Tuesday, April 23, 2024

How To Check For Mold Spores In Your Home

Mold Poisoning Symptoms In Humans

How To Get Mold Spores Out Of Your Home with Paul McHam #2

Mold poisoning can cause a number of different symptoms, depending on the age of the affected individual, the strength of their immune system, and whether or not they have a pre-existing mold allergy. Here are a few of the most common signs and symptoms of mold poisoning in humans.

  • A stuffy or runny nose
  • Sinus issues or infections
  • Worsening or development of asthma
  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • Skin itchiness, redness, or discomfort
  • Fever and shortness of breath
  • Rashes

How Do Molds Get In The Indoor Environment And How Do They Grow

Mold is found both indoors and outdoors. Mold can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, and pets can and be carried indoors. When mold spores drop on places where there is excessive moisture, such as where leakage may have occurred in roofs, pipes, walls, plant pots, or where there has been flooding, they will grow. Many building materials provide suitable nutrients that encourage mold to grow. Wet cellulose materials, including paper and paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, and wood products, are particularly conducive for the growth of some molds. Other materials such as dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation materials, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery, commonly support mold growth.

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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What Effects Can Black Mold Have On Your Health

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.

How Common Is Mold In Buildings

What do Mold Spores Look Like? Can you see them?

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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Mold Inspectors And Testing

Hiring a mold inspector is like a crap shoot. There is such a wide variance of quality when it comes to inspectors. Inspectors have different levels of education and experience ranging from a weekend internet course to professionally trained building biologists, engineers, HVAC/IAQ professionals. You can read about the challenges of finding the right inspector and remediators HERE.

When you ask a mold remediator whether they will be able to remove ALL of the mold, every true professional will admit that it is impossible to make that claim! This is because homes regularly experience water or moisture issues as part of their yearly wear and tear. In many cases, a small leak or water issue may grow mold and simply dry out over a few days. In these cases, the mold dries and becomes dormant. It can reactivate when faced with moisture in the future.

Does that mean that the mold is dangerous if it is in drywall or within walls? Sometimes it remains harmless. However, in order to fully remove all mold, virtually all drywall would have to be removed and all framing and flooring would have to be treated or remediated. A remediator would have to drill every 2 feet and at multiple heights to reach all areas between the 2 x 4 or 2 x 6 wooden wall studs. It is often adequate to use a moisture meter to identify moisture issues and repair where the active mold is reproducing.

How Much Does It Cost To Test Your House For Mold

Getting your home professionally inspected for mold isnt cheap. The average cost for an inspection is around $650. But, it can range between $250 and $1000 depending on the size and location of your house .

Many homeowners are enticed by the affordability of DIY test kits, usually available at around $40 or less. However, its crucial to get the house inspected by professionals if mold is detected or suspected.

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A House With A Mold Issue

There is a big difference between a house with a mold problem and a moldy house. To begin with, a house with a mold problem usually results from a specific leak or a moisture problem due to faulty appliances, pipes, or roof leaks. In these cases, the mold must be removed and remediated properly so that the mold is confined to the area being fixed by sealing the area and using an air scrubber.

A mold remediator should also inspect and test the entire home for moisture and mold throughout the house, indoors and out. If they do not, it should be a red flag and you should reconsider. To learn about Professional Mold Inspection and Expectations, click HERE. You can also effectively inspect your own house with a few tools. You can read about DIY Mold Inspections HERE.

Air Conditioning And Heating Vents

How to search for hidden mold in your home

You probably prefer your bedroom to be at the optimal temperature for you to get a good nights rest. While using the AC and heating unit are fine , its possible for mold to grow in the vents.

To prevent mold from contaminating your bedroom, you should:

  • Use a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air
  • Dry up any condensation you find on the walls and windows
  • Invest in a mold-resistant mattress or, at the very least, a waterproof mattress cover

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How To Test The Air In Your House For Mold: Step

With new technology, mold testing has become simplified for homes. The best places to test are the following spaces:

Go for a viable test kit to detect spores in the air. You can buy an easy test kit to use at home by searching the web. Be sure that it is for indoor use and conditions like yours.

