Is Mold Behind A Wall Dangerous
Yes. Absolutely yes. In fact, it can be MORE dangerous than visible mold because it can go undetected for a long time, continue to grow and compromise multiple areas of your home, and it can release mass amounts of mycotoxins as the active mold growth begins to compete for space. In addition, the mold spores and mycotoxins can quietly move through your duct work and invade all areas of your living space. Mold is known to cause a wide range of health problems and mold behind a wall is no different than visible mold elsewhere in your home.
What Should I Do If I Suspect Mold In My House
Youll need to address the cause of the mold such as water damage, excessive condensation, poor ventilation, and so on. The best way to make sure you get rid of mold in your house is to hire a professional mold inspector. They will conduct a thorough examination of your home, and assess the molds that are present.
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How Quickly Can Mold Make You Sick
These spores proliferate quickly and can take hold in places with poor ventilation and high humidity in less than 24 hours. The problem starts when you inhale these spores. They produce toxic substances known as mycotoxins that can produce an immune response in some individuals and actually extremely toxic themselves.
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Mold Identifications: Black Mold Vs Regular Mold
It is also important as a homeowner that you do not confuse toxic black mold with regular mold. In fact, both types can look similar to each other. However, the regular type of fungus does not pose as much risk to your home or your family.
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The regular variety may be black in color but is not toxic. Toxic black mold can be either green or black. It releases mycotoxins that can make you seriously ill if you come into contact with or inhale them.
Common Types Of House Mold
Wondering what types of mold are the most common in houses and which ones you should be concerned about? Lets discuss a few of the most common types of household mold now.
- Cladosporium Cladosporium is one of the most common household molds. It usually grows in a greenish-brown colony, but can also be nearly black in color. It is rarely harmful unless you have a mold allergy, but may cause minor issues like toenail or fingernail infections.
- Penicillium Penicillium is sometimes called green mold, as it is usually dark green in color. It tends to grow in large, consistent patches on the walls. As the name suggests, penicillin is derived from some kinds of this mold. However, some kinds of penicillium mold may be toxic to humans and animals.
- Aspergillus This type of mold is usually greenish-white in color, and may be more raised with a more cloudy appearance than other types of mold. It is not harmful, unless you have a weakened immune system, in which case it could infect the lungs or sinuses.
- Alternaria Alternaria mold is usually greenish-white, but can also appear in black patches, so its sometimes confused with black mold. Alternaria can be a factor in exacerbating asthma, particularly for those who may have mold allergies.
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What Causes Mold Growth
When you first spot mold growing in your home, or start suspecting that itâs growing, you might think something like, âHow did that get there?â or âWhat did I do to cause mold growth in my house?â
There are plenty of ways that mold can find its way into your house. For example, spores can enter through open windows, doorways, or your ventilation system. They can also attach themselves to shoes, clothing, or pets and find their way in through these different vehicles.
Itâs important to note, though, that mold will only grow and spread in areas that are favorable. This includes areas that are very moist and provide the mold spores with a steady supply of nutrients.
If you have a leaky pipe or flooding in your home, for example, that will create a prime area for mold growth. Places with excessive window condensations might be prone to mold, too. The same goes for spots that donât get a lot of air circulation.
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Types Of Mold In The Home
Mold forms in many different colors, and regardless of the color or type, you want it removed from your home. The most dangerous type is the toxic mold. Toxic mold is harmful and even mild exposure can lead to health issues. Continued exposure to toxic mold can lead to worse symptoms and serious respiratory problems.
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Black And Toxic Molds
The term “black” mold is misleading at best. First, while the terms “toxic” and “black” mold are commonly used interchangeably, only one is recognized as black mold by most professionals: Stachybotrys chartarum, sometimes called Stachybotrys atra. Other common indoor toxic molds include – but are not limited to – Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria. Furthermore, Stachybotrys isn’t actually black, but a greenish-black color instead. Finally, with more than 100,000 known types of mold, many of them are black. Unless they are Stachybotrys, however, they aren’t “black” mold and may not even be toxic.
Is Mold Inside Walls Dangerous Patricia Santa Monica
Heres a customer that had severe mold inside the walls and crawl space. It affected her skin, this is how we treated it the mold: we used our dual dry decontamination fogging.
The best way is to verify by an air mold sample: this will determine if the mold inside the wall cross contaminated into the indoor breathing space.
