Final Word On Black Mold: Best Avoidedbut Not Deadly
As for black molds toxic reputation, those with immune suppression, asthma, or other respiratory problems are most at risk of feeling ill.
Its not likely that youll die from black mold poisoning because its just not that toxic. That said, you should act quickly if you find it in your home. The good news is its treatable, removable, and preventable.
How To Remove Mold
Some mold is quick and easy to clean, merely requiring a regular wipe down around the tub or window, but sometimes professionals are needed. The general dividing line between homeowner clean up versus professional remediation is whether the mold is covering under or above 10 square feet, says Ragsdale. You may also need to hire a professional if your drywall is covered in mold or if you are allergic to mold.
In order to get rid of a major mold problem, you must remove the mold and remedy the moisture problem that caused the excessive mold growth in the first place. Ragsdale highly recommends immediately fixing the cause of the moisture problem that led to the mold, whether its bad plumbing, a leak, or excessive humidity. Mold requires moisture, so if the moisture intrusion is not corrected, cleaning efforts may be in vain, says Ragsdale.
When cleaning mold on your own, be sure to wear gloves, goggles and N-95 respirator masks to reduce your exposure to the mold. If there are outdoor openings in the room, place an exhaust fan near them to help remove mold spores from the room. If the moldy area is dry, lightly spray with water, as this will reduce the incidence of airborne mold spores during cleaning.
Place all used sponges, equipment and other materials in a heavy-duty garbage bag, and if possible, remove the bag through a nearby exit as opposed to the main house to avoid distributing mold spores.
How To Treat Mold With Lemons
Lemons are a natural deodorizer, antiseptic, bleach, stain remover, and cleaner and they can also remove black mold. The high concentration of acid in lemons breaks down mold, making it easy to remove and leaves behind a disinfected surface. Along with that wonderful citrus aroma!
Juice three-to-five lemons into a cup and pour over the moldy area. Let it sit for five minutes and then wipe the surface with a damp towel. You can reapply and scrub the surface to get rid of tough mold stains.
These natural remedies are great non-toxic alternatives to chemical-based black mold removers, and many of them are also effective against mildew. They are safe for your family and safe for the environment, and are frequently less expensive than commercial brands. To learn more about the basics of mold removal, check out this guide from EPA.gov.
From removing mold to weekly housekeeping, The Maids can help you tackle dirt and grime with our full range of cleaning services.
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How To Get Rid Of Mold In House
The best way to get rid of mold in your house is to control the cause of the mold. Once you can answer questions like “what causes mold on walls?,” then you can likely stop mold from forming.
So, what causes mold? In a word: moisture.
- Repair leaks. Find any leaks in the roof, walls or basement of your home.
- Maintain relatively low humidity. Reducing humidity in your home helps prevent condensation on walls and windows. The ideal humidity is 30 to 40 percent. You can measure the humidity in your home with a hygrometer, which is available for sale in hardware stores and home improvement centers.
- Use your air conditioner. Central air conditioning reduces humidity levels throughout your house, because cold air holds less moisture than warm air.
It’s also important to minimize the source of dampness in your home. Activities like laundering, bathing and cooking can add as much as 3 gallons of water to the air in your home. You can control this moisture by installing exhaust fans in rooms like the bathroom and kitchen. Be sure that your clothes dryer exhausts to the outside of your house.
Tips For Mold Prevention
After you learn how to remove mold, focus on preventing it in the future. Controlling dampness is the key to stopping most mold. The worst infestations usually occur in damp crawl spaces, attics, walls where water leaked in from the outside, and in basements with poor foundation drainage. Stopping leaks, ensuring good ventilation in attics, keeping crawl spaces dry and routing water away from the foundation are the best defenses against mold.
Mildewcide in paint is usually effective for controlling surface mold in damp rooms like bathrooms, and outside in shady areas. Many paints already have mildewcide in them. Check with your paint dealer about mold removal products.
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How To Prevent Mold Growth In The First Place
According to the Environmental Protection Agency , There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture. Even if you clean the mold, it will still come back if the room is humid and poorly ventilated or there is excess moisture from a leak, even a small one. Humidity levels should never exceed 50% to control mold growth.
