Sunday, November 27, 2022

Can You Test For Black Mold

Treating Black Mold Poisoning

How To Test For Black Mold In 5 Minutes

If you suspect youre suffering from symptoms associated with black mold exposure or poisoning, there are some things you can do to improve your health.

In conclusion, the best way to avoid the negative effects of black mold poisoning is to minimize your black mold exposure.

You can do this by preventing its growth in the first place. If its too late to prevent it and you suspect theres black mold already in your home, dont wait to book removal, completed quickly and efficiently by the industry experts.

Black mold, typically green or black, in your home, can be extremely hazardous to your health.

Do I Have Toxic Mold Poisoning

Last Updated on by Matt Pratt-Hyatt PhD

Home»Blog»Do I have Toxic Mold Poisoning?

Today Im going to deal with a common question, Do I have toxic mold poisoning? Another common question that is similar is Is mold really that serious, isnt mold everywhere? I will try and answer both of these questions. Most people are aware of mold because we see it every day.

There are literally thousands of mold species, however, not every species produces toxic compounds. However, water damage is becoming more and more common, which is leading to more mold exposure and mycotoxin production in homes, offices, and schools. However, even if the mold growth isnt producing toxins you might be reacting to the spores themselves.

Lets briefly talk about the two items you might be reacting to, what symptoms you might expect, and how to test to see if this is what is causing your problems.

Navigating All Of The Confusing And Concerning Information About Black Mold Is Hard But Were Here To Tell You The Truth

Many of us have heard of the dangers of toxic black mold and may worry about black mold poisoning, but the truth is that black mold is a much more manageable problem than you might expect.

Few topics get us more upset than seeing misinformation publicized about toxic black mold, and mold in general, by unscrupulous companies and zealous media articles that seem more interested in sensationalism than fact-based reporting.

When you understand what youre dealing with, you can make informed choices to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy. Were here to cut through the mess and help you understand what having black mold in your home may mean, and give you some tips on how to fix the problem yourself and save big money in the process.

You May Like: How To Clean Moldy Shower Grout

What Happens During An Inspection

Inspection mainly details the visual inspection of a house. Many people mistake inspection for testing. Here, the inspector only conducts tasks that should reveal the presence of black mold without the use of any special equipment. The professional will use a good flashlight and a blunt tool to help with scrapping off less accessible areas prone to housing fungi. They may also use a moisture meter that aids in determining the wetness of a spot, especially after remediation.

Firstly, the inspector will talk to the property owner about the suspected areas likely to have been infected with the black mold. The owner should also expect to answer if there have been any incidences of water or flood damage in the recent past.

Following permission granted by the owner, the inspector will examine these high prone areas and sometimes even break through walls should he or she suspect hidden grounds. If the black mold presence is apparent, most experts will advise that the owner skip the inspection process and move to the remediation step. Remediation entails on determining the extent of the fungi problem.

Health Symptoms That Can Be Caused By Mold In Your House

Testing for Black Mold

Mold doesnt bother everyone. In fact, out of thousands of mold species, only a few dozen will trigger any health problems at all, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Still, some of us are sensitive to molds. People who are allergic to an indoor mold can experience year-round symptoms like a sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, and more for those who also have asthma, mold can trigger an asthma attack. People with a weakened immune system or a chronic lung condition like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can develop a serious infection in the lungs if theyre exposed to mold.

People without allergies and asthma arent immune to the effects: In 2004, the Institute of Medicine concluded that people without pre-existing lung conditions can also experience symptoms like nasal congestion and a sore throat if they live in a house with damp floors or moisture accumulation.

RELATED: 25 Ways to Allergy-Proof Your Home

You May Like: How To Kill Mold In Basement

Toxic Mold Syndrome Diagnosis

To make a toxic mold syndrome diagnosis, there is no way to actually measure mycotoxins in the blood but there is a test for mold toxins in the urine which is called the urine mycotoxin test and there are blood tests that test different blood parameters that suggest mold toxicity.This blood test is offered as a panel at Life Extension called the Biotoxin Mold Illness Panel. There is also an eye exam that can indicate mold exposure called the Visual Contrast Sensitivity Test. These are the main tests to help make a toxic mold syndrome diagnosis.

In addition, there is a genetic test called HLA DR Mold genetic test which is a blood test that will determine if you have a genotype that is prone to being sensitive to mold. There is also a blood test to test for allergies to molds which is called the Allergen Profile Mold test and it will tell you if you also have an allergy to mold in addition to mold toxicity.