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Can Mold Cause Health Problems
There are thousands of different types of mold, some of which can cause allergies, infections, cancer, and even death.
Exposure to toxic mold is especially dangerous to children and people with compromised immune systems. A person who is immunocompromised might develop a lung infection from mold or illnesses that lead to long-term issues and, in some cases, death.
Children are at a higher risk of developing respiratory illnesses from moist air and mold particles. In fact, children who live in a moldy home are five times more likely to develop asthma than those who dont.
Even healthy people can develop health troubles from the indoor mold when it overruns their home, or they inhale large amounts of airborne spores. Approximately 25% of the population is genetically prone to developing illnesses from mold as their bodies are unable to fight the toxicity.
Toxic mold exposure can cause the following symptoms:
The most harmful types of molds are part of these three classifications.
1) Allergenic Mold
Allergenic molds cause or trigger allergic reactions. This can be especially harmful to people who have an underlying respiratory issue or those who are sensitive to airborne allergies.
2) Pathogenic Mold
Pathogenic molds can cause infections and worsen underlying health problems. If pathogenic mold is inhaled for long periods, it may cause lung infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia.
3) Toxigenic Mold
Using A Mold Exposure Test
A mold exposure test is often the best way for you to check for mold on your own. You can pick one up at any home improvement or home supply store.
Simply follow the instructions on the box. Usually, youll just brush the surface where you think mold may be present, and send the test strip or brush in for a laboratory analysis. If mold is present, youll be notified.
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How To Clean Drywall Before Painting
If you have unpainted drywall, you are also going to want to clean it. This step is extremely important, as it ensures the paint will go on smoothly, and nothing gets caught underneath. Sometimes there is invisible residue on the wall, so even if the wall doesnt look too dirty, its worth cleaning it before painting.
How Do You Know If There Is Mold In Walls
If you’ve had significant water damage, like a broken pipe inside a wall or flooding in your home, there is a possibility of mold growing within the walls. In such cases, you’re going to need to remove and replace the drywall anyway, so while you’re at it, it’s easy enough to check for mold inside the walls.
If you see mold on the surface of a wall, it is possible there is mold inside the walls, as well. Because it is difficult or impossible to remove mold from porous materials like drywall, you will need to remove and replace the moldy section of drywall. That will make it easy to check for mold inside the wall. Use a small mirror with a long handle and a flashlight to look inside the walls for mold.
Yet another sign of mold growing unseen inside the walls is a musty odor. There are other, easier places to search for hidden mold if you smell that characteristic musty odor that indicates mold is present somewhere, but if you’ve looked elsewhere and can’t find it, you may need to check inside the walls.
If you’re not sure whether or not you need to check inside the walls, you can consult with a mold removal professional for advice.
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Common Places For Mold To Grow
If you have had water damage to your home, its important to be on the lookout for possible mold growth. For example, mold in basement walls or floors can occur after flooding or severe water damage. Also chronic or persistent leaking from appliances, sinks, and showers can also lead to mold growth.
To find hidden mold, look for evidence of water intrusion which is often a sure sign that you either have mold in the home now or will be growing it soon. While it can be difficult to detect mold in the walls, its important to look for these signs of mold growth, to identify the problem as quickly as possible. Moisture meters and particle counters can be used by a certified inspector to source the water leak and fungal growth and even help detect if there is mold in your walls.
If you suspect mold growth in your home, here are some of the most common locations to check for mold to grow in the house:
- Air Ducts
- Near Plumbing
Keep in mind that mold is a sign of excessive moisture and water intrusion and can be visible or hidden behind many different surfaces. Whether its from a leaking pipe or previous water damage, mold can lead to costly building repairs and even adverse health effects, which is why it should be handled promptly.
How To Relate Mold Growth Pattern To Building Leaks Or Moisture Vairations
Reader Question: why is this black mold growing on these drywall ceilings & walls?
I attached three mould photos for you. Can you help me to find out the possible reasons? – L.Y. 6/4/2013
Reply: Summary of common reasons for mold growth on drywall
A competent onsite inspection by an expert usually finds additional clues that help accurately diagnose a problem. That said, here are some things to consider:
Possible reasons for indoor mold growth ?
In all cases of indoor mold growth the mold needs food , oxygen, and water some molds thrive on light, some are tolerant or intolerant of UV, and other factors.
