Your Chimney Smells Weird
Chimney sweeps dont only remove dangerous creosote buildup they can clean out toxic mold too. Moisture can accumulate in the porous bricks and mortar of a chimney. Rusty chimney caps or flashing that needs repair allow rain and snow to seep in, creating an environment for mold to thrive. That may be the reason you smell something funky on days when the wind is blowing in a certain direction. Fix the cap and flashing and call the chimney sweep to extinguish the mold issues. Watch out for these other scary ways your fireplace could be toxic, too!
Stale And Musty Odors
Mold, whether it is visible or not, emits an unusual and unpleasant odor. If an area in your home persistently smells musty, there is a good possibility there is mold in the room. You can follow the odor to where it is strongest, find the mold and remove it. However, if the mold is in an unreachable place, like inside walls, you need to call in a professional to help you remove the growth
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.
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Warping Or Paint Peeling
Warping or paint peeling doesnt mean you have mold but its another sign of moisture. If the moisture doesnt dry up, mold will surely grow.
If you see warping or paint peeling you may have to remove a section of a wall to see whats happening within.
Once you find the cause, fix it and repaint or replace the warping.
Check Your Petri Dish
After 48 hours, check your petri dish for signs of mold growth. If you do not see mold, wait another 24 hours and check again. If you still dont see mold, wait again for 24 hours and check one last time. If you do not see mold growth after 96 hours, your test did not detect any mold. If you do see mold on your test plate, you should take additional steps to remove the mold.
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Look Out For Causes Of Mold
As weve already mentioned, excess water in your home can contribute to the development of mold. Because of this, its important to check out any:
- Water leaks
- Signs of water damage
- Past flooding problems
If the water involved in these problems hasnt dried out properly then it could create the perfect environment for mold to grow.
Thats why, whenever you experience a new water leak in your home you should take the time to dry out the surrounding walls and floors. If possible, also apply a seal to prevent moisture from escaping into the surrounding areas as well.
You Notice A Bit Of A Musty Or Damp Smell
If you notice that your home has a bit of a moldy or musty smell to it, that might also indicate that there may be a mold issue.
“Many different mold species have different odors, so it is difficult to pinpoint the exact smell, however, if it is an odor that isn’t common in your home or building, then it should be investigated,” George Hernandez, the vice president of operations at PuroClean, told INSIDER.
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Identify Black Mold In Your Home: Easy Mold Detection Tips
Often, people think of mold detection as a simple task. You might have often heard this line You either have it, or you dont. Believe it or not, that is incorrect. Detecting and identifying mold in your home can be more complicated than you may have thought, but it is possible to detect mold using your senses. Let us start with the basics.
Identifying the signs of mold growth comes from our senses, not just our sense of sight. Visibly noticing mold is one thing, but knowing its additional features is another. With mold, primarily it can also be about the sense of smell and what we can feel if we touch it. Our sense of hearing will not do us much good with mold, and I hope you do not use your sense of taste to identify mold.
Therefore, that brings us down to three senses we can use to detect mold in our homes:
Let us explore these 3 senses to detect mold in your houses, especially in places like bathroom, kitchen, carpet, drywall, ceiling, basement and other areas.
How Can I Test For Toxic Mold
If you suspect or fear toxic mold is growing in your home, you wont need any special tests. A test such as the viable test kit we learned about above will detect all kinds of molds present. By sending your petri dish to a lab, you can get a better idea of which types of molds that are growing and then take the correct actions.
The next step should always be to consult a professional for further tests and investigations. Test kits are more of a guidance than something to fully rely on.
Its also important to understand that simply because its called toxic mold, it doesnt mean its toxic to you. As we mentioned above, molds that produce mycotoxins can affect some individuals, while others wont be affected.
However, if you suspect that you have been exposed to toxic molds, your doctor can run a few tests. A blood test can help to determine if youve been poisoned by checking biotoxins in your blood .
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.
