Preventing Mould Growth To Protect Your Lungs
If your home has been affected by flooding or other water exposure, drying it out as quickly as possible is important for protecting your lungs from mould. Damp items that cant easily be cleaned and dried, such as soft furnishings like mattresses, should be thrown out. If you can, using fans or air conditioners on the dry setting can help to ventilate and aerate spaces.
Apply these principles to your daily life can help reduce the risk of mould growth in your home.
- Keep your home well ventilated, particularly wet areas like the bathroom, kitchen and laundry. Exhaust fans can be helpful to remove excess moisture from the air.
- Leaks in plumbing, roofs or gutters should be repaired as quickly as possible to prevent excess moisture build up.
- Avoid planting gardens against your home as this can encourage moisture build up and create a breeding ground for mould.
- If youre repainting parts of your home, particularly in wet areas, ensure you take the time to properly clean the surfaces and use a mould resistant primer or paint.
How Can I Reduce My Exposure To The Mold While Cleaning It Up
During the cleanup of mold, many spores may be released into the air. To prevent health effects, there are several ways you can protect yourself while cleaning up the mold.
- Anyone with a chronic illness, such as asthma or emphysema, or who are immune comprised, should not do the cleanup.
- Do not allow bystanders to be present when you are doing the cleanup.
- Wear rubber gloves and clothing that can be easily cleaned or discarded.
- To prevent eye irritation, wear goggles that do not have ventilation holes.
- Wear an N95 or HEPA respirator mask purchased from a hardware store to reduce the mold spores you breathe in.
- Tightly cover the air return vent if there is one in the affected area.
- Turn on an exhaust fan or place a fan in a window to blow air out of the affected room to the outside .
- Open windows in your house during and after the cleanup.
- Work over short time spans and take breaks in a fresh air location.
- Double bag materials before you remove them from the contaminated area.
Symptoms Of Mold Exposure
Common symptoms of exposure include brain fog, depression, skin irritations/rashes, fatigue, joint pain, and inflammation to name a few.
If you have been suffering from a seemingly random array of symptoms that have no known cause, mold could be the answer. Because mold has the ability to affect the whole body with a broad range of symptoms, many individuals suffer for much longer than they should before receiving a diagnosis.
- Thyroid issues
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So Is Mold Toxicity A Real Thing
Mold toxicitythe idea that mold can produce harmful substances called mycotoxins that can contribute to autoimmune conditions and other chronic diseaseis a bit controversial. Thats because there isnt any kind of test for it or scientific evidence that any kind of disease exists solely because of mold exposure. Keep in mind that theres a lot of misinformation out there, both about the toxicity of mold and the treatment options.
Theres clear, validated proof that breathing in enough mold in your home over a period of time can cause or exacerbate both allergies and asthma, Dr. Parikh says. It can even cause an invasive respiratory infection, she adds, but any chronic health condition resulting from mold hasnt yet been proven to exist.
How To Get Rid Of Mold In The Basement/crawlspace
Removing mold in these areas follows the same procedure as for walls and ceilings. However, in these areas, the cause of the mold might be especially hard to deal with. An overly humid basement or a poorly ventilated attic could become damp and moldy. Resolving the moisture problem that caused the mold is vital.
Remember that soft, porous surfaces contaminated with mold almost certainly need to be thrown away and replaced. Carpets and rugs are nearly impossible to get completely mold-free.
While mold remediation can be a dirty, time-consuming process, it is not impossible for the average homeowner to deal with. Keep in mind that mold spores are everywhere, so you do not need to eradicate every last spore. Removing all visible mold, thoroughly drying the area and resolving whatever caused the moisture to begin with are the key steps in removing mold. A thorough wipe down with a damp cloth and a HEPA vacuum can accomplish most of your mold removal needs.
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How Can I Clean Moldy Surfaces
It is important to make sure that the source of moisture is fixed before the mold is cleaned up. If this is not done, the mold will grow again. How you clean up areas contaminated with mold depends on the surface where the mold is growing. A professional should be consulted if large areas are contaminated with mold. If the surface is non-porous , you can take the following steps:
- The surfaces first need to be cleaned:
- Use a non-ammonia soap or detergent in warm water and scrub the entire area affected by the mold. Use a stiff brush or cleaning pad on block walls or uneven surfaces.
