The Science Of Mold Growth
With this conflicting information, it is time for more research.
Working in conjunction with my fellow instructors, we did a detailed scientific/technical literature review and found a peer reviewed paper entitled Controlled Study of Mold Growth and Cleaning Procedure on Treated and Untreated Wet Gypsum Wallboard in an Indoor Environment, by Michael Krause, CIH, with Veritox Inc.
Krause and his associates performed basically the same test that we did, except they did it with a number of untreated and treated wallboard sheets under very controlled scientific conditions.
According to Krause, it took at least a week to confirm that invisible microscopic growth structures had formed on wet untreated wallboard in a closed office.
Mold growth colonies were not visible on untreated drywall until three weeks into their eight week experiment.
The first mold types seen were Acremonium, Penicillium and Cladosporium. Stachybotrys was never seen. Visible mold did not grow on wallboard that was coated with a primer.
Additionally, a study done by Dr. Michael Berry, prepared for the Carpet and Rug Institute , showed that drywall and framing lumber, when exposed to a controlled environment with a temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit and a relative humidity of 80 percent, did not display visible mold until week five .
A listing of a few of these papers is at the end of this article.
Professional Water Damage Cleanup And Mold Removal
At ServiceMaster Restoration Services, we use industrial air movers and dehumidifiers to evaporate the moisture from the affected materials and then draw that moisture from the air and pump it out of the home, thus stopping mold from forming in your property. Our highly effective tools, procedures, and techniques allow us to keep drying times to a minimum and faster drying means less time and smaller chance for mold to develop, which helps avoid costly repairs and health problems that occur as a result of fungal contamination.
You can count on ServiceMaster Restoration Services for water damage cleanup, drying services, mold growth evaluation, damage containment, mold removal, and mold damage mitigation in Omaha, NE, and the surrounding areas.
What Is The Most Dangerous Type Of Mold
Its important to note that not all types of mold are bad some species are necessary for things like natural decomposition and even making certain medicines. That being said, people often hear about black mold being the most dangerous when it comes to property damage. This typically refers to the Stachybotrys chartarum species, which grows on building materials such as drywall after water damage incidents and is a greenish-black color. This and other species of mold can produce toxic byproducts when they begin to break down materials theyre growing on.
However, just because you find a dark-colored mold in your property does not mean it is always S. chartarum or black mold. It can be difficult to effectively identify mold or assess risk based on its color alone certain kinds of mold may change in appearance as they grow and spread, and what looks like one type of mold in certain lighting or to the naked eye might actually be a different type when tested or viewed in controlled conditions. Still, mold of any kind should be eliminated as quickly as possible, as any mold infestation in the home can lead to property damage and possible health complications.
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Does Black Mold Look Like Mushrooms
As a consequence, there will, on average, be few and none of white molds available to consume. Stachybotrys may not cause these black fungi to grow mushroom in your house if you see them growing on the premises visually. It is normal for scumble or slimy forms of mold to look like they have been colored extremely dark with black crayons.
Should I Remove Mold Myself Or Call A Professional
If you believe you can remove the mold yourself, it is important to realize that there is a risk of contamination. While the use of a HEPA vacuum may help reduce this risk, you will still likely have exposure to mold spores when removing the mold and cleaning up.
Mold removal professionals have the tools and resources required to evaluate a mold problem and take the necessary steps towards solving it. Therefore, while doing it yourself may seem like the logical thing to do, you should always consider enlisting professional help.
For this reason, we recommend hiring professionals for most types of cleanup. If your situation is especially dangerous, such as if you experience symptoms , call 911 immediately. Do not risk your safety because of personal bias towards trying something yourself. Its always best to leave it to the pros!
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Can Black Mold Grow In The Refrigerator
A refrigerator can be prone to any kind of mold and one of the deadly ones is called black mold which produces toxic compounds such as mycotoxins.
In addition, black mold in refrigerators can cause severe health issues like sinus problems, coughing, asthma, allergies and can be especially harmful to pregnant women, people with asthma, people with low immune systems, and children.
How To Tell If Black Mold Is Hiding In Your Walls
Black mold the words alone are enough to make you cringe. Its the last thing you need in your home. Any mold can cause problems for people who are allergic, of course, but those molds referred to as black or toxic are particularly dangerous. Chances are, if the conditions inside your home are hospitable to mold, youre going to have it. If you suspect the mold is black or toxic, however, consider hiring a professional to remove it for you.