Why Does Mold Form In Homes
Mold forms in homes because, in many cases, a home is the ideal place for mold to grow particularly in basements and other areas which may be dark and moist, and have a similar temperature all-year-round, due to furnaces and water heaters.
Essentially, there are mold spores in the air at all times and once they find a place thats hospitable to them, theyll start reproducing, causing a visible mold problem.
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How Can You Test The Air In Your House For Mold
Youd know if you had mold right?
Dont be so sure. Some mold can be so undetectable that it is not even visible. It can travel unseen through the air in the form of spores and spread effortlessly through any home or building. This spread can lead to troubling health issues like:
- Respiratory illness
Spore test kits are one of the ways that technology has helped simplify remediation. Once you know where to check and have your test kit ready, you can get to the bottom of whether or not you may be dealing with an infestation. However, youll also need to know where to look or mold and how to remove it.
In this guide, well share how you can test the air in your house for mold.
The Bottom Line On Testing For Mold
The cleanup procedures for treating mold are the same, whether it is black mold or another type, so it isnt always necessary to test for mold if you can see or smell it. But if you have a specific reason for identifying types of mold in your home or suspect you have mold but cant find the source, a do-it-yourself mold test is extremely easy to conduct.
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How To Detect Mold In Your Home
If you strongly suspect a mold infestation in your home or office, youll need to do a thorough visual inspection. Once youve discovered the infestation, youll need to take a sample for laboratory testing. Given its microscopic nature, mold is impossible to properly diagnose without a laboratory mold test. If you have any health symptoms, in addition to building damage, it is helpful to know the specific mold so your doctor can help you treat your symptoms and detox the mold from your body.
When To Call An Expert
If the moldy area is smallit’s growing in an area smaller than 3 feet by 3 feetyou can probably do a DIY cleanup. The CDC recommends wearing an N-95 respirator and protective eyewear and gloves while handling mold. After you’ve fixed any plumbing leaks and cleaned up the water, you can scrub off the mold with a bleach solution made from no more than 1 cup of laundry bleach in 1 gallon of water.
You could also call in a professional if the water-damaged or moldy area is larger than 3 feet by 3 feet. As there are no federal mold regulations, the CDC recommends finding a specialist who’s affiliated with or certified by the National Environmental Health Association, the American Industrial Hygiene Association, the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification, or the American Council for Accredited Certification. If you don’t see or smell mold but suspect it’s hiddenyou know there has been water damage behind a wall or beneath a floor, for examplean experienced professional can also help find the source.
Because it can have a negative effect on health, it’s important to address mold if you see it, smell it or sense it in your home. Fortunately, and often with the help of a professional, you can clean it up and create a mold-free, safe home.
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Moisture: Investigating And Solving Problems
Mould will grow indoors if moisture is present. Moisture problems in homes may result from:
- daily activities such as showering or bathing, washing clothes or cooking, if exhaust fans are not working properly or are not used
- infiltration of water from the outside when there are cracks or leaks in the foundation, floor, walls or roof
- plumbing leaks
- moisture condensation on cold surfaces
- flooding due to weather conditions
- inadequate ventilation.
Moisture indoors accumulates when it cannot be vented outside and becomes a problem when building materials become damp or wet.
Moisture problems are preventable.
Unless the cause of the moisture problem has been identified and solved, mould will reappear. Once the moisture problem and its causes have been identified, they must be fixed. To prevent future problems, measures should be put in place to control sources of moisture in your home, for example:
- Ensure rain, irrigation water and snowmelt drain away from the house by sloping the grade away from the building.
- Keep eavestroughs and downspouts clean of debris and ensure that the outflow runs away from the house and not into neighbouring foundations.
- Repair plumbing leaks promptly.
- Use exhaust fans, ventilation and air conditioning systems to vent moisture outdoors.
- Use moisture tolerant materials in areas likely to get wet .
Run a dehumidifier in damp areas such as basements or if you observe that moisture is condensing on cold surfaces such as window panes.
