Identifying Mold In Your Home
Toxic Mold: The Complete Picture
The story about toxic mold whether black, white, or orange is more complex than most people know. First, although all mold growth is capable of producing mycotoxins , none produce mycotoxins all the time. Not even Stachybotrys.
- Mycotoxins are produced only when two conditions occur at the same time: 1. When mold is eating and producing secondary metabolites and, 2. In the presence of competing bacteria or mold. If both conditions are not present then mycotoxins will not be produced.
- Second, mycotoxins are not some mysterious substance with properties like radiation that can penetrate through walls. They dont stick to contents creating cross-contamination days or weeks later. They also cant be killed, because they arent alive.
- Third, mycotoxins are not even the most prevalent component of mold that can cause reactions. Mold growth can also generate gas which are more common than the particles containing the mycotoxins, so the focus on mycotoxins is limiting.
When Should You Test Your Home For Mold Exposure
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency , if visible mold is present on inspection, testing is usually unnecessary. There are no Environmental Protection Agency or government standards that have been established for mold or mold spore levels, so it is impossible to prove that a building or room complies with any health regulations concerning mold exposure. Likewise, the CDC does not recommend routine sampling and testing of mold in the home. Health officials haven’t defined tolerable or acceptable limits of mold exposure for humans, and since individuals vary in their susceptibility to mold, testing cannot reliably predict the degree of health risks from any occurrence of mold.
When mold has previously been identified and cleanup procedures have been undertaken, sampling and testing may be carried out if necessary by qualified professionals to determine that adequate cleaning of a building has occurred.
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Whats So Toxic About Black Mold
Like all mold, active black mold releases millions of microscopic airborne reproductive spores. These invisible particles accumulate in the enclosed environment of a home to levels one would never encounter in the great outdoors. However, black mold spores carry chemicals called mycotoxins that are known to be toxic to humans when inhaled.
Black Mold: What You Should Know
Sinister-sounding and potentially dangerous, toxic black mold can strike fear in the heart of any homeowner. But by being able to identify black mold and understand how to prevent and control its growth, you can help to keep your home free of toxic black mold.
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How To Test For Black Mold In Your House
The first step in figuring out if you have mold in your house if it is not visible to the naked eye is by smell. Since mold grows in wet and damp locations, it could be hidden behind a wall, floor or ceiling. A musty, earthy odour will permeate around building materials.
Basements and crawlspaces are places that promote black mold growth, especially if there has been flooding due to heavy rains or snowmelt. If mold issues are not dealt with in these less-trafficked areas, mold can continue to grow and spread, and affect the indoor air quality and the health of you and your family, in your entire house.
Black mold in attics is also a problem for houses that have leaky roofs or are not properly weatherproofed or insulated.
If you discover black mold in your home, it is recommended that you get a mold inspection from a certified professional. If it is present then mold testing can let you know if the black mold in your home is toxic or non-toxic to ensure your safety. Hiring a mold removal company would be the next step.
How Harmful Is It
Black algae thrive on the surfaces of natural bodies of water and is most common in the sweltering summer months. In the wild, cyanobacteria proliferates so much, it destroys other life forms by blocking life-giving sunlight and stealing nutrients such as oxygen. However, its growth wont get this extreme in your pool.
However, it can still hurt you. Cyanobacteria manufacture cyanotoxins, which are potent natural poisons. It can make you, your family, your pets, and anyone else who takes a dip in your backyard swimming pool deathly ill. Just swimming in black algae-infested water for even a short time can make you sick.
The virulent toxins cyanobacteria produce can cause the wholesale contamination of municipal water supplies. The risk of contracting life-threatening symptoms increases dramatically if you accidentally drink water tainted with the stuff. If you do, it can cause liver damage, paralysis, or even death.
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Quadruple Shock The Pool
Youre going to quadruple shock your pool because a regular dose wont be enough. See what the manufacturer says is the correct dose for your pools volume, and then multiply that by four.
Use calcium hypochlorite because nothing else on the market works as good as this substance for getting rid of black algae. Place all your pool maintenance equipment, such as the brush, the leaf skimmer, and the tablet holder, in the shallow end so it can be sanitized while youre shocking your pool.
