Thursday, November 24, 2022

What Can Mold In Your House Do To Your Health

Where To Check For Mold In Your Bathroom

How Mold Can Make You Sick

You may love a long, hot shower but, unfortunately, so does mold. The warm, wet environment of a bathroom is practically an invitation for mold growth. Bathrooms that lack proper ventilation are especially prone to attracting mold. While it may be clear to check for mold on shower tiles, there are plenty of less obvious places for mold to grow in the bathroom.

Using A Mold Exposure Test

A mold exposure test is often the best way for you to check for mold on your own. You can pick one up at any home improvement or home supply store.

Simply follow the instructions on the box. Usually, youll just brush the surface where you think mold may be present, and send the test strip or brush in for a laboratory analysis. If mold is present, youll be notified.

Can You Get Sick From Mold In Your House

Yes. Those will allergies, compromised immune systems, asthma, or other such issues are at a higher risk as even minor, non-toxic molds could cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms. Mold in your house is rarely life-threatening. However, prolonged exposure is far from ideal for a number of reasons.

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Actions You Can Take To Reduce Mould

The most important actions you can take to prevent mould in your home are those that minimise moisture.

  • Fix leaky plumbing and roofs and other building faults
  • Ensure gutters are cleared and maintained
  • Reduce condensation by using exhaust fans, or open windows in the bathroom and kitchen when showering, cooking or using the dishwasher
  • Wipe up excess water caused by condensation such as on single glazed windows and on shower glazing
  • Air the home regularly by opening windows and doors on warmer days
  • Vent clothes dryers to the outside and clean lint filters according to the manufacturers instructions.
  • Use reverse cycle air conditioning and or mechanical dehumidification if available
  • Ensure sufficient exhaust openings to the outside of the building if using evaporative cooling. Evaporative coolers increase the moisture content in indoor air, so the manufacturers instructions should be followed to ensure airflow in the home.
  • Maintain heating, ventilation and cooling systems according to the manufacturers instructions.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.
  • Avoid placing mattresses on the floor or surfaces without adequate ventilation.
  • Vacuum, and or turn mattresses if it can be done safely.
  • Increase air circulation around furniture by moving the furniture away from the walls.
  • Refer to information about cleaning up mould: refer to the information on the Better Health Channel website.

    How Do You Get The Molds Out Of Buildings Including Homes Schools And Places Of Employment

    16 Signs You Have Mold Illness And What To Do About It ...

    Mold growing in homes and buildings indicates that there is a problem with water or moisture. This is the first problem to address.

    Remove moldy items from living areas. Once mold starts to grow in carpet, insulation, ceiling tiles, drywall, or wallboard, the only way to deal with the problem is by removal and replacement.

    It is important to properly clean and dry the area as you can still have an allergic reaction to parts of the dead mold and mold contamination may recur if there is still a source of moisture.

    Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried promptly.

    Clean up and dry out your home thoroughly and quickly after any flooding. Dig out mud and dirt . Use a wet vacuum to remove remaining dirt. Scrub cleanable surfaces with soapy water and a bristle brush. Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces with water and dish detergent. Dry surfaces quickly and thoroughly after cleaning. If you have a fan, air conditioner or dehumidifier that wasnt affected by flooding use it to help the surfaces dry after you finish cleaning

    Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water to kill mold on surfaces. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners.

    If you choose to use bleach to clean up mold:

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    Does Mold Cause Tuberculosis

    Despite recent progress and advances in medicine, tuberculosis is still not a disease of the past. In Canada alone around 1 600 new cases of tuberculosis are reported each year.

    On March 24 this year, the Ontario Lung Association stated that tuberculosis remains a serious public health concern in Ontario, with one-third of all cases in 2009 occurring primarily in the Greater Toronto Area.

    With that in mind, learning more about tuberculosis causes and what you can do to prevent it is the key to keep you and your loved ones safe from this disease. In fact many things we do in our daily routine can be the cause behind the weak immune system and increase risk of tuberculosis. Living with mold is definitely one of those things

    Helpful Tips For Reducing A Stuffy Nose

    Nasal decongestants in the form of sprays and tablets can help relieve a stuffy nose. However, these are only temporary fixes and should not be used too often as they can become addictive. In fact, nasal sprays can actually damage your nasal passages if used in excess.

    A humidifier can also help reduce stuffiness by adding moisture to the air and promoting mucous production.

    If you are still having persistent stuffy nose, you should contact your doctor or another medical professional.

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    Tips On How To Remove Mold From Home

    The first step is to locate and confirm the presence of mold. In addition to looking for the obvious discoloration spots, you can have your home tested for mold. According to homeadvisor.com, the average cost to test for mold is $834. However there are home mold-testing kits available for $10 to $50.

