How To Detect Toxic Mold In Your Home
Now that you understand what toxic mold is, harmful effects of toxic mold, and how it spreads, its time to talk about how you can detect it early on. After all, the earliest possible detection of toxic mold in your home can make the difference between harmful health effects and otherwise good health.
Considering the fact that some of the most common forms of mold are relatively harmless, it is important that you have a method at your disposal to test for toxic mold. Mold testing solutions are one of the easiest ways to do this.
Mold testing kits work to make a distinction between the most common forms of mold and mold-producing harmful mycotoxins. Homeowners can use these kits to test the mold present in their home and detect whether or not they could be at risk for some of the health issues highlighted in this article.
If you have recently noticed mold in your home or have suffered water damage, the time to act is now! Consider picking up a home mold testing kit for yourself and identify any possible threat as early as possible.
Silent And Deadly: How To Tell If Mold Is Toxic And What To Do If Its In Your Home
Mold can show up in hidden places and start affecting your familys health. Learn how to tell if mold is toxic and what to do about it in your home.
Youve worked hard to create the home of your dreams.
The last thing that you want is for black mold to take it all away from youand even cause you to suffer severe health consequences.
Especially if you have any kind of pre-existing health conditions, mold is something that you need to take seriously.
Identifying black mold can be notoriously tricky.
In this post, well tell you all about how to tell if mold is toxic.
Even more importantly, well let you know the steps that you need to take to get toxic mold out of your home for good.
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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A Qualified Environmental Lab Took Samples Of The Mold In My Home And Gave Me The Results Can Cdc Interpret These Results
Standards for judging what is an acceptable, tolerable or normal quantity of mold have not been established. Sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable quantity of mold have not been set. The best practice is to remove the mold and work to prevent future growth. If you do decide to pay for environmental sampling for molds, before the work starts, you should ask the consultants who will do the work to establish criteria for interpreting the test results. They should tell you in advance what they will do or what recommendations they will make based on the sampling results. The results of samples taken in your unique situation cannot be interpreted without physical inspection of the contaminated area or without considering the buildings characteristics and the factors that led to the present condition.
Health Effects Of Mold
The presence of mold spores in an indoor environment is a big concern given that mold exposure has been linked to disease in plants, animals and humans.
No two reactions to mold will be the same. Both the extent of exposure and your level of sensitivity influence how you react.
Its important to know the health effects and symptoms of mold exposure so that they are neither ignored nor mistaken for another ailment.
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What Is Black Mold
Black mold is the common name for a certain type of mold called Stachybotrys, which is thought to be particularly harmful to a persons health.
Many of us have heard of the dangers of toxic black mold and may worry about black mold poisoning, but the truth is that black mold is a much more manageable problem than you might expect.
When you understand what youre dealing with, you can make informed choices to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy. Were here to cut through the mess and help you understand what having black mold in your home may mean, and give you some tips on how to fix the problem yourself and save big money in the process.
How To Clean Non
As we hope youve gathered already from this post, its extremely important that you leave the process of cleaning toxic mold to a professional.
However, if you think the mold is nontoxic, or if the mold hasnt gotten out of control just yet, you can attempt to handle things on your own.
Once youve put on a mask, gloves, and long sleeves and pants, youre ready to go.
Begin by spraying the moldy area with just water first. The goal here is to help to keep the number of airborne spores at bay once you start the intensive part of the cleaning process.
Use a scrubbing brush and water at the start Scrub the mold to loosen things up, and also scrub the area surrounding the mold.
Next, you can bring in the heavy-duty cleaning agents. In most cases, homeowners prefer to use bleach. This is certainly an effective way to get rid of mold, but it can also irritate your nose and throat. Again, ventilation and protective clothing are key here.
If youre especially worried about exposure to bleach or bleach poisoning? You may want to use white vinegar and lemon.
No matter what, just make certain that you never mix cleaning agents. Youll end up creating an extremely toxic gas, which can sometimes cause serious illness. Take frequent breaks, and immediately stop if you begin to feel sick.
Once youre satisfied with the cleaning job youve done?
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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.
Getting A Mold Checkup
Getting rid of the mold in your home is your first priority. Since CDC guidelines don’t distinguish between different types of mold and recommend the prompt removal of all mold in your home, testing beforehand isn’t a priority if you’ve already decided you have a problem. Testing can be useful when you want to make sure your property is free of mold after a cleanup, though.
There are a couple of ways you can arrange for a test. You can purchase an in-home test kit, follow the directions and submit the resulting sample to a lab. The costs for this can vary quite a bit, anywhere from $40 to more than $200, and the results might not be reliable. Consumer Reports conducted an evaluation of home mold testing kits in 2006, and none of the four kits they looked at received a recommendation. The problems ranged from the kits having no expiration dates, potentially compromising the results, to being difficult to use .
There is a third choice. After a cleanup, you can make periodic, careful evaluations of the infected area yourself and monitor your family’s health to see if the problem recurs. The time and effort you take with the clean-up and the extent of the mold damage may have an impact on how comfortable you feel with this option. If a foul smell alerted you to a mold problem in the first place, using your nose to check the area periodically might be a good way to gauge the success of your cleanup efforts.
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How To Tell If Mold Is Toxic: Wrapping Things Up
We hope that this post has helped you to better understand how to tell if mold is toxic.
Above all, remember that black mold is something you need to take extremely seriously. It can cause serious health problems, and can quickly multiply. In other words, its not just about how it looks alone.
Whenever possible, call in a professional to test for mold and to do the safest and most thorough cleaning possible.
Looking for more advice about how to keep your health and home in great shape?
