Use A Mold Testing Kit
Home improvement stores and online retailers sell mold test kits. Kits vary in cost, from $8 to $300, depending on the type.
A mold sample collection can only help you verify the presence of mold, so you may need a lab test to determine the type of mold present. Extra analyses can sometimes cost you $40 to $70.
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.
Black Mold Removal And Cleaning
Mold remediation in stores, offices, or schools is best left to professionals. This also applies to household mold exceeding 10 square feet.
The contractors you choose should have insurance and licenses from organizations like the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification .
Homeowners can handle cleaning about 10 square feet of black mold on their own.3 If the patch is small enough, a combination of bleach, water, scrubbing, and ventilation should do the trick.
Before treating mold on your own, prioritize ventilation and protective gear.
Removing black mold is a tough and dirty job. If you or anyone in your family is sensitive to mold allergies, has respiratory or immune issues, trust the professionals.
Find a contractor in your area to get started.
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Can Mold In Apartment Give You Headaches
These compounds are produced through fungal metabolism and are released directly into the air, often giving off strong or unpleasant odors. Exposure to mVOCs from molds can irritate the eyes and respiratory system and has been linked to symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, fatigue, nasal irritation and nausea.
Is Black Mold Dangerous Heres The Truth
The truth is, many people arent negatively affected by mold. However, mold can cause allergies in some people who are sensitive to mold. In these cases, it can make their lives miserable. Mold can also cause severe medical issues with a small percentage of people who have other health complications.
If youve seen a concerning growth in your home or been told that you have a black mold issue, you probably have a lot of questions.
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How To Treat Black Mold Poisoning
Black mold, scientifically referred to as Stachybotrys atra or Stachybotrys chartarum, is typically black or dark green and often linked to serious health problems.
In fact, black mold exposure can lead to poisoning, or stachybotryotoxicosis a condition thats dangerous, particularly for young children and the elderly.
Even though black mold poisoning typically affects horses, cows, and pigs, humans can become infected if they inhale or ingest the spores.
Symptoms of stachybotryotoxicosis include skin rashes , throat and sinus irritation, burning eyes, and a decrease in the production of white blood cells.
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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Testing For Black Mold
You can have your mold tested to find out exactly what kind it is. Cost varies, but you can expect to pay hundreds of dollars to determine the type of mold. Below are a few effective methods for how to test for black mold.
- Use a moisture meter. Moisture meters are available at most hardware stores and can be used to test the level of moisture in your home. High levels of moisture can indicate the presence of black mold.
- Buy a black mold test kit. There are also black mold testing kits, available at the hardware store or on , that you can purchase for around $35-50. With this DIY route, you take samples from a suspected affected surface, then send off to be tested in a lab.
- Use a black light. Black lights emit ultraviolet light, which will make black mold fluoresce. If you see any areas that fluoresce under a black light, you may have black mold, says Devisse.
- . A professional mold remediation specialist will be able to tell you for sure whether you have black mold in your home, along with where it exists and how extensive the issue is.
Health Effects And Symptoms 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!
Is black mold dangerous?
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What To Do If You Find Black Mold
Finding black mold, or any type of mold, in your home is stressful to be certain. It causes a homeowner immediate concern about the health and safety of those who live in the affected space.
Alleviating this stress is one of the best reasons to contact professional mold removal service experts like those at HRS as soon as the discovery is made.
Our team of trained and certified technicians can perform a mold inspection, stop the water from entering your home, and begin the process of returning it to its pre-damaged state quickly.
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.
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Identifying Mold In Your Home
- Appearance or dark spots or clusters. Look for spots or clustered growths, especially in warm, moist rooms.
- Musty smell. You may be able to identify mold by a musty smell.
- Allergies or asthma. If you experience asthma attacks or allergy symptoms in your home, that may also indicate theres mold.
- Potential causes. Look for causes of mold growth, like a leak, water damage, lack of ventilation, or old food, papers, or wood.
Mature Coloration After Spore Formation
Let me take a short break and tell you about some cool products.
Further down the article resumes discussing toxic black mold identification and shows some images of actual toxic black mold.
This newer variety of do it yourself mold test kits seen above is by My Mold Detective. It will not give you the fun of watching the mold grow, but it is similar to what mold inspectors such as myself use. It works much better at successfully identifying the presence of toxic black mold in your homes air. They also do a much better job of telling how many spores are in your air.
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Best Commercially Available Products For Diy Mold And Mildew Removal
The best mold removal products are those that are non-toxic and safe to use around children and pets.
There are 2 commercially available mold removal products that we recommend. Both are cleaners that are safe to use in your home and near children or pets. Remember that you should always wear personal protective equipment when cleaning mold of any color, no matter how safe your cleaner may be.
The other product we recommend has not been reviewed by EWG, however, it is an excellent and safe product that we can highly recommend. Bioesque Botanical Disinfectant Solution kills fungi and mold within 3 minutes. It also kills bacteria and viruses including COVID-19.
