How Can I Prevent Brown Mold From Developing In My House
Keeping your house dry is key to avoiding brown mold infestations. Attend to leaks at the earliest opportunity. Ensure proper ventilation, particularly in areas of high humidity such as bathrooms , the laundry room and the basement. Brown mold also likes a dark environment, so if its possible to let in more natural light, that can also help deter brown mold from developing.
Carpeting in humid areas such as unfinished basements or bathrooms creates a high risk for mold to develop. Dont put carpets in these areas, and if your home already has carpeting in these areas, consider replacing it with alternate flooring.
Mold Busters is proud to offer How to Prevent Mold: The Ultimate Guide, offering expert advice through five chapters on how to prevent mold infestations in your home.
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.
Exposure Sources And Prevention
The primary sources of mold exposure are from the indoor air in buildings with substantial mold growth and the ingestion of food with mold growths.
While mold and related microbial agents can be found both inside and outside, specific factors can lead to significantly higher levels of these microbes, creating a potential health hazard. Several notable factors are water damage in buildings, the use of building materials which provide a suitable substrate and source of food to amplify mold growth, relative humidity, and energy-efficient building designs, which can prevent proper circulation of outside air and create a unique ecology in the built environment. A common issue with mold hazards in the household can be the placement of furniture, resulting in a lack of ventilation of the nearby wall. The simplest method of avoiding mold in a home so affected is to move the furniture in question.
Prevention of mold exposure and its ensuing health issues begins with the prevention of mold growth in the first place by avoiding a mold-supporting environment. Extensive flooding and water damage can support extensive mold growth. Following hurricanes, homes with greater flood damage, especially those with more than 3 feet of indoor flooding, demonstrated far higher levels of mold growth compared with homes with little or no flooding.
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How Can I Remove Black Mold
If youre looking to get rid of the black mold yourself, here are some pointers to do it properly:
- Clean the area with soap, water, and a diluted bleach formula. Repeat this process for a few days thereafter to get any potentially missed spores in the area
- Replace appliances, furniture or parts of your house that have been affected
- Cover any susceptible walls or corners with mold-preventable paint
Be aware that black mold can spread quickly and invisibly. If you do not feel comfortable removing it yourself, or dont feel equipped to do so, consider reaching out to professionals to do it for you.
Who Does It Affect
Ive had asthma since childhood and, Im always so careful when it comes to checking my home for signs of mold. I want our home to be a healthy and happy place to live. A nasty cough, asthma, or chronic lung illnessthese are just some of the effects it can have on the body.
However, certain groups of people are more sensitive to mold than others. Its important to check this list below.
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Controlling Mold In The Bedroom
Keep in mind that its nearly impossible to keep mold spores from entering your home. Microscopic spores can come in through open airways, windows, and vents, or latch onto clothing and pets. Therefore, the best approach to preventing mold is to make sure your bedroom environment doesnt support its growth.
Can Mold Affect Your Brain
Inflammation: Mold spores act as irritants, which can trigger the body to mount an immune response. This can lead to inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation in the brain can impair cognitive function, and in the case of chronic inflammation, this can lead to long-lasting cognitive impairment.
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How Can You Be Exposed To Black Mold
You can be exposed to black mold, or any species of mold, by breathing in microscopic mold particles in the air, or through consumption of food that contains it.
Stachybotrys is unique because its spores are sticky and easily adhere to a surface when the mold colony dries. They are not regularly found in the air unless the mold colony has been disturbed. Though its spores are not readily airborne, black mold can produce other harmful contaminants more easily found in the air .
A disruption to a black mold colony can be as simple as slamming a door, opening a window or knocking into contaminated furniture. More force is required for Stachybotrys spores to become airborne, as compared to other commonly found indoor molds .
Your Remote Control Could Be Infested
The next time you get ready to binge-watch Marie Kondo, you might want to wipe your TV remote. According to the NSF, it’s one of the dirtiest things in your houseI mean, when’s the last time you thought to sanitize your remote? In one study, 14% of all remotes had mold growing on them along with other nasty things that can cause illness.
