Causes Of Damp And Mould
Mould and damp are caused by excess moisture. Moisture in buildings can be caused by leaking pipes, rising damp in basements or ground floors, or rain seeping in because of damage to the roof or around window frames.
A newly built home may be damp if the water used when building it is still drying out for example, in the plaster on the walls. Excess moisture indoors can also be caused by condensation.
If you have mould or damp it’s important to find out why you have excess moisture in your home. When you know what’s causing the damp, you can make sure your home is repaired or take steps to limit the moisture in the air. You may need to get a professional to remove mould for you, but if it’s only a small amount you may be able to remove it yourself.
Page last reviewed: 8 August 2018 Next review due: 8 August 2021
How To Remove Black Mold Yourself
Did you know that its often possible to remove black mold yourself? Its true! Professional mold remediation can cost thousands of dollars and is often excluded from many homeowners insurance policies. But in many instances hiring a mold removal professional isnt necessary and black mold can be removed by a handy homeowner in less than one weekend of work.
If you feel like you may be a homeowner who is up to the challenge, weve written an eBook that gives step-by-step instructions on how to tackle your mold problem. For less than $20, we guarantee that youll save hundreds, if not thousands, of your hard-earned dollars.
You can purchase our eBook here:
And if youre not comfortable tackling the problem yourself, were happy to provide you a quote if youre in our service area. Just contact us for a completely free quote.
Bottom Line: No mold belongs in a healthy home. Be it black mold, or any other color of mold. It should all be treated the same. If you have mold, remove it.
How Do Molds Get In The Indoor Environment And How Do They Grow
Mold is found both indoors and outdoors. Mold can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, and pets can and be carried indoors. When mold spores drop on places where there is excessive moisture, such as where leakage may have occurred in roofs, pipes, walls, plant pots, or where there has been flooding, they will grow. Many building materials provide suitable nutrients that encourage mold to grow. Wet cellulose materials, including paper and paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, and wood products, are particularly conducive for the growth of some molds. Other materials such as dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation materials, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery, commonly support mold growth.
Read Also: How To Clean Mold Between Pavers
What Are The Symptoms Of Mold Toxicity
The symptoms of mold issues can be divided into two main categories. According to McElroy, the first is an immune reaction to mold, which typically involves allergy-like symptoms such as sinus issues, runny nose, itchy skin and eyes, asthma, shortness of breath, and more. The second type of mold issue is a chemical and inflammatory reaction to mold. As McElroy explains, this is driven by mycotoxins, which can initiate an inflammatory cytokine-driven response in the body. And as you might already know about chronic inflammation, this can create symptoms that are vague, broad, and very hard to pin down such as:
- Cognitive difficulties
- Unexplained weight gain or weight loss
- Numbness and tingling in extremities or other areas of the body
- Metallic taste in the mouth
- Vertigo or dizziness
- Digestive issues
- Significant fatigue that interferes with daily activities
- Changes in mood
- Excessive thirst and dehydration, bed-wetting in children
- Symptoms that resemble hormone imbalances
As McElroy explains it, the symptoms of mycotoxin-induced illness vary and have no pattern, and they are not unique to this illness, which means they can easily be mistaken for something else.
Signs Of A Mold Illness
Read Also: How To Know If You Have Mold Allergies
Treatment For Mold Exposure:
The best treatment is to avoid places that trigger your allergic reactions. To put you at ease, your doctor may suggest the following:
Mold Toxicity Symptoms To Watch Forand How To Heal If Exposed
If hearing the words mold toxicity immediately sends shivers down your spine, youre not alone. Getting sick from mold exposure is something we might find interesting on our favorite medical showbut its not something any of us want to experience firsthand. The good news? Symptoms of mold and toxic mold exposure can be combated if you know what to look for.
Mold-related health problems are very real and affect many people every single year. To make matters more complicated, mold issues are often misdiagnosed, undiagnosed, or left untreated in conventional medicine. So, lets break down mold toxicity, what that really means, and how Parsley Health takes a holistic and science-based approach to treating mold toxicity symptoms.
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Five Of The Most Common Indoor Molds
Mold illness is the variety of health problems that can occur from any type of mold exposure. Although a mold allergy is the most common problem caused by exposure to mold, mold can cause illness without an allergic reaction. Mold can also cause infections or irritants and toxic reactions. Infections caused by mold can lead to a variety of problems from flu-like symptoms to skin infections and even pneumonia.
