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.
How To Test For Black Mold
Do you keep getting a whiff of something musty in your bathroom or basement? Afraid it might be mold? Learn about three of the most popular kits to test for mold at home.
Its no secret that damp areas of the home provide the perfect conditions for mold and mildew to grow. Whether your nose knows, or your eyes spy dark spots in strategic locations, you want to make sure.
Mold doesnt just eat away at your wood, wallpaper, or grout. Its spores get airborne and cause all kinds of health problems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says enough evidence exists to link mold to upper respiratory tract symptoms like itchy eyes and runny nose to cough and wheeze in otherwise healthy people.
How Do I Address The Problem
Mold Clean-Up And Removal:
To clean up and remove indoor mold growth in small quantities, follow these steps as they apply to your home.
- Identify and Fix the Moisture Problem
- Begin Drying All Wet Materials
- Remove and Dispose of Mold Contaminated Materials
- Clean Surfaces
- Disinfect Surfaces – optional
- Remain on Mold Alert
- Identify and Fix the Moisture Problem – the most important step in solving a mold problem is to identify and correct the moisture sources that allowed the growth in the first place.
Common Indoor Moisture Sources Include:
- Flooding, inadequate maintenance and failure of building materials and systems
- Roof leaks
- House plants – watering them can generate large amounts of moisture
- Water movement through basement walls and slabs
Drying The Indoor Environment:
To keep indoor surfaces as dry as possible, try to maintain the home’s relative humidity between 20-40 percent in the winter and below 60 percent the rest of the year. You can purchase devices to measure relative humidity at some home supply stores. Ventilation, air circulation near cold surfaces, dehumidification and efforts to minimize the production of moisture in the home are all very important in controlling high humidity that frequently causes mold growth in our cold climate.
Begin Drying Of Wet Materials:
Remove And Dispose Of Mold-Contaminated Materials:
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Common Places For Mold To Grow
If you have had water damage to your home, its important to be on the lookout for possible mold growth. For example, mold in basement walls or floors can occur after flooding or severe water damage. Also chronic or persistent leaking from appliances, sinks, and showers can also lead to mold growth.
To find hidden mold, look for evidence of water intrusion which is often a sure sign that you either have mold in the home now or will be growing it soon. While it can be difficult to detect mold in the walls, its important to look for these signs of mold growth, to identify the problem as quickly as possible. Moisture meters and particle counters can be used by a certified inspector to source the water leak and fungal growth and even help detect if there is mold in your walls.
If you suspect mold growth in your home, here are some of the most common locations to check for mold to grow in the house:
- Air Ducts
- Near Plumbing
Keep in mind that mold is a sign of excessive moisture and water intrusion and can be visible or hidden behind many different surfaces. Whether its from a leaking pipe or previous water damage, mold can lead to costly building repairs and even adverse health effects, which is why it should be handled promptly.
Can I Just Get Into The Wall And Use Bleach To Clean It
It may be tempting to get into the wall and spray everything with bleach by yourself. However, if you have never done this before, it is better to call someone licensed to deal with mold. This is especially true if you have never gone into the wall and dont know how to detect how extensive the mold damage is. Leaving the eradication of mold to professionals will save not only your health but also your sanity. A professional team will have all the protective gear, detection tools and methods necessary to get rid of all the mold in your home.
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Problems Caused By Mold
Mold can be as dangerous as it is destructive. Make sure to have it removed as soon as you find it.
Mold growth is particularly concerning because the mold will continue to eat away at affected building materials and increase the damage as it spreads. Mold will also compromise the air quality of your home and pose as a health hazard to any and all occupants. Among some of the health concerns that mold presents are eye irritation, coughing, nasal issues, and throat irritation.
Knowing the amount of damage mold can cause, it is important for you to know how to detect mold in your home. However, it can sometimes be difficult to spot mold because it can be hidden. One case of this is mold growth behind your homes walls.
How Do I Fix Mold In My House
Getting rid of mold is the only way to ensure you dont encounter the same problem in the future. You also need to keep your house dry and well ventilated to keep it dry. Looking for all leaks and fixing them can also help with keeping your home dry and mold-free. In case you dont find leaks, but you still have mold, check the ductwork around your ventilation systems.
When removing the mold, you are going to be better off leaving it to the experts. If you believe you have mold in your house, dont hesitate. Contact ServiceMaster Fire & Water Restoration Services for help today! Our mold remediation experts will help identify and treat your house with ease. Call today!
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Where Is Mold Most Likely To Grow During Winter
During the wet winter months, mold is most likely to grow on surfaces around the home that collect and trap moisture, like basements, entryways, and window panes. Not to mention, when the air is drier during winter, humidity can rise and become trapped in the attic, causing mold to grow inside hard-to-detect areas like inside the walls, crawlspaces, and in the attic.
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.
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Remove The Black Mold
After having the solution absorb the area, take a sponge or bristle brush to scrub the area affected. If you have difficulty removing the mold, you can apply the solution and clean again.
After scrubbing, apply the solution one more time, allowing the area to air dry. Doing this gives the cleaner time to remove any mold remaining while deodorizing the room.
Determine The Course Of Action
Chances are if you have been smelling mold in your home or having sudden respiratory problems and you discover mold, the mold has been growing for some time. If the growth isn’t widespread, meaning it does not encompass a whole wall, you could try first to remove the problem on your own. If it’s more extensive, skip down to step 8 on tips for hiring a pro.
