Check Your Petri Dish
After 48 hours, check your petri dish for signs of mold growth. If you do not see mold, wait another 24 hours and check again. If you still dont see mold, wait again for 24 hours and check one last time. If you do not see mold growth after 96 hours, your test did not detect any mold. If you do see mold on your test plate, you should take additional steps to remove the mold.
What Makes Black Mold Dangerous
Theres a lot of controversy surrounding black mold and its health effects. While some people are relatively unaffected by exposure to black mold, others have allergic reactions. Research suggests that in cases of acute exposure, a person may even experience severe symptoms, including lung disease and neurotoxic effects.
The health effects of black mold not only depends on the individual exposed, but also on the particular mold colony. Black mold can release a number of byproducts, including spores, mold fragments, microbial volatile organic compounds and mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are the most dangerous of these byproducts, but not all black mold colonies release them.
Treating The Affected Areas
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Indoor Air Sampling Kit
Indoor air sampling kits are the next step up from DIY mold testing. Air sampling kits generally include an air pump and containers for collected air. After collecting the samples, users mail them to a laboratory for analysis. Laboratory analyses offer a distinct advantage over DIY mold tests in that they provide mold concentration in addition to type.
How To Test For Mold
This article was co-authored by Bridgett Price. Bridgett Price is a Cleaning Guru and Co-Owner of Maideasy, a maid service company that services the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area. She holds a Master of Management from the University of Phoenix, specializing in digital and traditional marketing.There are 19 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 275,516 times.
Mold is a type of fungus that grows in moist environments and reproduces by microscopic seeds called spores. Even if you’re healthy, you can suffer from respiratory issues, skin irritation, and headaches if you’re exposed to dangerous forms of mold.XTrustworthy SourceCenters for Disease Control and PreventionMain public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. of Health and Human ServicesGo to source If you share your home with children, elderly loved ones, or anyone with respiratory problems, they’re at an even greater risk. Therefore, it’s very important to learn how to find, test for, and treat mold. This knowledge could improve your health and even save your life.
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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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Poor Reason For Testing #5 To Determine If The Environment Is Safe
At this time, it is unknown what level of mold is safe or how much is necessary to cause health problems. Mold tests cannot measure all the molds in an environment or how much occupants are exposed to. Such testing can also miss evidence of problems and results may mislead or be misused. MDH recommends assuming that any visible amount of mold may potentially cause illness and advises that the best approach is to remove this potential threat as soon as it can be done safely. MDH also suggests that it is also reasonable to conclude that an area should be relatively safe with regard to mold, if all visible growth was removed, the surrounding areas thoroughly cleaned, and it remains dry and free of mold odors.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Having Mold In Your House
Whether youre selling a home, preparing to buy one for the first time, or just performing regular maintenance, the issue of mold may worry you particularly if your home is in a damp environment.
In most cases, a typical home inspection wont include mold inspections and testing. You will need to hire a professional mold inspector to check your home for issues like black mold.
So, to help you understand whether or not you may need a home inspection for mold, weve put together this comprehensive guide that will help you understand the signs and symptoms of mold, know what next steps to take if you think you have mold issues, and provide you with other helpful information and tips that will help you deal with a potential mold problem.
Test For Mold In The Air
A common household pollutant that your indoor air quality monitor wont report on is mold. Everybody has seen mold in their home at some point, probably on some bread that they forgot to throw away. That mold is easy to deal with. You just throw away the bread. What’s less obvious and a greater threat to health is airborne mold spores that are polluting your indoor air.
What type of home mold test should I use?
Home mold tests are cheap, easy to use, available at most hardware stores, and almost entirely useless. So the answer is none. You should use none of them.
A standard home mold test typically consists of a petri dish that you allow to sit in your home, along with a substance to create mold growth inside . You leave the test out for a specified amount of time, and then you cap the petri dish and let it incubate for a specified amount of time. These times vary by brand, so follow the manufacturers guidelines. If mold grows, you have mold. If it doesntwell, you get the point.
Spoiler alert: there is mold in your air. Mold spores are in the air just about anywhere you could go, including inside your home. Testing for the presence of mold is like testing for the presence of air. It is there, we promise.
