Wednesday, May 18, 2022

How To Test If You Have Mold In Your House

How Do Doctors Test For Mold Exposure

How To Test For Mold In Your Home | Best DIY Mold Test Kit to Use | Mold Testing

If you are aware of mold growth in your home and you feel sick let the doctor know that right away. But sometimes you cant see mold, and it is not clear whether its mold exposure thats made you sick or not.

Because mold allergy or mold exposure symptoms can resemble that of other allergies, the doctor will typically start by asking about your medical and family medical history. Additionally, doctors usually run tests for mold exposure which may include one or more of the following:

  • Skin test for reactions to allergens, including mold
  • IgG mold antibodies test to see the immune systems reaction to molds. A positive test means that an individual was or is currently exposed to mold
  • Urine mycotoxins test
  • A fungal culture of the nose sinuses

The type of testing youll receive depends on the doctor you visit, so be sure to ask questions ahead of time so you can feel confident in your diagnosis.

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 Can You Test The Air In Your House For Mold

Youd know if you had mold right?

Dont be so sure. Some mold can be so undetectable that it is not even visible. It can travel unseen through the air in the form of spores and spread effortlessly through any home or building. This spread can lead to troubling health issues like:

  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Respiratory illness

Spore test kits are one of the ways that technology has helped simplify remediation. Once you know where to check and have your test kit ready, you can get to the bottom of whether or not you may be dealing with an infestation. However, youll also need to know where to look or mold and how to remove it.

In this guide, well share how you can test the air in your house for mold.

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Contact Our Team For Help With Mold Removal

At the end of the day, knowing what to do if you find mold in your house is simple: call our team!

Antons Air Conditioning and Heating has helped customers throughout the greater St. Louis area with a huge range of air quality issues, including mold removal. Were dedicated to getting you and your family clean air through quality service and fair prices.

If youre dealing with a mold issue, you dont have to tackle it alone. Leave the hazardous work to our experts! Get in touch with us today by filling out our online form.

Checking For Visible Mold

3 Signs That You May Have A Mold Problem In Your Home In ...
  • 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
  • Also Check: How To Remove Mold Bathroom Ceiling

    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.

    RELATED: 25 Ways to Allergy-Proof Your Home

    Other Places In The Kitchen

    Wooden cutting boards, trash cans, behind the stove and windows and window sills in the kitchen are like heaven for mold spores. They feed off of these places, so keeping them clean and dry is critical for keeping mold at bay.

    To keep your kitchen mold free, be sure to:

    • Ventilate when cooking and doing dishes by opening a window, using a fan, or both
    • Wash the dishes every day, so they dont pile up in the sink
    • Clean and dry the stove top, microwave, counters, cabinets, and window sills regularly
    • Clean out the inside of your fridge and your fridge drip tray often
    • Take the trash out every day

    Recommended Reading: How To Get Mold Off Bathroom Ceiling

    This Is What To Do If You Find Mold In Your House

    If youve noticed an unsightly black patch growing in your kitchen or bathroom, youre far from alone. Mold is a common issue in U.S. households, and the chances are good that youll run into this nuisance at least once in your life. In fact, this health hazard is so common that the WHO estimates that between 10-50% of indoor environments have conditions damp enough to make mold growth possible.

    Of course, just because mold is common doesnt mean you want to let it stick around! Though you may not know what to do if you find mold in your house, its worth noting that mold can spread faster than you expectand that large amounts of it can pose a significant health risk for you and your household.

    If you suspect that those black patches on your wall may be hazardous, weve got you covered: heres what you should know about mold identification and removal.

    Dont Want To Use Chemicals Heres How To Test For Mold In Your Home Naturally

    How to search for hidden mold in your home

    If youre concerned about the effects of harmful chemicals when testing for mold in the house, worry not. Testing for mold doesnt use any chemicals, and kits are non-toxic.

    In fact, the main thing you should be worried about when testing for mold is the mold itself. If you are collecting direct samples of mold using the swab technique, wear gloves and a mask to reduce your exposure to the mold.

    Read Also: How To Kill Mold In Basement

    Whats Inflicting Me To Cough In My Home

    When air-conditioning cools your house, for instance, it usually leaves traces of water within the ducts that turn out to be the right breeding floor for mould and micro organism. That microbial development is commonly the reason for respiratory pointsbronchial asthma, allergy symptoms, coughing, and complications.

    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.

  • Keep things clean Dirty surfaces can provide mold with the organic food materials they need to take hold, and start growing throughout your home. Be particularly careful in areas which may be damp, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and attics.
  • Address dampness Dampness may be an issue if you live in an area which receives a lot of rain, or your basement floods. Make sure to ventilate your home as much as possible in humid climates, and soak up any visible moisture as soon as possible.
  • Keep the air dry Air conditioners and dehumidifiers can help reduce the moisture content of the air. Keep your air at 40-50% relative humidity for the best comfort, and to prevent the growth of mold.
  • Heat damp areas to dry them out You may consider using space heaters or even a hair dryer to heat damp areas of your home where mold may form. This is a short-term fix, though. Its best to address the source of the dampness, not the dampness itself.
  • Keep the air circulating Proper ventilation from attics, bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements and any other place where moisture is common is essential. Make sure that your home is properly insulated and ventilated, so that air can circulate properly
  • Recommended Reading: Remove Mildew From Leather

    In The Walls And On The Floor

    From top to bottom, mold growth is likely in a bathroom. In addition to the places mentioned above, pay attention to any water leaks coming from the walls or floors these leaks can cause mold to grow quickly. Bathroom rugs are also known to harbor mold, and are usually not washed as often as they should be.