How Can You Be Sure That It Is The Mold That Is Making You Sick
One can never be sure that the symptoms experienced is due to mold exposure alone because of how generalized the symptoms may be. In addition, mold symptoms may linger which causes you to not be aware that you have been exposed in the first place. However, it is paramount to be vigilant of the possibility of mold presence in your home and be on alert for any type of symptoms of mold exposure that may arise.
If you or a loved one believe that you are suffering from symptoms caused by mold exposure, it is best to seek medical advice immediately. Only a medical professional is licensed to diagnose and treat mold exposure. Make sure you note the time-frame of the mold exposure, the location of it, and any symptoms that you are experiencing.
Additionally, if you suspect that your home is suffering from a mold infestation, we at Mold zero can help. We are the mold removal experts that utilize a clean process to remove the mold in your home or business with LITTEL TO NO DEMOLITION. We serve the greater Los Angeles area and can handle most jobs within one business day. Call us today for a free estimate at 671-8885 and begin your path to a mold-free environment today!
Also Check: How To Treat Toxic Mold Syndrome
How Do You Test For Toxic Mold Exposure
All in all, there is no simple way to diagnose mycotoxin illness, says McElroy. But testing is typically the first step. She prefers to start patients with at-home tests and also recommends a home inspection by a certified mold inspector. should only be ordered, in my opinion, once the environment is evaluated for the source of mold, explains McElroy. The most direct way to test for mold toxicity is a urine test that measures for metabolites of mold and mycotoxins as well as glutathione levels . That said, as McElroy explains, I never place the entire diagnosis of mycotoxin illness on tests alone. Why? Because mold tests have some major drawbacks, including:
- False negatives and false positives are common
- They are not covered by insurance
- You cant test all toxins there are hundreds
- The levels found on tests dont necessarily correlate with the severity of symptoms
These tests clearly arent perfect. In fact, McElroy says she has seen patients who were really sick have almost nothing show up on the test while the healthy spouses of those same patients register values off the charts, so having a clinician thats willing and able to do some extra investigation into symptoms of mold and toxic mold exposure is key.
Black Mold Exposure Mold Poisoning:
These are molds that are green or black in appearance. The most common species of the black mold isStachybotrys chartarum. It has been speculated that many black molds are toxigenic, which means they release mycotoxins that are particularly harmful to people with preexisting conditions.
When these mycotoxins begin to accumulate in the body, it may lead to a condition known as mold poisoning which affects the upper respiratory system adversely.
Common mold poisoning symptoms are the same as that of mold allergies. People who are suffering from asthma or any other chronic lung disease, these mycotoxins will make their condition miserable. They will exhibit severe symptoms such as:
After becoming conversant with the health issues caused by molds, its high time to discuss how doctors test for mold exposure.
Also Check: What To Spray On Mold In Crawl Space
Stopping The Symptoms Of Black Mold
There are two things that need to be done in order to stop the symptoms that are occurring:
First you should consult with your doctor and let them know that you have been exposed to black mold. Most doctors are familiar with the dangers of black mold, and can prescribe treatment options for each of the symptoms that are occurring.
The second step is to get rid of the black mold problem. Going to the doctor will not do any good if you don’t eliminate the mold. Continued exposure will cause your symptoms to get progressively worse.
Health Effects Of Black Mold
According to the EPA, various types of mold can cause health problems for some people. Those health problems are primarily in the form of allergies such as stuffy head, headache, itchy eyes, trouble breathing, etc. These ailments can be more severe in the young, the old, and those with other health issues. The CDC basically says the same thing that mold can cause health issues in some people, or no issues in other people.
According to the CDC, Stachybotrys black mold is unproven to cause serious medical issues beyond those mentioned above. In other words, symptoms of black mold are only proven to be similar to other molds. The CDC simply states that various types of mold may cause health symptoms, to consult with a doctor if symptoms persist, and that no color or type of mold belongs in a building.
You may be thinking: If all we know for sure is that mold causes allergies in some people, and maybe some serious health problems in a small percentage of other people, then whats the big deal?
