Most Toxic Mold Is Hidden From View
Even after you have conducted a visual home inspection for signs of mold, it can still be lurking in your home. Toxic mold can be hiding in or around any areas of your home that have been exposed to damp air. This includes the places youd least expect such as behind your drywall, under the carpet, or in crawlspaces.
Further, mold spores are often invisible to the naked eye until it starts to spread. A professional mold testing is the only way to truly know if a house has toxic mold before it is too late.
How Do Molds Get In The Indoor Environment And How Do They Grow
Mold is found both indoors and outdoors. Mold can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, and pets can and be carried indoors. When mold spores drop on places where there is excessive moisture, such as where leakage may have occurred in roofs, pipes, walls, plant pots, or where there has been flooding, they will grow. Many building materials provide suitable nutrients that encourage mold to grow. Wet cellulose materials, including paper and paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, and wood products, are particularly conducive for the growth of some molds. Other materials such as dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation materials, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery, commonly support mold growth.
How A Diy Toxic Mold Test Kit Saved Me Hundreds Of Dollars
Last year when I rented a fixer upper house in the Atlanta area, I got a good deal on the rent in exchange for doing some cosmetic work to the interior of the house. This should have been a red flag but, being an optimist, I jumped on it. Little did I know, the house needed more than a bit of lipstick.
After I ripped up the carpet, refinished the floors, and painted the whole interior, a foul odor still lingered. I tried everything to get rid of the smell from air purifiers to specialized cleaning solutions. Nothing seemed to work.
Don’t Miss: How To Remove Mold Off Bathroom Ceiling
What Is The Difference Between Mold Inspection And Mold Testing
A mold inspection occurs at the home, where the home inspector or mold inspector conducts a visual inspection of the house. The inspector will also talk to the homeowner about any water damage, leaks, moisture problems, and areas of mold that might have already been discovered.
Mold testing occurs at a laboratory from samples taken at the mold inspection. The samples that have been collected are examined in carefully controlled conditions. The types of mold are identified, as well as how many mold spores are circulating through the air in the home. Some mold inspections will include mold testing as part of the service.
Poor Reason For Testing #3 To Learn If The Mold Is The Toxic Kind
Many, if not all, molds may produce one or more substances broadly called mycotoxins. Molds that are known to be able to produce mycotoxins are referred to as “toxigenic.” Mycotoxins may harm living tissue if enough of the agent enters the body, but science does not yet know how much of the many mycotoxins that could be present are necessary to harm a person, especially by breathing it. It is simply safest to assume at this time that any molds may produce mycotoxins or other harmful substances in some circumstances and they ought to be removed.
Testing for mold is not the same as testing for mycotoxins. Since toxigenic molds may or may not be producing mycotoxins depending on the environmental conditions, their presence does not necessarily indicate that known mycotoxins are also present or that occupants will be harmed. Likewise, failing to detect molds that are currently recognized to potentially produce mycotoxins, does not mean that mycotoxins or other harmful substances are absent. MDH advises that any mold growth indoors should be safely removed regardless of whether toxigenic species have been found.
Also Check: Wet Molding Leather Holsters
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 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.
Also Check: How To Clean Bathroom Ceiling Mildew
Testing Yourself For Mycotoxins
In terms of mycotoxin testing, I always started with the patient first. I recommend using a urine test from RealTime Labs. It tests for 15 specific types of mycotoxins in seven families that may be in your body:
Now, if you DO test positive for mycotoxin poisoning and you are a stay-at-home parent or work in your home, you can be pretty confident the toxic environment is your home since that is where you spend most of your time.
However, if you split your time equally between work and home , it can be tricky to determine which is the toxic environment. Unfortunately, if you live and work in a humid region where toxic mold is more common , both your home and your workplace may be contributing to the problem. There may even be more than one type of mycotoxins produced by different types of toxic mold in these two environments.
