Removing Mold From Your Home
Resolve any issues causing mold growth, and throw away anything affected by mold or contributing to mold growth that you cant clean.
- Wear protective gear. As youre dealing with the moldy area, cover yourself with a mask, gloves, goggles, and rubber boots. If youre cleaning a lot of mold, you can also wear disposable clothing or a mold-resistant suit.
- Ventilate the room. Open all doors and windows to increase ventilation.
- Sort and discard. Remove any objects from the area that havent been touched by mold growth. Throw away any items that cant be cleaned.
- Replace moldy housing materials. Cut away and replace mold-damaged drywall, ceiling tiles, and carpet.
- Scrub and disinfect. Cover and scrub nonporous surfaces affected by mold with bleach, a fungicide, or detergent and water, then dry them. Dont mix cleaning products together.
- Address any water issues. Make sure any water problems are fixed and the area is dry before you renovate the room.
You cant prevent all mold, but you can reduce the amount in your home. Here are some dos and donts for managing mold and keeping it from growing indoors.
How Black Mold Spores Spread
Stachybotrys chartarum spores dont easily disseminate in the air because their clusters are generally covered with a layer of slime. However, when the clusters dry and are disturbed, spores can become aerosolized, as well as latch on to dust particles. Although black mold grows and spreads more slowly than other molds, research indicates that its aerosolized spores are present in as many as 13% of dwellings.
Toxic Mold And How It Destroys Lives
Toxic mold can impact your health in many ways. Were so used to seeing toxic mold in our shower stalls and basements that its easy to view this organic matter as nothing more than an unsightly nuisance. However, research has revealed that while some forms of mold are fairly benign , others can be highly toxic. While exposure to mold will not usually cause sudden death, its cumulative effects can be dangerous, debilitating, and in some cases, even fatal. Heres what you need to know about toxic mold:
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How To Know If You Have Black Mold In Your House
Mold isnt always visible. If you can see mold, its only a sign of the real potential health risk the unhealthy levels of harmful types mold in the air of your home or workplace.
Airborne mold is all around us in both the outdoors and indoors. The types and amount of mold determines the potential health risk. Most of us are accustomed to the varieties and amounts of mold present in our outdoor environments.
Healthy indoor environments will have mold conditions similar to or better than those in the surrounding outdoors. Over time, because of moisture , many indoor spaces develop unhealthy types and/or unhealthy levels of airborne mold that can be harmful to you or your pets.
These signs could mean you have unhealthy mold conditions in your house:
- Allergic symptoms
- A damp or musty odor in one or more places
- Frequent headaches
- The air in the home feels different
- Your house has been flooded or currently has leaks
- You previously tried removing mold yourself
Take note of how you feel in and out of the house. If the symptoms disappear or decrease when youre out and about, then you might have a mold problem, yes, even if you cant see mold.
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.
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What Happens When You Inhale Black Mold Spores
We live in a moldy world. Like it or not, mold is all around us, both outside and inside. Mold spores exist in practically every indoor environment, and according to the Environmental Protection Agency , eliminating them from indoors completely is impossible.
Like many other fungi and plants, mold spreads by producing spores that travel on the air. Everyone encounters mold spores, and the vast majority of time, they dont trigger adverse health effects. However, it depends on the type of mold spore.
Researchers have long established that Stachybotrys chartarum, commonly called black mold, is capable of harming human health. However, the specific effects of breathing black mold spores depend on several factors, including what those spores carry. If youre concerned about how breathing black mold might affect you, keep reading.
From chemicals and viruses to allergens and molds, a wide variety of contaminants harm indoor air quality. Luckily, you can address all of them by running a high-quality air purifier from Air Oasis. Visit us online to find the perfect air purifier for you.
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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How Harmful Is Black Mold
How Harmful Is Black Mold?
According to the CEO of Wonder Makers Environmental, Michael Pinto, there is mounting evidence that mold causes sickness:
There is now good science that documents that exposure to fungal contaminants and damp environments not only triggers standard allergenic responses, but pushes certain parts of the immune system into overdrive. In essence, the bodys defense system ends up attacking the host as well as the biological invaders.
In 2009, the World Health Organization, produced a 228 page document entitled WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mould and concluded the following:
When sufficient moisture is available, hundreds of species of bacteria and fungi particularly mould pollute indoor air. The most important effects of exposure to these pollutants are the increased prevalence of respiratory symptoms, allergies, and asthma, as well as disturbance of the immune system. Preventing persistent dampness and microbial growth on interior surfaces and building structures is the most important means of avoiding harmful effects on health.
