How To Keep Your Home Safe From Black Mold
If you have a reaction to black mold in your home, you can take steps to remove the mold from your home.
Youll be able to identify black mold by its characteristic black and splotchy appearance. Mold also tends to have a musty odor. It often grows:
- on top of showers
- in basements
- inside air-conditioning units
If you notice small amounts of mold, you can usually get rid of it with a mold-removing spray. You can also use a bleach solution of 1 cup household bleach to 1 gallon of water.
If theres a lot of black mold in your home, hire a professional to remove it. If you rent, tell your landlord about the mold so they can hire a professional.
Mold professionals can identify all areas where mold is growing and how to best remove it. You may need to leave your home during mold removal if mold growth is very extensive.
Once youve removed the black mold from your home, you can help stop it from growing again by:
- cleaning and drying any water that floods your home
- fixing leaky doors, pipes, roofing, and windows
- keeping humidity levels in your home low with a dehumidifier
- keeping your shower, laundry, and cooking areas well ventilated
Who Is Most At Risk For Health Problems Associated With Exposure To Mold
People with allergies may be more sensitive to molds. People with immune suppression or underlying lung disease are more susceptible to fungal infections. Individuals with chronic respiratory disease may experience difficulty breathing. Individuals with immune suppression are at increased risk for infection from molds. If you or your family members have these conditions, a qualified medical clinician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment.
Household Molds That Can Lurk Inside Your Home
Mold is unfortunately, pretty much unavoidable in your home as most homes harbor some species of mold in its confines. Out of the 1,000s of mold species, there are some species that are more prone to growth indoors than others, and some that particularly grow inside homes.
There are six main species of mold that are commonly found inside homes, and each contain their own characteristics and potential health hazards.
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Does Black Mold Make You Tired
The most common black mold symptoms and health effects are associated with a respiratory response. Chronic coughing and sneezing, irritation to the eyes, mucus membranes of the nose and throat, rashes, chronic fatigue and persistent headaches can all be symptomatic of black mold exposure or black mold poisoning.
Toxic Mold Syndrome: It Was Like I Lost My Personality
Kimberlyn, a 46-year-old married mother living in Arizona is not your average patient. She is highly detailed, analytical, logical, and carries with her a masters degree in pattern analysis. When Kimberlyn got sick, she applied as much as she could from her work life to try to uncover what was adversely affecting her. Even so, coming to the right diagnoses took a lot of work and required outside help.
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I Thought My House Was Perfect But The Home Inspector Found Mold Will I Lose The Sale
Its possible and probably likely. Mold is a deal breaker for most buyers. However, it doesnt have to be. Take the following actions to save the sale, or attract the next buyer.
Your Number One priority is to get your own comprehensive mold and air quality inspection performed. Maybe the problem is very small and you could DIY a solution. Maybe it takes over the entire downstairs! You wont know without your own comprehensive mold inspection report.
Do you know what to ask mold inspection and removal companies before you hire them? What do mold removal companies really do? Especially if you live outside our service area, check out our post: How to Choose the Best Mold Removal Company. We let you know all the questions to ask.
How Common Is Mold In Buildings
Molds are very common in buildings and homes. Mold will grow in places with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been flooding. Mold grows well on paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products. Mold can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.
The most common indoor molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Aspergillus. We do not have precise information about how often different molds are found in buildings and homes.
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Retrace Your Past Experiences
A case in point is a young male patient who came to Amen Clinics with complaints of sleep disturbance, anxiety, and brain fog. He was initially seen by one of our psychiatrists and referred to me for further workup. A careful history-taking found that these symptoms all started when he moved back home from college into his parents basement apartment. The whole family seems to have forgotten that the basement flooded on several occasions. Mold diagnostic testing revealed the patient had high levels of mold toxins in his body.
The first step is always to remove oneself from the moldy environment, and then treatment can begin. Treatment for a Toxic Brain typically consists of binding agents and other medications, such as antifungals, and metabolic support supplements. This patient improved with proper treatment and remediation of the mold problem. Here was a patient who didnt need any psychiatric medications he simply needed the correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment. What would have been the outcome for this patient without the proper diagnosis? He almost certainly would have been misdiagnosed as having a mental illness and treated with psychiatric medications.
