortunately, even a lack of humidity doesn't stop black mold when moisture from water leaks, monsoons, or storm damage invades your home.

In fact, the warm Valley of the Sun climate contributes to rapid mold growth when dampness or water is introduced in the environment. Don’t risk your health or your belongings by allowing black mold to thrive.

What is Black Mold?

There are thousands of species of black mold. Essentially, it's mold that is black or greenish-black. But just because it's black, doesn't mean it's any more or less toxic than other colors of mold. It depends on the conditions.

Water damage, condensation, leaks, or flooding causes the type of black mold we remediate. It lives in warm, damp locations where moisture is constantly present. Mold is an allergen, and you need to fix the moisture problem and remove the mold growth. But don't believe the hype that black mold is toxic under every circumstance.

What Does Black Mold Look Like?

Black Mold on Tile in Bathroom Shower
Black Mold on Bathroom Tile

In its mature stage, it has a characteristic black or greenish-black color. However, at the earliest stage of development, the spore colors range from white to gray to even a light green. Therefore, young black mold is not easily visible.

Up close, the mold spores have a fuzzy appearance. Some may appear slimy or wet. Dry spores go airborne when disturbed. They spread and pollute the air you breathe.

Black mold is a living organism, and its colonies grow in a circular pattern. These colonies range from less than an inch to many inches across, and often grow next to and even overlap each other.

Though there are some differences between mold and mildew, they both have a damp, musty smell, a sign the spores are already airborne.

Is Black Mold Dangerous?

Yes, black mold can be dangerous if you have an allergic reaction or are exposed to it over time. It can also be hazardous to your belongings and the structural features of your house.

Property Damage

Mold requires both moisture and a non-synthetic food source to grow. It eats the surfaces of things like wood, wallpaper, drywall, clothing, and furniture. And then penetrates deeper to cause further damage.

During a mold remediation event, ATH provides a contents packout service. We remove items from your home that can be salvaged, have them professionally cleaned, and store them for you until the restoration project is complete.

Items that cannot be restored (which often includes drywall, tile, flooring, and some furniture) are removed and properly disposed.

Symptoms of Black Mold Exposure

In cases of prolonged exposure, or for those having an allergic reaction, symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Irritation of nose, throat and eyes
  • Asthma attacks
  • Chronic coughing and/or sneezing
  • Rashes from contact with mold spores
  • Persistent headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
Water Damage - Mold Remediation - Remodel - Before - After - Mesa AZ

Black Mold Removal

  1. Resolve the Moisture Problem
    First, we determine the source of the leak or condensation and make repairs. It could be under the kitchen sink, behind the bathroom tile, from an appliance or clogged air conditioner drain line, etc.
  2. Contain the Area
    Next, we set up a containment area to stop the spread and protect the rest of your home from contamination of mold spores.
  3. Cleanup
    In this phase of mold removal, we dry out the affected area. The mold itself will be removed using antimicrobial cleaners. A sealant may also be used to make the area more resistant to water damage and mold growth. We use a range of natural cleaning products from Benefect, which are only available to commercial restoration services like ATH.
  4. Air Purification
    Also during the mold remediation process, spores are removed from the air with a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) air scrubber.
  5. Mold Testing
    After remediation, a mold inspector will test the area again to confirm that the treatment has been completely effective, and it's safe for you to return home.
  6. Reconstruction
    ATH will rebuild and restore the damaged areas of your home.

How to Prevent Mold in Your Home

Inspect your home for water damage, especially in the bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and attic. Mold can also grow in your air ducts. Repair water leaks quickly.

Here are 17 tips for preventing mold and some guidance on how to kill mold in your home.

If you suspect a black mold problem, call on ATH for a free at-home consultation estimate.

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Our service area includes: Ahwatukee, Apache Junction, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa, Paradise Valley, San Tan Valley, Scottsdale, Surprise and Tempe.