Friday, November 25, 2022

How To Tell If There’s Mold In Your Home

How Toxic Is Mold

How to find hidden mold in your home after Harvey

Any mold that produces mycotoxinsthe myco refers to fungusis toxic, and it can be quite poisonous. One of the more alarming varieties is Stachybotrys chartarum: Dense, black, and usually present where moisture has been a long-term, unresolved issue, like a damp basement or in an abandoned home, this fungus can trigger a suite of health issues, like persistent headaches, diarrhea, breathing trouble, and more. But other types can also cause issues, warns the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention : All molds should be treated the same with respect to potential health risks and removal. These are the signs of mold that you should be looking out for. Plus, learn the other ways your house could be making you sick.

Theres An Easy Way To Spot Mold

The easiest way to tell if you have mold is sight: Look for small black, green or white spots and fuzzy black or green patches . Molds like to hang out in wet spaces like showers, bathmats, around leaky faucets, in basements or under carpets and walls that are wet because of rain, dripping air conditioners or general dampness. You might also smell a musty odor, which can lead you to the source of the mold.

Your Wallpaper Is Peeling

While some discoloration and scruffiness are bound to strike your wallpaper eventually, unusual peeling or surface abnormalities like bubbling or cracking can signal the presence of moisture in the wall. Moisture is a reliable precursor to mold.

Keep an eye on your walls and make sure to pay attention to any areas that feel damp or look warped.

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Trust The Experts Trust Proclean

Our highly-trained, certifiedmold removalprofessionals follow a proven, step-by-step process to make your home or business safe again.

First, we visually inspect the area to find any potential mold, tracing it to the source if possible. Then, our team contains the affected area and removes moldy, non-salvageable, porous material and implements negative air pressure technology to keep harmful mold spores from traveling from the air to your lungs.

Next, we utilize advanced HEPA filtered vacuums to help eliminate mold on non-porous surfaces, then set up air scrubbers with HEPA filters.

Finally, we ULV fog with a powerful antimicrobial solution to ensure that we treat the deepest, darkest corners of your home then, we clean and sanitize the remaining salvageable contents as necessary.

The moment you notice mold, you must act. Even a small amount of mold in the home can multiply quickly, and its entirely possible that there is more existing mold than what meets the eye.

today to ensure the safety of your home and health of your loved ones within it.

Warning Signs You Have A Mold Problem

How to spot mold in your homeand determine whether its the really bad ...
  • Date: 05-2017

Molds are types of fungi that may grow indoors or outdoors, usually in damp, warm, and humid environments. The most common types of household molds might be found around bathrooms, basements, drywall, ceiling tiles, carpet, wallpaper, under sinks, and around plumbing pipes.

Mold in the home can pose serious health risks, but unfortunately many dont realize they have a mold problem because they dont know what to look for. Here you will read a little about mold warning signs, first as it relates to your health, and secondly as it relates to the structure and history of your home.

Mold Warning Signs: Allergies and Other Health Issues

When someone has mold in their home, they usually show allergy-related symptoms. If youre not sure whether your allergy-like symptoms are caused by mold in your home, then consider this question: do your symptoms get better once you go outdoors or leave your home? If so, then there is good chance that mold is the culprit.

Symptoms of mold allergies include:

  • Coughing
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Irritated, itchy skin

Some forms of household mold are toxic, causing serious, life-threatening illness. These highly-dangerous molds might cause symptoms such as bleeding, internal organ damage, mental impairment, cancer, and even death.

Mold Warning Signs in Your Home

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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.

How Does Hidden Mold Happen

In this case, there is, or was, a water leak. Maybe it was the roof and it dripped down between the walls, or perhaps a plumbing leak that went unnoticed for a period of time until it was fixed and subsequently painted over, perhaps even before the mold growth was visible.

