Monday, September 19, 2022

How Do I Know I Have Mold In My House

Common Types Of House Mold

How to search for hidden mold in your home

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.

When To Do A Mold Test

  • You sense most often its smell mold.
  • You or a family member begin feeling sick and you think it could be from mold.
  • Testing indoor air quality because of a problem.
  • To help find mold.
  • To identify something, which maybe is mold, in or on or under your house.
  • Test after a mold removal or treatment, to see if the mold is gone.

Extent Of Mould Growth

It is important to determine the extent of the mould problem in your home to help you decide on the clean-up procedure. An area of mould is considered small if it covers one square metre or less. There should be no more than three patches of mould, with the total area staying within one square metre. Many small patches of mould in one area or throughout your home are a sign of moisture problems that need to be investigated and corrected right away.

If ignored, small mould areas may become larger over time, so it is important to clean them up before the problem gets bigger. A small amount of mould may be cleaned up using proper procedures and protective equipment.

The area of mould is considered medium if there are more than three patches of mould , but the total area is less than three square metres. In this case, assessment by a qualified professional is recommended but in most cases a medium amount of mould may be cleaned up using proper procedures and protective equipment .

An area of mould is considered large if a single patch of mould is larger than three square metres. Health Canada does not recommend that an unqualified person clean up large areas of mould. You may need a professional assessment to determine why the mould is there in the first place and how to clean it up.

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The Bottom Line On Testing For Mold

The cleanup procedures for treating mold are the same, whether it is black mold or another type, so it isnt always necessary to test for mold if you can see or smell it. But if you have a specific reason for identifying types of mold in your home or suspect you have mold but cant find the source, a do-it-yourself mold test is extremely easy to conduct.

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Condensation Around The Windows

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Mold is often found near windows. It may not be a lot of mold but even a small amount of mold can damage paint and cause health problems.

Mold is less likely to occur on newer windows. Condensation is common on old, single pane windows but rarely on dual pane windows.

Also, make sure the window is set correctly so air isnt entering the house through the sides of the window.

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Is Mold Inside Walls Dangerous Patricia Santa Monica

Heres a customer that had severe mold inside the walls and crawl space. It affected her skin, this is how we treated it the mold: we used our dual dry decontamination fogging.

The best way is to verify by an air mold sample: this will determine if the mold inside the wall cross contaminated into the indoor breathing space.

Getting A Diagnosis For Mold Sickness

While symptoms to mold exposure are not uncommon , many health care professionals struggle to pinpoint the cause behind these symptoms.

Often only a few people or one person and not everyone, in a home or workplace experience symptoms. This is frustrating and confusing for the sick person. When their doctors cant find any reason for the illness, they can start to feel like the sickness is all in their mind.

People suffering from mold exposure can often be misdiagnosed with disorders such as:

  • Depression

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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.

Can I Just Open The Wall & Use Bleach To Clean It

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You have to be very careful when treating mold inside the wall.

A few things to know first:

Depending on the age of the property, there could be asbestos & lead, so be cautious of opening materials, this can cause a procedure 5 clean up.

Build a contained area with plastic so you dont spread the mold spores causing secondary damage.

Heres a great way to capture particulates/ dust from spreading using simple shaving cream:

And finally, please do not use bleach. There is so much on the internet about using bleach, but we promise it doesnt work.

Weve been on hundreds of calls where theyve used bleach, and it comes right back in a matter of days.

Your better off using a mold removal agent like RMR or contact the Twins today, you can purchase ours.

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What Does Harmless Black Mold Look Like

Harmless black mold looks like any other type of mold, but its a little more common in certain areas.

Like all molds, harmless black mold is a fungus that thrives on moisture and grows on surfaces that are damp or wet. It can be found in places like the bathroom and kitchen, where humidity is higher and the temperature tends to be warmer.

As with all molds, harmless black molds growth depends on how much water there is available for it to feed on. If you find a patch of harmless black mold growing on your shower curtain or in your basement, it could be due to excessive moisture in those areas.

