Common Types Of House Mold
Wondering what types of mold are the most common in houses and which ones you should be concerned about? Lets discuss a few of the most common types of household mold now.
- Cladosporium Cladosporium is one of the most common household molds. It usually grows in a greenish-brown colony, but can also be nearly black in color. It is rarely harmful unless you have a mold allergy, but may cause minor issues like toenail or fingernail infections.
- Penicillium Penicillium is sometimes called green mold, as it is usually dark green in color. It tends to grow in large, consistent patches on the walls. As the name suggests, penicillin is derived from some kinds of this mold. However, some kinds of penicillium mold may be toxic to humans and animals.
- Aspergillus This type of mold is usually greenish-white in color, and may be more raised with a more cloudy appearance than other types of mold. It is not harmful, unless you have a weakened immune system, in which case it could infect the lungs or sinuses.
- Alternaria Alternaria mold is usually greenish-white, but can also appear in black patches, so its sometimes confused with black mold. Alternaria can be a factor in exacerbating asthma, particularly for those who may have mold allergies.
Your Bathroom Exhaust Fan Is On The Fritz
Mold is a particularly common problem in bathrooms with inadequate ventilation, says Yoel Piotraut, a managing partner at MyHome Design + Remodeling. A bathroom exhaust fan is an essential tool to keep toxic mold at baybut it wont work if its clogged or not running well. In fact, if its still steamy five to ten minutes after you get out of the shower, your fan isnt circulating enough air. It may need to be cleaned or replaced with a unit that meets the square footage of your bathroom. Piotraut also suggests cleaning the walls regularly with a bleach solution or other mold-killing product. These are the household items you use that could be poisoning your air.
How To Prevent Mold
Whether you just got rid of the mold or you dont ever want to see it in your house you need to know the mold prevention rules. To prevent mold from appearing in your house:
Small investments in prevention can go long waysand keep a lot of cash in your pocket!
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Signs That Imply You Have Mold In Your House
A residential or commercial mold infestation is one of the worst things anyone can come across. Mold infestation can easily turn your dream house to a nightmarish dwelling.
Its not just the musty smell or unbearable indoor atmosphere, the fact that commercial or residential mold infestation can easily start affecting the health of the individuals involved is alarming.
This is one of the major reasons why we recommend leaving the task of mold repairs or cleanup to professionals.
What is mold?
Mold is typically a fungus constituting of small organisms. Their ubiquitous presence is a blessing for the outdoors as they play a crucial role in decomposing dead leaves and trees.
However, these fungi thrive indoors fast and alarmingly in damp conditions to release spores. Inhaling mold spores in large numbers can trigger health problems.
This post covers the top 5 hidden signs of mold that imply mold infestation in your house.
You are sick and never better
Even though you are exposed to mold spores on a daily basis, constant exposure, especially while being indoors can trigger some alarming health problems.
Prolonged mold exposure can second the infiltration of these spores to lungs which has been observed as one of the common triggers for asthma symptoms.
Mold Poisoning Symptoms In Humans
Mold poisoning can cause a number of different symptoms, depending on the age of the affected individual, the strength of their immune system, and whether or not they have a pre-existing mold allergy. Here are a few of the most common signs and symptoms of mold poisoning in humans.
- A stuffy or runny nose
- Sinus issues or infections
- Worsening or development of asthma
- Wheezing or difficulty breathing
- Skin itchiness, redness, or discomfort
- Fever and shortness of breath
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How To Detect Mold In Walls
If there is an area of your home where you think mold may be present in the walls due to smell, a strange appearance of the wall, or any other factor there are a few ways you can test this.
The simplest way is to probe the area with a screwdriver. If the area is soft or the screwdriver easily pierces the drywall, mold likely has rotted the surface away, and youll be able to see it once a hole has been opened up in the surface. Be careful when doing this and do not do it near any wiring or electrical outlets.
You could also use a fiber optic camera to look around inside after opening a hole in the wall, but at this point, you may as well hire a professional inspector. A professional inspector has the tools required to examine the wall thoroughly, and ensure that its mold free or detect any potential issues.
What Are The Dangers Of Mold In Your House
. In respect to this, can you get sick from mold in your house?
In some cases, mold in your home can make you sick, especially if you have allergies or asthma. Whether or not you‘re allergic to molds, mold exposure can irritate your eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs. Here’s what you can do to combat mold problems, and take care of yourself and your home.
Also Know, what are the symptoms of mold exposure? What are symptoms and signs of mold allergy?
- skin irritation, or rash.
In this way, what are the dangers of mold in your home?
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.
Is mildew harmful to your health?
Mildew usually affects plants and crops. If it develops indoors, however, it can also pose health risks. When inhaled, mildew spores cause coughing, headache, sore throat, and respiratory problems Prolonged exposure can cause a variety of health problems, depending on the strain of mold.
If your Total Body Burden is high, or you are genetically predisposed to recycling toxins, regular exposure to mold can cause allergy symptoms, such as:
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You Find Dark Or Colored Spots On Your Walls
Mold can appear in many shapes, textures, and colors. It can look like anything from green, dripping slime definitely something youd notice to an innocuous-looking grey fuzz. If your walls are coming out in spots, its worth double-checking that there isnt a leak in the pipes or uncontrolled humidity in the room.
If you have a pre-existing breathing problem that seems to flare up after long periods at home, mold could be the culprit.
Most species of household mold wont bother people without breathing issues but can aggravate asthma in individuals who already suffer from the condition. Consider scheduling a doctors appointment and a mold inspection if your breathing problems seem to worsen without a clear cause.