Moisture, water, leaks, condensationa are key determinants in indoor mold growth
Of all of these, water is the key necessary ingredient which we can track and which is inviolate – that is, no water, no moisture = no problem mold growth.
I have no context for the photos, no age, no building history, occupancy, use, or other key information that an onsite inspection would disclose.
But I note that your middle photo looks as if it is a ceiling and because there is a vent therein I suspect this may be over a bathroom Common moisture sources for such an area might include
- leaks into the ceiling above
- high indoor moisture from in-building sources such as a steamy shower or clothes dryer
- leaks from the ducting for the ceiling fan
Mold growth tracking ceiling or wall framing
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You Feel Like You Have A Lingering Cold Or Are Battling Flu
âIt is pretty tough to detect until it starts coming through the walls because mold, as you know, is a problem with some sort of leak somewhere,â Hayes-Raitt said. âSo the problem starts behind the walls. But if youâre getting sick, it might be because of a mold problem.â
If youâre dealing with symptoms that you canât exactly pinpoint, it could be that youâre stressed, havenât been taking care of yourself, or wound up with some sort of virus, of course, but it could also potentially be that youâre dealing with mold.
If possible, Hayes-Raitt said that one of the best ways to determine if the sickness you feel is related to the house or not is to leave for a few days and then return home. If you feel those same symptoms coming on again, it might be the result of something more than a cold or virus.
How To Identify Mold Vs Mildew In Your Home
Mold and mildew are often spoken of together, almost as if they were the same substance. We fear mold and mildew growing below our homes in crawl spaces, under house siding, around the bathroom wall surround, and behind the sink. Excessive, pervasive mold and mildew can hamper a house sale or cause homeowners to move their bedroom elsewhere. Neither mold nor mildew is welcomed in the home, in any form.
Though related, mold and mildew are separate microorganisms that grow differently and must be treated differently. Safely eradicating mold and mildew is crucial to keeping you safe and your home in good shape.
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Does Vinegar Kill Black Mold
White vinegar is a mildly acidic product that cleans, deodorizes, and disinfects. It can also kill 82% of mold species, including black mold, on porous and non-porous surfaces. Spray the vinegar onto the moldy surface and leave for an hour. Finally, wipe the area clean with water and allow the surface to dry.
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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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Common Causes Of Mold
Mold flourishes in damp conditions, so most causes of mold growth involve unwanted water getting into the house. Some of the most common situations include:
- Leaky pipes or air-conditioning ducts
- Wet clothes
- Excess condensation on cold metallic, glass, or concrete surfaces.
Water can also pool up around sinks, bathtubs, dishwashers, or washing machines, so be wary and clean any water up right away. Some problems to look out for outdoors include a yard that slopes toward the foundation of the house, leaky shingles on the roof, and improper caulking on windows.
How To Remove Mold
- Wear old clothes and shoes that you can launder or throw away after the cleanup work.
- Wear special N-95 or P-100 respirators, in addition to goggles and gloves.
- Set an old box fan or a cheap new one in a window to ventilate the room while working. Throw it out when you’re done cleaning, because the spores are almost impossible to clean off. Tape plywood or cardboard around the window openings so the spores can’t blow back in.
- Wrap and tape moldy carpeting in 6-mil plastic, and double-bag mold-infested debris in garbage bags for disposal.
- To control airborne spores, moisten moldy areas with a garden sprayer while you work.
- Turn off your furnace and air conditioner and cover ducts and doors to contain spores.
- Keep your wet/dry vacuum outside when you vacuum.
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How Do You Know If Its Mold
The bad news: Mold loves to hide. How do you find this evil house guest before its too late? Your nose knows.
Your sense of smell is the first line of defense against mold. You can often smell mold before you can see it. If you notice a musty smell in your home, theres a good chance you have mold. If you think you have a mold problem, get on your hands and knees and smell the electrical outlets. As silly as it sounds, this is not a practical joke. Outlets have better access to the area behind walls, and smelling them can help pinpoint the mold problem. If mold is there, youll be able to smell it.
You should also investigate the areas in your home where mold loves to hide. Basements and bathrooms are likely places, but check out our infographic revealing the six secret places mold loves to hide: chimney, roof, windows, washing machines and under wallpaper.
If youre still not sure, its time to . Professionals can test the air for mold spores and determine if and exactly what type of mold is present.