SUMMARY OF TOXIC MOLD SYNDROME DIAGNOSTIC TESTS

BIOTOXIN MOLD ILLNESS PANEL

318.75

HLA DR MOLD GENETIC TESTING

261.00

ALLERGEN PROFILE MOLD BLOOD TEST

108.00

PAGE DOWN TO READ MORE ABOUT EACH TEST

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.

You May Like: How To Install Vinyl Stair Treads

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.

How To Identify Black Mold

How You Can Test Yourself for Mold Poisoning RIGHT NOW!

Many different types of mold can produce allergens and irritants, so you should contact a qualified Charleston mold testing professional no matter what the mold looks like. It’s very likely that if one type of mold is in one part of your Charleston home, other types of mold are growing throughout the structure, and they can remain hidden for a long time before you see visual evidence of the growth. Contact our professionals if you have any evidence of mold growth in your home.

Black mold is likely to appear in areas of your home that are particularly warm and damp. And because Charleston and the Lowcountry area are so humid, mold is a very common problem. Basements or crawlspaces that may leaks or other sources of moisture are very susceptible to toxic mold growth.

Many other kinds of mold have a green or grey color, but toxic black mold will be dark black.

Recommended Reading: What Causes Mold On Ceilings

Ways To Use A Mold Testing Kit

Once the kit is purchased there are three different ways that these DIY mold testing kits can be used. The methods are:1. Visual Sampling This is probably the easiest method because all that needs to be done is to take a swab of black mould that is visibly growing.2. HVAC Air Testing Another simple method that requires little effort. Simply take a sample from the HVAC system within the home to determine if there is any mold infestation.3. Settling Plate This final method is easy yet not as effective. This requires petri dishes to be placed throughout the home in an attempt to capture airborne spores.

Forty eight to seventy two hours after the samples have been collected, if mould is growing then there is an option to send the kit to a lab where the samples will be studied to determine what type of fungi is present and whether or not it is harmful. The one disadvantage to using home kits is that they do not determine how much mould is in the home, only if it is present and whether it is harmful. This can be a serious problem especially in a situation where a person removes visible mold and assumes that the problem is rectified when in reality there is a large amount of toxic black mold hiding in the home.

How To Know If You Have Black Mold In Your House

Mold isnt always visible. If you can see mold, its only a sign of the real potential health risk, which is the harmful types of unhealthy levels of mold in the air of your home or workplace.

Airborne mold is all around us in both the outdoors and indoors. The types and amount of mold is what determines the potential health risk. Most of us are typically accustomed to the varieties and amounts of mold present in our outdoor environments.

Healthy indoor environments will have mold conditions similar to or better than those in the surrounding outdoors. Over time, because of moisture , many indoor spaces develop unhealthy types and/or unhealthy levels of airborne mold that can be harmful to you or your pets.

These signs will help you know if you possibly have unhealthy mold conditions in your house:

  • Allergic symptoms
  • A damp or musty odor in one or more places
  • Frequent headaches
  • The air in the home feels different
  • Your house has been flooded or currently has leaks
  • You previously tried removing mold yourself

Take note of how you feel in and out of the house. If the symptoms disappear or decrease when youre out and about, then you might have a mold problem, yes, even if you cant see mold.

Recommended Reading: How To Clean Mold Off Basement Walls

Is There A Mold Detector

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.

How To Remove Mold

Testing for Black Mold
  • Wear old clothes and shoes that you can launder or throw away after the cleanup work.
  • Wear special N-95 or P-100 respirators, in addition to goggles and gloves.
  • Set an old box fan or a cheap new one in a window to ventilate the room while working. Throw it out when you’re done cleaning, because the spores are almost impossible to clean off. Tape plywood or cardboard around the window openings so the spores can’t blow back in.
  • Wrap and tape moldy carpeting in 6-mil plastic, and double-bag mold-infested debris in garbage bags for disposal.
  • To control airborne spores, moisten moldy areas with a garden sprayer while you work.
  • Turn off your furnace and air conditioner and cover ducts and doors to contain spores.
  • Keep your wet/dry vacuum outside when you vacuum.

Recommended Reading: Mold Growing On Ceiling In Bathroom

Check Your Petri Dish

After 48 hours, check your petri dish for signs of mold growth. If you do not see mold, wait another 24 hours and check again. If you still dont see mold, wait again for 24 hours and check one last time. If you do not see mold growth after 96 hours, your test did not detect any mold. If you do see mold on your test plate, you should take additional steps to remove the mold.

