Tips To Keep Black Mold Away Longer
- Reduce moisture levels in your home. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, humidity levels in homes should not exceed 60 percent.
- Repair leaks that keep surfaces wet.
- Add a dehumidifier and use heating and air conditioners to help reduce moisture levels.
- Install moisture barriers in basements.
- Clean mold-prone areas regularly to keep black mold growth in check.
Mold Allergy. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
Dayton And Montgomery County
Dayton and Montgomery County Public Health, Nuisance Abatement 937-225-4362. The Nuisance Abatement Program investigates conditions in residential property in unincorporated areas of Montgomery County. Public health nuisance conditions are resolved through a process of public education and code enforcement.
City of Dayton Building Inspection. The Division of Building Inspection of the Citys Office of Economic Development is primarily responsible for assuring compliance with commercial and residential building construction codes. 937-333-3883.
Testing For Mould In Your Home
Where mould is visible, it is generally not considered necessary to test for it in the home. However, not all mould is visible, as contamination may be in cavities or the ceiling. Generally, if you can see or smell mould, you need to clean up and remove the mould immediately, as mould can damage surfaces it grows on.
If you suspect mould contamination but cannot find the source of the problem, or if you have already taken measures to prevent mould from growing and you are still having problems, you could employ an occupational hygienist or environmental health and safety professional. For a fee, these professionals can provide specialist mould testing and consultancy services.
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How Does Mould Affect Health
Mould associated with damp buildings can trigger nasal congestion, sneezing, cough, wheeze, respiratory infections and worsen asthma and allergic conditions.
People who are more susceptible to these symptoms and other serious health effects include those with:
- weakened immune systems
- chronic, obstructive, or allergic lung diseases.
You should seek medical advice if you are concerned about the effects of mould.
Can Mold Make Me And My Family Sick
Mold can affect the health of people who are exposed to it. People are mainly exposed to mold by breathing spores or other tiny fragments. People can also be exposed through skin contact with mold contaminants and by swallowing it.
The type and severity of health effects that mold may produce are usually difficult to predict. The risks can vary greatly from one location to another, over time, and from person to person.
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Should I Test Or Sample For Mold In My Home Using The Environmental Relative Moldiness Index Or Ermi
No. The Environmental Relative Moldiness Index, or ERMI, developed by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency researchers, is a research tool and is not recommended for use except as a research tool.
Read more about mold at
Does Illinois Have Laws That Pertain To Mold
In 2003, the Illinois General Assembly adopted House Joint Resolution 12, which established the Joint Task Force on Mold in Indoor Environments. This task force examined the mold issue in Illinois and made recommendations to the General Assembly about the regulation of mold in indoor environments in Illinois. In 2007, the Mold Remediation Registration Act was passed into law.
This law requires that IDPH annually report to the General Assembly any federal research and regulations related to mold cleanup and standards for mold remediation training.
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Mold Inspection Vs Mold Testing
If you are researching mold, you might come across different services and costs that list both mold inspection and mold testing. Mold inspection simply identifies the presence of mold and generally defines the size of the problem, usually in square footage.
Mold testing attempts to identify what specific type of mold is in your home and how many mold spores are in the air. However keep in mind the following:
What Happens During A Mold Inspection
Mold inspection is, for the most part, a visual inspection of a house. Thereâs no special equipment involved aside from a good flashlight and tools that are sometimes needed to access restricted areas . Some mold inspectors may use cameras. A moisture meter might also be useful in determining if a particular area is wet, especially after remediation.
A typical mold inspection involves the inspector talking to the property owner about any areas where they have seen mold, or where there have been moisture problems or water damage in the past. The inspector will go over the house thoroughly, looking in places known to be prone to mold growth. If there is a chance mold is growing in an inaccessible space, the inspector may have to damage a section of drywall or remove paneling to get a better look. If mold is detected, the inspector will try to find the source of the moisture that is causing the mold and talk to the homeowner to develop a remediation plan.
In some municipalities, mold inspectors must have a license or certification. Always look for a contractor with experience in mold inspection and mold remediation.
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Addressing Moisture And Mould In Your Home
Health Canada considers indoor mould growth to be a significant health hazard. The word mould is a common term referring to fungi that can grow on building materials in homes or other buildings. Damp conditions and mould growth in homes increases the risk of respiratory allergy symptoms and exacerbate asthma in mold-sensitive individuals. It is important to know how to identify, address and prevent moisture and mould in your home.