Unfortunately, sometimes landlords and homeowners will paint-and-pretend, as properly dealing with a potential mold problem can be scary and expensive. Some states also have disclosure laws surrounding mold due to its health effects, which can also encourage owners to sweep it under the rug instead of disclosing it to tenants and homebuyers and raising red flags.

This is unethical behavior, but that is why the Badger encourages MOLD TESTING during all home inspections, as you never know what a previous owner might have intentionally or unwittingly covered up.

Also Check: How To Clean Mold On Bathroom Ceiling

Treating The Affected Areas

  • 1Protect yourself. Cover your mouth and nose with an N-95 respirator to avoid breathing in spores. Wear elbow-length rubber or latex gloves to protect your hands from mold and cleaning materials. Cover your eyes with goggles to protect them from airborne spores.XTrustworthy SourceUnited States Environmental Protection AgencyIndependent U.S. government agency responsible for promoting safe environmental practicesGo to source
  • 2Clean hard surfaces. Mix equal parts water and detergent or bleach. Dip a scrub brush into the mixture and remove the mold. Dry the area completely when you’re finished.XTrustworthy SourceUnited States Environmental Protection AgencyIndependent U.S. government agency responsible for promoting safe environmental practicesGo to source
  • 3Fix all leaks. If you noticed any leaking pipes or water seepage in your inspection, deal with it immediately. Call a professional plumber to repair leaking or sweating pipes. Fill in any spaces between pipes and walls with caulk or Icynene insulation.
  • 4Seal small openings. Use caulk to seal cracks around your windows, doors, and at critical junctures where the walls meet the floor and the ceiling. Apply caulk or weather stripping to your windows, especially between the frames and panes. Dry the area completely.XTrustworthy SourceUnited States Environmental Protection AgencyIndependent U.S. government agency responsible for promoting safe environmental practicesGo to source
  • 7
  • What Is The Cost To Inspect For Black Mold

    How to search for hidden mold in your home

    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 Of Mold In Your House

    There are several subtle signs that indicate that your home may have harmful mold.

    1. Strange smell from the air conditioner or heater

    If you think your heater or air conditioner has an unusual smell, you might want to check it out.

    A stand-alone air conditioner is one of the main places where mold starts to grow. These devices are dark, damp, and often exposed to warm temperatures when not in use. If you put your air conditioner in a warm place in winter, this also increases the risk of mold.

    Regularly check the condition of the air conditioner and clean it every two years.

    2. The seams between the bathroom tiles have become dark

    When you take a shower, pay attention to the seams between the tiles. If they are dark, it is most likely mold. Luckily, this type of mold is not that dangerous.

    However, if your bathroom has been leaking recently or flooding an adjoining room, you may be dealing with a more toxic type of fungus that will be harder to remove.

    3. Wallpaper starts peeling off

    While wallpaper may discolor or wear out over time, wallpaper peeling is not normal. If the wallpaper bubbles or cracks, this indicates the presence of moisture on the walls. And moisture is a precursor to mold.

    Pay attention to walls and any areas that look damp or warped.

    4. Your cold wont go away

    Symptoms of a mold reaction may be subtle. It can be a common runny nose or bouts of sneezing. If you feel like your cold has dragged on, this could be a hidden sign of a mold problem.

    In The Shower And Bathtub

    Showers and bathtubs are one of the most common places you may find mold. With repeated use, these areas tend to be damp most of the time. If you arent properly ventilating during and after your shower or bath, mold spores will thrive. But mold isnt always visible and obvious be sure to check for mold on your shampoo bottles, washcloths and loofahs, shower curtain, in and around the faucet and shower head, and in the tile grout.

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    How Long Does It Take For Mold To Make You Sick

    Probably over 95% of people have no symptoms and no long-term effects of mold exposure. After all, we are all constantly surrounded by mold spores wherever you go.Only people who are sensitive to mold actually react, and they usually react immediately, and they generally react to more severe mold exposure rather than everyday exposure.

