How To Know If You Have Black Mold In Your House
Mold isnt always visible. If you can see mold, its only a sign of the real potential health risk, which is the harmful types of unhealthy levels of mold in the air of your home or workplace.
Airborne mold is all around us in both the outdoors and indoors. The types and amount of mold is what determines the potential health risk. Most of us are typically accustomed to the varieties and amounts of mold present in our outdoor environments.
Healthy indoor environments will have mold conditions similar to or better than those in the surrounding outdoors. Over time, because of moisture , many indoor spaces develop unhealthy types and/or unhealthy levels of airborne mold that can be harmful to you or your pets.
These signs will help you know if you possibly have unhealthy mold conditions in your house:
- Allergic symptoms
- A damp or musty odor in one or more places
- Frequent headaches
- The air in the home feels different
- Your house has been flooded or currently has leaks
- You previously tried removing mold yourself
Take note of how you feel in and out of the house. If the symptoms disappear or decrease when youre out and about, then you might have a mold problem, yes, even if you cant see mold.
Seek Social Support Restorative Resources And Adjunct Therapies
Recovering from illness caused by mold exposure can be exhausting, isolating and incredibly stressful. Social support is essential for your overall wellbeing and for a return to optimal health. Additionally, specific tools may also be beneficial in bringing your body back into balance after an overactive stress response.
Toxic Mold Test Do They Help
Professional inspection and testing can tell you definitively if you have this fungus in your home. The tests can reveal if the fungus is toxic and what type it is for sure. They can also identify where the fungus took root and from what areas in your home it has spread.
The tests can confirm signs that you may have suspected and give you positive results in a matter of minutes. They can also confirm that you need to take immediate action like hiring a professional remediation service to eliminate it and prevent future fungal growth.
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White Mold Under Floorboards
Have you ever perceived a musty odor somewhere around your home floorboards? Thats a sign that your wooden floor is growing mold under perfect conditions. Several mold testing results reveal that the most commonly found fungus under the floorboards is white mold.
Its not strange that white mold can grow under floorboards. It can be tricky in its early stages of development and become unsightly under your flooring for quite some time. Over time, the smell will aggravate and make residents start sneezing and coughing.
You need immediate mold remediation to keep your floorboards from damaging and protect the lives of your family.
How Do Molds Get In The Indoor Environment And How Do They Grow
Mold is found both indoors and outdoors. Mold can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, and pets can and be carried indoors. When mold spores drop on places where there is excessive moisture, such as where leakage may have occurred in roofs, pipes, walls, plant pots, or where there has been flooding, they will grow. Many building materials provide suitable nutrients that encourage mold to grow. Wet cellulose materials, including paper and paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, and wood products, are particularly conducive for the growth of some molds. Other materials such as dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation materials, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery, commonly support mold growth.
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How Best To Remove Mold From Your Home
Here are some tips for how to remove mold from your home and prevent exposure:
- Check your home for places where mold might lurk, such as under sinks and in basement walls. Things to look for include visible mold growth, water leaks, and water seepage.
- Promptly fix any leaks you find, including leaky roofs and pipes.
- Dry damp surfaces, such as shower stalls, immediately after use.
- Control your homes humidity level with a dehumidifier.
- Keep kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms well ventilated.
- If flooding occurs, clean and dry the flooded area as quickly as possible.
Since mold can grow under carpets and behind walls, moldy homes dont always have obvious mold patches.
Mold smell is unmistakable but doesnt always accompany mold. If you suspect that your home is harboring mold but cant find the source, a home inspection will help.
How Quickly Does Mold Grow Inside A Mattress
It only takes 24 48 hours for these fungi to start growing inside your mattress. It spreads very quickly and can be difficult to control if not treated immediately. The higher the humidity in the room, the quicker the mold will grow and spread. You should start treating the mattress as soon as you detect mold.
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What Does Mold Need In Order To Grow
The truth is not much is needed for mold spores to grow out of control. Ideal conditions include lots of moisture and food. Indoor mold growth is fueled by moisture. This explains why mold is such a common problem in highly humid and damp areas like bathrooms and basements.
In addition to moisture, mold also needs nutrients, which it finds in a variety of materials like paper, wood, drywall or any organic material. More information available in our article about causes of mold growth.
How To Get Rid Of Mold And Mildew
Mold and mildew need four things to exist food, water, air, and temperature between 41- and 104-degrees Fahrenheit. Eliminate one of those four, and they wont be able to grow.
Since mold can grow on just about any surface, removing its food source is impossible. Living outside of that temperature range is also impossible. And, theres nothing you can do about air. So, the one thing you must focus on is removing the water aspect. If the mold is being caused by a leaky faucet, then fix the faucet and stop the leak. If condensation is the problem, then increase air flow through the space to prevent it from forming.