The good news is that there are ways to determine if a patient has been exposed to toxic mold and that there are successful treatments available.
What Happens If You Breathe In Black Mold
For people sensitive to mold, inhaling or touching mold spores can cause allergic reactions, including sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash. People with serious mold allergies may have more severe reactions, including shortness of breath.
However, if you breathe in large amounts of mold for a long time, it can cause chronic allergy or cold like symptoms, or more serious side effects such as chronic fatigue, brain fog, or even mold growth in lungs or respiratory systems.
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What Mold Smells Like
Mold has a damp, musty scent very similar to an old book. Smell is generally not a good way to determine if there is a mold problem. The smell of mold spores can differ on the type and surface of which it grows. Most people dont even notice the smell at all.
Mold Infestation is a serious concern if left unattended. The spores grow rapidly infesting every room and crevice that eventually ruin your health in a variety of different ways. Some people do not notice their symptoms in time or fail to remove all the mold spores entirely. Therefore, the mold mycotoxins spores will repopulate causing further damage to your health, animals and living environment.
How Bad Is Black Mold Really
You don’t want mold in your home. Black, green, orange, yellow no matter the color, it’s all undesirable. Yet you don’t necessarily have to panic if you see it growing on your walls or windowsills. Because while mold can negatively affect your health, and sometimes dramatically, you may suffer no ill effects at all from mold exposure.
Mold is a type of fungus, and it’s everywhere indoors, outdoors and even in the air. That’s not too surprising when you consider there are more than 100,000 types of mold in existence, and possibly even millions. Mold gets into homes and buildings through open windows, doors, vents and ductwork. It can also attach itself to your clothes or pets when you’re outside, so you inadvertently bring it indoors with you.
Once indoors, mold grows wherever there’s a lot of a lot of moisture. That’s why you’ll often see mold around leaky windows or pipes, or on drywall after flooding. It also grows easily on paper and on fabric, carpet, upholstery, insulation and even in dust.
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What Is Black Mold
Mold is a vital part of our ecosystem. It absorbs and decomposes organic matter. Mold grows anywhere that the conditions are right. It needs adequate moisture, a food source, oxygen, and an appropriate temperature to grow. If these conditions are present, then mold will grow and reproduce by releasing spores, which are microscopic cells that act like seeds, into the environment.
While mold plays an important role outside, when it grows inside buildings, it can cause health problems for some people. When people talk about black mold, they are usually referring to Stachybotrys chartarum, which has been referred to as “toxic black mold.” However, there is no evidence to suggest that the color of mold affects how dangerous it is.
There is also no evidence that exposure to any type of mold causes memory loss, trouble focusing, headaches, fatigue, autoimmune disease, or infant pulmonary hemorrhage, which is bleeding into the lungs.
Some molds do produce mycotoxins, which are toxic substances. However, mycotoxins are most harmful when they are eaten, not inhaled. Although the threat of black mold has been overhyped in the media, mold can cause health problems in people who are sensitive to it. Mold should always be properly treated and removed from buildings using adequate precautions.
What Are The Symptoms Of Black Mold Exposure
If you find black mold on your property, theres no need to panic. But black mold presents more health risks to sensitive groups like those with respiratory conditions or immune conditions.
According to the Centers for Disease Control , black mold spores can generate cold- or flu-like symptoms such as:
- Stuffy nose
- Shortness of breath
So while black mold probably wont kill you, it can make you feel sick and should be removed as soon as possible.
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Eye Infections Related To Toxic Black Mold:
Eye disorders caused by mold exposure include conjunctivitis, which is also known as pink eye. This eye infection causes a reddish or pinkish color to appear in the eye. It can also cause discharge from the eyes, watery eyes, and sensitivity to light.
Another common eye disorder caused by molds is known as keratitis. This disorder infects the cornea or the clear tissue that covers the iris and pupil. If the eye is treated without delay, it can save the eye from permanent vision loss. In case of vision loss, the only way to restore vision would be by undergoing a corneal transplant.
