Preventing Future Exposure To Mold
Most people with mold-related health problems are exposed to mold in the home. While there is plenty of mold outdoors, in the open air the mold spores spread out more and in most areas, people simply do not inhale enough mold spores to lead to health problems. While there may be mold in other indoor areas, most people spend more time in their own homes than anywhere else, so that is where the prolonged exposure likely to cause respiratory infections and other serious mold-related health problems is most likely to occur.
If you suspect your health problems are symptoms of mold exposure, youve probably already found mold growing in your home. However, mold often grows in places where its hard to see, like inside walls, inside heating and ventilation ducts, under carpets and above ceiling tiles. In order to remove all of the mold, youll first need to make sure youve located it all.
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How To Get Rid Of Black Mold
Trying to kill or remove toxic black mold yourself is not advisable. If not handled properly, you could end up disturbing the mold and releasing millions of spores and mycotoxins into the air. This could worsen you indoor air quality and cause damage to your home.
Since black mold is toxic, youre better off contacting a professional mold remediation company with experience in cleaning mold in buildings and homes.
Mold removal specialists will be able to accurately determine the extent of the mold infestation and can suggest the right course of action for your home. If you suspect that your home has black moldthat is, if you can see and/or smell it .
A healthy, mold-free home ensures a healthy, happy family.
Five Of The Most Common Indoor Molds
Mold illness is the variety of health problems that can occur from any type of mold exposure. Although a mold allergy is the most common problem caused by exposure to mold, mold can cause illness without an allergic reaction. Mold can also cause infections or irritants and toxic reactions. Infections caused by mold can lead to a variety of problems from flu-like symptoms to skin infections and even pneumonia.
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What Are Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds
Another source of irritation from mold exposure comes from substances knownas microbial volatile organic compounds . These compounds are producedthrough fungal metabolism and are released directly into the air, often givingoff strong or unpleasant odors. Exposure to mVOCs from molds can irritate theeyes and respiratory system and has been linked to symptoms such as headaches,dizziness, fatigue, nasal irritation and nausea. The effects of mVOCs are notcompletely understood and research is still in the early stages.
What Happens If You Breathe In Mold
Mold is commonly found both indoors and outdoors, and chances are that you breathe it in more often than you realize.
When mold spores make their way into your body, your immune system immediately tries to rid the body of the mold.
Physically, these symptoms could look like coughing or sneezing.
These symptoms could worsen, however, depending on the level of exposure and your sensitivity to mold.
Thankfully, these symptoms typically only last as long as you are exposed to the mold, or if the mold spores stick around in your body.
Everyone reacts differently to mold exposure, and there are several factors that come into play when gauging the severity.
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What Causes Black Mold
Molds are an important part of our environment. They decompose dead plants and animals. All types of mold will grow if the conditions are right. Mold grows and spreads quickly in the right conditions, which include:
- Moisture level at or over 70%
- Adequate food source
- Temperatures that range from 40 to 100 degrees F
Mold can grow anywhere in your house that provides these conditions. The most likely places mold will grow are:
- Anywhere that there has been a water leak.
- Damp rooms without adequate ventilation, such as bathrooms.
- Basements where humidity tends to be higher.
- Any areas with a lot of water condensation.
- Any areas where flooding has occurred.
How To Get Rid Of Mold
There are plenty of DIY mold removal options for you on the web some more effective than others. These may suffice if the problem is minor. After DIY treatment, it may be good to have an air quality test taken to determine the effectiveness of your work.
If the problem is more than minor, DIY methods will likely only remove the appearance of mold for a short time. If the problem is more serious, the best approach is to hire a certified and reputable local mold remediation company.
Most mold remediation companies will recommend demolition of the infected part of your home to get rid of mold, so keep in mind that you might have additional expenses to restore a portion of your house. Besides that, the process might take several days.
If you are looking into demolition-free mold removal, then look into the companies that use a dry fog technique. When properly done, this method not only kills mold without demolition to your home, but it also takes less than a day to complete.
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What Medical Tests Are Available To Determine If I Am Allergic Tomold
There are medical tests to determine if you are allergic to a particularsubstance, such as mold. These can be performed on skin or blood. Skin testsare considered more reliable than blood tests to determine allergic reaction toa substance. Skin tests yield results more quickly, are less expensive thanblood tests and are generally considered more sensitive. If an individual hassymptoms year-round, which may indicate an indoor allergy, skin testing may berecommended.
