Option : Independent Testing Company
You can usually have a professional company do a multi-sample laboratory test on your home for around $300. They usually do a visual inspection as well, and since they are trained professionals they have more experienced than the average homeowner in detecting mold and discovering the moisture source.
Some companies will charge several hundred dollars for a mold test, and will then offer to apply that cost to their remediation service . Mold Badger dislikes this strong-arm tactic and believes that using an unbiased third-party is important to avoid conflicts of interest. It ensures that your problem has been solved and that no one is going to fudge your results. Accurate sampling is crucial.
You will most likely need remediation services of some kind, and it is best to have all the appropriate information before choosing a reputable remediation company. A few hundred dollars in testing and a couple hours of research go a long way in making you an informed consumer.
How To Tell If Mold Is Toxic
Mold is a nasty problem to deal with for any home or business-owner. In the wake of a disaster such as a storm, its possible for mold to start growing in as quickly as 1-2 days. Whats even more alarming is when that mold turns out to be toxic, posing a serious risk to you and anyone else on your property.
To clarify, its not that the mold you are dealing with in and of itself is toxic. Its that certain strains of mold, like the notorious Stachybotrys chartarummore commonly known as black moldproduce mycotoxins. Its these mycotoxins which may cause a burning sensation in the throat and lungs, chest pain, persistent coughing, fever, rashes, and migraines. Prolonged exposure to Stachybotrys may lead to serious health issues, including breathing problems, fatigue, sinusitis and other pain in the sinus cavities, and even depression.
How to tell if you may be dealing with toxic mold in your home:
How Mold Affects Your Health
Mold produces irritants and allergens that can cause various reactions when inhaled or touched. Reactions to mold are often allergic symptoms such as sneezing, red eyes, runny nose and skin rashes.
Sensitive individuals may experience immediate reactions when in contact with mold. Others, on the other hand, might have delayed symptoms .
Individuals with asthma may have an especially hard time when in a room with mold. Mold can trigger asthma attacks while irritating the throat, lungs, nose and eyes.
People who dont suffer from allergies or asthma may also experience irritation in the eyes, nose, lungs and throat.
One mold species, in particular, can be more hazardous than others Stachybotrys chartarum. This species is generally referred to as black mold or toxic mold. Despite the name, this mold is actually more greenish in color and is gooier in texture compared to other species.
Black mold can grow on surfaces high in cellulose and low in nitrogen. These include fiberboards, paper, dust and lint. This mold requires constant moisture in order to grow, so its commonly found near water damage, leaks and after floods.
While mold, in general, isnt toxic or poisonous, some species such as black mold can produce toxic byproducts. One of these is called mycotoxins. However, little research is available as to how it affects peoples health .
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Society Tests For Mold
Society examinations are where mold fragments in an example from the home are become bigger mold nests in a laboratory. In this manner society examinations determine the varieties of mold and mildews in properties.
Simply mold fragments that are still active could be increased. Dead mold bits in the home still trigger allergic reactions as well as health issues. Various other examinations could detect both living as well as non-living mold in a home yet cannot consistently determine the varieties of mold and mildews.
Youll require to place on your private investigator hat as well as get to function if you do assume that you might have a mold trouble. Examine all wet locations of your home. , if that does not transform up any sort of mold take into consideration calling in an expert.
It could be challenging to remain in a home where the mold is inducing a smell or shows up. You could really feel extremely uneasy nevertheless, for many people a percentage of mold will certainly not trigger significant illness. If you do experience from allergic reactions and also locate it is inducing breathing troubles it could be sensible to discover a short-term location to remain up until the mold issue is attended to how do you tell if you have mold in your home.
Advnt Biotechnologies has actually developed an exact, user-friendly mold examination set for mold detection that return outcomes within fifteen mins or much less the fastest of any kind of tool on the market today.
Tips For Mold Prevention
Wondering how you can prevent mold from affecting your home? Here are a few tips that may help you prevent mold from forming altogether.
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How Can I Know If Theres Mold In My Carpet
The plush fibers of a carpet can be a thriving spot for mold spores. Its easy for the spores to stick to the surface and theres often a significant amount of dirt, dust and bacteria. Once moisture is introduced, mold will likely begin to grow.
Mold can grow inside the carpet or underneath. The padding or backing of carpets is likely to have mold if exposed to moisture.
A tell-tale sign of mold in a carpet is a musty or even sour odor. However, the best way to know whether or not theres mold growing in your carpet is to pull it up and inspect it.
If you do find mold, consider the severity of it and whether the carpet is worth trying to save or not. You can easily remove the area affected by mold and replace it with new carpeting. Adding additional waterproof padding underneath can help to keep mold and mildew at bay.
Testing For Hidden Or Airborne Mold
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How To Identify Black Mold On Other Surfaces
Black mold has a distinct look that should signal to you its presence on other surfaces in your home. It may look dark green or gray, depending on where it is growing. It also may simply look like black, fuzzy spots growing in dark and wet corners of the floor, ceiling, walls and other areas.
