Black Mold Remediation Colorado Springs Company Gives You: The Surprising Truth About Black Mold

Black mold is not always black. Nor is it always bad for you. The truth is, we need mold—black mold included. And, to be honest, the world kind of depends on the stuff.

As a Huffington Post article states “[mold is] Mother Nature’s great recycler.”[1] Mold breaks down plants and animals during the decaying process. Aspergillus fumigatus—yes, a type of black mold—recycles carbon and nitrogen.[2]

Penicillin, the antibiotic wonder drug, is a mold byproduct. It's saved over 80 million lives[3] and started the age of antibiotics.

Think of it.

Without mold, organ transplants may not be a possibility; antibiotics may never have been invented; and our landfills would be overflowing with, well…everything: dead plants, animals, you name it.

On the other hand, agent orange wouldn’t have been developed; Aspergillosis (most prevalent fungal disease) boom! never existed; and we all may be breathing better (thanks to no mold-inducing asthma) with fewer allergies. It’s a mixed bag to say the least. Given black mold’s dark reputation (no pun intended), it’s even more mixed.

With that being said, this black mold remediation Colorado Springs company presents to you, The Surprising Truth About Black Mold.

In this article, we’ll take a realistic look at black mold—the surprisingly good, expected bad, and very ugly. We’ll be spotlighting two types of black mold from the Aspergillus family, Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus fumigatus.

As well as revealing more than five surprising truths about black mold in general. You’ll also know why DIY insulation projects may lead to a (black) mold infestation down the line.

(Think of this article as a black mold sequel to Black Mold Removal Colorado Springs Company Brings You Everything You Need to Know About Black Mold. So, if you haven’t read that article, read it.)

Black Mold Remediation Colorado: Truth #1 Black Mold Is Actually Normal

Aspergillus, a black mold species, is a common indoor (and outdoor) mold.[4]

Even if you don’t have a black mold infestation problem, Aspergillus is floating in the air. It’s in your kitchens and bathrooms. Your carpets. Even if you could have the cleanest house, you’d still have black mold. (And other types as well). An NCBI article goes as far to state that we inhale several hundred Aspergillus fumigatus (Aspergillus species) spores per day.[5]

Yet, most of us aren’t affected by the spores. At least those with healthy immune systems who can easily eliminate them.[6] (People with leukemia, HIV, AIDS, and other immunocompromised diseases can’t tolerate mold as well. To these individuals, mold exposure is a serious threat.)

However, that doesn’t mean if you see or smell mold, you shouldn’t call a professional.

You see, it’s when the black mold spores grow and multiply and start producing mycotoxins where it starts to get dangerous.

That, and having immunocompromised individuals in a black mold infested house. As exposure could lead to invasive Aspergillosis—the most common mold infection worldwide[7]; it has infected over 300,000 worldwide.[8]

Which brings us to…

If black mold is normal, and most healthy people, with the exception of those with mold allergies, don’t face health challenges, why are we afraid of it?

Mold signals decay

Remember mold helps with the decay process?

Well, our bodies want to keep us alive. They protect us from any threat of danger. Which is why our brain sends pain signals to alert us about a problem (i.e. cut, bruise, break…).[9]

It’s the same case with our body’s aversion to decay.[10] Or, in other words, rot. From the smell and look, we instinctively know mold signals sickness. “[W]hich is likely why mold exposure causes such significant discomfort in a large part of our population.”[11]

Black Mold Remediation Colorado Truth #2: Black Mold Isn’t Always Black

Black mold comes in many colors. Green, yellow, brown, and, yes black. Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus fumigatus, both black mold species, are green.

What’s even more puzzling is that black mold that is black may not even be dangerous. (As our previous black mold article delves into.) In fact, Aspergillus fumigatus exposure can, cause the most common (and potentially deadly) fungal disease, Aspergillosis.

So, why do we call black mold “black mold” when it isn’t an actual scientific category and it doesn’t necessarily determine the color or the danger level?

We have a theory...

