Protecting Yourself During Mold Cleanup
Before starting your cleanup process, make sure you have the proper equipment and take precautions to protect yourself.
- Avoid breathing in mold or mold spores. In order to limit your exposure to airborne mold spores, you may want to wear an N-95 respirator, available at many hardware stores and from companies that advertise on the Internet. Some N-95 respirators resemble a paper dust mask with a nozzle on the front others are made primarily of plastic or rubber and have removable cartridges that trap most of the mold spores from entering. In order to be effective, the respirator or mask must fit properly, so carefully follow the instructions supplied with the respirator. Look for the label of N-95 and NIOSH to assure the respirator will provide the protection needed.
- Wear gloves. Long gloves that extend to the middle of the forearm are recommended. When working with water and a mild detergent, household rubber gloves may be used. If you are using a disinfectant, chlorine bleach or a strong cleaning solution, you should select gloves made from natural rubber, neoprene, nitrile, polyurethane or PVC.
- Wear goggles. Goggles that do not have ventilation holes are recommended to avoid getting mold or mold spores in your eyes.
Directions For Removing Mold From A Cement Wall
Before removing black mold from a cement wall, dampen the moldy area well with a rag and plain water, Weitz advises. This will keep the mold spores from disbursing through the air. Next, he says you should try to remove as much of the mold as possible with a scrub brush and non-ammonia soap or detergent.
Weitz believes in the power of bleach and says it will remove any leftover mold and stop future mold growth. He instructs readers to add 1½ cups bleach to 1 gallon of water in a pail. Wet the surface well with this mixture, letting it soak in for about 15 minutes. Then, scrub the area with the scrub brush and rinse well with clean, clear water.
He recommends repeating the bleach steps until all visible mold is gone. Next, use a fan and/or dehumidifier to dry the area well. If any moisture is left, Weitz says your wall is subject to new mold growth.
Where To Check For Mold In Your Kitchen
From long-forgotten leftovers in the back of your fridge to the not so easily forgotten dishes that pile up in the sink, there are ample surfaces for mold to take up residence in your kitchen. The added levels of humidity from using the stove and running hot water from the sink can cause kitchen mold to grow quickly. Some of the most common places to check for mold in the kitchen include:
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When You Find Mold While House Hunting
The key to finding mold is knowing where to look for it. Check dark, damp places for mold, like under cabinets and in basements, crawl spaces and attics, advises Tina Tyus, a real estate broker at Town Square Realty in Birmingham, AL, and author of So You Want to Flip Houses?
Even if you dont find mold, Tyus says a home inspector will be able to locate it if mold is present. And if its found, mold remediation should be addressed prior to closing, she says.
During the home inspection process, theres an inspection contingency period and buyers have options, according to Shawn Kunkler, a San Francisco-based realtor and author of Insiders Guide to Home Buying. If mold is discovered, he says this can be point of negotiation or the prospective buyer may be able to walk away from the home.
How Can I Get Rid Of Black Mold In My Mobile Home
Fill a 5-gallon bucket with 1 gallon of warm water. Add 1 cup of household bleach and ¼ cup of a mild dishwashing liquidone that does not contain ammoniainto the water, and mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture into a clean spray bottle. Spray the mold with the mixture, and wipe the surface mold with a clean cloth.
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Your Chimney Smells Weird
Chimney sweeps dont only remove dangerous creosote buildup they can clean out toxic mold too. Moisture can accumulate in the porous bricks and mortar of a chimney. Rusty chimney caps or flashing that needs repair allow rain and snow to seep in, creating an environment for mold to thrive. That may be the reason you smell something funky on days when the wind is blowing in a certain direction. Fix the cap and flashing and call the chimney sweep to extinguish the mold issues. Watch out for these other scary ways your fireplace could be toxic, too!
Common Types Of House Mold
Wondering what types of mold are the most common in houses and which ones you should be concerned about? Lets discuss a few of the most common types of household mold now.
- Cladosporium Cladosporium is one of the most common household molds. It usually grows in a greenish-brown colony, but can also be nearly black in color. It is rarely harmful unless you have a mold allergy, but may cause minor issues like toenail or fingernail infections.
- Penicillium Penicillium is sometimes called green mold, as it is usually dark green in color. It tends to grow in large, consistent patches on the walls. As the name suggests, penicillin is derived from some kinds of this mold. However, some kinds of penicillium mold may be toxic to humans and animals.
