How Toxic Mold Symptoms Affect Your Health
Mold negatively affects your homes air quality, can cause serious health problems, and should be taken equally seriously. If you suffer from any neurological symptoms like a short attention span, dizziness, headaches, memory loss, or have trouble concentrating, it could be a huge red flag that harmful, toxic mold is growing and continuing to spread throughout your home and its literally poisoning you. It doesnt matter if its visible mold or not enough mold to cause health problems is a problem no matter what. Just like allergies, if you or your familys toxic symptoms increase when youre at home, you can almost be sure your home is carrying mold. Dont wait take action immediately before risking both the health of your home and family gets too far out of control, especially if you have children.
Black Mold Can Destroy Your Property
In addition to adverse health effects, black mold can also damage the structure of your home and your belongings.
Black mold can destroy the structure of your home when it takes over large areas, especially in floors, walls, and ceilings. When this happens, you will need removal services or even a demolition team to eliminate it. This can be extremely expensive, especially if you need to rebuild large portions of your home. Ive seen firsthand how challenging it can be to remove black mold growth from a home.
Plus, its almost impossible to remove black mold from personal possessions, such as furniture, clothes, and toys. As a result, many homeowners Ive worked with have had to throw away belongings with sentimental value due to black mold growth.
If The Affected Area Is Large:
- Take precautions to protect your health.
- Consider hiring a professional to clean it up, especially if there is a large amount of mould or if the mould keeps coming back after you clean it.
- A large amount of mould is often the result of a larger problem , which you may need a professional help to fix.
Once clean-up is done, be sure to fix the underlying cause to prevent more mould from growing again.
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How Does Mold Get Into Our Homes
The more people who live in a home, the more likely it is that molds will grow inside it. This is because we release a lot of moisture in the air when we breathe. When we take long hot showers, cook with uncovered pots, dry clothes on an indoor clothesline, or use humidifiers, we also make more moisture for molds to grow. Storing wet firewood, watering many plants, and storing many vegetables like potatoes and squash can make a mold problem more likely, too.
What Are Mold And Mildew
Mildew vs. Mold: Mildew has a flat growth pattern, while mold has more of a textured, raised growth pattern.
In a nutshell, the term mildew describes certain types of mold or fungus, and generically refers to mold that grows flat and remains on a materials surface. Mildew likes to grow where moisture levels are high, like shower walls and windowsills. Thankfully, mildew can be treated easily and does not usually require hiring a professional. There are several ways to clean and remove mildew but no matter which you choose, it is best to wear a face mask and keep the area you are cleaning well-ventilated.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , mold are fungi that are found indoors and outside. No one is sure how many species of mold exist, but estimates range from the tens of thousands to maybe three hundred thousand or more.
You can find mold in many different places throughout your home from the tiles in your shower to the crawl space in your basement. The majority of mold favor dark, damp, and warm environments, and anywhere that possesses those characteristics should be at the top of your list when you begin to look for the source of the musty smell in your home.
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How Can One Remove Mold From Clothing
- Let your clothes soak in a solution of one cup of white vinegar in a bucket of water for about an hour.
- After soaking, wash the clothes with laundry detergent in your washing machine to wash away the mold and vinegar.
- You might need to repeat the process to remove all the traces of mold and any moldy smell from your clothes.
Black Mold Smell Is A Sign Of Danger Waiting To Happen
Ill start by saying that mold is pervasive in many homes as it can grow on any surface exposed to moisture and multiplies quickly. In fact, mold spores can start growing on any damp surface within24 to 48 hours. Ive detected mold growing in homes with leaky pipes, flooding, and even in areas where a homeowner didnt completely clean up a spill.
But I admit: after detecting indoor mold growth for so many years, the thought of black mold still really makes me cringe. The musty odor of black mold is pungent and certainly not something I would want lingering in my home. Plus, its one of the more dangerous types of indoor mold you can encounter.
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Test Your Homes Air Quality
I want you to test your indoor air quality. Some home inspectors offer Indoor Air Quality assessments. During these inspections, a home inspector will go through the entire home and identify potential indoor air quality risks, including moisture issues that can lead to mold.
