Monday, September 19, 2022

How To Identify Black Mold In Your House

What To Do If You Find Black Mold In Your House

How To Test For Black Mold In 5 Minutes

If you suspect that there is a growth of black mold in your home, there are a few actions that you should take to immediately limit the chance that those who live and work in the space are safe.

The first is to contact a mold remediation service, like that offered by HRS in Denver to seek a mold inspection.

A mold inspection that is completed by a certified technician can help you identify where moisture is coming into your home and which type of mold is growing.

This can lead to a mold remediation and restoration that can not only stop the moisture but clean, disinfect and repair any damage that was done by the mold growth.

Do Not Ignore The Crawlspace

If you have a crawlspace in your house, there are chances for more leaks and moisture to build in this area, which will be a good tool for growing black mold. This is why it is essential to assess the crawlspace from time to time to detect leaks coming from the house. If you want, you can use the help of a professional inspector to keep track of moisture levels over time. Besides this, they will also help install pumps to reduce the moisture level below the required level for mold to flourish.

Create A Bleach Mixture

If the black mold growth in your home is small enough for you to treat alone, a simple mixture of bleach and water can help. Add one cup of bleach to one gallon of water and apply it to the moldy spots. You can also find commercial black mold removal products.

Apply the cleaner to the mold spot and scrub away the growth. Be sure to dry the area thoroughly when youre done.

Do NOT mix bleach with ammonia. This combination can create toxic fumes that are far more dangerous than any mold youre trying to clean.

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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.

How Common Is Mold In Buildings

How To Identify Black Mold In Your House

Mold is very common in homes and buildings.

One 2017 study found mold in every public building studied, with an average of about 14 instances of mold per building.

Another involving 31 European countries found mold in 1 in 6 homes. The author noted that the prevalence of mold may vary greatly depending on the regional climate.

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Mycotoxins Can Be A Serious Health Concern For Some Individuals

Hundreds of mycotoxins have been identified, according to the WHO. While some claim that black mold can cause respiratory diseases or cancer, there is little evidence to support this assertion. In fact, there is no scientific evidence that exposure to black mold causes more damage than exposure to any other kind of mold, according to Medical News Today. Interestingly, some people may not show any symptoms after they have been exposed to black mold.

That being said, some people are more sensitive to mold spores and could develop respiratory problems if they inhale a small amount of them. Furthermore, just about anyone can develop respiratory issues after inhaling a large number of mold spores, regardless of what kind of mold it is. Exposure to black mold probably won’t kill you, but a segment of the population that could become very sick from exposure to it, per Healthline.

Mold Doesnt Just Hang Out In The Bathroom

Contrary to popular belief, mold doesnt limit itself to your bathroom or kitchen. Mold can form anywhere theres moisture. Mold especially loves damp, dark places, such as your basement. Mold can also grow on cabinets, windows, fabric, carpet and upholstery, especially in buildings that have recently flooded.

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Why Choose Hrs Restoration Services

There is so little time to waste when you discover a water beach in your home. Damage happens quickly, and mold commonly black mold can begin to grow in just a few hours.

As professional mold and water remediation and restoration experts, the team at HRS is ready to help homeowners in Denver who suspect mold is growing.

We have a combined two decades of experience helping people just like you who want to protect the health and safety of those who live and work in homes that have had a water breach and may be suffering a mold infestation.

Our team of certified technicians, licensed contractors and customer service professionals partner with you and your insurance company to ensure that the mold is found, removed and all damage is repaired in the quickest and least stressful manner possible.

Dont Neglect The Crawlspace

Housecleaning Tips : How to Identify Black Mold

If your house is built on a crawlspace, leaks or moisture can build up without you knowing about it. Its important to inspect your crawlspace regularly to detect any leaks coming from the house above or moisture buildup that might be occurring underneath due to excessive rain or humidity in your area. A professional inspector can keep track of moisture levels over time and even install a pump to reduce moisture levels in your crawlspace if there is a concern.

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Looks Like Finger Prints

Outside of appearing like a dark-colored area, a separate characteristic that black mold can have is to appear in patterns.

