Other Tips From Our Friends Who Work In Mold Removal Provide Advice To Keep Your Home Mold
- Add ventilation from an exhaust fan.
- Have a regular circulating fan on all the time
- Open your window to let a breeze in on dry weather days.
- Frequently clean areas that are more susceptible to molds like the shower or the bathtub
- Skip toxic chemical cleansers and clean mildew with white vinegar. Just spray undiluted vinegar onto the impacted area. You do not need to rinse it.
- Wear a face mask if you are cleaning small areas of mildew.
- Certain types of mold require professional cleaning. Never try to clean black mold yourselfyou can cause your illness to worsen.
Is Black Mold Dangerous
The short answer isnot really. But that doesnt mean you should keep black mold as a pet.
Everyone has different levels of tolerance to allergens like mold spores, but thats all black mold isan allergen.1 Those with asthma, respiratory allergies, or immune suppression will feel the effects of black molds mycotoxins more than most folks.
As one source put it, Previous reports of toxic mold syndrome or toxic black mold have been shown to be no more than media hype and mass hysteria. 2
But whether you feel black mold symptoms or not, its best to get rid of black mold as soon as you find it.
White Mold On Cabinets
Are your cabinets safe from white mold? In addition to white mold causing health issues, your cabinets are also prone to destruction. White mold is sometimes hidden in the cabinet under your sink until it has caused a severe problem. But how would you know if white mold is on your cabinets?
You may see discolorations in the damp areas of your cabinets, which may also give off a stale, moldy smell. One of the causes is a leaking pipe that may trigger moisture beneath the sink. The cabinet can also become moldy through poor cleaning and when old foods are left out.
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If Mold Is Growing On An Orange Should I Just Cut Away The Moldy Part Or Discard The Whole Fruit
Molds are microscopic fungi that live on plant or animal matter and can sometimes be seen with the naked eye. These organisms give off spores, which are responsible for their color. While many molds are harmless and beneficial, such as those intentionally grown in cheeses, some molds cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems.
Under the right conditions, a few molds produce mycotoxinspoisonous substances that can make you sick. In many foods, mold invades deep within the foodnot just on the surface. In some cases, toxins may have spread throughout the food.
According to the USDA, soft fruits and vegetables with high moisture content, such as an orange, can be contaminated below the surface. Such fruits and vegetables should be discarded in their entirety if moldy. On the other hand, small mold spots can be cut out with a one-inch diameter in firm, low-moisture fruits and vegetables, such as cabbage, bell peppers and carrots.
As a rule of thumb, mold found in hard, low-moisture foods, such as hard cheese, hard salami and dry-cured country hams, can be cut out, while moldy soft, high-moisture foods, such as meat, soft cheese, yogurt, jam, breads, nuts and nut butters, should be discarded in their entirety.
How Long Do Mold Symptoms Last
The tricky thing about mold exposure is that its different for each person. The amount of time mold exposure symptoms persist depends on:
- What type of mold they are exposed to,
- How long the exposure has been,
- How well their bodies eliminate toxins
Those who process toxins well can see their symptoms disappear as quickly as a few days.
Others who eliminate toxins slowly can experience symptoms for much longer. They could be ill for months or even years after the source of mold is eliminated.
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Household Molds That Can Lurk Inside Your Home
Mold is unfortunately, pretty much unavoidable in your home as most homes harbor some species of mold in its confines. Out of the 1,000s of mold species, there are some species that are more prone to growth indoors than others, and some that particularly grow inside homes.
There are six main species of mold that are commonly found inside homes, and each contain their own characteristics and potential health hazards.
How Common Is Mold In Buildings
Mold is very common in homes and buildings.
One 2017 study found mold in every public building studied, with an average of about 14 instances of mold per building.
Another involving 31 European countries found mold in 1 in 6 homes. The author noted that the prevalence of mold may vary greatly depending on the regional climate.
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I Found Mold Growing In My Home How Do I Test The Mold
If you can see or smell mold, a health risk may be present. You do not need to know the type of mold growing in your home, and CDC does not recommend or perform routine sampling for molds. No matter what type of mold is present, you should remove it. Since the effect of mold on people can vary greatly, either because of the amount or type of mold, you cannot rely on sampling and culturing to know your health risk.
What Are The Symptoms Of Mold Exposure
Mold allergies are progressive. The more contact you have, the more likely you are to experience severe symptoms.
In some instances, no symptoms or only vague symptoms of mold exposure may occur. These can go unnoticed, especially in babies.
Even without immediate, noticeable symptoms, long-term health effects, such as asthma, have been associated with mold. Its not currently known whether this is a direct cause of mold or merely an association.
