Other Places In The Kitchen
Wooden cutting boards, trash cans, behind the stove and windows and window sills in the kitchen are like heaven for mold spores. They feed off of these places, so keeping them clean and dry is critical for keeping mold at bay.
To keep your kitchen mold free, be sure to:
- Ventilate when cooking and doing dishes by opening a window, using a fan, or both
- Wash the dishes every day, so they dont pile up in the sink
- Clean and dry the stove top, microwave, counters, cabinets, and window sills regularly
- Clean out the inside of your fridge and your fridge drip tray often
- Take the trash out every day
How To Identify Mold Vs Mildew In Your Home
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 related, mold and mildew are separate microorganisms that grow differently and must be treated differently. Safely eradicating mold and mildew is crucial to keeping you safe and your home in good shape.
How Do I Detect Black Mold Inside My Walls In The First Place
Peeling wallpaper can also be a symptom of mold. While some scruffiness and discoloration tend to eventually strike your wallpaper, unusual surface or peeling abnormalities such as crackling or bubbling can be a sign of wall moisture. And remember, a reliable precursor to mold is always going to be moisture. Make sure to pay attention to any warped areas that feel damp.
To keep mold from growing in your cooling or heating systems, you can have a specialist check them regularly. Another indication of mold in the house is dark grout between bathroom tiles. Even if this type is most likely the harmless type, there could be flooding in the adjacent room or a leak in bathroom plumbing that could produce a more toxic fungus type that only professionals can remove. A sample sent for testing will let you know whether or not your shower is harmless.
Mold could also be the culprit when you have pre-existent problems with breathing that after long periods at home seem to flare up. Many household species of mold wont affect persons that do not have issues with breathing. However, in individuals suffering from asthma, it could aggravate it. Consider a mold inspection and a doctors appointment if the problems with your breathing seem to get worse with no clear cause.
You May Like: Black Mold On Grout
How To Tell Whether You Have Mold
Its not always obvious that mold is present, but these are things to look for, and be aware of:
Water damage: You’ll probably notice water damage and staining before you notice any signs of mold, because mold tends to grow faster inside the wall than on the surface. Thats why its important to address any moisture problems quickly.
Odor: One of the first signs that mold might be present is a wet, musty smell or the smell of moldy, wet building materials. These indicate a moisture problem that can lead to mold it doesn’t necessarily mean you have mold.
Spots: Black, gray, green, or brown spotting. Only testing can prove whether or not its mold, but if you see spotting on a surface like sheetrock that is or was wet, its worth testing, Gross says.
Health problems: Respiratory reactions including asthma are most common, though mold sensitivity can also cause headaches, irritated eyes, and skin rashes. Some people have symptoms immediately, for others, it develops over time. Note that not all types of mold cause health problems, and that not all black mold is toxic mold. To identify which type of mold you have, an industrial hygienist will need to collect a sample for testing.
If you do think you have mold, there are many at-home mold testing kits available. You can also hire a certified industrial hygienist to take air samples, perform a survey, and devise a clean-up plan.
Why Is Black Mold So Dangerous
Black mold is commonly referred to as toxic mold, and for good reason. Aside from causing all kinds of respiratory reactions like coughing, sneezing, sore and itchy throats, and watery and itchy eyes, prolonged exposure can have serious health consequences.Black mold is toxic, and prolonged exposure can have serious health consequences.
One study found that exposure to mold during infancy led to asthma at 7 years of age, while others have linked exposure to brain inflammation, behavioral dysfunction, movement disorders, and neurological deterioration.
In short, black mold warrants its reputation as a toxin, and should be treated as soon as its discovered. Below are several signs it may be inhabiting your home.
Don’t Miss: How To Remove Mold From Patio Pavers
How Do Molds Affect People
Exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects, or none at all. Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can lead to symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes, or skin. Some people, such as those with allergies to molds or with asthma, may have more intense reactions. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath.
In 2004 the Institute of Medicine found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people with asthma symptoms in people with asthma and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition.
In 2009, the World Health Organization issued additional guidance, the WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mould pdf iconexternal icon pdf icon. Other recent studies have suggested a potential link of early mold exposure to development of asthma in some children, particularly among children who may be genetically susceptible to asthma development, and that selected interventions that improve housing conditions can reduce morbidity from asthma and respiratory allergies.
Growth Spots Of Varying Colors
Black mold, as the name implies, is often dark in color. When searching for black mold, look for circular-shaped spots that are black, dark green or dark brown. Some black mold can also take on shades of orange or have flecks of white within it.
Most of the time, black mold has a slightly furry appearance. Larger growths of mold may appear as a black stain that stretches along your wall, floor or ceiling.
You May Like: How To Kill Mold In My Basement
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.
Leaks From Another Apartment
Broken pipes and water overflows can soak your ceiling and walls from above, or seep into your floors and walls from the side. The most common offender: Plastic water supply lines to sinks and toilets, which newer buildings tend to use more.
Treatment: If, for example, your upstairs neighbor’s toilet or shower overflows into one room of your apartment, your ceiling and walls would be affected. Professional water remediationwhich involves drying out the area behind the wall to prevent moldcosts about $1,200-$4,000. That process takes about three to 10 days and includes sucking up the standing water, making holes in the wall to ventilate the wall cavities, and may involve pulling down a light fixture to get air into the ceiling, cleaning and treating all surfaces with an antimicrobial agent, and setting up drying equipment.
If mold is present and the affected area exceeds 10 square feet, New York City Health Department guidelines require a full-scale mold remediation by a trained and qualified professional like Gross. Since 2016, New York state has required mold remediation companies to be licensed. The law also makes it illegal for companies to do both testing and remediation, as theres an inherent conflict of interest.