When mold grows, its similar to a tree. You have the roots, which in the case of mold is called the mycelia, and then it will start to grow like a tree that will grow branches and leaves.

When this occurs with Stachybotrys, it will often appear as if somebody put their fingers on black ink and just went to town, placing their hand on the water damaged building material.

Finding the appearance of fingerprints will typically only occur on drywall and not other materials such as wood or plaster.

How To Prevent Black Mold Growth

Conducting routine home inspections and maintenance are the best ways to deal with a black mold problem. Keep an eye out for evidence of water damage and visible mold on a regular basis. The conditions that cause mold should be corrected in a timely manner to prevent mold from growing further.

The extent of structural damage black mold can cause to your home, depends on how quickly you act to fix it.

Some of the ways you can keep mold out of your home is by:

  • Controlling humidity levels. Relative humidity inside your home should never be higher than 50%. On excessively humid days, using air conditioners, ventilation systems or dehumidifiers can help control humidity.
  • Managing day-to-day moisture in your home.
  • Ensuring adequate ventilation in kitchens and bathrooms when cooking, showering, cleaning, etc.
  • Using mold inhibitors.
  • Cleaning the house regularly with anti-mold cleaners.
  • To completely get rid of black mold from your home, you must address the root cause of the problem, so that there is no recurrence of mold. For example, just cleaning up the mold without addressing the moisture problem will not solve the issue because the mold will very likely return.

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    Question: Is This Stuff On My Ceiling Mold

    I just moved into a rental trailer and it had a strong musty smell. I thought, maybe it hasnt been aired out. well, after two days of doors and windows open, it still smells.

    I found the brown discoloration on the ceiling in the kitchen cabinets. Is it mold? Thank you, L.B.

    Reply: maybe not, but those water stains mean there may be a significant risk of hidden mold indoors

    Your photo shows some heavy staining on what looks like suspended ceiling tiles. The brown stains themselves may not be mold but rather brown materials carried by roof leaks into the ceiling structure. Older trailers and mobile homes often have leaky roofs.

    It looks as if water has also run down the wall surface and quite likely the wall cavity of the home below those same stains.

    In this case the stains you see might not be mold but they do indicate that there is a high risk of mold in this home. Here are spots where Id suspect a more hidden but possibly larger problem reservoir of mold when we see leak stains like yours:

    I suggest having someone take a look at the insulation and floor condition in the area of leakage from below the mobile home. If that area is wet and damaged you can pretty much expect that there is hidden damage and mold in the ceiling and wall above.

    Watch out: in some mobile homes where there has been chronic leakage we have seen floors that were badly deteriorated and even collapse.

    Finally, because you are renting, you will want to see our mold advice for renters:

    Signs Of Black Mold And How To Get Rid Of It

    How To Identify Black Mold

    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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    Other Ways Of Detecting And Identifying The Mold

    If you are experiencing allergies whenever you walk into your house, chances are you have a mold problem. Some of the side effects of a mold infestation include:

    • Coughing and lung problems
    • Congestion in the nose
    • Irritation in the eyes
    • Throat disturbance
    • Nose bleeds

    Furthermore, the reason for this is because mold is not good for you. It can harm your overall health. Mold is not deadly, meaning it will not kill you, but it is important to know that if you already have pre-existing medical conditions, such as asthma or sensitive skin, they can worsen with mold present.

    You also need to remember: molds effects on your health are not caused by just touching it. The particles in the air from it alone can cause various health disturbances and worsen any pre-existing medical conditions.

    Treating Black Mold Poisoning

    If you suspect youre suffering from symptoms associated with black mold exposure or poisoning, there are some things you can do to improve your health.

    In conclusion, the best way to avoid the negative effects of black mold poisoning is to minimize your black mold exposure.

    You can do this by preventing its growth in the first place. If its too late to prevent it and you suspect theres black mold already in your home, dont wait to book removal, completed quickly and efficiently by the industry experts.

    Black mold, typically green or black, in your home, can be extremely hazardous to your health.

