Friday, November 25, 2022

How Can I Tell If It’s Black Mold

Can Black Mold Spores Travel In The Air

Housecleaning Tips : How to Identify Black Mold

Yes. Mold spores are airborne and can attach themselves to peoples skin, clothing, shoes, shopping bags, furniture, carpets, and even pets. Once spores enter your home, they can settle onto any surface and start to multiply. They can also enter your house through open doorways, open windows, and HVAC systems.

Mold spores are microscopic and are virtually found everywhere. They are naturally found in the air we breathe, both indoors and outdoors. Since spores are tiny and lightweight, they become airborne easily, every time we vacuum or walk on the carpets or even sit on our couch.

How Do You Know If Its Black Mold Vs Regular Mold

While other types of mold may have a fuzzy, light texture, black mold will usually be slimy or wet. Some early forms of black mold have a powdery feel. Rub the mold with a paper towel to determine the texture, but be sure to wear gloves, a face mask, coveralls, and safety goggles when going near mold.

Could Your Symptoms Be From A General Mold Allergy

Regardless of the species of mold in question, symptoms of a mold allergy can appear very similar, especially when looking at many individuals. So if you see black-colored mold and experience allergic symptoms, it could be Stachybotrys, or it could be another species of mold. That said, the same person can react differently to different molds. For example, one person may have severe dry eyes in response to a Cladosporium exposure, while Aspergillus exposure may cause wheezing and asthma-like symptoms.

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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.

What Happens If You Eat Food With Mold

is this black mold or a black spot? its in my garage under ...

The thought of eating something moldy likely makes you want to gag. Most of the time, this is the only symptom youd get after eating moldy food. If somethings not right with your immune system and you eat something moldy, you might experience symptoms like:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • If you had an allergy to mold, then you might have symptoms connected with it as well

If you notice mold on your food that you dont want to throw away, then USDAs guide on handling moldy food will be for you.

Also Check: How To Clean Mold In Basement

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.

Healthy Home Myths Debunked

Common areas to test for black mold are basements, crawlspaces, bathrooms and kitchens where moisture and condensation may gather regularly. A water source is the first requirement for mold growth, so any damp, humid areas of the home are often susceptible.

Sight and smell may give you a good indication of whether or not you have a black mold problem black mold tends to have a strong, musty smell, and of course it displays a trademark black color. If you believe you have black mold growth in an area of your home after these initial inspections, you have two options: professional mold testing or do-it-yourself testing.

Professional mold testing companies will take samples of the air and any areas of mold growth, identify precisely what type of mold is present, and recommend next steps for remediation.

If you go the DIY route while testing for black mold, you will need to purchase a mold testing kit from a hardware or home repair store, take samples of the air and affected areas yourself, and then send these in to a testing facility, which will report back as to which type of mold is present.

Black mold can be an expensive and potentially unhealthy problem for homeowners, but by testing for black mold, you can know for sure if you’ll need to take steps to eradicate black mold from your home.

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Why Is Black Mold So Dangerous

Black mold is commonly referred to as toxic mold, and for good reason. Aside from causing all kinds of respiratory reactions like coughing, sneezing, sore and itchy throats, and watery and itchy eyes, prolonged exposure can have serious health consequences.Black mold is toxic, and prolonged exposure can have serious health consequences.

One study found that exposure to mold during infancy led to asthma at 7 years of age, while others have linked exposure to brain inflammation, behavioral dysfunction, movement disorders, and neurological deterioration.

In short, black mold warrants its reputation as a toxin, and should be treated as soon as its discovered. Below are several signs it may be inhabiting your home.

Black Mold : How To Find It And Deal With It Safely

How To Tell If Your Kombucha Is Moldy… And What To Do About It! | #AskWardee 103

Hygiene is two thirds of health.

  • Lebanese Proverb

Black Mold 101:

Im a big Lord of the Rings nerd. Those movies are full of nasty creatures that seem scary, like orcs, but when you realize that they only live in the darkness and shrivel up in sunlight, you realize they arent scary at all.

Black mold is like that. If it gets established, its bad news for you and your family. But you can easily deny it the conditions it needs to get nasty. Shed a little sunlight and the orcs wont grow!

Not all black mold is toxic, and not all toxic mold is black. While a spore analysis is the only way to know for sure, if you clean up any mold you find, you know youre safe.

Heres what black mold looks like:

  • The surface is slimy, which is rare for its group of fungi
  • It often has a dark green tinge to it
  • If it dries out, it becomes gray and powdery

Heres what people have reported black mold to smell like:

  • Stale and musty
  • Rotten wood or paper
  • Dirty wet socks

Black mold isnt visible until the colony is well established, so youll be able to smell it before you see it. If you have a damp area where you think its growing, tackle it right away.

Black mold largely happens because our houses are built from a smorgasbord of mold-loving treats . It thrives in persistently damp conditions , still, stale air, and no direct sunlight.

Its most commonly found on:

  • Drywall
  • Wood
  • Ceiling Tiles

Black Mold and Your Health:

  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness in the chest

Dealing with it Safely:

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What Kills Black Mold Instantly

White distilled vinegar is an affordable, natural solution to removing black mold. Its antibacterial acidic characteristics are exactly what you need to get the job done. Pour the undiluted vinegar into a spray bottle to apply to the area, or just go for it and pour that vinegar right onto the mold stains.

Signs And Symptoms Of Black Mold Poisoning

Black mold exposure may often present with your typical allergic complaints that are listed above. However, one must be mindful that other non-allergic, mold-related illnesses exist and may present similarly to a mold allergy, but often with more seemingly unrelated symptoms.

