There Are Many Types Of Dangerous Mold
One of the dangers of buying a home with mold is that there are so many different kinds some of which can be extremely toxic. Researchers have identified over 100,000 different varieties of mold, many of which are routinely found indoors.
Someone who is unfamiliar with mold might be unable to recognize the signs, even if they were to see them. Further, mold often grows in hidden spots you cant easily get to, like underneath carpets or in the attic.
Mold growth is often missed by traditional home inspectors as well unless there are obvious physical signs. This means they will not be able to identify all the problem areas properly, so you could wind up buying a home with severe mold issues. To avoid this issue, it is highly recommended to schedule a professional mold inspection before buying.
Association Of Stachybotrys Species With Sick Buildings
One of the best studies of building-related illness showed minimal relation to Stachybotrys. Miller et al. examined 50 Canadian homes in which the occupants had complaints of respiratory or allergic symptoms for which there was no explanation, although at the time of the study, occupants of only 6 houses had building-related illnesses. Looking at air exchange rate, moisture levels, and analyzing air and dust for fungus and fungal products in 37 of the homes, they found S. chartarum in only one house analysis of the 6 sick houses did not indicate fungus-related disease. During parts of the year when windows are open, indoor fungi are comparable to outdoor species . However, in this study, outdoor air spores were negligible and Penicillium and other soil fungi were most important. Toxigenic fungi included P. viridicatum, Trichoderma viride, P. decumbens, and A. versicolor. House dust usually contained appreciable amounts of filamentous fungi and yeast, and so it was expected that spores could be found in air, depending on the activity in the room.
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.
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Fungal Organisms In Damp Buildings
A host of mold species have been isolated from damp buildings: the most frequently isolated in one study were Penicillium , Cladosporium , Ulocladium , Geomyces pannorum , and Sistronema brinkmannii . There were 66 species of filamentous fungi, and yeasts were found in 94% of dwellings and 13% of CFU on Anderson sampler plates. In contrast to the aforementioned species, Stachybotrys was less common, being found in 12.8% of dwellings and 4.5% of samples. Other studies have reported similar organism frequencies 1) . In most studies, Stachybotrys has had a low prevalence, being present in less than 3% of samples . However, some recent work has suggested that it may be more common than was initially thought . Regardless, Stachybotrys is rarely found in isolation, nearly always occurring in the presence of other fungi . This fact is critical, since many of the other species are capable of producing mycotoxins , and recent work suggests that volatiles from S. chartarum may represent a small fraction of the total amount present in problem buildings where other fungi exist .
Mold Type Number Two: Chaetomium
Chaetomium is the mold that you may have seen that looks like a white cotton-candy material. It is fluffy and can grow quickly. Typically, this type of mold is from decaying plants or wet soil The surrounding area of your dwelling could be infected and you may not be aware. If your walls or foundation is wet, or you have some type of water damage, this fungus is sure to form. Over time, the color of the cotton-like fungus changes colors, beginning with white and ending in black.
This mold attaches to low-end building material, such as drywall or wood. You may smell a musty odor before you see the actual pores. If you experience roof or basement leaking, you will want to test the area for mold. Even if no visible leaks or wetness is present and you smell the faint musty odor, get your dwelling tested.
The complete health risks for chaelomium is still unknown as more testing is being done. However, this mold does pose a greater health risk to immunocompromised individuals. Infections can occur in your nails, lungs, and your brain. There is a link between chaetomium and permanent neurological damage.
Additionally, higher rates of autoimmune diseases and cancer are found among individuals that have been exposed to this fungus.
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Where Do Dangerous Molds Grow
The most dangerous molds grow in the same places where every type of mold growth. Any area thats dark and accumulates moisture can be a potential place for mold to grow. It may grow on any organic surface in your house or place of work as long as the condition is right.
The sources of moisture may be anything from flood to the high humidity level. The majority of common sources of moisture are from leaks in the house that enable water from the outside to come inside.