Remember to do your shocking at night. If you do it during the day, the suns rays will neutralize the chlorine before it has a chance to kill the bacteria.
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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What Works Against Black Mold
Fortunately there are some ways in which you can remove black mold in your home by yourself. Most mild cases of black mold colonization can be handled by the use of homemade cleaning methods. If you decide you remove the black mold in your building by yourself, there are a few steps you should follow.
You should prepare for cleaning black mold by getting a safety gear first which should include rubber gloves, goggles, respiratory mask. Black mold should not come into contact with your skins sensitive parts. And for this reason wearing protective clothes is recommended.
When you are removing black mold from your windows make sure to open them as the increased ventilation will protect you and your property from the negative effect of black mold.
Black Mold In Bathroom: Cause Dangers And How To Get Rid Of It
The bathroom is one of the most important rooms in your house that you use every day. Its function to clean and freshen your body might serve the opposite if black mold starts to grow and develop in your bathroom.
Black mold can infect any fixtures and fittings of a bathroom.
Because this type of mold likes to grow in a dampened area, bathroom fixtures that have direct contact with water such as the floor, bathtub, and shower, have a greater risk of black mold infestation.
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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, black mold can also appear as dry and powdery. Black mold is also dangerous because its sometimes difficult to distinguish from other species of mold.
Most Common Mold Spores
The most common mold spores are Stachybotrys, Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus and Alternaria. These molds will grow anywhere inside of a building where there is moisture. Once you begin to see the yellowish, brownish, greenish or grayish-black stains that form on walls and ceilings, you are at risk for mold allergies or may develop mold symptoms that are caused by the toxins that molds can generate.
You should take the necessary precautions to see how extensive the moisture damage is to your house by requesting a mold inspection from a reputable professional.
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What Are Your Tenant Rights
Most cities and states do not actually have tenant laws that actually require landlords to inspect their rental units for this type of fungus. However, most tenant laws do require landlords to provide safe and sanitary places for tenants to live. With that, any type of fungal infestation may fall under those tenant laws, thus requiring landlords to address such problems in a prompt and professional manner.
If you did not cause the fungus to crop up and grow in the rental unit, you are not obligated to get rid of it. The landlord must either remediate the problem on his or her own or hire a remediation company to come in and clean it up for you.
Keep It Clean And Dry
It never hurts to clean regularly. Make sure humid areas and rooms with plumbing get regular spot checks. Add mold and mildew removal products to your cleaning routine, especially for the bathroom and kitchen.
Mold thrives on moisture, so use dehumidifiers in humid areas of your home like bathrooms, basements, or closets.
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Treating Black Mold Poisoning
If you suspect youre suffering from symptoms associated with black mold exposure or poisoning, there are some things you can do to improve your health.
In conclusion, the best way to avoid the negative effects of black mold poisoning is to minimize your exposure to black mold.
You can do this by preventing its growth in the first place. If its too late to prevent it and you suspect theres black mold already in your home, dont wait to book black mold removal, completed quickly and efficiently by the industry experts.
Black mold, typically green or black, in your home can be extremely hazardous to your health. Learn about black mold poisoning and start preventing black mold growth today.
Black Mold: What Is It And Can It Make You Sick
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August 13, 2019 By Judd Handler
Black mold sounds like a toxic, lethal horror show. But how do you know if you have it? Where does it thrive? Does it cause serious health problems? And how do you get rid of it? Learn more about black mold symptoms and more.
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Test And Balance The Water
Make sure the chemical balance of your pool water is at its optimal level. This way, youll know precisely how much pool shock to use. Use either a liquid test kit or test strips. Dont worry about calcium hardnessfocus on pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer.
Heres where the levels should be:
- alkalinity: 100 ppm to 150 ppm
- pH: 7.4 to 7.6
- chlorine: 1 ppm to 3 ppm
How to Raise pH in Pool
If you find out the pH level of your pool is low, there are a couple of things you can do to raise it:
- Add Soda ASH: Soda ash or sodium bicarbonate have lots of alkalinity, easily dissolve in water, and dont leave much of a trace. Adding either of them will decrease acidity and raise pH levels of your pool water.
