How To Treat Black Mold Poisoning
If you, your family, or your pets are experiencing any symptoms related to black mold exposure or poisoning, its important to visit your health care provider for the best course of action.
Its equally important to avoid the contaminated area and have a remediation company remove the mold as soon as possible.
How Can You Be Exposed To Black Mold
You can be exposed to black mold, or any species of mold, by breathing in microscopic mold particles in the air, or through consumption of food that contains it.
Stachybotrys is unique because its spores are sticky and easily adhere to a surface when the mold colony dries. They are not regularly found in the air unless the mold colony has been disturbed. Though its spores are not readily airborne, black mold can produce other harmful contaminants more easily found in the air .
A disruption to a black mold colony can be as simple as slamming a door, opening a window or knocking into contaminated furniture. More force is required for Stachybotrys spores to become airborne, as compared to other commonly found indoor molds .
Effects On Your Health
Breathing issues can be made considerably worse by mold in the home. This is especially dangerous for those with allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues. Mold spores can be responsible for a whole host of other health problems including: itchy red eyes, throat or nose inflammation, skin irritation, chronic cough, and more. The people most affected are young children, the elderly, people with compromised immune systems, and those with pre-existing health conditions.
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What To Do If You Suspect Your Home Has Toxic Mold
Because toxic mold exposure can be a serious health threat, its important that you get professional help if you think you might have dangerous mold in your home. The first step is to have your home professionally tested for mold. This should involve a thorough inspection for any water damage or mold growth found on materials in your home, as well as an air quality test to check for airborne spores. This entire process typically takes an hour or less to perform.
Next, samples will be sent to an environmental testing laboratory to determine if there are harmful species of mold in your home. If needed, you can then call in a mold remediation company to remove the toxic mold in your home and get to the bottom of any remaining sources of water damage.
Once the mold has been remediated, a clearance air test can be performed to ensure that the mold levels in your home are safe.
Hrss Mold Remediation & Restoration Services
At HRS, our team of certified mold remediation technicians in Denver work to not only stop water from damaging your home and allowing mold to grow, but also to bring your space back to its pre-damaged condition.
Having a water incident in your home, and then learning that mold has infected it is highly stressful for property owners.
Our team, with a combined two decades of experience helping homeowners just like you in this type of situation, understands. It is our mission to limit health effects and damage to your property and bring it back to life after a water emergency.
Our mold mitigation and restoration process begins with stopping the moisture that is coming into your space. Then, we test the mold that is growing, use professional-grade tools to clean and remove it, and disinfect the area. Finally, our team of licensed contractors is able to restore your property to its pre-damaged condition in as little time as possible.
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Cleaning Up Mold Damage
The first step to cleaning up mold from water leak is to fix the leak. You may then need to install a dehumidifier for a time to dry up all the excess moisture. Its recommended that you seal off the affected area as best as you can so that mold spores dont travel to other areas of your home during the cleanup. Some people try to clean up toxic mold with soap and water, household bleach and water, or hydrogen peroxide, but we recommended a commercial disinfectant designed for that purpose. Youll gain the peace of mind that comes from knowing youre killing any toxic mold and you wont have to repeat the cleanup multiple times before the job is done.
While many nonporous surfaces can be cleaned, some porous items may have to be discarded. It depends on the severity of the mold damage. Dispose of damaged items sealed in heavy plastic bags.
Cleanup has been successful when there is no visible mold on surfaces and no traces of mold spores in the air. Physical symptoms of exposure to toxic mold should clear up quickly after a thorough cleanup has been completed.
Dont Let Mold Hide In Your Home
To an untrained professional glancing at a suspect problem area might not give you the answers you need. Give us a call to discuss how we can help identify and solve the issue. DIY mold clean-up can also be beneficial, but the harsh chemicals that need to be used tend to be harsh. Check out 6 natural ways to treat mold without using bleach.