Keep checking back with us for more tips you dont want to miss out on.
What Causes Toxic Mold Growth Indoors In South Jersey
Mold research is relatively new and the science community is constantly discovering and understanding more about its potential health and safety implications. However, toxicity is not the only major concern when it comes to mold. If there is major mold growth in the home, it is a good indicator of more serious underlying issues. Continuous mold growth is often the result of a water problem. At the first sign of serious water buildup, you should contact a professional water restoration company in New Jersey to dry out the property. A constant water source is feeding the mold and allowing it to thrive. Neglected water problems lead to costly and dangerous property damage. While mycotoxin exposure can be dangerous to you and your familys health, a home with compromised structural support is simply unsafe for you and your family. Call the certified and trained professionals in your South Jersey are if you know of a water problem feeding mold in your home or commercial property. A toxic mold professional will have been properly trained to identify the causation of mold, and will offer solutions to remedy the problem to prevent the mold from growing back and endangering you and your family once again.
When it comes to mold doing the job wrong can result in a costlier future remediation or, worse, serious health implications.
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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.
How To Remove Black Mold
Protect yourself. You don’t need to worry about having mold tested if you find mold in your house. But you should get rid of it no matter what type of mold it is. Take precautions to protect yourself before you attempt to remove mold.
Use an N-95 face mask to avoid breathing in mold spores. Wear gloves to protect your hands and goggles without ventilation holes to protect your eyes.â
Find and destroy the mold. The most important part of removing mold is finding and removing its water source. Mold can’t grow without moisture. Keep the following tips in mind when you’re cleaning up mold:
- Items that can’t be dried quickly should be discarded if they show signs of mold or water damage. Porous items such as carpet, padding, drywall, and paper soak up moisture.
- Do not paint or caulk over moldy surfaces. Remove the mold and dry the surfaces before you paint. Paint applied over mold will peel.
- Use plastic sheeting to block an area with mold from the rest of your house and keep the spores from spreading.
- Scrub hard surfaces with mold with detergent and water and dry them thoroughly.
- Put any moldy items in a plastic bag before you take them out of the room to prevent mold spores from spreading.
- Use a HEPA filter in your air conditioner and furnace to capture mold spores that may be airborne in your house.
- Consult a specialist if you’re not sure of the best way to clean a valuable or sentimental item.â
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Final Word On Black Mold: Best Avoidedbut Not Deadly
As for black molds toxic reputation, those with immune suppression, asthma, or other respiratory problems are most at risk of feeling ill.
Its not likely that youll die from black mold poisoning because its just not that toxic. That said, you should act quickly if you find it in your home. The good news is its treatable, removable, and preventable.
Your Baby Coughs At Night
According to a study published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, infants exposed to mold in their homes were three times more likely to develop asthma by age seven. Symptoms to watch for include coughing, especially at night difficulty breathing fast breathing frequent chest colds and wheezing or whistling sounds when exhaling. Heres how to remove mold from your babys toys.
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What Are Mold Mycotoxins
Mold is a very natural part of the circle of life. Molds are needed to decompose organic material. Though there are different species of mold, mainstream media commonly refers to all harmful molds as black mold or toxic black mold. Stachybotrys chartarum species is black mold, however, not all toxic mold is Stachybotrys. There are several others that make people and animals sick.
Several molds/fungi produce secondary products called mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are very tiny molecules that can sneak into your body and cause extensive damage. They are among the most toxic substances found in existence. They are so damaging that they have been implicated as chemical warfare agents.
Mycotoxins are extremely small and therefore they can pass through cell membranes, which makes it hard for your immune system to identify and attack. Because of this, mold illness usually starts with chronic, low-level symptoms that slowly creep up until they become widespread and debilitating.
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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The Truth About Toxic Mold
Concern about toxic mold is increasing with heightened public awareness that exposure can cause serious health problems- and even death. However, all molds, toxic or not, should be of concern when they persist at elevated levels indoors.
Mold affects both the home and workplace environment, compromising the structural integrity of buildings and the health of those inside.
Recent claim settlements have reached high into the millions-the most notorious case being a $32 million settlement in Austin, Texas, which was later reduced to a $4 million verdict.
The heath effects associated with mold vary depending on the type of mold and the person exposed. Immuno-altered and immuno-compromised individuals are at a much higher risk of suffering health effects. Exposure to mold, via skin contact, ingestion, or inhalation, can result in allergic reactions, infections, or toxic effects. The associated symptoms range from a rash and cold and flu-like effects to neurological damage and even death.
In some cases, indoor mold growth may not be obvious. Mold can grow on hidden surfaces, such as the backside of dry wall, wallpaper, or paneling, the top of ceiling tiles, the underside of carpets and pads, etc. Some building materials, such as vinyl wallpaper may act as a vapor barrier, trapping moisture beneath the surface and thereby providing a moist environment where mold can grow on the wallboard or wood paneling underneath.
When Should You Test Your Home For Mold Exposure
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency , if visible mold is present on inspection, testing is usually unnecessary. There are no Environmental Protection Agency or government standards that have been established for mold or mold spore levels, so it is impossible to prove that a building or room complies with any health regulations concerning mold exposure. Likewise, the CDC does not recommend routine sampling and testing of mold in the home. Health officials haven’t defined tolerable or acceptable limits of mold exposure for humans, and since individuals vary in their susceptibility to mold, testing cannot reliably predict the degree of health risks from any occurrence of mold.
When mold has previously been identified and cleanup procedures have been undertaken, sampling and testing may be carried out if necessary by qualified professionals to determine that adequate cleaning of a building has occurred.
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