In The Walls And On The Floor
From top to bottom, mold growth is likely in a bathroom. In addition to the places mentioned above, pay attention to any water leaks coming from the walls or floors these leaks can cause mold to grow quickly. Bathroom rugs are also known to harbor mold, and are usually not washed as often as they should be.
Some tips to keep your bathroom free of mold
- Use a ventilation fan during your bath or shower, and keep it on for at least 30 minutes after
- Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to keep humidity levels down throughout your home
- Keep all surfaces, including counters and floors, clean and dry
- Check for leaky faucets and pipes
Is Black Mold Dangerous
The short answer isnot really. But that doesnt mean you should keep black mold as a pet.
Everyone has different levels of tolerance to allergens like mold spores, but thats all black mold isan allergen.1 Those with asthma, respiratory allergies, or immune suppression will feel the effects of black molds mycotoxins more than most folks.
As one source put it, Previous reports of toxic mold syndrome or toxic black mold have been shown to be no more than media hype and mass hysteria. 2
But whether you feel black mold symptoms or not, its best to get rid of black mold as soon as you find it.
Examine The Mold Visually
The first step in identifying black mold is to examine it visually. Black mold has a distinct look. As the name implies, it is black in color. This makes it unique from other mold types, which are typically brown or green in color. With a distinct color, black mold is pretty easily recognized around the home.
However, the challenge is that black mold often lurks in areas of the home that are not often visited. You should conduct a thorough examination of your home including crawlspaces, cabinets, and other areas you dont often spend time in. This gives you your best chance of identifying black mold, if it exists in your home.
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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.
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.
Tips For Mold Prevention
Wondering how you can prevent mold from affecting your home? Here are a few tips that may help you prevent mold from forming altogether.
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Taking Care Of Your Mold Problem
1. If you have been suffering anyillnesses that wouldnt go away like allergies, itchy eyes, sore throat,headaches, fatigue, etc., go see your doctor and explain to him that you havemold in your home. Knowledge about the mold will help him to correctly treatyou. Here is more on the symptoms of mold exposure.
2. Have your home tested by a trainedmold tester. Many people make the mistake of cleaning up the mold withouttesting. It is important to know the type of mold your dealing with, and howbad the problem is. Most mold testers are engineers so they can give your homea thorough inspection to find all the mold. If its a small problem they mayrecommend cleaning it yourself, and will give you advice on removing it. If itslarge job and a removal service needs to be hired, they will oversee the cleanup and supervise the removal process.When the cleanup is done, they will come back and test again to make sure theremoval was properly done. Make sure if you hire a removal company that youdont pay them until the final testing comes back showing the home is clean.For a list of licensed mold testers in your area, follow the link.
4. Contact your insurance company andfind out if mold removal is covered in your policy. In many cases it is,depending on the cause of the mold. This article on homeowners insurance andmold explains it well.
10. Be proactive in the future aboutmold prevention. Here is more information on preventing mold.
Condensation On Windows Window Frames And Sills
- Promptly repair any leaks.
- Lower the indoor moisture levels.
- Use exhaust bathroom fans and a kitchen range hood.
- Keep window coverings open to move the warm air over the windows .
- Keep baseboards or heating vents clear of furniture to make sure the heat flows.
- Dry your window frames and sills daily to keep water from dripping and causing mould to grow.
- Leave interior doors open for good air and heat flow.
- Unplug and remove humidifiers.
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Why Live In A Mold Infested Home
Of course, people dont voluntarily live in a home that is infested with black mold but for many, the problem remains undetected until it is too late. Unless mold is visible to the naked eye, many people have no idea that it is in their home. Therefore, it is extremely important to do routine mold testing. A majority of people do this with DIY mold testing kits. However, a more thorough and effective method is to hire a certified professional mold testing and inspection company. Unfortunately, this is also a very expensive option and should be decided carefully.
You Notice A Bit Of A Musty Or Damp Smell
If you notice that your home has a bit of a moldy or musty smell to it, that might also indicate that there may be a mold issue.
“Many different mold species have different odors, so it is difficult to pinpoint the exact smell, however, if it is an odor that isn’t common in your home or building, then it should be investigated,” George Hernandez, the vice president of operations at PuroClean, told INSIDER.
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How To Collect Air Samples For Mold Or Bacteria Testing
Volumetric air samples for culture analyses are taken by impacting a known volume of air onto a suitable growth medium. Commonly used samples are Reuter Centrifugal Sampler or the Anderson Single Stage Sampler. This process is particularly important if you request MBLs bacteria testing service. Please refer to the manufacturers instructions on how to take samples using your sampler.
Key Points To Remember:
- The type of analysis required
- Turnaround time required for non-viable analysis: regular or rush (24 hours
If you are within the GTA region, you can either deliver the samples to the laboratory by hand or send them by courier or post. Samples from anywhere else in Canada may be sent by courier or post.
Note: It is recommended that wet and/or culturable samples be sent to the laboratory on the same day if possible) or by overnight courier, and should be shipped under cool conditions .
When we test for moulds or bacteria, our turnaround time for all culture analyses is 10-14 days. Non-culture analyses takes 1-3 days for regular service and 24 hours for rush service.
