Is Black Mold Dangerous Heres The Truth
The truth is, many people arent negatively affected by mold. However, mold can cause allergies in some people who are sensitive to mold. In these cases, it can make their lives miserable. Mold can also cause severe medical issues with a small percentage of people who have other health complications.
If youve seen a concerning growth in your home or been told that you have a black mold issue, you probably have a lot of questions.
How To Remove Black Mold Yourself
Did you know that its often possible to remove black mold yourself? Its true! Professional mold remediation can cost thousands of dollars and is often excluded from many homeowners insurance policies. But in many instances hiring a mold removal professional isnt necessary and black mold can be removed by a handy homeowner in less than one weekend of work.
If you feel like you may be a homeowner who is up to the challenge, weve written an eBook that gives step-by-step instructions on how to tackle your mold problem. For less than $20, we guarantee that youll save hundreds, if not thousands, of your hard-earned dollars.
You can purchase our eBook here:
And if youre not comfortable tackling the problem yourself, were happy to provide you a quote if youre in our service area. Just contact us for a completely free quote.
Bottom Line: No mold belongs in a healthy home. Be it black mold, or any other color of mold. It should all be treated the same. If you have mold, remove it.
How To Tell If Mold Is Toxic
Mold is a nasty problem to deal with for any home or business-owner. In the wake of a disaster such as a storm, its possible for mold to start growing in as quickly as 1-2 days. Whats even more alarming is when that mold turns out to be toxic, posing a serious risk to you and anyone else on your property.
To clarify, its not that the mold you are dealing with in and of itself is toxic. Its that certain strains of mold, like the notorious Stachybotrys chartarummore commonly known as black moldproduce mycotoxins. Its these mycotoxins which may cause a burning sensation in the throat and lungs, chest pain, persistent coughing, fever, rashes, and migraines. Prolonged exposure to Stachybotrys may lead to serious health issues, including breathing problems, fatigue, sinusitis and other pain in the sinus cavities, and even depression.
How to tell if you may be dealing with toxic mold in your home:
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Is White Mold Dangerous
While mildew and similar types of mold are less of a danger and more of a hindrance, white mold is a health hazard. Inhalation of white mold spores, especially over a long period of time, can cause mold-induced asthma, allergic fungal sinusitis, allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis , and hypersensitivity pneumonitis.
Lets look at the health effect of mold in greater detail:
Most white molds tend to be allergenic or pathogenic. However, regardless of the type of mold you find growing in your home, you should always consult qualified professionals about how to remove the mold toxin from your home safely and effectively.
How Do I Know What Kind Of Mold I Have
How Do I Know What Kind of Mold I Have?
Mold colonies grow in many textures and colors from green, white, bluish, black, brown, fuzzy, gritty, dirt-like, etc.. The truth is that it is not possible to determine mold types by looking at them. The only way to find out what type of mold you may have in your home is to hire an independent hygienist. They will test the air, swab surfaces and send the samples to a laboratory where they will tell you the count and types of mold present. This is an important step for mold remediation as it is the only way to know if the treatment worked. Samples are taken from the suspected affected areas and compared to a control such as an outside reading. If the affected area has higher concentrations then the control then remediation is necessary, if not then a treatment or good cleaning may be all that is needed.
Common Mold Sources, Types, and Health Effects:
With over 100,000 species of mold in the world and over 1,000+ in the United States, here are the most common in the USA.
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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.
How To Treat A Mold Problem
Having dangerous fungi growing on your property can be devastating, but finding a fast solution will help minimize the damage.
Your best option is getting in touch with a certified mold professional that has the tools and knowledge necessary to handle dangerous molds. Contacting a mold removal expert will help you identify and eradicate the hazardous organisms effectively.
At Environix, we provide state-of-the-art mold testing, cleaning, and removal services. We are a certified mold remediation company and believe in a holistic approach that includes:
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What About Tiny Mold Toxins Aka Mycotoxins
As mentioned above, though the Stachybotrys spores may be sticky and not easily airborne, there are other airborne contaminants to worry about: tiny fragments of mold and special toxins called mycotoxins. These contaminants may cause illness in those who are exposed, with mycotoxins being the most concerning.
You can think about mycotoxins as the molds defense: they are used for protection from environmental threats. Mycotoxins are minute organic compounds as small as 0.03 microns. These tiny molecules can stick to particles already floating through the air. Studies have found Stachybotrys mycotoxins on mold fragments that have broken off from a mold colony after it has been disturbed . This can be harmfulairborne particles less than 1.0 microns are easily breathed into the respiratory system, where they can cause irritation and potential allergic reactions. If this occurs, mycotoxins could accumulate onto local tissue and ultimately enter the bloodstream. The study by Brasel cited above showed that trichothecenes could be measured in the blood of people exposed to an indoor environment that had Stachybotrys.
Stachybotrys creates a class of mycotoxins referred to as trichothecenes. Trichothecenes have been widely studied and have been proven to be detrimental to the health of humans, animals and plants. In fact, trichothecenes have been investigated for the purpose of biological warfare needless to say, they are not something to which you want to be exposed.
Navigating All Of The Confusing And Concerning Information About Black Mold Is Hard But Were Here To Tell You The Truth
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.