Since there are lots of mold species, its impossible to get rid of them all. Everyone is exposed to molds daily since it grows outside and inside. Mold is part of nature.
But, as a homeowner and health-conscious individual, you must know how to keep your home from being a breeding ground of mold. This is especially important if you are dealing with the dangerous types of mold.
Understanding Types Of Mold
Mold is a broad term that describes a range of micro-organisms that grow in the presence of a food source and usually require sufficient moisture. More specifically, mold is a type of fungi, and growths are sometimes generically called mildew. Mold usually falls into one of three broad categories.
Allergenic molds are not toxic in and of themselves, but can trigger allergic reactions such as asthma.
Pathogenic molds can trigger illnesses in people already weakened by other causes.
Toxigenic families of molds are the most dangerous because they create their own toxins that can lead to health problems that are sometimes lethal.
Fortunately, regardless of the type of mold youve got, it can be killed with a registered fungicide.
Read on to learn more about the different types of molds and how to recognize them.
Type of Mold: Allergenic.
Where Its Found: Bathrooms and damp windows.
Got moldy stuff growing in your bathroom or shower? Perhaps mold along the bottom of windows where condensation develops during cold weather? Its probably a mold called Alternaria. This is the most common type of allergenic mold.
From the genus ascomycete, this organism thrives around the globe outdoors in natural ecosystems. But Alternaria can cause problems when it ventures indoors. It causes allergic reactions in people, and can also trigger hypersensitive conditions such as hay fever and asthma. This organism can infect people whose immune systems are impeded.
Type of Mold: Allergenic.
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What Does Mold Look Like
Its an eyesore to look at, for starters. It looks unpleasant. This is why its been known to lower a homes resale value.
You cant actually see it if its just starting to grow. Its microscopic. But it will grow if you dont do something about it. At this point it will become visible. Its now a colony.
This is why prevention is better than cure. Once you see it, your health would have been affected already.
It comes in different colors but the most common ones are green, blue and the dreaded black. The color is determined by a few things like how long it has been growing, what type it is, where it gets its nutrients, etc.
It can be confusing to identify mold. This is because it can be a simple stain or discoloration. This is why its best to contact a professional to properly identify it so that proper measures can be put in place.
Types Of Harmful Mold That May Be Lurking In Your Home
While mold is found virtually everywhere you go and is not always harmful, there are certain types of mold or fungi that can pose a serious health risk to you and your family if they are present in your home. Here are a few of the most common species of toxic mold that can grow inside homes wherever there are wet surfaces or water damage, and a few tips for what to do if you think there might be harmful mold in your home.
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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.
Variations Of Mold In Window Air Conditioners
Its easy to spot a mold when you use your sharp senses. A good indicator of which is the smell. If you find yourself suddenly sneezing or coughing, chances are mold growth is lurking around your home.
The appearance of mold is also a sure fire sign of the infestation. It usually appears in circular spots and different dark colors, with a few of which contain a touch of white or orange. Either way, when you see one, you should get rid of it in an instant.
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I Found Mold Growing In My Home How Do I Test The Mold
If you can see or smell mold, a health risk may be present. You do not need to know the type of mold growing in your home, and CDC does not recommend or perform routine sampling for molds. No matter what type of mold is present, you should remove it. Since the effect of mold on people can vary greatly, either because of the amount or type of mold, you cannot rely on sampling and culturing to know your health risk.
What Should You Do If You Suspect Mold
If it is likely that your window air conditioners are contaminated by molds, start the inspection by turning off the AC. As long as this is turned on, the air will continue blowing microscopic mold spores that will also lead to a poor quality of air circulating around your home.
Wear safety gears and grab your flashlight. Remove the filter and inspect the inner parts carefully. For a complete guide, you can check out this article on how to clean a window air conditioner mold.
Remember that molds should be treated without a delay whether there are glaring signs of which or they are hiding from plain sight. However, if they come in large amounts, it is better for you to stay away from the moldy area and leave the task to professionals.
