If Necessary Sand The Wood
These cleaning solutions should take care of your mold problem, but if youve got some stubborn traces left under the surface, you have one last resort: sanding.
- Use 100-grit sandpaper to rub out the affected portion, taking care not to sand away too much of the surrounding areas.
- Repeat Step 2 to remove the dust and any loosened mold spores.
Recognizing Black Mold: What To Look For And Where To Look
- Written by Alden Smith on Sep 14, 2011To ensure our content is always up-to-date with current information, best practices, and professional advice, articles are routinely reviewed by industry experts with years of hands-on experience.Reviewed by Lindani Chirambadare on Mar 09, 2020
If you are concerned about toxic black mold in your home, youre not alone. Black mold is dangerous to humans because it produces mycotoxins that can cause minor ailments like headaches, or major ailments like lung infections and cancer. Luckily, its easy to detect. One of the best ways to detect this mold, or stachybotrys chartarum, in your home is to simply go looking for it. Here are some of the best places to look and the signs to look for when scoping out black mold.
Warning: While not all black mold types are toxic, the toxic type can cause many health issues. If you find any type of black mold in your home, you should purchase a home-safety testing kit or hire a professional to test it immediately. If it is the toxic strain, you should temporarily evacuate your house and hire a professional to get rid of it.
Consider Ideal Mold-Breeding Environments
How to Find Black Mold in Your Home
The first and easiest way to find black mold is by noticing any new smells in your home. It has a dank, musty smell thats hard to miss. If you detect this odor in your home, chances are good that you have an infestation.
Where to Look For Black Mold
Whats The Difference Between Black Mold And Regular Mold
The only two things you know for sure when you see black mold is you have mold and that it is black in color. Thats all. Scientifically, there is no mold genera or species that is called black mold or toxic black mold. Of the million-plus species of mold, about 20,000 species are indeed black.
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How To Get Rid Of Mold In A Basement
Mold needs damp surfaces and organic matter two things most basements have in abundance. If your basement isnt finished, or is rarely used, mold can be especially problematic. The first thing you should do is try to remove as much moisture as possible and prevent it from building up again. That means checking on seals, insulating pipes, and fixing leaks. Consider running a dehumidifier or fan on a regular basis to keep the air moving and prevent condensation from forming, and dont overlook the importance of knowing whats going on. Checking on the condition of a basement and looking for mold growth, especially in the corners of the walls and floor, will help you stay on top of any problems.
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Growth Spots Of Varying Colors
Black mold, as the name implies, is often dark in color. When searching for black mold, look for circular-shaped spots that are black, dark green or dark brown. Some black mold can also take on shades of orange or have flecks of white within it.
Most of the time, black mold has a slightly furry appearance. Larger growths of mold may appear as a black stain that stretches along your wall, floor or ceiling.
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Risks Of Black Mold Exposure
Special precautions need to be taken when addressing black mold in the home, and few homeowners have the tools and resources needed to ensure that they are safe during the process. Even minimal exposure to black mold during the removal process can lead to health issues for you and your family, and black mold is known to contribute to:
- Chronic coughing and sneezing
- Chronic fatigue
In the most extreme cases, an allergic reaction to black mold spores can cause vomiting, nausea, and bleeding within the lungs and nose. With the potential effects of black mold exposure, it isnt worth it to take the risk of handling the problem without professional assistance.
Visible Dark Rings And Spots
One of the early signs that mold could be lurking in your home is the appearance of dark rings or spots on the ceilings or walls. Even if these spots arent mold per se, they may be indicative of water damage or pooling water, which is a recipe for mold growth.Dark rings on your ceiling? It might be an early sign of black mold.
If you see anything like this in your home, its best to mop it up as quickly as possible and clean the area using disinfectants. If you cant access the area, get an inspector to do it for you. Be sure to check other areas as well, since there could be more widespread water damage.
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How To Treat Mold On Wood Studs
Its easy to know how to treat mold on wood studs if you know what to do. Follow these simple four steps to sanitize the wood. Step one is wearing protective clothing and ensure that your face and hands are well covered. The second step is to ensure that you have enough cleaning products, and that includes detergents and scrub brushes. In the third step youll wash the wood stud with detergents and scrub the surface thoroughly. Rinse the surface with clean water. Finally, sanitize the wood surface with a mixture of chlorine and water. Allow the wood to dry thoroughly to prevent the growth of mold.
