How Do You Choose A Mold Removal Company
Have you ever had mold removed from your home? Do you know what to ask mold removal companies? What do mold removal companies really do?
As a mold removal company, we know what you should expect and what the industry standards should be. Some of our competitors offer free mold inspections. Which basically means that the inspector shows up and hands over a price to fix a symptom, without truly knowing the nature of the problem. The primary reason that we charge for our mold inspections is the time and resources that go into each one.
If you think you might have a mold problem, youre far better off with a thorough inspection like ours. We analyze the symptoms to determine the root cause of your problem, and will only recommend solutions that will solve the actual problem.
Especially if you live outside our service area, check out our post: How to Choose the Best Mold Removal Company. We let you know what you should expect and what the industry standards should be. If the company you interview doesnt know the answer to the questions in our article, you dont want to hire them!
Test Your Environment For Mold
Testing your environmenthome or workplacefor mold can be very beneficial since the symptoms of mold-related illness can be similar to other chronic inflammatory conditions such as Lyme.
There are different avenues you may take to address mold testing. Options exist for both professional testing and for self-testing.
DIY Mold Testing
There are pros and cons to each so a combination of these may be used:
Find a Qualified Indoor Environmental Professionals for Inspection
An indoor environmental professional knowledgeable about the effects of mold on sensitive populations can be helpful. Their trained eyes and tools can be helpful in identifying the source of your mold. Here are tips for finding a qualified mold inspector:
- Be sure the professional offers just inspection, not inspection with remediation to avoid conflicts of interest.
- Consider a virtual or phone consultation with indoor professionals aligned with the International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness and their standards for indoor health.
- Look for a local IEP through ACAC.org
- Find inspection professionals with the CIEC and CMC certifications.
- Find remediation professionals with the CMRS and CMR certifications.
From Concise To Confused
Out of nowhere, Kimberlyn went from a highly-effective, busy, working mother, to a disorganized, uninvolved, confused individual who couldnt focus long enough to put together cohesive, coherent thoughts. She was no longer able to make decisions for herself and struggled to even get dressed in the morning. Insomnia, anxiety, and a loss of appetite accompanied the confusion. It was like I lost my personality, says Kimberlyn.
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Cleaning For Mold Prevention
Areas that are more prone to mold and mildew should be cleaned more often. Bathrooms, kitchens, and anywhere else in the home where water could collect are the important spots to watch.
Homebiotic, which is a probiotic for the home, also helps create an environment hostile to harmful microbes. Use these products regularly to prevent mold growth, not to clean a mold infestation!
Does Mold Affect Your Brain
Weve all heard of mildew, and some of us know about black mold, but do you know what mold can do to your health? Mold is actually a toxin, and it releases toxic gas and spores into the air. When the toxins enter your body, via skin or air, the toxic gases cause a disturbance in many organs, including your brain.
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What Are The Signs Of Mold
Mold starts out as a little spot but expands quickly. Youll usually notice it early on, unless its in an out-of-the-way location.
Mold can be black, white, spotted, or just about any color, and may appear powdery, cottony, or velvety.
If you notice a spot and arent sure if its just an old stain or a splotch of dirt, heres how to tell if it could be a sign of mold:
- It has a musty, earthy smell.
- Theres a nearby source of moisture, but not much light.
- You see warping, cracking, or peeling of whatever material its growing on.
- A drop of bleach lightens its color in a minute or two.
- Unchecked, mold will continue to grow. Dirt and old stains wont.
Having mold in your home wont necessarily make you sick. But it does have the potential to cause certain health issues.
Touching or inhaling mold spores can cause allergy-type symptoms such as:
- runny nose and congestion
- lung irritation
In many cases, you can get rid of household mold yourself. Mold can be removed with:
- commercial products
- a bleach solution of 8 ounces of bleach per 1 gallon of water
Before you begin:
- Wear protective eyewear, nonporous gloves, and a face mask or N-95 respirator.
- Never mix other cleaners or ammonia with bleach, as it can create toxic fumes.
Use a brush to scrub mold off surfaces, making sure you get it all. Porous materials, such as carpeting, furniture, and ceiling tiles, may have to be discarded. Dont paint or caulk until youre sure all the mold is gone.
