Saturday, November 26, 2022

How Can You Detect Mold In Your House

The Development Or Worsening Of Allergies

How to find hidden mold in your home after Harvey

Are you noticing yourself coughing or sneezing more frequently? What about developing an itchy throat or suffering from a constantly running nose?

These are all signs that the presence of mold may be contributing to or even causing the development of allergies. The truth is, some people are more sensitive to mold than others. Its these people that are likely to experience mold worsening their allergies year-round. However, even those who dont suffer from allergies can develop allergy-related symptoms as a result of mold.

Where To Check For Mold In Your Bathroom

You may love a long, hot shower but, unfortunately, so does mold. The warm, wet environment of a bathroom is practically an invitation for mold growth. Bathrooms that lack proper ventilation are especially prone to attracting mold. While it may be clear to check for mold on shower tiles, there are plenty of less obvious places for mold to grow in the bathroom.

Your House Smells Musty

Were not knocking your cleaning skills, but mold that grows undetected can pose a real health risk. This is especially true for the elderly, warns Dr. Parikh. Their symptoms are generally similar, but all chronic conditions are worse in the elderly as their bodies are not as resilient as younger patients and usually have other medical problems which may interfere with or complicate the treatment, says Dr. Parikh. Here are 9 ways to get rid of mildew.

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I Heard About Toxic Molds And Black Molds That Grow In Homes And Other Buildings Should I Be Concerned About A Serious Health Risk To Me And My Family

There is always a little mold everywhere in the air and on many surfaces.

Certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins . Hazards presented by molds that may produce mycotoxins should be considered the same as other common molds which can grow in your house. Not all fungi produce mycotoxins and even those that do will not do so under all surface or environmental conditions.

Mold growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. Color is not an indication of how dangerous a mold may be. Any mold should be removed and the moisture source that helped it grow should be removed.

There are very few reports that toxigenic molds found inside homes can cause unique or rare health conditions such as pulmonary hemorrhage or memory loss. These case reports are rare, and a causal link between the presence of the toxigenic mold and these conditions has not been proven.

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What Are The Health Risks Associated With Mold In The House

Warning Signs From Mold In Your Home

The effect of mold has been studied for more than three decades, and it has been discovered that its a combination of a number of fungi which grow in filaments, and reproduce spores that drift away and are not detectable to the naked eye.

Mold, because of its size is everywhere in homes, outside, and even in our food, and may not be obvious. Homes provide a very viable environment for mold to grow, particularly in a damp basement.

Symptoms of mold in house

The severity of mold symptoms is dependent on the number of spores inhaled and the length of exposure. Some of the symptoms include:

Chronic Sinus Problems

If you have a stuffy nose, it may not be a cold, particularly if you dont have any other symptoms. A study that was conducted suggests that as much as 90 percent of chronic nasal problems can be traced to mold in the house or in the workplace.

Nosebleeds

Mold can also result in a nosebleed in some cases as a result of dryness in your home. You should pay attention to nosebleeds, especially if you dont normally get them. Cleaning your house with bleach-based products and ventilating your home can reduce the risk of having nosebleeds.

Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis

Exposure to toxic molds can lead to Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis although the cases are rare. This is a result of inflammation of the lungs due to breathing impurities.

Mold-Induced Asthma

Skin Infections

Neurological Problems

Other non-specific symptoms have been reported and are listed below:

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Most Common Places To Check For Mold In Your Home

If you have allergies or a chronic lung disease like asthma, youre probably very aware of the effect mold can have on your health. But even if you have a healthy immune system and no allergies, mold can cause a variety of health problems coughing, wheezing, and throat, skin, and eye irritation, to name a few. Mold is everywhere and, though you cant fully control your exposure to it outdoors or in public spaces, you can check for mold in common places around your home and take measures to prevent and remove it.

  • Worth the time invested to check
  • 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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    Common Places For Mold To Grow

    If you have had water damage to your home, its important to be on the lookout for possible mold growth. For example, mold in basement walls or floors can occur after flooding or severe water damage. Also chronic or persistent leaking from appliances, sinks, and showers can also lead to mold growth.