Who Is At Risk Of Mold
According to the WHO, 15 percent of houses in cold climates show signs of dampness, and about 5 percent have signs of mold problems. In warm climates, however, it is estimated that 20 percent of houses have dampness, and 25 percent have mold. Dampness is most likely to occur in overcrowded houses or those that lack appropriate ventilation, heating and insulation. Because symptoms of mold infection are similar to other respiratory ailments, they are often misdiagnosed.
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When To Call In A Professional
If these methods dont workor you experience a moldy area larger than 10 square feetyou may want to call in a mold remediation expert. Look for specialists who have proper accreditation and refrain from pitching you their products. A trustworthy professional will investigate the toxic mold before doing any extensive treatment and will follow-up with a mold removal plan. The professional should be able to explain the source of the mold and go over any necessary procedures to keep it from coming back.
While mold remediation tends to be pricey, the earlier you catch it, the cheaper the removal process will be. Simple black mold removal can run as little as $500, while extensive mold remediation can cost upward of $6,000.
What To Do If You Find Black Mold In Your Home
Experts weigh-in on removal and safety tips.
Mold isn’t always a bad thingbut it’s still not an organism you want growing unchecked in your home. “Some molds are very benign,” says Leslie Andersen, vice president of training and launch at restoration company Paul Davis. “And some are really good: Think about bleu cheese, or penicillin, or mushrooms, or beerall of those have molds in them.” But if you find a musty smell in your basement or see a patch of fungal growth in a water-prone area of your home, that indicates a mold you’ll want to removeespecially if it’s hazardous black mold.
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Treatment For Mold Exposure
The most important treatment for indoor mold exposure is to fix and remove the source of the mold. Limiting your exposure to mold is the most effective way to eliminate symptoms. If you remove the mold yourself, you need to take appropriate precautions to prevent exposure. You can also contact a mold remediation company to remove it for you.
These sprays, which contain corticosteroids or decongestants, are generally well tolerated and effective. They work by reducing the inflammation caused by allergies. Some can be bought over-the-counter, and some are only available by prescription.
Over-the-counter allergy medications such as cetirizine or loratadine are often used to treat allergies. These are antihistamines that work by blocking histamine, a chemical released by your immune system in response to allergens.
Montelukast is a prescription allergy medication that works by blocking another chemical released by your immune system, leukotrienes.
Rinsing your sinuses with saline water can help flush away allergens and mucus from your sinus cavities. This will help keep your nose free of irritating substances that can cause bothersome symptoms. These kits are widely available over the counter.
Remove Mold From Tile Walls
One of the most common places you will find black mold is on the tiles and grout in bathrooms, kitchens and the laundry room. The good news is that tile is a non-porous surface, so it is one of the easiest places for removing it. The grout, if it has been sealed, cleaning will be much easier.If the grout is unsealed, it can be removed with cleaning, but it just requires a little more elbow grease than if it had been sealed.
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How Do You Get Rid Of Mold With Vinegar
You should assess the intensity of the mold growth before attempting any cleaning. Substantial growth will call for cleaners to get rid of the mold. However, for a small mold problem, you may consider it as a simple DIY task using white vinegar.
- Step 1: Protect yourselfEnsure that you have white vinegar in your home. Wear protective clothing to cover your hands to avoid prolonged exposure to vinegar. Cover your mouth, eyes, and nose as well to avoid breathing in the mold spores.
- Step 2: Fill a Spray Bottle with VinegarFind a spray bottle and fill it up with the white vinegar. Use concentrated vinegar as mold can be a resisting force. Also, ensure that you have an adequate amount of white vinegar to spray on the surface that requires cleaning.
- Step 3: Spray the Vinegar on Affected AreasSpray the affected area thoroughly with vinegar. Ensure that the area is well covered with vinegar. If you dont have a spray bottle, you can use a wet cloth soaked in vinegar to scrub the affected area.
- Step 4: Allow the Vinegar to SoakIt takes a little time for the vinegar to absorb and break the mold. Thus, you can let it sit for about an hour before you begin scrubbing.
- Step 5: Scrub the Mold AwayUse a brush with warm water to scrub off the mold. The scrub brush will make it easier to break the mold. Use an appropriate brush size to clean the area. Rinse and wipe the affected area with warm water. If the mold persists, you can repeat the processes or hire a professional.