People living in homes with mould and damp conditions are more likely to have:
- eye, nose and throat irritation
- coughing and phlegm build-up
- wheezing and shortness of breath
- worsening of asthma symptoms
The level of concern depends on the extent of mould, how long it has been present and the sensitivity and overall health of the residents. Some people are more susceptible than others. For example, infants, children, the elderly and those with health problems such as breathing difficulties are more at risk from mould and dampness.
Any respiratory health concerns should be discussed with a physician if you suspect that these could be caused by poor indoor air quality. Your physician is best suited to determine if your symptoms may be related to environmental factors or some other underlying cause.
Health Canada recommends controlling dampness indoors and cleaning up any mould regardless of the type of mould presentFootnote 1.
Cleaning Up Small And Medium Mould Problems
Bleach is not necessary to clean up mould.
You can clean up small areas of mould if you follow the proper procedures and use the right protective equipment. Unless the mould growth is on smooth surfaces such as bathroom tiles, surface cleaning will not eliminate the problem.
In most cases you can clean up medium areas of mould if you follow the proper procedures and use the right protective equipment. Materials damaged by mould must be physically removed and disposed of under safe conditions. However, it is important to seek professional assistance if there is a large mould problem or if mould comes back after cleaning.
Susceptible individuals such as pregnant women, infants, children, the elderly, and occupants with asthma, allergies or other health problems should not be in or near the area where the mould is being cleaned up.
Minimum protective gear needed:
- a disposable N95 mask and
- household disposable gloves.
You can purchase an N95 mask from a hardware store. Make sure that the label says “N95”. Other masks are designed to provide limited protection against dust and are not suitable for protecting against mould exposure. Make sure that the mask is properly fitted and you can breathe through the mask.
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Can Ozone Air Cleaners Remove Indoor Mold
Some air cleaners are designed to produce ozone which is a strong oxidizing agent and a known irritant of the lungs and respiratory system. Studies have shown that ozone, even at high concentrations, is not effective at killing airborne mold or surface mold contamination. Even if mold was killed by ozone, the health threats would not be reduced until mold contaminants are removed through cleaning. Health experts do not recommend the use of ozone to address mold or any other indoor air problems.
Should I Have The Air Ducts In My Home Cleaned
You should consider having the air ducts in your home cleaned if:
There is substantial visible mold growth inside hard surface ducts or on other components of your heating and cooling system. There are several important points to understand concerning mold detection in heating and cooling systems:
- Many sections of your heating and cooling system may not be accessible for a visible inspection, so ask the service provider to show you any mold they say exists.
- You should be aware that although a substance may look like mold, a positive determination of whether it is mold or not can be made only by an expert and may require laboratory analysis for final confirmation. For about 50, some microbiology laboratories can tell you whether a sample sent to them on a clear strip of sticky household tape is mold or simply a substance that resembles it.
- If you have insulated air ducts and the insulation gets wet or moldy it cannot be effectively cleaned and should be removed and replaced.
- If the conditions causing the mold growth in the first place are not corrected, mold growth will recur.
Read more about mold at
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How Does Mold Affect People With Asthma
Molds can trigger asthma episodes in sensitive individuals with asthma. People with asthma should avoid contact with exposure to molds.
Molds are microscopic fungi that live on plant and animal matter. Molds can be found almost anywhere, and grow best in damp places such as kitchens, bathrooms, and basements.
For information on mold and asthma, visit .
Are The Risks Greater For Some People
There is wide variability in how different people are affected by indoor mold. However, the long term presence of indoor mold growth may eventually become unhealthy for anyone. The following types of people may be affected more severely and sooner than others:
- Infants and children
- Elderly people
- Individuals with respiratory conditions or sensitivities such as allergies and asthma
- Persons having weakened immune systems
Those with special health concerns should consult a medical professional if they feel their health is affected by indoor mold.
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Scrub With Baking Soda Or Borax
Sodium bicarbonate and the natural mineral borax each have a high pH that inhibits the growth and survival of mold. Both products are inexpensive and easy to use.