This Is How To Tell If There Is Mold In Your House
Biological indoor pollution, such as black mold, affects between thirty and fifty percent of American homes. As well as looking unpleasant, mold can cause significant damage to your home and to your respiratory health.
In fact, mold and other types of indoor air pollution contributed to 6.5 million deaths globally in 2012. Knowing how to tell if there is mold in your house is vital if you want to keep you and your loved ones safe.
Fortunately, there are some key signs that you can look out for to help identify mold in your house. Not familiar with signs of mold in your home? Then youre in the right place!
Read on to find out the key signs of mold in your home and what you should do if you find them.
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What If You Find Mold In Your Home
How to know if you have mold in your house is only the first step in resolving the problem. Once you have identified your mold problem, you need to know what to do next.
How you handle a mold problem depends on several things, including:
- Where the problem is
- The cause of the mold problem
- How extensive the problem is
- The type of mold youre dealing with
Some mold removal jobs are simple enough and can be done using hot soapy water. However, when it comes to removing toxic mold you should get help from a professional.
Before attempting mold removal yourself, always carry out proper research into how to do the job safely. This includes always using the right equipment.
Removing the mold is only your first job. You also need to identify the cause of the mold to prevent it from happening again.
Then you can look into mold damage restoration to fix any additional problems caused by your mold. This is important as mold can cause significant damage to anything it comes into contact with. This includes the walls and soft furnishings in your home.
How To Prevent Mold And Mildew
- Keep things clean.
- Increase ventilation in the affected area with exhaust fans.
- Install dehumidifiers to reduce humidity.
- Ensure that sources of natural ventilation such as windows remain open, if possible.
- Make sure that sources of mechanical venting such as HVAC vents remain open and unblocked.
- Inspect vents for clothes dryers and ensure that vents are clean and that they are attached.
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When To Do A Mold Test
- You sense most often its smell mold.
- You or a family member begin feeling sick and you think it could be from mold.
- Testing indoor air quality because of a problem.
- To help find mold.
- To identify something, which maybe is mold, in or on or under your house.
- Test after a mold removal or treatment, to see if the mold is gone.
Signs Of Mold: How To Detect Mold In Your Home
Do you suspect your house is under attack by an unwelcome guest? Not quite sure if you have a fungus problem?
Even if you dont live in an area of high humidity, your property might be a convenient place for mold to take residence. Cold and damp months are especially suitable for mold growth, and the most affected areas are usually moist or warm pockets of your home. Most Florida residents are familiar with this. In order to be certain that you have a mold problem, look for these visual and odor cues.
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How To Find Mold In Your House
Last month we talked about testing of patients for mycotoxins . In this installment I wanted to discuss home/office/school testing which is an important part of the patient puzzle. For a lot of patients, finding the source of exposure can be much trickier than measuring mycotoxins in the urine. One reason is that there is not an accepted universal protocol for how to accurately assess a location for mold. Another reason is that mold can be difficult to locate because it hides in dark areas and behind walls.
Mold spores are heavy and sometimes sticky which can also make them difficult to collect. So which areas should be focused on? The most common areas are the ones labeled here in this diagram. The bathroom is probably the most common culprit when it comes to mold, followed by water leaks in the roof and walls. For home or building inspections, the three things you need to focus on the most, according to a very intelligent home remediator I know are:
- Measuring the moisture
- Finding the mold
- Assessing mycotoxins
There are multiple factors that will influence the growth of mold. Some of these include the temperature, humidity, the type of surface, and most importantly, how much moisture is available. The humidity and type of surface are factors that we have the most control over.
Our PCR detection looks for the presence of 10 of the most toxigenic molds. Is this a table?
How Do I Prevent Mold In My Apartment
Improve Your Apartments Ventilation One of the best ways to prevent mold from growing is to improve air circulation inside your apartment. Moisture is a key factor that helps mold grow, and mold growth is inevitable if humid air is stagnant in your unit.
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