Cleaning up mildew is easier than mold. Because mildew only grows on the surface of things, it can be removed by wiping it away with a cleaning product that features bleach or vinegar. Mold, on the other hand, needs a lot more scrubbing and cleaning. And, if it has penetrated the surface, then professional mold remediation services may be required to make the environment healthy again.
At a cost of $2,000 to $6,000 for mold cleaning services, this is something you dont want to have happen, so check for and repair any leaks you might have before they turn into a nightmare.
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Toxic Mold & Compensation What Every Worker Should Know
Mold is a feared word among building owners, employers, and landlords. As buildings age and former factories are converted to fashionable condos and new-age offices, lawsuits arising out of health claims of mold infestation and Sick Building Syndrome have become common. Mold is becoming the next asbestos. Its presence has shuttered schools, closed hospital wings, and driven employers to find alternate work sites.
Workers in aging or recently renovated building need to be sensitive to breathing and respiratory issues that worsen when you are at work and disappear or lessen at home, on weekends, or during vacations.
Toxic mold infestation can sicken hundreds of unsuspecting employees even when building appear to be well-ventilated. Toxic mold gives off powerful mycotoxins that are dangerous to human health. It can cause allergic reactions, fungal infections, asthma, pneumonitis, toxic illnesses, and other respiratory conditions.
Exposure Sources And Prevention
The primary sources of mold exposure are from the indoor air in buildings with substantial mold growth and the ingestion of food with mold growths.
While mold and related microbial agents can be found both inside and outside, specific factors can lead to significantly higher levels of these microbes, creating a potential health hazard. Several notable factors are water damage in buildings, the use of building materials which provide a suitable substrate and source of food to amplify mold growth, relative humidity, and energy-efficient building designs, which can prevent proper circulation of outside air and create a unique ecology in the built environment. A common issue with mold hazards in the household can be the placement of furniture, resulting in a lack of ventilation of the nearby wall. The simplest method of avoiding mold in a home so affected is to move the furniture in question.
Prevention of mold exposure and its ensuing health issues begins with the prevention of mold growth in the first place by avoiding a mold-supporting environment. Extensive flooding and water damage can support extensive mold growth. Following hurricanes, homes with greater flood damage, especially those with more than 3 feet of indoor flooding, demonstrated far higher levels of mold growth compared with homes with little or no flooding.
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How To Remove White Mold
While some types of mold and mildew are easy to remove with household products like vinegar, white mold is much more difficult to remove on your own. It may have penetrated deep below the surface of the contaminated material or it may be growing in places you arent even aware of.
Furthermore, do-it-yourself mold removal always puts you at risk of spreading the contamination and exposing yourself to toxic mold, which can lead to serious health effects. Furthermore, most people do not possess the equipment or know-how to remove toxic mold safely and effectively.
Whatever you do, dont let mold grow in your house for a long time. Contact a certified mold removal expert to explore all remediation strategies and help you pick the one thats best for you.
Due to its changing appearance and tendency to grow in areas of high moisture , white mold is not the easiest to recognize unless you are a trained and experienced mold professional. Furthermore, properly identifying white mold is only part of the problem. The other part includes finding the moisture problem thats causing the mold growth and cleaning up the contamination effectively. For this, it is always better to rely on a reputable mold remediation company.
So What Is A Mycotoxin
Mycotoxins, literally fungus poison in Latin, are secondary metabolites that can be produced by molds, and are not living organisms. Mycotoxins are a byproduct of mold. Not all mold spores produce mycotoxins, but some do. So the molds that produce mycotoxins are the ones that could be categorized as toxic or poisonous.
So, where is the line between an allergic mold and a toxic mold? That line is defined by the presence of mycotoxins, and is NOT defined by color. Mycotoxins are invisible and cannot be detected just by looking at the mold growth.
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How Fast Do Molds Grow
Moisture behind baseboards and cabinets, wet carpet tack strips, in crawl spaces, basements, and other hard to reach areas are a ticking mold time bomb. Once enough moisture is present, molds can begin to grow in less than 48 hours! Even with fans going and mopping up the water, it may not be enough to prevent mold growth.
Can I Just Get Into The Wall And Use Bleach To Clean It
It may be tempting to get into the wall and spray everything with bleach by yourself. However, if you have never done this before, it is better to call someone licensed to deal with mold. This is especially true if you have never gone into the wall and dont know how to detect how extensive the mold damage is. Leaving the eradication of mold to professionals will save not only your health but also your sanity. A professional team will have all the protective gear, detection tools and methods necessary to get rid of all the mold in your home.
