Tuesday, September 27, 2022

How To Know If Black Mold Is In Your House

Can You Get Sick From Mold In Your House

How To Test For Black Mold In 5 Minutes

Yes. Those will allergies, compromised immune systems, asthma, or other such issues are at a higher risk as even minor, non-toxic molds could cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms. Mold in your house is rarely life-threatening. However, prolonged exposure is far from ideal for a number of reasons.

How Did I Get Mold

Like any other living thing, mold needs food and water to thrive. Mold problems start when a mold spore thats floating in the air lands on a wet piece of organic material , takes root and starts to multiply. Mold spores are everywhere in the air, including in the cleanest of homes.

In fact, every breath you take likely has some mold spores in it at low levels! In the home, mold usually grows wherever there is dampness and moisture, like basements, attics, kitchens and bathrooms, or areas that have experienced flooding.

With over 100,000 species, mold comes in about any size, shape, and color you can think of, making it impossible to tell what type of mold you have without testing by a certified mold inspection professional.

Read Also: Can Exposure To Mold Cause Cancer

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.

Don’t Miss: How To Fight Mold In Apartment

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.

In The Walls And On The Floor

How to know if a house has black mold

From top to bottom, mold growth is likely in a bathroom. In addition to the places mentioned above, pay attention to any water leaks coming from the walls or floors these leaks can cause mold to grow quickly. Bathroom rugs are also known to harbor mold, and are usually not washed as often as they should be.

Some tips to keep your bathroom free of mold

  • Use a ventilation fan during your bath or shower, and keep it on for at least 30 minutes after
  • Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to keep humidity levels down throughout your home
  • Keep all surfaces, including counters and floors, clean and dry
  • Check for leaky faucets and pipes

Don’t Miss: How To Test For Mold In Basement

What To Do If Your House Has Mold Health Risks And Tips To Remove Mold

Mold builds up in damp and poorly ventilated areas. On average, a person spends about 12 to 16 hours a day at home, especially children and senior citizens.

Inhalation of mold fragments or spores can cause airway inflammation, which can result in nasal congestion, wheezing, chest tightness, coughing and throat irritation.

According to the World Health Organization , continuous exposure to high levels of indoor dampness and mold can lead to a decrease in lung functionality, and may result in chronic respiratory conditions. People who are asthmatic or allergic can face a higher risk of severe symptoms when exposed to mold.

Aside from visible mold, other indications of dampness problems include mold odor, water stains, cracked wallpaper, wet basements, and so on.

Dont Finish Your Basement Unless Its Very Dry

Dont finish the walls of your basement with insulation and wallboard unless your basement is very dry. Also avoid putting wall-to-wall carpet on your basement floor. If your basement floor is concrete, you can paint it and use area rugs instead. Then you can take the rugs outside to clean and dry them the rugs arent as likely to get moldy.

Reviewed in 2018

Recommended Reading: How To Make 3d Printed Molds

Black Mold Symptoms: What Happens When Youre Exposed

Dr. Lauren Tessier is a naturopathic physician practicing in Waterbury, VT, and New York, NY. She specializes in treating mold-related, biotoxin and other complicating illnesses and is CIRS-certified. Learn more about her practice Life After Mold by visiting www.lifeaftermold.com. You can also find her on , and .

Stachybotrys chartarum, more commonly known as black mold, was first identified in Prague in 1837. A Czech mycologist discovered the mold growing on an indoor wall of a home. Despite an early discovery, the term black mold only became part of the normal lexicon of the average homeowner in the 1990s, when the nightly news brought the phrase black mold into homes across America. Though black mold is considered harmful, the details are still in question. This article is meant to help inform those who are worried about being exposed to black mold.

Identifying Mold In Your Home

Housecleaning Tips : How to Identify Black Mold
  • Appearance or dark spots or clusters. Look for spots or clustered growths, especially in warm, moist rooms.
  • Musty smell. You may be able to identify mold by a musty smell.
  • Allergies or asthma. If you experience asthma attacks or allergy symptoms in your home, that may also indicate theres mold.
  • Potential causes. Look for causes of mold growth, like a leak, water damage, lack of ventilation, or old food, papers, or wood.

Read Also: How To Get Rid Of White Mold On Plant Soil

How Do I Find Hidden Black Mold In My Walls

Tara B. Thousand Oaks CA.