Professional mold removal service Moldman cites these eight reasons as the most common they see for mold inspections:
8 situations that warrant testing for mold:
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Getting A Mold Checkup
Getting rid of the mold in your home is your first priority. Since CDC guidelines don’t distinguish between different types of mold and recommend the prompt removal of all mold in your home, testing beforehand isn’t a priority if you’ve already decided you have a problem. Testing can be useful when you want to make sure your property is free of mold after a cleanup, though.
There are a couple of ways you can arrange for a test. You can purchase an in-home test kit, follow the directions and submit the resulting sample to a lab. The costs for this can vary quite a bit, anywhere from $40 to more than $200, and the results might not be reliable. Consumer Reports conducted an evaluation of home mold testing kits in 2006, and none of the four kits they looked at received a recommendation. The problems ranged from the kits having no expiration dates, potentially compromising the results, to being difficult to use .
There is a third choice. After a cleanup, you can make periodic, careful evaluations of the infected area yourself and monitor your family’s health to see if the problem recurs. The time and effort you take with the clean-up and the extent of the mold damage may have an impact on how comfortable you feel with this option. If a foul smell alerted you to a mold problem in the first place, using your nose to check the area periodically might be a good way to gauge the success of your cleanup efforts.
How To Test For Black Mold
Do you keep getting a whiff of something musty in your bathroom or basement? Afraid it might be mold? Learn about three of the most popular kits to test for mold at home.
Its no secret that damp areas of the home provide the perfect conditions for mold and mildew to grow. Whether your nose knows, or your eyes spy dark spots in strategic locations, you want to make sure.
Mold doesnt just eat away at your wood, wallpaper, or grout. Its spores get airborne and cause all kinds of health problems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says enough evidence exists to link mold to upper respiratory tract symptoms like itchy eyes and runny nose to cough and wheeze in otherwise healthy people.
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In On And Under The Kitchen Sink
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.
Poor Reason For Testing #4 To Find The Cause Of Health Complaints
It can be very difficult to conclude if and how occupants may be impacted by a specific mold problem. For one thing, the full range of health effects caused by molds is poorly understood at this time. Whether health effects will occur depends, for each person, on how much mold gets into their body, the amount and potency of various substances that the mold mixture can contain, and the unique susceptibility of each person to the effects of these substances. Unfortunately, mold tests alone will not determine if a specific problem environment is causing a persons complaints.
Even when mold contamination is found in an area where health problems are occurring, it is often difficult to conclude that the mold is the actual cause of an individuals specific complaints since other contaminants commonly present in damp or water-damaged settings can also cause or contribute to the complaints associated with moldy environments. Indeed, focusing too heavily on mold alone can be a poor strategy if other potential causes of complaints are not also addressed. Nevertheless, such an association of complaints to evidence of mold contamination is reason enough to remove the mold and correct the underlying causes of excess moisture.
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Air Conditioning And Heating Vents
You probably prefer your bedroom to be at the optimal temperature for you to get a good nights rest. While using the AC and heating unit are fine , its possible for mold to grow in the vents.
To prevent mold from contaminating your bedroom, you should:
- Use a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air
- Dry up any condensation you find on the walls and windows
- Invest in a mold-resistant mattress or, at the very least, a waterproof mattress cover
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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Do The Petri Dish Mold Testers Like Mold Armor Work They Say Watch It For 48
In general, Ive found the petri dish style sample kits provide limited information. The industry gold standard is a 5 minute Air-O-Cell style non-viable sample. These provide true spore count levels and are easily compared to other test samples. The results of this test should be compared to average outdoor data for your region. For example, basidiospores levels are very high in the late summer and early fall. If youre just looking at total spore counts, you might conclude your house suffered from a mold issue. Yet Basidiospores do not grow in the home. Therefore, its important to separate out the types of spores in your home. Petri dish style kits cannot effectively achieve this type of analysis.
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.
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Difference Between Mold And Mildew
When it comes to testing for mold infestation, it is important that you know the difference between mold and mildew.
Both of them are an unpleasant sight in a building, but mold is likely to cause more damage than mildew.
Mildew is a fungus that is often grey and powdery in appearance. You can easily clean the fungus using a household cleaner or elbow grease.
Mold on the other hand has a fuzzy appearance and comes in different colors such as orange, green, black, brown, yellow, purple, pink, or white.
Unlike mildew, mold grows inside the material that is why getting rid of a mold infestation is difficult and costly.
It requires the removal of the infected portion of the floor or wall with a new one.
Dealing with mold infestation promptly will reduce the risk to the health, and also reduce the extent of damage to the property.