SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV)— Jeff Morris had a severe black mold outbreak in his home that forced his family out for a month. His eight children and wife had to dispose of nearly all of their belongings.
“We had to throw some furniture away, mattresses, pillows, blankets, all those kinds of things had to go. And that was doctor’s orders,” Morris said.
Morris says the infestation caused an enormous strain on their family, especially having to clean or get rid of their children’s toys.
The black mold spores traveled through their air vents which allowed the mold to spread everywhere and caused their son to become sick.
“It caused illness in our children and actually our one eldest had to be tested and he has been tested and they found toxins as well as black mold in his system,” Morris said.
Toxins are released in the mold spores that are then released into the air and can then be inhaled. It’s especially dangerous if it enters your ventilation system.
“If you smell mold, it’s probably mold. It kind of smells like mildew. The mold is hidden. And sometimes you don’t know it’s there. So you have to go back and look for it.” Morris said.
But there are ways to get ahead of black mold growth.
According to the Center for Disease Control, by keeping the humidity levels in your home no higher than fifty percent, you can prevent black mold from growing. Morris’ house was at seventy percent.
The CDC also recommends purchasing a meter to check your home’s humidity level.
They say to fix any leaks in your home’s roof, walls, or plumbing so mold does not have moisture to grow.
It’s important to clean up and dry out your home within twenty-four hours after a flood and replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried right away.
The CDC says to consider not using carpet in places like bathrooms or basements that may have a lot of moisture.
HOW TO STOP BLACK MOLD GROWTH
Dry up wet materials quickly. It only takes mold two days to grow. Clean, disinfect, and dry surfaces prone to mold growth. A vapor steam cleaner may help.
Repair leaks. Replace dilapidated old pipes. Fix leaks on the roof, walls, and foundation of the house. Unclog HVAC units drain regularly and get rid of condensation.
Improve airflow at home. Start with opening closet doors more frequently and moving furniture far from walls to providing better ventilation to confined spaces. The more windows you can open, the better.
Monitor your basement’s ventilation. Set up a foundation drain, put in a dehumidifier, insulate walls, set up a thermal plane, and let the entire room dry.
Seal off other parts of the house from the affected area. Wear a mask rated for protection against black mold spores and cover up to avoid contact with said spores.
Spray molds in the dry area with water to keep spores from going airborne.
Dry out the entire house or building for one to two days using dehumidifiers and fans to remove moisture.