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What Does White Mold Look Like
White molds can either remain white or change to green, black, grey, or practically any other colour over time.
When they first develop, white molds are very hard to detect since the spores are so tiny that they can only be seen under a microscope. Once colonies form, however, white molds appear as spots on a surface. They can be flaky, powdery, stringy or filmy at first glance. They can also resemble mildew, which is the early stages of mold. However, mildew is relatively harmless when compared to white mold, which can grow not just on surfaces but also deep within organic materials.
How To Spot A Mould Problem Before It Affects Your Health
Mould is not always easy to recognise. It often looks like fuzz or appears to be a stain, smudge or discoloration. The most common moulds are black, green or white. However, mould can be many other colours, ranging from grey to orange to brown. Here are some warning signs that you might have a mould issue that could affect your health later on.
We insulate our houses to keep the heated or air conditioned air inside the building and forget that we thereby reduce air flow and increase the air humidity. High humidity means excess moisture in the air. This can cause mould to grow as well as encourage dust mites and other allergens to thrive. Timber furniture and building structures can also be affected by this moisture. This can result in dry rot, termite infestation and wet subfloors which also affect our air quality and our personal moods. In Australia, we allow high humidity to enter our homes when windows are left open for cross ventilation, all day or at night.
Condensation on windows
Commonly in modern building structures, we find tightly sealed windows and doors, plus walls and ceilings sealed by vapour barriers. Here in Australia high humidity days are frequent. Traditional ventilating methods coupled with high humidity will raise moisture content in your walls and furniture. Moisture or condensation on the inside of your single or double glazing has become a sign of an unsound indoor climate.
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How To Test For Toxic Mold
If you have mold in your home, your nose is one of the most inexpensive devises you can use to detect it. Mold smells, and chances are, you’ll be able to detect the distinctive odor that taints the air around moldy walls, carpeting and other objects. The struggle is in understanding when mold is dangerous to your family or home.
The term toxic mold is a little confusing. Some molds, like Stachybotrys chartarum or black mold, produce mycotoxins, toxic substances that cause health problems in some people. There is no direct link yet between mold-produced toxins and serious conditions like idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage in infants, but there are concerns that exposure to these toxins can exacerbate existing lung conditions and allergies, and possibly cause problems in otherwise healthy people. Common molds that aren’t considered toxic also have the potential to cause reactions in some people, which makes it important to get rid of any type of mold you find in your home as soon as possible, particularly if you suspect that someone in your family is having a reaction to it.
Mold can be scary. There are potential health implications for your family, and a mold outbreak can take a financial toll, too. Once established, mold can be very invasive, releasing millions of spores into your home. Many homeowners’ insurance policies now exclude or limit coverage for mold related problems.
First up, let’s learn a little more about household mold.
Does Mold Die When It Dries Out
It is a common belief that dry mold is safe, but is this true? Yes and no. While mold spores wont multiply without a source of moisture, they will re-activate and start growing once they come into contact with water again.
Not only does mold and mildew damage walls, tiles, carpets and other surfaces around the house, but it is capable of causing a multitude health issues. And although each person responds to mold differently, countless studies show that exposure to mold spores can trigger reactions that range from mildly allergenic to pathogenic and even toxigenic.
So what do you need to know about mold in order to prevent its growth and protect your health? Here is some basic information.
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How To Prevent Mold
Whether you just got rid of the mold or you dont ever want to see it in your house you need to know the mold prevention rules. To prevent mold from appearing in your house:
Small investments in prevention can go long waysand keep a lot of cash in your pocket!
Why Are Mold Issues Difficult To Diagnose
Conventional medicine recognizes that mold can cause allergies but does not recognize that mycotoxins emitted by some species of indoor mold can cause a problem, says McElroy. This means that doctors unfamiliar with mold and mold treatment may miss one of the main types of mold reactionsthe chemical and inflammatory reaction. This is for a few reasons:
- There is no gold standard in testing for mold
- There is no standardized treatment protocol or drug for mold toxicity
- There are very limited human-based studies looking at the connection between mycotoxins and human health
- The presentation of mold issues is very different among patients
- Not everyone exposed to mold mycotoxins will have a reaction to them
Its no wonder mold illness can be hard to diagnose. Fortunately, holistic medicine providers consider environmental factors that affect health when evaluating patients and may have additional advanced training in treating mold toxicity.
According to McElroy, one of the biggest challenges with mold is that mycotoxins can cause only some people to launch an inflammatory response. This unpredictable response can go on for years after a long-term exposure in a susceptible individual, she explains.
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