Top Tips For Controlling Mold
It’s impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores in your home, but because mold spores can’t grow without moisture, reducing moisture in your home is the best way to prevent or eliminate mold growth. If there is already mold growing in your home, it’s important to clean up the mold and fix the problem causing dampness. If you clean up the mold but don’t fix the problem, the mold will most likely return.
Following is some advice for reducing moisture throughout the home with specific tips for the areas most prone to dampness and mold growth:
Around the house:
In the kitchen:
- Use exhaust fans to move moisture outside whenever you are cooking, washing dishes, or cleaning.
- Turn off certain appliances if you notice moisture on windows and other surfaces.
- Check for leaks around the kitchen sink, refrigerator ice makers, and other sources of water. Repair if necessary.
- Empty and clean refrigerator drip pans if necessary.
In basements and crawl spaces:
In the laundry room:
- Vent your clothes dryer to the outside.
- Make sure the vent is clear of obstructions, such as lint, and that there are no holes that leak air. If the vent duct is damaged, replace it with a metal duct. Have the duct cleaned at least once a year.
- Avoid leaving damp clothes in the laundry basket or dryer. Wash and dry them promptly.
How Can You Be Exposed To Black Mold
You can be exposed to black mold, or any species of mold, by breathing in microscopic mold particles in the air, or through consumption of food that contains it.
Stachybotrys is unique because its spores are sticky and easily adhere to a surface when the mold colony dries. They are not regularly found in the air unless the mold colony has been disturbed. Though its spores are not readily airborne, black mold can produce other harmful contaminants more easily found in the air .
A disruption to a black mold colony can be as simple as slamming a door, opening a window or knocking into contaminated furniture. More force is required for Stachybotrys spores to become airborne, as compared to other commonly found indoor molds .
How Do You Know If Mold Is Making You Sick
Are you sick and suspect it might be from mold?
Determining whether exposure to mold is making you sick isnt always easy.
Each persons body is affected by mold toxicity in different ways. Some experience constant migraines and headaches, shortness of breath, brain fog, fatigue or even depression.
Since symptoms differ from person to person, they may not be quickly associated with mold exposure. Many people suffering from mold illness struggle to get a proper diagnosis and investigation.
Its common to think my house is clean it cant be mold! However, mold comes in many forms. In this article, well share what toxic mold is, the signs and symptoms, and how it can be treated.
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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:
How To Know If You Have Black Mold In Your House
Mold isnt always visible. If you can see mold, its only a sign of the real potential health risk, which is the harmful types of unhealthy levels of mold in the air of your home or workplace.
Airborne mold is all around us in both the outdoors and indoors. The types and amount of mold is what determines the potential health risk. Most of us are typically accustomed to the varieties and amounts of mold present in our outdoor environments.
Healthy indoor environments will have mold conditions similar to or better than those in the surrounding outdoors. Over time, because of moisture , many indoor spaces develop unhealthy types and/or unhealthy levels of airborne mold that can be harmful to you or;your pets.;
These signs will help you know if you possibly have unhealthy mold conditions in your house:
- Allergic symptoms
- A damp or musty odor in one or more places
- Frequent headaches
- The air in the home feels different
- Your house has been flooded or currently has leaks
- You previously tried removing mold yourself
Take note of how you feel in and out of the house. If the symptoms disappear or decrease when youre out and about, then you might have a mold problem, yes, even if you cant see mold.
Also Check: Can Black Mold Cause Irregular Heartbeat
How To Detox Your Body From Mold
Even if youre not especially sensitive to mold, your body still needs help safely clearing out mycotoxins. When these arent removed properly and completely, they can cycle back around, and cause ongoing damage and symptoms.
The best way to clear out these toxins is with proven toxin-binders. Its important to make sure youre working with safe, gentle detoxing agents so they dont overtax your bodys clearance system . At the same time, you must use proven binders that dont allow toxins to be reabsorbed in the intestines rather than excreted from the body.
One prescription cholesterol-lowering medication called Cholestyramine binds strongly to some mycotoxins especially ochratoxin and keeps them getting reabsorbed.
On the natural front, modified citrus pectin has been extensively researched as an effective detoxifying agent. Because MCP works so gently, its safe for long-term use, which is often necessary for completely removing mycotoxins from your system. MCP works especially well when paired with another natural detoxifier: seaweed-derived alginates, natural gel-like substances that bind tightly to toxins.