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Identify And Fix The Moisture Problem
The most important step in solving a mold problem is to identify and correct the moisture sources that allowed the growth in the first place. Common indoor moisture sources include:
- Inadequate venting of kitchen and bath humidity
- Improper venting of combustion appliances
- Failure to vent clothes dryer exhaust outdoors
- Line drying laundry indoors
- House plants – watering them can generate large amounts of moisture
To keep indoor surfaces as dry as possible, try to maintain the home’s relative humidity between 20-40 percent in the winter and less than 60 percent the rest of the year. You can purchase devices to measure relative humidity at some home supply stores. Ventilation, air circulation near cold surfaces, dehumidification, and efforts to minimize the production of moisture in the home are all very important in controlling high humidity that frequently causes mold growth in our cold climate.
The Development Of Personal Health Symptoms
As we know, the severity of mold can vary just as ones sensitivity to mold can vary.
While standard mold may cause ones allergies to worsen, more serious forms of mold can have an even more significant effect on ones health. For some, this is noticeable in terms of skin inflammation, tiredness, daily nausea and significant mental impairment.
Another common reaction to mold comes in terms of a respiratory issue such as asthma. In fact, people are 40 percent more likely to develop asthma if they live in a mold-infected residence.
If these symptoms present themselves, its highly recommended that you have a residential mold inspection and schedule an appointment with your doctor.
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How Do I Detect Black Mold Inside My Walls In The First Place
Peeling wallpaper can also be a symptom of mold. While some scruffiness and discoloration tend to eventually strike your wallpaper, unusual surface or peeling abnormalities such as crackling or bubbling can be a sign of wall moisture. And remember, a reliable precursor to mold is always going to be moisture. Make sure to pay attention to any warped areas that feel damp.
To keep mold from growing in your cooling or heating systems, you can have a specialist check them regularly. Another indication of mold in the house is dark grout between bathroom tiles. Even if this type is most likely the harmless type, there could be flooding in the adjacent room or a leak in bathroom plumbing that could produce a more toxic fungus type that only professionals can remove. A sample sent for testing will let you know whether or not your shower is harmless.
Mold could also be the culprit when you have pre-existent problems with breathing that after long periods at home seem to flare up. Many household species of mold wont affect persons that do not have issues with breathing. However, in individuals suffering from asthma, it could aggravate it. Consider a mold inspection and a doctors appointment if the problems with your breathing seem to get worse with no clear cause.
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.
Areas In The House To Starting Detecting Mold
- Bathrooms: In or under cabinets, in the shower on grout lines, flooring area, on baseboards, behind toilets, the edge of bathtubs, and behind wallpaper.
- Kitchens: In or under cabinets, behind the fridge, behind dishwashers, under garbage disposal, around drain and water supply lines.
- HVAC Closets: Found on the walls in the HVAC closet, condensate disposal drain lines, on air filters, flooring, and duct board/liners in the return air plenum.
- Laundry Rooms: behind the washing machine and on the flooring.
- In basement areas: Mold growth is found frequently in home basements on walls and floors when flooding or water intrusion has occurred.
Take Steps To Protect Yourself
The amount of mold particles in air can increase greatly when mold is disturbed. Consider using protective equipment when handling or working around mold contaminated materials. The following equipment can help minimize exposure to mold:
- Rubber gloves
- Eye goggles
- Outer clothing that can be easily removed in the work area and laundered or discarded
- Medium-efficiency or high-efficiency filter dust mask — at a minimum, use an N-95 or equivalent dust mask
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Are Some Molds More Hazardous Than Others
Some types of mold can produce chemical compounds although they do not always do so. Molds that are able to produce toxins are common. In some circumstances, the toxins produced by indoor mold may cause health problems. However, all indoor mold growth is potentially harmful and should be removed promptly, no matter what type of mold is present or whether it can produce toxins.
In Buildings Insulation Mold And Other Hidden Mold Reservoirs In Buildings
This document describes how to find mold and test for mold in buildings, including how and where to collect mold samples using adhesive tape – an easy, inexpensive, low-tech but very effective mold testing method.
We discuss the problem of hidden mold reservoirs and steps to take to find such problems in buildings. The mold contamination show at left is described in more detail
This procedure helps identify the presence of or locate the probable sources of mold reservoirs in buildings, and helps decide which of these need more invasive, exhaustive inspection and testing.
In the photo at page top we see the results of a wall cut through drywall to expose wet moldy insulation, mold on the cavity side of drywall, and surprise! a leak in a pipe that the owner did not know was in her basement wall.
However there was good evidence in the form of stains on the exposed side of this drywall. Look at the tan stain which is in the photo in the half-round shape directly above the wall cutout.
Watch out: just a light touch is needed.
Don’t try to investigate a building by dashing about with an axe cutting holes willy-nilly.
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How To Find Hidden Mold In Your House And Get Rid Of It
Molds are fungi that grow best in damp conditions. Theyre fairly common, but most of them are harmless or dont grow large enough to be a problem.
However, sometimes mold can grow in our homes, and it can be dangerous if its not dealt with in time. Homes are confined spaces, which means that any spores or other substances released by the mold will be trapped inside. The good news is that mold can be removed quite easily.
Finding mold isnt difficult either if you know what to look for. Well talk more about how to find hidden mold in your house in this article.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Having Mold In Your House
Whether youre selling a home, preparing to buy one for the first time, or just performing regular maintenance, the issue of mold may worry you particularly if your home is in a damp environment.
In most cases, a typical home inspection wont include mold inspections and testing. You will need to hire a professional mold inspector to check your home for issues like black mold.
So, to help you understand whether or not you may need a home inspection for mold, weve put together this comprehensive guide that will help you understand the signs and symptoms of mold, know what next steps to take if you think you have mold issues, and provide you with other helpful information and tips that will help you deal with a potential mold problem.
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