Cleaning Up Small And Medium Mould Problems
Bleach is not necessary to clean up mould.
You can clean up small areas of mould if you follow the proper procedures and use the right protective equipment. Unless the mould growth is on smooth surfaces such as bathroom tiles, surface cleaning will not eliminate the problem.
In most cases you can clean up medium areas of mould if you follow the proper procedures and use the right protective equipment. Materials damaged by mould must be physically removed and disposed of under safe conditions. However, it is important to seek professional assistance if there is a large mould problem or if mould comes back after cleaning.
Susceptible individuals such as pregnant women, infants, children, the elderly, and occupants with asthma, allergies or other health problems should not be in or near the area where the mould is being cleaned up.
Minimum protective gear needed:
- a disposable N95 mask and
- household disposable gloves.
You can purchase an N95 mask from a hardware store. Make sure that the label says “N95”. Other masks are designed to provide limited protection against dust and are not suitable for protecting against mould exposure. Make sure that the mask is properly fitted and you can breathe through the mask.
Reader Question: I Have A Hidden Mold Problem But None Of My Mold Inspectors Has Been Able To Find It How Should I Proceed
I am convinced I have a “hidden mold” problem in one of my bathrooms, and have had this problem for quite some time. At times I have smelled a moldy odor, and almost always when I enter the room I IMMEDIATELY experience allergy symptoms.
I have made a visual inspection of the surfaces in the room, and see no mold deposits. I also had a chance to look at the under flooring a couple of years ago, including the area right adjacent to the toilet bowl, when I had the old tile removed and new tile installed. There didn’t appear to be any significant mold signs there.
I also had a handyman cut out two 24″ square panels of drywall directly underneath the pipes of both sinks in this room, and although we couldn’t see much further than the immediate areas, there were no signs of mold on the inside of the drywall or surrounding areas.
I am affected seriously in terms of health by this problem, and am very concerned about finally finding some way to pinpoint this problem, so I can have it resolved. .
I have had two or three so-called “mold inspectors” out over the last few years, and none was effective. They tried to sell me “mold testing,” but to me, this will do no good because
I already KNOW I have mold…the problem is, to FIND it, so I can have it removed. Any suggestions, and any local referrals you can make for services in my area , will be much appreciated. – M.R.
Profile the Building’s Leak or Moisture History to Track Down Hidden Mold
If you haven’t seen it take a look
Products And Tools Youll Need To Test For Mold In Your Home
The only thing you need to test for mold at home is a test kit. In addition to the ones previously mentioned, there are several options available:
- Pro-Lab Mold Test Kit: This kit includes three tests. Your sample can be tested for an additional $40 fee, with results delivered by e-mail or via the companys app.
- MoldCheck Multi-Test Kit: This kit includes supplies to perform ten tests, which is great for an entire home or monitoring an ongoing infestation. However, there is no lab testing option, so you will need to find your own if you need identification.
- ImmunoLytics Mold Screening Test Kit: Perform eight tests with this kit. Each plate can be tested for $33 each.
- My Mold Detective: If you are looking for a more advanced mold monitoring option, the My Mold Detective is a reusable air sampling pump that collects samples in just five minutes. The device comes with four sampling cassettes that can be tested in a lab for $35 each.
- My Mold Detective Additional Samples: The My Mold Detective can be used again and again, so order as many samples as you need to keep tabs on your mold problem.
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What Are Signs Of Mold In Your House
Homes are supposed to shield us from the harmful things outside like water, wind, and extreme temperatures. Sometimes, however, our houses fail to provide the necessary shelter and moisture enters our house and allows mold to grow.
If there is adequate moisture mold can grow in our bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and attics. Mold can also grow undetected inside of our walls.
As someone who grew up with allergies, Im vigilant about monitoring moisture inside my home. I have felt the effects of mold allergy symptoms and suffered for a long time.
In addition to health problems, mold can cause structural damage and damage to furniture inside a house.
