Black And Toxic Molds
The term âblackâ mold is misleading at best. First, while the terms âtoxicâ and âblackâ 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 â but are not limited to â Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria. Furthermore, Stachybotrys isnât 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 arenât âblackâ mold and may not even be toxic.
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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.
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. Thatâs 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 isnât 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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Allergy Or Asthma Flare
Certain species of mold release a harmful substance calledmycotoxin, which can trigger respiratory issues for those with allergies and asthma . Have you found yourself sneezing, coughing, feeling fatigued or blowing your nose no matter the time of year? It may be time to give the home a thorough inspection.
Have you been experiencing an increase in your allergy and asthma symptoms? Mold in your home may be the culprit. If you suspect that your home has a mold problem, it’s critical that you act fast. Trust the Experts. Trust ProClean. #MoldRemediation#MoldAssessment#MoldRemoval
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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Getting To The Root Of The Problem
Mold can affect your health in different ways some people have severe reactions while others dont experience any.
Common health effects of mold include hay fever-like symptoms such as a runny nose and red eyes. If you have allergies or asthma, youll likely experience more severe reactions such as asthma attacks or skin rashes.
Mold spreads and reproduces through spores in the air. You can buy DIY home test kits to help determine whether or not theres mold present in your home. Yet, as popular as these tests are, you shouldnt rely on them entirely. Always follow up with a professional inspection and treatment.
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What Does Mold Smell Like
The smell of mold is not pleasant in any way. Moreover, breathing it can be pretty hazardous. That is precisely whyEco Flood & Mold Remediation is not just devoted to getting rid of that nasty smell but protecting your health too.
Molds odor generally resembles an earthy smell, and sometimes a rotting smell. If you have ever been near chopped wood that has rotted from the rain or have had laundry not thoroughly dried and left alone in a basket for a long time, you would be familiar with the smell. To go into even more detail, it makes your new homesmelllike it is ancient, as if it has flooded and the water dried up within your walls.
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In On And Under The Kitchen Sink
A lot happens in your kitchen sink. Dirty dishes pile up , food goes through the garbage disposal, wet sponges sit in the sink or in caddies and collect bacteria, and faucets run. All of these things contribute to the potential for mold growth, so check in these areas often if you want to prevent mold. Oh, and dont forget to check underneath the sink leaky pipes are a big problem for mold.
Toxic Mold Test Do They Help
Professional inspection and testing can tell you definitively if you have this fungus in your home. The tests can reveal if the fungus is toxic and what type it is for sure. They can also identify where the fungus took root and from what areas in your home it has spread.
The tests can confirm signs that you may have suspected and give you positive results in a matter of minutes. They can also confirm that you need to take immediate action like hiring a professional remediation service to eliminate it and prevent future fungal growth.
Want to read more? Recommended article: Black mold inspection and testing
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.
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.
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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.
What Is Black Mold Why Is It Dangerous
Black mold is a type of fungus that can grow indoors, often in damp or humid conditions.
The scientific name for black mold is Stachybotrys chartarum, and it produces toxins that can be harmful to humans.
Inhaling or touching black mold can cause health problems, including respiratory infections, allergy symptoms, and headaches.
Children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems are the most vulnerable.
If black mold is present in your home, it is important to take steps to remove it and improve the indoor air quality.
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Tips For Mold Prevention
Wondering how you can prevent mold from affecting your home? Here are a few tips that may help you prevent mold from forming altogether.
How Do You Detect Black Mold In A House
The first step is to do a visual inspection. Look for any black or dark green patches on walls, ceilings, or flooring. These could be signs of black mold growth.
Another way to detect black mold is by smell. Mold often has a musty smell, so if you notice any strange smells in your house, it could be black mold.
If you found mold during your mold inspection you will need to remove it.
If you did not find mold but suspect it is hidden and making you sick you can test for mold.
Mold is a fungus that can be found both indoors and outdoors. It can cause serious health problems in people who are allergic to it, and it can also damage the structure of your home.
Finally, you can test for black mold with a mold test kit. These kits are available at most hardware stores and home improvement centers.
Follow the instructions on the kit to collect samples from your home. Then send the samples off.