Mold On Carpet Can Cause Health Problems
Thousands of different mold types could be hiding in your carpet. Some of the molds hiding in your house can cause allergies, cancer, respiratory diseases, and even death.
You might have moldy carpet if you or someone in your house starts to display allergies or sudden illnesses. Carpet mold can produce or trigger allergic reactions abruptly and an estimated 10% of Americans are fully allergic to mold. People who are vulnerable to airborne allergies may develop respiratory illnesses or other symptoms such as:
- Sore throat
- Stuffy nose
Mold exposure can be especially dangerous to children and people who are immuno-compromised. According to the CDC, people who have a weakened immune system are at greater risk of developing a lung infection, respiratory illness, or dying from mold exposure.
Children are also at a greater risk of developing respiratory illnesses from mold as their lungs are not fully developed. Studies have suggested that children who live in moldy homes are 30 to 50% more likely to develop asthma than those who live in a mold-free home.
Even adults who have zero underlying health conditions can develop health troubles from carpet mold, especially if there is a lot in a home. Too much mold exposure can cause anxiety, depression, and memory loss sometimes to the healthiest of people.
Read Also: Cleaning Mold From Bathroom Ceiling
How To Check For Mold In A House
If you suspect a mold source in your home the first thing you will want to do is test/check for mold in your environment. Even if you do not suspect mold inside your home, you should still do a simple test to ensure mold growth is not occurring in your home, particularly if you are experiencing unexplainable symptoms.
Mold toxicity can be a devious stealer of health. When checking for mold growth you should look for these three characteristics mold growth, moisture/water leaks, and health symptoms.
Are Home Mold Test Kits Accurate
Home mold tests are neither as accurate or precise as professional testing, laboratory analysis and expert interpretation of results. A DIY test cannot definitively identify any type of mold or determine its toxicity level. Indoor environmental hygienists take and submit samples and make recommendations for mold remediation based on results.
Also Check: Moldy Bathroom Ceiling
Common Signs Of Toxic Mold Poisoning
Symptoms and signs of mycotoxins poisoning are very different depending on many factors. How this poisoning presents itself depends on:
- Type of mycotoxin
- Genetic structure
- And others
This means there can be a major difference in symptoms between individuals in the population exposed to it. To some extent it is clear that mycotoxicosis can increase susceptibility to infections, worsen the effect of other toxins present and advance other health conditions.
Although acute poisoning is more obvious and sometimes has grave effects, chronic exposure is much more present in the population in general. Finally, mycotoxin exposure can cause changes in immune, nervous system, behavior, mood and even development problems like stunting.
Interplay Between The Brain Immune System And Gut
At this educational event, youll learn:
- Key factors that contribute to real immunity
- Connections between trauma, stress & your brain-immune-gut axis
- Protocols to maximize energy, reduce inflammation & support detoxification
- Keys to resolving leaky gut & other digestive issues
- Practical strategies to address food reactions, pain, brain fog & exhaustion
- Steps to mental clarity, reduced cravings & hormone balance
Take an in-depth look into the complex interconnection between your brain, immune system and gut, and join dozens of the worlds leading experts in nutrition, exercise, longevity, integrative health and anti-aging to explore the latest medical breakthroughs in chronic illness prevention and recovery.
Youll learn the why of your symptoms and gain a new understanding of how to regain agency over your health and solve your own health puzzle.
The key to a healthy smoothie is the right balance between proteins, fats and carbs.
Most smoothies people make or sold in stores are sugar-laden milkshakes in disguise.
They actually can cause weight gain and blood sugar problems, a common cause of fatigue, depression, anxiety and memory loss.
One of the quickest and most effective ways to improve brain function and energy is to stabilize your blood sugar.
This informative, 26-page eGuide provides power-packed recipes that are fast, fun and easy.
