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.
How To Understand If Your Home Has An Acceptable Indoor Mold Spore Count
We understand that you are concerned for your loved ones safety & health and probably a little overwhelmed trying to understand the home mold test kit results. In this article we will simplify the process for you! We will identify the 11 most common types of mold found in a home and the risks they pose, help you understand if you have an acceptable indoor mold spore count, using an easy to understand mold spores count table and also explain how to remediate your mold problem.
Lets Look At The Data
The first set of data is from the house with mold inside the walls. Youd expect a house with mold throughout all the walls to result in compromised indoor air quality, right? Look at the data. The house is quite clean. The mold spore counts are in line with a clean, well-kept home. Why? The mold growth was several years old. Because it was not actively propagating, the mold spores were unlikely to spread. Second, because the mold growth had occurred inside the wall cavities , the spores were relatively well sealed from the indoor air.
Now lets look at the data for the basement with the wet rug. 340,000 spores per cubic meter for Penicillium/Aspergillus. This is an extremely high spore count, close to 1,000 times greater than a typical outside sample.
This tells us a couple of important pieces of information. First, the quantity of mold growth in a home is less important than the location of the mold growth. Even though the second home we examined had mold covering hundreds of square feet, those mold spores were trapped within the walls and had no one of affecting the indoor air quality. In the other example, even though the mold growth was limited to a small area rug, those spores were easily disturbed and therefore, readily distributed into the air.
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How Vocs Affect My Health
It wasnt the smell alone that was worrying me. It was the aching burning sensation in my eyes. The tears streaming out of my eyes as I was laying down because my eyes hurt so bad. My throat was closing up and scratchy with the smell.
I couldnt sleep. I was literally in pain. And worried sick.
The next morning I woke up coughing. I knew what was happening. It was formaldehyde exposure. So I opened every single window and the screen door. We put on every fan we had. I stole back the potted pothos plant that I had given to my mom who was still in town .
I turned on the air conditioner full blast. We NEEDED to get air circulation in this RV to get the old air out and new air in. On an 85 degree day in our Florida RV resort, Im sure fellow campers thought we were crazy running our air conditioning with the window open. I did not care.
This continued on all week. It wasnt getting better.
Then a deep rumble developed in my lungs. I woke up every morning hacking. I started coughing so violently every morning that I would gag on my own coughing. I couldnt breathe. I felt like I was having an asthma attack.
Turns out Im not the only one who has had serious health problems after moving into an RV. Check out this story, too and the lack of any regulation limits with formaldehyde in RVs.
A month later, after airing out the RV incessantly at every stop and every night, I was still coughing violently. I had never, ever had this cough before moving into the RV.
Why Knowing How To Test For Mold Is Important
Mold serves an important purpose in nature. Molds break down organic material such as dead leaves. In the home, however, they also break down wood, drywall, and other building materials. More importantly, however, they can make us sick, especially the species known as black mold. While rare, this mold type produces dangerous chemicals that impact health and causes chronic headaches and fatigue, even memory loss.
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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
Reviews For Mould Test Kit
Purchased this for testing mould levels indoors, did the job.
David Anderson December 10, 2020
Ordered a test kit, was extremely well put together, and worked as intended. Only downside I found was the price and the instructions werent very clear as different on the box to the actual instruction sheet.
Charles Babb December 10, 2020
I have ordered a mold test kit which was delivered within the next few days, easy to use and that we had the report back could of weeks later. The girl within the office was very nice and helpful.
Craig Oliver December 21, 2020
Had an issue with a test kit, Sysco was so welcoming on the phone and helpful, helped me understand the different test kits as well as what suits me best.
John Meade December 21, 2020
Mould test kit came over a week late from when I ordered it. After I raised this issue, they sorted it in a timely fashion. Would still recommend.
Mould test kit, easy to use, results came a little later than expected.
Test kit results in 4 days late from what was expected.
Mould test kit was hard to understand, instructions on box different to paper instructions.
James Tomlin December 22, 2020
Mould test kit came and was defective. Contacted Sysco and they fixed the error but was an inconvenience.
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What Are The Signs Of Mold
Mold starts out as a little spot but expands quickly. Youll usually notice it early on, unless its in an out-of-the-way location.
Mold can be black, white, spotted, or just about any color, and may appear powdery, cottony, or velvety.
If you notice a spot and arent sure if its just an old stain or a splotch of dirt, heres how to tell if it could be a sign of mold:
- It has a musty, earthy smell.
- Theres a nearby source of moisture, but not much light.
- You see warping, cracking, or peeling of whatever material its growing on.
- A drop of bleach lightens its color in a minute or two.
- Unchecked, mold will continue to grow. Dirt and old stains wont.
Having mold in your home wont necessarily make you sick. But it does have the potential to cause certain health issues.
Touching or inhaling mold spores can cause allergy-type symptoms such as:
- runny nose and congestion
- lung irritation
In many cases, you can get rid of household mold yourself. Mold can be removed with:
- commercial products
- a bleach solution of 8 ounces of bleach per 1 gallon of water
Before you begin:
- Wear protective eyewear, nonporous gloves, and a face mask or N-95 respirator.