To learn more about this product and its safety check out the companys website at: Bioesques Botanical Disinfectant Solution.
How To Get Rid Of Black Mold
Trying to kill or remove toxic black mold yourself is not advisable. If not handled properly, you could end up disturbing the mold and releasing millions of spores and mycotoxins into the air. This could worsen you indoor air quality and cause damage to your home.
Since black mold is toxic, youre better off contacting a professional mold remediation company with experience in cleaning mold in buildings and homes.
Mold removal specialists will be able to accurately determine the extent of the mold infestation and can suggest the right course of action for your home. If you suspect that your home has black moldthat is, if you can see and/or smell it .
A healthy, mold-free home ensures a healthy, happy family.
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How To Prevent Mold And Mildew
- Keep things clean.
- Increase ventilation in the affected area with exhaust fans.
- Install dehumidifiers to reduce humidity.
- Ensure that sources of natural ventilation such as windows remain open, if possible.
- Make sure that sources of mechanical venting such as HVAC vents remain open and unblocked.
- Inspect vents for clothes dryers and ensure that vents are clean and that they are attached.
Tips For Cleaning Mold And Mildew
- Remember that your goal is not to kill the mold or mildew spores, but to remove them. When they have been removed completely they cannot grow back.
- Ventilate, ventilate, ventilate! Ventilation is important during cleaning, so that any disturbed spores exit the building. Close and tape off doors to the rest of the house and use a box fan in a window pointing out while cleaning. This will prevent spores from invading the rest of the home, and remove them from the air of the room to be cleaned.
- Be sure to spray and then wipe all surfaces with a damp rag. Dry wiping will disturb spores and send them into the air! Airborne spores can regrow in new locations, and cause even more mold to grow. Mold and mildew spores are not visible to the naked eye, so be sure to cover all surfaces with your cleaner of choice, even if they look clean.
- Vacuuming is not the best method of removal. Do NOT use a vacuum to clean mold unless you have a vacuum with a HEPA filter. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air, which means the filter can stop most particles of dust, pet dander, allergens, etc. that are 0.3 microns or larger and keep them from being put back into the air. The HEPA filter should be changed periodically to increase efficiency. Use with caution as mycotoxins may not be filtered out even when using a HEPA vacuum. Remember that you will eventually have to empty the vacuum, and it will be filled with the mold.
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How Did I Get Mold
Like any other living thing, mold needs food and water to thrive. Mold problems start when a mold spore thats floating in the air lands on a wet piece of organic material , takes root and starts to multiply. Mold spores are everywhere in the air, including in the cleanest of homes.
In fact, every breath you take likely has some mold spores in it at low levels! In the home, mold usually grows wherever there is dampness and moisture, like basements, attics, kitchens and bathrooms, or areas that have experienced flooding.
With over 100,000 species, mold comes in about any size, shape, and color you can think of, making it impossible to tell what type of mold you have without testing by a certified mold inspection professional.
How To Prevent Black Mold Growth
Conducting routine home inspections and maintenance are the best ways to deal with a black mold problem. Keep an eye out for evidence of water damage and visible mold on a regular basis. The conditions that cause mold should be corrected in a timely manner to prevent mold from growing further.
The extent of structural damage black mold can cause to your home, depends on how quickly you act to fix it.
Some of the ways you can keep mold out of your home is by:
To completely get rid of black mold from your home, you must address the root cause of the problem, so that there is no recurrence of mold. For example, just cleaning up the mold without addressing the moisture problem will not solve the issue because the mold will very likely return.
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How To Identify Black Mold On Wood
You can positively identify this toxic fungus on wood in your home by knowing its most common signs. Rot, for example, is one of its most tell tale signs. If the wood in your floors, ceilings, walls and other fixtures appear to be rotted, you may suspect that this fungus is present in them.
Likewise, if the wood appears discolored or looks like it has water stains on it, you also may inspect them further for it. It can make wood bow out or warp after spores have taken root and spread. You may want to hire a professional inspector or remediation company to confirm its presence in your homes wood.
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Previous Water Damage Event
Have you previously had the misfortune of discovering a water damage event like flooding or burst pipes in your home? If the water was extracted efficiently and properly, there is likely resulting mold growth.
Because fungus feeds on moisture, water damage often leads to mold problems which can be costly and can potentially harm the structural integrity of your home. To learn about how to manage a water damage event, clickhere.
Fungus and mold need water to thrive. If you have previously had the misfortune of experiencing a water damage event in your home, it is important to ensure that there is no resulting mold problem. At the first sign of mold, call the experts at ProClean at 484-8500.
According to the EPA, there is no simple way to eliminate all mold within a home, so it is important to stay diligent in detecting any possible problems.
If you notice any of the above warning signs, it is important to thoroughly and comprehensively remove mold colonies before they multiply even further.
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