How To Test Black Mold
While you can have mold tested, the CDC doesnt recommend thisbecause its unnecessary. The agency states that all species of mold have associated health risks.¹² If testing your mold infestation would bring you peace of mind, though, black mold test kits are available for home use. Its pretty easy. Usually, you capture a sample of the mold in question and then send it out for testing.¹³ In some cases, you can even test it yourself.
How Does Black Mold Get Inside A House
Mold spores find their way inside by hitchhiking on clothes, pet fur, and air currents into your home. But spores cant get comfortable without plenty of water. This is why youll usually find black mold around water-damaged areas impacted by plumbing issues like floods or leaky pipes.
Materials like drywall, carpet, or gypsum board can soak up water, creating a perfect home for a black mold colony. If you find water damage at home, its crucial to remove all the affected materials to prevent mold from growing.
A water leak sensor can alert you to leaks in hard-to-reach places where the water damage would otherwise go unnoticed.
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What Are The Possible Causes Of Black Mold
Water damages are the primary reason for black mold growth on wood. It can be due to flooding, poor ventilation, humidifiers, irregular maintenance, damp cloths, or other factors that may lead to water leaks. Anything moist and wet can be a breeding place for black molds.
Aside from the possible roots of black molds, knowing how long before wood gets damaged from water is also crucial. When wood becomes ruined by water leaks, the appearance of black molds will begin. It can usually take 2 hours to 7 days for mildew growth.
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Is Black Mold Dangerous
Black mold has not been shown to be any more dangerous than other types of mold that may grow in a home after a water breach.
That said, all mold can cause health-related issues in those who are sensitive to inhaling spores or who have been exposed for an extended period.
Black mold exposure can lead to long term lung issues, allergy-like symptoms, and even psychological issues in some people.
Symptoms Of Black Mold Exposure
Exposure to black mold can lead to health issues for many people. This is especially true for those who are sensitive to the spores that the fungus sheds as its colonies grow.
Extended exposure to a large growth dramatically increases the chance for mold-related illnesses to develop. This is why it is essential to ensure that all mold is found and mitigated after a water event.
A professional mold remediation service from HRS offers the technology and expertise you need to ensure that all mold is identified and removed.
Exposure to black mold can lead to a variety of symptoms including, but certainly not limited to:
Black Mold Vs. Toxic Mold
All mold can be toxic to those who are sensitive to its spores.
Mold, black and other types, shed spores that float in the air that we breathe. When allowed to grow into colonies after a water breach, the sheer volume of spores can lead to illness in many people.
Toxic mold exposure can lead to long-term illnesses including lung damage, brain damage, joint pain, and psychological issues for some people.
How Do Doctors Test For Mold Exposure
If you are aware of mold growth in your home and you feel sick let the doctor know that right away. But sometimes you cant see mold, and it is not clear whether its mold exposure thats made you sick or not.
Because mold allergy or mold exposure symptoms can resemble that of other allergies, the doctor will typically start by asking about your medical and family medical history. Additionally, doctors usually run tests for mold exposure which may include one or more of the following:
- Skin test for reactions to allergens, including mold
- IgG mold antibodies test to see the immune systems reaction to molds. A positive test means that an individual was or is currently exposed to mold
- Urine mycotoxins test
- A fungal culture of the nose sinuses
The type of testing youll receive depends on the doctor you visit, so be sure to ask questions ahead of time so you can feel confident in your diagnosis.
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Are Dry Mold Spores Harmful To Human Health
People usually think that mold is harmless unless you touch it or eat it. However, because mold spores are microscopic in size, they can be easily inhaled, get trapped in our lungs, and cause a number of health problems.
There have been many studies conducted on the topic of mold and its potential health effects. Various agencies such as U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the World Health Organization and Health Canada agree that exposure to mold at home or at work increase the chances of getting a respiratory disease.
Since some molds produce allergens and others potentially toxic substances, inhaling the spores can cause:
- Allergic reactions
- Respiratory problems like asthma and wheezing
- Irritation of eyes, nose or skin
- Mental confusion
Once again, it is not enough to kill the mold, but also to remove it totally.
How To Treat Mold On Wood Studs
Its easy to know how to treat mold on wood studs if you know what to do. Follow these simple four steps to sanitize the wood. Step one is wearing protective clothing and ensure that your face and hands are well covered. The second step is to ensure that you have enough cleaning products, and that includes detergents and scrub brushes. In the third step youll wash the wood stud with detergents and scrub the surface thoroughly. Rinse the surface with clean water. Finally, sanitize the wood surface with a mixture of chlorine and water. Allow the wood to dry thoroughly to prevent the growth of mold.