It is important to note any mold growing indoors needs to be removed whether its black or not.
You dont need mold testing to tell you what type of mold you have.
If you suspect hidden mold what you want to know is the number of spores in your house.
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How To Test For Mold In 6 Steps
Mold infestations can usually be seen or smelled, but they can also remain hidden behind walls or under carpets. Testing isnt necessary if you can see or smell mold that is confirmation enough to call a professional and begin the remediation process. Testing for mold in the house may be necessary if requested by a health professional or needed for legal purposes, such as a lawsuit with a landlord. Another reason to consider testing is if you arent able to see or smell mold in your home but are having unexplained symptoms associated with mold. Always follow the instructions provided with a test kit , but this is generally what to expect:
What Does Mold Look Like
When identifying mold based on sight, it is not just about what the mold itself looks like directly, but what the surroundings look like as well because mold does damage to your building and its structure.
The mold itself looks dark green. Sometimes, when it becomes awful, it will turn into a blackish color. Mold reportings have had various colors, from purple to blue, from orange to pink. However, the most common colors for mold are dark green and black mold.
Now, because anything can be dark green or black, it is important to look at the mold infestation surroundings, such as walls and flooring. It is very common with mold present to see wallpaper peeling off and your drywall becoming not so dry. The ceiling can also become weakened from the mold, leaving parts of it at risk of falling. The reason for this is because mold eats away the material your house is used to be built. It rots away wood hence the smell leaving important pieces to the structure compromised and at risk of collapsing altogether. Wires and pipes can also be left exposed, creating additional hazards.
Another thing to keep in mind is if you can see the mold growth, the problem might be far more severe than it appears. Mold is not just present on the outside of your walls, but also on the inside, where you may have no clue what is going on. This is why it has been stated earlier that detecting and identifying mold can be more complicated than one may think.
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How Do You Prevent This Danger In Your Home
Wise people say the cure is in prevention. You can prevent problems from black mold and any other type of mold in your home by detecting the mold early. The only question left is how?
We have the best mold detection services and methods, and we have explained some of them in this article. You would find mold detection easier with our advice. But first, lets look at a few instances where you need mold detection.
Who Can Test My Home Or Clean Fix And Remediate My Home For Mold
EPA does not have a certification program for mold inspectors or mold remediation firms. EPA does not maintain a list of mold inspectors or mold remediation firms, though some states might.
Some states and organizations may require certification, trainings, or examinations for practitioners in the indoor air quality industry. Sometimes companies that provide radon, lead or asbestos inspection services provide mold assessment services as another part of their business. Ask about qualifications, training and experience and check references for professionals you are considering. See our list of state contacts.
The key to mold growth is moisture so part of assessing mold problems is looking for existing or potential moisture problems. Companies that provide water damage inspection services may help look for moisture and some may be familiar with mold problems as well.
There are no established safe levels or regulatory standards for mold, so, although testing can be done, it may be of limited use in helping to understand the problem. Mold assessment is mainly done through visual inspection of areas where there have been moisture problems or water damage
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Looking For Signs Of Mold In Your Home
Mold can occur anywhere it finds a damp location where it can feed upon the organic components in your building materials. When looking for mold in your home, its important to keep an eye out as well as a nose out for possible signs. Often times mold can hide behind furniture or appliances, making it more likely for you to smell the mold than see it for the first time.
Black mold will have a strong earthy, dirty, and musty smell and is the laymans term used for Stachybotrys mold. This type of mold can have a particularly strong smell making it more noticeable when starting to form. Unfortunately, mold only needs water, organic matter, a dark environment, and time to grow, meaning its often found in places that arent heavily trafficked in the home.
Identify Areas Known To Harbor Mold
When you believe you smell mold, go on the hunt to find it. Look near water supply pipes, around water drainage lines and sewage pipes, anywhere near dryer vents and in laundry rooms, under sinks, in the ceiling above a finished basement, near bathroom exhaust vents, around sump pumps, and inside wall cavities.
When it comes to mold inside walls, The Mold Twins have been on well over 1,200 calls in Los Angeles alone. We know we can provide you the best tactics to deal with the potential dangers of it, how to determine if there is, and what you should do to remove it.
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