Different Types Of Mold
Allergenic Molds. Allergenic molds are on the low end of the danger scale. They only cause problems for those with asthma and a predisposed allergy to the specific mold. Children are more likely to have mold allergies than adults.
Pathogenic Molds. Pathogenic molds will cause some infection. This is a big problem for those with a suppressed immune system. An acute response resembling bacterial pneumonia is commonly found with those exposed to these types of mold.
Toxigenic Molds. As the name implies, these molds produce mycotoxins that can cause serious health effects. They have been tied to immunosuppression and cancer. The toxic chemicals found in these types of molds can be absorbed into the body when one inhales them, eats them, or even touches them.
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So What Is A Mycotoxin
Mycotoxins, literally fungus poison in Latin, are secondary metabolites that can be produced by molds, and are not living organisms. Mycotoxins are a byproduct of mold. Not all mold spores produce mycotoxins, but some do. So the molds that produce mycotoxins are the ones that could be categorized as toxic or poisonous.
So, where is the line between an allergic mold and a toxic mold? That line is defined by the presence of mycotoxins, and is NOT defined by color. Mycotoxins are invisible and cannot be detected just by looking at the mold growth.
Seek Social Support Restorative Resources And Adjunct Therapies
Recovering from illness caused by mold exposure can be exhausting, isolating and incredibly stressful. Social support is essential for your overall wellbeing and for a return to optimal health. Additionally, specific tools may also be beneficial in bringing your body back into balance after an overactive stress response.
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Eliminate The Source Of Mold
Mold can grow anywhere there is dampness. To reduce the risk of mold in your home or office, fix water leaks. Use fans to circulate the air and dry the area. Clean susceptible areas like bathrooms often and use ventilation fans to decrease the humidity in your home. When cleaning, make sure that you wear a mask to prevent the inhalation of mold spores. Once you finish cleaning moldy areas, wash your clothing immediately, and take a shower to prevent spreading mold spores throughout your home. If your home has been subjected to extensive water damage, contact a mold remediation specialist and have your home professionally cleaned. The cleaners may recommend carpets, draperies, and upholstery to be disposed of if they cannot be properly cleaned by the professional.
Mold can be several different colors, including green, black, and brown. Sometimes mold will appear as a spot and begin to grow. Mold has a musty, earthy smell. Mold can be hidden behind drywall, under carpets, or behind wallpaper. Routinely inspect your roof, basement, and crawl space for moisture. Check plumbing pipes, kitchens, laundry rooms, and bathrooms for any signs of mold. Routine inspections of these areas can prevent a large mold infestation. As soon as you notice the first traces of mold, use a mixture of bleach and water to clean the area, and destroy the mold spores.
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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Signs Of Mold In A Home:
When we visited this home, we were asked to clean up a little bit of mold. What you see here pales in comparison to what we found behind the wall and throughout the home.
Toxic mold can be hiding in any home that has been exposed to damp air. Sometimes its found in the places you would least expect such as your drywall, crawlspace, carpets, and more.
Mold spores are often invisible to the naked eye until they start to rapidly spread. Even if you cannot see mold in or around your property, there are still signs that indicate that you should inspect for mold.
Indoor Leaks or Floods:
It only takes 24-48 hours for mold spores to start growing on a damp surface. If your home experiences a pipe leak, flooding, or even a spill that is not fully cleaned up- mold can start to grow. Its best to conduct a mold test within 48 hours of water exposure in your home since mold grows rapidly.
Sudden Illness or Health Troubles:
If someone in your household is experiencing sudden health troubles, it may be a sign of mold. When left unchecked, mold can cause severe illnesses, especially in children and people with compromised immune systems. Sudden coughing, skin irritations, and difficulty breathing are potential symptoms of mold and a good reason to properly test your home.
How Toxic Mold Enters And Infects The Human Body
Toxic mold can cause serious illness, disease and even death in humans. Both the mold spores and secondary metabolites which are known as mycotoxins can cause serious health effects such as mycosis and a fungal infection. But before they do, they first need to enter and get absorbed into the body.
Many people who are sick from toxic mold have been mainly exposed via their environments such as the outdoor air, their homes, workplaces, schools, and even the food they eat. More than likely, they have stayed in these dangerous environments for prolonged periods of time where they have breathed in, touched and have also probably eaten food contaminated with toxic mold or possibly all the above which could be possible.
These mold spores and their mycotoxins enter our body mainly through three different routes.
