Thursday, July 18, 2024

How To Know If You Have Mold

Is Black Mold Dangerous Or Toxic

How Do I Know If I Have Mold?

Though black mold has a reputation for being toxic, it has not been shown to be any more dangerous than other types of molds according to reports from the CDC and others.

Mold in general can be dangerous to individuals who have been exposed to it and who are sensitive to its spores.

The extent of health-related issues can vary depending on the sensitivity of the individual, the size of the mold infestation, and the time spent inhaling the spores.

Your Baby Coughs At Night

According to a study published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, infants exposed to mold in their homes were three times more likely to develop asthma by age seven. Symptoms to watch for include coughing, especially at night difficulty breathing fast breathing frequent chest colds and wheezing or whistling sounds when exhaling. Heres how to remove mold from your babys toys.

Signs You Might Have Toxic Mold In Your Home

Seeing mold growing on an old piece of bread is creepy enough, but mold in the home is something next level. It might not be a problem you think about regularly, but if you feel like you have some weird health issues, you might be exhibiting some signs that you have toxic mold in your home. Since mold isn’t always visible or easy to spot, it’s important to know what to look out for so you can take care of any issues if you have some â you don’t want your health to suffer just because your house looks clean enough.

“Although toxic mold can bring on the most serious health problems, all mold and mildew can cause health issues â especially for those who suffer from allergies,” says Robert Weitz, a certified microbial investigator and principal of RTK Environmental Group, over email. “An important thing to consider: Do you feel bad at home or at work, but feel better when you leave? Itâs very likely a mold or indoor air quality issue.”

If you suspect you have mold in your home, look out for these seven telltale signs. These signs can help you identify a potential problem, but if you feel that mold has made its way in, schedule a test. An independent testing company will provide you with an unbiased assessment of the situation, determine what type of mold is growing in your home, and determine the proper course of action to remove it.

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What Are The First Signs Of Black Mold In Your Home

At the first signs of black mold in your home, you are likely to feel stress, anxiety, and concern for those who live and work in the space.

But how do you know if there is mold in your home? Your first indication that there is a mold issue in your home is when you begin to see or smell it.

Black mold tends to have a strong, musty smell, and of course, it displays a trademark black color.

Mold must have a water source for growth, so any damp, humid areas of the home are often susceptible and places to search for large mold infestations.

The real issue is that mold can hide in dark and small places. There are very few materials in your home that cant hide some mold growth after water exposure.

The areas that are especially susceptible to mold infestation are carpets, wood doors, baseboards, drywall, and wallpaper.

In fact, any area that is water permeable can allow the spread of a mold colony. This is why it is recommended that you contact professional mold mitigation and restoration experts like those at HRS in the Denver area.

A mold removal professional can identify the cause and clean the mold to ensure the health and safety of your loved ones.

Heres How To Tell If You Have Mold

How to tell if you have mold damage in your home

Knowing how to tell if you have mold in your home is the first step to keeping your house mold-free. Once you know what to look out for, you can then catch it before the problem worsens. Keep these signs of mold in mind and keep you and your home safe!

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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.

The Impact Of Mold: 5 Steps To Regaining Health

The impact of mold on health is far reaching, and the occurrence of mold might be higher than you might think. Symptoms of mold exposure go beyond an allergic response and can include a vast range from achy joints to dysregulated hormones, cognitive issues or sapping fatigue.

To complicate matters, you could be exposed to it, and simply not know. Mold could be hidden behind walls or be disguised as a fine powder instead of the striking black spots you might expect.

Curious if mold is playing a role in your mysterious symptoms? Have a hunch you need to address it to achieve optimal wellness but overwhelmed with where to start? Here are 5 steps worth investigating if youre concerned about how a moldy environment might be affecting your health and wellbeing.

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Signs Of Mold Or Mildew In Your Shower

Most homeowners will never catch a glimpse of the wall behind the bathtub or shower. This makes the bathroom a bit of a mystery. How can you be sure that mold or mildew is not growing behind the scenes?

You might notice a black spot here and there and wonder if perhaps mold is to blame. These are some signs of mold you should pay close attention to if you want to avoid major health issues.

Your House Smells Musty

How to determine if you have mold and mildew

Were not knocking your cleaning skills, but mold that grows undetected can pose a real health risk. This is especially true for the elderly, warns Dr. Parikh. Their symptoms are generally similar, but all chronic conditions are worse in the elderly as their bodies are not as resilient as younger patients and usually have other medical problems which may interfere with or complicate the treatment, says Dr. Parikh. Here are 9 ways to get rid of mildew.

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Ways To Prevent Mold On Your Weed

  • You must store your weed carefully. If, for example, you store yours in glass jars, you must remove the lids at least once a day, and use test strips to indicate the moisture level.
  • On the other hand, you cannot expose the pot to humid or moist air for any length of time. Commercially available packets will keep the weed at the correct humidity level.
  • Considering your investment in marijuana, you might purchase a hygrometer like they use in cigar humidors and favor mold resistant strains.
  • Baking your weed will kill most spores in mildly affected product. Scattered on a cookie sheet, the weed should dry under 200°F for 10 minutes before using it.
  • Using a bong will reduce about 15% of the contamination through the water filtration process.
  • Extracting the cannabinoids into concentrate with alcohol or butane at 200°F will eliminate most of the damage. Then, dabbing with the concentrate will expose it to more heat.
  • If you grow your own, air circulation is your best friend. As plants grow larger, the larger leaves create more humidity and cover each other. You must have steady fresh air circulation above and below the leaves.
  • Defoliate the plants as they grow, carefully removing the large leaves on each plant on a regular basis
  • When you do your own harvesting, you should hang the cannabis buds upside down to dry in an area with 50% humidity and 70°F.
  • Visible Signs Of Mold

    Mold formation can be hard to notice, but if you keep your eyes peeled, you may be able to spot it in its early stages. Think twice when cleaning a random patch of dirt on a wall, as this can actually be mold. And if you find a patch of mold, there could be other cases of mold throughout your building or home.