The Rx: Wipe down your remote control once a week. Remove the batteries first, then rub the remote with a cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol. Use cotton swabs soaked in the same solution to gently clean around the buttons.
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The Truth About Black Mold
Maybe youve heard that black mold is the most dangerous type of mold, but this isnt really accurate. In reality, there are over 10,000 species of mold, many of which look quite similar. These species of mold come in a variety of colors and shapes, so you usually cant identify it just by looking at it.
Remember that any color of mold can be dangerous.
A Qualified Environmental Lab Took Samples Of The Mold In My Home And Gave Me The Results Can Cdc Interpret These Results
Standards for judging what is an acceptable, tolerable or normal quantity of mold have not been established. Sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable quantity of mold have not been set. The best practice is to remove the mold and work to prevent future growth. If you do decide to pay for environmental sampling for molds, before the work starts, you should ask the consultants who will do the work to establish criteria for interpreting the test results. They should tell you in advance what they will do or what recommendations they will make based on the sampling results. The results of samples taken in your unique situation cannot be interpreted without physical inspection of the contaminated area or without considering the buildings characteristics and the factors that led to the present condition.
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Prevention Is The Best Cure
To keep your dog and your family safe from mold, its important to remove existing mold and take steps to prevent mold growth.
- Check the underside of hidden areas such as ceiling tiles, drywall, carpets, and wallpaper for mold, since these places can attract and retain moisture. You may be able to remove small areas of mold from solid surfaces with vinegar or baking soda. Be sure to wear gloves and goggles and avoid breathing in mold or mold spores.
- Keep your homes interior as dry as possible. Repair your leaky basement, roof, pipes, windows, and other areas where water is getting in or accumulates from drips or condensation.
- Ensure that your bathroom and kitchen fans and all ventilation systems are working as they should.
- If water does get in, clean and thoroughly dry the area as soon as possible.
- If you find large areas of mold, you may want to hire professional help to take care of the clean up.
Can I Identify The Species Of Brown Mold Myself To Determine If Its Toxic Or Hazardous
It is impossible to identify a mold species just by looking at it: professional lab testing is required. Furthermore, gathering samples of mold puts you at an unnecessary risk of exposure to hazardous and potentially fatal substances.
We therefore highly recommended that you do not try to identify the type of brown mold you have or guess at whether it is a toxic strain. Treat all mold as potentially toxic and get expert help with mold testing and remediation.
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How Do Molds Affect People
Exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects, or none at all. Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can lead to symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes, or skin. Some people, such as those with allergies to molds or with asthma, may have more intense reactions. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath.
In 2004 the Institute of Medicine found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people with asthma symptoms in people with asthma and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition.
In 2009, the World Health Organization issued additional guidance, the WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mould pdf iconexternal icon pdf icon. Other recent studies have suggested a potential link of early mold exposure to development of asthma in some children, particularly among children who may be genetically susceptible to asthma development, and that selected interventions that improve housing conditions can reduce morbidity from asthma and respiratory allergies.
Mould Is Poisoning Australians
Could invisible mould be the cause of your health issues? Exhaustion, sleep deprivation, body aches, triggered asthma, lack of motivation & brain fog are just some toxic mould illness symptoms.
I drag myself out of bed still exhausted despite sleeping for more than 11 hours. I prepare a bowl of food for my dog, and as I put it down on the floor, she looks up at me. Shes not eating. Again.
I wander into the bathroom and peer in the mirror the stupid rash around my eyes has spread even further.
My body aches, my hair looks stringy, oily and limp no matter how much I wash it. I have zero motivation and I cant think straight. Even stringing a sentence together is hard these days. Im sick really sick. And I have no idea what was wrong with me.
Id been to the doctor four times in the last 2 months each time I went in I was given another drug.
Oh youve got a rash around your eyes? Here, use this steroid cream for a week.
Yeah, but whats causing the rash? Ive never had skin problems. I ask.
Oh nothing. These things just happen.
I have no idea whats going on.