    It is quite important that you remove the mold the moment you discover it, because the spores can affect the quality of air in your home. It is always advisable to hire a professional to remove the mold, but if you do it yourself, use an OSHA approved respirator, gloves, disposable coveralls, non-vented goggles. Listed below are a few tips on how you can remove mold from your house:

    Remove moldy materials

    If not properly disposed of, moldy materials may stir up spores, which can spread into your house. Because of their microscopic size, a square foot of wall can have over 3,000 million mold spores. You have to use the appropriate equipment and follow the safety procedures so as to protect yourself from the spores.

    Excessive levels of contamination may require that you discard absorbent materials such as carpets, wall paper etc. To avoid airspore becoming airborne, professionals seal off the affected area with tape, and use plastic sheets to seal doorways and vents. They also use air movers, dehumidifiers and HEPA air scrubbers to eliminate moisture and dry out the air and surfaces.

    Heating, Insulation and Ventilation

    Find and fix interior plumbing leaks

    Check the ductwork

    What Causes Mould To Grow Indoors

    How to find hidden mold in your home after Harvey

    Mould only grows when there is sufficient moisture on a surface or humidity in the air. Common causes include:

    • leaky roofs and walls including and blocked gutters and downpipes
    • leaky plumbing
    • condensation from cooking, showering, clothes drying and from breathing inareas with poor air circulation eg cupboards and corners and furniture against uninsulated outside walls. Avoid conditions encouraging mould growth, by using heat, insulation and ventilation. The cheapest and easiest way of reducing moisture and humidity levels is by ventilating a room by opening a door or window. Use exhaust fans where available.

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    Air Conditioning And Heating Vents

    You probably prefer your bedroom to be at the optimal temperature for you to get a good nights rest. While using the AC and heating unit are fine , its possible for mold to grow in the vents.

    To prevent mold from contaminating your bedroom, you should:

    • Use a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air
    • Dry up any condensation you find on the walls and windows
    • Invest in a mold-resistant mattress or, at the very least, a waterproof mattress cover

    What Is Mold Toxicity

    Mold toxicity occurs when mycotoxins are produced by micro-fungi such as mold, that can affect your bodys system leading to chronic symptoms.

    It is estimated that 24% of the population is genetically susceptible to this illness and will begin experiencing chronic inflammatory immune responses as a result of this exposure. Toxins produced by mold will start to accumulate inside the body and begin its takeover of symptoms to an individual.

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    Who Is Most At Risk Of Mold Exposure

    We come into contact with mold in three primary ways: inhalation, physical contact or ingestion. But every reaction to mold is different, as no two immune systems are the same.

    Some people are more sensitive to mold than others. Both your genetic makeup and your current state of health are factors that will influence your reaction.

    The following groups of people are especially susceptible to the adverse health effects of mold exposure, because their bodies may be weak to begin with:

    • Infants and small children

    If youve been experiencing some of these symptoms and are concerned, .

    How Can I Remove Black Mold

    Long Term Effects of Black Mold

    If youre looking to get rid of the black mold yourself, here are some pointers to do it properly:

    • Clean the area with soap, water, and a diluted bleach formula. Repeat this process for a few days thereafter to get any potentially missed spores in the area
    • Replace appliances, furniture or parts of your house that have been affected
    • Cover any susceptible walls or corners with mold-preventable paint

    Be aware that black mold can spread quickly and invisibly. If you do not feel comfortable removing it yourself, or dont feel equipped to do so, consider reaching out to professionals to do it for you.

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    If You Use Bleach To Clean Up Mold

    • Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce a poisonous gas.
    • Always follow the manufacturers instructions when you use bleach or any other cleaning product.
    • Open windows and doors to provide fresh air.
    • Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles during cleanup of affected areas.
    • If you need to clean more than 10 square feet, check the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guide titled Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, which gives advice on all building types. You can get it by going to the EPA web site at .

    Condensation On Windows Window Frames And Sills

    • Promptly repair any leaks.
    • Lower the indoor moisture levels.
    • Use exhaust bathroom fans and a kitchen range hood.
    • Keep window coverings open to move the warm air over the windows .
    • Keep baseboards or heating vents clear of furniture to make sure the heat flows.
    • Dry your window frames and sills daily to keep water from dripping and causing mould to grow.
    • Leave interior doors open for good air and heat flow.
    • Unplug and remove humidifiers.

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    How Does Mold Get Into Our Homes

    The more people who live in a home, the more likely it is that molds will grow inside it. This is because we release a lot of moisture in the air when we breathe. When we take long hot showers, cook with uncovered pots, dry clothes on an indoor clothesline, or use humidifiers, we also make more moisture for molds to grow. Storing wet firewood, watering many plants, and storing many vegetables like potatoes and squash can make a mold problem more likely, too.

