Fungus In The Furniture
Mildew is attracted to moist leather and wood, and mold particles are more likely to be retained in porous materials like upholstered furniture and foam. Frequently inspect thefibers of your furniturefor any discolored spots, fuzz or spores.
Does your furniture seem a little funky? Mold particles are attracted to porous materials like upholstered furniture and foam. Be sure to inspect the fibers of your couches and chairs for any discolored spots, fuzz or spores.
Signs Of Black Mold And How To Get Rid Of It
Do you know if theres mold in your home? Mold grows in areas that are dark and damp, like bathrooms or around heating and cooling units that produce condensation.
The thought of any type of mold growing in your home might have you reaching for the nearest scrub brush and cleaning agent. Before you start scrubbing, be sure to evaluate what type of mold youre facing. While you dont want any mold in your house, black mold may pose more health risks than other types.
Learn more about black mold so you can identify it and prevent it from contaminating your home.
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How To Spot A Mould Problem Before It Affects Your Health
Mould is not always easy to recognise. It often looks like fuzz or appears to be a stain, smudge or discoloration. The most common moulds are black, green or white. However, mould can be many other colours, ranging from grey to orange to brown. Here are some warning signs that you might have a mould issue that could affect your health later on.
We insulate our houses to keep the heated or air conditioned air inside the building and forget that we thereby reduce air flow and increase the air humidity. High humidity means excess moisture in the air. This can cause mould to grow as well as encourage dust mites and other allergens to thrive. Timber furniture and building structures can also be affected by this moisture. This can result in dry rot, termite infestation and wet subfloors which also affect our air quality and our personal moods. In Australia, we allow high humidity to enter our homes when windows are left open for cross ventilation, all day or at night.
Condensation on windows
Commonly in modern building structures, we find tightly sealed windows and doors, plus walls and ceilings sealed by vapour barriers. Here in Australia high humidity days are frequent. Traditional ventilating methods coupled with high humidity will raise moisture content in your walls and furniture. Moisture or condensation on the inside of your single or double glazing has become a sign of an unsound indoor climate.
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How Long Do Mold Symptoms Last
The tricky thing about mold exposure is that its different for each person. The amount of time mold exposure symptoms persist depends on:
- What type of mold they are exposed to,
- How long the exposure has been,
- How well their bodies eliminate toxins
Those who process toxins well can see their symptoms disappear as quickly as a few days.
Others who eliminate toxins slowly can experience symptoms for much longer. They could be ill for months or even years after the source of mold is eliminated.
Previous Water Damage Event
Have you previously had the misfortune of discovering a water damage event like flooding or burst pipes in your home? If the water was extracted efficiently and properly, there is likely resulting mold growth.
Because fungus feeds on moisture, water damage often leads to mold problems which can be costly and can potentially harm the structural integrity of your home. To learn about how to manage a water damage event, clickhere.
Fungus and mold need water to thrive. If you have previously had the misfortune of experiencing a water damage event in your home, it is important to ensure that there is no resulting mold problem. At the first sign of mold, call the experts at ProClean at 484-8500.
According to the EPA, there is no simple way to eliminate all mold within a home, so it is important to stay diligent in detecting any possible problems.
If you notice any of the above warning signs, it is important to thoroughly and comprehensively remove mold colonies before they multiply even further.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Mold Sickness
If your Total Body Burden is high, or you are genetically predisposed to recycling toxins, regular exposure to mold can cause allergy symptoms, such as:
- Wheezing/shortness of breath
- Long standing or frequent sinusitis
And, serious pain and neurological symptoms, such as:
- Headaches and migraines
- Muscle cramping, aches and pains
- Persistent nerve pain
- Fatigue and weakness
- Poor memory, brain fog, difficulty with focus
In some cases, the spores from mold take root and grow in specific parts of the body, such as the lungs and sinuses. This can cause serious respiratory illnesses and infections.
Can You Get Sick From Mold In Your House
Yes. Those will allergies, compromised immune systems, asthma, or other such issues are at a higher risk as even minor, non-toxic molds could cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms. Mold in your house is rarely life-threatening. However, prolonged exposure is far from ideal for a number of reasons.
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Checking For Visible Mold
Your Eyes Are Watery And Stinging
People can have allergic reactions to mold, explains Purvi Parikh, MD, an allergist/immunologist with Allergy & Asthma Network. The symptoms can include itchy and watery eyes, coughing, and nasal congestion. If you suspect mold is triggering these symptoms, the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology suggests you track your reactions for two weeks to see if they kick in when youre in certain rooms or spaces within your house. You can also visit an allergist for a blood or skin test to confirm the allergy.
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How To Test For Mold
You probably dont need to do mold testing or buy a mold test kit, especially if the fungus is visible. Because the health effects of mold vary from person to person, the CDC says that if you can see it or smell it, it should be removed, no matter what type of mold is in your home.
While its not possible to completely eliminate mold in your house, you can prevent a build-up by cleaning up any wet or damp spots and fixing any existing water leaks.
Neither the CDC nor the EPA recommends doing routine mold samplingsboth organizations point out that there are no federal limits for mold in buildings, so people cant check their apartment complexs compliance with the law, for example. Plus, the testing can be expensive.
