Is It Dangerous To Live In A House With Black Mold
We spend a majority of our time in our homes, and they should be safe spaces. They are where we eat, sleep, return to after a long day at work, and are the places where we are most ourselves. As much as they reflect our needs, interests, and style, they ultimately serve the purpose of sheltering us from the outside world. So, what about when our homes actually compromise our health?
Black mold is a relatively common presence in homes, but that doesnt mean its a harmless one. Here is what you need to know about black mold and how it could endanger you and your family.
Do I Need Professional Testing
In short, usually not! Because, remember the saying: no mold, no matter what color, belongs in a healthy home. And that is good news because a professional mold inspection with testing can run anywhere from $300-$750. In most cases where mold is clearly visible, knowing exactly what type of mold you have is unnecessary. We advise most of our clients to forgo the inspection process and just apply that money saved to the cost of fixing the problem. The EPA agrees that mold testing isnt necessary in most cases.
There are exceptions, however, such as when a mold inspection with testing is required as part of a real estate sale or if you require proof that a mold problem is present, such as for a legal dispute. If you think you may have a mold problem, but arent sure, then we recommend formal testing from a professional. And if you require clearance testing to verify an all clear after a mold problem is fixed, then professional mold testing is necessary.
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.
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So Why Is Black Mold Dangerous
In a nutshell, it can cause health problems for everyone in your home if left untreated.
Black mold will not just disappear on its own unless its properly removed. Dont assume that its just some stain on the wall.
If you cant afford a professional mold tester to come out, do what we recommended. Every little bit helps!
Who Is Most At Risk For Health Problems Associated With Exposure To Mold
People with allergies may be more sensitive to molds. People with immune suppression or underlying lung disease are more susceptible to fungal infections. Individuals with chronic respiratory disease may experience difficulty breathing. Individuals with immune suppression are at increased risk for infection from molds. If you or your family members have these conditions, a qualified medical clinician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment.
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How Do I Get Rid Of Black Mold
Its imperative to get rid of mold safely and professionally. This is because mold is rather delicate, and when you disturb or move any part of it, spores and small pieces of mold can fly into the environment. This is when mold exposure is the most dangerous. Also, moving spores and bits of mold can encourage it to take up residence in another area of the house. For this reason, you will want to consult a professional mold remediation company. Their services may be expensive, but its worth it so that you or your family dont become exposed to toxic mold or spread it around.
What Products Can Help Me Prevent Black Mold?
Its possible to clean some mold species using hydrogen peroxide and wiping it away, but when it comes to black mold, its recommended not to touch it at all. Instead, inquire about proper removal. However, you can do a lot to prevent black mold from growing in the first place. As stated above, be sure you have adequate ventilation. You can look into purchasing some fans to help with this.
What Causes Black Mold
Molds are an important part of our environment. They decompose dead plants and animals. All types of mold will grow if the conditions are right. Mold grows and spreads quickly in the right conditions, which include:
- Moisture level at or over 70%
- Adequate food source
- Temperatures that range from 40 to 100 degrees F
Mold can grow anywhere in your house that provides these conditions. The most likely places mold will grow are:
- Anywhere that there has been a water leak.
- Damp rooms without adequate ventilation, such as bathrooms.
- Basements where humidity tends to be higher.
- Any areas with a lot of water condensation.
- Any areas where flooding has occurred.
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How To Remove Mold From Your Home
If you find the presence of mold in your home, there are several steps you can take to help remove it:
- Fix Water Leaks: Whether its from a leaky faucet or a broken pipe, mold can start growing in 24 48 hours. Reach out to an HVAC professional or plumber to help you eliminate any water leaks.
- Exhaust Fans: Use exhaust fans when youre cooking or washing dishes. When taking a shower, be sure to always use your bathroom fan.
- Clean Visible Mold: Do you see mold growing on a wall or other surface? Use a sponge and soap to remove mold wherever you find it.
- Get Professional Help: When mold damage is widespread or if its just too much for you to handle, its time to call in the pros. Look for a mold remediation professional in your area that has the tools needed for large-scale cleaning.
What Does Harmless Black Mold Look Like
Harmless black mold looks like any other type of mold, but its a little more common in certain areas.