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How Long Does It Take For Mold To Grow On Wet Drywall
Mold growing on wet drywall follows a similar growth pattern as on other surfaces within two days of water intrusion, mold will begin to colonize damp drywall and release new spores. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that drywall is extremely porous, so it has a high absorption rate. This makes it more susceptible to water damage, and more likely to experience accelerated mold growth.
Who Pays For Mold Remediation
Mold remediation may be covered by homeowner’s insurance policies under the “fungi” section. The typical amount covered by homeowner’s insurance is $10,000 per occurrence. In certain cases, when an uncovered loss on the policy caused mold growth, this will be excluded.
Knowing your homeowner’s insurance policy is always a good idea when determining if you are covered or not.
If homeowner’s insurance does not cover you, there is a good chance you will be responsible financially.
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What Are The Mental & Neurological Symptoms Associated With Black Mold Exposure
Black mold produces toxins that can kill neurons in the brain and can impair a persons mental faculties. Exposure to black mold toxins may cause mental & neurological conditions, like nervous disorders. Symptoms of mental & neurological effects of black mold exposure include altered behavior, mood swings, and irritability.
How Can Mold Grow On Food In The Freezer
One of the things that mold needs to grow is moisture. If a freezer is not working properly or if the freezer is being open and closed very often, chances are your freezer will grow mold on food.
In addition, if meat is not stored properly and if there is moisture or water in the meat, then it is likely for mold to grow on food.
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Identifying Mold In Your Home
- Appearance or dark spots or clusters. Look for spots or clustered growths, especially in warm, moist rooms.
- Musty smell. You may be able to identify mold by a musty smell.
- Allergies or asthma. If you experience asthma attacks or allergy symptoms in your home, that may also indicate theres mold.
- Potential causes. Look for causes of mold growth, like a leak, water damage, lack of ventilation, or old food, papers, or wood.
Leaks And Home Maintenance
If your home has a leak, there is likely a mold issue. Leaks can occur in pipes, roofs, basements, appliances and windows. Because leaks are usually undetectable behind a wall or in the attic, leaks can have the advantage of time to release water into your home continuously. This constant influx of water can fuel mold growth considerably. To look for leaks, be on the watch for:
- water stains
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Can Mold Grow Like Mushrooms
As mold enters your home unattended, it becomes extremely strong and dangerous. When mold grows in a wet space, its natural progression is to infect mushrooms that then become infected with it. As they arise from fungus in similar fashion to other mushrooms, these fungi cause harm both to humans and animals on a personal and an animal level.
So How Does Mold Get Into Our Homes In The First Place
The answer lies in microscopically small spores which make their way into our homes from the outside. Once inside all they need to flourish is a water source or sufficient amounts of humidity and a porous surface.
Its virtually impossible to completely eliminate the presence of spores within our living environments. Fortunately, there are a number of highly effective steps one can take to greatly reduce indoor spore counts.
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Other Common Questions: Can Mold Grow In The Wintertime If I Cant See Mold Does It Still Grow
Mold can grow safely in our refrigerator at temperatures below 4 deg. C, weve all witnessed this before. So the assumption that mold doesnt grow in the winter time is certainly untrue. It is agreed in the wider scientific community that common household mold will not grow outdoors at -15 deg. C though temperatures rarely drop below 5 deg. C in the home, even in the coldest and darkest of basements.
Is Black Mold The Only Dangerous Mold
Stachybotrys is not the only dangerous species of mold that can be toxic. Other dangerous species include Chaetomium, Memnoniella, Fusarium, Penicillium, and Aspergillus.
So how did this one particular species get so much notoriety?
The mold itself is not toxic. Stachybotrys can produce something called Mycotoxins. Mycotoxin is a fancy word for toxic. While Stachybotrys is not the only type of mold that can be toxic, it is the most feared of the toxic mold types you would find growing indoors.
That alone did not make black toxic mold famous. The media did its job and reported on a couple of high profile cases, some of which involved celebrities which will always get more attention. Two instances were the Ed McMahon Case and The Cleveland Drop Case.
But just like anything with the media, it got taken to the next level.
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How Does Black Mold Form
The main reason behind the formation of black mold is moisture, which can be caused by several things, such as, water leakage, lack of proper ventilation, flooding, irregular maintenance, humidifiers, condensation, clogged-up gutters, damp clothes, humid basements, or even water accumulation around the foundation of your house.
Did you know?
Toxic Black Mold Expert Reveals The Danger Lurking In Your Home
As a professional mold inspector, people often call me in a panic. “I have Black Mold!”