    Sometimes, the presence of mold is obvious, with multi-colored blotches and spots covering your walls. Whatever visual sign you detect, make sure you call a professional to take samples. This will help you find out what kind of mold you’re dealing with and how to get rid of it.

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    Mold In The Basement: Identifying And Treating It

    Homes that have basements often have mold. Due to basements’ proximity to groundwater, water can wick up through concrete floors and continue wicking up through floor sleepers and wall studs. Homes without a robust water diversion system may accumulate water in the soil that can crack the foundation, which results in water leakage.

    Identifying and treating basement mold is a multi-stage process. You must find the mold, then test it to make sure of what you’re dealing with. You’ll remove structural elements to permit access to the mold, as needed, and go through the process of killing the mold. Then you’ll mechanically remove or encapsulate the dead mold spores, depending upon which is best for your situation. Finally, you’ll turn your attention to fixing the problem that allowed the mold to grow in the first place.

    Mold Exposure And Your Health

    how do you know if you have black mold in your basement

    Most people automatically assume mold exposure, especially black mold exposure, causes poor health. But thats not always the case, says Lahari Rampur, M.D., who practices at the Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Clinic at UW Medical Center.

    There are hundreds of types of mold that do not cause any symptoms at all, and not all mold is bad, she says.

    The symptoms of mold exposure, which appear like allergy symptoms , generally only occur if you have an allergy to mold. If you have an underlying condition that compromises your immune system, severe mold and fungal infections can occur. In rare cases, a type of mold hypersensitivity that causes lung disease can present with severe asthma-like symptoms, such as coughing, difficulty breathing and chest tightness, which are difficult to control with regular asthma medications, says Rampur.

    You can find out if you are allergic to molds by scheduling an allergy skin test with an allergist. In some cases, blood tests may be needed if there is a strong suspicion you have a mold allergy but the skin tests are normal. If both tests find no evidence of a mold allergy, your provider will ask you to clean all visible mold out of your home and reassess the cause if symptoms continue, says Rampur.

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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.

    What Is The Cost To Inspect For Black Mold

    Cindy R. Altadena CA.

    The cost for Inspection for mold can range on a few factors which include: The location of the areas that need to be inspected, the access to the areas, easy or difficult? Crawl space or attic? Does the inspection include testing or no testing? Does the inspection require a large report or small written report?

    On average, you can expect to pay $125.00 to $450.00 * plus sampling If requested or required.

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    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.

    How Do You Test For Toxic Mold Exposure

    How to determine if you have mold

    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.

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    I Heard About Toxic Molds And Black Molds That Grow In Homes And Other Buildings Should I Be Concerned About A Serious Health Risk To Me And My Family

    There is always a little mold everywhere in the air and on many surfaces.

    Certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins . Hazards presented by molds that may produce mycotoxins should be considered the same as other common molds which can grow in your house. Not all fungi produce mycotoxins and even those that do will not do so under all surface or environmental conditions.

    Mold growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. Color is not an indication of how dangerous a mold may be. Any mold should be removed and the moisture source that helped it grow should be removed.

    There are very few reports that toxigenic molds found inside homes can cause unique or rare health conditions such as pulmonary hemorrhage or memory loss. These case reports are rare, and a causal link between the presence of the toxigenic mold and these conditions has not been proven.

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    Your Skin Is Tingling

    If youre allergic to mycotoxins, youll experience tingling, itching, or burning sensations when you come into contact with the mold. Your body is reacting by releasing histamines, and the result can be dry, itchy, and scaly skin you could get hives. If the condition persists, see an allergist and look into ways to locate and eradicate the growth. Here are some more hidden dangers in your home you should never ignore.

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    Extent Of Mould Growth

    It is important to determine the extent of the mould problem in your home to help you decide on the clean-up procedure. An area of mould is considered small if it covers one square metre or less. There should be no more than three patches of mould, with the total area staying within one square metre. Many small patches of mould in one area or throughout your home are a sign of moisture problems that need to be investigated and corrected right away.

    If ignored, small mould areas may become larger over time, so it is important to clean them up before the problem gets bigger. A small amount of mould may be cleaned up using proper procedures and protective equipment.

    The area of mould is considered medium if there are more than three patches of mould , but the total area is less than three square metres. In this case, assessment by a qualified professional is recommended but in most cases a medium amount of mould may be cleaned up using proper procedures and protective equipment .

    An area of mould is considered large if a single patch of mould is larger than three square metres. Health Canada does not recommend that an unqualified person clean up large areas of mould. You may need a professional assessment to determine why the mould is there in the first place and how to clean it up.

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