In todays article, Ill share 13 important signs of mold in your house. Growing up I remember seeing mold in my bathroom and near windows. At the time I didnt realize it but the fungus was affecting the quality of my life.
Ways To Find Mold In Your Home
Houses are pretty significant investments in our life, and we do what not just to protect them! In such a case, finding molds in our home can somewhat make us feel disgusting. This situation has to be taken care of within no time because as the mold gets old, the case will even worsen and be challenging to overcome. Mold Damage can be a threat to your house and also to your own body!
Molds are a common issue which maximum homes face but are not that dangerous at an initial level. Although, with time, it can make your house face different structural problems and grow inside the walls even before you realize it! Hence, it is best to locate the mold damage at the initial level and find a cure within no time. Mold can grow in different areas, and sometimes it becomes difficult to find them. Hence, the points mentioned below will surely help you out to find molds at the places of your house and save you from future damages.
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How To Deal With Basement Mold
Mold can have harmful effects, and if you or your family members have been exposed to this fungus, you may experience symptoms such as nasal and sinus congestion, respiratory problems, cough, throat irritation, and sneezing. The longer you live in a place infected by mold, the bigger your health problems can become. Therefore, this is an issue that requires immediate action, so dont put off solving the problem hoping it will go away on its own. If you have noticed mold in your basement, you must take the necessary steps ASAP.
The first thing you will need to do is call a professional mold removal company to remove the fungus and disinfect the basement. Mold may have grown not only on your walls but on your drapes and furniture as well. If mold has spread, it might be better to get rid of things it has infested than to try to clean them. One of the ways you can be sure you have solved the problem is to completely tear out the infested areas and replace them. When the professionals come to remove the mold, they will use commercial removers to do it, and they will clean up the air with HEPA vacuums. If space still smells a little bit earthy, they will deodorize your surfaces.
How To Spot Mould
Mould is often found in damp and poorly ventilated areas.
Mould can develop anywhere in the house. There are certain signs that indicate the presence of mould or too much moisture:
- Spots in all colors, but often green or black:
- On walls, ceilings or carpets
- Around windows
- In closets, etc.
It is usually not necessary to analyze air or surfaces to confirm the presence of mould. When mould is visible, or if there are signs indicating its presence, you should instead conduct a thorough inspection of the house to find the cause and take appropriate measures to fix the situation. To learn how to clean a surface with mould, read Eliminating Mould.
If you are a tenant or landlord and have noticed mould in your home or property, read the Help and Resources section.
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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.
For Help Finding Hidden Mold
If youre not positive youve located all the mold in your home, we recommend calling in a professional that can test your home for mold. Most certified mold testers are professional engineers and they are trained to locate mold thats hard to find. Not only can they locate all the mold in your home, they can tell you what kind of mold youre dealing with and let you know about any known health risks associated with that strain of mold. For a list of certified mold testers near you, just follow the link provided.
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Addressing Moisture And Mould In Your Home
Health Canada considers indoor mould growth to be a significant health hazard. The word mould is a common term referring to fungi that can grow on building materials in homes or other buildings. Damp conditions and mould growth in homes increases the risk of respiratory allergy symptoms and exacerbate asthma in mold-sensitive individuals. It is important to know how to identify, address and prevent moisture and mould in your home.
People living in homes with mould and damp conditions are more likely to have:
- eye, nose and throat irritation
- coughing and phlegm build-up
- wheezing and shortness of breath
- worsening of asthma symptoms
The level of concern depends on the extent of mould, how long it has been present and the sensitivity and overall health of the residents. Some people are more susceptible than others. For example, infants, children, the elderly and those with health problems such as breathing difficulties are more at risk from mould and dampness.
Any respiratory health concerns should be discussed with a physician if you suspect that these could be caused by poor indoor air quality. Your physician is best suited to determine if your symptoms may be related to environmental factors or some other underlying cause.
Health Canada recommends controlling dampness indoors and cleaning up any mould regardless of the type of mould presentFootnote 1.