Don’t Miss: How To Get Mold Spots Off Bathroom Ceiling
How Mycotoxins Affect Your Body
Like mold spores themselves, mycotoxins are often airborne and enter your body through your respiratory tract. In the short term, this can cause a number of respiratory symptoms including asthma, allergies, sinus infections, and cold- and flu-like symptoms.
If you have a leaky gut, mycotoxins may also pass through your intestinal wall and travel throughout your bloodstream to your skin, brain, and other organs. This can lead to mycotoxins symptoms in any part of your body such as eczema, psoriasis, anxiety, brain fog, and autoimmunity.
One way mycotoxins wreak havoc on your health is by adversely affecting your cells mitochondria. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of your cells, making them essential to nearly every bodily function. They provide your cells with energy. Thats why you can experience chronic fatigue or weakness when dealing with mycotoxin poisoning.
When mitochondria are not functioning optimally, they release free radicals, which are unstable atoms that can cause cell damage. This cell damage, in turn, causes inflammation. The more inflammation you have, the higher up on the autoimmune spectrum you are. This is why its so challenging for autoimmune patients to reverse their symptoms while dealing with mycotoxin poisoning.
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.
Links with this icon indicate that you are leaving the CDC website.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cannot attest to the accuracy of a non-federal website.
- Linking to a non-federal website does not constitute an endorsement by CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the website.
- CDC is not responsible for Section 508 compliance on other federal or private website.
Don’t Miss: Black Mold Ac Vents
What Affects The Cost Of Mold Inspection
The cost of mold inspection can vary based on the size and age of the house, as well as location of the home. Larger homes will cost more to inspect, but full-service home inspectors who offer mold inspection and mold testing often have package options available. With a package, homeowners and homebuyers can bundle multiple home inspection services together for a discounted price. If you have questions about the cost of a mold inspection for your home, or packages, contact your local home inspector to learn more.
The Facts About Mold In Your Home
Mold is a fungus that reproduces by creating small spores that work like seeds. Every home has mold. Mold spores can be unwelcome guests floating in on the breeze through an open window or door, hitching a ride on clothing or hiding in plain sight on packaging materials like cardboard or paper. Once established, it will look like fuzzy spots or blotches that can be black, green, brown, yellow, and even orange or white.
There are nearly 1,000 types of household mold. A few common culprits are Alternaria, Aspergillus, Cladosporium and Penicillium. The dreaded black or toxic mold that you see in the headlines, Stachybotrys chartarum, also know as Stachybotrys atra, isn’t a common mold, but it’s not rare either. It will look dark green or black.
You can’t keep mold out, but you can make it less welcome. Household mold needs hospitable conditions in which to thrive. One key ingredient in establishing and maintaining a mold colony is moisture. If you don’t have a consistent source of moisture, mold won’t be able to survive.
In the next section, we’ll take a look at ways to check for mold.
- Inside ductwork
- Above ceiling tiles
The nose knows, and if you can’t find any mold but the smell persists, there’s probably mold hiding somewhere nearby.
In the next section, we’ll discuss ways to get help dealing with mold in your home.
You May Like: How To Clean Mold On Bathroom Ceiling
Types Of Mold In The Home
Mold forms in many different colors, and regardless of the color or type, you want it removed from your home. The most dangerous type is the toxic mold. Toxic mold is harmful and even mild exposure can lead to health issues. Continued exposure to toxic mold can lead to worse symptoms and serious respiratory problems.
You Are Buying A New Home
It is incredibly important that you have a home tested for mold before you buy it because it can be expensive and sometimes impossible to get rid of. Real estate agents are under no obligation to disclose knowledge of mold in a home. The responsibility lies on you, as a potential buyer, to make certain a professional mold and indoor quality air inspection are conducted.
If mold is detected during the professional inspection, you may be able to negotiate with the seller to have them pay for repairs or lower the sales price. However, if the mold is toxic or there is an unmanageable amount, its best to stay away and look for a home that provides a healthier environment.
Also Check: Removing Mold From Leather