    What Causes Black Mold

    How To Tell If There

    Jerry S. Pasadena CA.

    All Molds grow in a damp wet environment, without moisture, mold cannot grow. We are big Believers here at the Twin Home Experts, to detect the moisture source always on every job if it has not been sourced yet.

    If you hire a mold removal company, make sure they include that, as you dont want to spend money on removal, then it return in days or weeks

    Also Check: How To Kill Mold On Ceiling In Bathroom

    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:

    • Basements
    • 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.

    Air Quality Tests Can Indicate The Presence Of Mold

    Residential and commercial property owners and managers should check for air quality on a regular basis. Any number of external and internal causes can reduce the quality of the localized air and create health and quality of life issues. Air quality tests are the quickest way to determine if there is a mold problem at the property. Do it yourself and home based kits may not be effective depending on the size and style of the property and it is always best to trust a professional for air quality and mold testing.

    Read Also: How To Clean Mold Off Of Ceiling

    Im A Los Angeles Renter And I Keep Telling My Landlord That I Think There Is Mold Inside My Walls What Should I Do Becca Los Angeles

    Hire a Los Angeles mold inspector, especially if you know there was a leak and the property owner didnt dry it down properly. You can certify mail the landlord for your records, and deduct it off next month rent.

    Most often, most Los Angeles mold inspectors will not open walls without owner of property consent.

    I Have Mold Inside My Closet Walls And There Is No Leak Maria Westlake

    9 Signs You Have Toxic Mold In Your Home

    Mold inside closet walls means there is no air flow and most likely you have a lot of content inside that is creating dew point/ sweating.

    The best thing you can do is clean and place some charcoal/dehu bags at each corner.

    These will not only assist in the extraction of moisture but get rid of odors that are related to mold.

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    A Musty Or Damp Smell Is Noticeable

    If the house smells musty then it can be an indication of a mold problem. But, the different species of molds also smell differently so it can be difficult to pinpoint. If you observe that the smell is not something that you usually smell and is unpleasant, then it calls for an immediate investigation.

    How To Find Hidden Black Mold In Your Home

    by Lisa | Sep 11, 2019 | Mold |

    Do you suspect you have mold hidden in your home? Whether you can visibly see mold growing or can smell an unpleasant earthy odor, mold is a common problem in houses with water damage or leaks. If you see signs of mold in your home, a black mold test can be performed on a sample to determine if it is indeed mold, what toxic variety it is, and what should be done about it.

    Read Also: How To Remove Mold From A Ceiling

    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.

    Worth The Cost Of Testing

    8 Signs There

    Mold can be a tricky problem to deal with. The first step in tackling your potential mold problem is to have a certified inspector visit your home to assess the mold damage or to bring a sample of your mold growth to an accredited lab for testing. At JSE, we specialize in laboratory and in-home testing to provide you with an accurate analysis of your mold growth.

    Our mold lab offers quick turn-around times and has hygienists on staff to answer your questions. In-house lab services include mold spore analysis by direct exam for both bulk and air samples. Mold can be a pesky problem in any household. If you suspect you have mold growth in your home, contact JSE online or at to get your sample tested.

    Also Check: How To Clean Mildew From Bathroom Ceiling

    Checking For Visible Mold

  • 1Look for telltale characteristics. Mold often has a fuzzy appearance but can also look like a stain if it’s growing on a wall or furniture. Its most common colors are black green, brown, or white. Mold can feel like cotton, leather, velvet, or sand paper. It usually gives off a musty or earthy odor. Also look for visible signs of possible water damage such as stains or paint bubbling. This could mean there is mold growth within the wall cavity.
  • 2Check the basement. This should be the first place you look. Its underground location makes it especially vulnerable to moisture and humidity buildup. After each heavy rain, look for and immediately treat any water seepage.XTrustworthy SourceCenters for Disease Control and PreventionMain public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. of Health and Human ServicesGo to source Check the following spots:
  • Baseboards
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