Professional home inspectors can also take indoor air samples. These are then sent to a certified lab for analysis. They can even give you a mold spore count and send you a report with results.
What Is Mold And What Causes Mold In Your Home
Mold is, by broad definition, a type of fungus that sprouts from microscopic spores floating in the air. When clusters of mold spores grow on surfaces, they start to reproduce and become visible to the human eye. If you have mold allergies, asthma, or another lung condition, even breathing in the microscopic pores can trigger an attack. If you dont, you may not even be aware that there is mold in your home until you see it or smell it .
All homes have the key ingredients needed for mold growth: the presence of mold spores, a surface for it to grow on, oxygen, warmth, and darkness. When you add moisture, whether from a water leak, stagnant water, or high levels of humidity, into the mix, thats where mold problems begin. Knowing where mold is commonly found in homes can help you prevent and treat it so you can keep your home and body healthy.
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Condensation On Windows Window Frames And Sills
- Promptly repair any leaks.
- Lower the indoor moisture levels.
- Use exhaust bathroom fans and a kitchen range hood.
- Keep window coverings open to move the warm air over the windows .
- Keep baseboards or heating vents clear of furniture to make sure the heat flows.
- Dry your window frames and sills daily to keep water from dripping and causing mould to grow.
- Leave interior doors open for good air and heat flow.
- Unplug and remove humidifiers.
If You Use Bleach To Clean Up Mold
- Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce a poisonous gas.
- Always follow the manufacturers instructions when you use bleach or any other cleaning product.
- Open windows and doors to provide fresh air.
- Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles during cleanup of affected areas.
- If you need to clean more than 10 square feet, check the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guide titled Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, which gives advice on all building types. You can get it by going to the EPA web site at .
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You Visibly See Mold Spores
Of course one of the most obvious ways to determine that you have mold in your house is if you can see it. The downside? If you see a ton of visible mold, it can be an indicator that you have a big problem on your hands.
“Once you see it, you’ve got a big mold problem because what you’re seeing is literally just the tip of the iceberg,” Kelly Hayes-Raitt, a housesitter and the former director of the HomeSafe Campaign in California, told INSIDER.
Simply scrubbing the visible mold with soap and a sponge won’t actually get rid of the mold. So if you see visible mold, you need to reach out to a mold remediation company or another expert to help you get things under control, including any leaks that may have caused the issue in the first place.
Perform A Deep Clean To Remove Dust
Did you know that dust can actually be a cause of the musty odor in your home? Dust can collect and gather an amalgam of odors and spread it throughout the area quickly and aggressively, contributing to the odors in the home tremendously! When you begin to experience an overabundance of odors in your home it may be a good indicator that a deep clean is in order. Use a damp cloth to successfully collect dust from the surfaces of your home and clean the flooring by vacuuming and/or mopping.
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How Can I Tell If I Have A Mold Problem
Any part of your home that gets wet is likely to be moldy. Check for:
- Leaks in your roof or plumbing. If water is trapped inside your walls or under your carpet, molds may grow there, although they can’t always be seen. See if your walls or rugs have light stains or a strong musty smell.
- Mold in your basement, especially if your basement floods because of rain. Moisture can also seep through your home’s concrete foundation and make the bottom of carpets or the inside of a finished wall moldy.
- Water damage around your windows or doors to the outside of the house. In winter, moist air can change to water on these cooler surfaces and cause molds to grow there.
- Mold on walls, ceilings, floors, carpets, books or piles of newspapers. Smell these areas too sometimes a musty smell is your only clue that you have a mold problem.
Air Purifier For Musty Smell
When you are dealing with an odor, the area that needs to be treated within the space is your indoor air. Cleaning the air in your home is not as easy as cleaning the surfaces of your home, and often times homeowners arent sure what to do to clean their homes air. You may ask, how to get rid of mold and mildew smell from your home and the answer is an air purifier for musty smell which is an efficient and easy option for removal of odors from your personal indoor air. An air purifier is designed to efficiently filter out pollutants and contaminants found within your indoor air including odors that are present in the air space.