    Some tips to keep your bathroom free of mold

    • Use a ventilation fan during your bath or shower, and keep it on for at least 30 minutes after
    • Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to keep humidity levels down throughout your home
    • Keep all surfaces, including counters and floors, clean and dry
    • Check for leaky faucets and pipes

    How To Remove Mold

    How to Test for Mold
    • Wear old clothes and shoes that you can launder or throw away after the cleanup work.
    • Wear special N-95 or P-100 respirators, in addition to goggles and gloves.
    • Set an old box fan or a cheap new one in a window to ventilate the room while working. Throw it out when you’re done cleaning, because the spores are almost impossible to clean off. Tape plywood or cardboard around the window openings so the spores can’t blow back in.
    • Wrap and tape moldy carpeting in 6-mil plastic, and double-bag mold-infested debris in garbage bags for disposal.
    • To control airborne spores, moisten moldy areas with a garden sprayer while you work.
    • Turn off your furnace and air conditioner and cover ducts and doors to contain spores.
    • Keep your wet/dry vacuum outside when you vacuum.

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    How To Tell If Mold Is Toxic

    Mold is a nasty problem to deal with for any home or business-owner. In the wake of a disaster such as a storm, its possible for mold to start growing in as quickly as 1-2 days. Whats even more alarming is when that mold turns out to be toxic, posing a serious risk to you and anyone else on your property.

    To clarify, its not that the mold you are dealing with in and of itself is toxic. Its that certain strains of mold, like the notorious Stachybotrys chartarummore commonly known as black moldproduce mycotoxins. Its these mycotoxins which may cause a burning sensation in the throat and lungs, chest pain, persistent coughing, fever, rashes, and migraines. Prolonged exposure to Stachybotrys may lead to serious health issues, including breathing problems, fatigue, sinusitis and other pain in the sinus cavities, and even depression.

    How to tell if you may be dealing with toxic mold in your home:

  • Watch out for a nasty smell: The most common sign that you arent dealing with any ordinary mold is a musty odor, sort of like rotting dirt of rotting leaves. Mold thrives in dark, damp, humid environments, so follow your nose to cramped spaces in your home if you detect an unusual smell.
  • You start experiencing health problems: If you experience respiratory issues or any of the other symptoms mentioned above, call someone to deal with your mold as soon as possible. Rashes, coughing, and feelings of fatigue are only likely to worsen the longer you wait.
  • 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.

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    Create A Bleach Mixture

    If the black mold growth in your home is small enough for you to treat alone, a simple mixture of bleach and water can help. Add one cup of bleach to one gallon of water and apply it to the moldy spots. You can also find commercial black mold removal products.

    Soak a paper towel in the cleaner and press it over the mold growth to dampen the area. Then start scrubbing. Avoid spraying moldy areas, since the droplets will collide with the mold spores and launch them throughout the room, making them easier to breathe in and harder to eradicate.

    Be sure to dry the area thoroughly when youre done.

    Do NOT mix bleach with ammonia. This combination can create toxic fumes that are far more dangerous than any mold youre trying to clean.

    Can You Get Sick From Mold In Your House

    9 Signs You Have Toxic Mold In Your Home

    Yes. Those will allergies, compromised immune systems, asthma, or other such issues are at a higher risk as even minor, non-toxic molds could cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms. Mold in your house is rarely life-threatening. However, prolonged exposure is far from ideal for a number of reasons.

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    Mold Armor Fg500 Do It Yourself Mold Test Kit

    The Mold Armor kit includes a test swab, petri dish, and a bottle of mold growth medium. You can use this single kit in one of three waysto test the air for mold spores, to test air quality in your HVAC duct, or to test for surface mold.

    To use the kit, pour the growth medium in the petri dish, replace the lid, and allow it to gel for one hour. Then, either allow it to remain open to the atmosphere for an air quality test, tape it to your air duct for a HVAC test, or use the swab to remove a sample from a surface and apply it to the growth medium for a surface test.

    If after 48-96 hours mold begins to grow in your dish, you may choose to send it to a lab for analysis. With a price tag of under $10, this mold test kit is affordable. But the lab fee is an additional $40.

    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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    In On And Under The Kitchen Sink

    A lot happens in your kitchen sink. Dirty dishes pile up , food goes through the garbage disposal, wet sponges sit in the sink or in caddies and collect bacteria, and faucets run. All of these things contribute to the potential for mold growth, so check in these areas often if you want to prevent mold. Oh, and dont forget to check underneath the sink leaky pipes are a big problem for mold.

    I Had My House Tested And Im Being Told I Need A Expensive Cleaning Attached Are The Test Results I Dont See A Problem But Im No Expert

    Mold Removal &  Mold Testing Services in Calgary, Alberta

    Your numbers do NOT indicate elevated mold spores. In fact, the spore counts inside your basement are actually lower than the outside control. Typically, we dont consider an interior spore count elevated until its multiple times higher than the outside control. For example, Cladosporium often registers 500-1,000 in the outside air. 100 is considered very low in most regions. These low numbers are so low theyre difficult to achieve following a remediation project.

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