Well, our answer to that is to imagine yourself as one of those people who are sensitive to mold. Constant allergies, constantly feeling sick, and miserable in your own home. Theres even a scientific name for it: Sick Building Syndrome . Mold, along with other problems such as radon, Chinese drywall, etc., can cause Sick Building Syndrome. Suffering through Sick Building Syndrome is a terrible way to live, and we wouldnt wish it upon our worst enemy!
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How To Prevent Mold
Whether you just got rid of the mold or you dont ever want to see it in your house you need to know the mold prevention rules. To prevent mold from appearing in your house:
Small investments in prevention can go long waysand keep a lot of cash in your pocket!
What Does Black Mold Exposure Treatment Look Like
Just like the diagnosis, the treatment of mold exposure differs from doctor to doctor. One thing most doctors will advise you to do is to test for and, if needed, remove any unhealthy mold conditions from your home. Even if the treatment will help in the short-term, it wont be effective over the long-term if your indoor environment isnt improved.
To treat the symptoms, doctors may suggest:
- Over-the-counter medication. Medicine that would decrease the airway inflammation and suppress the allergic reactions.
- Nasal sprays to deal with a runny or stuffy nose or rinses to clear your nasal passages from inhaled mold spores.
- Regular allergy medicine
A persons immune system has to be working properly to fight mold symptoms, so changes in a lifestyle or diet might be necessary. In more severe cases of allergies, doctors prescribe immunotherapy to provide relief from symptoms
Read Also: How Do You Get Tested For Mold Toxicity
How Long Does It Take For Black Mold To Kill You
Black mold, or Stachybotrys atra, has a reputation for being fatal. This is due to reports that black mold was related to infant deaths in the 1990s. Its also been linked to the idea of sick building syndrome and is often called toxic black mold.
But theres no solid evidence proving that black mold is toxic. Black mold, and mold in general, is not deadly.
Still, black mold can cause unwanted side effects, especially those in people who are sensitive to mold. This includes people who are young, old, or have compromised immune systems.
Visit a doctor if you have:
- persistent sinus and nasal congestion
- frequent headaches
- unexplained skin irritation
- more frequent asthma attacks
Sometimes, it can be difficult to know if mold is causing your symptoms. Many side effects of mold exposure are similar to other conditions, like seasonal allergies. Some symptoms also take time to appear.
Your best bet is to see a doctor, even if youre unsure your symptoms are related to mold. They can help you find relief.
The best way to treat mold exposure symptoms is to reduce exposure. Follow these tips:
- Avoid contact with moldy items or surfaces.
- Avoid damp rooms, like basements.
- Remove mold from the home by cleaning surfaces and drying damp areas.
- Increase ventilation by using a fan or opening windows.
- Reduce indoor humidity with a dehumidifier.
The length of time it takes for mold to leave your body will depend on your level of previous exposure.
- a musty, earthy odor
Toxic Mold Symptoms Can Vary With The Type Of Mold
There are thousands of mold species, some helpful and some problematic. On the positive side, some mold species help to recycle organic matter which is very important for the ecosystem. Other mold species are utilized for food productionfor instance making bread, cheese, sausage, and alcohol. Plus there are medications created from molds, such as penicillin, lovastatin, and cyclosporine.
But other mold species can cause the types of toxic mold symptoms I mentioned earlier. Sick building syndrome, for example, often results from mold spores circulating in the air ducts of a building. These tiny spores, invisible to the naked eye, can produce mycotoxins that make us sick. Mycotoxins can be absorbed through the intestines, lungs, and skin. The most problematic mycotoxins include ochratoxin A, aflatoxin, and trichothecenes.
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What Causes Mold Sickness
The toxins in your system from breathing in mold spores add to the total amount of toxicity in your body. We call this the Total Body Burden. When your burden is high, you start experiencing symptoms many which are seemingly unrelated.
For most people, toxins get flushed out from the body when eliminating waste.
For some, the toxic load is so high that its too much for the body to eliminate them all efficiently. For others, they may have poor detoxification processes or they may even recycle or reabsorb these mycotoxins back, as the body tries to eliminate them. Genetics plays a huge role in this difference from person to person
In short, multiple symptoms happen because, as we say in environmental medicine genetics points the gun, and then the environment pulls the trigger.