The EnviroKlenz Air Purifier is the ultimate air purification solution for VOC and odor removal from your personal indoor air space. This air purifier contains a two-stage filtration process that consists of a hospital-grade HEPA filter and a patented earth mineral air cartridge for VOC and odor elimination. The EnviroKlenz patented earth mineral technology is able to neutralize and/or breakdown a broad spectrum of chemicals and noxious odors that come into contact with the filter including that of musty odors. Unlike other air purifiers that simply take in the odors and hold them onto a filter media, EnviroKlenz actually neutralizes and breaks down the compounds completely alleviating the fear of the odor being re-released back into the environment.
Mobile Air System
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Why Should I Worry About Mold
- Skin irritations
- Lingering coughs
- Eye irritations
How to Prevent Mold & Musty Smells?
- Uncontrolled moisture buildup that originates from water damage of any nature like flooding, leaks, condensation, ineffective drainage systems
- Lack of sufficient airflow – humidity control levels are essential to prevent mold growth. Improving the air circulation in your home can help combat mold
- Temperature control – 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal temperatures for mold growth, especially in places where relatively warm and moist air comes in contact with cooler surfaces. These conditions cause condensation
Where To Check For Mold In Your Kitchen
From long-forgotten leftovers in the back of your fridge to the not so easily forgotten dishes that pile up in the sink, there are ample surfaces for mold to take up residence in your kitchen. The added levels of humidity from using the stove and running hot water from the sink can cause kitchen mold to grow quickly. Some of the most common places to check for mold in the kitchen include:
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How Do You Get The Molds Out Of Buildings Including Homes Schools And Places Of Employment
Mold growing in homes and buildings indicates that there is a problem with water or moisture. This is the first problem to address.
Remove moldy items from living areas. Once mold starts to grow in carpet, insulation, ceiling tiles, drywall, or wallboard, the only way to deal with the problem is by removal and replacement.
It is important to properly clean and dry the area as you can still have an allergic reaction to parts of the dead mold and mold contamination may recur if there is still a source of moisture.
Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried promptly.
Clean up and dry out your home thoroughly and quickly after any flooding. Dig out mud and dirt . Use a wet vacuum to remove remaining dirt. Scrub cleanable surfaces with soapy water and a bristle brush. Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces with water and dish detergent. Dry surfaces quickly and thoroughly after cleaning. If you have a fan, air conditioner or dehumidifier that wasnt affected by flooding use it to help the surfaces dry after you finish cleaning
Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water to kill mold on surfaces. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners.
If you choose to use bleach to clean up mold:
Keep Your Home As Dry As Possible
Wet surfaces spell trouble for your home. Not only will they encourage mold and mildew to form, but wet surfaces can cause long-lasting damage to your property. Therefore, you must keep all surfaces dry whenever possible. Be sure to dry the bathroom floor after a shower, spills in the kitchen, or anything thats not supposed to be wet.
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Why Does Mold Grow Behind Wallpaper
Mold can grow behind wall paper due to the trapping over moisture. This is especially true in bathrooms where there is constantly a dew point created. The presence of a leak can accelerate mold growth behind wallpaper as well.
These problems can remain hidden for a long time because
Who thinks to actually look behind there?
I mean, you have to start removing wall paper just to see what’s going on.
That means if you ever had a leak in an area with wallpaper or humidity issues , the source of your mold smell may be mold trapped behind wall paper.
Taking moisture readings with a moisture meter may be a good first step. If your walls have been holding moisture for a long time, you may want to pull back the wall paper to further investigate.
Mold In The Air Conditioning System
Mold can grow on just about any porous material that is wet, but microbial growth can also form on one very important fixture in your home.
Your air conditioning system.
If you have cental HVAC, an air conditioning system involves three separate components:
- The compressor which is generally outside
- The air handler which is generally indoors where usually the blower and coils are located
- The Ductwork which is how the air is distributed throughout the home
Here is what you must know:
Mold generally won’t grow on most building material that makes up your air conditioning system.
The reason why is because most items aren’t porous.
That being said
In this particular case.
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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