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.
Does Mold Cause Headaches And Other Health Issues
To answer the question does mold cause headaches or other health problems, yes it does. It might not cause issues for everyone, but mold can cause headaches and other health issues as well if you have an allergic reaction to it.
Remember, those with respiratory issues, immune deficiencies, and those either young in age or old in age are more susceptible to having a reaction. Contact your doctor immediately if you have any symptoms and call the professionals to remove the mold for you.
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Your Eyes Are Watery And Stinging
People can have allergic reactions to mold, explains Purvi Parikh, MD, an allergist/immunologist with Allergy & Asthma Network. The symptoms can include itchy and watery eyes, coughing, and nasal congestion. If you suspect mold is triggering these symptoms, the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology suggests you track your reactions for two weeks to see if they kick in when youre in certain rooms or spaces within your house. You can also visit an allergist for a blood or skin test to confirm the allergy.
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Treating Digestive Problems From Mold Exposure
Treatment, of course, depends on the symptoms youre experiencing, the severity of your symptoms and on the results of any diagnostic tests your doctor orders. You may need medication to relieve pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. If vomiting or diarrhea has been severe, you may need intravenous fluids to treat dehydration. You may need antibiotics or medication to treat a yeast infection. If youve been experiencing intestinal bleeding, you might even need a blood transfusion.
If youre experiencing other mold-related health problems, such as respiratory problems, youll need treatment for those problems, as well.
Of course, youll also need to prevent further exposure to mold. If you continue to be exposed to mold, youll probably continue to experience mold sickness symptoms, even with treatment.
What Causes Mold In A House What Does Mold Look Like
Toxic mold can be black, white, brown, green, gray, or yellow, fuzzy growth.
Mold is usually a black, white, brown, green, gray, or yellow, fuzzy growth. Sometimes you can see it. Sometimes you cant because it is hidden in the dark recesses of your home. Places like attics, crawlspaces, basements, behind cabinets, inside floors, etc. are great places for mold to grow.
Its not easy to see mold, but if you have any water leaks in your home, you are much more likely to find it! Flooding is of course a major problem, but usually people notice when pipes have burst or flood waters have invaded their homes. These are dramatic events!
Not all water leaks are this dramatic! Slow leaks over time can cause just as much damage because they go unnoticed.
However, tiny cracks in pipes and hoses, and clogs in drains can become a nightmare if forgotten long enough. Tiny leaks over a long period of time can cause as much or more damage than flooding water type events. Because they go unnoticed, tiny leaks can cause more damage than most people realize. Remember we talked about how mold has plenty of food sources in your home? All it takes is that tiny bit of extra moisture and mold starts growing. In most cases it starts within 48 hours!
The main sources for mold growth in homes are water leaks from faucets, roofs, hot water heaters, ground water damage and even sewer backup. Find the water leaks and find the source of the problem.
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What Happens If You Eat Food With Mold
The thought of eating something moldy likely makes you want to gag. Most of the time, this is the only symptom youd get after eating moldy food. If somethings not right with your immune system and you eat something moldy, you might experience symptoms like:
- If you are allergic to mold, those allergy symptoms may be triggered also
If you notice mold on your food that you dont want to throw away, consult the USDAs guide on handling moldy food.
How Toxic Is Mold
Any mold that produces mycotoxinsthe myco refers to fungusis toxic, and it can be quite poisonous. One of the more alarming varieties is Stachybotrys chartarum: Dense, black, and usually present where moisture has been a long-term, unresolved issue, like a damp basement or in an abandoned home, this fungus can trigger a suite of health issues, like persistent headaches, diarrhea, breathing trouble, and more. But other types can also cause issues, warns the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention : All molds should be treated the same with respect to potential health risks and removal. These are the signs of mold that you should be looking out for. If you have mold, when should you call a pro?
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How To Avoid Mold Exposure
To reduce mold growth in your home, take into consideration these tips:
Q: How To Know If Mold Is Making You Sick
A: Mold is one of the most common concerns of illness in homes, but often isnt the culprit. If you suspect that you or someone else has been exposed to mold, call your doctor immediately. The symptoms of mold exposure can mimic allergic reactions, include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, fatigue, skin rashes, eye irritation, and nosebleeds.
