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How to Check for “Black Mold”

    black mold on a wall in a room

    black mold on a wall in a room

    Types of Mold

    Many kinds of mold exist and although none have the official name “black mold,” various molds can appear black. Often when individuals say, “black mold,” they might mean a specific variety known as Stachybotrys chartarum, also called Stachybotrys atra.

    This is a type of mold that grows slowly and isn’t very common, with a greenish-black color.

    Sometimes it grows in buildings where there’s moisture or there’s been water damage.

    No matter which kind of mold is present in your Chicago area home or business, it should be recognized that certain individuals can have a stronger reaction to mold spores than others and might experience breathing problems after breathing in just a few spores. If there are many mold spores, they could make nearly anyone sick.

    The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has this to say: “Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.”

    It is therefore essential to engage ServiceMaster By Simons to expertly eliminate mold proliferation in your Chicago house or work area and implement measures to hinder its return. Mold needs water to develop, and you often find it in wet and moist places like bathrooms or cellars. If there’s a leak in the plumbing, this can start mold forming too; so fixing it quickly is important.

    Here are places where mold often grows without being noticed, which you should check from time to time:

    • Behind your refrigerator
    • Beneath stacks of papers, magazines, or cardboard
    • Behind drywall in areas with plumbing lines
    • Behind drywall around leaking windows
    • In ventilation ducts
    • Under carpeting that once got wet
    • Backside of acoustic ceiling tiles
    • Under sinks

    In Chicago, it often gets humid, which is ideal for mold growth. Here are some ways to manage the moisture in your home or business:

    • Install air conditioning. They cool the house and remove moisture from the air.
    • Install dehumidifiers.
    • Improve air circulation by installing extra air vents and ceiling fans.
    • Insulate cold water pipes that often “sweat” and drip.

    If you ignore mold, it is a bad thing because mold is alive and it’ll keep growing. It will continue harming your health and your home or business until it’s stopped completely. When you start to see it, it has already been present for some time.

    But even if you can’t see it, that doesn’t mean it’s not there. You can often smell it. Mold usually has a musty odor. Some people say mold smells like dirt or old meat, similar to wet socks or decaying wood. For a lot of people who own their houses, the stench isn’t nice and very strong. As mold grows, it sends out gases called microbial volatile organic compounds, or MVOCs for short. Actually, when you smell mold, it is not only the mold but also various chemical substances that get released during different periods of its development.

    So, whether it’s visible to you or not and you live in the Chicagoland area, please contact ServiceMaster By Simons to safely handle the mold issues you’re dealing with.

    Choose a Trustworthy Company

    ServiceMaster By Simons is a reputable disaster restoration company you can rely on. We’ve been in business for many years and take great pride in serving the expansive Chicago metropolitan area and its surrounding suburbs. Our company stands as the preferred choice in Chicagoland for both commercial and residential disaster restoration services. Our expertise includes Fire Damage Restoration, Water Damage Restoration, Mold Remediation, and Smoke Odor Removal. With a team of highly skilled professionals who are certified by the IICRC, we’re equipped to handle insurance claims of any size. Call 773-376-1110 or contact us online.


    • Nasutsa Mabwa

      Nasutsa Mabwa is President of ServiceMaster by Simons, a MBE/WBE City of Chicago and State of Illinois certified firm. She is a 2020 Daily Herald Business Ledger C-Suite awardee, a member of Crain’s Chicago Business 40 under 40 and a 2018 ServiceMaster(c) Achiever Award recipient. She is a Civic Federation Board Member, an Advisory Board Member for as President Elect on the Executive Committee for the Evanston Chamber of Commerce. She is IICRC certified for WRT & FSRT.

      About ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons
      Restoration By Simons is an MBE/WBE certified firm and family-run company serving both Cook and Lake County, Illinois. Recently, the company was awarded a variety of honors, including the SB100 Best of Small Business Award Winner 2021, Bronze Stevie® Award in the Female Entrepreneur of the Year category in the 18th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business, recipient of the 2020 Better Business Bureau's Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics, and the recipient of the 2020 Skokie Business of the Year Award, Honorable Mention Category. Restoration By Simons provides disaster restoration services including water and flood damage restoration, fire and smoke damage restoration, mold remediation, to residential and commercial customers in both Cook and Lake County IL.

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