Heres how to use your kit once your purchase it.

Should You Use A Mold Specialist

Always look for a contractor with experience in mold inspection and mold remediation. Both the EPA and experts like Moldman suggest that a mold inspection is unnecessary if you can see mold. You can move right to the remediation step. You do not need to pay a professional inspector to tell you what you already know.

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What Are Mold Spores

Mold spores are airborne multi-cellular organisms that reproduce asexually. They undergo chemical reactions which allow them to multiply. These chemical reactions are also the cause of the musty and earthy odor of mold.

Mold forms when mold spores come in contact with moisture. While mold is a fungus, it differs from others because of its ability to grow on most porous surfaces.

Mold can form in fabrics, wood, and plaster. Mold also comes in different colors. Although identifying them via their colors isnt entirely reliable, it may help familiarize yourself with them.

First is green mold, which is typically found in foods. It is pretty typical, and most molds tend to look green at one point.

Next is black mold, which is infamous among all the types of mold. The toxic one is S. chartarum and is found in leaky areas.

Also, the color isnt solely black its greenish-black. Sometimes, they may also look purplish.

  • chartarum is toxic because of its by-product, mycotoxin. However, not all black mold is S. chartarum some may be Cladosporium. Cladosporium commonly contaminates insulation, walls, and carpet.
  • Now that you have learned about mold spores, it is time to answer whether they are hazardous to ones health.

    Types Of Mold In The Home

    How to Detect Household Mould

    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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    Difference Between Mold Testing And Mold Inspection

    Mold inspection and testing take place at home invaded by molds. A mold inspector carries out a visual inspection of the place and asks the home occupants few questions concerning any cases of water damages, moisture problems, leaks and mold areas that have been spotted. Mold testing takes place in a laboratory where samples are collected during the mold inspection process. These samples gathered are then analyzed under carefully controlled conditions. The types of molds are known as well as the number of mold spores circulating within the area in the air.

    During the inspection phase, an inspector will begin by examining places that seem to have been invaded by mold growth. They will also conduct a visual inspection in the remaining areas of the house, especially in concentrated areas mainly associated with mold growth. A professional inspector might use specialized equipment such as the infrared camera or meters to establish moisture presence in drywalls or certain areas that are not easily accessible. After this, they will recommend the best course of action, with part of it being solving the issue of moisture. They can establish the source of the moisture, such as a leaking roof, thus calling for additional investigations.

    How To Choose The Best Mold Test Kit

    There are a few key things to consider when selecting a mold test kit. These include the types of supplies that are included and the customer support thatâs available. Here are the main factors to think about to make sure you choose the best mold test kit for your situation.

    Test supplies

    It is important to find a mold test kit that includes all of the equipment necessary to collect complete samples. If a test kit can collect surface samples but does not include swabs or adhesive strips, youll have to look elsewhere to buy these items at an added cost. Usually, you can determine the types of tests the kit can perform by looking at the included supplies.

    Help and support

    Reputable mold test companies include their telephone numbers and email addresses on their websites. In addition to contact information, you might want to select a company that has strong support options, including FAQs and video tutorials. Aside from our top two products, the Pro-Lab Mold Test Kit and the Home Mold Laboratory Viable Mold Test Kit, you can find full customer support with Healthful Homeâs 5-Minute Mold Test and the Mold Check Whole House Mold Test.

    It also is handy if either the kit itself or the website offers a guidebook to tell you how to test for mold and identify what you find.