After the highly publicized 1990’s Cleveland pulmonary hemorrhage outbreak in infants, black mold—the name for Stachybotrys chartarum (mold found in the infants’ homes)—stuck.

Because of the outbreak, perhaps people assumed since Stachybotrys chartarum was toxigenic, all black molds must be too.

Black Mold Remediation Colorado Truth #3: Cleaning Releases More Spores

Specifically, we’re talking about molds whose spores are released due to an environmental disturbance. Some of these being Aspergillus species. The environmental disturbance could be a strong wind, as is the case with Aspergillus fumigatus.

Or it could be your vacuum sucking up the dust and debris from the carpet. (Of course, Aspergillus aren’t the only spores that are released; you may have different types.)

Black Mold Remediation Colorado Truth #4 Some Black Molds Are Thermotolerant

Aspergillus niger, for instance, is a type of thermotolerant black mold. Meaning it can survive (dare we say thrive) in the frost and freezing cold. And thrives in the hot, sweltering heat.

Black Mold Remediation Colorado Truth #5: We Eat Black Mold—Some Eat It Daily—Without Knowing It

We’re not talking about cheese and mushrooms. Nor are we referring to mold growing on spoiled fruits, vegetables, and grains. (Although black mold can grow on those too.)

We're talking black mold that's straight up in your food and drink.

During the fermentation process, Aspergillus niger (a black mold) produces enzymes that can be found in corn syrup, Beano, wine, and cider.[12]

So, you are technically eating/drinking black mold when you gulp down a soda (corn syrup) or sip on a glass of red wine.

Black Mold Remediation Colorado Truth #6: DIY Insulation May Be Your Worst Enemy

Insulation reduces your energy bill. It does this by providing you warmth during the colder seasons and helps your house to stay cool come spring and summertime via reducing the heat flow.

However, insulation that’s too tight causes wet walls to not dry as quickly. And it prevents pollutants from filtering out.[13] This can be a beautiful combination for mold since molds flourish on organic materials in moist environments.

1973 Oil Embargo: Reason We’re Determined to Reduce Energy?

The Arab Oil Embargo of 1973, with the price increases from OPEC, is likely to have encouraged Americans to look into energy reduction methods—aka a boom in insulation.[14] As John Darley, Professor of Psychology at Princeton told the New York Times in an article, “We [Americans] became aware of energy suddenly.”[15]

Will Ramsey, an engineer, and Ed Elliott, social scientist insulated their whole homes in response to the fuel crisis.[16] It’s probable many followed suit. While we can’t be sure if these were DIY insulation jobs, it’s likely some were.

Since the Oil Embargo, Americans continue to seek ways to lower energy.[17] Combine this with the prevalence of DIY articles on the Internet, and it’s no wonder people (incorrectly) install insulation themselves.

Those who do go down the DIY path, believing they’ll save money on installation and energy, may not realize insulation isn’t a one-size-fits-all. As factors, such as climate and housing structure, needs to be weighed in.

How this relates to Colorado

The US Department of Energy divided the US into 8 climate zones (ranging from “hot-humid” to “subarctic”) according to heating degree days. Basically, heating degree days is a fancy measurement that’s calculated by subtracting the average outside temperature from the standard temperature of a building (around 65°F).[1]

Colorado falls under zones 5,6, and 7. 5 and 6 being “cold” (5,400-9,000 heating degree days). 7 being “very cold” (9,000-12,600 heating degree days). To put this more into perspective, Boulder is in zone 5, Clear Creek County, which is southwest of Boulder, is in zone 6. And farther west, Eagle County falls under zone 7. (You can see from the map that Colorado is warmer in the east, then becomes colder towards the center, and warms back up, especially in areas that are more southwest.)

What’s the point?