Blood testing called the RAST test can be done to showif you are allergic to a substance. The RAST test detects levels of antibodiesto particular allergens. The test is expensive to perform and results areusually not available for about two weeks.
What To Do If You Are Breathing In Mold
If you suspect that you are breathing in mold or experiencing symptoms discussed above, getting your home checked for mold growth is a good first step. For non-toxic mold symptoms an over-the-counter antihistamine can help reduce the itchy eyes, sneezing and runny nose. A decongestant can also help relieve some of the nasal congestion that is associated with breathing in mold. However, the only way to truly remedy symptoms from breathing in mold is to stop breathing it in, meaning that you need to have it removed from your home.
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A Qualified Environmental Lab Took Samples Of The Mold In My Home And Gave Me The Results Can Cdc Interpret These Results
Standards for judging what is an acceptable, tolerable or normal quantity of mold have not been established. Sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable quantity of mold have not been set. The best practice is to remove the mold and work to prevent future growth. If you do decide to pay for environmental sampling for molds, before the work starts, you should ask the consultants who will do the work to establish criteria for interpreting the test results. They should tell you in advance what they will do or what recommendations they will make based on the sampling results. The results of samples taken in your unique situation cannot be interpreted without physical inspection of the contaminated area or without considering the buildings characteristics and the factors that led to the present condition.
What Are The Signs Of Mold In Your House
Musty smells are a tell-tale sign of mold. Another common indicator is visible signs of water damage.
As mentioned earlier, mold grows fast. Within 24 hours of a water leak, or a flood, mold will begin to take hold. This mold can grow on anything thats humid walls, floors, ceilings, furniture, and even wet laundry.
When there is a chance of mold, its important to have a professional in to test. Professionals qualified to do environmental investigations can:
- Check the surfaces of your house for mold
- Test the air for spores
- Help you to identify sources of moisture
- Identify where the mold is growing and help you decontaminate your house
- Use natural enzymes to kill mold spores
If you dont get rid of all sources of mold, you risk getting sick from it.
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What To Do If You Breathe In Mold
Of any problem around the house, mold can be one of the most tedious to deal with. Its stubborn, it spreads easily and, without the right knowledge or professional help, it can be difficult to get rid of. On top of all of this, many homeowners live in perpetual fear of mold due to the effects it may have on their health. Over the years, mold has developed a reputation for being toxic, causing chronic diseases and even causing death in some people.
The fact of the matter is, theres a lot more to mold than you might imagine and a lot of misinformation surrounding it. If youre worried about mold growing in your home and what might happen if you and your loved ones breathe it in, this helpful guide can provide you with insight on what youre dealing with, what steps you should take and how to tell if your exposure to mold has become dangerous.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From Breathing In Mold
I had so much mold in my body that it took several months for the ebb and flow of flu symptoms to go away. As you kill the mold and there are less organisms in your body, you will start to feel better. It took my husband six months to become free and clear of mold while it took me a year and a half.
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When Should I See My Healthcare Provider About Mold Allergy
If you have symptoms you think are related to mold, call your provider. They can treat your symptoms and may want to do allergy testing.
If you do have asthma or other breathing problems, and you suspect you have an allergy to mold, contact your provider. If you have any type of severe breathing problem, call 911 or go to an emergency room.
If your mold allergy is confirmed, make sure that you follow the instructions of your provider. You may need to carry an epinephrine injector if you have severe reactions to mold. This type of medicine treats life-threatening allergic reactions.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Allergies are common conditions. If you have them, it means you react differently to certain substances than other people do. The best thing to do is avoid what youre allergic to. Among people with allergies, an allergy to mold or other environmental substances happens to 1 in 5 people. Many allergic reactions to mold are similar to the types of reactions you have to other allergens like pet dander or dust. You may have itchy eyes or skin, and your nose might run. Some reactions to mold are more dangerous, like when it acts as an asthma trigger. Keep in contact with your healthcare provider to know the best ways to treat your mold allergy.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/10/2022.
How Do Molds Get In The Indoor Environment And How Do They Grow
Mold is found both indoors and outdoors. Mold can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, and pets can and be carried indoors. When mold spores drop on places where there is excessive moisture, such as where leakage may have occurred in roofs, pipes, walls, plant pots, or where there has been flooding, they will grow. Many building materials provide suitable nutrients that encourage mold to grow. Wet cellulose materials, including paper and paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, and wood products, are particularly conducive for the growth of some molds. Other materials such as dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation materials, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery, commonly support mold growth.