That means prevention is the only permanent remedy for mold. After you’ve repaired the leaks and gotten rid of any moisture problems, moving forward, create an environment where mold cant grow with these tips:
- Add a dehumidifier or two to your home. Its best to keep indoor humidity levels between 30-50% to stop build-up make sure to buy one thats sized for the area you are treating.
- Open bathroom doors and windows or turn on the exhaust fan during and after showering to let moisture escape.
- Leave your shower curtain or liner spread open after showering to help keep it dry.
- Vent moisture generating sources, such as bathrooms and clothes dryers, to the outside.
- Avoid storing items in damp rooms, which may mean keepinglinens, books, or furniture our of your basement or attic.
- Seal bathroom grout lines every year if you have tiling. This will help waterproof your walls and floors.
Noticing Signs Of Mold In Your Air Ducts
ODORS. An unusual or musty odor is often the first sign of mold in air ducts or in air vents. In many cases, youll smell it before you can see it. If you notice a musty or moldy smell that goes away when you are not using your air conditioning or heating , that can narrow the cause down to mold in your HVAC system.
Mold and mildew in air vents and ducts can smell wet, rotten, or stale. If you notice a recurring problem, particularly in areas with poor ventilation or a lot of moisture, get it checked out right away.
VISIBLE MOLD. Look for the first signs of mold around AC vents, in the ducts and in the drip pans. Condenser coils pull moisture out of the air and into drip pans, and if these become clogged they create the perfect environment for mold to grow.
Keep in mind that mold spreads through spores, which are tiny particles that are invisible to the naked eye. That means you wont necessarily see actual patches of mold growth right away. By the time you do see a noticeable amount of mold, infestation can be quite serious. At that point, you need professional help to get rid of the mold and make sure it doesnt come back.
SYMPTOMS. If people or pets in your home start exhibiting symptoms whenever the AC is on, mold in air ducts might be the cause. If theres enough mold in or around the vents, it can spread in the air, causing allergy like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, irritated nose and throat, and itchy eyes.
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Do I Need To Get Medical Treatment
In many cases, exposure to toxic mold doesnt require medical treatment. If you experience cold-like symptoms after exposure to potentially toxic mold, these symptoms will likely fade on their own with no long-term effects once you remove yourself from the environment with the mold.
Generally speaking, your overall risk of long-term health effects related to mold exposure is fairly low. That said, experts still have more to learn about the possible health effects of mold exposure.
For this reason, its still important to avoid long-term exposure to potentially toxic mold and promptly address signs of mold in spaces you spend time in.
Reaching out to a healthcare professional may be a good option if you:
- have a compromised immune system due to another health condition
- have significant trouble breathing
- live with cystic fibrosis
As for a mold detox? Contrary to some beliefs, theres typically no need to go on a cleanse or detox in order to heal your body after exposure to mold.
Heres why: When functioning optimally, your body constantly detoxes itself and its very efficient at this task.
Symptoms Of Mold Exposure
While many are harmless, certain molds can harm your health by producing allergens or even toxins. Typical symptoms of mold exposure include sneezing, runny nose, congestion, rashes and irritation to the eyes, nose, throat and even lungs. If you have asthma, mold can potentially trigger an asthma attack.
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How Do I Get Rid Of Mold
It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in house dust. The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors. If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold, but don’t fix the water problem, then, most likely, the mold problem will come back.
It’s important to remember:
For more information:
How To Get Rid Of And Prevent Bathroom Mold
Learn how to remove and prevent mold from growing in your bathroom in the future.
Mold is infamous for producing spores that, when inhaled, can cause anything from rashes to headaches to respiratory problems. At-risk groups such as the very young or old and people with compromised immune systems, mold sensitivities and allergies, or asthma can have serious reactions to mold.
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How To Test For Mold
If you suspect an incoming mold infestation in your basement, then you need to have it tested.
- Surface test You need to take a mold sample and send it to a laboratory for classification for this test. There are also some D.I.Y. kits available for sale.
- Air test You use a monitor to check if any mold spores are floating around.
- Bulk test You need to remove a small section of infested material and bring it to a lab for testing.
How To Clean Mold Off Leather
Leather might be a luxury product, but its extremely susceptible to mold growth. However if you discover mold on your recliner or favorite boots, all is not lost. Heres how to clean the mold and stop it from coming back.
Soapy water or leather cleaner
Step 1: Place the leather somewhere warm and allow it to dry completely. This will make removing mold easier.
