Signs Of A Black Mold Infestation
It is difficult to see and identify black mold. The first clue that it may be present in your home comes from the symptoms of exposure, such as nasal congestion or coughing. However, only a trained professional can accurately diagnose whether black mold is present by having a professional analysis completed.
Another way to tell is a musty smell. Most species of mold and mildew cause a musty smell throughout your home, and the highest concentration of that smell likely has the most
If you can physically see the mold in your home, in most cases its bad enough that you probably need to call a professional mold removal team.
How To Identify Mold Vs Mildew In Your Home
Mold and mildew are often spoken of together, almost as if they were the same substance. We fear mold and mildew growing below our homes in crawl spaces, under house siding, around the bathroom wall surround, and behind the sink. Excessive, pervasive mold and mildew can hamper a house sale or cause homeowners to move their bedroom elsewhere. Neither mold nor mildew is welcomed in the home, in any form.
Though related, mold and mildew are separate microorganisms that grow differently and must be treated differently. Safely eradicating mold and mildew is crucial to keeping you safe and your home in good shape.
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Is Black Mold Dangerous
The short answer isnot really. But that doesnt mean you should keep black mold as a pet.
Everyone has different levels of tolerance to allergens like mold spores, but thats all black mold isan allergen.1 Those with asthma, respiratory allergies, or immune suppression will feel the effects of black molds mycotoxins more than most folks.
As one source put it, Previous reports of toxic mold syndrome or toxic black mold have been shown to be no more than media hype and mass hysteria. 2
But whether you feel black mold symptoms or not, its best to get rid of black mold as soon as you find it.
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What If You Breathe In Black Mold
The most common black mold symptoms and health effects are associated with a respiratory response. Chronic coughing and sneezing, irritation to the eyes, mucus membranes of the nose and throat, rashes, chronic fatigue and persistent headaches can all be symptomatic of black mold exposure or black mold poisoning.
Navigating All Of The Confusing And Concerning Information About Black Mold Is Hard But Were Here To Tell You The Truth
Many of us have heard of the dangers of toxic black mold and may worry about black mold poisoning, but the truth is that black mold is a much more manageable problem than you might expect.
Few topics get us more upset than seeing misinformation publicized about toxic black mold, and mold in general, by unscrupulous companies and zealous media articles that seem more interested in sensationalism than fact-based reporting.
When you understand what youre dealing with, you can make informed choices to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy. Were here to cut through the mess and help you understand what having black mold in your home may mean, and give you some tips on how to fix the problem yourself and save big money in the process.
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How To Remove Black Mold Yourself
Did you know that its often possible to remove black mold yourself? Its true! Professional mold remediation can cost thousands of dollars and is often excluded from many homeowners insurance policies. But in many instances hiring a mold removal professional isnt necessary and black mold can be removed by a handy homeowner in less than one weekend of work.
If you feel like you may be a homeowner who is up to the challenge, weve written an eBook that gives step-by-step instructions on how to tackle your mold problem. For less than $20, we guarantee that youll save hundreds, if not thousands, of your hard-earned dollars.
You can purchase our eBook here:
And if youre not comfortable tackling the problem yourself, were happy to provide you a quote if youre in our service area. Just contact us for a completely free quote.
Bottom Line: No mold belongs in a healthy home. Be it black mold, or any other color of mold. It should all be treated the same. If you have mold, remove it.
The Truth About Black Toxic Mold
The truth is there really is black mold over 20,000 species in fact. However, Stachybotrys, the toxic black mold of most concern, is not always toxic. The truth is, none of the million-plus mold species are always toxic. Another truth is that mycotoxins, while real, are one of the lesser of the several evils of mold.
We cant say this often enough. The only two things you know for sure when you see black mold is you have mold and that it is black in color. Thats all. Scientifically, there is no mold genera or species that is called black mold or toxic black mold. Of the million-plus species of mold, about 20,000 species are indeed black. Most species appear green, brown, orange, white, or even pink. Stachybotrys, a common type of mold thought to be the most toxic, is actually a greenish-black in color but can be white or a slight pink color depending on the environment it is growing in and the food it eats. Mold of any color can be toxic under the right conditions, so using color as a red flag is a bad idea.