The combination of MCP and alginate prevents toxins including mycotoxins and heavy metals from being reabsorbed in the intestines. And although they make a strong detoxifying team, MCP and alginate are easily tolerated and their gentle action wont strip essential minerals from your body.
Other mycotoxin detoxifiers include:
What Is Black Mold
Mold is a vital part of our ecosystem. It absorbs and decomposes organic matter. Mold grows anywhere that the conditions are right. It needs adequate moisture, a food source, oxygen, and an appropriate temperature to grow. If these conditions are present, then mold will grow and reproduce by releasing spores, which are microscopic cells that act like seeds, into the environment.
While mold plays an important role outside, when it grows inside buildings, it can cause health problems for some people. When people talk about black mold, they are usually referring to Stachybotrys chartarum, which has been referred to as “toxic black mold.” However, there is no evidence to suggest that the color of mold affects how dangerous it is.;
There is also no evidence that exposure to any type of mold causes memory loss, trouble focusing, headaches, fatigue, autoimmune disease, or infant pulmonary hemorrhage, which is bleeding into the lungs.;
Some molds do produce mycotoxins, which are toxic substances. However, mycotoxins are most harmful when they are eaten, not inhaled. Although the threat of black mold has been overhyped in the media, mold can cause health problems in people who are sensitive to it. Mold should always be properly treated and removed from buildings using adequate precautions.;
Read Also: How To Clean Mold Between Pavers
What To Tell Your Doctor
If you have symptoms, and youve been exposed to mold at work, on a trip or at home, you should consult your doctor immediately, Dr. Ibrahim says. Tell your provider all that you can about the mold and the location.
Be sure to mention all symptoms you may have, no matter how trivial they may seem. There are no insignificant symptoms when youre being evaluated for a new problem, Dr. Ibrahim says. Pay close attention to symptoms that are only present or worsen at home or other public areas where mold is common.
Symptoms Of Mold Illness Everyone Needs To Know
Mold is not something to take lightly in your home. You should monitor for mold in your house on a weekly basis and take precautions to kill any mold on sight, mainly to avoid any life-threatening mold illnesses.
Thats right, mold doesnt just look nasty in your bathroom, it can be devastating to your health, too.
And the worst part of all? You may not even know youre suffering from a mold-related illness.
To keep you and your family safe, check out this mini-guide on how to get rid of mold and, most importantly, how to tell if youre suffering from a mold illness.
HOW DO YOU GET RID OF MOLD?
So youre doing your weekly sweep for mold checking any moist spots like under sinks and in bathrooms, corners, and near windows and you see a big black spot. Gross.
The two best options? Spray the mold with bleach or a designated mold killer.
Spray the molded spot with your weapon of choice. Let the chemicals sit for a while before scrubbing the mold away with a bristle brush. We highly suggest opening some windows to air out the room, because either product will stink;up a room easily.
Also, invest in some protective face masks to wear when youre handling mold. The last thing you want is to accidentally ingest mold when trying to clean it away.
WHAT IS MOLD ILLNESS?
You are most prone to mold illness if you live in a home where mold is most rampant. Mold tends to thrive in damp, dark, and humid places, like in typically warmer environments or in basement level apartments.
Read Also: How To Remove Mold From Blankets
Remove Sugar & Processed Grains
This should be a no-brainer by now: processed grains and sugar are highly inflammatory, and have no part of a healthy diet. Removing all sources will ensure your body has the opportunity to heal, as opposed to be constantly fighting the low levels of chronic inflammation caused by sugar and grains.
Opting for a high-fat and protein diet, void of refined sugars, helps control your blood sugar throughout the day which is associated with health and longevity, and supports cellular healing.
Common sources of sugar and processed grains to avoid include:
- Breakfast cereals
- Syrups and Sauces in general
Common Types Of Toxic Mold
The mycotoxins that this species of mold produce can cause the lungs to bleed, which is fatal to animals and infants. The problem with black mold is that its hard to detect; it usually develops behind walls and under ceilings and is resistant to regular air sampling.
2. Memnoniella. Memnoniella, also referred to as black mold, is similar to Stachybotrys and has the same effects. Memoniella differs in that when viewed under a microscope, its spores are released in chains, whereas the spores that Stachybotrys releases are in clumps.
