Why Does Mold Form In Homes
Mold forms in homes because, in many cases, a home is the ideal place for mold to grow particularly in basements and other areas which may be dark and moist, and have a similar temperature all-year-round, due to furnaces and water heaters.
Essentially, there are mold spores in the air at all times and once they find a place thats hospitable to them, theyll start reproducing, causing a visible mold problem.
Tips For Mold Prevention
Wondering how you can prevent mold from affecting your home? Here are a few tips that may help you prevent mold from forming altogether.
Start A Neural Retraining Program
Certain areas of the body are more vulnerable to mycotoxins, and the brain is one of them. Certain areas of the brain can end up in a chronic fight or flight response and according to McElroy, No pill can fully stop this response, so we have to retrain certain neural pathways to put the response into a heal and rest state. She often recommends Annie Hoppers Dynamic Neural Retraining System. This is essential for full recovery, says McElroy.
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What Is Black Mold
When people say black mold, they refer to Stachybotrys, a greenish-black mold that grows on damp material with a high cellulose content. In our homes, that includes wood, fiber or gypsum board, paper, fabric, or green insulation. Just because mold is black doesnt mean its the dreaded Stachybotrys though, which by the way also manifests itself in blue and grey. But because Stachybotrys can off-gas dangerous mycotoxins, its the mold variety most feared.
Toxic Mold Can Spread Quickly
Mold spores can start to grow on damp surfaceswithin 24-48 hours. If there is a leak in your pipes, flooding, or even a spill that isnt fully cleaned up, it could cause a damp environment for mold to grow rapidly.
Since mold grows so fast, its important to get professional mold testing early on. Its also best practice to get professional mold testing within 48 hours of any occurrence in the home that may lead to molding.
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How To Tackle Mold
Now that weve covered how to identify mold, lets talk about what you can do to get a handle on the situation.
The first thing that you need to do is get specific when it comes to where exactly the mold is coming from. In some cases, it could be sourced all the way back to a leak in your homes foundation.
In other cases, the source of the leak could be something as unexpected as condensation thats created by a small appliance.
Insurance Requires Mold Testing Proof
You will need to prove to the insurance company that your home has mold present in order to cover the damages. To do this, you will first need to hire a professional mold inspection company to conduct tests. The test results will give you the scientific evidence to support your insurance claim including the amount, type, and cause of mold.
The same goes for tenants of rental homes. If you are a renter and have concerns about mold contamination, your landlord should pay for the mold test to prove that mold damage is present.
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How To Detect Mold In Your Home
If you strongly suspect a mold infestation in your home or office, youll need to do a thorough visual inspection. Once youve discovered the infestation, youll need to take a sample for laboratory testing. Given its microscopic nature, mold is impossible to properly diagnose without a laboratory mold test. If you have any health symptoms, in addition to building damage, it is helpful to know the specific mold so your doctor can help you treat your symptoms and detox the mold from your body.
Where Is Mold Found
Mold is found all over the world. It can grow on and in buildings and also outdoors. Although mold can exist in a variety of places, it grows especially well in damp, moist environments. Your walls, furniture, floors, carpets, and other areas of your home can contain mold. Kitchens, bathrooms, and other damp places are especially likely to have mold. Mold is common everywhere, and people are exposed to it every day.
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How To Tell If You Have Mold In Your House
It can be hard to tell if you have mold in your house. Obviously, if you see mold somewhere, youve got a mold problem in your house, but mold can hide in walls, ventilation ducts, crawl spaces, and in other hard-to-see areas.
A common way to check for mold is to smell for it. A musty smell in an area of your home is often an indicator that there is some kind of mold present. Symptoms like a persistent runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing and throat irritation could also be indicative of mold.
In addition, anywhere that has been exposed to a significant amount of moisture such as water damage from flooding is a potential area where mold may be growing. Look for water where it shouldnt be, and check areas which may have flooded in the past.
How To Tell If Mold Is Toxic
Now, lets take a look at what you need to know in order to identify toxic mold.
In general, we always suggest that you get more info from a professional in toxic mold identification and removal. This way, youll have greater peace of mind, and will be able to be 100% certain that the mold has been removed.
Remember that all molds, regardless of its toxicity, should be taken seriously. In addition to being a hygiene issue, its simply unsightly and can cause damage to the home.
However, there are a few things that you can look for in order to learn how to tell if mold is toxic.
Identifying black mold begins in moist rooms and spaces in your home. Generally, black mold will appear as a kind of cluster. In some cases, you may even be able to smell a musty odor, especially near cracks in your walls.
You may notice you also have more mold in the colder months.
When in doubt, look for signs of water damage. Chances are high that mold is lurking somewhere nearby. If you suspect that the mold is actually hiding behind walls, look for pinkish or dark stains on the walls themselves. Discoloration, peeling wallpaper, and water stains are all also probable signs of mold.
Remember that toxic mold isnt always black, or even especially dark in color.
It can be pink, green, or even yellow. Instead of focusing on the kind of mold youre dealing with, resist the urge to play detective, and play it safe instead. Call a mold removal company ASAP.
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How To Test For Black Mold In The House
February 17, 2022// by Dr Hagmeyer
Mold is a dangerous and harmful substance that appears naturally in the world we live in and while many people spend their day trying to avoid it, theres no way to 100% remove it from your environment. It has always been present, its present right now, and it always will be present.