Mold may cause:
- skin irritation
- sporotrichosis, a skin infection that starts out as a small pink, red, or purple bump on the skin
- itchy, red eyes
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Sensitive Eyes And Headaches
Redness in your eyes, itchiness, or blurry vision may be related to mold illnesses. Some people are sensitive to mold more than others. This causes their immune system to overreact, which in turn causes an allergic reaction.
If your symptoms are similar to hay fever or seasonal allergies and are accompanied by a headache and other symptoms of a mold illness, seek medical attention, and explain those concerns to your practitioner.
Can Mold Make You Sick Mold Sickness And Removing Mold At Home
While I was finishing undergrad, I rented a small, two-bedroom home in a sleepy neighborhood of both students and families who all lived in similar houses: 40s construction retrofitted with additional rooms, gravel driveways, and weathered wooden decks badly in need of staining.
I liked my quiet street and little house, and I adjusted to its myriad quirksa few dud outlets, a sticky front dooruntil the particularly wet spring of that year.
The house had no gutters in fact, it had no drainage system at all. With the onset of heavy spring showers in already-humid Georgia and without a system in place to direct water away from the roof and walls, I began to notice splotches of dark mold creep along the edges of the living room ceiling.
If youve been in a similar situation, you understand the dread that comes with spotting mold in your home. Most people have a natural aversion to mold in anything other than French cheese, and for good reason: mold is ugly, odorous, hard to get rid of, and can cause structural damage if left unaddressed.
Mold can also have negative, sometimes serious effects on your healthoften without your knowledge.
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Whether youre dealing with a known mold problem or you suspect youre susceptible to mold sickness, keep reading to learn more about this insidious invader and how to keep it out of your home.
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Water In The Foundation
Look out for a build-up of water around your homes base. This can lead to foundational problems for your home if there is a lot of water. At your homes foundation, gathering rainwater can be prevented by sloping your yard outwards from your foundation. In the same line of thought, damp basements are another culprit. Usually, there is no good ventilation in basements. This is an indication that basements could contain higher humidity or moisture amounts compared to other rooms in the home. Also, basements are often colder which means more condensation occurs which leads to humidity and basement.
How Do You Keep Mold Out Of Buildings And Homes
Inspect buildings for evidence of water damage and visible mold as part of routine building maintenance, Correct conditions causing mold growth to prevent mold growth.
Inside your home you can control mold growth by:
- Controlling humidity levels
- Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes
- Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding
- Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas.
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How Do Molds Get In The Indoor Environment And How Do They Grow
Mold is found both indoors and outdoors. Mold can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, and pets can and be carried indoors. When mold spores drop on places where there is excessive moisture, such as where leakage may have occurred in roofs, pipes, walls, plant pots, or where there has been flooding, they will grow. Many building materials provide suitable nutrients that encourage mold to grow. Wet cellulose materials, including paper and paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, and wood products, are particularly conducive for the growth of some molds. Other materials such as dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation materials, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery, commonly support mold growth.
Yellow Mold In The Basement
Dark, humid basements provide an ideal environment for mold to take root. Exposed joists or beams of an unfinished basement can provide a base for house eating mold to set in, causing dry rot that can threaten the whole structure of your house.
Other forms of yellow mold can also form in the carpeting, drywall and the fabric of furniture kept in a finished basement.
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Where Did The Mold Come From
All types of fungus love the wet, warm, and the dark. Humid areas, properties that have recently been flooded or had problems with leaks can attract and foster growth. You can find this substance growing on a wide variety of materials depending on the species you have.
- Carpeting, Mattresses & Home Textiles
- Potted Plant Soil & Pet Droppings
- Wet Building Materials, Fiberglass Insulation, Drywall
- On Windowsills, Walls & Wallpaper
- In The Shower & On Caulking
- Any Areas With Unresolved Water Damage
- In HVAC Systems & Dusty Areas
- On Wood, Books, Newspapers & Other Porous Materials
How Are We Exposed To Mold
Mold needs organic matter to feed upon and moisture in order to grow. When growing conditions are right, mold releases spores and volatile organic compounds into the air, which may make some people feel sick.
Mold spores may be breathed in or absorbed through skin. Mold can also grow on food and may be hazardous if ingested.
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Yellow Mold In A Crawl Space
While crawl spaces should normally be dry, if humid air or a leak are present, then moisture in a crawl space can combine with the temperature and shade to form ideal circumstances for a mold infestation.
Often, wood or just dust accumulating in crawl spaces provide enough nutrients for yellow mold to thrive.