- Never mix other cleaners or ammonia with bleach, as it can create toxic fumes.
Use a brush to scrub mold off surfaces, making sure you get it all. Porous materials, such as carpeting, furniture, and ceiling tiles, may have to be discarded. Dont paint or caulk until youre sure all the mold is gone.
How To Test Voc Levels In Your Home: Home Air Check Review
By: Author Kimberly Button
Are you worried about off gassing in your home? Wondering how do you test VOC levels in your home? Its something Ive always wondered about and just assumed that it would require a professional appointment and a LOT of money.
Boy, was I wrong.
Long story short I found Home Air Check and couldnt be happier about how easy it is to test VOC levels and relatively affordable in the grand scheme of things. Plus, it can take as little as 20 minutes to test VOC levels, its SUPER easy, and I can do it at my own convenience whenever I want.
My story and testing results below involve living in an RV. However, the experience I had can happen to anyone in any home, especially if it is a brand new construction home or you recently installed new cabinets or flooring. The VOC testing kit works in any type of home that you live in because the air intake for the test measures per liter of air, regardless of how big or small your testing area is.
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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.
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.
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Poor Reason For Testing #5 To Determine If The Environment Is Safe
At this time, it is unknown what level of mold is safe or how much is necessary to cause health problems. Mold tests cannot measure all the molds in an environment or how much occupants are exposed to. Such testing can also miss evidence of problems and results may mislead or be misused. MDH recommends assuming that any visible amount of mold may potentially cause illness and advises that the best approach is to remove this potential threat as soon as it can be done safely. MDH also suggests that it is also reasonable to conclude that an area should be relatively safe with regard to mold, if all visible growth was removed, the surrounding areas thoroughly cleaned, and it remains dry and free of mold odors.
How Do Molds Affect People
Exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects, or none at all. Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can lead to symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes, or skin. Some people, such as those with allergies to molds or with asthma, may have more intense reactions. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath.
In 2004 the Institute of Medicine found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people with asthma symptoms in people with asthma and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition.
In 2009, the World Health Organization issued additional guidance, the WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mould pdf iconexternal icon pdf icon. Other recent studies have suggested a potential link of early mold exposure to development of asthma in some children, particularly among children who may be genetically susceptible to asthma development, and that selected interventions that improve housing conditions can reduce morbidity from asthma and respiratory allergies.
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Getting To The Root Of The Problem
Mold can affect your health in different ways some people have severe reactions while others dont experience any.
Common health effects of mold include hay fever-like symptoms such as a runny nose and red eyes. If you have allergies or asthma, youll likely experience more severe reactions such as asthma attacks or skin rashes.
Mold spreads and reproduces through spores in the air. You can buy DIY home test kits to help determine whether or not theres mold present in your home. Yet, as popular as these tests are, you shouldnt rely on them entirely. Always follow up with a professional inspection and treatment.
About the Author
How Do You Get The Molds Out Of Buildings Including Homes Schools And Places Of Employment
Mold growing in homes and buildings indicates that there is a problem with water or moisture. This is the first problem to address.
Remove moldy items from living areas. Once mold starts to grow in carpet, insulation, ceiling tiles, drywall, or wallboard, the only way to deal with the problem is by removal and replacement.
It is important to properly clean and dry the area as you can still have an allergic reaction to parts of the dead mold and mold contamination may recur if there is still a source of moisture.
Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried promptly.
Clean up and dry out your home thoroughly and quickly after any flooding. Dig out mud and dirt . Use a wet vacuum to remove remaining dirt. Scrub cleanable surfaces with soapy water and a bristle brush. Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces with water and dish detergent. Dry surfaces quickly and thoroughly after cleaning. If you have a fan, air conditioner or dehumidifier that wasnt affected by flooding use it to help the surfaces dry after you finish cleaning
Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water to kill mold on surfaces. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners.
If you choose to use bleach to clean up mold:
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Will You Inspect My Home Or Apartment
IDPH does not perform inspections of residential environments for mold. We primarily respond to requests for assistance by providing information by telephone and providing recommendations for homeowners, landlords or tenants to take to alleviate conditions that may represent a potential health hazard.
Poor Reason For Testing #6 To Decide How To Correct A Mold Problem
Knowing the specific types of mold does not change what ought to be done to clean up the mold or fix the moisture problem. All mold problems should be handled in the same general way, with safety precautions based mainly on the extent of the contamination and how likely the mold will be disturbed by removal activities. All visible mold growth, should be captured and physically removed to the greatest extent practical. In all cases, fixing the moisture problem is critical.
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Air Conditioning And Heating Vents
You probably prefer your bedroom to be at the optimal temperature for you to get a good nights rest. While using the AC and heating unit are fine , its possible for mold to grow in the vents.
To prevent mold from contaminating your bedroom, you should:
- Use a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air
- Dry up any condensation you find on the walls and windows
- Invest in a mold-resistant mattress or, at the very least, a waterproof mattress cover