By: Amy McMullen

Just the words “Black Mold” can strike fear in the heart of any homeowner. But don’t fear! I will help you dispel the myths and help you move forward with a plan of action! We will talk about what black mold is, what are the health risks, and how to go about removing it. My goal is to educate you about this process and remove the fear of the unknown.

What is Black Mold?
According to the CDC: “Stachybotrys chart arum” (also known by its synonym Stachybotrys atra) is a greenish-black mold. It can grow on material with a high cellulose and low nitrogen content, such as fiberboard, gypsum board, paper, dust, and lint. Growth occurs when there is moisture from water damage, excessive humidity, water leaks, condensation, water infiltration, or flooding. Constant moisture is required for its growth. It is not necessary, however, to determine what type of mold you may have. All molds should be treated the same with respect to potential health risks and removal.”

What Are The Potential Health Risks?
In most cases potential symptoms present themselves as upper respiratory issues. If you suspect exposure you should check with you doctor.

How To Treat Black Mold.
If you suspect you have a mold issue in your home I would contact a professional. The most dangerous part of mold is the airborne spores. Tearing into a wall to asses the problem with out proper safety precautions could be a bad idea. Black mold needs to be removed, not killed. This may require replacing insulation, trim, sanding framing etc…

Case Studies
I recently helped two clients that had mold issues arise during the sale of their homes. Let me share with you what I have learned.

In the first case black mold was discovered as the new homeowner was moving in. He noticed some spots on the wall and decided to cut into the drywall himself. This is what he found inside the wall.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 9.11.34 AM


Apparently when the basement was finished (not by my seller) there was access to under the porch as shown. When they finished the basement they simply put sheetrock over this. So every time it rained water would get under the porch and get soaked up the wall.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 9.12.58 AM

Of course when the Buyer saw this they freaked out seeing $$$ and threatening legal action. Here was my advice:
Take a deep breath!
Get at least 3 estimates
Seal off and stay out of affected area

Once the buyer collected the estimates they found that it could be completely mitigated and repaired for less than $500.00

My next example happened when a window was incorrectly installed on a home. This allowed water to drip down inside the wall. This is what we found when we opened it up:

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 9.16.05 AM


Once again, when we took a step back and gathered our estimates it was completely cleaned and repaired for around $1500 dollars

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 9.17.28 AM

So be on the look out for mold issues in your home. It will usually present itself visually or with a musty smell.

Good Luck!

Great vendor we have worked with to clean up mold issues: Disaster Doctor : Aaron Bates : 801-210-1988

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