That is Chantelles story, and unfortunately a common story for many Australians. Her house was killing her and she didnt work out how until it was almost too late.
We spend an average of 16 hours a day at home and even more when aged under seven and over 64.
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Is There A Device That Detects Mold
Yes, its called the Informant or the Informant Plus Black Mold & Fungal Allergen Detection Test Kit. They are the only commercially available mold test designed to detect specific black molds, such as Aspergillus, Penicillium and Stachybotrys species, which are toxigenic, plus many major and minor allergenic spores.
White Mold On Walls/drywall
White mold grows on your walls or drywall in the presence of moisture and low lights that breed its food. It can develop anywhere on your building walls, including the basement, bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, and other poorly ventilated rooms. Surprisingly, you can also find white mold growing on your tiled walls.
You can see visible growth of this mold on your damp painted or wallpapered walls that are peeling. Accompany signs include stale smells, moist cracked paints, and dusty or swollen walls.
White mold growth on your drywall can be dangerous to the health of those with allergy symptoms. Its spores can spread from the walls to humans and cause health risks. So, before it strikes, act fast to strike it first.
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Can Basement Mold Make You Ill
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences outlines the most common types of basement mold, several of which can cause illness. This includes alternaria a fast-growing brown-black mold that can cause serious infections and stachybotrys chartarum which is often referred to as toxic black mold and thrives on damp building materials such as wood and wallpaper. Somewhat rarer is aspergillus, a type of mold that can be highly damaging to people with weakened immune systems or lung problems, such as asthma.
According to the American Lung Foundation, anyone whether or not they are allergy suffers can experience eye, skin, nose, throat and lung irritation when exposed to airborne mold particles and symptoms can include:
- Worsening of asthma
- Sore throat
However, the impact of basement mold can reach far beyond these symptoms. Indoor Environment Health Consultant John McBride acknowledges that, of the many species of mold that might be present in a basement or somewhere else in the home, many are cytotoxic, neurotoxic and immunotoxic. This means they can cause cell damage and adversely affect the functioning of the nervous and immune systems.
Remember, if you are concerned that exposure to damp or mold is making you or someone else unwell, you should always seek professional advice.
Mold In Air Vents: Harmful Or Nothing To Worry About
Your eyes are itchy and watery. Youre sneezing and coughing. You might expect these symptoms when you walk outside or play with your dogs, especially during the times of year that seasonal allergies are a problem.
What if this starts happening inside your own home?
If youre noticing nose stuffiness, wheezing or throat irritation whenever youre indoors at your house, the problem could be hiding in your air vents. You might be dealing with black mold.
You can usually spot mold on the walls, floors, ceilings and fabrics around your home. But sometimes, harmful mold lurks in a place you cant see: inside your air vents.
If you suspect you may have black mold hiding in your air vents, youll need to take action to determine what your problem is and take steps to make sure your family is not at risk. This comprehensive guide will help you understand symptoms, solutions and other important information about this health-threatening problem. It will also explain howpreventative maintenance from an AC professional can prevent black mold from ever coming into your duct system to begin with.
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Is It Safe To Sleep In A Room With Mold On The Wall
Because of the risks that come with mold exposure, it can be unsafe to sleep in a house with mold, particularly in the affected areas because you put yourself at risk of mold allergies. This becomes especially concerning if you are sensitive to the mold. When mold grows indoors, it can often be found in the bathroom.
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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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.
Actions You Can Take To Reduce Mould
The most important actions you can take to prevent mould in your home are those that minimise moisture.
- Fix leaky plumbing and roofs and other building faults
- Ensure gutters are cleared and maintained
- Reduce condensation by using exhaust fans, or open windows in the bathroom and kitchen when showering, cooking or using the dishwasher
- Wipe up excess water caused by condensation such as on single glazed windows and on shower glazing
- Air the home regularly by opening windows and doors on warmer days
- Vent clothes dryers to the outside and clean lint filters according to the manufacturers instructions.
Refer to information about cleaning up mould: refer to the information on the Better Health Channel website.
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