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Reducing The Risk Of Black Mold Exposure
There are several ways to reduce the risk of black mold exposure. There are also certain warning signs you can watch for so that you can take action if need be. The best way to prevent the development and spread of black mold is by controlling the moisture in all areas of your home. This means that you must remove moisture quickly and not let it sit. This includes spills on your floor or in your carpets. Make sure to clean out your gutters so that water is directed away from the foundation of your home. Your air conditioning drip pans must be kept clean, and your drain lines must be kept clear. The ideal humidity in your home should be about 40%, give or take. Use a dehumidifier if it gets too high. If condensation is building up anywhere in your home, such as on your windows or walls, then you must quickly dry them off and pinpoint what is causing the issue to correct it.
Nobody should have to deal with the negative health effects of black mold. Luckily, prevention is the best weapon against it. Make sure that you take all of the necessary precautions to prevent mold build-up in your home. If you are in the unfortunate position of having water leaking in, then let a professional, such as the experts at BMS CAT, help to clean it up properly for you.
How Does Mold Get Into Your House
Mold can get into your house from open doorways, windows and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems that take air in from outside. Spores that begin mold growth can also attach themselves to people from outside their clothing, animals, shoes and carrying cases or handbags. Some materials inside your home are designed to encourage mold growth too. Wet cellulose material, including paper and paper products, cardboard, wood and wood products and ceiling tiles are primary culprits. Other materials like dust, carpet, paints, wallpaper, fabric and upholstery, insulation and drywall are common mold conductors.
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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.
White Mold Vs Mildew And Efflorescence
Sometimes, people confuse white mold with mildew, which may also have a white appearance. However, mildew rarely grows on surfaces other than plants and doesnt destroy materials. On the other hand, white mold penetrates the surface of porous materials like wood or drywall and can ruin them.
Its also common for people to confuse white mold with a substance called efflorescence. Its a salt deposit caused by salty water that seeps through concrete, brick, or stone. When the water evaporates, it leaves behind a white crystalline substance similar to this type of mold.
However, unlike white mold, efflorescence does not pose health risks and wont grow or spread.
To tell whether a substance is a white mold or efflorescence, look at the affected surface. If its masonry, its efflorescence. Also, put some of it into a drop of water, and if it dissolves, its not mold. Lastly, squeeze some of the substance between your fingers, and if it breaks into a fine powder, its efflorescence.
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How To Identify Black Mold In Your Home
What does black mold look like? As previously mentioned, its not the only kind of mold with a dark color and preference for damp places. Since any mold is a problem, its best to start broad. Start with looking for any sources of water that shouldnt be there. Water damage spots from leaks are one of the earliest harbingers of mold growth. If mold is already growing, you will typically be able to smell it. If the air anywhere in your home smells of mildew or is otherwise musty or earthy, there is likely mold growing nearby. Of course, the best way to determine the presence of mold is to find visible evidence. Mold often hides behind walls, but dark rings or spots showing through will give it away.
You can also go one step further and have visible mold growth tested to determine if it is Stachybotrys chartarum. Since other molds have a similar appearance, a DIY or professional test is really the only surefire example of how to identify black mold. Various kinds of mold can pose health risks though, so testing any mold you find in your home is always best. The larger the infestation, the greater chance the mold has of causing health problems. Test and treat mold outbreaks as soon as possible to mitigate the risks they can pose to you and your family.
Moisture Multiplies Black Mold
Toxic black mold can multiply in common building materials subjected to water leakage. Mold needs a good amount of moisture for eight to twelve days before it can grow.
There is no cure for toxic black mold that is why this molds should either be removed the right way or you permanently leave the place where the molds are abundant. This is only the time when black mold causing symptoms start to wear away.
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What Happens If You Breathe In Black Mold
For people sensitive to mold, inhaling or touching mold spores can cause allergic reactions, including sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash. People with serious mold allergies may have more severe reactions, including shortness of breath.
However, if you breathe in large amounts of mold for a long time, it can cause chronic allergy or cold like symptoms, or more serious side effects such as chronic fatigue, brain fog, or even mold growth in lungs or respiratory systems.
Signs Of Black Mold In The Home
If you live in a moisture-prone home, its important to keep an eye out for signs of black mold. Not only can you see and smell a mold infestation, but you can also monitor your family for any changes in health conditions.
