Dont Want To Use Chemicals Heres How To Test For Mold In Your Home Naturally
If youre concerned about the effects of harmful chemicals when testing for mold in the house, worry not. Testing for mold doesnt use any chemicals, and kits are non-toxic.
In fact, the main thing you should be worried about when testing for mold is the mold itself. If you are collecting direct samples of mold using the swab technique, wear gloves and a mask to reduce your exposure to the mold.
Health Consequences Of Exposure To Dangerous Mold Types
Before we get into how to tell if mold is toxic, lets talk about why you need to take this so seriously.
One of the most frightening things about exposure to mold is that it will impact everyone differently. This means that, in some cases, you could go for months potentially even years without even realizing that youre being exposed to it. This long-term exposure makes you much more likely to suffer more severe consequences.
The first sign of exposure to black mold is usually some kind of respiratory illness. If you have a history of asthma and other breathing problems already or if you have a weakened immune system in general the respiratory symptoms will be more severe.
Youll notice yourself sniffling, coughing, and feeling like its hard to catch your breath. You may even feel like youre suffering from a cold, right down to itchy and watery eyes. Expect to experience headaches, exhaustion, and potentially even rashes across the body.
In more severe cases, the consequences to your health are incredibly serious. This is because the spores of the black mold have impacted your lungs.
You may experience nosebleeds, nausea and extensive vomiting, and even bleeding in your lungs. Youre also much more likely to develop bronchitis and other lasting respiratory infections.
In some cases, you may even experience extreme depression and mood swings due to a presence of toxic mold.
Worst of all, toxic mold has been linked to brain damage.
How To Tell If There’s Mold In Your House
If the string of hurricanes that recently battered the Atlantic coast seemed like an anomaly, thats because it was: According to the National Hurricane Center, September 2017 was the most active tropical storm month on record, ushering in flooding of homes and buildings from Texas to Puerto Rico.
If your home was damaged by floodwaters, youll need to take quick action to dry out your furniture, carpeting, and walls. Too much moisture and standing water can be a breeding ground for mold, which could trigger breathing problems or contribute to an infection. But even if your home hasnt been damaged in a hurricane or flood, you likely still have mold in your house.
In fact, mold is everywhere. Even in the cleanest of homes, its impossible to eliminate entirely. Every time you open a window or go outside, mold can be ushered in through the air or by attaching itself to your clothing and shoes. Once indoors, it can grow in the walls, carpeting, upholstery, and more. Truth is, mold is good at reproducing anywhere there is moisture mold has existed for millions of years and has picked up a few survival tricks along the way.
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Check Your Petri Dish
After 48 hours, check your petri dish for signs of mold growth. If you do not see mold, wait another 24 hours and check again. If you still dont see mold, wait again for 24 hours and check one last time. If you do not see mold growth after 96 hours, your test did not detect any mold. If you do see mold on your test plate, you should take additional steps to remove the mold.
What If You Find Mold In Your Home
How to know if you have mold in your house is only the first step in resolving the problem. Once you have identified your mold problem, you need to know what to do next.
How you handle a mold problem depends on several things, including:
- Where the problem is
- The cause of the mold problem
- How extensive the problem is
- The type of mold youre dealing with
Some mold removal jobs are simple enough and can be done using hot soapy water. However, when it comes to removing toxic mold you should get help from a professional.
Before attempting mold removal yourself, always carry out proper research into how to do the job safely. This includes always using the right equipment.
Removing the mold is only your first job. You also need to identify the cause of the mold to prevent it from happening again.
Then you can look into mold damage restoration to fix any additional problems caused by your mold. This is important as mold can cause significant damage to anything it comes into contact with. This includes the walls and soft furnishings in your home.
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The Bottom Line On Testing For Mold
The cleanup procedures for treating mold are the same, whether it is black mold or another type, so it isnt always necessary to test for mold if you can see or smell it. But if you have a specific reason for identifying types of mold in your home or suspect you have mold but cant find the source, a do-it-yourself mold test is extremely easy to conduct.
A Qualified Environmental Lab Took Samples Of The Mold In My Home And Gave Me The Results Can Cdc Interpret These Results
Standards for judging what is an acceptable, tolerable or normal quantity of mold have not been established. Sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable quantity of mold have not been set. The best practice is to remove the mold and work to prevent future growth. If you do decide to pay for environmental sampling for molds, before the work starts, you should ask the consultants who will do the work to establish criteria for interpreting the test results. They should tell you in advance what they will do or what recommendations they will make based on the sampling results. The results of samples taken in your unique situation cannot be interpreted without physical inspection of the contaminated area or without considering the buildings characteristics and the factors that led to the present condition.