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    You Feel Like You Have A Lingering Cold Or Are Battling Flu

    “It is pretty tough to detect until it starts coming through the walls because mold, as you know, is a problem with some sort of leak somewhere,” Hayes-Raitt said. “So the problem starts behind the walls. But if you’re getting sick, it might be because of a mold problem.”

    If you’re dealing with symptoms that you can’t exactly pinpoint, it could be that you’re stressed, haven’t been taking care of yourself, or wound up with some sort of virus, of course, but it could also potentially be that you’re dealing with mold.

    If possible, Hayes-Raitt said that one of the best ways to determine if the sickness you feel is related to the house or not is to leave for a few days and then return home. If you feel those same symptoms coming on again, it might be the result of something more than a cold or virus.

    Musty Odor Often In The Basement

    How to search for hidden mold in your home

    Mold gives off a clear smell of mildew. Unfortunately, some have come to associate this smell with basements and often dont realize that a musty smell isnt normal in a healthy environment. Because mold can hide out of plain sight, or often behind walls, its not uncommon to get used to the smell instead of realizing something is wrong.

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    Refrain From Installing Carpet In Areas Prone To Moisture

    Theres a reason most kitchens and bathrooms have tile or vinyl floors. Carpet attracts moisture. When its put in areas prone to a lot of moisture, its more likely to soak up the moisture and grow mold. If you live in an older home and it came with carpet in these areas, consider having it removed in favor of tile or vinyl flooring both of which are non-porous and wont soak up moisture.

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    How Do I Get Rid Of Black Mold

    Your best option for getting rid of it involves calling a professional remediation service. The remediation contractors use professional equipment and cleaning chemicals to kill the spores and eliminate infestations. They also wear safety gear like goggles and respirator masks to avoid breathing it in and cordon off the areas where they work to prevent spores from spreading to other parts of your home.

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    How To Identify And Prevent Mold In Your Home

    Mold is the name for a group of small organisms that thrive in damp, dark environments. When found in nature, mold aids in the breakdown of dead plants and trees. But when mold begins to grow inside, it can quickly become a problem.

    When mold starts to grow inside of a home, it releases spores into the air. When a person breathes these spores into their lungs, it can cause a variety of health problems, especially for those who already have asthma or other upper respiratory problems.

    Mold typically grows in damp areas, such as a shower or bathtub. However, it can take hold on any home surface thats been exposed to moisture, such as the walls, ceilings, carpets or furniture.

    Whether youre a first-time homeowner or youve been in a home for years, mold may not be something youve encountered before. However, when it comes to mold identification and what to do about it, its important to have all the information.

    What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Having Mold In Your House

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    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.

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    Use A Mold Testing Kit

    Home improvement stores and online retailers sell mold test kits. Kits vary in cost, from $8 to $300, depending on the type.

    A mold sample collection can only help you verify the presence of mold, so you may need a lab test to determine the type of mold present. Extra analyses can sometimes cost you $40 to $70.

    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
    • Nausea

    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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    What Does Black Mold Look Like

    When you want to identify positively the signs of the dangerous type of this fungus versus the regular type, you need to know for what characteristics to look. The toxic variety can look dark green or black in color. It may also be gray, depending on where it is growing in your home.

    You can also identify it by its odor. The odor is one of the tell tale signs of it that can help you detect its presence. It may smell musty and like mildew where it grows.

    How To Reduce Risk Of Exposure To Black Mold In Your Home

    How to find hidden mold in your home after Harvey

    Keeping the humidity level in your home below 50% is one of the most effective ways to reduce the likelihood of black mold growing in your home. If you live in a humid area, a dehumidifier is an easy way to control it. Use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom to keep fresh air flowing in those areas.

    You can also use a filter on your air conditioner that removes mold spores from the air. Clean your bathrooms and kitchen frequently, and wipe away any mold or mildew as soon as you see it. If any materials receive water damage from flooding or leaking, you should dry them out or get rid of damaged materials that cannot be salvaged . If you have a basement, check it regularly for leaks. In addition, make sure your basement and any crawl spaces are well ventilated, per Web MD.

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