Mold On Wooden Furniture
Fungi spores are a constant part of our indoor and outdoor surroundings. Unfortunately, they carry no good with them. Your wood furniture may come under attack from these fungi eventually causing damage as well as health complications. Wood furnishings are high prone victims of mold attack if exposed to certain temperatures and moisture levels. Mold survives on any cellulose-based matter, in which wood furniture provides. If any of your outdoor or indoor wooden furniture starts to home fungi, you might want to know how to remove it.
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Could Your Symptoms Be From A General Mold Allergy
Regardless of the species of mold in question, symptoms of a mold allergy can appear very similar, especially when looking at many individuals. So if you see black-colored mold and experience allergic symptoms, it could be Stachybotrys, or it could be another species of mold. That said, the same person can react differently to different molds. For example, one person may have severe dry eyes in response to a Cladosporium exposure, while Aspergillus exposure may cause wheezing and asthma-like symptoms.
Black Mold On Top Of The Drywall Paint
If the mold is on top of the paint, removal is simple.
- Step 1: While wearing gloves and a respirator to protect you from spores, use plastic to cover the floor.
- Step 2: Make a cleaning solution with half a cup of bleach to one gallon of water.
- Step 3: Apply this solution to the mildew and let it sit for at least fifteen minutes.
- Step 4: Next, wash the area with a small amount of dishwashing liquid and clean water, then rinse with water and dry completely. All signs of the mold should be gone.
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How Are Mold Allergies And Exposure Diagnosed
There are no proven tests that show when or where you may have been exposed to mold.
But your doctor may check for mold allergies by reviewing your symptoms and performing one of the following tests:
- Blood test. Your doctor takes a blood sample and then sends it to a laboratory to measure the number of certain antibodies, which can indicate your immune systems sensitivity to different mold species.
- Skin prick test. Your doctor takes a small amount of mold and applies it to your skin using a tiny needle. Your skin will break out in bumps, a rash, or hives if youre allergic to that type of mold.
Natural Remedies: How To Get Rid Of Black Mold
If you tend to opt for more natural household solutions that are kid- and pet-friendly, use one of these simple remedies:
- Tea tree oilThis natural fungicide is less corrosive than bleach or ammonia and effectively gets rid of mold and mildew in your home. Mix one teaspoon of tea tree oil with one cup of water in a spray bottle, spray the solution on affected areas, and let it sit for several minutes. Wipe the toxic black mold away with a disposable towel.
- Baking sodaFor lighter mold situations, baking soda is a great removal option. Create a 50/50 mix of baking soda and water to form a paste, apply it to the affected area, and let it dry. Scrub the area with a sponge or cleaning brush and wipe away any excess with a paper towel.
- VinegarWhite-distilled vinegar is a cheap and easy solution to get rid of moldand its much safer than bleach or ammonia. Pour vinegar onto a rag and wipe the mold-covered area until the mold has been completely removed.
- Grapefruit seed extractSimilar to tea tree oil, this is a natural and non-toxic way to disinfect, deodorize, and kill mold. Put 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract in a cup of water and spray the moldy area. Allow the solution to soak for 10 minutes and then wipe off any excess debris with an old towel.
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Visible Growths And Odd Colors
You may be able to visibly see a black mold growth in your home. While most black mold is indeed black, it can have a wide range of variations. For instance, you may notice a dark, furry growth or what appears to be a black stain, or there could be white, orange, brown, and even green specks.
A good rule of thumb is no matter what the color, get it treated to avoid damage to your health.
How Common Is Mold In Buildings
Mold is very common in homes and buildings.
One 2017 study found mold in every public building studied, with an average of about 14 instances of mold per building.
Another involving 31 European countries found mold in 1 in 6 homes. The author noted that the prevalence of mold may vary greatly depending on the regional climate.
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Contact Hrs Restoration Services Today
Mold needs water to grow and both mold and water can cause damage to a home quickly.
In Denver, the best team to contact when this happens in your home is HRS Restoration Services.
Water emergencies and mold growth can lead to health issues, but when you contact our emergency services team, we can help limit this result for you and your family.
Get the process started today if you have found mold or suspect it is growing in your home.
IICRC stands for the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. Formed nearly 40 years ago, it is a non-profit organization that establishes globally recognized standards for the cleaning and restoration industry, as well as providing certifications, journeyman and master designation, and education.