How Do I Know If I Have Black Mold Poisoning
The most common black mold symptoms and health effects are associated with a respiratory response. Chronic coughing and sneezing, irritation to the eyes, mucus membranes of the nose and throat, rashes, chronic fatigue and persistent headaches can all be symptomatic of black mold exposure or black mold poisoning.
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What Is Yellow Mold
Like all mold, yellow mold is a type of fungus. As a living organism, it feeds on a combination of moisture, oxygen and organic matterall of which can be found in your home.
Of the thousands of species of mold, many of them can take on a yellow appearance, so keep an eye out and know to suspect mold if you see a yellowish coating on household surfaces, especially where its damp.
How Much Mold Exposure Is Harmful
Molds are a type of fungi, which can flourish both indoors and outside. There are millions of mold species.
Mold is important for the planets ecosystem, because it helps break down waste products and organic matter, such as leaves, dead trees, and garbage.
Some people get sick from exposure to mold. Others have no symptoms and dont experience ill effects of any kind.
In this article, well talk about the potential dangers of mold exposure, identify whos most vulnerable, and provide solutions for keeping your environment mold-proof.
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Mold In The Workplace
Some workplaces, such as poorly ventilated factories, greenhouses, and vineyards, may house large amounts of mold.
Any workplace that contains lots of old paper products, such as used book stores, may be a source of mold. Paper contains cellulose, an organic food source that certain mold species thrive upon. Old books thatve been housed in humid conditions may be filled with millions of mold spores.
Farms and stables may also harbor large amounts of moldy hay. Mold toxins often develop in hay after a delayed harvest. Hay that contains mold is dangerous for humans to breathe in and for horses to eat.
Change Ac Filters Regularly
Regularly changing your filters is one of the most important steps you can take to prevent dust and dirt from clogging your air vents. When debris is allowed to build up in your air vents, this promotes the accumulation of spores.
Wondering when and how to change your central air conditioner filter? Depending on the type of filter you have and the size of your family, you should change your air filters every 30 to 60 days. If you have a pet, you should change your filters more frequently. Most systems are very straightforward. You can simply remove the filter cover, take out the dirty filter, get the new filter out of its packaging and place it inside.
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You Might Be Eating Infected Grains
People have known about the nasty effects of ingesting mold since the ancient times. In the Middle Ages, there was a massive outbreak of ergotism caused by eating contaminated breads. These people suffered gangrene, headaches, vomiting, and all sorts of other side effects because of moldy bread. While this strain is rare today, the WHO warns of other molds that can cause illness and even death if you accidentally eat them.
The Rx: If the food smells musty or moldy, throw it out.
How To Spot Signs Of Black Mold In Air Vents
Mold can be one of the negative effects of floods or can indicate a problem with your air conditioning system. When black mold grows on walls, floors, carpets and so on, its relatively easy to spot. However, when black mold starts growing in your air vents, things get a little trickier.
You may have black mold in your air ducts if you notice any of the following signs.
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Yellow Mold In The Bathroom
Bathrooms are constantly exposed to different forms of moisture and, as such, are damp at the best of times. When a leak is involved, there is extra danger of mold developing.
Among mold species, Aspergillus is particularly known for taking root where there is water damage. If you are faced with a mold problem in the bathroom, see our page on Bathroom Mold Removal.
Eliminating The Water Source
Mold commonly occurs in damp crawl spaces, basements with inadequate waterproofing and/or drainage, and in walls or ceilings as a result of leaking water. Because it cant grow without sufficient moisture, the logical step after removing or cleaning mold from surfaces is cutting off its water supply.
Fixing leaks, keeping attics well ventilated, and installing proper drainage and waterproofing systems are all effective preventative measures when addressing a mold problem. In areas like bathrooms, where exposure to water is unavoidable, increasing ventilation by running a fan or opening a window and cleaning more frequently with mold-retardant products can help keep mold to a minimum.
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How To Get Rid Of Yellow Mold
If you have yellow mold in your home, you might be asking yourself: can I get rid of this myself? This is rarely a good idea. Before you consider tackling a mold problem yourself, consider:
- The mold may be present well beyond whats visible .
- Getting rid of the immediate presence of mold doesnt address the cause of mold developing in the first place .
- The act of removing the mold can expose you to harmful allergens and poisonous mycotoxins by breathing in mold spores or exposure through your skin.
- Touching the mold can actually contribute to spreading mold spores throughout the house, causing mold infestation elsewhere.
For these reasons, we strongly recommend your first line of defense be to bring in mold remediation experts. See our section on Mold Removal for help.