    To find hidden mold, look for evidence of water intrusion which is often a sure sign that you either have mold in the home now or will be growing it soon. While it can be difficult to detect mold in the walls, its important to look for these signs of mold growth, to identify the problem as quickly as possible. Moisture meters and particle counters can be used by a certified inspector to source the water leak and fungal growth and even help detect if there is mold in your walls.

    If you suspect mold growth in your home, here are some of the most common locations to check for mold to grow in the house:

    • Basements
    • Air Ducts
    • Near Plumbing

    Keep in mind that mold is a sign of excessive moisture and water intrusion and can be visible or hidden behind many different surfaces. Whether its from a leaking pipe or previous water damage, mold can lead to costly building repairs and even adverse health effects, which is why it should be handled promptly.

    Who Is At Risk Of Mold

    How to search for hidden mold in your home

    According to the WHO, 15 percent of houses in cold climates show signs of dampness, and about 5 percent have signs of mold problems. In warm climates, however, it is estimated that 20 percent of houses have dampness, and 25 percent have mold. Dampness is most likely to occur in overcrowded houses or those that lack appropriate ventilation, heating and insulation. Because symptoms of mold infection are similar to other respiratory ailments, they are often misdiagnosed.

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    Do You Know If You Have Black Mold

    Black mold, as the name implies, is often dark in color. When searching for black mold, look for circular-shaped spots that are black, dark green or dark brown. Some black mold can also take on shades of orange or have flecks of white within it. Most of the time, black mold has a slightly furry appearance.

    In The Shower And Bathtub

    Showers and bathtubs are one of the most common places you may find mold. With repeated use, these areas tend to be damp most of the time. If you arent properly ventilating during and after your shower or bath, mold spores will thrive. But mold isnt always visible and obvious be sure to check for mold on your shampoo bottles, washcloths and loofahs, shower curtain, in and around the faucet and shower head, and in the tile grout.

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    Your Skin Is Tingling

    If youre allergic to mycotoxins, youll experience tingling, itching, or burning sensations when you come into contact with the mold. Your body is reacting by releasing histamines, and the result can be dry, itchy, and scaly skin you could get hives. If the condition persists, see an allergist and look into ways to locate and eradicate the growth. Here are some more hidden dangers in your home you should never ignore.

    Mold Toxicity Vs Mold Allergies

    Is Mildew &  Mold The Same Thing?

    Often times confusion surrounds the different mold illnesses, specifically mold toxicity and mold allergies. These two separate illnesses illicit different reactions in the body and can affect a person differently.

    Mold allergies are caused by mold spores that become inhaled and stimulate symptoms similar to those of hay fever . Mold toxicity, in comparison to mold allergies, is caused by the volatile toxic vapors that are dispersed by mold that in turn elicits a chronic inflammatory response.

    Diagnosing this condition is very hard, especially for medical professionals who often misdiagnose it because of the wide variation of possible symptoms. The first step in diagnosing mold toxicity or even mold allergies is identifying mold within your environment, particularly in your home.

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    How Toxic Is Mold

    Any mold that produces mycotoxinsthe myco refers to fungusis toxic, and it can be quite poisonous. One of the more alarming varieties is Stachybotrys chartarum: Dense, black, and usually present where moisture has been a long-term, unresolved issue, like a damp basement or in an abandoned home, this fungus can trigger a suite of health issues, like persistent headaches, diarrhea, breathing trouble, and more. But other types can also cause issues, warns the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention : All molds should be treated the same with respect to potential health risks and removal. These are the signs of mold that you should be looking out for. Plus, learn the other ways your house could be making you sick.

    How To Detect Mold In Walls

    If there is an area of your home where you think mold may be present in the walls due to smell, a strange appearance of the wall, or any other factor there are a few ways you can test this.

    The simplest way is to probe the area with a screwdriver. If the area is soft or the screwdriver easily pierces the drywall, mold likely has rotted the surface away, and youll be able to see it once a hole has been opened up in the surface. Be careful when doing this and do not do it near any wiring or electrical outlets.