What To Do About Mold In Your Home
If you recently found mold in your home, you are probably searching the internet to figure out what to do. This step-by-step guide will answer all of your questions. Dont panic, it may take some time but you will get past this. The key is to educate yourself and do it right the first time so the mold does not return.
Please note that this page was written to help homeowners. If you live in an apartment or rental house, here is information about the landlord responsibility for mold.
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Past History Of Flooding
If your house is prone to get flooded and faces this issue every time, then there is a risk of molds in your home for which you should always be aware of! It can even appear months after your house gets flooded. Molds can grow deep inside the wall before they are visible to naked eyes and have a significant smell. Hence, to save yourself from any future problem, have a proper restoration process which can save your house from issues like molds.
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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Places To Look For Hidden Mold
Places where mold often grows unseen include:
- Inside walls
- Washing machine
As you might imagine, it can be hard to find mold in places like these. To look inside walls for mold, you need to use a saw to cut holes every few feet, remove any insulation, then use a flashlight and mirror to look inside. To look under floorboards for mold, you need to pull up carpet and any padding under the carpet, cut holes every few feet, then use a flashlight and mirror to look underneath the floor. If there is mold on the outside of the wall, or on the carpeting, you need to do this very carefully to avoid scattering mold spores in the process, which could make you sick if you inhale them and which can land on other surfaces and cause more mold to grow if you dont.
An Example Of Hidden Mold In Air Conditioner Air Handling Equipment
The photograph of a dense colonization of light-colored mold inside of a Florida air conditioning air handler unit above, courtesy of , Tampa.
While it is certainly possible for HVAC equipment and duct work to form a problem reservoir of mold contamination in a building, we caution that small mold reservoirs in HVAC air handlers are common,
Often, because of the small size and mold genera found in an air handler, such reservoirs are not the problem mold reservoir in a building, and investigators need to look further.
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Signs To Look Out For
How do you know if there may be mold? Here are some things to look for:
- A smell of mildew
- Colorful growth on walls or surfaces
- Damp areas in the house
- Discoloration around the air handler or register vents
- Discoloration under a kitchen or bathroom sink
- Discoloration in a tub or shower
- Closets have mildew, moldy smell
- Sudden allergies or respiratory problems
- Water marks on ceiling from potential roof leaks
- Exterior discoloration from stucco or block wall issues
- Higher-than-normal humidity in interior of property
- Your property has suffered some level ofwater damage
These are only some signs that you can keep your eye out for to better detect mold. Never hesitate to contact FP Property Restoration if you think that you may have mold in your home or business. The sooner we are able to come out to your property andtest for mold, the sooner we can start themold removal and remediation process. We are a 24-hour emergency restoration company and, when you call, we will arrive on-site in 30 minutes or less.
How Do I Know If I Have A Mold Problem
In most cases, you don’t need to sample for mold because you can smell it and see it. If you see white or black spots on your walls, you know you have a mold issue. But even if you don’t see it, it may still be lurking in your home. A musty smell indicates that you might have mold growing behind the walls or wallpaper, under your carpet, or on the back of ceiling tiles. Here are some common places mold grows in homes:
- Shower/tub area
- Behind toilet and inside tank
- Anywhere plumbing or other leaks occur
- Refrigerator and pantry
- Near water heater and furnace
- In attic insulation
- Basement walls, ceiling, and floor
- Washing machine
- Areas of water damage
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The First Line Of Defense: How To Detect Mold In Your House
It may be nearly impossible to prevent mold from developing in your home in the first place. In fact, locating a home without at least a small trace of mold would be a challenge in and of itself. However, this doesnt mean that this mold should be normalized and invited to stay.
Even in the event that mold is not detectable by the naked eye, there are other means of detecting mold. From the smell and the development of allergies, to water leaks and condensation, these are all signs that mold may be present.
If you feel that your home may be victim to mold, its important to address the issue as soon as possible. Without proper remediation, the presence of mold is sure to grow, and is likely to influence your health and safety.
Are you considering residential mold remediation? If so, visit our website and learn more about how to detect mold in your house and how we can help.