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How To Choose A Mold Inspector
Once the decision has been made to hire a professional, the next step is to actually hire one. Some tips to keep in mind when choosing a mold inspector are:
- Compare several different companies near your house for price and services.
- Ask friends and family for referrals to inspection companies they have used.
- Ask the company near you for recent referrals. Take the time to call these prior customers to find out how their experience was and if they would use the service again.
- Make sure that a written evaluation is provided that specifically states the areas of the house that were inspected, the cause of the mold, the extent of the growth, how the problem can be fixed, and an approximate cost.
- Make sure that the laboratories that are being used to analyze the mould samples are accredited by either the American Industrial Hygiene Association or by the EPA.
- Check with the Better Business Bureau to learn the status of the company and to learn if any complaints and/or lawsuits have been filed against them.
As with any service, it is Buyer Beware, but if you do your homework and you know exactly what type of Inspection Company you are contracting with, the process should go smoothly.
You Visibly See Mold Spores
Of course one of the most obvious ways to determine that you have mold in your house is if you can see it. The downside? If you see a ton of visible mold, it can be an indicator that you have a big problem on your hands.
“Once you see it, you’ve got a big mold problem because what you’re seeing is literally just the tip of the iceberg,” Kelly Hayes-Raitt, a housesitter and the former director of the HomeSafe Campaign in California, told INSIDER.
Simply scrubbing the visible mold with soap and a sponge won’t actually get rid of the mold. So if you see visible mold, you need to reach out to a mold remediation company or another expert to help you get things under control, including any leaks that may have caused the issue in the first place.
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Tips On How To Remove Mold From Home
The first step is to locate and confirm the presence of mold. In addition to looking for the obvious discoloration spots, you can have your home tested for mold. According to homeadvisor.com, the average cost to test for mold is $834. However there are home mold-testing kits available for $10 to $50.
It is quite important that you remove the mold the moment you discover it, because the spores can affect the quality of air in your home. It is always advisable to hire a professional to remove the mold, but if you do it yourself, use an OSHA approved respirator, gloves, disposable coveralls, non-vented goggles. Listed below are a few tips on how you can remove mold from your house:
Remove moldy materials
If not properly disposed of, moldy materials may stir up spores, which can spread into your house. Because of their microscopic size, a square foot of wall can have over 3,000 million mold spores. You have to use the appropriate equipment and follow the safety procedures so as to protect yourself from the spores.
Excessive levels of contamination may require that you discard absorbent materials such as carpets, wall paper etc. To avoid airspore becoming airborne, professionals seal off the affected area with tape, and use plastic sheets to seal doorways and vents. They also use air movers, dehumidifiers and HEPA air scrubbers to eliminate moisture and dry out the air and surfaces.
Heating, Insulation and Ventilation
Find and fix interior plumbing leaks
Check the ductwork
How To Test For Mold
You probably dont need to do mold testing or buy a mold test kit, especially if the fungus is visible. Because the health effects of mold vary from person to person, the CDC says that if you can see it or smell it, it should be removed, no matter what type of mold is in your home.
While its not possible to completely eliminate mold in your house, you can prevent a build-up by cleaning up any wet or damp spots and fixing any existing water leaks.
Neither the CDC nor the EPA recommends doing routine mold samplingsboth organizations point out that there are no federal limits for mold in buildings, so people cant check their apartment complexs compliance with the law, for example. Plus, the testing can be expensive.
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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 Do You Test For Mold Spores In The Air
The most common and reliable way to test for mold spores in the air is through non-viable air sampling. This is also called a spore trap analysis.
A trained indoor environmental professional will collect samples of air, using a calibrated air pump. The air will be collected onto non-viable mediums, called cassettes.
The microscopic airborne spores get pulled into these cassettes, which have an adhesively coated glass slide medium. As mold spores enter in, they become impacted into the glass slide medium.
The cassettes are then delivered and microscopically analyzed by a trained environmental microscopist or mycologist at an accredited laboratory.
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Air Quality Testing For Mold
Most people are not aware of how severely mold can affect their health. Because mold spores are so small, they can become airborne easily and spread quickly. Just because you cannot see a mold contamination in your home doesnt mean that its not there.
Mold and mildew are the result of moisture and water damage. Rooms that are prone to leaks, condensation and flooding often experience mold growth. These include bathrooms, attics and basements.
Property owners have to be careful because moisture problems are not always obvious or visible. They can remain completely hidden from sight . If left untreated, they will lead to black mold contamination.
Exposure to black mold can cause or aggravate health conditions like asthma and allergies.
Over time, it can also lead to more serious conditions such as chronic bronchitis, problems with the nervous system, cancer and heart conditions.
Luckily, you have two types of air tests to help you detect unseen mold: viable sampling and non-viable sampling. Each has its advantages and drawbacks , but both are effective means of assessing indoor air quality.
Health Effects 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!
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Signs Of Black Mold And How To Get Rid Of It
Do you know if theres mold in your home? Mold grows in areas that are dark and damp, like bathrooms or around heating and cooling units that produce condensation.
The thought of any type of mold growing in your home might have you reaching for the nearest scrub brush and cleaning agent. Before you start scrubbing, be sure to evaluate what type of mold youre facing. While you dont want any mold in your house, black mold may pose more health risks than other types.
Learn more about black mold so you can identify it and prevent it from contaminating your home.