How Toxic Mold Symptoms Affect Your Health
Mold negatively affects your homes air quality, can cause serious health problems, and should be taken equally seriously. If you suffer from any neurological symptoms like a short attention span, dizziness, headaches, memory loss, or have trouble concentrating, it could be a huge red flag that harmful, toxic mold is growing and continuing to spread throughout your home and its literally poisoning you. It doesnt matter if its visible mold or not enough mold to cause health problems is a problem no matter what. Just like allergies, if you or your familys toxic symptoms increase when youre at home, you can almost be sure your home is carrying mold. Dont wait take action immediately before risking both the health of your home and family gets too far out of control, especially if you have children.
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Testing For Mould In Your Home
Where mould is visible, it is generally not considered necessary to test for it in the home. However, not all mould is visible, as contamination may be in cavities or the ceiling. Generally, if you can see or smell mould, you need to clean up and remove the mould immediately, as mould can damage surfaces it grows on.
If you suspect mould contamination but cannot find the source of the problem, or if you have already taken measures to prevent mould from growing and you are still having problems, you could employ an occupational hygienist or environmental health and safety professional. For a fee, these professionals can provide specialist mould testing and consultancy services.
Your Attic Insulation Is Lumpy
Wave off the spider webs and take a closer look at the insulation in your attic. Attic insulation that is very lumpy and uneven-looking may mean a bigger problem, says John Bodrozic, Co-Founder of HomeZada.The insulation could be in bad shape due to unforeseen roof leaks, which could also mean potential mold issues. If your attic has poor circulation or improper ventilation, it could create ideal conditions for mold growth.
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What Mold Looks Like
Molds are a type of fungus and can look like their fungal cousins, mushrooms and yeasts. Outdoors, molds can be seen gobbling up the dead organic matter on decomposing surfaces like fallen leaves and rotting logs indoors, house mold thrives in wet, humid environments like bathrooms and basements or anywhere that has recently flooded. There are thousands of types of mold, and their appearance can vary depending on the type of mold and where its growing.
The most common indoor molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum , is also sometimes found in homes and other buildings. This greenish-black growth can grow on fiberboard, paper, dust, and lint, particularly in areas that may have recently flooded or suffered other types of water damage. While black mold can certainly look scary, the CDC says that Stachybotrys chartarum isnt any more harmful than other types of mold.
So What Is A Mycotoxin
Mycotoxins, literally fungus poison in Latin, are secondary metabolites that can be produced by molds, and are not living organisms. Mycotoxins are a byproduct of mold. Not all mold spores produce mycotoxins, but some do. So the molds that produce mycotoxins are the ones that could be categorized as toxic or poisonous.
So, where is the line between an allergic mold and a toxic mold? That line is defined by the presence of mycotoxins, and is NOT defined by color. Mycotoxins are invisible and cannot be detected just by looking at the mold growth.
What Do Mycotoxins Do?
These chemical substances can cause many health problems ranging from mild to severe. Even if you are not allergic to mold, you can be affected by mycotoxins.
Mycotoxins can be absorbed by the body in a number of ways including: through the skin, the airways , and through the intestinal lining . Detrimental health effects caused by mycotoxins can range from acute poisoning to long-term effects such as immune deficiency and cancer.2 Chronic disease sufferers, such as people with immunosuppressive disorders or underlying lung disease may be more sensitive to molds and mycotoxins in their environment.4
To learn more about how mold affects your pets check out our article: Mold and Pets 10 Things You Most Likely Didnt Know.
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Who Is At Risk Of Mold
According to the WHO, 15 percent of houses in cold climates show signs of dampness, and about 5 percent have signs of mold problems. In warm climates, however, it is estimated that 20 percent of houses have dampness, and 25 percent have mold. Dampness is most likely to occur in overcrowded houses or those that lack appropriate ventilation, heating and insulation. Because symptoms of mold infection are similar to other respiratory ailments, they are often misdiagnosed.
Common Symptoms Of Mold Exposure
Prolonged mold exposure can lead to health risks such as upper respiratory tract symptoms, pneumonia, insomnia, and confusion. Therefore, it is important to have mold remediated as soon as possible.
Most molds found in homes cause the same signs and symptoms of other types of upper respiratory allergies. People sensitive to mold spores can experience allergic reactions, but exposure may cause those who have asthma to experience severe asthma attacks.
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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.
Water In The Foundation
Look out for a build-up of water around your homes base. This can lead to foundational problems for your home if there is a lot of water. At your homes foundation, gathering rainwater can be prevented by sloping your yard outwards from your foundation. In the same line of thought, damp basements are another culprit. Usually, there is no good ventilation in basements. This is an indication that basements could contain higher humidity or moisture amounts compared to other rooms in the home. Also, basements are often colder which means more condensation occurs which leads to humidity and basement.
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You Feel Like You Have A Cold That Just Wont Go Away
Symptoms of a mold reaction can be as subtle as a perpetually runny nose and sneezing fits. That cold that you just cant seem to shake could actually be a sneaky sign of a mold problem.
Try to notice if your symptoms seem to worsen after spending time in a particular room or immediately after you finish doing laundry in the basement, for example.
How To Test For Mold
You probably dont need to do mold testing or buy a mold test kit, especially if the fungus is visible. Because the health effects of mold vary from person to person, the CDC says that if you can see it or smell it, it should be removed, no matter what type of mold is in your home.
While its not possible to completely eliminate mold in your house, you can prevent a build-up by cleaning up any wet or damp spots and fixing any existing water leaks.
Neither the CDC nor the EPA recommends doing routine mold samplingsboth organizations point out that there are no federal limits for mold in buildings, so people cant check their apartment complexs compliance with the law, for example. Plus, the testing can be expensive.
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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.