How To Get Rid Of Mold On Walls
Mold on your interior walls can be a hint that youve got a water problem. Behind that wall, you may have a leaky pipe or a drainage issue. Or it could mean you have a ventilation issue. Does the bathroom have a vent? If not, moisture may be building up whenever you shower, encouraging mold growth.
If there is a water problem, any mold you kill by scrubbing is only going to come back. Fix these problems first. If you suspect a leak, clean the area and see how quickly the mold comes back. If it pops up quickly, you may need to hire someone to fix the problem.
To scrub mold off your walls, use a heavy-duty sponge soaked in a bleach/water solution. While wearing a protective mask and gloves, scrub the tainted spot with your solution. For stubborn patches of mold, you may need to let the solution soak in for a few minutes. If that still doesnt work, you can use specially formulated mold remover and mix it in with your bleach solution. Once done scrubbing, make sure to dry off the area you scrubbed.
Who Is Most At Risk For Health Problems Associated With Exposure To Mold
People with allergies may be more sensitive to molds. People with immune suppression or underlying lung disease are more susceptible to fungal infections. Individuals with chronic respiratory disease may experience difficulty breathing. Individuals with immune suppression are at increased risk for infection from molds. If you or your family members have these conditions, a qualified medical clinician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment.
Growth Spots Of Varying Colors
Black mold, as the name implies, is often dark in color. When searching for black mold, look for circular-shaped spots that are black, dark green or dark brown. Some black mold can also take on shades of orange or have flecks of white within it.
Most of the time, black mold has a slightly furry appearance. Larger growths of mold may appear as a black stain that stretches along your wall, floor or ceiling.
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How Did I Get Mold
Like any other living thing, mold needs food and water to thrive. Mold problems start when a mold spore thats floating in the air lands on a wet piece of organic material , takes root and starts to multiply. Mold spores are everywhere in the air, including in the cleanest of homes.
In fact, every breath you take likely has some mold spores in it at low levels! In the home, mold usually grows wherever there is dampness and moisture, like basements, attics, kitchens and bathrooms, or areas that have experienced flooding.
With over 100,000 species, mold comes in about any size, shape, and color you can think of, making it impossible to tell what type of mold you have without testing by a certified mold inspection professional.
Black Mold In The Body
Is it really a problem if you are exposed to black mold spores?
The answer to that is definitely yes! Mold not only grows on surfaces inside and outside of your home, but if it is inhaled, it can continue its growth inside your body.
I remember as a child being told that if I swallowed watermelon seeds, they would begin growing in my stomach. That was a pretty frightening thought
But the idea that mold can grow inside your body is a pretty disgusting thought, but its a reality.
Once it begins growing there, it will produce toxins that can make you very ill, from simple things such as sneezing and watery eyes to more severe problems such as breathing disorders, vomiting and neurological disorders.
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I Heard About Toxic Molds And Black Molds That Grow In Homes And Other Buildings Should I Be Concerned About A Serious Health Risk To Me And My Family
There is always a little mold everywhere in the air and on many surfaces.
Certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins . Hazards presented by molds that may produce mycotoxins should be considered the same as other common molds which can grow in your house. Not all fungi produce mycotoxins and even those that do will not do so under all surface or environmental conditions.
Mold growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. Color is not an indication of how dangerous a mold may be. Any mold should be removed and the moisture source that helped it grow should be removed.
There are very few reports that toxigenic molds found inside homes can cause unique or rare health conditions such as pulmonary hemorrhage or memory loss. These case reports are rare, and a causal link between the presence of the toxigenic mold and these conditions has not been proven.
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Removing Mold In The Kitchen
Spotted mold in your kitchen? Scrub any hard surfaces with one of the solutions mentioned above, taking care to thoroughly rinse any food prep areas after. You may need to replace porous surfaces, such as wooden cabinets, that are contaminated.
To prevent mold and practice adequate kitchen maintenance, open your windows to improve ventilation and run the hood vent when cooking and cleaning. Wipe water from hard surfaces, and fix leaky faucets as soon as possible. Always make sure your tableware and serving dishes are dry before storing them to keep mold from proliferating in cabinets. Scrub mold from surfaces as soon as it appears, then be sure to dry the area to prevent it from spreading.
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How Does Black Mold Get Inside A House
Mold spores find their way inside by hitchhiking on clothes, pet fur, and air currents into your home. But spores cant get comfortable without plenty of water. This is why youll usually find black mold around water-damaged areas impacted by plumbing issues like floods or leaky pipes.
Materials like drywall, carpet, or gypsum board can soak up water, creating a perfect home for a black mold colony. If you find water damage at home, its crucial to remove all the affected materials to prevent mold from growing.
Keep It Clean And Dry
It never hurts to clean regularly. Make sure humid areas and rooms with plumbing get regular spot checks. Add mold and mildew removal products to your cleaning routine, especially for the bathroom and kitchen.
Mold thrives on moisture, so use dehumidifiers in humid areas of your home like bathrooms, basements, or closets.
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Remember That Professionals Have Tools That You Dont
According to Jeff Miller, a real estate agent with AE Home Group in Maryland, More often than not, the mold is either from a small plumbing leak or from a roof leak, so fix that first. If the mold is located under a bathroom or kitchen sink where there could be a plumbing leak, call a plumber to investigate. Similarly, he recommends having a roofer inspect and seal any gaps in the roof if you see thats the cause of the mold.
Miller recommends having the mold remediated by a professional. They have access to the proper chemicals you need to ensure no mold residue after treatment, and they can test your home to ensure that the mold hasnt spread.