- Rinse clean with water.
- Dry completely.
- The next step, if desired, is to disinfect the surfaces to help kill any mold missed by the initial cleaning:
- Ventilate the area before using a disinfectant.
- Disinfect the area with a solution of water and bleach . Never mix bleach with ammonia the vapors are hazardous. Straight bleach will not be more effective.
- Let disinfecting areas air dry completely.
What Is Black Mold
Black mold is easily distinguishable from other molds because, not surprisingly, it tends to be dark black. Black mold, also known as Stachybotrys chartarum or Stachybotrys atra, can be found indoors growing on a variety of surfaces, especially things with a high cellulose content like wood, fiberboard, gypsum board, paper, lint and dust.
Other than being black, what does black mold look like? Black mold can actually be a greenish or grayish black. It has a distinctive odor thats musty and mildew-like.
What is mold? A mold is a type of fungus that grows in filaments and reproduces by forming mold spores that cannot be seen by the naked human eye. Mold can grow and thrive in any season, indoors or outdoors, in damp, warm and humid environments, and it spreads like wild fire. Mold itself flourishes in warm, moist environments, but mold spores can actually survive in harsh, dry environments. The spores float around in indoor and outdoor air. When the spores land on a moist surface, the mold can then start to grow.
Black mold is most likely to rear its ugly head in areas of the home that are warm, humid and damp. In addition to showers, basements and crawlspaces that may have leaks, or some other sources of moisture, are commonly susceptible to the growth of toxic black mold.
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How Long Does It Take For Mold To Get Out Of Your System
Again, the answer to this question is highly dependent on several factors: your level of exposure, health history, environment, type of mold, and degree of sensitivity.
Some individuals get better just weeks after removing the source of mold and immersing themselves in clean, mold-free environments.
Other people have reported it took over a year to fully recover.
A good way to gauge how long you will be battling mold in your system is how much mold has built up. The more mold that is in your body, the longer it will take to remove.
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How Long Do Mold Spores Stay In The Air
Those who wonder how long do mold spores stay in the air will be disappointed to learn that they can survive for quite a long time.
Mold spores can stay suspended in the air for a very long time. In fact, there were mold spores found inside the Egyptian pyramids.
National Geographic even published an article that mold might be responsible for the Kings Tut Curse.
To make matters worse, it is not enough to eliminate mold spores by killing mold itself.
Mold spores can remain dormant for years, just waiting for the right moment for the moisture it needs to wake up and grow.
Dont need to wait for aspergillosis to happen before taking action.
You need to learn how to get rid of mold spores in the air immediately.
To get rid of mold from the air, you need to prevent and remove mold growth from its source.
Reducing Mold Problems At Home
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What Makes Mould Grow
Damp, dark or poorly ventilated spaces, rooms and buildings create the perfect environment for mould to grow. If your home has water damage due to storms or flooding it is likely that mould will begin to grow within a few days. But mould can also commonly grow in the home, particularly in humid climates with frequent rainfall. Mould growth can be caused by a range of common household things like using humidifiers, poorly ventilated bathrooms or kitchens, where steam is often produced, and by using an indoor clothesline or clothes dryer.
How To Get Rid Of Mold In Walls
If the wall is made from a non-porous surface, such as finished wood or stone, it must be thoroughly dried. A dehumidifier, proper ventilation or a wet vacuum can be used. Then, a damp wipe down of the area should remove most of the mold. Cleaning products designed for mold removal are helpful, however it is not necessary to bleach moldy areas or use other biocides. If the wall is made from a porous material such as gypsum drywall, wallpaper or unfinished wood, it is not possible to remove all of the mold from the tiny nooks and holes in the wall. The affected section of the wall must be cut out and replaced. This can be very expensive. However, the mold will almost certainly come back otherwise.