Individuals need to use the type of insulation that corresponds to their zone. In other words, someone living in Boulder (zone 5) would need to use R38-R60 graded insulation for their attic. (R-value calculates thermal resistance. So, the higher the R-value, the more effective the insulation is.[2])

What we’re trying to say is that someone who lives in Boulder, Colorado shouldn’t install insulation that’s meant to be installed in Hawaii (which is a zone 1 and requires a very low R-value insulation). Or that should be installed in Alaska, which the US Energy Department designates as a “subarctic climate.”

Believing that since you live in a colder region and therefore need a lot of insulation only increases the chance of packing an excessive amount in. Which, as we mentioned, leads to poor ventilation—aka (black) mold.

Since insulation is a porous material, there’s a good possibility it can’t be remediated. Which means more money at the door for you.

Long story short: Don’t make a needed insulation installment your new DIY project.

Black Mold Remediation Colorado Truth #7: (Black) Mold Can Be Found In The Winter

We often think once summer and spring are over, we’re in the clear. This type of thinking, however, can cause you to slack on mold prevention during the fall and winter months.

(To learn about how to prevent a mold infestation, check out our article: What You Need to Know About Mold: From Mold Inspection to Mold Prevention.)

During the colder months, you many use portable heaters to thaw out your pipes. Combine that heat with the heat filtering out from your installed heater, and you’re looking at mold city. Especially if you have even the slightest water leak.

As we previously mentioned, some black molds such as Aspergillus niger, thrive despite the sub-zero temperature. (You’ll typically see this kind of mold in the flower pot soil. Or on anything that’s wet—walls, wallpaper, insulation, filters, acrylic paint…) So, keep up with your mold prevention.

(Because as much as this black mold remediation Colorado company likes to help you out, we don’t want you to have to call us if you don’t need to.)

Black Mold Remediation Colorado Truth #8: Black Mold Can Cause Ear Infections

While there are many symptoms associated with black mold, ear infections aren’t always on the list. However, the same mold that’s enzymes help produce wine and corn syrup (Aspergillus niger) can also cause Otomycosis, a nasty ear infection.[3]

Again, it’s a mixed bag.

Missed something?

Here’s a summary:

  • We breathe several hundred (black) mold spores in a day, making mold a normal occurrence.
  • But when spores start to breed and produce mycotoxins, they can be dangerous.
  • Which increases the chances of immunocompromised people contracting Aspergillosis—the most common fungal disease.
  • Still, mold is a mixed bag.
  • Black mold enzymes help in the production of wine, corn syrup, Beano, and cider.
  • And mold recycles decaying materials. So, we kind of need it.
  • But when we see mold, we get freaked out.
  • This is probably the body’s response to avert decay and sickness.
  • Nonetheless, don’t try to install insulation yourself. It may be too tight, which could cause a mold infestation.
  • Plus, some molds, like Aspergillu niger, are thermotolerant. So, be on the lookout for mold in the winter.
  • Black mold can give you an ear infection so don’t touch it, smell it (or hear it?).

Questions And Comments For This Black Mold Remediation Colorado Company?

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Image Credit via Skeeze

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[1] Huffington Post: A Brief History of Mold

[2] NCBI: Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillosis

[3] The University of Adelaide: A History of Firsts

[4] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Mold: Basic Facts

[5] NCBI: Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillosis

[6] NCBI: Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillosis

[7] NCBI: Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillosis

[8] The Fungal Kingdom Aspergillus niger: not your everyday mold

[9] Psychology Today: Pain Is a Message: How Our Brains Try to Protect Us

[10] Huffington Post: A Brief History of Mold

[11] Huffington Post: A Brief History of Mold

[12] The Fungal Kingdom Aspergillus niger: not your everyday mold

[13] Huffington Post: A Brief History of Mold

[14] Huffington Post: A Brief History of Mold

[15] New York Times: American Way Of Life Altered By Fuel Crisis

[16] New York Times: American Way Of Life Altered By Fuel Crisis

[17] Huffington Post: A Brief History of Mold

[18] US Department of Energy: Building America Best Practices Series

[19] US Department of Energy: Building America Best Practices Series

[20] The Fungal Kingdom Aspergillus niger: not your everyday mold

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