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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.
Gonadobotryum Mold Spore Microphotographs
Here are microscopoic photographs of Gonadobotryum sp. mold collected during a building investigation. We often find Gonadobotryum sp. mold growth present as a parasite, growing on top of other fungi, especially in the Ceratocystis/Ophistoma group on framing lumber.
The presence of Gonadobotryum sp. mold on framing lumber is probably not a health concern it has not been reported as producing mycotoxins but we would not rule out its possible role as an allergen.
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How To Treat Black Mold Poisoning
Black mold, scientifically referred to as Stachybotrys atra or Stachybotrys chartarum, is typically black or dark green and often linked to serious health problems.
In fact, black mold exposure can lead to poisoning, or stachybotryotoxicosis a condition thats dangerous, particularly for young children and the elderly.
Even though black mold poisoning typically affects horses, cows, and pigs, humans can become infected if they inhale or ingest the spores.
Symptoms of stachybotryotoxicosis include skin rashes , throat and sinus irritation, burning eyes, and a decrease in the production of white blood cells.
Black Mold In Basements
If you see a yellow or pink stain on your basement wallpaper, drywall, or wood this could be a sign of mold right on the other side.
Clustered fungal growths along the molding of your floor that seem to crawl up the wall are a bad sign.
While heat rises, water sinks and your basement is the bottom of your house where it all pools. If you have a carpeted basement watch out for dark spots. Any damp areas should be cleaned right away.
Leaks in basements are common and provide perfect conditions for mold. Check any pipes that leave from your basement and make sure there are no cracks, as mold can follow the leak right down a wall.
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Cleanup And Removal Methods
The purpose of cleanup is to eliminate mold and remove contaminated materials. Killing mold with a biocide is insufficient, since chemical substances and proteins causing reactions in humans remain in dead mold. The following methods are used.
Equipment used in mold remediation includes:
- Moisture meter to measure drying of damaged materials
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How Can You Be Exposed To Black Mold
You can be exposed to black mold, or any species of mold, by breathing in microscopic mold particles in the air, or through consumption of food that contains it.
Stachybotrys is unique because its spores are sticky and easily adhere to a surface when the mold colony dries. They are not regularly found in the air unless the mold colony has been disturbed. Though its spores are not readily airborne, black mold can produce other harmful contaminants more easily found in the air .
A disruption to a black mold colony can be as simple as slamming a door, opening a window or knocking into contaminated furniture. More force is required for Stachybotrys spores to become airborne, as compared to other commonly found indoor molds .
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Mold Removal Product Recommendations
We suggest using a scented bleach when removing mold yourself. Molds often have a musty smell that should be banished from your home.
If you want to go with something specifically for cleaning mold, we recommend Lemocide. You can use this commercial-grade product on nearly any hard surface without damaging it.
Could Your Symptoms Be From A General Mold Allergy
Regardless of the species of mold in question, symptoms of a mold allergy can appear very similar, especially when looking at many individuals. So if you see black-colored mold and experience allergic symptoms, it could be Stachybotrys, or it could be another species of mold. That said, the same person can react differently to different molds. For example, one person may have severe dry eyes in response to a Cladosporium exposure, while Aspergillus exposure may cause wheezing and asthma-like symptoms.
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Get Rid Of Your Black Mold Now
Once youve spotted Stachybotrys chartarum in your home, you need to do something about it right away. Only a trained professional can sanitize your home and stop an endemic problem. It will not stop growing unless you do something about it, so get help quickly before its too late.
What Does Black Mold On Wood Look Like: A Detailed Guide
Are we aware of what does black mold on wood look like and what causes them to appear? When there is water damage on our furniture, expect that black molds will be present after. Stachybotrys chartarum or black mold can most likely live in damp or humid areas.
If there are questions stuck in your head right now about black molds, this article is the best to answer that! We will discuss the appearance, texture, and odor of black molds, what causes them, and how to get rid of them.
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Signs Of Black Mold In Your Home
This type of fungus will show several signs to help you with its positive identification. Some of the ways to identify it and the spread of its spores include:
- A musty odor in areas where it grows
- Discolored walls, ceilings, floors and other areas
- Water damaged or rotted flooring, ceiling and wall materials
- Eye and skin irritation or breathing problems among household members
These signs can help you identify this funguss presence and should prompt you to take immediate action.