But here’s what you should know.
Not all mold that is black in appearance will produce mycotoxins, but it’s essential to confirm that mold is not toxic and harmful to your family.
Want To Learn How To Clean Mold?
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Does Mold Always Grow After A Leak
No mold doesnt always grow after a leak. If the temperature isnt right or if the leak is properly dealt with quickly, theres a chance that mold spores wont be able to take root or grow. But this is the exception rather than the rule unexpected leaks, flooding, or even trapped humidity will generally lead to mold.
Dangers Of Black Mold
Black mold dangers vary from person to person and depend on the length and amount of exposure. People with compromised immune systems or existing respiratory illnesses are at greater risk of developing serious symptoms like lung infections.
Any level of black mold exposure is considered undesirable. Healthcare professionals agree that even small amounts of mold should be removed as precaution, even if everyone in the home is healthy. Additionally, black mold spores are allergens to some people, and these individuals develop more severe allergic reactions than others when exposed.
A black mold allergy can cause health issues like:
- Skin rash
- Changes in mood
- Nose bleeds
The poisonous effects of black mold are due to its mycotoxinsa group of toxic substances known to lead to cancer and immune deficiency. It takes quite a bit of exposure to result in black mold poisoning, so this illness is quite rare.
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What Does Black Mold Smell Like
Black mold has a distinctively pungent odor that can resemble similar to rotting for or decaying garbage. The odor will increase with relative humidity in a building higher than 65%. To remove the smell, a process called mold remediation may be necessary.
Is it as cut and dry as removing black mold will remove the odor of it?
Even after removal, if all the remaining non-sanitized building materials and non-treated air remain, the smell may linger.
That is why proper protocols need to be put in place and followed.
Before you learn how to remove black mold, you must learn what caused it to get in your home in the first place.
Where Is Mold Found In A Home
A research study found that Stachybotrys preferred a very high relative humidity within wallsapproximately 97%which indicates that relative humidity could be an important risk factor . For black mold, you may consider smaller microclimates that may harbor such humidity levels: sweating pipes, under sink cabinets, front loading washing machines, standing water, roof leaks, damp cars, windows with condensation, etc. Generally, common places to check for mold growth include the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room.
However, humidity alone is not the only requirement for mold growthmold requires nutrients to grow. Any environment that has nutrients like cellulose or other organic matter can harbor mold if the humidity level is right. To further enable mold growth, an environment that has poor air flow and minimal disruption is ideal. For example, you can find mold on wallpaper, furniture, drywall, overly-packed bookshelves or overstuffed closets.
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What Stops Mold From Coming Back
The ultimate method that stops mold from coming back is fixing whatever is causing the dampness in the first place. That can be waterproofing the area or encapsulation, which is the recommended option.
You can kill off fungi that were left behind in the cleaning process by spraying vinegar on the area. This acid-based solution will kill 90 percent of the remaining mold on surfaces.
Can Black Mold Be Cleaned
Because black mold can be toxic, it should always be removed and never cleaned. Personal Protective Equipment will need to be used when removing. Furthermore, if Stachybotrys has been confirmed present, a proper containment barrier should be installed to prevent cross-contamination of airborne mold spores.
Is this something you should try for yourself?
Well, sort of
Here they say:
“Who should do the cleanup depends on several factors. One consideration is the size of the mold problem. If the moldy area is less than about 10 square feet , in most cases, you can handle the job yourself.”
Which is excellent and for the most part correct, but in my professional opinion too black and white and doesn’t cover the grey areas.
They do say “one consideration” so they are indicating it’s not the absolute rule.
Black mold because it can be harmful to one’s health should always be handled by a trained professional.
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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.
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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How Long Does It Take For Mold To Grow Simply Explained
Does a leak or humidity have you worried about mold growing in the home? This article will discuss how long it takes for mold to grow. It will also provide practical suggestions that can help you to get rid of it.
Under ideal conditions, it takes mold between 24 and 48 hours to grow. The spores are usually furry in appearance. They may also appear as black, white, brown, or green stains. The spores are usually visible when the ideal conditions are present for between 18-24 days.
After seeing just how quickly mold can grow, you may be wondering:
- Where is mold most likely to grow?
- What can you do to prevent mold from growing?
- How should you clean mold patches?
Make sure you check out the rest of this article as it will discuss the answers to these questions and more. It will also provide you with a great guide that will help you to keep your family and home safe from mold.