Health Symptoms That Can Be Caused By Mold In Your House
Mold doesnt bother everyone. In fact, out of thousands of mold species, only a few dozen will trigger any health problems at all, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Still, some of us are sensitive to molds. People who are allergic to an indoor mold can experience year-round symptoms like a sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, and more for those who also have asthma, mold can trigger an asthma attack. People with a weakened immune system or a chronic lung condition like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can develop a serious infection in the lungs if theyre exposed to mold.
People without allergies and asthma arent immune to the effects: In 2004, the Institute of Medicine concluded that people without pre-existing lung conditions can also experience symptoms like nasal congestion and a sore throat if they live in a house with damp floors or moisture accumulation.
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I Found Mold Growing In My Home How Do I Test The Mold
If you can see or smell mold, a health risk may be present. You do not need to know the type of mold growing in your home, and CDC does not recommend or perform routine sampling for molds. No matter what type of mold is present, you should remove it. Since the effect of mold on people can vary greatly, either because of the amount or type of mold, you cannot rely on sampling and culturing to know your health risk.
Water In The Foundation
Look out for a build-up of water around your homes base. This can lead to foundational problems for your home if there is a lot of water. At your homes foundation, gathering rainwater can be prevented by sloping your yard outwards from your foundation. In the same line of thought, damp basements are another culprit. Usually, there is no good ventilation in basements. This is an indication that basements could contain higher humidity or moisture amounts compared to other rooms in the home. Also, basements are often colder which means more condensation occurs which leads to humidity and basement.
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How Do I Find Hidden Mold In My House
How can you detect hidden mold in your home?
Most mold is unmistakable, but sometimes small or largely hidden growths just make a surface look dirty. A quick test for mold can be done when you dip a swab in diluted bleach and dab it on the wall. If the spot quickly lightens , assume it’s mold.
How do you know if mold is behind drywall?
Odor you smell something but just can’t see anything. You don’t feel good when your home and you feel better when your away. Constantly itchy nose, red eyes and sneezing. Staining on interior wall and base molding. Wall appears to be wet and damp.
How do I find out where mold is coming from?
How Common Is Mold In Buildings
Mold is very common in homes and buildings.
One 2017 study found mold in every public building studied, with an average of about 14 instances of mold per building.
Another involving 31 European countries found mold in 1 in 6 homes. The author noted that the prevalence of mold may vary greatly depending on the regional climate.
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What Mold Smells Like
Mold has a damp, musty scentsimilar to what youd smell after opening an old book. In general, smell is not a good way to determine if there is a mold problem, says Laureen Burton, a staff chemist and toxicologist for the Environmental Protection Agency . The smell of indoor molds can differ depending on the type of mold, the surface on which its growing, and its source of moisture. Plus, she says, some people dont notice a smell at all.
The mold smell is caused by microbial volatile organic compounds , which are substances that are naturally produced by molds as they grow. The health effects of inhaling mVOCs are largely unknown, says Burton, although exposure to some mVOCs has been linked to symptoms such as headaches, nasal irritation, dizziness, fatigue, and nausea.
How To Find Mold In Your Home
Damage caused by mold growth in your home can be a huge inconvenience and if the damage is severe enough, costly to repair. Mold forms in environments where moisture is present and it is important to know how to detect when there is mold growth in your home. This article addresses how to find mold in your home.
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Testing For Mold In The House
If you suspect you have mold growth in your house, its important to determine the type of mold and severity of the growth with a mold inspection. In some cases, mold has been suspected of making people sick, causing allergic reactions, and leading to expensive repairs if left untreated.
Also, bear in mind that mold remediation only removes the symptom. Therefore, if you want to have peace of mind about the health of you, your family, and your home, then locate the source of the moisture leaking into your home and make those repairs as you clean up the mold. When testing for mold in the house, professional services are available to help you find hidden mold and moisture problems in your home.