What Mold Looks Like
Molds are a type of fungus and can look like their fungal cousins, mushrooms and yeasts. Outdoors, molds can be seen gobbling up the dead organic matter on decomposing surfaces like fallen leaves and rotting logs indoors, house mold thrives in wet, humid environments like bathrooms and basements or anywhere that has recently flooded. There are thousands of types of mold, and their appearance can vary depending on the type of mold and where its growing.
The most common indoor molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum , is also sometimes found in homes and other buildings. This greenish-black growth can grow on fiberboard, paper, dust, and lint, particularly in areas that may have recently flooded or suffered other types of water damage. While black mold can certainly look scary, the CDC says that Stachybotrys chartarum isnt any more harmful than other types of mold.
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What Causes Mold Sickness
The toxins in your system from breathing in mold spores add to the total amount of toxicity in your body. We call this the Total Body Burden. When your burden is high, you start experiencing symptoms many which are seemingly unrelated.
For most people, toxins get flushed out from the body when eliminating waste.
For some, the toxic load is so high that its too much for the body to eliminate them all efficiently. For others, they may have poor detoxification processes or they may even recycle or reabsorb these mycotoxins back, as the body tries to eliminate them. Genetics plays a huge role in this difference from person to person
In short, multiple symptoms happen because, as we say in environmental medicine genetics points the gun, and then the environment pulls the trigger.
To Test Or Not To Test
Stachybotrys is usually greenish-black and somewhat slimy or wet, but may also appear grayish with a sooty, powdery texture. Additionally, other molds may look similar. Thats why it is impossible to tell if any given mold is black mold by looks, smell or even location. The only way to determine a mold species is examination under a microscope. Testing is costly, advises the CDC, and isnt really necessary. Any mold can cause health problems, as they point out. Therefore, you should arrange to have any mold in your home removed, no matter what type it is.
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Know Where It Spreads
Have you ever smelled a musty aroma in a damp room? Mold is a type of fungus, and it can grow on just about anything. It thrives in humidity and warmth, making the bathroom and kitchen ideal environments for growth. Potential hotspots are the bathroom, the kitchen, and even the bedroom.
A common myth is that it can only grow on certain materials. Spores can spread on fabric, glass, paper, wood, and plastic in your home. They can even start to digest the material that they grow on.
Each mold type has preferences for where they like to grow:
- Aspergillus tends to grow on powdery substances. This includes food, dust, and drywall.
- Alternaria shows up where its damp. This could be a leak, a shower or bath, or under the sink.
- Cladosporium ends up on fabric and wood in cool or warm climates.
- Penicillium shows up in water damage with a blueish greenish hue.
Fungi like this can be of various colors, textures, and forms, so dont rule something out as safe just because it doesnt look like what youre used to.
Know How to Spot It
Its important to realize that mold is not always visible. This fungus can be detectable by smell, and symptoms, as well as appearance. It can smell musty and stale and cause respiratory symptoms and flare-ups like triggering asthma attacks. Sometimes, these symptoms may be the first sign to you that you could have mold.
Perform A Visual Inspection
If you suspect you have mold, the first step is to perform a thorough visual inspection of your home. You will recognize mold as spots that can appear in many different colors. Mold thrives on moisture, so pay particular attention to roofs, windows, pipes, basements, laundry areas, bathrooms, previously flooded spaces, and so on. Mold commonly appears on fibrous surfaces like drywall, upholstery, wallpaper, fabrics, and cardboard. If you see any signs of mold, call a professional.
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Theres Been Recent Water Damages
Mold thrives in dark and wet areas. If youre going on a hunt to find mold in your home, you should start with any sections of the home that remain dark and moist. These locations might be the laundry room, the bathroom, under your sinks, and more.
Because mold grows so well in areas that are wet, you need to be on the lookout for it if youve had recent water damages to your home. A pipe thats burst or a leak that caused water damage are two examples of the perfect environment for mold.
Check around the areas where recent water damages occurred. If mold were going to grow, it would grow here. If you experience water damage in your home in the future, then be sure to dry the area out completely as quickly as possible.
How To Find Hidden Black Mold In Your Home
Do you suspect you have mold hidden in your home? Whether you can visibly see mold growing or can smell an unpleasant earthy odor, mold is a common problem in houses with water damage or leaks. If you see signs of mold in your home, a black mold test can be performed on a sample to determine if it is indeed mold, what toxic variety it is, and what should be done about it.
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Some Points About Testing Your House Molds
Since molds live around us all the time , your mold testing is more than likely going to pick up sporesplan on seeing growth in your petri dish.
Get two mold test kits
Since mold is going to be present, its important to see whats going on outside AND inside.
You want to find out if you have something growing indoors thats different from outdoors.
You do this by sampling the air both outdoors and indoors.
DIY mold testing in summary
Test kits like the ones mentioned above allow you to do both air sampling .
They also allow you to scrape off some living mold on a surface using a Q-tip and placing it in a petri dish to grow or directly on a slide.
Both kinds can have an analysis done to determine if the mold in your house is toxic.
The report you get back will give you detailed names of the house mold identified in your samples.
While explanations may tell you all the different types, be prepared that it can also conclude that you may have an abundance of moisture in your house, i.e. if more growth occurred in a sample dish that was used inside.
Not only will you be surprised by how much mold growth appears in your dish after 48-72 hours, you may also see a variety of colors .
Dont be too alarmed though as even the strangest kinds will be common and harmless to most people in low quantities.
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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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.