Can Black Mold Spores Travel In The Air
Yes. Mold spores are airborne and can attach themselves to peoples skin, clothing, shoes, shopping bags, furniture, carpets, and even pets. Once spores enter your home, they can settle onto any surface and start to multiply. They can also enter your house through open doorways, open windows, and HVAC systems.
Mold spores are microscopic and are virtually found everywhere. They are naturally found in the air we breathe, both indoors and outdoors. Since spores are tiny and lightweight, they become airborne easily, every time we vacuum or walk on the carpets or even sit on our couch.
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What Does Black Mold Look Like On Glass
Flower vase, shower glass stall, and windows are some glass objects that have the chance of getting infected by black mold.
Although glass is a non-porous surface that will be easily cleaned when the mold is developed, you still need to know the signs of black mold growth on the glass.
Transparent materials like glass are easy to notice when black mold has infected it. The surface usually turns darker and is filled with dark-shading spores.
In containers made of glass such as bottle or vase, black mold can be found in the bottom space in addition to its appearance on the side parts.
Now that you know the common looks of black mold in different kinds of surface, you can identify the presence of this toxic mold at the beginning of its growth.
Early detection of black mold can save your time and energy when you have to remove the mold from your house. It can also avoid the risk of health problems caused by black mold.
Despite that, prevention is always better than cure.
It is better for you to prevent the presence of black mold in every area of your home by doing routine cleanup, regular checking for any sign of mold or black mold, in particular, providing good air circulation, and keeping the humidity of each room at low level.
How Do I Know If My House Has A Moisture Problem
One of the best ways to tell is by checking the humidity. A home with high humidity likely has a moisture problem. Musty smells suggest mold, mildew or rot. Household odors that linger may indicate too much moisture in the air. Frost and ice on cold surfaces from condensation can be a sign of excess moisture in the air as well.
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How To Identify Black Mold On Other Surfaces
Black mold has a distinct look that should signal to you its presence on other surfaces in your home. It may look dark green or gray, depending on where it is growing. It also may simply look like black, fuzzy spots growing in dark and wet corners of the floor, ceiling, walls and other areas.
If other surfaces in your home have been exposed to moisture, humidity or water and have this type of growth on them, you should suspect that the spores are actually black fungus. The spots may even be difficult to sweep or scrub and only be removed and killed if you spray bleach or ammonia on them.
Home Remedies For Black Mold
1. Tea Tree Oil Solution
Being a natural fungicide, tea tree oil eliminates black mold and prevent it from coming back. Combine two tsp of tea tree oil and two cups of water into a spray bottle. Spritz it all over the moldy area and wait for 10-15 minutes before scrubbing with a soft-bristled brush. Wipe the treated space with a damp cloth and let it dry properly.
2. Try Vinegar
Distilled white vinegar takes out the mold in no time, thanks to its mild acidic content named acetic acid. Pour 2 cups of distilled white vinegar into a spray bottle. Coat the moldy area with vinegar and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Spritz the solution again on the spot, scrub with a clean rag, and let it dry. Redo the process if needed.
3. 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
The anti-fungal properties of hydrogen peroxide make it the best tool against black mold. Pour two parts of water and one part of hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle. Shake it well and spray on the moldy spot. Wait for 5-10 minutes, scour with a soft-bristled brush, and wipe with a dry cloth. Dont use this method on wallpapers as it can damage them.
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What Are Black Mold Health Symptoms
We all know mold isnt welcomed in the home, but did you know too that breathing in the presence of mold can harm your health? There are over 2,000 different species of mold and the most dangerous of all is called Stachybotrys Chartarum, also known as black mold or the invisible killer.
Why is black mold so dangerous? Black mold releases toxic spores that linger in the air and attack your respiratory health. The potency of these toxic spores has proved to be the most detrimental to human health.
Black mold often appears as slimy and greenish-black. If its water source runs out, it can also appear as dry and powdery. Black mold is also dangerous because its sometimes difficult to distinguish from other species of mold.
The following are health symptoms associated with black mold exposure:
- Eye irritation
In severe cases, symptoms caused by inhaling black mold can lead to the following health troubles:
- Respiratory complications
Sometimes mold invades spaces that are hard to see and reach. It spreads fast, burrowing into walls and ceilings and hiding in cupboards and under carpets. Quite often, people are exposed to black mold without even knowing it. If you or anyone in your home is experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms without knowing why, you may be exposed to mold.