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 To Find Hidden Black Mold In Your Home
Do you suspect you have mold hidden in your home? Whether you can visibly see mold growing or can smell an unpleasant earthy odor, mold is a common problem in houses with water damage or leaks. If you see signs of mold in your home, a black mold test can be performed on a sample to determine if it is indeed mold, what toxic variety it is, and what should be done about it.
Remember That Professionals Have Tools That You Dont
According to Jeff Miller, a real estate agent with AE Home Group in Maryland, More often than not, the mold is either from a small plumbing leak or from a roof leak, so fix that first. If the mold is located under a bathroom or kitchen sink where there could be a plumbing leak, call a plumber to investigate. Similarly, he recommends having a roofer inspect and seal any gaps in the roof if you see thats the cause of the mold.
Miller recommends having the mold remediated by a professional. They have access to the proper chemicals you need to ensure no mold residue after treatment, and they can test your home to ensure that the mold hasnt spread.
Kyle Rowley, mold remediation expert at Restoration 1 in Waco, TX, agrees. He says that mold can be tricky and dangerous. Even if there has been no water damage to a property, mold can come from something as simple as a leaky window because moisture and mold go hand-in-hand.
And because mold can cause so many problems, he says homeowners shouldnt take any chances. Having mold present can lead to allergens, irritants, mycotoxins, sneezing, breathing problems and long-term diseases, Rowley says.
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What Does Mold In A House Smell Like
Mold is often described as having a pungent, earthy scent, similar to rotting wood or wet socks. Just thinking about mold brings on unpleasant senses such as things that are damp, sour, or expired. Basements are most likely to exhibit this undesirable smell, as well as old homes that don’t have proper ventilation.
What Should You Do If You Suspect There Is Mold In Your Home
Step 1: Stay Calm
First thing you should if you suspect there is mold growing in your home is not to panic. Mold damage is a common problem that occurs in almost every home.
If you can see mold or you have suspicions of mold in your home, its likely much worse than youd ever want to see.
Step 2: Get Tested
Next, you should contact a local home mold removal company. They can come out and do a mold inspection and air test.
Step 3: Hire Local
From there, you can be confident if you need any mold removal or if your home is safe. Either way, you will have peace of mind knowing what to do next.
If the test comes back that you do have mold, you will want to work with a local mold removal company to get the mold removed as soon as possible.
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What Is Black Mold
When people say black mold, they refer to Stachybotrys, a greenish-black mold that grows on damp material with a high cellulose content. In our homes, that includes wood, fiber or gypsum board, paper, fabric, or green insulation. Just because mold is black doesnt mean its the dreaded Stachybotrys though, which by the way also manifests itself in blue and grey. But because Stachybotrys can off-gas dangerous mycotoxins, its the mold variety most feared.
What Causes Mold Sickness
The toxins in your system from breathing in mold spores add to the total amount of toxicity in your body. We call this the Total Body Burden. When your burden is high, you start experiencing symptoms many which are seemingly unrelated.
For most people, toxins get flushed out from the body when eliminating waste.
For some, the toxic load is so high that its too much for the body to eliminate them all efficiently. For others, they may have poor detoxification processes or they may even recycle or reabsorb these mycotoxins back, as the body tries to eliminate them. Genetics plays a huge role in this difference from person to person
In short, multiple symptoms happen because, as we say in environmental medicine genetics points the gun, and then the environment pulls the trigger.
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Can I Remove Mold By Myself
Unfortunately, this turn of events is not very likely. Mold thrives in damp places with poor flow of air and results in what are literally billions of spores everywhere. You may eliminate the mold you see on the surface, but it wont be a permanent solution to the problem it will simply grow right back. The only sure way to remove mold is to get rid of the source of unwanted moisture.
Condensation On Windows Window Frames And Sills
- Promptly repair any leaks.
- Lower the indoor moisture levels.
- Use exhaust bathroom fans and a kitchen range hood.
- Keep window coverings open to move the warm air over the windows .
- Keep baseboards or heating vents clear of furniture to make sure the heat flows.
- Dry your window frames and sills daily to keep water from dripping and causing mould to grow.
