5 Causes of Black Mold Growth in Homes


Mold can grow just about anywhere, but it’s most commonly found in damp and wet areas such as the bathroom, kitchen, cabinets, and near pipes. If the temperature is right, you can be sure that mold will also grow and spread. Black mold is especially concerning in a home.

Black mold, also known as Stachybotrys chartarum, is a green-black color and usually has a distinct odor. It’s known for being more harmful as it produces toxic spores known as mycotoxins which can cause significant health problems.

Unlike other types of mold, black mold typically prefers a fiber-rich material. This is why you may see it growing on wood, fabric, or drywall. It proliferates and can spread throughout the house within a few days. It may also appear on other surfaces, especially after it’s established.

Causes of Black Mold

While black mold is going to form due to mold spores and moisture, there are a few risk factors you should know. Mold growth won’t occur until the spores enter your home. You, friends and family, or even pets can bring the mold spores inside. However, they need a specific environment to grow. These are a few causes of black mold.

1. Persistent Humidity

If you live in an area where the humidity is usually high, you can expect to have a mold problem. This may be more common if you live in an area close to a body of water or have poor ventilation in the home. Moisture will buildup not only outside but also indoors. Having a good ventilation system and a dehumidifier may help prevent the growth of black mold.

2. Leaking Pipes

Leaking pipes, a problem to the home structure, is also the most common cause of mold that’s present behind drywall. Leaking pipes typically contribute to mold in the ceiling and wall. If you notice black spots in these areas, make sure to check the piping for leaks. Black mold can go unnoticed when you can’t see it first, which may be a complicated type to eradicate.

3. Poor Ventilation

A home that has poor ventilation is a magnet for growth and also spreading. The stagnant air in a home is an excellent environment for mold growth. You may have decent ventilation, but cooking, bathing, and even regular appliances can create humidity daily. Leaving the surfaces of your home damp will increase your risk. Removing the moisture from home is the best way to prevent mold growth.

4. Wet and Damp Clothing

Black mold prefers a fibrous-rich environment so it won’t just grow in your home’s structure. Clothing is a fiber-rich environment, and damp clothing is an easy target. If you’ve only done a load of washing and then not put it in the dryer or hung up to dry, the clothing may sit for a day or more. Black mold only needs 24 hours to grow and start spreading. This is especially problematic if you leave wet and damp clothing lying around the house. Ensure that you don’t leave clothing in the washer and deal with wet clothing within a few hours for the best results.

5. Foundation Dampness

If your yard’s slope has been landscaped in a way that leads to water draining towards your house, you may have a mold problem in your home. Rainwater and even garden moisture can trickle and pool around the foundation of the house. This will slowly seep into the house itself and then contribute to black mold growth on the walls. A landscaping expert can help modify the yard’s slope or place drains to direct water away from the foundation. However, if you go down into the basement and see or smell mold, then inadequate drainage is probably the cause.

These are the primary causes of black mold, but any water presence, regardless of the reason, can contribute to black mold growth. If you notice any warning signs of mold, it’s best to reach out to a specialist as mold is challenging to remove.


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