If other surfaces in your home have been exposed to moisture, humidity or water and have this type of growth on them, you should suspect that the spores are actually black fungus. The spots may even be difficult to sweep or scrub and only be removed and killed if you spray bleach or ammonia on them.
Health Effects Of Black 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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Toxic Mold Test Do They Help
Professional inspection and testing can tell you definitively if you have this fungus in your home. The tests can reveal if the fungus is toxic and what type it is for sure. They can also identify where the fungus took root and from what areas in your home it has spread.
The tests can confirm signs that you may have suspected and give you positive results in a matter of minutes. They can also confirm that you need to take immediate action like hiring a professional remediation service to eliminate it and prevent future fungal growth.
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To Test Or Not To Test
Stachybotrys is usually greenish-black and somewhat slimy or wet, but may also appear grayish with a sooty, powdery texture. Additionally, other molds may look similar. That’s why it is impossible to tell if any given mold is black mold by looks, smell or even location. The only way to determine a mold species is examination under a microscope. Testing is costly, advises the CDC, and isn’t really necessary. Any mold can cause health problems, as they point out. Therefore, you should arrange to have any mold in your home removed, no matter what type it is.
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Common Types Of House Mold
Wondering what types of mold are the most common in houses and which ones you should be concerned about? Lets discuss a few of the most common types of household mold now.
- Cladosporium Cladosporium is one of the most common household molds. It usually grows in a greenish-brown colony, but can also be nearly black in color. It is rarely harmful unless you have a mold allergy, but may cause minor issues like toenail or fingernail infections.
- Penicillium Penicillium is sometimes called green mold, as it is usually dark green in color. It tends to grow in large, consistent patches on the walls. As the name suggests, penicillin is derived from some kinds of this mold. However, some kinds of penicillium mold may be toxic to humans and animals.
- Aspergillus This type of mold is usually greenish-white in color, and may be more raised with a more cloudy appearance than other types of mold. It is not harmful, unless you have a weakened immune system, in which case it could infect the lungs or sinuses.
- Alternaria Alternaria mold is usually greenish-white, but can also appear in black patches, so its sometimes confused with black mold. Alternaria can be a factor in exacerbating asthma, particularly for those who may have mold allergies.
Mold Identifications: Black Mold Vs Regular Mold
It is also important as a homeowner that you do not confuse toxic black mold with regular mold. In fact, both types can look similar to each other. However, the regular type of fungus does not pose as much risk to your home or your family.
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The regular variety may be black in color but is not toxic. Toxic black mold can be either green or black. It releases mycotoxins that can make you seriously ill if you come into contact with or inhale them.
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How To Detect Mold In Your Home
If you strongly suspect a mold infestation in your home or office, youll need to do a thorough visual inspection. Once youve discovered the infestation, youll need to take a sample for laboratory testing. Given its microscopic nature, mold is impossible to properly diagnose without a laboratory mold test. If you have any health symptoms, in addition to building damage, it is helpful to know the specific mold so your doctor can help you treat your symptoms and detox the mold from your body.
Here Are A Few Cases In Which You Need Mold Detection:
- When you have had a recent flood. Floods increase the moisture in your home. Some of this moisture can even remain in certain areas if it is not professionally removed. This high moisture content gives room for more mold growth.
- When you notice a moldy smell in any area of the house
- When there is water leakage in any part of the house
- When you discover higher humidity in some rooms
- When you have inexplicable allergies or out of season allergies
- When there are stains on your walls or counters.
This list is in no way exhaustive. If for any reason you suspect there is mold but you can’t physically see any, it doesn’t mean there isn’t any. You should contact a mold detection company. The professionals will help you detect black mold before the situation becomes worse.
You might be interested in the methods used by professionals to detect black mold. While we always advise people to let professionals do the job, the methods are not such a secret! We have shared some of the best mold detection methods below.
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When Do You Need Mold Detection
Mold detection could mean mold inspection and mold testing. It could involve both activities or just one. Mold testing helps to identify the kind of mold in your house and if the mold spores are in a good area for growth. The aim of a mold inspection is just to find the mold.
You don’t need mold testing in every situation. If you can see the mold, you might not need mold testing. Once you detect mold, whether it is black mold or not, the first step should always be towards its professional removal.
How To Prevent Mold
Controlling moisture is the key to preventing mold from growing in your home. The following tips will help stop mold from becoming a problem:
- Keep the humidity in your house below 50%. Using an air conditioner or dehumidifier can help with this.
- Make sure your house is clean, dry, and well-ventilated.
- Fix any water leaks immediately.
- Use ventilation fans in your kitchen and bathrooms.
- Don’t put carpet in rooms that are likely to become wet such as the basement, kitchen, or bathrooms.
- Make sure wet floor mats are dried quickly.
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