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Know The Signs You Have Mold In Your House
Certain types of mold can be toxic, so its important to fully remove the spores and make sure they dont come back again. Now that you know how to recognize the signs you have mold in your house, you can take preventative action to keep your home as safe as possible.
If you need mold remediation services, were here to help. Give us a call today and rest a little easier tonight.
How Do You Keep Mold Out Of Buildings And Homes
Inspect buildings for evidence of water damage and visible mold as part of routine building maintenance, Correct conditions causing mold growth to prevent mold growth.
Inside your home you can control mold growth by:
- Controlling humidity levels
- Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes
- Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding
- Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas.
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Washing The Mold Off Of Your Clothes Is Crucial
When you finish, he says to take off your work clothes, place them in a plastic bag and transport them to the washing machine. Add ¾ cup white vinegar to your wash water to kill the mold on your clothes.
Keep in mind, you need to ensure that youre addressing the problem and not just a symptom of the problem. When you come across mold in a home, it should be understood that you have a moisture issue first and a mold issue second, says Evan Roberts, a real estate agent with Dependable Homebuyers in Baltimore, MD. He tells us that scrubbing surface mold with mold killer will not be effective if you do not address the moisture issue.
Most Common Places To Check For Mold In Your Home
If you have allergies or a chronic lung disease like asthma, youre probably very aware of the effect mold can have on your health. But even if you have a healthy immune system and no allergies, mold can cause a variety of health problems coughing, wheezing, and throat, skin, and eye irritation, to name a few. Mold is everywhere and, though you cant fully control your exposure to it outdoors or in public spaces, you can check for mold in common places around your home and take measures to prevent and remove it.
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Your Attic Insulation Is Lumpy
Wave off the spider webs and take a closer look at the insulation in your attic. Attic insulation that is very lumpy and uneven-looking may mean a bigger problem, says John Bodrozic, Co-Founder of HomeZada. The insulation could be in bad shape due to unforeseen roof leaks, which could also mean potential mold issues. If your attic has poor circulation or improper ventilation, it could create ideal conditions for mold growth.
Silent And Deadly: How To Tell If Mold Is Toxic And What To Do If Its In Your Home
Mold can show up in hidden places and start affecting your familys health. Learn how to tell if mold is toxic and what to do about it in your home.
Youve worked hard to create the home of your dreams.
The last thing that you want is for black mold to take it all away from youand even cause you to suffer severe health consequences.
Especially if you have any kind of pre-existing health conditions, mold is something that you need to take seriously.
Identifying black mold can be notoriously tricky.
In this post, well tell you all about how to tell if mold is toxic.
Even more importantly, well let you know the steps that you need to take to get toxic mold out of your home for good.
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What Mold Looks Like
Molds are a type of fungus and can look like their fungal cousins, mushrooms and yeasts. Outdoors, molds can be seen gobbling up the dead organic matter on decomposing surfaces like fallen leaves and rotting logs indoors, house mold thrives in wet, humid environments like bathrooms and basements or anywhere that has recently flooded. There are thousands of types of mold, and their appearance can vary depending on the type of mold and where its growing.
The most common indoor molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum , is also sometimes found in homes and other buildings. This greenish-black growth can grow on fiberboard, paper, dust, and lint, particularly in areas that may have recently flooded or suffered other types of water damage. While black mold can certainly look scary, the CDC says that Stachybotrys chartarum isnt any more harmful than other types of mold.
Signs Your Home Has Mold
Worried your house or apartment has mold? Here are the telltale signs you may have a damp or fungus problem.
Does your home have mold? If you own your house or apartment, mold can be an expensive issue to fix, and a persistent problem. And it isn’t just the cost either – many forms of mold are extremely bad for your health, if ingested over a period of time, so you need to get it sorted. If you’re in any doubt about whether you have mold, what type you have, or where it is concentrated, you should pick from any of the best mold test kits and check it out for yourself. They’re all inexpensive, and can help you start to fix the problem.
However, you need to know the early-warning signs in order to start your investigation. Mold can often grow in places you rarely inspect, and can even spread behind stud walls, chimneys, or large items of furniture like wardrobes. One of the most common places for mold to grow is in your HVAC unit, which will then spread it through your home. Many test kits will sample from your air con unit, but some won’t. In some instances you may even need to change the heating and cooling system in your home, if mold gets bad, so if this is the case you should consult our guide to the best central air conditioning units.