Few topics get us more upset than seeing misinformation publicized about toxic black mold, and mold in general, by unscrupulous companies and zealous media articles that seem more interested in sensationalism than fact-based reporting.
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.
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How To Remove Mold
- Wear old clothes and shoes that you can launder or throw away after the cleanup work.
- Wear special N-95 or P-100 respirators, in addition to goggles and gloves.
- Set an old box fan or a cheap new one in a window to ventilate the room while working. Throw it out when you’re done cleaning, because the spores are almost impossible to clean off. Tape plywood or cardboard around the window openings so the spores can’t blow back in.
- Wrap and tape moldy carpeting in 6-mil plastic, and double-bag mold-infested debris in garbage bags for disposal.
- To control airborne spores, moisten moldy areas with a garden sprayer while you work.
- Turn off your furnace and air conditioner and cover ducts and doors to contain spores.
- Keep your wet/dry vacuum outside when you vacuum.
White Mold On Cabinets
Are your cabinets safe from white mold? In addition to white mold causing health issues, your cabinets are also prone to destruction. White mold is sometimes hidden in the cabinet under your sink until it has caused a severe problem. But how would you know if white mold is on your cabinets?
You may see discolorations in the damp areas of your cabinets, which may also give off a stale, moldy smell. One of the causes is a leaking pipe that may trigger moisture beneath the sink. The cabinet can also become moldy through poor cleaning and when old foods are left out.
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What Should I Do If I Have Mold In My House
If mold is growing in your home, you need to get rid of the mold and fix the moisture problem. Mold can be removed from hard surfaces with household cleaners, soap and water, or a bleach solution containing no more than 1 cup of bleach per gallon of water. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners.
How Is A Water Mold Able To Reproduce
Water molds Water molds are heterotrophs and resemble fungi. They can exist as unicellular organism or as fine filaments. They are parasites and free. Water fungi can reproduce sexually by fertilization and asexually by spores. They absorb food from the environment or invade and feed on other organisms.
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The Biggest Threats To A Healthy Home
The most common types of mold include aspergillus, cladosporium and stachybotrys atra .
Aspergillus is a fairly allergenic mold that is commonly found on foods and in home air conditioning systems. Cladosporium is typically a black or green “pepper like” substance that grows on the back of toilets, painted surfaces and fiberglass air ducts. While this mold is nontoxic to humans, it can trigger common allergy symptoms, such as red and watery eyes, rashes and a sore throat.
Mold that appears to be orange or red in color is typically found outdoors, given its nature to thrive on decaying plants or moist wood. This type of mold, which can appear slimy, is harmless and should only be removed for aesthetic purposes.
White mold is not technically a type of mold, but the good news is that this typically indicates the mold is only in the early stages of growth and can easily be treated.
White Mold: Is It Dangerous & How To Remove It
White mold is lesser-known but still an incredibly dangerous species of mold to deal with. If youre ever unsure of what type you have, calling in certified professionals to perform mold testing services immediately is important. With that said, weve learned quite a bit about white mold in our many years of mold inspection and removal. Heres all you need to know and more!
Mold is a naturally occurring fungi, much like mushrooms and yeast. Hundreds of species of mold can be found in both indoor and outdoor environments. While many of these species are perfectly safe, others can be hazardous to your health, especially when they grow inside your home.
While most people tend to focus on black mold, also known as Stachybotrys, only a few are concerned about white mold growing within a building or home. However, white mold can also be very dangerous and should be dealt with as soon as possible.
In this article, we will outline the best ways to identify white mold in your home and remove it safely.
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White Mold On Furniture
In moist conditions, white mold can grow on wood, upholstered, and leather furniture. Over time, the mold fungus can lower the furnitures value and make it give off an awful, musty smell. However, you should detect the factors stimulating this growth so you can protect your family against dangerous allergens.
First, it could be due to the furniture being enclosed, damp storage for a long time before taking it out. But if a piece of furniture suddenly starts to grow white mold, examine the surrounding areas that may likely introduce moisture to the furniture.
When floorboards, windows, and ceilings have cracks and leaks, they can turn furniture humid. These thus encourage white mold to start growing on the piece of furniture.
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 Path Of Resistance
Initially, Mikes landlord tried to fix the problem himself, bleaching the moldy walls. We call that spray n’ pray, said Scott Armour of the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, a global industry body for remediators. They, along with the EPA, advise against bleach for a variety of reasons, namely that fumes can be dangerous and its usually ineffective.
Bleach only works for non-porous surfaces. It cant touch the mold that has burrowed into surfaces like wood or drywall . But the most important reason bleach fails is that people dont stop the molds water supply.
First thing I do is check for leaks, in the bathroom or roof or a crack in the foundation, said Greg Bukowski, who runs the Chicago-based remediation company Moldman USA. Theres always a leak. If you dont fix that, dont bother with bleach or vinegar. Then kill and remove the mold with detergent and water, then prevent its return with mold-resistant paint like Kilz .
When bleach didnt work, Mike paid for an indoor airborne mold test, which raised more questions than it answered. We had no idea how to interpret the results. I just couldnt find any information out there that isnt written by remediation guys, he said. They told him he had the dreaded black mold, and needed professional remediation.
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:
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