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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 must be working properly to fight mold symptoms, so changes in a lifestyle or diet might be necessary. In more severe allergy cases, doctors prescribe immunotherapy to relieve symptoms
Who Is At Risk Of Mold Sickness
Mold exposure can affect anyone, even if there are no immediate symptoms. Some types of mold release substances called mycotoxins that can harm your health in the long run.
However, some people are more sensitive to the effects of mold, including:
- Young children
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What Causes A Basement To Smell Like Mold
Basements tend to smell like mold because they are typically more damp which allows mold and mildew to grow and thrive. Being underground, a basement is not only susceptible to water intrusion at the foundation, but also warmer air entering the building envelope which leads to condensation.
If your like me and you grew up having an unfinished basement you probably have an odor that comes to mind
Just that damp/mustiness odor.
This not mean that your basement is dirty. You can vacuum and mop all you want but if you do not resolve the root of the problem it will do you no good.
As stated above, basements tend to have more moisture. It’s just the way it is.
It’s important to find out if moisture is entering your basement in other ways, as well. If you notice a broken seal on a window or a crack in the foundation wall, you may have found your musty culprit. You should also check to see if you have clogged rain gutters, French drains, sewer backups, leaky pipes or even a broken seal on your laundry dryer vent as these problems can all contribute to a musty basement.
So What Is A Mycotoxin
Mycotoxins, literally fungus poison in Latin, are secondary metabolites that can be produced by molds, and are not living organisms. Mycotoxins are a byproduct of mold. Not all mold spores produce mycotoxins, but some do. So the molds that produce mycotoxins are the ones that could be categorized as toxic or poisonous.
So, where is the line between an allergic mold and a toxic mold? That line is defined by the presence of mycotoxins, and is NOT defined by color. Mycotoxins are invisible and cannot be detected just by looking at the mold growth.
What Do Mycotoxins Do?
These chemical substances can cause many health problems ranging from mild to severe. Even if you are not allergic to mold, you can be affected by mycotoxins.
Mycotoxins can be absorbed by the body in a number of ways including: through the skin, the airways , and through the intestinal lining . Detrimental health effects caused by mycotoxins can range from acute poisoning to long-term effects such as immune deficiency and cancer. Chronic disease sufferers, such as people with immunosuppressive disorders or underlying lung disease may be more sensitive to molds and mycotoxins in their environment.
To learn more about how mold affects your pets check out our article: Mold and Pets 10 Things You Most Likely Didnt Know.
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Mold Toxicity Is Also An Issue And It Is Considered A Chronic Inflammatory Response
An acute and chronic, systemic inflammatory response acquired following exposure to the interior environment of a water-damaged building with resident toxigenic organisms, including, but not limited to fungi, bacteria, actinomycetes, and Mycobacterium serve as inflammogens! Inflammogens keep your body in a state of inflammation.
How Long Does It Take For Mold To Make You Sick
Probably over 95% of people have no symptoms and no long-term effects of mold exposure. After all, we are all constantly surrounded by mold spores wherever you go.Only people who are sensitive to mold actually react, and they usually react immediately, and they generally react to more severe mold exposure rather than everyday exposure.
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Your House Smells Musty
Were not knocking your cleaning skills, but mold that grows undetected can pose a real health risk. This is especially true for the elderly, warns Dr. Parikh. Their symptoms are generally similar, but all chronic conditions are worse in the elderly as their bodies are not as resilient as younger patients and usually have other medical problems which may interfere with or complicate the treatment, says Dr. Parikh. Here well walk you though how to get rid of mold and mildew in your home the right way.
Persistent Cough Or Cold
Have you been fighting a cough that just wont seem to go away? Prolonged exposure to mold mayexacerbate respiratory illnesses, like persistent or recurring bronchitis and pneumonia. The first line of defense is to consult with your doctor for treatment and to rule out any other underlying illnesses. If there are other indications of a mold problem in your home, this must also be treated by professionals promptly and comprehensively.
Are you suffering from a pesky cough or cold that just doesn’t seem to go away? Mold in your home may be to blame. To treat the problem promptly and comprehensively, call the experts at ProClean Pensacola at 484-8500. #MoldRemoval#MoldRemediation#PersistentCough
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What Is Black Mold
All types of mold can cause allergic reactions at certain levels and possibly be harmful to your health.