Hopefully, though, you’ll spot one of the signs your home has mold early, and get it fixed before it spreads.
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Black Mold Isnt As Common As Youd Think
What does black mold look like? We get this question a lot and with good reason. True Black Mold, also known as Stachybotrys, can cause serious health issues. Theres been a lot about it in the news lately, and people are worried, especially because children and adults with pre-existing health conditions are particularly susceptible. But theres a difference between Stachybotrys and other house molds that can appear black in color. In fact, most of the time, if you find black-colored mold in your home, its not going to be Stachybotrys.
Wondering how to identify black mold? It typically forms over time in homes that have water damage or excessive humidity, perhaps from faulty HVAC systems. Homes located in humid climates or that see frequent humidifier use are also at higher risk.
Looking For Signs Of Mold In Your Home
Mold can occur anywhere it finds a damp location where it can feed upon the organic components in your building materials. When looking for mold in your home, its important to keep an eye out as well as a nose out for possible signs. Often times mold can hide behind furniture or appliances, making it more likely for you to smell the mold than see it for the first time.
Black mold will have a strong earthy, dirty, and musty smell and is the laymans term used for Stachybotrys mold. This type of mold can have a particularly strong smell making it more noticeable when starting to form. Unfortunately, mold only needs water, organic matter, a dark environment, and time to grow, meaning its often found in places that arent heavily trafficked in the home.
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Finding Hidden Mold Before Its Too Late
If you are a homeowner, you may already know that excessive moisture can promote mold growth that could cause allergic reactions in some individuals, as well as damage building components and personal items.
The key to controlling mold lies in eliminating the source of moisture and the conditions that promotes its growth.
Investigating a mold-related issue has many facets and can be a daunting task, especially for individuals who are not familiar with the inspection process.
Often, observing the appearance and pattern of mold growth on surfaces can provide pertinent information regarding the moisture source.
For instance, if you observe a linear growth pattern on ceiling areas, this could indicate condensation issue.
More specifically, the line to the AC unit in the attic could be sweating, resulting in water from the line dripping on the upper surface of the ceiling tiles.
Picture of mold growing on ceiling
In contrast, mold growing in a circular pattern on the surface of a ceiling usually indicates a leak centered in that location. When indoor humidity is an issue, the mold growth will be scattered and take the shape of droplets.
Picture of mold growth caused by high indoor humidity levels
Mold growing along baseboards of an exterior wall that has no plumbing could indicate a water intrusion issue.
Mold growth may also appear in the form of black conk-like structures on surfaces such as wallboard and drywall, if they are hidden behind cabinets or furniture.
Your Bathroom Exhaust Fan Is On The Fritz
Mold is a particularly common problem in bathrooms with inadequate ventilation, says Yoel Piotraut, a managing partner at MyHome Design + Remodeling. A bathroom exhaust fan is an essential tool to keep toxic mold at baybut it wont work if its clogged or not running well. In fact, if its still steamy five to ten minutes after you get out of the shower, your fan isnt circulating enough air. It may need to be cleaned or replaced with a unit that meets the square footage of your bathroom. Piotraut also suggests cleaning the walls regularly with a bleach solution or other mold-killing product. These are the household items you use that could be poisoning your air.
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How To Prevent Mold And Mildew
- Keep things clean.
- Increase ventilation in the affected area with exhaust fans.
- Install dehumidifiers to reduce humidity.
- Ensure that sources of natural ventilation such as windows remain open, if possible.
- Make sure that sources of mechanical venting such as HVAC vents remain open and unblocked.
- Inspect vents for clothes dryers and ensure that vents are clean and that they are attached.
Think Home Climates For Indoor Air Quality Control
The best way to deal with mold is to prevent it from taking hold in your home. Evaluating the air quality in your home and taking control before things spiral out of control is the best way to protect your home and your loved ones who live there.
To manage your HVAC and air quality needs, Home Climates provides a variety of services in and around Harrisburg, including humidifier/dehumidifier and air purifier installation, plumbing and HVAC repair and a variety of HVAC systems for purchase. Our commitment to excellence have earned us a trusted reputation throughout the region. Whether youre addressing a mold problem or looking to get ahead of the game, were ready to help. For air quality testing or a free quote, call us today at 717-689-4151 or visit us online.
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