Finish the mold removal by using a vacuum with a HEPA filter. A non-HEPA vacuum may not contain the mold spores and can actually spread them into the air. Vacuum the entire area and surrounding areas, even if no mold is visible.
Do not just paint or caulk over mold without removing it. According to the EPA, this will cause the paint to flake and peel, and when the paint comes off, you will still have mold on the wall.
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Treatment For Aspergillosis Depends On The Type
Treatment usually helps control the symptoms. If it’s not treated or well controlled, there’s a risk it could damage your lungs.
|steroid tablets and antifungal tablets for a few months
|Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis a long-term lung infection
|long-term treatment with antifungal tablets
|Aspergilloma a ball of mould in the lungs, often linked to CPA
|surgery to remove the ball if it’s causing symptoms, often after antifungal treatment
|Invasive pulmonary aspergillus a life-threatening infection in people with a weakened immune system
|antifungal medicine given directly into a vein in hospital
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Is It Safe To Live In A House With Black Mold
The short answer is yes but not for too long I would suggest days only but if you are showing any of the symptoms mentioned above take action. Exposure to mold can be harmful in the long term, especially for people with respiratory conditions and other risk factors. mold can be one of several different species of fungus, including Stachybotrys chartarum. Short term exposure to mold is unlikely to cause harm in healthy people
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How To Kill Black Mold With Bleach
Killing Black Mold with Bleach work well on a hard, non-porous surface and will kill nearly any type of mold spore that it comes in contact with.
Eliminating Mold with Bleach is also very cost effective.
However, bleach does not get to the root level of mold growth in porous type items such as tile grout , wood and cement block.
Have you ever wondered why mold stains keep coming back to the same area so if it does you know you may have an issue inside the wall of black mold spores living there.
Never mix bleach with ammonia This is extremely dangerous and will likely produce Toxic Chloramine Fumes or Vapors.
Never mix bleach with vinegar Combining these two mold cleaners together will not give you a better cleaning agent to work with.
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Is There More Than One Type Of Aspergillosis
There are several types of aspergillosis.
Pulmonary aspergillosis is most likely to develop in people who have chronic lung disorders or damaged lungs. These people are likely to have abnormal spaces in their lungs where the fungus can grow. The fungus can also rarely infect sinuses and ear canals. The mold spores can colonize inside lung cavities that developed as a result of chronic diseases, such tuberculosis, emphysema, or advanced sarcoidosis. The fibers of fungus might form a lump by combining with white blood cells and blood clots. This lump or ball of fungus is called an aspergilloma or mycetoma. In some cases, a fungus ball may be present in other organs of the body.
Invasive aspergillosis, the most severe type, occurs when the infection travels from the lungs into the bloodstream. Other organs, such as the kidneys, liver, skin or brain, may become infected. This is a very serious condition that may result in death if not treated. People with very weakened immune systems are more susceptible to invasive aspergillosis. Other risk factors include a low white blood cell count, long-term use ofcorticosteroids, or hospitalization.
The Path Of Resistance
Initially, Mikes landlord tried to fix the problem himself, bleaching the moldy walls. We call that spray n’ pray, said Scott Armour of the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, a global industry body for remediators. They, along with the EPA, advise against bleach for a variety of reasons, namely that fumes can be dangerous and its usually ineffective.
Bleach only works for non-porous surfaces. It cant touch the mold that has burrowed into surfaces like wood or drywall . But the most important reason bleach fails is that people dont stop the molds water supply.
First thing I do is check for leaks, in the bathroom or roof or a crack in the foundation, said Greg Bukowski, who runs the Chicago-based remediation company Moldman USA. Theres always a leak. If you dont fix that, dont bother with bleach or vinegar. Then kill and remove the mold with detergent and water, then prevent its return with mold-resistant paint like Kilz .
When bleach didnt work, Mike paid for an indoor airborne mold test, which raised more questions than it answered. We had no idea how to interpret the results. I just couldnt find any information out there that isnt written by remediation guys, he said. They told him he had the dreaded black mold, and needed professional remediation.
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