Many mold survivors chronically exposed to mold develop a condition known as Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome , defined as:
CIRS is associated with 37 health symptoms, including asthma, dizziness, migraines, and bronchitis.
Black Mold Removal And Cleaning
Mold remediation in stores, offices, or schools is best left to professionals. This also applies to household mold exceeding 10 square feet.
The contractors you choose should have insurance and licenses from organizations like the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification .
Homeowners can handle cleaning about 10 square feet of black mold on their own.3 If the patch is small enough, a combination of bleach, water, scrubbing, and ventilation should do the trick.
Before treating mold on your own, prioritize ventilation and protective gear.
Removing black mold is a tough and dirty job. If you or anyone in your family is sensitive to mold allergies, has respiratory or immune issues, trust the professionals.
Find a contractor in your area to get started.
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How To Prevent Mold
Controlling moisture is the key to preventing mold from growing in your home. The following tips will help stop mold from becoming a problem:
- Keep the humidity in your house below 50%. Using an air conditioner or dehumidifier can help with this.
- Make sure your house is clean, dry, and well-ventilated.
- Fix any water leaks immediately.
- Use ventilation fans in your kitchen and bathrooms.
- Don’t put carpet in rooms that are likely to become wet such as the basement, kitchen, or bathrooms.
- Make sure wet floor mats are dried quickly.
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 measure 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. For more serious problems, 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 literally remove the mold, so keep in mind that you might have additional expenses to restore a portion of your house. On top of that, the process might take several days.
If you are looking into demolition-free mold removal, then consider companies that use a dry fog technique. When properly done, this method not only kills mold without demolition, but it also takes less than a day to complete.
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What Type Of Doctor Should I See For Black Mold Health Problems
The CDC recommends first consulting a family or general health care provider that can refer you to a specialist if necessary. The type of specialist depends on the health problem. Allergists treat patients with mold allergies, infectious disease physicians treat mold infections, and pulmonologists treat lung infections.
How Can I Prevent Black Mold
Of course, moving out is not a simple or accessible process for everyone. If you dont have the resources to move or simply dont want to, consider these prevention measures to protect yourself against black mold:
- Immediately repair leaks
- Constantly wipe down/dry wet or damp surfaces
- Invest in a dehumidifier to clear the air of excess water vapor
- Clean rooms that are susceptible to water collection with anti-fungal products
- Open windows to facilitate air circulation when possible
- Clean rooms/spaces that dont get much use to ensure mold isnt growing there
Like any prevention method, these steps do not ensure that black mold will not grow in your home, but they lessen the chances. The biggest takeaway here is that black mold flourishes in objects that retain water or places that harbor standing water, which is why avoiding humidity is so imperative in preventing fungus growth.
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Understanding The Health Problems Associated With Black Mold
While certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce mycotoxins, the molds themselves are not toxic or poisonous. However, that doesnt mean that certain types of toxic molds cant cause serious health problems. In fact, there are reports that Stachybotrys chartarum causes memory loss in adults in acute pulmonary hemorrhaging among infants. The sooner you have your home or business tested for black mold , the sooner the mold will be removed, and the less likely you will be to suffer from the following health problems.
Respiratory Difficulties People living in homes or working in businesses with toxic mold are exposed mainly through breathing in mold spores and mycotoxins in the air. Exposure to black mold can cause minor respiratory difficulties such as shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing. Long-term exposure can lead to more serious difficulties, including pulmonary edema and pulmonary hemorrhage .
Circulatory Difficulties The mycotoxins produced by black mold can be breathed in, ingested, or absorbed through a persons skin. After prolonged exposure, these mycotoxins find their way into the persons bloodstream. The circulatory difficulties stemming from black mold exposure include irregular heartbeat, heart inflammation, internal bleeding, and blood clots. If your doctor has diagnosed any such circulatory problems, schedule a mold inspection today.
Coughing And Shortness Of Breath
The irritation and inflammation caused by mold often lead to frequent coughing that is otherwise unexplained.
The throat and lungs are irritated continuously when repeatedly exposed to mycotoxins. If the issue isnt addressed, this coughing can develop into more severe conditions such as pneumonia and bronchitis.