Research has found that people who have been exposed to mixed mold, mold spores and mycotoxins have experienced neurological and behavioral symptoms. These symptoms have been corroborated by other studies like Gordon et al. and Rea et al. .

Such non-allergic symptoms to mold may include, but are not limited to:

  • Cognitive impairment

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You Notice A Bit Of A Musty Or Damp Smell

If you notice that your home has a bit of a moldy or musty smell to it, that might also indicate that there may be a mold issue.

“Many different mold species have different odors, so it is difficult to pinpoint the exact smell, however, if it is an odor that isn’t common in your home or building, then it should be investigated,” George Hernandez, the vice president of operations at PuroClean, told INSIDER.

Health Effects Of Black Mold

How to Test for Mold

According to the EPA, various types of mold can cause health problems for some people. Those health problems are primarily in the form of allergies such as stuffy head, headache, itchy eyes, trouble breathing, etc. These ailments can be more severe in the young, the old, and those with other health issues. The CDC basically says the same thing that mold can cause health issues in some people, or no issues in other people.

According to the CDC, Stachybotrys black mold is unproven to cause serious medical issues beyond those mentioned above. In other words, symptoms of black mold are only proven to be similar to other molds. The CDC simply states that various types of mold may cause health symptoms, to consult with a doctor if symptoms persist, and that no color or type of mold belongs in a building.

You may be thinking: If all we know for sure is that mold causes allergies in some people, and maybe some serious health problems in a small percentage of other people, then whats the big deal?

Well, our answer to that is to imagine yourself as one of those people who are sensitive to mold. Constant allergies, constantly feeling sick, and miserable in your own home. Theres even a scientific name for it: Sick Building Syndrome . Mold, along with other problems such as radon, Chinese drywall, etc., can cause Sick Building Syndrome. Suffering through Sick Building Syndrome is a terrible way to live, and we wouldnt wish it upon our worst enemy!

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How To Remove 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.

What Should I Use To Remove Ceiling Mold In My Bathroom

There are 3 simple ingredients you, probably already have on hand, that can safely use to clean away mold in your home.

What about all of the mold cleaners that are being marketed? What about the claims that a certain product kills mold, removes mold, removes stains, disinfects surfaces and prevents mold from ever returning? If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

There are 3 simple ingredients you can safely use to clean away mold in your home: white vinegar, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide. Remember NOT to mix these ingredients! Keep reading for maximum cleaning power and safety!

Hard Surface Cleaning

To clean a hard surface , simply add hydrogen peroxide OR white vinegar to a clean, empty spray bottle undiluted. Never mix these chemicals! Choose one or the other.

Hydrogen Peroxide

When usinghydrogen peroxide, spray the area to clean thoroughly, and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Then, scrub the area, and rinse it clean with water. Repeat if needed.

White Vinegar

For white vinegar, spray the area to clean thoroughly, and let it sit for at least 15 minutes or up to one hour. Then, scrub the area, and rinse it clean with water.

Baking Soda

To use baking soda, add a teaspoon to a tablespoon of baking soda to a clean empty spray bottle and fill the bottle ¾ full of hot water. Shake to dissolve. Spray the area and use a scrub brush to clean the mold away. Then, rinse the area with clean water.

Essential Oils

Cleaning Softer Surfaces

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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.

The Truth About Black Toxic Mold

Black Mold What should I Do

The truth is there really is black mold over 20,000 species in fact. However, Stachybotrys, the toxic black mold of most concern, is not always toxic. The truth is, none of the million-plus mold species are always toxic. Another truth is that mycotoxins, while real, are one of the lesser of the several evils of mold.

We cant say this often enough. The only two things you know for sure when you see black mold is you have mold and that it is black in color. Thats all. Scientifically, there is no mold genera or species that is called black mold or toxic black mold. Of the million-plus species of mold, about 20,000 species are indeed black. Most species appear green, brown, orange, white, or even pink. Stachybotrys, a common type of mold thought to be the most toxic, is actually a greenish-black in color but can be white or a slight pink color depending on the environment it is growing in and the food it eats. Mold of any color can be toxic under the right conditions, so using color as a red flag is a bad idea.

Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Bathroom Ceiling Mold

How To Identify Black Mold On Wood

You can positively identify this toxic fungus on wood in your home by knowing its most common signs. Rot, for example, is one of its most tell tale signs. If the wood in your floors, ceilings, walls and other fixtures appear to be rotted, you may suspect that this fungus is present in them.

Likewise, if the wood appears discolored or looks like it has water stains on it, you also may inspect them further for it. It can make wood bow out or warp after spores have taken root and spread. You may want to hire a professional inspector or remediation company to confirm its presence in your homes wood.

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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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Know When To Clean And When To Call

This ceiling needs a professional inspection. Mold damage is extensive and it is difficult to tell how much drywall will have to be removed.

Remember with mold or mildew, there are four steps to take for remediation:

  • Check for and fix leaks and ventilation issues. The bathroom in the opposite photo did not have leaks. However, it also did not have a bathroom fan. Moisture built up and caused damage to the ceiling.
  • Get a professional inspection if you suspect the problem may be more than an isolated area. If you see areas larger than about ten square feet, or there is a musty smell you cant identify, it may be time to call the professionals. A professional mold inspection can ensure your problem is solved and not just covered up.
  • Clean what you can see, if its a small area , and on a hard surface. Baking soda, white vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide are excellent cleaners and can help remove the surface mold and mildew. For more information check out our post Bathroom Mold Remover How to Choose the Best and DIY Safely.
  • Prevent new growth. Keep areas of high humidity dry by ventilating rooms such as bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry rooms. Dehumidifiers may be helpful. To learn more about bathroom exhaust fans check out our post: Bathroom Exhaust Fans All You Need To Know.
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