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Is Breathing Mold Bad For You Can Mold Infect Your Lungs
The effects of breathing mold are not immediately noticeable. But in due time, one should expect to face certain health issues associated with their exposure to this microbe. Breathing in mold spores wont affect you severely, unless you are in areas where there is a lot of mold growth, or if you have a compromised immune system .
Unfortunately, prolonged exposure to mold can happen easily. This is because a lot of people do not bother to treat mold exposure as soon as it is discovered.
If you live or work in a place where you cant avoid breathing in mold, can it affect your lungs?
The short answer is yes. But it can affect on each individual can vary. It all depends on how healthy our immune system is and whether it is able to fight off foreign invaders efficiently.
How Are Mold Allergies And Exposure Diagnosed
There are no proven tests that show when or where you may have been exposed to mold.
But your doctor may check for mold allergies by reviewing your symptoms and performing one of the following tests:
- Blood test. Your doctor takes a blood sample and then sends it to a laboratory to measure the number of certain antibodies, which can indicate your immune systems sensitivity to different mold species.
- Skin prick test. Your doctor takes a small amount of mold and applies it to your skin using a tiny needle. Your skin will break out in bumps, a rash, or hives if youre allergic to that type of mold.
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What Is The Outlook For People Who Have A Mold Allergy
Mold allergy cant be cured, but it can be managed with efforts to reduce your exposure to mold and with taking suggested medications if needed.
There are certain types of molds that are more dangerous to your health than others. These are molds that emit mycotoxins or cause infections, which can cause serious illness and even death.
What Should I Do If I Have Any Of These Symptoms Of Mold Exposure
Your first port of call is your doctor. He or she can rule out other health problems that might be causing your symptoms. Know that a physician cant diagnose mold exposure using just blood or urine tests. Youll need to have your home or workplace inspected by professionals. You might think that you can simply check with your family or colleagues to see if they exhibit similar symptoms. But unfortunately, some people are more sensitive to mold than others. So you might develop symptoms and the guy in the next cubicle is none the wiser.
Your doctor will prescribe a program of treatment. But there are things that you can do to help:
- Don a protective mask and gloves to clean any visible mold in your home.
- Report the mold to the building manager if its in your workplace.
- Keep on top of mold growth to stop it from releasing as many spores.
- Run a dehumidifier in the bathroom or kitchen to make them less attractive spaces for mold to grow.
- Once youve removed the visible mold, have your air ducts cleaned regularly.
If youve recently had mold removed from your home call Fresh Aire Duct Cleaning at 275-5556 or contact us online to schedule a duct cleaning service in Los Angeles! You need to make sure youre not simply transmitting mold spores around your home.
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How Do You Keep Mold Out Of Buildings And Homes
Inspect buildings for evidence of water damage and visible mold as part of routine building maintenance, Correct conditions causing mold growth to prevent mold growth.
Inside your home you can control mold growth by:
- Controlling humidity levels
- Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes
- Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding
- Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas.
How Long Does It Take For Black Mold To Kill You
Black mold, or Stachybotrys atra, has a reputation for being fatal. This is due to reports that black mold was related to infant deaths in the 1990s. Its also been linked to the idea of sick building syndrome and is often called toxic black mold.
But theres no solid evidence proving that black mold is toxic. Black mold, and mold in general, is not deadly.
Still, black mold can cause unwanted side effects, especially those in people who are sensitive to mold. This includes people who are young, old, or have compromised immune systems.
Visit a doctor if you have:
- persistent sinus and nasal congestion
- frequent headaches
- unexplained skin irritation
- more frequent asthma attacks
Sometimes, it can be difficult to know if mold is causing your symptoms. Many side effects of mold exposure are similar to other conditions, like seasonal allergies. Some symptoms also take time to appear.
Your best bet is to see a doctor, even if youre unsure your symptoms are related to mold. They can help you find relief.
The best way to treat mold exposure symptoms is to reduce exposure. Follow these tips:
- Avoid contact with moldy items or surfaces.
- Avoid damp rooms, like basements.
- Remove mold from the home by cleaning surfaces and drying damp areas.
- Increase ventilation by using a fan or opening windows.
- Reduce indoor humidity with a dehumidifier.
The length of time it takes for mold to leave your body will depend on your level of previous exposure.
- a musty, earthy odor
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