Extent Of Mould Growth

It is important to determine the extent of the mould problem in your home to help you decide on the clean-up procedure. An area of mould is considered small if it covers one square metre or less. There should be no more than three patches of mould, with the total area staying within one square metre. Many small patches of mould in one area or throughout your home are a sign of moisture problems that need to be investigated and corrected right away.

If ignored, small mould areas may become larger over time, so it is important to clean them up before the problem gets bigger. A small amount of mould may be cleaned up using proper procedures and protective equipment.

The area of mould is considered medium if there are more than three patches of mould , but the total area is less than three square metres. In this case, assessment by a qualified professional is recommended but in most cases a medium amount of mould may be cleaned up using proper procedures and protective equipment .

An area of mould is considered large if a single patch of mould is larger than three square metres. Health Canada does not recommend that an unqualified person clean up large areas of mould. You may need a professional assessment to determine why the mould is there in the first place and how to clean it up.

Read Also: How To Get Mold Off Of Canvas

Clean Black Mold And Get Rid Of It For Good

Once you know how bad your mold problem is , its time to get rid of the problem.

  • Clean mold yourself. If your mold problem is small and visible, like caulking around your bathtub, you can get rid of it yourself. You just want to make sure you use the right cleaning solution. Bleach wont kill mold entirely, and as the chlorine in bleach dissipates, the bleach turns into water, which creates the perfect environment for new mold to grow. Cleaning vinegar will kill mold, as will industrial chemicals like Moldex. Always wear a P100 respirator so you dont inhale mold spores while you clean. Goggles are a good idea too, and a full body suit for larger mold infestations.
  • Get rid of mold-contaminated items. Clothing, carpet, drapes, caulking, and paper goods like books and files will all absorb mold spores and can cause new mold growth. If theyve been in an area with black mold, get rid of them, or in the case of cloth goods, get them professionally dry-cleaned. Throwing out belongings is a bummer, but its better to be safe than to have to deal with a new mold problem all over again.
  • Professional mold remediation. If you have water damage or major mold contamination in hard-to-reach places, hiring a professional is your best bet. Mold remediation can be expensive, but professionals have the tools to find and eliminate all the mold in your entire home.

How Mold Testing Works

Renters & Black Mold Testing (Inside Secrets) | Twin Home Experts

There are two different kinds of professional-grade tests that experts tend to utilize to look for mold infestations. Both of them involve taking a small sample of material, which is then analyzed in a lab for traces of mold spores or the presence of mycotoxins. Urine test kits, as their name implies, require a small volume of urine from a human . These kits are used to determine if a person has a mold infestation in their body.

Meanwhile, home test kits require a small amount of dust or detritus from a buildings air conditioning or heating unit filters. Its not uncommon for professional environmental inspectors or mold remediators to use both kits in tandem after experiencing water damage, as they provide differentbut equally crucialinformation.

There is a third type of mold testing kit on the market its the kind that folks frequently see in hardware and big-box stores. These kits are designed to detect mold spores in the air, and they usually consist of a petri dish filled with microbial growth medium. The dish is exposed to the air for a set period of time in order to collect samples, and then its sealed and allowed to incubate. The idea is that any mold spores captured by the dish will then grow, allowing them to be seen and studied.

Also Check: Remove Mildew From Bathroom Ceiling

How Do These Chemicals Harm My Health

Entering the Body

The harm begins when a person is exposed to an environment that contains a large amount of mold. During this time, damaging enzymes in the mold may enter a persons lungs. After going into the lungs, the enzymes may bypass the persons gut barrier and go into their bloodstream.

Harming the Neurons

Once they are in the bloodstream, these harmful mold antigens may change the persons blood-brain barrier function. This alteration allows the antigens to go into the nervous system. From there, the antigens may harm the persons neurons and interrupt their production of needed antibodies.

The Negative Effects

The disruption of the persons immune system can cause a variety of negative health issues. People may suffer from immune suppression, eczema, allergies, and sinusitis. They may also experience headaches, hyperthyroidism, vomiting, and other negative effects. Mold exposure can also cause people to suffer from myalgic encephalitis, rheumatic disorders, and painful lymph nodes.

Also Check: How To Stop Mold In Bathroom Ceiling

Popular Articles
Related news