Step 2: Using a damp cloth, wipe down the leather to remove the mold.
Step 3: Clean the leather using a leather cleaner or a mild soap such as baby shampoo.
Step 4: Carry out regular cleaning and maintenance to prevent mold returning.
Mold can quickly take hold of leather products and cause a lot of damage, from discoloration to reducing the leathers lifespan. Adding to the problem, you cannot use detergents or bleach on leather, as they will also cause damage. Therefore treating leather items regularly with specialized cleaners and keeping them dry is the best defence against mold growth.
Pro Tip: If you dont have a leather cleaner on hand, alcohol might help. Surprisingly, alcohol does kill mold and its particularly effective on leather. However, always spot-check any cleaner before you use it!
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Safety Considerations With Mould Removal
- They can be hot and uncomfortable to wear.
- If the seal around the face and mouth is poor , the face mask is much less effective.
- They can make it harder for you to breathe normally, so anyone with a pre-existing heart or lung condition should seek medical advice before using them.
If you are asthmatic and intend to do the clean-up work, keep your asthma medication with you at all times. If you show any signs of asthma, get some fresh air and follow your asthma action plan.
How To Remove Mold From Wood
In areas like the kitchen, where there’s higher humidity from cooking or running the dishwasher, you may find mold on your wood cabinets if there is poor ventilation. Mold can also grow on wood furniture and paneling if it’s humid and the air circulation is low. To remove mold from wood cabinets, paneling, or furniture, follow the steps below:
- Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter , vacuum the loose spores with the soft brush attachment.
- Then, mix a few drops of dish detergent, like Dawn Platinum, with a gallon of water and use a rag to apply the solution. Wet the surface to remove the mold but do not saturate it.
- Follow-up with a cloth dipped in clear water, wring it out well, and wipe the surface dry. Don’t let the wood stay wet for too long as it could damage the finish.
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Precautions To Take When Removing Mold
Is mildew dangerous?
People who are dealing with serious mold contamination may get sick, but generally speaking, you dont have to worry about mildew.
However, it is still a bit of a health risk. So, to stay as safe and healthy as possible when getting rid of mold, its a good idea to wear protective gear.
Wear a face mask and protective glasses, if possible, to avoid breathing in the mold spores or getting eye irritation.
Wear rubber gloves to prevent skin irritation and try to ventilate the area as much as possible. If the room youre in has doors or windows make sure they are open!
If you have an HVAC system , turn it off or seal it. Mold spores could easily try to escape your elbow grease and hide in the system, only to return to the affected area after you leave.
Once youre done cleaning, throw out your face mask and gloves, and make sure you thoroughly clean your protective glasses and other gear.
When youre trying to remove mold, you want to make sure youre not getting yourself sick in the process!
If You Use Bleach To Clean Up Mold
- Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce a poisonous gas.
- Always follow the manufacturers instructions when you use bleach or any other cleaning product.
- Open windows and doors to provide fresh air.
- Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles during cleanup of affected areas.
- If you need to clean more than 10 square feet, check the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guide titled Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, which gives advice on all building types. You can get it by going to the EPA web site at .
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Woman Looking At Mold On Wall
Side View Of A Shocked Young Woman Looking At Mold On Wall
If mold is present in your home, you might begin to notice a damp, musty odor in a specific area. Its commonly found in bathrooms, basements and kitchens. If you notice a musty odor, you should check for damp walls, carpet, flooring and any other spaces that may be breeding grounds for mold. The key is to treat a mold problem immediately, before the infestation becomes worse or causes permanent damage.
Learn the most common areas for mold in your house, and take steps to safeguard against mold growth.
What Is Black Mold
Like other types of mold, black mold is commonly found in dark, humid areas of homes. It releases spores into the air that you can absorb through your skin or breathe in. These spores can also catch a ride from you to other areas, spreading it throughout your home.
Where black mold differs from other common household molds, however, is its reputation for being toxic. Many people refer to black mold simply as toxic mold. When left alone, black mold can cause serious health issues, especially for high-risk individuals.
The most common health issues from black mold are respiratory. You might experience coughing, sneezing or an itchy throat after prolonged exposure to black mold spores. People who are at higher risk, like infants or someone with existing respiratory issues, could experience long-term health consequences.
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