The mold limits usually come into play if the mold issue blows up months later or comes from a source that is not related to a covered perila blocked bathroom, vent, for example, says Jeffrey Schneider of Gotham Brokerage, a Brick Underground sponsor.
Recommended Reading: How To Mold Leather Holster
What Apartment Mold Symptoms Should Worry Me
Mold is a fungus that grows in the presence of moisture in warm, dark places. It releases tiny little spores into the air and, if left untreated, can make you really sick. Those spores can settle into your lungs.
You might have mold if you witness or experience any of the following:
- A persistent musty smell
- You see black or dark green spots appearing on any surface
- You start having physical symptoms like sneezing, coughing, trouble breathing, itchy eyes, or skin rashes that get better when you leave your apartment
- You see signs of water intrusion like bulging drywall, bubbling or peeling paint, and/or discoloration from water stains that werent dried out immediately.
You might only see or feel just one symptom, but it is very important not to ignore signs of mold for the sake of your health. Each of these apartment mold symptoms is a cause for concern.
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.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Airborne Mold
Your Asthma Is Acting Up
Mold spores can find their way into the lungs and trigger asthma symptoms. One study found that dampness or mold in houses could account for one in five cases of asthma in the United States. If your asthma seems to be getting worse, you may have undetected mold in your house, according to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America. The group warns that mold can also cause a rare but more serious condition called allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis: This is a dramatic allergic and inflammatory reaction that leads to severe sneezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.
We Help You Feel At Home Again
It can take time to work things out with a seller after youve closed on the house. While most individuals are fair and honest, you may not reach an agreement that satisfies all parties. Still, you need to address unhealthy mold growth immediately. Quick action minimizes property damage and protects your health.
Our teams are ready to help with expert mold removal and remediation. As Chicagos leading restoration contractor, were uniquely positioned to handle all kinds of water damage problems including small plumbing repairs. Give us a call here at ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba. Let us help you finally feel at home in your new dream house.
Don’t Miss: How To Clean Mold Off Plastic Cutting Board
Where Did The Mold Come From
All types of fungus love the wet, warm, and the dark. Humid areas, properties that have recently been flooded or had problems with leaks can attract and foster growth. You can find this substance growing on a wide variety of materials depending on the species you have.
- Carpeting, Mattresses & Home Textiles
- Potted Plant Soil & Pet Droppings
- Wet Building Materials, Fiberglass Insulation, Drywall
- On Windowsills, Walls & Wallpaper
- In The Shower & On Caulking
- Any Areas With Unresolved Water Damage
- In HVAC Systems & Dusty Areas
- On Wood, Books, Newspapers & Other Porous Materials
Signs Or Knowledge Of Water Damage
Water damage in the home can lead to the growth of mold if not cleaned properly. Check your home for signs of possible water damage. Do you see water stains on your walls or ceilings?
Mold on ceiling tiles, drywall, or plaster can stay hidden for quite some time. You may be able to see the water stains, but just because you cant see the mold doesnt mean its not there. The mold most likely is growing on the side of the ceiling you cant see.
Only when the issue becomes worse will it make its way to the other side. Visible water stains arent the only signs of water damage, though.
Do you know of any floods inside the home? Even if a flood was years ago, theres still the potential of mold from way back when that old washer machine flood the laundry room. Check areas where you know water damage once was.
Also Check: How To Clean Mold Off Shower Grout
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Having Mold In Your House
Whether youre selling a home, preparing to buy one for the first time, or just performing regular maintenance, the issue of mold may worry you particularly if your home is in a damp environment.
In most cases, a typical home inspection wont include mold inspections and testing. You will need to hire a professional mold inspector to check your home for issues like black mold.
So, to help you understand whether or not you may need a home inspection for mold, weve put together this comprehensive guide that will help you understand the signs and symptoms of mold, know what next steps to take if you think you have mold issues, and provide you with other helpful information and tips that will help you deal with a potential mold problem.
How To Find Mold Hidden In Your Home 5 Signs To Look For
If you have mold in your house it will show many signs, some of which might be a bit not too obvious. It has a damp odor associated to it. Its not compulsory that mold is visible, it can be behind the walls, tiles, corners or behind the bed. It can seriously affect the health of the person in the vicinity of mold.
This problem starts slowly with tricky signs but can aggravate in no time causing a lot of damage to the house and health. There are many signs that can determine the presence of mold in your home in Toronto.
Recommended Reading: How To Clean Mold From Boat Seats
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.
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.
Also Check: How To Stop Mold Smell In Basement
How To Check For Mold By Way Of Your Toilet
Go ahead and pop open the cover of your toilet tank and check the undersides. If there is mold present there, it could mean that you have mold somewhere in the house that’s providing the spores needed to start growing inside your toilet tank.
When it comes to checking your toilet, you might be thinking, “But it’s wet and dark. Seems like it’s bound to have mold…” Not really! You’re much less likely to find mold in the toilet tank than in other damp areas like the shower. The tank lid itself is heavy, but it’s not hermetically sealed, which means that it doesn’t allow for much air exchange.
Such little airflow means it’s not impossible for a rogue mold spore to find its way inside, but the chances are fairly slim. However, colonized mold inside a home releases a high volume of spores into the indoor airmuch more than would naturally be present. More spores mean the chances of mold growth in the tank go way up. That’s why checking the toilet tank periodically can help alert you to a larger mold problem in your home. If it’s inside, there were enough spores in the air to opportunistically find their way to your toilet to start growing.