Kyle Rowley, mold remediation expert at Restoration 1 in Waco, TX, agrees. He says that mold can be tricky and dangerous. Even if there has been no water damage to a property, mold can come from something as simple as a leaky window because moisture and mold go hand-in-hand.
And because mold can cause so many problems, he says homeowners shouldnt take any chances. Having mold present can lead to allergens, irritants, mycotoxins, sneezing, breathing problems and long-term diseases, Rowley says.
We Unknowingly Bought A House With Mold So Who Is Responsible
Q: I read your column every week but Ive never seen you discuss the toxic mold issue. We bought our house this spring and have only recently had occasion to crawl under the subfloor. There are parts of the house that are full of mold. My husband scraped some off and sent it to a lab he found on the Internet. They have just given us the test results and they say it is some kind of toxic mold. Our question is, who is responsible? We have a small baby and were really concerned about her health. Shouldnt somebody have disclosed the fact that the mold exists? How dangerous is it? What should we do?
A: Toxic mold used to be the fastest growing legal issue in the real estate community. Other types of defect/failure-to-disclose issues have arisen so often, and for so long, that the law in those areas has become pretty certain.
Oddly, toxic mold has now been in our vocabularies for 15 years or so. Yet lawyers and judges still dont yet know exactly how to handle it.
We all grew up with mold around us and its difficult to believe that so much of the stuff is really that dangerous since most of us grew up healthy. The reason is pretty straight forward. Simply stated, theres no such thing as toxic mold. There are molds that are generally considered unhealthy to breath in large quantities. And just like peanuts and cats, mold is a substance that some people can be particularly sensitive to.
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How Do You Get The Molds Out Of Buildings Including Homes Schools And Places Of Employment
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:
Can I Stay In My House With Black Mold
Mold is a common and often overlooked household problem. While it may seem harmless, mold is one of the most toxic substances you can encounter in your home environment. It is estimated that 4.6 million people in the U.S. have asthma that can be attributed to mold exposure. Black mold is considered the most dangerous type of mold overgrowth and can be severe enough to cause illness.
Can I Stay in My House With Black Mold?
It is recommended that you stay somewhere clear of mold spores until all black mold has been removed from your home. This is because black mold is toxic and can cause immediate health issues and result in long-term consequences.
What causes black mold?
Toxic mold is created by volatile organic compounds , which stem from mold spores. VOCs interfere with the respiratory and nervous system.
Black Mold Affects Emotions and Psychological Health
It is possible that being exposed to black mold over an extended period of time can lead to depression and anxiety. The toxins found in mold can build up inside the body, and it can also create brain fog, insomnia, and the inability to focus. Even after the mold is gone, the symptoms may linger for a long time as the body recovers from the toxins.
Black Mold Affects Physical Health
Black Mold Symptoms
Get Professional Help to Remove Black Mold
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How Do Molds Affect People
Exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects, or none at all. Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can lead to symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes, or skin. Some people, such as those with allergies to molds or with asthma, may have more intense reactions. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath.
In 2004 the Institute of Medicine found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people with asthma symptoms in people with asthma and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition.
In 2009, the World Health Organization issued additional guidance, the WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mould pdf iconexternal icon pdf icon. Other recent studies have suggested a potential link of early mold exposure to development of asthma in some children, particularly among children who may be genetically susceptible to asthma development, and that selected interventions that improve housing conditions can reduce morbidity from asthma and respiratory allergies.
Different Types Of Mold
Molds come in many different forms in fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are probably tens of thousands of types of molds, if not more. Molds play an important role in breaking down leaves, plants and trees. While many molds are harmless, harmful types in enclosed places can lead to respiratory distress, manifesting itself in symptoms that include stuffy noses and wheezing. The effects will be more intense for those who are allergic to that mold or have asthma. Molds responsible for breaking down natural materials, like wood and leaves, can damage the structure of your home. Everyone has an aversion to that.
Lets take a look at a few different types of mold that you might commonly encounter in various areas of your home.
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Mold Reactions: Who’s At Risk
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. In people with asthma who are allergic to mold, breathing in spores can also cause asthma attacks.
In addition to people with allergies and asthma, others who may be more sensitive to the effects of mold include:
- Infants and children
- People with chronic lung disease
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.
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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.
What Are Symptoms And Signs Of Mold Exposure
Molds produce irritating substances that may act as allergy-causing substances in sensitive individuals. Furthermore, some molds produce toxic substances known as mycotoxins, but mold itself is not poisonous or toxic. The term “toxic mold,” therefore, refers to the fact that certain kinds of mold can produce mycotoxins. The conditions under which some molds produce toxins are not understood, and the presence of mold, even a mold that is capable of producing toxins, does not always imply that toxins are being produced or that a health risk or problem is present. Mold may not cause any health problems, or it may lead to allergy or other symptoms in people, including adults and children, who are sensitive to molds.
Allergic reactions to mold are the most common health effects of mold and are therefore the greatest health risk related to mold. Allergic reactions may happen immediately or develop after a period following exposure. Both growing mold and mold spores may lead to allergic reactions. Symptoms and signs of mold allergy may include
Mold or mold spores may cause asthma attacks in people who have asthma and are allergic to mold. Even in some non-allergic individuals, mold can cause symptoms of irritation in the eyes, skin, and airways. For example, the “black mold”Stachybotrys, along with some other types of mold, produces toxins known as mycotoxins that can cause irritation of the skin and airways in susceptible individuals.
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