There are several ways to determine if you have mold inside your walls. You first need to know if there is moisture damage, or if you know there was a prior or current leak, you want to focus on those affected locations.

Some tools you Can use are an in-wall camera, or if youre a DIYer you can make a small incision in the wall and inspect. Make sure you have a proper mask & gloves.

Heres a quick trick using shaving cream when opening the wall, this method encapsulates any particulates, and dust fibers.

S To Take If You Find Black Mold:

  • Identify where it is and the extent of it, In case of a small amounts of black mold you can tackle it yourself.
  • Note if it is spreading, in multiple places or confined to one area
  • Check to see if these areas are wet, humid or exposed to moisture
  • Conduct a thorough check throughout your home to see if mold is there
  • Use water/bleach mixture 1 gallon of water for every cup of bleach with a rag to wipe away the mold. Do not mix with other chemicals such as ammonia. This can release toxic fumes into the air
  • Wear protective gear goggles, gloves and a mask to reduce your exposure

In case of a severe Black mold Infestation:

  • Contact a mold abatement company
  • Let the pros handle it. They are licensed, experienced and most offer a free estimate.

Read Also: Do Mold Bomb Foggers Really Work

Final Word On Black Mold: Best Avoidedbut Not Deadly

As for black molds toxic reputation, those with immune suppression, asthma, or other respiratory problems are most at risk of feeling ill.

Its not likely that youll die from black mold poisoning because its just not that toxic. That said, you should act quickly if you find it in your home. The good news is its treatable, removable, and preventable.

Black And Toxic Molds

Signs Of Black Mold In Your Home

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.

You May Like: How Do You Treat Black Mold Exposure

Black Mold Removal And Cleaning

Mold remediation in stores, offices, or schools is best left to professionals. This also applies to household mold exceeding 10 square feet.

The contractors you choose should have insurance and licenses from organizations like the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification .

Homeowners can handle cleaning about 10 square feet of black mold on their own.3 If the patch is small enough, a combination of bleach, water, scrubbing, and ventilation should do the trick.

Before treating mold on your own, prioritize ventilation and protective gear.

Removing black mold is a tough and dirty job. If you or anyone in your family is sensitive to mold allergies, has respiratory or immune issues, trust the professionals.

Find a contractor in your area to get started.

How To Get Rid Of Black Mold

Depending on the severity of your black mold infestation, you can either clean it yourself or hire a professional. Hiring a professional is more expensive, but it prevents you from being exposed to the mold while trying to remove it. Youll probably want to hire a professional cleaner if you have wide-spread growth in multiple rooms.

If you choose to remove the black mold yourself, be sure to take the proper safety precautions. You want to avoid letting mold spores touch your skin or breathing them in by wearing:

  • Latex gloves

Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Mold On Composite Decking

Tips For Mold Prevention

Wondering how you can prevent mold from affecting your home? Here are a few tips that may help you prevent mold from forming altogether.

  • Keep things clean Dirty surfaces can provide mold with the organic food materials they need to take hold, and start growing throughout your home. Be particularly careful in areas which may be damp, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and attics.
  • Address dampness Dampness may be an issue if you live in an area which receives a lot of rain, or your basement floods. Make sure to ventilate your home as much as possible in humid climates, and soak up any visible moisture as soon as possible.
  • Keep the air dry Air conditioners and dehumidifiers can help reduce the moisture content of the air. Keep your air at 40-50% relative humidity for the best comfort, and to prevent the growth of mold.
  • Heat damp areas to dry them out You may consider using space heaters or even a hair dryer to heat damp areas of your home where mold may form. This is a short-term fix, though. Its best to address the source of the dampness, not the dampness itself.
  • Keep the air circulating Proper ventilation from attics, bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements and any other place where moisture is common is essential. Make sure that your home is properly insulated and ventilated, so that air can circulate properly
  • The Grout Between Your Shower Tiles Is Dark

    How to search for hidden mold in your home

    Surprise: thats probably mold. The good news is that its likely the harmless type.

    However, if there was recently a leak in the bathroom plumbing or flooding in an adjacent room, you might be dealing with a more toxic kind of fungus that should only be removed by professionals. Send a sample off to be tested so you can confirm your shower is safe.