The body naturally protects itself from mold exposure, which is why mold generally wont lead to illness or disease in most individuals. With that said, high levels of mold exposure and certain genetic limitations increase an individuals risk of mold-related illness, disease, and infection.
One of the most dangerous and feared types of mold is black mold. Also known by its scientific name, Stachybotrys chart arum is one of the most common toxic molds that frequently appear in the home and workplace. While often black in color, black mold spores can also appear blue or green.
How Do These Chemicals Harm My Health
Entering the Body
The harm begins when a person is exposed to an environment that contains a large amount of mold. During this time, damaging enzymes in the mold may enter a persons lungs. After going into the lungs, the enzymes may bypass the persons gut barrier and go into their bloodstream.
Harming the Neurons
Once they are in the bloodstream, these harmful mold antigens may change the persons blood-brain barrier function. This alteration allows the antigens to go into the nervous system. From there, the antigens may harm the persons neurons and interrupt their production of needed antibodies.
The Negative Effects
The disruption of the persons immune system can cause a variety of negative health issues. People may suffer from immune suppression, eczema, allergies, and sinusitis. They may also experience headaches, hyperthyroidism, vomiting, and other negative effects. Mold exposure can also cause people to suffer from myalgic encephalitis, rheumatic disorders, and painful lymph nodes.
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Your Skin Is Tingling
If youre allergic to mycotoxins, youll experience tingling, itching, or burning sensations when you come into contact with the mold. Your body is reacting by releasing histamines, and the result can be dry, itchy, and scaly skin you could get hives. If the condition persists, see an allergist and look into ways to locate and eradicate the growth.
Using A Mold Exposure Test
A mold exposure test is often the best way for you to check for mold on your own. You can pick one up at any home improvement or home supply store.
Simply follow the instructions on the box. Usually, youll just brush the surface where you think mold may be present, and send the test strip or brush in for a laboratory analysis. If mold is present, youll be notified.
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Health Symptoms That Can Be Caused By Mold In Your House
Mold doesnt bother everyone. In fact, out of thousands of mold species, only a few dozen will trigger any health problems at all, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Still, some of us are sensitive to molds. People who are allergic to an indoor mold can experience year-round symptoms like a sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, and more for those who also have asthma, mold can trigger an asthma attack. People with a weakened immune system or a chronic lung condition like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can develop a serious infection in the lungs if theyre exposed to mold.
People without allergies and asthma arent immune to the effects: In 2004, the Institute of Medicine concluded that people without pre-existing lung conditions can also experience symptoms like nasal congestion and a sore throat if they live in a house with damp floors or moisture accumulation.
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How Toxic Is Mold
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. If you have mold, when should you call a pro?
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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.
Zero Help From The Owner
Of course I informed my landlord about the problem, and he said that he would fix it, but he never did. After a couple of weeks, I realized that he probably had no intention of fixing the problem I believe that he was only interested in the property as an investment in the land and not the actual house.
As it turned out, the house needed a major facelift! I certainly wasnt going to spend my own time and money to fix the place. Sure, I had agreed to do some specific cosmetic work to the house, demolition and construction were not included! Not realizing what the true problem was, I simply sealed off the front room from the rest of the house.
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How Can I Treat My Mold
Dont worry if your test results show that you have mold toxicity. The professionals at The Metabolic Institute have extensive experience treating people who are dealing with the harmful consequences of mold exposure.
A Variety of Options
We will work with you to develop a custom treatment plan to address your mold-related health conditions. Although everyones treatment plan will be different, many people benefit from receiving binding agents and anti-fungal medications. We may also treat your conditions by asking you to take nutrients that will help you detoxify and heal.
When To Call A Professional
If you have restrictive health conditions, its best to call a professional to perform a mold test. In many cases, mold may be concealed behind walls, in HVAC systems, under floors or in other moisture-prone places that are hard to access. Although DIY mold tests can be helpful, they are not always completely accurate. If you are concerned there is mold, a professional will be able to provide a thorough examination and explain remediation options.
Although some types of mold pose greater health risks than others, all mold problems should be addressed. That also includes getting to the root of the moisture problem to ensure mold doesnt make a return.
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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.
How Much Does A Mold Inspection Cost
A standard mold inspection costs around $200-$500 for an average size house . Larger houses might cost a bit more, and extra charges may be applied if the inspector needs to perform more sampling. These costs normally include the inspection and pre-determined sampling. Additional sampling would incur additional fees.
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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.
How Do Doctors Test For Mold Exposure
If you have molds in your home and youre not paying any heed to your surroundings, you are putting your health in jeopardy. Molds are fungal species known to create havoc in your life. It is the moisture to be blamed for insidious mold growth in your homes. Having molds in homes and buildings is a pressing problem that should not be overlooked.
Wherever there is high humidity, these spores grow abundantly. Not only humidity feeds molds but also the puddles and the damp materials in your homes give these molds a safe and favorable place to live. Therefore, living in a water-damaged home or building can lead to serious health issues. This allows the tiny bubble of fear to expand in the heads of landowners and business owners.
If you have a hunch that molds are thriving at your place, take it seriously. The best way to get to these molds is by noticing water stains on walls, discoloration of paint, surface deterioration, flaky wallpaper, musty odor, etc.
Before we let you know how doctors test for mold exposure, it is of supreme importance to first get you acquainted with the mold-centered health problems for which youll turn to your doctor.
Molds are capable of producing many substances that can be detrimental. Allergens, irritants, and biotoxins are a threat to human health.
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