We have heard the terms black mold and toxic mold more and more often. Black or harmful mold and mold spores refer to molds that can release mycotoxins or toxins. Health and welfare concerns from Stachybotrys, individual species of Aspergillus, Penicillium, Chaetomium, Trichoderma, Phoma, and Fusarium are of great interest in the classification of harmful or black mold.
Many types of black mold are harmful and produce harmful materials that are especially harmful to people with chronic conditions. High concentrations of mycotoxins can lead to poisoning even in healthy individuals, depending on the concentration, duration of mold exposure, and various other factors.
When To See A Doctor
Its a good idea to see a doctor if youre not sure if your rash is caused by mold or something else. The doctor can order an allergy test that can either confirm your allergy or help you find the cause of your rash.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the following situations warrant a visit to a dermatologist or primary care doctor:
- the rash covers your entire body
- you have a fever
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Signs Of Mold Illness
Mold is a big problem in most homes, but many people are unaware of the problem. Of course, everyone looks at the shower curtain, under the sink, or in the basement when he or she think about mold issues, but mold can grow just about anywhere.
Mold can be found in drywall, in the roof , and even in ones Christmas tree. One study found that Christmas trees can breed mold, quietly releasing millions of spores into the room causing winter allergies and asthma attacks. Studies have found that indoor air quality dropped six-fold over the 14 days a Christmas tree typically decorates a room.
There are 1,000 types of mold that can be found growing in the modern American home. Scientists classify these molds based on the effect they have on humans and other living things.
What Causes High Humidity In The Home
Think back to that locker room smell again
What happens in that locker room besides horseplay by kids?
Showering, or so we can only hope!
Well hot showers can create high relative humidity within bathrooms. If the bathroom isn’t ventilated properly this can create a dew point.
Bathrooms can be a prime source of high humidity, but most bathrooms are built to withstand it.
One of the main causes of high humidity is an air conditioning unit that is not properly functioning. If your air conditioning is not dehumidifying properly it could also be a sign that is it undersized or oversized.
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You Find Dark Or Colored Spots On Your Walls
Mold can appear in many shapes, textures, and colors. It can look like anything from green, dripping slime definitely something youd notice to an innocuous-looking grey fuzz. If your walls are coming out in spots, its worth double-checking that there isnt a leak in the pipes or uncontrolled humidity in the room.
If you have a pre-existing breathing problem that seems to flare up after long periods at home, mold could be the culprit.
Most species of household mold wont bother people without breathing issues but can aggravate asthma in individuals who already suffer from the condition. Consider scheduling a doctors appointment and a mold inspection if your breathing problems seem to worsen without a clear cause.
How Can I Prevent An Allergic Reaction To Mold
There is no cure for allergies. But you can reduce your allergy symptoms by avoiding contact with the mold spores. Several measures will help:
Reduce Your Exposure to Mold Spores Outside
- Limit your outdoor activities when mold counts are high. This will lessen the amount of mold spores you inhale and your symptoms.
- Wear a dust mask when cutting grass, digging around plants, picking up leaves and disturbing other plant materials.
Reduce Your Exposure to Mold Spores Inside
- Use central air conditioning with a CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® filter attachment. This can help trap mold spores from your entire home. Freestanding air cleaners only filter air in a limited area. Avoid devices that treat air with heat, electrostatic ions or ozone.
- Lower your indoor humidity. No air cleaners will help if excess moisture remains. If indoor humidity is above 50%, fungi will thrive. A hygrometer is a tool used to measure humidity. The goal is to keep humidity below 45%, but below 35% is better. If you have to use a humidifier, clean the fluid reservoir at least twice a week to prevent mold growth. Air conditioners and dehumidifiers can also be a source of mold.
- Prevent mold and mildew build up inside the home. Pay close attention to mold in bathrooms, basements and laundry areas. Be aggressive about reducing dampness.
To Reduce Mold in Your Bathrooms:
To Reduce Mold in Your Kitchen:
To Reduce Mold in Your Laundry Area:
To Reduce Mold in Your Bedrooms:
To Reduce Mold in Your Basement:
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