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.
Remember That Professionals Have Tools That You Dont
According to Jeff Miller, a real estate agent with AE Home Group in Maryland, More often than not, the mold is either from a small plumbing leak or from a roof leak, so fix that first. If the mold is located under a bathroom or kitchen sink where there could be a plumbing leak, call a plumber to investigate. Similarly, he recommends having a roofer inspect and seal any gaps in the roof if you see thats the cause of the mold.
Miller recommends having the mold remediated by a professional. They have access to the proper chemicals you need to ensure no mold residue after treatment, and they can test your home to ensure that the mold hasnt spread.
Kyle Rowley, mold remediation expert at Restoration 1 in Waco, TX, agrees. He says that mold can be tricky and dangerous. Even if there has been no water damage to a property, mold can come from something as simple as a leaky window because moisture and mold go hand-in-hand.
And because mold can cause so many problems, he says homeowners shouldnt take any chances. Having mold present can lead to allergens, irritants, mycotoxins, sneezing, breathing problems and long-term diseases, Rowley says.
How To Remove Mold Behind Walls
A lot of people falsely believe that killing mold inside walls is an easy process. Its not. This is NOT a DIY activity. One wrong move and you run the risk of contaminating your entire home and all of your belongings. It is better to spend the money and allow a professional to properly remediate the area than trying to do it yourself and causing a larger, more expensive problem.
When it come to mold, you want to do it right. That means opening up walls, removing the moldy building materials and replacing it with new building materials. Specifically, porous materials such as sheetrock and insulation should be replaced. Even though the sheetrock and insulation may appear to be OK, it is likely that mold spores are still present and the mold may continue to grow even if you follow a treatment of black mold inside walls. It also means treating the areas around it with products like EC3 and Endurance Bio Barrier to tackle any rogue mold spores and mycotoxins and prevent mold in the future.
Mold in walls is one of the more complicated mold scenarios but certainly one that can be handled. Please reach out if you think you have mold hiding inside your walls. I offer phone consultations on the best steps to take for your individual situation.
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Air Conditioning And Heating Vents
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
Use Of A Bore Scope To Inspect Building Cavities
Where a 2″ diameter hole is not permitted, we may explore using this small borescope which requires a hole about the diameter of a pencil.
Often this probe can be inserted behind loose trim or in existing building openings to permit a limited-access view of building cavities without any destructive cuts at all.
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Water In The Foundation
Look out for a build-up of water around your homes base. This can lead to foundational problems for your home if there is a lot of water. At your homes foundation, gathering rainwater can be prevented by sloping your yard outwards from your foundation. In the same line of thought, damp basements are another culprit. Usually, there is no good ventilation in basements. This is an indication that basements could contain higher humidity or moisture amounts compared to other rooms in the home. Also, basements are often colder which means more condensation occurs which leads to humidity and basement.
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.
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Washing The Mold Off Of Your Clothes Is Crucial
When you finish, he says to take off your work clothes, place them in a plastic bag and transport them to the washing machine. Add ¾ cup white vinegar to your wash water to kill the mold on your;clothes.
Keep in mind, you need to ensure that youre addressing the problem and not just a symptom of the problem. When you come across mold in a home, it should be understood that you have a moisture issue first and a mold issue second, says Evan Roberts, a real estate agent with;Dependable Homebuyers in Baltimore, MD. ;He tells us that scrubbing surface mold with mold killer will not be effective if you do not address the moisture issue.
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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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.
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 In Walls
Water. Water causes mold in walls. Lets look at the most common ways it gets there.
- Building materials were either already moldy OR were installed wet.
- The house itself from not properly seated on the foundation which allowed rainwater, groundwater, and runoff to seep into the framing.
- Windows and doors are not properly installed and sealed. Water is able to penetrate into the wall cavity.
- Water intrusion from outside coming into your wall from rain or irrigation due to stucco, siding, etc on an exterior wall thats compromised.
- A roof leak that runs into your home and behind a wall.
- Pipes and plumbing connections fail and leak. Usually you will discover a burst pipe rather quickly. It is the slow water leaks that are the main culprit when plumbing failures cause mold in walls.
- Wastewater line / sewer drain line has a slow leak.
- Air conditioning condensation line breaks inside the wall.
- Toilet overflows, bathtub overflows, washing machine overflows, hot water heater breaks, or any other accumulation of a large amount of water in your home that ISNT dried out promptly and completely.
Find The Moisture Source
Black mold removal is important. But first, one must identify that it is black mold. First, look at the color, followed by the smell. Black mold is black or even dark grey in color, and often smells wet and musty, as it usually grows in areas with a lot of moisture. Black mold is also usually noticeable in the home if you experience a burning or scratching sensation in your throat or lungs. Black mold is dangerous, and can greatly affect your health if left untreated, so it’s important to remove it as soon as you’re aware of it.