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What Does Toxic Black Mold Look Like
Dealing with mold in your home can be a major struggle by the time youve actually seen it, theres a good chance its already been growing for a while and the outbreak might be bigger than you think. There are many different kinds of mold that can develop in your home, and most of them are stubborn and can be hard to get rid of. However, one group stands out over the rest: toxic mold.
Theres a lot of false information surrounding toxic mold, what it is and how it can affect you. Some people may think all molds are toxic, while others may not know the difference between toxic and non-toxic mold. There are actually several different classes of mold and ways to identify them. Whats more, even most toxic molds arent lethal to people with healthy immune systems. That being said, many molds can cause uncomfortable symptoms for anyone exposed to them long enough, which is one reason why its important to address an outbreak in your home once youve discovered it.
So where do you start? Once youve spotted mold growing in your home, your next question is probably how can you tell what type of mold it is and how do you know if its toxic. Then, of course, you have to figure out what to do about it. If youre worried about identifying and handling your mold outbreak, this quick guide can help you figure out what youre dealing with.
Health Effects Of Black Mold
According to the EPA, various types of mold can cause health problems for some people. Those health problems are primarily in the form of allergies such as stuffy head, headache, itchy eyes, trouble breathing, etc. These ailments can be more severe in the young, the old, and those with other health issues. The CDC basically says the same thing that mold can cause health issues in some people, or no issues in other people.
According to the CDC, Stachybotrys black mold is unproven to cause serious medical issues beyond those mentioned above. In other words, symptoms of black mold are only proven to be similar to other molds. The CDC simply states that various types of mold may cause health symptoms, to consult with a doctor if symptoms persist, and that no color or type of mold belongs in a building.
You may be thinking: If all we know for sure is that mold causes allergies in some people, and maybe some serious health problems in a small percentage of other people, then whats the big deal?
Well, our answer to that is to imagine yourself as one of those people who are sensitive to mold. Constant allergies, constantly feeling sick, and miserable in your own home. Theres even a scientific name for it: Sick Building Syndrome . Mold, along with other problems such as radon, Chinese drywall, etc., can cause Sick Building Syndrome. Suffering through Sick Building Syndrome is a terrible way to live, and we wouldnt wish it upon our worst enemy!
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Does Vinegar Kill Black Mold
White vinegar is a mildly acidic product that cleans, deodorizes, and disinfects. It can also kill 82% of mold species, including black mold, on porous and non-porous surfaces. Spray the vinegar onto the moldy surface and leave for an hour. Finally, wipe the area clean with water and allow the surface to dry.
What Is The Difference Between Black Mold And Regular Mold
A black colored mold has a black pigment by nature. It is usually associated with being the toxic kind, but thats not always the case. Black mold may not be toxic, but it can be an allergenic. None of these are toxic molds that produce mycotoxins, but Altermaria can cause severe allergy symptoms.
To tell if black mold may be growing in your home, just follow your nose. A musty, earthy smell, like dirt and rotting leaves, is a telltale sign of molds presence. Stachybotrys smells especially strong. All molds need food, water and a dark, stagnant environment with temperatures that neither freeze nor boil to grow.
Additionally, can regular mold turn into black mold? There is no evidence it is toxic to humans or other living organisms. The most common black mold is Cladosporium, which has no known toxic side effects. This type of mold is common both inside and outside of the home. Heavy exposure to black mold could trigger an increase in allergy and asthma symptoms.
Also to know, how can you tell if mold is dangerous?
7 Signs You Might Have Toxic Mold In Your Home
What does dangerous mold look like?
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Why Is There Mold Growing In My Toilet
A toilet is wet and humid most of the time, so its the perfect environment for mold to grow. Moreover, the stagnant water in the commode adds to the possibility of mold growth.
If theres mold growing in your commode, it might also be a sign of diabetes. The urine or excreta of diabetes patients contains more sugar. Thus, scientists believe that the sugar in manure is a good food source for mold.