The same inflammation that causes irritated, constricted airways that lead to wheezing and coughing can eventually lead to shortness of breath.
This gives a feeling of tightness in the chest. It may feel like you are unable to take in a full breath.
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How Is Mold Allergy Diagnosed
To diagnose an allergy to mold, your healthcare provider will take a complete medical history and examine you. To diagnose most types of allergies, including mold, your provider will probably do a skin and/or blood test.
The skin test involves scratching your skin with needles that have mold extracts on them. If youre allergic to the molds, youll probably have some type of reaction, like itching or redness or swelling.
Blood tests can provide allergy screening or an allergen-specific IgE antibody test. This can help to diagnose an allergy or to see if treatment is working.
Should I Move Out If I Have Black Mold
Ultimately, you should always prioritize your health above all else. If you have black mold in your house that is contained in a small enough area to be sufficiently removed, its likely that this will solve the issue .
Black mold is, however, a fungus that spreads and grows through its microscopic spores that permeate beyond where we can see. One of the trickiest aspects about this problem is that often people dont even realize that its growing inside their home until they start wheezing. And even if you clean it off, no longer seeing it in your home might not be enough to ensure your safety.
If you have a respiratory condition or simply dont feel comfortable regularly occupying a space that could be fostering black mold, either employ a removal expert to get rid of it or ask your landlord/building manager to get it removed. If you cannot get it removed, you may want to consider moving house for the sake of your health.
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Is Black Mold Dangerous
There have been reports about black mold leading to illness. Black mold has been linked to lung problems in babies and children, including bleeding in the lungs. There is no scientific evidence to support that link.
Researchers have not found evidence that allergies to black mold are worse than allergies to other types of mold. People who develop respiratory symptoms associated with sick building syndrome have blamed black mold. The evidence suggests that mold-related illness can result from multiple types of mold, not just black mold.
Summary Of Health Problems
Many types of indoor mold, not just black mold, may cause health problems in some individuals.
Long-term exposure to high levels of mold in the home, however,
People who are most at risk of the symptoms of mold exposure are:
- infants and children
- people with allergies or asthma
- people with weakened immune systems
The main health risks related to mold exposure are allergies and irritation, which typically cause respiratory symptoms.
People with weakened immune systems may also have a risk of fungal infection.
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Who Does Mold Allergy Affect
Molds can irritate everyone, regardless of whether you’re allergic to them. But the effects are generally worse for certain groups of people who have compromised immune systems due to disease or medication.
Risk factors for developing an allergy to mold include:
- Having a family or personal history of allergies.
- Having a respiratory condition like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease .
- Being exposed to mold over a long period of time due to your job or to living in a humid house or a building with poor ventilation.
Contact Puroclean For Professional Mold Remediation Services
Black mold issues can pose a challenge to homeowners, but thankfully you dont need to go about it alone. As The Paramedics of Property Damage®, PuroClean is ready to assist you with professional mold mitigation services. Our technicians have extensive training in the most effective strategies to get rid of mold in your home safely and efficiently. If you spot mold in your bathroom or anywhere on your property, contact your local PuroClean office immediately. Our office locator can get you easily connected, or call us at 775-7876.
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Skin Infections And Toxic Mold Exposure
In addition to contributing to the development of uncomfortable skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis, mold can cause damaging skin infections. When certain types of mold enter the skin through a puncture wound or scratch, they can cause an infection known as sporotrichosis. For many people, sporotrichosis results in the formation of painless but unsightly red, firm nodules on the skin. These nodules sometimes develop open sores that do not heal without medical intervention and lengthy treatment. These ulcers leave the skin vulnerable to much more dangerous secondary infections, like cellulitis.
According to WebMD, sporotrichosis can become systemic : In very rare cases, the infection can spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones, joints, lungs, and brain. This is more common among those with a weakened immune system. It can be difficult to treat and may be life threatening.
Who Is At Risk For Mold Toxicity
While anyone can become ill from exposure to mold and its mycotoxins, some are more susceptible than others.
People who already have allergies or asthma can be more severely affected by mold toxicity than those who do not have allergies.
Also, people who are already ill, have immune suppression, or who have respiratory illnesses are more likely to have noticeable and intense symptoms resulting from mold exposure.
Symptoms of mold toxicity are relatively persistent and should not be ignored.
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