Like all molds, harmless black mold is a fungus that thrives on moisture and grows on surfaces that are damp or wet. It can be found in places like the bathroom and kitchen, where humidity is higher and the temperature tends to be warmer.
As with all molds, harmless black molds growth depends on how much water there is available for it to feed on. If you find a patch of harmless black mold growing on your shower curtain or in your basement, it could be due to excessive moisture in those areas.
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Can Black Mold Spread From House To House
Yes. If you have had mold in your old house and youre moving into another space, it is possible to cross contaminate this new environment.
Because mold spores are not visible to the naked eye, it is hard to tell which surfaces are contaminated. Therefore, the mold has to be completely cleaned before you renovate or move to a new home.
Keep Your Home And Environment Moisture
Wet spots on the floor or ceiling of your property can be a signal that you have a leaky roof or pipe. Pipes in our homes run behind walls and above the ceiling, causing most leaks to go unnoticed for quite some time. When standing water from leaks are neglected mold can use the moisture to grow behind walls, and oftentimes spread through the ducts and pipes. Contact a professional home improvement contractor to help you identify these leaks and minimize the chances for mold growth.
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Testing For Black Mold
The most common areas include basements, crawlspaces, bathrooms, and kitchens. Sight and smell can be a good indication of whether or not you have a black mold problem.
Of course, the most obvious indication is if you see black.
The best option and safest option in Dr. Sponaugles opinion is to a professional mold testing company that will take samples of the air quality in your home. Theyll be able to identify what type of mold you have and then recommend the next steps. Its better to be safe and find out if you have no mold than to live unknowingly in a black mold-infested home before its too late.
How To Remove Black Mold
Protect yourself. You don’t need to worry about having mold tested if you find mold in your house. But you should get rid of it no matter what type of mold it is. Take precautions to protect yourself before you attempt to remove mold.
Use an N-95 face mask to avoid breathing in mold spores. Wear gloves to protect your hands and goggles without ventilation holes to protect your eyes.â
Find and destroy the mold. The most important part of removing mold is finding and removing its water source. Mold can’t grow without moisture. Keep the following tips in mind when you’re cleaning up mold:
- Items that can’t be dried quickly should be discarded if they show signs of mold or water damage. Porous items such as carpet, padding, drywall, and paper soak up moisture.
- Do not paint or caulk over moldy surfaces. Remove the mold and dry the surfaces before you paint. Paint applied over mold will peel.
- Use plastic sheeting to block an area with mold from the rest of your house and keep the spores from spreading.
- Scrub hard surfaces with mold with detergent and water and dry them thoroughly.
- Put any moldy items in a plastic bag before you take them out of the room to prevent mold spores from spreading.
- Use a HEPA filter in your air conditioner and furnace to capture mold spores that may be airborne in your house.
- Consult a specialist if you’re not sure of the best way to clean a valuable or sentimental item.â
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Summary Of Health Problems
Many types of indoor mold, not just black mold, may cause health problems in some individuals.
Long-term exposure to high levels of mold in the home, however,
People who are most at risk of the symptoms of mold exposure are:
- infants and children
- people with allergies or asthma
- people with weakened immune systems
The main health risks related to mold exposure are allergies and irritation, which typically cause respiratory symptoms.
People with weakened immune systems may also have a risk of fungal infection.
In Need Of Mold Remediation Near Fresno Ca
My Pure Environment specializes in non-invasive mold inspection, testing, and remediation. We do our best to ensure that weve completely eradicated all mold spores and microbes in your home or workspace. We serve the Greater Fresno and San Francisco areas. Contact us today for your free onsite consultation.
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What Is Black Colored Mold
A black colored mold has a black pigment by nature. It is usually associated with being the toxic kind, but thats not always the case. Black mold may not be toxic, but it can be an allergenic.
Nigrospora is an example of a black colored mold.
There is no evidence it is toxic to humans or other living organisms.
The most common black mold is Cladosporium, which has no known toxic side effects. This type of mold is common both inside and outside of the home. Heavy exposure to black mold could trigger an increase in allergy and asthma symptoms.