3. Aspergillus. Aspergillus are gray or green flecks and appear on wooden surfaces. Aspergillus, with 20 species in total, is dangerous, because it will often cause allergies, leading to serious asthmatic reactions, hay fever or lung infections. Every Aspergillus species produces mycotoxins, which are a health hazard, especially for those individuals with compromised immune systems.
4. Penicillum. There are many species of Penicillum some beneficial and some harmful. Some species of Penicillum are used when producing cheese and medicine. Similar to other molds, Penicillium causes allergies, and its especially troublesome for people that already have a weak immune system.
5. Alternaria. Alternaria is one of the most prevalent toxic molds and includes many species.
Read Also: What Do You Do To Get Rid Of Mold
Signs Of A Mold Illness
How Do Molds Get In The Indoor Environment And How Do They Grow
Mold is found both indoors and outdoors. Mold can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, and pets can and be carried indoors. When mold spores drop on places where there is excessive moisture, such as where leakage may have occurred in roofs, pipes, walls, plant pots, or where there has been flooding, they will grow. Many building materials provide suitable nutrients that encourage mold to grow. Wet cellulose materials, including paper and paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, and wood products, are particularly conducive for the growth of some molds. Other materials such as dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation materials, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery, commonly support mold growth.
Actions You Can Take To Reduce Mould
The most important actions you can take to prevent mould in your home are those that minimise moisture.;
- Fix leaky plumbing and roofs and other building faults
- Ensure gutters are cleared and maintained
- Reduce condensation by using exhaust fans, or open windows in the bathroom and kitchen when showering, cooking or using the dishwasher
- Wipe up excess water caused by condensation such as on single glazed windows and on shower glazing
- Air the home regularly by opening windows and doors on warmer days;
- Vent clothes dryers to the outside and clean lint filters according to the manufacturers instructions.
Refer to information about cleaning up mould: refer to the information on the Better Health Channel website.
Follow An Individualized Mold Treatment Plan From A Knowledgeable Practitioner
Most of conventionally trained medical practitioners have a narrow view on the effects of mold on the human body. Its important to work with an integrative practitioner familiar with the latest research regarding mycotoxins and mold.
While the exact components and duration each persons mold protocol can differ, here are some key possible steps for treatment:
- Use binders: These are used to bind up mycotoxins in the body. Cholestyramine, a prescription binder, may be used as well as natural binders such as charcoal.
- Address candida overgrowth: These could be yeast infections, thrush and digestive issues
- Treat colonized molds and bacterial infections: The gut, lungs and sinuses may be affected.
- Incorporate antifungals if needed.
- Support detoxification: This includes targeted supplements like glutathione to enhance detox pathways, ozone sauna and sweating through exercise as tolerated.
- Clean your air: Look for a high quality air purifier that utilizes HEPA, carbon, and zeolite filters. The Healthmate Plus from Austin Air does this and also filters VOCs.
- Clean your water: Stand alone filers like the countertop Berkey models or whole-house systems such as AquaTru can remove unwanted contaminants.;
Is Toxic Mold Syndrome Real
Some people think that mold can cause illness, with a range of effects like joint pain, skin and eye irritations, and even mood swings, concentration difficulties, or fatigue. 1
However, studies have been inconclusive, with scientists offering a reality check suggesting that, Previous reports of toxic mold syndrome or toxic black mold have been shown to be no more than media hype and mass hysteria, partly stemming from the misinterpreted concept of the sick building syndrome. 2
Another review acknowledges that molds can indeed cause allergies and trigger asthma, but insists that, the existence of toxic mold syndrome has been disproven, despite the numerous disreputable practices such as testing homes for mold spores, measuring mycotoxins in the urine, and testing patients for IgG to mold. 3
Yet some scientists feel mold toxicity should be taken seriously, with one writing that, it is clear that mycotoxins can affect sensitive individuals, and possibly accelerate underlying neurologic/pathologic processes. 4
If youre concerned about mold exposure, here are some simple things you can do to detox your body from mold.
Image courtesy of Pexels
Common Symptoms Of Mold Sickness
Symptoms of mold-related illness vary and are wide-ranging. You may experience only a few symptoms or you may experience many. Symptoms might include:
- Asthma attacks
- Development of asthma or asthma-like symptoms in people not previously diagnosed with the condition
- Sinus infections, which may become chronic
- Sore throat, which may become chronic
- Runny nose or stuffy nose
- Itchy or irritated eyes
Here is more about mold health problems.