Black Mold Symptoms - Dangers of Black Mold

Black mold, scientifically known as “Stachybotrys chartarum,” is a prevalent and perilous form of mold commonly found in residential properties.

It manifests as black or dark green spots on walls, often accompanied by visible damage. These signs serve as indicators of mold presence within homes.

  • Family: Stachybotryaceae
  • Kingdom: Fungi
  • Order: Hypocreales
black mold

What Does Black Mold Smell Like

The scent of black mold is typically described as a potent musty odor. People also report experiencing cold-like symptoms when in close proximity to areas with a moldy smell.

This distinctive scent tends to be more pungent compared to other unpleasant odors, such as garbage or foul-smelling clothes.

Black Mold vs Regular Mold

Differentiating between black mold and other mold types involves more than just observing color; one’s personal well-being also plays a crucial role.

Health professionals strongly advise individuals to avoid contact with black mold due to its potential to cause severe health issues.

If you have identified mold in your home and notice a decline in your health, such as persistent coughing, sneezing, dizziness, nausea, sore throat, chronic fatigue, or heightened allergic reactions and worsened asthma, there is a high likelihood that you are dealing with the black mold.

Breathing in a lot of black mold spores can cause a variety of lung health problems, besides Asthma, such as hay fever, sleep apnea, severe coughing, and various pulmonary infections.

Is it Safe to Live in a House with Black Mold

While it is highly recommended to address black mold promptly upon detection or the presence of signs, short-term exposure is unlikely to harm individuals in good health.

However, prolonged exposure to black mold can be detrimental, particularly for those with respiratory problems and children.

To safeguard yourself and your family from any potential risks, it is crucial to take immediate action as soon as you observe signs of black mold.

Where Does Black Mold Grow

Black mold usually grows on cellulose-rich materials such as fiberboard, gypsum board, and paper.

When there is moisture from water damage, leaks, condensation, infiltration, or flooding, black mold starts to develop. Its growth requires constant presence of moisture.

Other Common Mold Types in Homes

  • Aspergillus

Danger level: High

Common growth areas: Stored food, houseplants, air conditioning/ventilation systems

Color: Varies; can be any color

Health effects:

Less severe – Headaches, abdominal pain, diarrhea

More severe – Lung bleeding, brain abscess

  • Chaetomium

Danger level: High

Common growth areas: Water-damaged sections of properties, mainly basements and attics

Color: Predominantly brown

Health effects:

Less severe – General allergy symptoms

More severe – Neurological damage, seizures, asthma

Note: Chaetomium often coexists with black mold.

Removing the source of moisture is crucial to prevent its reoccurrence in your property.

Aspergillus, Stachybotrys, and Chaetomium are considered the three most hazardous mold types. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to find them in residential properties.

If you suspect the presence of any of these molds in your home, it is advisable to seek professional assistance immediately.

  • Penicillium

Danger level: Medium

Common growth areas: Furniture, wood

Color: Blue/green

Health effects:

Less severe – Coughing, sneezing, itchy skin, headaches

More severe – Asthma, respiratory problems

  • Alternaria

Danger level: Medium/low

Common growth areas: Damp surfaces

Color: Dark brown/grey

Health effects:

Less severe – Mild allergic reactions

More severe – Asthma


To sum it up, black mold can be an unsettling problem for many homeowners. If you suspect the presence of black mold in your home, it is crucial to conduct proper mold testing and mold remediation without delay. 

Also, if you’ve got water damage (you likely do, since that’s one of the most common causes of black mold growth), you need to carry out prompt water damage restoration.

We can help you with that, just give us a call!

More helpful articles: