Black Mold Exposure Mold Poisoning:
These are molds that are green or black in appearance. The most common species of the black mold isStachybotrys chartarum. It has been speculated that many black molds are toxigenic, which means they release mycotoxins that are particularly harmful to people with preexisting conditions.
When these mycotoxins begin to accumulate in the body, it may lead to a condition known as mold poisoning which affects the upper respiratory system adversely.
Common mold poisoning symptoms are the same as that of mold allergies. People who are suffering from asthma or any other chronic lung disease, these mycotoxins will make their condition miserable. They will exhibit severe symptoms such as:
After becoming conversant with the health issues caused by molds, its high time to discuss how doctors test for mold exposure.
Where To Check For Mold Before Buying A Florida Home
Would you buy a house with mold issues?
It’s not always easy to detect mold growth. Sometimes the mold is visible, other times it spreads in less accessible areas.
Ignoring mold growth may result in an expensive surprise. You might discover that you need a costly mold removal service.
In some cases, mold can be a health hazard resulting in your move-in to face delays. Checking for mold before buying your Florida home can save time and money.
In the following paragraphs, you’ll learn about pre-purchase mold inspections. We’ll go over the essential steps for discovering mold in your Central Florida home.
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.
You May Like: How To Prevent Mold From Growing
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 272,554 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.
What Happens During A Mold Inspection
Mold inspection is, for the most part, a visual inspection of a house. Thereâs no special equipment involved aside from a good flashlight and tools that are sometimes needed to access restricted areas . Some mold inspectors may use cameras. A moisture meter might also be useful in determining if a particular area is wet, especially after remediation.
A typical mold inspection involves the inspector talking to the property owner about any areas where they have seen mold, or where there have been moisture problems or water damage in the past. The inspector will go over the house thoroughly, looking in places known to be prone to mold growth. If there is a chance mold is growing in an inaccessible space, the inspector may have to damage a section of drywall or remove paneling to get a better look. If mold is detected, the inspector will try to find the source of the moisture that is causing the mold and talk to the homeowner to develop a remediation plan.
In some municipalities, mold inspectors must have a license or certification. Always look for a contractor with experience in mold inspection and mold remediation.
Recommended Reading: What To Use To Get Mold Off Walls
How Long Do Mold Symptoms Last
The tricky thing about mold exposure is that its different for each person. The amount of time mold exposure symptoms persist depends on:
- What type of mold they are exposed to,
- How long the exposure has been,
- How well their bodies eliminate toxins
Those who process toxins well can see their symptoms disappear as quickly as a few days.
Others who eliminate toxins slowly can experience symptoms for much longer. They could be ill for months or even years after the source of mold is eliminated.
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.
Also Check: What Causes Mold And Mildew In Your Home
How To Tell If You Have Mold In Your House
It can be hard to tell if you have mold in your house. Obviously, if you see mold somewhere, youve got a mold problem in your house, but mold can hide in walls, ventilation ducts, crawl spaces, and in other hard-to-see areas.
A common way to check for mold is to smell for it. A musty smell in an area of your home is often an indicator that there is some kind of mold present. Symptoms like a persistent runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing and throat irritation could also be indicative of mold.
In addition, anywhere that has been exposed to a significant amount of moisture such as water damage from flooding is a potential area where mold may be growing. Look for water where it shouldnt be, and check areas which may have flooded in the past.
Other Places In The Kitchen
Wooden cutting boards, trash cans, behind the stove and windows and window sills in the kitchen are like heaven for mold spores. They feed off of these places, so keeping them clean and dry is critical for keeping mold at bay.
To keep your kitchen mold free, be sure to:
- Ventilate when cooking and doing dishes by opening a window, using a fan, or both
- Wash the dishes every day, so they dont pile up in the sink
- Clean and dry the stove top, microwave, counters, cabinets, and window sills regularly
- Clean out the inside of your fridge and your fridge drip tray often
- Take the trash out every day
Read Also: How To Tell If Apartment Has Mold
Mold In The Bathrooms
Poorly ventilation can definitely lead to unwanted bathroom mildew and even mold.
Weve all seen the surface mold growing in the tub, shower walls or on the ceilings above showers or sinks. This may look common, but its still mold living in your house!
Check on the wall inside the cabinet under the sink and also behind toilets and on shower curtains.
Cleaning Up Small And Medium Mould Problems
Bleach is not necessary to clean up mould.
You can clean up small areas of mould if you follow the proper procedures and use the right protective equipment. Unless the mould growth is on smooth surfaces such as bathroom tiles, surface cleaning will not eliminate the problem.
In most cases you can clean up medium areas of mould if you follow the proper procedures and use the right protective equipment. Materials damaged by mould must be physically removed and disposed of under safe conditions. However, it is important to seek professional assistance if there is a large mould problem or if mould comes back after cleaning.
Susceptible individuals such as pregnant women, infants, children, the elderly, and occupants with asthma, allergies or other health problems should not be in or near the area where the mould is being cleaned up.
Minimum protective gear needed:
- a disposable N95 mask and
- household disposable gloves.
You can purchase an N95 mask from a hardware store. Make sure that the label says “N95”. Other masks are designed to provide limited protection against dust and are not suitable for protecting against mould exposure. Make sure that the mask is properly fitted and you can breathe through the mask.
Read Also: How To Clean Mold Off Bathroom Ceiling
Now You Know How To Test For Mold
Mold is both visually unattractive and hazardous to health. The result?
Its a nightmare for any homeowner! Unfortunately, its also incredibly common around the country. Anywhere thats warm, moist, and dark can be a hotbed for mold and mildew.
Thats why knowing how to test for mold is so important. After all, knowing for sure that theres mold in your home is a key first step to getting rid of it. We hope this article will help in that regard.
Want to read more articles like this one? Keep scrolling our page!
How To Check For Mold In Your House: 5 Important Areas To Inspect
Winter is on its way out, and spring is just about here.
While the spring warmth and sun is a welcome change, it also comes with a hidden threat: mold. In the damp environment of locations like Chicago and its surrounding suburbs, humidity from the winter can build up in certain parts of the home, causing your space to be plagued by mold come springtime.
Luckily, understanding how to detect mold in your house is a great way to avoid complex mold problems. If you find any mold, now is also an excellent time to get in touch with your local mold removal specialists.
Heres what you need to know about finding mold in your home:
Read Also: How Does Black Mold Hurt You
How Do You Know If Mold Is Making You Sick
Are you sick and suspect it might be from mold?
Determining whether exposure to mold is making you sick isnt always easy.
Each persons body is affected by mold toxicity in different ways. Some experience constant migraines and headaches, shortness of breath, brain fog, fatigue or even depression.
Since symptoms differ from person to person, they may not be quickly associated with mold exposure. Many people suffering from mold illness struggle to get a proper diagnosis and investigation.
Its common to think my house is clean it cant be mold! However, mold comes in many forms. In this article, well share what toxic mold is, the signs and symptoms, and how it can be treated.
When A House Mold Test Probably Isnt Necessary
The Environmental Protection Agency says that if you have visible mold in your home, you probably dont need to test your home for mold. After all, if you can see it, you already know there is mold in your home. There are no established safe levels of mold exposure, so mold testing cannot tell you if you have dangerously high levels of mold or not. You can assume any amount of mold in your home is not good for you. Furthermore, if you have visible mold, there is probably even more mold that you dont see, so you can assume your home has at least a moderate amount of mold growing in it.
You still might want to test after the mold has been removed, however. It is not safe to assume that just because you no longer see any mold, it is all gone.
A home mold test can tell you what kind of mold is growing in your home, but most of the time, you dont really need to identify the mold. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all types of mold in the home are considered harmful, or at least potentially harmful, so it doesnt really matter what type of mold you have. Youll want to get rid of it, whatever kind it is. If you do want to know what kind of mold is present in your home, though, you can have it tested.
Recommended Reading: How To Know If You Have Mold Allergies
Should I Get A Mold Inspection When Buying A House
Lets say a house costs $500,000. If, however, a mold inspection specialized would find a years-long undetected mold infestation that has likely negatively affected the structural integrity of the whole house, that house might not be worth more than $400,000.
Thats a $100,000 you might be unknowingly cheated out of. The interesting thing is that both you and the seller dont really know if there is a mold problem and not. Mold can be hidden under wooden surfaces, or even in the walls.
Its not likely youll have to pay more than $1000 for a thorough mold inspection, as well see in the next chapter.
The cost of the inspection is usually insignificant compared to the value of the property youre buying. Its also insignificant to the potential change of price of the real state that might occur, in favor of the buyer.
Here the deal:
In almost every case, it makes financial sense to hire a mold inspection before buying a home.
You will know if you have mold problems, and it could potentially lead to a better deal on the house if the mold problems were to be uncovered.
Now, lets talk about the prices companies specialized for mold inspection offer:
Checking For Visible Mold
Read Also: What Causes Mold In Toilet Bowl
Typically Inspectors Come With Many Types Of Equipment
The first one is a machine. This machine is like a small vacuum that sucks in air. The second part to this type of equipment are the cassettes. The cassettes are special devices that channel the sucked in air through a slide that captures air spores.
You can see an image of one of our inspectors completing air quality testing below. The top portion is the cassette while the case is the machine.
Other forms of equipment an inspector may use are:
A moisture meter to detect moisture levels.
A humidity reader to determine the level of water in the air.
A thermometer to verify the temperature of the home.
A thermography camera to look at temperature differentials.
And general inspection equipment like a flashlight and camera.
When You Might Need A Home Mold Test
If you suspect mold in your home but dont see any mold, a mold test can confirm the presence of mold and help you figure out where it is, if in fact there is mold in your home. Provided the test is accurate, it can also let you know if your home is mold-free. There are a couple of instances when this might be important.
If you are experiencing symptoms of mold-related health problems but arent certain that mold is causing your symptoms, testing your home for mold can help you obtain an accurate diagnosis. An accurate diagnosis may be needed in order to get appropriate treatment. Also, if youre experiencing symptoms of mold-related illness but arent sure where youre being exposed to mold, testing your home for mold can help you figure it out. If your home turns out to be mold free, you may need to talk to your employer about having your workplace tested for mold.
Your doctor may or may not need to know what type of mold is making you sick. If your doctor feels it would be beneficial to know the type of mold to which youve been exposed, you can have a house mold test done.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also suggests testing for mold after mold has been removed from the home in order to make certain all traces of mold have been removed. This would be especially important if you have mold-related health problems, so that you can make a full recovery.
Recommended Reading: Can Black Mold Cause Irregular Heartbeat
Addressing Moisture And Mould In Your Home
Health Canada considers indoor mould growth to be a significant health hazard. The word mould is a common term referring to fungi that can grow on building materials in homes or other buildings. Damp conditions and mould growth in homes increases the risk of respiratory allergy symptoms and exacerbate asthma in mold-sensitive individuals. It is important to know how to identify, address and prevent moisture and mould in your home.
People living in homes with mould and damp conditions are more likely to have:
- eye, nose and throat irritation
- coughing and phlegm build-up
- wheezing and shortness of breath
- worsening of asthma symptoms
The level of concern depends on the extent of mould, how long it has been present and the sensitivity and overall health of the residents. Some people are more susceptible than others. For example, infants, children, the elderly and those with health problems such as breathing difficulties are more at risk from mould and dampness.
Any respiratory health concerns should be discussed with a physician if you suspect that these could be caused by poor indoor air quality. Your physician is best suited to determine if your symptoms may be related to environmental factors or some other underlying cause.
Health Canada recommends controlling dampness indoors and cleaning up any mould regardless of the type of mould presentFootnote 1.