Make a paste of the powders with a few drops of water and apply it to the areas of mold growth. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes and then use a dampened scrub brush to scour the area. Rinse well with fresh water and dry with an old cloth.
Neither product is as effective at killing mold or removing stains as chlorine bleach or vinegar.
How Do I Tell If I Have A Mold Problem
Investigate don’t test. The most practical way to find a mold problem is by using your eyes to look for mold growth and by using your nose to locate the source of a suspicious odor. If you see mold or if there is an earthy or musty smell, you should assume a mold problem exists. Other clues are signs of excess moisture or the worsening of allergy-like symptoms.
- Look for visible mold growth . Mold often appears as discoloration, staining, or fuzzy growth on the surface of building materials or furnishings. When mold is visible, testing is not recommended.
- Search areas with noticeable mold odors.
- Look for signs of excess moisture or water damage. Look for water leaks, standing water, water stains, condensation problems. For example, do you see any watermarks or discoloration on walls, ceilings, carpet, woodwork or other building materials?
- Search behind and underneath materials , furniture, or stored items . Sometimes destructive techniques may be needed to inspect and clean enclosed spaces where mold and moisture are hidden for example, opening up a wall cavity.
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The Health Effects Of Mold
People who are sensitive to mold may experience stuffy nose, irritated eyes, wheezing, or skin irritation. People allergic to mold may have difficulty in breathing and shortness of breath. People with weakened immune systems and with chronic lung diseases, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop mold infections in their lungs. If you or your family members have health problems after exposure to mold, contact your doctor or other health care provider.
Landlord Liability For Mold In California
There is currently no federal law covering a landlord’s responsibilities when it comes to mold. Also, aside from disclosure requirements , California doesn’t have any laws that specifically address a landlord’s duties or liability when it comes to mold prevention and remediation. In San Francisco, however, mold is a “public health nuisance” , which means tenants have the right to sue their landlords for violating city nuisance laws if they fail to remove any “visible or otherwise demonstrable mold” located anywhere “in the interiors of any buildings.” .)
California tenants who believe they have been harmed by the presence of high concentrations of mold in their apartment can try to recover damages from their landlord in court to compensate them for their loss. If a judge or jury agrees that the landlord negligently created a mold problem or allowed one to continue at a property, the landlord could be on the hook for any harm.
For example, an apartment building in Santa Rosa, California, had such a high level of mold that the city ordered several reportedly sickened tenants to vacate their homes. Although the landlord gave the tenants $2,000 for relocation, the tenants are suing the landlord for damages, according to a press report.
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Mold Disclosure Requirements In California
California requires sellers of residential buildings with up to four units to disclose in writing any known hazardous conditions, including mold. .)
California law requires landlords to provide tenants with a written disclosure, prior to signing a rental agreement, when they know, or have reason to know, that mold exceeds permissible exposure limits or poses a health threat. .) Although the law allows for the adoption of permissible exposure limits, the state health department has determined that it’s not feasible to do so. In fact, in a Statement on Building Dampness, Mold, and Health , the department takes the position that the mere “presence of water damage, dampness, visible mold, or mold odor” in a building poses a health threat. Rather than try to measure mold levels or determine specific types of mold, the department strongly recommends taking prompt, diligent steps to remediate mold and address any underlying moisture issues that might be present in a building.
Also, while federal law requires disclosures about lead paint, it doesn’t impose a similar duty on landlords when it comes to mold.
Aside from any affirmative disclosure requirement, however, if you decide to list a property for sale, you should be ready with responses to questions potential buyers might ask about plumbing, humidity, and ventilation issues in your building.
What Can I Do To Control Other Biological Contaminants
- Keep the house clean and all surfaces dust- free to reduce dust mites, pollens and animal dander
- Regularly clean heating vents and change heating and air conditioning system filters
- Vacuum the house weekly including floors, bedding and soft furnishings. People with allergies should leave the room during vacuuming and for at least an hour after the dust settles. If someone in the house suffers from allergies, you can consider buying a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. A HEPA filter traps very small particles that are not collected by regular vacuum cleaners. You may also consider installing a built-in vacuum cleaner that vents outside the main living area such as in the basement, crawl space or outside
- Regularly wash bedding, including pillows and mattress pads, in hot water wash temperature should be at least 55°C
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