- Leave interior doors open for good air and heat flow.
- Unplug and remove humidifiers.
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Can I Just Get Into The Wall And Use Bleach To Clean It
It may be tempting to get into the wall and spray everything with bleach by yourself. However, if you have never done this before, it is better to call someone licensed to deal with mold. This is especially true if you have never gone into the wall and dont know how to detect how extensive the mold damage is. Leaving the eradication of mold to professionals will save not only your health but also your sanity. A professional team will have all the protective gear, detection tools and methods necessary to get rid of all the mold in your home.
What Are The Laws Regarding Mold Remediation And Who’s Responsible To Pay For It
New York state requires that all mold assessment and removal professionals be licensed, and details a framework for how the jobs are to be planned and carried out.
If a consumer believes a mold assessor/remediator hasn’t followed the law while on the job, he/she can fill out a state mold contractor complaint form.
Neither federal nor state law addresses a landlord’s responsibility when it comes a mold outbreak in a rented space, other than broad standards that require them to keep living spaces in a safe and sanitary condition.
Landlords of multi-family units like apartments can have their own property managers handle mold, and are exempt from state licensure laws, said Nardozzi.
“People fight about this every day,” he said. “It is a constant battle in our world.”
His tip for both tenants and landlords for a relatively small fee, you can get a professional into the space in question to assess whether a problem exists and how severe it is.
If a tenant feels a landlord has ignored a repair issue to the point that it has become a health concern, he or she can bring the matter to court and consider rent withholding or “repair and deduct,” during which the tenant repairs the issue and reduces his or her rent.
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Try To Determine Liability
Its possible that the seller didnt disclose a mold problem because he or she wasnt aware of it. Before you bought the house, the original home inspection report should have noted signs of leaks or mold. Hire a second home inspector to confirm and document mold growth and damages that were originally overlooked.
How Do I Fix Mold In My House
Getting rid of mold is the only way to ensure you dont encounter the same problem in the future. You also need to keep your house dry and well ventilated to keep it dry. Looking for all leaks and fixing them can also help with keeping your home dry and mold-free. In case you dont find leaks, but you still have mold, check the ductwork around your ventilation systems.
When removing the mold, you are going to be better off leaving it to the experts. If you believe you have mold in your house, dont hesitate. Contact ServiceMaster Fire & Water Restoration Services for help today! Our mold remediation experts will help identify and treat your house with ease. Call today!
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Moisture: Investigating And Solving Problems
Mould will grow indoors if moisture is present. Moisture problems in homes may result from:
- daily activities such as showering or bathing, washing clothes or cooking, if exhaust fans are not working properly or are not used
- infiltration of water from the outside when there are cracks or leaks in the foundation, floor, walls or roof
- plumbing leaks
- moisture condensation on cold surfaces
- flooding due to weather conditions
- inadequate ventilation.
Moisture indoors accumulates when it cannot be vented outside and becomes a problem when building materials become damp or wet.
Moisture problems are preventable.
Unless the cause of the moisture problem has been identified and solved, mould will reappear. Once the moisture problem and its causes have been identified, they must be fixed. To prevent future problems, measures should be put in place to control sources of moisture in your home, for example:
- Ensure rain, irrigation water and snowmelt drain away from the house by sloping the grade away from the building.
- Keep eavestroughs and downspouts clean of debris and ensure that the outflow runs away from the house and not into neighbouring foundations.
- Repair plumbing leaks promptly.
- Use exhaust fans, ventilation and air conditioning systems to vent moisture outdoors.
- Use moisture tolerant materials in areas likely to get wet .
Run a dehumidifier in damp areas such as basements or if you observe that moisture is condensing on cold surfaces such as window panes.
Visible Growths And Odd Colors
You may be able to visibly see a black mold growth in your home. While most black mold is indeed black, it can have a wide range of variations. For instance, you may notice a dark, furry growth or what appears to be a black stain, or there could be white, orange, brown, and even green specks.
A good rule of thumb is no matter what the color, get it treated to avoid damage to your health.
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