Other black molds include Alternaria, Aureobasidium, Dresclera, Pithomyces, Stemphylium, and Ulocladium.
None of these are toxic molds that produce mycotoxins, but Altermaria can cause severe allergy symptoms.
Cutting Mold From Soft Foods
Soft foods are another story. Mold finds it super easy to get below the surface, so the whole product could be tainted. These foods are destined for the trash can if they develop mold:
- Soft fruits and veggies. Buh-bye, moldy strawberries, raspberries, and tomatoes.
- Soft cheeses. Bid your moldy cottage cheese and cream cheese adieu.
- Bread. Farewell, moldy bakery products.
- Cooked foods. These are definite no-nos.
- Jelly, Jell-O, and peanut butter. Dont think you can just scoop it out moldy PB& J can be seriously bad for you.
- Deli meats, bacon, and hot dogs. Say adios to these.
- Yogurt and cream.Just no.
No one wants to eat mold. And yes, you can cut it off some foods. But whats the best way to stop it from growing in the first place?
Follow these steps and say sayonara to that effin mold:
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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.
Should I Move Out If I Have Black Mold
Ultimately, you should always prioritize your health above all else. If you have black mold in your house that is contained in a small enough area to be sufficiently removed, its likely that this will solve the issue .
Black mold is, however, a fungus that spreads and grows through its microscopic spores that permeate beyond where we can see. One of the trickiest aspects about this problem is that often people dont even realize that its growing inside their home until they start wheezing. And even if you clean it off, no longer seeing it in your home might not be enough to ensure your safety.
If you have a respiratory condition or simply dont feel comfortable regularly occupying a space that could be fostering black mold, either employ a removal expert to get rid of it or ask your landlord/building manager to get it removed. If you cannot get it removed, you may want to consider moving house for the sake of your health.
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Air Purifiers For Black Mold
Without moisture and food, black mold will be unable to colonize in your home. However, that doesnt mean it goes away completely mold spores will still waft through the air and lay on surfaces, waiting for the opportunity to grow again. One of the best ways to prevent black mold growth is by running an Air Oasis air purifier.
Air Oasis air purifiers can greatly reduce, if not eliminate, indoor mold. Multiple scientific studies illustrate the effectiveness of Air Oasis purifiers against both airborne fungus and visible mold colonies. Air Oasis purifiers achieved this through a combination of powerful purification technologies, including overlapping filtration techniques and ionization.
If youre concerned about the health effects of black mold, you need the best air purifier on the market. Air Oasis has got you covered. Questions? Contact us online or give us a call at .
What Symptoms Does Mold Exposure Cause
Mold exposure can cause a variety of symptoms. These include a stuffy nose, red eyes, a sore throat, and wheezing. These symptoms become more severe if you have a mold allergy. People with severe allergies to mold can experience shortness of breath.
For people who are very old or very young, mold exposure can be especially harmful. Individuals with asthma can experience a worsening of symptoms. Those who are immunocompromised may be at risk of fungal infections.
Mold exposure, especially exposure to harmful black mold, is thought to have a toxic effect on the body. There is little evidence to support the idea that exposure to harmful mold spores can cause mycotoxicosis, or mold-poisoning. Youre more likely to experience mold-poisoning if you eat moldy foods.
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What Kills Black Mold
It can be pretty challenging to kill black mold or any mold for that matter. But professional mold remediation companies can remove mold very effectively. Once black mold begins to grow inside the home, the only option is mold removal and remediation. After that, you can help prevent further growth by following the prevention advice given in this article. While UV and UV-c light can kill mold spores, they cant kill black mold growing on walls or other areas of the home.
How To Treat Black Mold Poisoning
Black mold, scientifically referred to as Stachybotrys atra or Stachybotrys chartarum, is typically black or dark green and often linked to serious health problems.
In fact, black mold exposure can lead to poisoning, or stachybotryotoxicosis a condition thats dangerous, particularly for young children and the elderly.
Even though black mold poisoning typically affects horses, cows, and pigs, humans can become infected if they inhale or ingest the spores.
Symptoms of stachybotryotoxicosis include skin rashes , throat and sinus irritation, burning eyes, and a decrease in the production of white blood cells.
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