    Don’t Miss: How To Stop Mold On Wood

    Where Causes Black Mold

    Black Mold can originate from many different sources. It thrives in damp areas with a lot of cellulose, such as cardboard or paper items. Black mold is also present in some foods that are high in cellulose and low acidity .

    However, mold can grow in any warm, wet areas of the house such as basements, showers, crawlspaces, and especially on windows. It can form as the result of your ventilation not working properly or if you have leaky pipes.

    If you suspect you have leaky pipes in your house, you should check your basement thoroughly for mold. You should also check showers, corners, and crawlspaces if you think your ventilation is not working properly.

    If left unchecked it will cause serious damage to your 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.

    Read Also: How To Get Mildew And Mold Out Of Clothes

    Is There Any Product To Prevent White Mold In Soybeans

    Bayer offers a unique solution for the prevention and control of diseases Delaro® Complete Fungicide. Once symptoms of white mold are evident, fungicide applications may no longer manage the disease. Soybean fields with high levels of white mold should be harvested last to reduce the spread of sclerotia.

    Differences Between Mold And Mildew

    Dangers of Black Mold Every Homeowner Should Know

    While mold and mildew are both fungi that need water, oxygen, and food in order to live and survive, they differ in a number of ways. Mold tends to have a higher profile and can even become fuzzy, while mildew is usually flat. Mold exhibits darker colors such as deep green and black mildew may begin as white, then turn brown or gray.

    You May Like: What Can Mold Do To The Human Body

    The Cost Of Black Mold Removal

    The cost of black mold removal can vary depending on the size of the affected area and the type of black mold. For example, Stachybotrys chartarum is a type of black mold that is particularly harmful to humans and can cause serious health problems. If you have black mold in your home, it is very important to remove it as soon as possible to avoid health risks.

    The average cost of black mold removal is $500-$4,000. However, if the affected area is large or the black mold is particularly harmful, the cost can be much higher. It is important to consult with a professional black mold removal company to get an estimate for the cost of black mold removal in your specific case.

    Black mold spores can cause a variety of health problems, including respiratory problems, allergic reactions, and headaches. If you or someone in your home is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor and have the affected area tested for black mold. If black mold is found, it is important to remove it as soon as possible to avoid further health problems.

    What To Do For Black Mold

    If you see a patch of what you think might be black mold, don’t touch it remember, says Anderson, that disturbing the mold is what causes the spores to release its toxins. “Don’t attempt to wipe it or spray it or put any chemical on itthat’s just going to make it angry,” she says. “The best thing to do is contain it.” She recommends covering the entire area with plastica bag or dropcloth will worksecured around the outer edge of the mold area . “If you have HVAC running into that room, shut the vents so they’re not pulling anything into the other rooms,” Anderson adds.

    Also Check: How To Get Mold Off Wood Furniture

    How To Tell If Mold Is Toxic

    Mold is a nasty problem to deal with for any home or business-owner. In the wake of a disaster such as a storm, its possible for mold to start growing in as quickly as 1-2 days. Whats even more alarming is when that mold turns out to be toxic, posing a serious risk to you and anyone else on your property.

    To clarify, its not that the mold you are dealing with in and of itself is toxic. Its that certain strains of mold, like the notorious Stachybotrys chartarummore commonly known as black moldproduce mycotoxins. Its these mycotoxins which may cause a burning sensation in the throat and lungs, chest pain, persistent coughing, fever, rashes, and migraines. Prolonged exposure to Stachybotrys may lead to serious health issues, including breathing problems, fatigue, sinusitis and other pain in the sinus cavities, and even depression.

    Cleaning Up Black Mold

    Black Mold In Your House And What To Do About It

    The processof cleaning up black mold is much more complex than most people think. If youtry to clean it up yourself, your symptoms of black mold exposure may worsen. Additionally, if you are not careful thecleanup process may cause black mold spores to become airborne and crosscontaminate other parts of your home.

    Instead ofputting your health at risk, we recommend that you meet with a mold removalspecialist. Most mold removal specialists will give a free home inspection andevaluation, so even if you are thinking of doing the cleanup yourself you canstill get some free advice. They will inspect your home, help you find hiddenmold, discuss the best techniques for removing the mold in your particularcase, recommend prevention strategies to make sure the mold does not return,and give you a price quote. For a list of mold removal specialists offeringfree home inspections in your area, just follow the link

    Also Check: Does Uv Light Kill Mold And Fungus

    Popular Articles
    Related news