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Watery Or Irritated Eyes
When allergens are present, the body releases histamines as part of its immune response. This histamine release is what causes the eyes to water excessively when exposed to toxins from mold.
This reaction from histamine may be the bodys way of flushing out allergens and toxins. It can serve as a warning to you that your environment may contain dangerous black mold.
The Hidden Dangers Of Black Mold
Physical signs of mold exposure can range from itchy, water eyes to asthma and airway problems. The body reacts to a mold that may not otherwise be toxic by exhibiting allergy-related symptoms, such as an irritated throat, coughing, or a runny nose. For some people, the reaction may be more severe, causing nausea, fatigue, sinus infections or trouble breathing. In more extreme cases, fungus can produce volatile organic compounds, which can affect the central nervous system and cause headaches, dizziness, difficulty concentrating and decreased attention span, according to www.toxic-black-mold-info.com. The Environmental Protection Agency also has information on mold and how to combat it and protect yourself and your home.Documentation of the dangers of mold, the result of studies being undertaken by countries around the world, is pointing toward an increase in the prevalence of the health problems mold can cause, particularly in children.
The Mold You BreatheMethods for Preventing and Dealing With Mold
Are You A Clean Freak?
It’s easy to spot a clean freak when you see one in action. What’s not so easy is recognizing the signs of compulsive obsession with cleanliness when you’re the one who’s obsessing. Having a clean house doesn’t mean that you are a clean freak.
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Arranging For Mold Removal
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends consulting your physician before beginning the mold removal process if you have health issues, to make sure its safe for you to clean up mold yourself or to be present during the cleanup process. If you think you may need to hire a professional, you can schedule a free in-home consultation with an experienced mold removal professional to discuss your needs. Just follow this link to find qualified professionals offering free consultations in your area.
Who Is At Risk For Mold Toxicity
While anyone can become ill from exposure to mold and its mycotoxins, some are more susceptible than others.
People who already have allergies or asthma can be more severely affected by mold toxicity than those who do not have allergies.
Also, people who are already ill, have immune suppression, or who have respiratory illnesses are more likely to have noticeable and intense symptoms resulting from mold exposure.
Symptoms of mold toxicity are relatively persistent and should not be ignored.
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How Mold Affects The Body
Did you know that mold is everywhere? Mold spores are present in the air you breathe and on many surfaces you touch on a daily basis. When combined with moisture, mold spores can grow into large infestations that can be seen or smelt. Contrary to popular belief, mold does not automatically cause health problems, however it can cause health problems in people who are sensitive to mold. In fact, it is estimated that around 25% of the population is vulnerable to mold toxicity due to a genetic predisposition that inhibits the bodys ability to clear toxins.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , there are three common types of indoor mold including: Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Aspergillus. Regardless of the type, all mold variations have similar effects on the body. Mold toxins have been found to suppress the immune system, damage and kill cells, and impair both mitochondrial and nervous system function.
Certain symptoms can emerge in people who have a sensitivity or an allergy to mold. These symptoms can range from mild to severe, but most symptoms are generally mild. In some cases, symptoms can become more severe over time. Symptoms of mold toxicity include:
- Itchy eyes
- Night sweats
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How Long Does It Take For A Person To Feel The Effects Of Black Mold
Black mold causes many health problems. It is often difficult to tell exactly what the time frame is for a person to feel the effects of exposure to black mold. Some symptoms and maladies show up immediately, others take several days, and others can actually take years of exposure to cause a definitive health issue.
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When Immunity Is Compromised
As you read previously, there are many components of the immune system. If something goes wrong with any of those cells, tissues or organs, the system doesnt function normally. A number of medical conditions can affect immunity, including HIV, AIDS, cancer, splenectomy , and autoimmune disorders. Some medications, including chemotherapy, can also decrease immune functioning.
If you have compromised immunity, youll be much more susceptible to mold-related illness. Youll also find it much more difficult to fight off infection and it may take you much longer than other people to recover.
If you have a condition that affects your immunity, be sure to consult your doctor right away if youve discovered mold in your home. Even if you arent currently experiencing symptoms of mold-related illness, its best to consult with your doctor to find out if you need to take any special precautions to prevent becoming ill from the mold. Of course, youll also want to have the mold removed from your home as soon as possible, in order to prevent becoming ill.