    You could also use a fiber optic camera to look around inside after opening a hole in the wall, but at this point, you may as well hire a professional inspector. A professional inspector has the tools required to examine the wall thoroughly, and ensure that its mold free or detect any potential issues.

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    Fuzzy White Powered Like Substance Growing In Basement Concrete

    That white fuzzy substance growing in the basement is efflorescence not mold. while it smells like mildew and most often confused with mold, efflorescence is the cause of water damage drying and evaporation will push minerals, salt and calcium to the concrete surface, peeling paint and exposing the aggregate in concrete or block foundations. Special attention is needed and often the problem can be visually observed from the opposite side.

    In On And Under The Kitchen Sink

    What to do if you find mold growing in your home

    A lot happens in your kitchen sink. Dirty dishes pile up , food goes through the garbage disposal, wet sponges sit in the sink or in caddies and collect bacteria, and faucets run. All of these things contribute to the potential for mold growth, so check in these areas often if you want to prevent mold. Oh, and dont forget to check underneath the sink leaky pipes are a big problem for mold.

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    My Basement Wall Has Developed This In Recent Months This Is A Shared Wall Of A Twin Home But This Part Of The Wall Extends Past The Neighbors House And I Believe There Is Water Sitting On The Side Of The House Is This Mold

    This is likely a combination of mold and efflorescence. Efflorescence occurs when moisture migrates through the concrete, picking up minerals along the way. Once the moisture reaches the surface, the water evaporates, leaving behind the mineral deposits. Because this is a product of water movement, often a small amount of mold growth is present as well. If the concrete wall is unfinished/uncovered, it will typically dry out on its own. However, youll need to fix the issue if you plan on finishing out this wall with framing, insulation, etc. The wall will inhibit dry out and lead to mold and rot damage to the framing.

    Preventing moisture migration through a concrete foundation wall is accomplished by a combination of the following. 1.) redirecting downspouts away from the home. 2.) Installing a waterproof membrane on the interior side of the foundation wall. 3.) Installing an interior footing drain and sump pump at the base of the foundation wall.

    Other Places In The Kitchen

    Wooden cutting boards, trash cans, behind the stove and windows and window sills in the kitchen are like heaven for mold spores. They feed off of these places, so keeping them clean and dry is critical for keeping mold at bay.

    To keep your kitchen mold free, be sure to:

    • Ventilate when cooking and doing dishes by opening a window, using a fan, or both
    • Wash the dishes every day, so they dont pile up in the sink
    • Clean and dry the stove top, microwave, counters, cabinets, and window sills regularly
    • Clean out the inside of your fridge and your fridge drip tray often
    • Take the trash out every day

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    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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    Mold can grow anywhere it finds moisture and organic nutrients, like wood or paper, to feed on. You may find it in a corner of your bathroom, laundry room, or basement, or any space that doesn’t have quality ventilation. If you come across mold, it’s imperative to remove it quickly and safely, as mold can be detrimental to your familys health. However, it can be a little difficult to know if mold exists in your home , which is where at-home mold testing comes in.

    Mold testing kits help you detect and even identify growing spores in your home, through samples collected via the air or from the surface in question. Some give you results right away, while others ask you to package the samples and send them back to a lab for professional examination. With the resulting information, you can get the peace-of-mind that you’re looking for while making all of the necessary arrangements to remove the harmful fungi, or know your cleaning efforts were effective.

    Here, the best at-home mold tests, that are both easy to use and effective.

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    Getting To The Root Of The Problem

    Mold can affect your health in different ways some people have severe reactions while others dont experience any.

    Common health effects of mold include hay fever-like symptoms such as a runny nose and red eyes. If you have allergies or asthma, youll likely experience more severe reactions such as asthma attacks or skin rashes.

    Mold spreads and reproduces through spores in the air. You can buy DIY home test kits to help determine whether or not theres mold present in your home. Yet, as popular as these tests are, you shouldnt rely on them entirely. Always follow up with a professional inspection and treatment.

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