Apart from the toilet, you might also find mold on the baseboard near the shower.
Can Black Mold Spread From House To House
Yes. If you have had mold in your old house and youre moving into another space, it is possible to cross contaminate this new environment.
Because mold spores are not visible to the naked eye, it is hard to tell which surfaces are contaminated. Therefore, the mold has to be completely cleaned before you renovate or move to a new home.
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Preventing Mold In Your Home
The best way to keep your family safe from black mold is to prevent it from growing. Since mold grows in damp, dark places, you should aim to improve ventilation and reduce humidity in areas that are prone to mold.
In your bathrooms, for example, you can use a shower squeegee to remove excess water from shower walls and bathroom mirrors. You can also install a vent fan or open a window when showering to allow humidity to leave the room. These steps help reduce the moisture in your bathroom and make it more difficult for black mold to grow.
Make searching for black mold or potential growth areas a part of your spring cleaning routine. The sooner you catch a mold growth, the better chance you have to get rid of it before it causes health problems.
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It Is Black But Not Black Mold
Some people mistake soot stains for problem causing black molds. However, inhaling soot particles can cause all sorts of health issues and hence they should be removed as soon as they appear. The best way to remove these is repainting the surface or cleaning an affected carpet. A portable HEPA air purifier, that is, the variety with high-efficiency particulate arrestance filtration, can help reduce indoor fine particles exposure.
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How To Prevent Mold On Mdf
A Medium Density Fibre or MDF is susceptible to the growth of mold. It grows on MDF when kept in a damp environment with no sunlight.
If the mold grows too much, you might have to dispose of a MDF board. Or if its just a small, localized issue, you can use an Ozone generator or Iodophor to remove the mold from the affected area
Its best to prevent mold from growing on MDF boards, which you can do by sealing them. Youll need Carpenters glue for this job.
You can also use Primer since its used as a coat or layer on the material before its painted. Using Primer on the MDF board can help preserve it and keep the mold away.
Is Black Mold The Worst
Many people believe something called “black mold,” or “toxic black mold,” is a specific type of noxious mold that can severely sicken or even kill you because it releases noxious mycotoxins or mold poisons. But that’s not totally accurate. First, molds of all colors can cause illness. And second, there are many types of black-colored molds. The one most people have in mind when they refer to black mold, or toxic black mold, is Stachybotrys chartarum , a greenish-black mold.
Research published in Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry suggests S. chartarum may be linked to serious health problems such as mycotoxicosis, or mold poisoning. Other possible ill effects include body aches, headaches, memory loss, mood swings and nosebleeds. But the science isn’t definitive. A 2017 report published in Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology states, “There is no scientific evidence that exposure to visible black mold in apartments and buildings can lead to the vague and subjective symptoms of memory loss, inability to focus, fatigue, and headaches that were reported by people who erroneously believed that they were suffering from ‘mycotoxicosis.’ Similarly, a causal relationship between cases of infant pulmonary hemorrhage and exposure to ‘black mold’ has never been proven. Finally, there is no evidence of a link between autoimmune disease and mold exposure.”
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Problems With Clinical Studies
Such findings may explain the confusing results of earlier studies. For example, some authors have claimed links between childhood asthma and damp, moldy housing . While retrospective questionnaires reported more wheezing, cough, and chest cold symptoms in children from affected houses, the degree of bronchospasm was not different between groups. Thus, despite the claim that there was a causal association between moldy houses and wheezing, there was no supporting objective evidence. Some studies which claim that moisture and mold were associated with respiratory infections, cough, and wheezing also fail to show differences in asthma prevalence between case and control schools . Other authors report that despite claims of symptoms being more prevalent in case groups , actual asthma prevalence was no different .
Why Does Mold Grow On Window Sills
Mold around window sills is commonly caused by dampness trapped in small crevices in or near the perimeter of the window, creating spores of mold and mildew. On wooden sills, the mold and mildew grow on the wood substrate as well. Make sure you regularly dust your window sills as well, particularly when its been damp.
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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.
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:
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