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    Products And Tools Youll Need To Test For Mold In Your Home

    The only thing you need to test for mold at home is a test kit. In addition to the ones previously mentioned, there are several options available:

    • Pro-Lab Mold Test Kit: This kit includes three tests. Your sample can be tested for an additional $40 fee, with results delivered by e-mail or via the companys app.
    • MoldCheck Multi-Test Kit: This kit includes supplies to perform ten tests, which is great for an entire home or monitoring an ongoing infestation. However, there is no lab testing option, so you will need to find your own if you need identification.
    • ImmunoLytics Mold Screening Test Kit: Perform eight tests with this kit. Each plate can be tested for $33 each.
    • My Mold Detective: If you are looking for a more advanced mold monitoring option, the My Mold Detective is a reusable air sampling pump that collects samples in just five minutes. The device comes with four sampling cassettes that can be tested in a lab for $35 each.
    • My Mold Detective Additional Samples: The My Mold Detective can be used again and again, so order as many samples as you need to keep tabs on your mold problem.

    How To Prevent Mold Spores From Entering Your Home

    DIY mold detector

    Are you ready for the bad news? Completely eliminating mold spores from the home is virtually impossible. The good news is that its possible to lower their amounts to the extent that they wont be a problem.

    As mentioned, regularly running a HEPA air purifier and cleaning with a HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner is more than ideal. Also, make sure to take the kitchen trash out on a very regular basis to prevent moldy food from releasing spores and inspect your home for any hidden mold.

    If living in a humid environment, then regulating your indoor humidity levels with a dehumidifier will drastically reduce the chances of mold formation too.

    One could take it a step further and fit duct vents and air conditioner units with HEPA filters to further minimize the chances of spores entering the home.

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    What To Do If You Suspect Your Home Has Toxic Mold

    Because toxic mold exposure can be a serious health threat, its important that you get professional help if you think you might have dangerous mold in your home. The first step is to have your home professionally tested for mold. This should involve a thorough inspection for any water damage or mold growth found on materials in your home, as well as an air quality test to check for airborne spores. This entire process typically takes an hour or less to perform.

    Next, samples will be sent to an environmental testing laboratory to determine if there are harmful species of mold in your home. If needed, you can then call in a mold remediation company to remove the toxic mold in your home and get to the bottom of any remaining sources of water damage.

    Once the mold has been remediated, a clearance air test can be performed to ensure that the mold levels in your home are safe.

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    How To Identify Mold Vs Mildew In Your Home

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    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 the terminology can be confusing, mildew refers to specific types of fungus, including some types of mold. That said, not all mildew and mold should be treated the same. Safely eradicating mold and mildew is crucial to keeping you safe and your home in good shape.

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    Question: How Do I Detect Mold Spores

    by Todd Bird | Jun 28, 2019 | Blog, Past Questions |

    Question from Jeff in Folsom. Environmental purity is a big concern for my family. This is the Question: How can I check my home for air-borne mold spores?

    So, joining us now is Blake Roath, Owner / Operator of Select Environmental to help answer this question.

    Find The Right Mold Inspector

    How to Check for Mold in Your House

    If a mold problem is detected in a house youd like to buy, you could ask the seller to take care of it. Some states require the seller to provide full disclosure about any mold or water damage in the house if you ask.

    If youre buying a home and want a better grasp of mold related issues, hire a home inspector with expertise in mold inspection. You can here to find a WIN Home Inspection expert near you, and one of our expertly trained home inspectors can assist you. Alternatively, call 309-6753 or email us at and one of our experts will contact you promptly.

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    I Heard About Toxic Molds And Black Molds That Grow In Homes And Other Buildings Should I Be Concerned About A Serious Health Risk To Me And My Family

    There is always a little mold everywhere in the air and on many surfaces.

    Certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins . Hazards presented by molds that may produce mycotoxins should be considered the same as other common molds which can grow in your house. Not all fungi produce mycotoxins and even those that do will not do so under all surface or environmental conditions.

    Mold growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. Color is not an indication of how dangerous a mold may be. Any mold should be removed and the moisture source that helped it grow should be removed.

    There are very few reports that toxigenic molds found inside homes can cause unique or rare health conditions such as pulmonary hemorrhage or memory loss. These case reports are rare, and a causal link between the presence of the toxigenic mold and these conditions has not been proven.

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