- Aerate The Water: This can be done by pointing water jets towards the pool surface, by turning on water features, or adding aeration pipes. However, doing this is a lengthy process, and can take days.
Cleaning Larger Areas Of Mold
Large mold infestations are serious and should not be tackled by a homeowner, in the area and have them come out and investigate the situation and give an estimate of the mold removal costs.
After you accept their bid they will take a mold sample from a mold testing kit and send this to a environmental lab for analysis. A report will come back and the mold removal company should interpret the results for you explaining the exact mold and the best process for removal.
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At What Humidity Does Mold Die
One way of controlling mold growth is maintaining proper humidity levels in your home. The volume of moisture in one cubic meter of air differs as a function of the air temperature. In other words, warm air absorbs moisture more than cold air. The ideal relative humidity inside your home is anywhere between 30% and 50% if you want to prevent mold.
Using exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens where steam tends to accumulate from cooking and showering, improving ventilation, and investing in a dehumidifier are all simple ways of keeping relative humidity low. Open widows frequently to allow for sufficient air exchange, but close them when it rains to avoid moisture intrusion and condensation.
What Can I Do About Black Mold
Successfully treating black mold in the home is not a DIY project. A qualified mold remediation specialist can test the growth to verify black mold and sample the spore count in the air to determine the extent of the contamination. After physical removal of the primary growth, hell utilize anti-microbial products specifically formulated for the type of black mold to sterilize surfaces and prevent recurrence. In follow-up visits, air samples will be taken to confirm successful remediation. For a professional approach to diagnosing and treating black mold in the home, contact Rytech, Inc.
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Black Mold Symptoms And Health Effects
Learn about black mold symptoms and health effects so that you can identify indicators of black mold exposure and black mold poisoning.
A mold infested room of an old building.
Mold in homes can be a costly and dangerous problem, particularly when infestations of toxic black mold occur. The symptoms and health effects of black mold exposure and black mold poisoning cover a wide range of health problems, but understanding the indicators can help keep you and your family safe.
Toxic black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, as it’s known to scientists, can release spores as it feeds on organic materials in common household materials like drywall, carpet, insulation or sub-flooring that have been exposed to moisture. These spores, if ingested or inhaled, can cause a range of unpleasant and even dangerous symptoms in humans.
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.
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Toxic Black Mold Symptoms
Perhaps the most serious condition you can get from the nasty fungus is scarring in your lungs, known as pulmonary fibrosis. This makes you more vulnerable to developing lung cancer.
However, the most common health problem caused by harmful fungus is allergies. Allergies can make life very unpleasant. But most often, theyre not going to kill you.
In fact, according to WebMD, theres no direct evidence that links any mold to cancer.
The worst that can probably happen if you inhale pathogenic spores is youll develop very bad coughing. You may also have other symptoms that affect the lungs, eyes, nose and throat.
Some people may also develop even more serious black mold symptoms. These symptoms may include:
- Unexplained headaches
- Constant Fatigue
And in cases where poisoning is clearly evident, WebMD says bleeding from the lungs and nose can occur.
WebMD states three diseases can be attributed to toxic black mold:
Is Black Mold The Worst
Many people believe something called “black mold,” or “toxic black mold,” is a specific type of noxious mold that can severely sicken or even kill you because it releases noxious mycotoxins or mold poisons. But that’s not totally accurate. First, molds of all colors can cause illness. And second, there are many types of black-colored molds. The one most people have in mind when they refer to black mold, or toxic black mold, is Stachybotrys chartarum , a greenish-black mold.
Research published in Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry suggests S. chartarum may be linked to serious health problems such as mycotoxicosis, or mold poisoning. Other possible ill effects include body aches, headaches, memory loss, mood swings and nosebleeds. But the science isn’t definitive. A 2017 report published in Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology states, “There is no scientific evidence that exposure to visible black mold in apartments and buildings can lead to the vague and subjective symptoms of memory loss, inability to focus, fatigue, and headaches that were reported by people who erroneously believed that they were suffering from ‘mycotoxicosis.’ Similarly, a causal relationship between cases of infant pulmonary hemorrhage and exposure to ‘black mold’ has never been proven. Finally, there is no evidence of a link between autoimmune disease and mold exposure.”
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