Endophthalmitis is yet another eye disorder that causes inflammation in the fluid-filled spaces of the eye and can lead to loss of vision. Perhaps the most severe of eye disorders, Rhinocerebral Mucormycosis causes swelling around the eyes and nose. A severe headache, vision problems, excruciating pain and sinus pressure, are part of its symptoms. The severity of this eye disorder is due to its ability to affect and eventually damage the brain.
The intraocular inflammation that affects the vitreous and anterior chamber of the eye is known as Endophthalmitis. In most cases, endophthalmitis results from contact with a bacterial organism such as a mold spore. Endophthalmitis, which is also referred to as fungal mold, can be divided into two categories which are the less common endogenous infections and the more common exogenous infections .
How To Prevent Black Mold Growth
Conducting routine home inspections and maintenance are the best ways to deal with a black mold problem. Keep an eye out for evidence of water damage and visible mold on a regular basis. The conditions that cause mold should be corrected in a timely manner to prevent mold from growing further.
The extent of structural damage black mold can cause to your home, depends on how quickly you act to fix it.
Some of the ways you can keep mold out of your home is by:
To completely get rid of black mold from your home, you must address the root cause of the problem, so that there is no recurrence of mold. For example, just cleaning up the mold without addressing the moisture problem will not solve the issue because the mold will very likely return.
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Black Mold Removal And Cleaning
Mold remediation in stores, offices, or schools is best left to the pros. This also applies to household mold exceeding 10 square feet.
The contractors you choose should have insurance and licenses from organizations like the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification .
Homeowners can handle cleaning about 10 square feet of black mold on their own.3 If the patch is small enough, a combination of bleach, water, scrubbing, and ventilation should do the trick.
Before treating mold on your own, prioritize ventilation and protective gear.
Removing black mold is a tough and dirty job. If you or anyone in your family is sensitive to mold allergies, has respiratory or immune issues, trust the professionals.
Find a contractor in your area to get started.
What To Do If You Find Mold
It’s pretty easy to determine if you’ve got a mold problem in your home, because you will usually see or smell it. There’s generally no need to do any kind of testing or sampling, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. And you typically don’t need to hire someone to remove it, either, unless you’ve got a significant area covered in mold say, larger than 10 square feet . For typical infestations, here’s what to do.
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How Mold Affects Your Immune System
Exposure to household mold can affect the immune system and compromised immunity also makes you more susceptible to mold-related health problems. Thats why infants are at higher risk for mold-related illness their immune systems arent fully functioning yet. Thats also why we recommend people with immune-related disorders not attempt to clean up household mold themselves their immune systems may not be strong enough to deal with the increased exposure to mold spores during the cleanup process.
Can Black Mold Cause Autism
Compared to the average 6.8 abnormalities displayed by the eight boys with no previous mold-exposure history, the second group averages 12.2 abnormalities between them. While mold might not directly cause autism, it could be a factor as to why someone can develop autism.
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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.
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.
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How Can You Treat A Mold Infection
Because of the long-term effects of mold, it is often misdiagnosed, and therefore mistreated, leaving the person even more frustrated, and still suffering from the distressing side effects of mold toxicity.
If you even think your symptoms are similar to a mold infection, its important to get a comprehensive evaluation. The first three things wed do to help are:
- Contain or stop the exposure
- Boost your detoxification pathways
- Increase your levels of vitamin D
An Amen Clinics full evaluation uses SPECT brain imaging to assess the brains function and brain flow, while other tests confirm and help to find other conditions. Because there are often other concurrent conditions, its even more vital to find out everything, and not just treat the side effects.
Many people have found hope and help at Amen Clinics, just like Kimberlyn. She went from an active, organized person, to feeling exhausted and out of sorts. When she went to her doctor, he did a series of tests and found that she was suffering from mold illness. She began treatments, and after her full evaluation, Kimberlyn was finally diagnosed, treated, and her symptoms gradually improved.
If you or a loved one has symptoms that sound a lot like Kimberlyns contact Amen Clinics today, or call 888-288-9834 and find the hope youve been looking for.