Before you can begin any black mold treatment, youll need to perform a black mold test and find the source. Its often the result of excess moisture in a particular area. Youre most likely to find black mold in areas of your home that you dont visit as often like the basement, but it can pop up anywhere. Here are a few common moisture sources to look for:
- Faucets and fixtures. Sink, shower and bathtub faucets and fixtures that are leaking can lead to the growth of black mold over time.
- Exposed plumbing. Damaged or leaking pipes, especially in warmer temperatures, can often create black mold in areas like basements.
- Water heaters. A small leak can create black mold in your basement or water heater closet.
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An Example Of Hidden Mold In Air Conditioner Air Handling Equipment
The photograph of a dense colonization of light-colored mold inside of a Florida air conditioning air handler unit above, courtesy of , Tampa.
While it is certainly possible for HVAC equipment and duct work to form a problem reservoir of mold contamination in a building, we caution that small mold reservoirs in HVAC air handlers are common,
Often, because of the small size and mold genera found in an air handler, such reservoirs are not the problem mold reservoir in a building, and investigators need to look further.
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. That’s 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 isn’t 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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Question: Where Do I Look For Hidden Mold Reservoir In A Basement
We contracted a representative of F** Consulting to take a tape sample from a floor joist in the basement of what was suspected as possible mold by the buyers’ home inspector. The lab report came back as 4+ for Aspergillus/Penicillium types and 5+ for Mycelia. When he took the sample, the representative told our real estate agent that the humidity in the basement was 52%, unlikely for mold growth.
Yet, it would seem as if the house had a mold problem. When I built the house, 30 years ago, it rained during the time the basement was poured and intermittently throughout the framing.The basement has a sump pump, which runs occasionally, and both exterior and interior drain tile, but has never had water in it .
There are no water pipes near the joist that was tested. To all appearances, the joists look to me exactly the way they did when I moved in. In fact, over the 30 years I have had the house, I have only had 2 leaks: once when the clothes washer hose cracked and once when the refrigerator ice maker leaked, neither of which is close to the joist with the mold.
So now, given that the basement is unfinished, where might I have to look for the “hidden reservoir” of which you speak and where do we go from here? I want to protect future residents, but am uncertain what steps need to be taken. Thanks for any direction you can give me.
Or see these
- TRAPPED MOLD BETWEEN WOOD SURFACES for a discussion of the immobility of mold between wood framing and other surfaces.
How To Test For Black Mold
Do you keep getting a whiff of something musty in your bathroom or basement? Afraid it might be mold? Learn about three of the most popular kits to test for mold at home.
Its no secret that damp areas of the home provide the perfect conditions for mold and mildew to grow. Whether your nose knows, or your eyes spy dark spots in strategic locations, you want to make sure.
Mold doesnt just eat away at your wood, wallpaper, or grout. Its spores get airborne and cause all kinds of health problems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says enough evidence exists to link mold to upper respiratory tract symptoms like itchy eyes and runny nose to cough and wheeze in otherwise healthy people.
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Invasive Visual Mold Inspections
The most conclusive way to find out if there is mold growing in a wall is to cut into the wall for a visual inspection. This can be a small opening just to get a flashlight and mirror inside, all the way up to entire sections of the wall. Proper containment and personal protective equipment should be used when doing this type of inspection to avoid possible dispersal of airborne mold and worker exposure. Also, inspectors should be aware of any possible asbestos or lead paint risks before cutting into walls, and to have suspect materials tested beforehand. With the walls opened up, and discolored area can be sampled. This type of testing will require repairs that most mold inspectors are not equipped to do, so it is a good idea to have a contractor ready to patch the walls back up afterward.
Each mold issue is unique, so an experienced inspector will need to use one or more of these methods to assess potential mold issues in enclosed spaces. If you have concerns with potential mold in a wall, or any other mold concern, contact us to discuss what our team can do to help.
Additionally here are some videos explaining how we can test inside wall cavities.
How To Remove Mold Outside The House
External mold is just as serious as mold inside the home. Youll want to remove mold from the outside of your house, on siding or on your deck, as soon as possible. External mold can do significant damage to exterior surfaces over time, eating away at wood, stucco and other materials. In addition, exterior mold can easily work its way into the house if left unchecked.
- Don gloves and eye protection and liberally spray a 1-to-10 solution of bleach and water on the surface.;
- Scrub tough stains with a stiff bristle brush dipped in the solution.
- Let sit for 10 to 20 minutes and rinse with a garden hose.
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Checking For Visible Mold
Signs You Have Mold Inside Walls And How To Deal With It
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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