You Bought A House With Mold Problems: 5 Things You Need To Do Now
No one ever images theyre buying a house with mold problems. You assume the home inspection process uncovers potential problems, but even newly constructed homes can harbor hidden mold. If you find mold in your house after you purchase the property, follow these five steps to resolution and recovery.
Where Mold Is Found
Mold comes in various colors and shapes. The villainswith names like stachybotrys, penicillium, aspergilus, paecilomyces, and fusariumare black, white, green, or gray. Some are powdery, others shiny. Some molds look and smell disgusting others are barely seenhidden between walls, under floors and ceilings, or in less accessible spots, such as basements and attics.
Mold often grows on water-soaked materials, such as wall paneling, paint, fabric, ceiling tiles, newspapers, or cardboard boxes. Humidity sets up prime growing conditions for mold. Buildings in naturally humid climates of Texas, California, and the Southern U.S. have experienced more mold problems than residences in drier climates. But whatever the climate, mold can grow as long as moisture is present.
Signs Of A Black Mold Infestation
It is difficult to see and identify black mold. The first clue that it may be present in your home comes from the symptoms of exposure, such as nasal congestion or coughing. However, only a trained professional can accurately diagnose whether black mold is present by having a professional analysis completed.
Another way to tell is a musty smell. Most species of mold and mildew cause a musty smell throughout your home, and the highest concentration of that smell likely has the most
If you can physically see the mold in your home, in most cases its bad enough that you probably need to call a professional mold removal team.
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Landlord Legal Responsibilities For Tenant Exposure To Mold
With a few exceptions, landlord responsibilities regarding mold have not been clearly spelled out in building codes, ordinances, statutes, or regulations.
No federal law sets permissible exposure limits or building tolerance standards for mold in residential buildings, and only a few states , and a few cities , have taken steps toward establishing permissible mold standards or guidelines and regulations for mold in indoor air.
To see whether your state is considering mold-related legislation that might affect residential rentals, you can search the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Environmental Health State Bill Tracking Database. Check the “Indoor Air QualityMold” box in the “Topics” column, and check the box next to your state.
For local mold-related rules, contact your city manager, mayor’s office or other local government department.
Do I Need Professional Testing
In short, usually not! Because, remember the saying: no mold, no matter what color, belongs in a healthy home. And that is good news because a professional mold inspection with testing can run anywhere from $300-$750. In most cases where mold is clearly visible, knowing exactly what type of mold you have is unnecessary. We advise most of our clients to forgo the inspection process and just apply that money saved to the cost of fixing the problem. The EPA agrees that mold testing isnt necessary in most cases.
There are exceptions, however, such as when a mold inspection with testing is required as part of a real estate sale or if you require proof that a mold problem is present, such as for a legal dispute. If you think you may have a mold problem, but arent sure, then we recommend formal testing from a professional. And if you require clearance testing to verify an all clear after a mold problem is fixed, then professional mold testing is necessary.
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Can Living In A House With Mold Make You Sick
Damp and mold are sadly common occurrences in homes that have poor ventilation, single-glazed windows, and other forms of poor insulation. Black mold is one of the more severe types of fungus that can grow in these conditions.
Being constantly exposed to and breathing in black mold is very damaging to your health, a conclusion that goes undisputed in the research behind it. Here are just some of the discovered complications that fungus exposure can cause:
- Inability to breathe
just to name a few. It can damage your health permanently depending upon the amount of fungus, the length of your exposure, and whether you already have any respiratory conditions.
Another feature of black mold is that it can grow in those hard-to-reach or seldom-visited places, like behind cupboards and underneath floorboards. This means it could be completely unnoticeable to you, despite the fact that youre breathing it in. It can silently affect your health without your knowledge.
How To Remove Mold From Concrete Walls
- Fill a bucket with 1-gallon of warm water and add Â½ cup of liquid laundry detergent.
- Dip a scrub brush or a push broom into the cleaning solution and scrub the concrete to remove it.
- Rinse the concrete wall with a garden hose and allow it to air dry.
- Empty the bucket and fill with a mixture of 1-gallon warm water and Â¼ cup of bleach.
- Apply to the concrete with a sponge or sponge mop and allow to sit for 20-30 minutes.
- Rinse completely and allow to air dry.
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What To Do About Mold In Your Home
If you recently found mold in your home, you are probably searching the internet to figure out what to do. This step-by-step guide will answer all of your questions. Dont panic, it may take some time but you will get past this. The key is to educate yourself and do it right the first time so the mold does not return.
Please note that this page was written to help homeowners. If you live in an apartment or rental house, here is information about the landlord responsibility for mold.
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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Stopping The Symptoms Of Black Mold
There are two things that need to be done in order to stop the symptoms that are occurring:
First you should consult with your doctor and let them know that you have been exposed to black mold. Most doctors are familiar with the dangers of black mold, and can prescribe treatment options for each of the symptoms that are occurring.