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How Does Mold Grow Indoors
Generally speaking, it just needs three things to grow, survive and thrive. It needs a food source, the right temperature and moisture. Its favorite food source is the nutrients that are present on the woods surface and our homes have a lot of wooden surfaces. It can grow in an environment with a temperature of at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit and most homes match this requirement.
So in reality, our home already has 2 out of 3 of these requirements. This means it only needs one thing to grow moisture.
There are spores present in the air. They will land on surfaces. Nothing happens if that surface is dry. But if theres moisture , its now the perfect environment for it to grow.
Why is there moisture in our home? It can be because of any of the following:
- Theres been a flood.
- Theres condensation.
- You dont properly dry the surfaces.
- Theres a leak somewhere.
- Theres a wealth of food sources like cellulose, dust, cardboard, fabric, and the likes.
How Mold Can Affect Your Health
Do you or others in your family get sick often? One of the reasons for it could be poor indoor air quality. Specifically, you could be breathing in mold inside of your home and doing serious damage to your body. You can eliminate this as a cause of your familys health problems by investigating your home for mold and removing it and by having air duct cleaning done to ensure your HVAC system isnt spreading contaminated air throughout your house. Here is how mold can affect your health if you dont have mold removal in Houston completed as soon as possible and hire carpet cleaners.
Allergic ReactionsMany of the symptoms of mold exposure are similar to the symptoms of a common cold. A person who is experiencing a mold allergy will likely sneeze, cough, and wheeze often. He or she will also usually have watery eyes, a runny nose, and even a skin rash. Mold exposure can also lead to asthma attacks in some individuals, and you dont need to be allergic to mold to show the symptoms of being exposed to it. Mold can be very harmful to anyone who breathes it in over a long period of time.
DeathProlonged exposure to mold can lead to fatal consequences. Black mold is one of the worst types of mold that you can have in your home. If you do not have it treated and you do not have air duct cleaning done afterwards to make sure you are breathing in clean air at all times, black mold can cause bleeding in the lungs and even death.
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A Hard Pass: The 7 Dangers Of Buying A House With Mold
I was in escrow and had them inspect the new home for mold. Many forms of mold were found in all bathrooms and kitchens, including airborne black mold. We were able to negotiate a $10,000 price reduction on our home as a result.
Dorsaye was very attentive and thorough. She always picked up the phone and inspections was scheduled without delay, which was critical during our 14-day escrow. They also provide recommendations for remediation companies, one of which I used and did a great job.
Guaranteed came out and did the final inspection and cleared the house for mold. Great experience during a stressful time.
~ Ben W.
Moldy homes are a major problem in the United States as it is present in nearly every building in the country. The reason that mold is so prolific is because it only takes 24 to 48 hours for mold to grow in a moist indoor area. It also grows well in dark, damp spaces, so its often found in kitchen cabinets, bathrooms, basements, and crawlspaces.
Now, not all mold is worrisome. And since virtually every home has trace amounts of mold growing, its nearly impossible to avoid buying a mold-free house. But there are some significant dangers to buying a house with mold growth.
If left untreated, mold will soon spread to other areas of a home and may cause health troubles and expensive home repairs. If youre thinking about buying a property with some kind of mold problem, you may want to think again.
The Most Dangerous Molds
If youve discovered or suspect you have mold in your home or workplace, the next most common question is is it dangerous? Not all molds are created equal. Some are considered toxic mold while others are less of a hindrance. While no mold is good in the home or workplace, there are some types of mold that fall into the most dangerous molds category. That is what todays blog post will cover. These are the molds that will cause the most harm to your home and/or your body, especially with long term exposure.
The most dangerous molds are considered toxic and can be considered deadly or harmful to humans. Many people believe that toxic mold is one type of mold, but in fact, there are hundreds of species of mold that can be extremely harmful to the human body. Black mold is the most commonly known name of toxic mold among the public. Black mold is named simply because of its color and appearance. However, it should be known that toxic mold can appear in any color.
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