Black mold signs and symptoms include:
- Musty odor or mildew smell
- Visible signs of growth on surfaces
- Discovering water leaks or water stains
- Sudden onset or increase in allergy symptoms
- New respiratory issues in otherwise healthy family members
Because these symptoms are similar to symptoms of other, more common illnesses, many people never attribute their health problems to black mold. Its important for all families to perform regular inspections and take a proactive approach in spotting the signs.
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Where Is Mold Found In A Home
A research study found that Stachybotrys preferred a very high relative humidity within wallsapproximately 97%which indicates that relative humidity could be an important risk factor . For black mold, you may consider smaller microclimates that may harbor such humidity levels: sweating pipes, under sink cabinets, front loading washing machines, standing water, roof leaks, damp cars, windows with condensation, etc. Generally, common places to check for mold growth include the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room.
However, humidity alone is not the only requirement for mold growthmold requires nutrients to grow. Any environment that has nutrients like cellulose or other organic matter can harbor mold if the humidity level is right. To further enable mold growth, an environment that has poor air flow and minimal disruption is ideal. For example, you can find mold on wallpaper, furniture, drywall, overly-packed bookshelves or overstuffed closets.
Is Mold A Health Problem
In one word Yes.
Mold is an insidious, invisible predator in your home. It hides in places no one ever thinks to look like under cabinets, in crawl spaces, and behind furniture. People may spend weeks, months, and even years fighting illness, and never know what they are really fightingmold. Many of our customers find us after a recommendation from their doctor, that they may in fact have a mold problem, and not just an illness.
Mold is most often associated with allergies, but mold is much more menacing than people know. While all molds have the potential to cause irritation and allergy symptoms, molds can also cause much more dangerous health problems including: fungal poisoning and mental health problems.
Even for people in good health, exposure to large amounts of mycotoxins and molds can overwhelm the immune system and cause symptoms of poisoning. Mycotoxins can be especially dangerous for people with compromised immune systems. Our post Mold Exposure Symptoms has all the details.
To learn more about how mold can affect mental health check out our articles: Mold and Mycotoxins: Effects on the Brain and Nervous System in Adults and Effects of Mold on Childrens Health.
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Black Mold: Is It Dangerous
Heres the short answerno. However, that does not mean you ought to keep mold as a pet.
To completely removed black mold, you need the expertise of Triangle Legacy, Washington DC. Call us now at 655-2246.
All people have various tolerance levels to allergens such as mold spores however, that is all black mold isjust an allergen. The ones who have immune suppression, respiratory allergies, or asthma will feel the impact of molds mycotoxins more than the majority of people.
According to the experts, Prior studies of toxic black mold or toxic mold syndrome have been proven to be no more than mass hysteria and media hype.
But whether you have symptoms of black mold or not, it is better to eliminate black mold as soon as you encounter it.
Black mold exposure symptoms
If you encounter black mold in your home, there isnt any need to panic. However, mold presents more risks to sensitive individuals like the ones who suffer with immune conditions or respiratory conditions.
Symptoms of black mold exposure
According to the CDC , mold spores may produce flu- or cold-like symptoms like:
- Eye and skin irritation
Prolonged exposure may cause more severe symptoms such as:
- Shortness of breath
While black mold likely will not kill you, it may make you sick and must be removed as soon as humanly possible.
How does mold get indoors?
Black mold cleaning and removal
Carpet Water Damage Mold
Carpet water damage mold and black mold in carpet can develop anytime your carpet has become wet and stayed wet for a while without the opportunity to dry out thoroughly. If your home had some flooding and the carpet was damp for more than 24 hours, you probably have some mold in your carpets. Mold in your home carries many health risks and can be a great deal of work to clean up.
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Types Of Harmful Mold That May Be Lurking In Your Home
While mold is found virtually everywhere you go and is not always harmful, there are certain types of mold or fungi that can pose a serious health risk to you and your family if they are present in your home. Here are a few of the most common species of toxic mold that can grow inside homes wherever there are wet surfaces or water damage, and a few tips for what to do if you think there might be harmful mold in your home.
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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