What To Do About Mold In Your Home

For areas that have already fallen victim to mold, there is hope. We cannot stress this enough – your first action should either be a mold test kit , or a call to a professional service. Do not simply attack mold with bleach and expect it to disappear, because you’re likely fixing the symptom and not the root cause. When you know what you’re dealing with, you can then take appropriate action.

In some instances, common household ingredients can rescue you home. Mix a cup of bleach with a gallon of water and scrub the mold off your walls, carpet or ceiling. This will kill the mold, and allow you to repair or repaint the impacted area . This is usually fine for areas where you haven’t been allowing enough ventilation – simply remove the mold, repaint with a moisture or mold repellant paint, and remember to open doors and windows to prevent the area from getting stale.

If you have a windowless bathroom, mold will likely grow here. Having an air extraction fan fitted is relatively inexpensive, and can prevent moisture from staying within the room. Failing that, keep the door open as much as possible.

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Growth Spots Of Varying Colors

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. Larger growths of mold may appear as a black stain that stretches along your wall, floor or ceiling.

You Visibly See Mold Spores

How Do I Know If I Have Mold In My Home

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.

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Culture Tests For Mold

Culture tests are the best way to identify the type of mold. Mold particles from a test sample are intentionally grown in a lab. This lets lab workers identify the species.

This is a good spot to say while live mold can grow, in a house or in a lab. Dead mold can still cause many health problems and allergies so dead mold in a home is still a significant problem that must be remedied.

Your Bathroom Exhaust Fan Is On The Fritz

Mold is a particularly common problem in bathrooms with inadequate ventilation, says Yoel Piotraut, a managing partner at MyHome Design + Remodeling. A bathroom exhaust fan is an essential tool to keep toxic mold at baybut it wont work if its clogged or not running well. In fact, if its still steamy five to ten minutes after you get out of the shower, your fan isnt circulating enough air. It may need to be cleaned or replaced with a unit that meets the square footage of your bathroom. Piotraut also suggests cleaning the walls regularly with a bleach solution or other mold-killing product. These are the household items you use that could be poisoning your air.

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Issues That Cause Mold And Mildew

Moisture is the chief cause behind the growth of mold and mildew. Mold spores entering your home are inevitable this is difficult to stop. But you can stop the factors that help mold and mildew to grow. Besides moisture, lack of sunlight, poor ventilation, and dirt and debris can cause mold and mildew to grow. Because of this, mold and mildew tend to develop in the home:

  • Under carpeting

What Does Black Mold Look Like

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The appearance of black mold can vary depending on the species, but it is usually a black to dark brown or greenish-black slimy film that grows on organic matter. It is often found in damp and dark places such as basements, bathrooms, and crawlspaces. Its easy to confuse black mold with other types of mold that you might encounter in your home.

Here are some signs that indicate youve got black mold:

  • Unpleasant odors coming from your walls or other surfaces
  • Moldy patches on walls or ceilings
  • Mold growth on woodwork or other building materials
  • Musty smells in different rooms of your house

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Mold Armor Fg500 Do It Yourself Mold Test Kit

The Mold Armor kit includes a test swab, petri dish, and a bottle of mold growth medium. You can use this single kit in one of three waysto test the air for mold spores, to test air quality in your HVAC duct, or to test for surface mold.

To use the kit, pour the growth medium in the petri dish, replace the lid, and allow it to gel for one hour. Then, either allow it to remain open to the atmosphere for an air quality test, tape it to your air duct for a HVAC test, or use the swab to remove a sample from a surface and apply it to the growth medium for a surface test.

If after 48-96 hours mold begins to grow in your dish, you may choose to send it to a lab for analysis. With a price tag of under $10, this mold test kit is affordable. But the lab fee is an additional $40.

Your Baby Coughs At Night

According to a study published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, infants exposed to mold in their homes were three times more likely to develop asthma by age seven. Symptoms to watch for include coughing, especially at night difficulty breathing fast breathing frequent chest colds and wheezing or whistling sounds when exhaling. Heres how to remove mold from your babys toys.

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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.

How Toxic Is Mold

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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.

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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
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