    Mold Toxicity: The Effects Of Living With Mold

    How to search for hidden mold in your home

    Rapid growth and an overtaking of your environment are a few characteristics that can be used to describe the dreaded but common household issue that we know as mold. Mold is a fungus that can grow on almost anything, with the ability to thrive in many conditions but most specifically in warm temperatures and high moisture environments.

    The versatility of mold allows for this fungus to grow in both indoor and outdoor environments, making it an invasive presence in both your outdoor area and most importantly in your indoor areas such as your home. When you are exposed to mold chronically, you can develop mold toxicity symptoms.

    Mold has the ability to spread far and wide, as tiny microscopic spores called mycotoxins, are released from the source in an effort to allow additional mold to grow. As mold begins to reproduce, its effect on humans who have been exposed could be significant.

    Sensitivities can plague some individuals when contact occurs between mold, with symptoms spurring into overdrive in some cases. The type of mold present can lead to variations of symptoms, with a rough estimate of 1,000 species of mold currently in the United States . The level of hazard existing to human health can significantly reflect based upon on the specific type of mold in the environment and can thus lead to a scary health effect called mold toxicity.

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    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.

    What Does Black Mold Exposure Treatment Look Like

    Just like the diagnosis, the treatment of mold exposure differs from doctor to doctor. One thing most doctors will advise you to do is to test for and, if needed, remove any unhealthy mold conditions from your home. Even if the treatment will help in the short-term, it wont be effective over the long-term if your indoor environment isnt improved.

    To treat the symptoms, doctors may suggest:

    • Over-the-counter medication. Medicine that would decrease the airway inflammation and suppress the allergic reactions.
    • Nasal sprays to deal with a runny or stuffy nose or rinses to clear your nasal passages from inhaled mold spores.
    • Regular allergy medicine

    A persons immune system has to be working properly to fight mold symptoms, so changes in a lifestyle or diet might be necessary. In more severe cases of allergies, doctors prescribe immunotherapy to provide relief from symptoms

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    How To Remove Mold From Air Conditioner

    We dont recommend that homeowners attempt to clean a central air unit or ventilation . If, on an inspection of a small self-contained unit, you have decided to tackle it yourself, heres what youll need to do:

  • Wear goggles, a face mask and gloves to avoid exposure
  • Move the unit to a space where you can clean it without cross-contaminating your house
  • Open the unit and remove the filter
  • If the filter is disposable, throw it out
  • If the filter is not disposable:
  • remove all debris and visible mold
  • fully submerge the filter in a mix of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water
  • let soak for at least 10 minutes
  • rinse
  • air dry
  • Use a wet/dry vac to remove all debris from the interior of the unit
  • Deep clean all affected surfaces using a mixture of 1 parts bleach to 10 parts water, adding a spoonful of detergent for extra penetration.
  • Allow at least 10 minutes for the bleach to kill off any last remnants of mold
  • Hose or otherwise rinse off the unit, but avoid soaking the electrical components
  • Allow to dry
  • Reinstall the filter, reassemble and reinstall
  • If youre intimidated by the above work, remember: hiring a mold removal expert is always a safe and sure-fire way of getting mold eradicated.

    Rental Properties With Mould Issues

    What To Do About A Mold Problem: 3 Common Signs You Have One

    When a rental property has mould, the owner should fix any mould caused by faults in gutters or other fixtures, but the tenant should ensure that extractor fans are used when available and the home is aired regularly where possible.

    Sometimes, the cause of the mould growth may be due to a building fault that may not be easily rectified.

    If as a tenant, you have taken measures to make sure the building is properly ventilated and mould is still growing, you should raise the issue with the owner.

    Information on mould in rental properties is available on Consumer Affairs Victorias website.

    Tenants seeking further advice on their rights can also contact the Tenants Union of Victoria on .

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    What Are The Best Ways To Prevent Red Mold

    Eliminating excess moisture is key to preventing the growth of red mold. To do this, reduce the humidity level in your home. As a general rule of thumb, indoor humidity should remain below 50 percent.

    Run your air condition to minimize humidity levels or get a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air.

    Also, fix plumbing or roof leaks as soon as possible to prevent mold growth. Signs of a water leak include:

    • condensation on the inside of your windows
    • cracked tiles
    • water spots on ceiling and drywall

    Installing a bathroom fan can increase ventilation and reduce mold growth, too. You can even buy mold-resistant items for your bathroom like mold-resistant shower curtains, floor carpets, and tiles.

    In addition, refrigerating and keeping food covered can reduce its exposure to mold spores and help stop the growth of mold.

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