The second step is to get rid of the black mold problem. Going to the doctor will not do any good if you don’t eliminate the mold. Continued exposure will cause your symptoms to get progressively worse.
Identifying Mold In Your Home
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What To Do For Black Mold
If you see a patch of what you think might be black mold, don’t touch it remember, says Anderson, that disturbing the mold is what causes the spores to release its toxins. “Don’t attempt to wipe it or spray it or put any chemical on itthat’s just going to make it angry,” she says. “The best thing to do is contain it.” She recommends covering the entire area with plastica bag or dropcloth will worksecured around the outer edge of the mold area . “If you have HVAC running into that room, shut the vents so they’re not pulling anything into the other rooms,” Anderson adds.
Remove Mold From Plaster Walls
Under the right conditions, plaster can absorb a large amount of water and if the water is allowed to sit, black mold may appear. Cleaning a plaster wall will help to temporarily remove the problem, but to prevent the risk of it returning and/or spreading, itâs best to improve the air circulation with a fan or install a dehumidifier.
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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:
Why Is Black Mold So Dangerous
Black mold is commonly referred to as toxic mold, and for good reason. Aside from causing all kinds of respiratory reactions like coughing, sneezing, sore and itchy throats, and watery and itchy eyes, prolonged exposure can have serious health consequences.Black mold is toxic, and prolonged exposure can have serious health consequences.
One study found that exposure to mold during infancy led to asthma at 7 years of age, while others have linked exposure to brain inflammation, behavioral dysfunction, movement disorders, and neurological deterioration.
In short, black mold warrants its reputation as a toxin, and should be treated as soon as its discovered. Below are several signs it may be inhabiting your home.
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How To Clean Mold From Walls
Hiring a professional is recommended. Many people are tempted to use bleach to clean black mold from their walls, but this can cause a variety of problems. Bleach often removes the color of mold, making it almost invisible. While the walls may look clean, they are still moldy and can cause health issues.
Black Mold: What Is It
Stachybotrys chartarum, commonly known as black mold, is a mold thats often black in color and can grow in homes in humid or damp areas. The mold feeds on organic materials in common household materials like drywall, carpet, insulation or sub-flooring that have been exposed to moisture, as HGTV describes.
As the mold proliferates, it can release toxic substances. It is these that cause health problems. The CDC explains it this way: The term toxic mold is not accurate. While certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins , the molds themselves are not toxic, or poisonous.
However, though the release of mycotoxins does not always occur, the possibility that it can is reason enough to take care of any mold problem right away.
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Can I Just Get Into The Wall And Use Bleach To Clean It
It may be tempting to get into the wall and spray everything with bleach by yourself. However, if you have never done this before, it is better to call someone licensed to deal with mold. This is especially true if you have never gone into the wall and dont know how to detect how extensive the mold damage is. Leaving the eradication of mold to professionals will save not only your health but also your sanity. A professional team will have all the protective gear, detection tools and methods necessary to get rid of all the mold in your home.
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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What Are Black Mold Health Symptoms
We all know mold isnt welcomed in the home, but did you know too that breathing in the presence of mold can harm your health? There are over 2,000 different species of mold and the most dangerous of all is called Stachybotrys Chartarum, also known as black mold or the invisible killer.
Why is black mold so dangerous? Black mold releases toxic spores that linger in the air and attack your respiratory health. The potency of these toxic spores has proved to be the most detrimental to human health.
Black mold often appears as slimy and greenish-black. If its water source runs out, black mold can also appear as dry and powdery. Black mold is also dangerous because its sometimes difficult to distinguish from other species of mold.
Black Mold Removal And Cleaning
Mold remediation in stores, offices, or schools is best left to the pros. 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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What Are The Signs Of Mold
Mold starts out as a little spot but expands quickly. Youll usually notice it early on, unless its in an out-of-the-way location.
Mold can be black, white, spotted, or just about any color, and may appear powdery, cottony, or velvety.
If you notice a spot and arent sure if its just an old stain or a splotch of dirt, heres how to tell if it could be a sign of mold:
- It has a musty, earthy smell.
- Theres a nearby source of moisture, but not much light.
- You see warping, cracking, or peeling of whatever material its growing on.
- A drop of bleach lightens its color in a minute or two.
- Unchecked, mold will continue to grow. Dirt and old stains wont.
Having mold in your home wont necessarily make you sick. But it does have the potential to cause certain health issues.
Touching or inhaling mold spores can cause allergy-type symptoms such as:
- runny nose and congestion
- lung irritation
In many cases, you can get rid of household mold yourself. Mold can be removed with:
- commercial products
- a bleach solution of 8 ounces of bleach per 1 gallon of water
Before you begin:
- Wear protective eyewear, nonporous gloves, and a face mask or N-95 respirator.
- Never mix other cleaners or ammonia with bleach, as it can create toxic fumes.
Use a brush to scrub mold off surfaces, making sure you get it all. Porous materials, such as carpeting, furniture, and ceiling tiles, may have to be discarded. Dont paint or caulk until youre sure all the mold is gone.