- Aspergillus This type of mold is usually greenish-white in color, and may be more raised with a more cloudy appearance than other types of mold. It is not harmful, unless you have a weakened immune system, in which case it could infect the lungs or sinuses.
- Alternaria Alternaria mold is usually greenish-white, but can also appear in black patches, so its sometimes confused with black mold. Alternaria can be a factor in exacerbating asthma, particularly for those who may have mold allergies.
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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.
Using A Mold Exposure Test
A mold exposure test is often the best way for you to check for mold on your own. You can pick one up at any home improvement or home supply store.
Simply follow the instructions on the box. Usually, youll just brush the surface where you think mold may be present, and send the test strip or brush in for a laboratory analysis. If mold is present, youll be notified.
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Getting Sick From Mould In Apartments: What Can Be Done
WITHIN THE CONTROL OF THE TENANTOUTSIDE OF THE CONTROL OF THE TENANTFORCING A LANDLORD TO DEAL WITH A MOULD PROBLEMGETTING AN ORDER TO FIXfit for habitation20. LANDLORDS RESPONSIBILITY TO REPAIR— A landlord is responsible for providing and maintaining a residential complex, including the rental units in it, in a good state of repair and fit for habitation and for complying with health, safety, housing and maintenance standards. SAME—Subsection applies even if the tenant was aware of a state of non-repair or a contravention of a standard before entering in the tenancy agreement.WHAT A TENANT SHOULD DEMONSTRATE
Medical Tests We Took
Once we knew that our home was teaming with mycotoxins, we enlisted Real Time Labs to run urine samples and test us individually for mycotoxins in our body. These tests are also expensive and for us, not covered by insurance. I decided to run the full panel and me and my daughter. Once we got the results back , I only tested my husband for those specific mycotoxins. This saved a wee bit of money.
After we had confirmation that we had high levels of mycotoxins in our body, we ordered additional labs. And by additional, I mean A TON. You can find the full set of labs we ordered here. Learn why you want to run these in this informative post.
I also took a Visual Contrast Sensitivity test online. I failed. This is very telling and shows that I do have neurological issues. The test is pretty cheap and a great tool to get a picture of how the mold exposure has impacted your brain.
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What Is Black Mold
Like other types of mold, black mold is commonly found in dark, humid areas of homes. It releases spores into the air that you can absorb through your skin or breathe in. These spores can also catch a ride from you to other areas, spreading it throughout your home.
Where black mold differs from other common household molds, however, is its reputation for being toxic. Many people refer to black mold simply as toxic mold. When left alone, black mold can cause serious health issues, especially for high-risk individuals.
The most common health issues from black mold are respiratory. You might experience coughing, sneezing or an itchy throat after prolonged exposure to black mold spores. People who are at higher risk, like infants or someone with existing respiratory issues, could experience long-term health consequences.
Protect Others And The Building
If you decide to clean the mold yourself, it is important to protect yourself and the other people in the building. When cleaning a large amount of mold, consider the following:
- Remove furnishings and items from the work area.
- Enclose and seal mold material in plastic before carrying them through the home.
- Cover air supply and return vents in the work area.
- Use a fan to pull contaminated air out of the work area and exhaust it outdoors.
- Consider renting an air scrubber to operate in the area .
- Remove the outer layer of work clothing inside the work area and wash separately, or bag and discard the clothing.
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What To Do If You Find Mold In Your Apartment
You should act immediately if you discover mold in your apartment. Notify your landlord right away, and consider asking them to turn to a professional mold inspector. Mold tends to grow in concealed places, such as behind appliances or walls, and professionals have the right equipment to detect it.
Once you or a mold inspector has detected a problem, your landlord should address the problem right away. They may clean the mold themselves or hire someone to do it. Properly sealing barriers and preventing further leaks, spills, or floods, then replacing, removing, or bleaching affected areas can solve the mold problem. However, toxic mold may require a professional mold removal service. Black toxic mold can pose a danger to people, and it can easily spread if it is not properly handled.
If you find mold on your personal property, you can discuss that damage with your landlord. However, depending on the terms of your rental agreement, you may need to replace your personal items. You may send a claim to your renters insurance company.
You can take a few steps to prevent mold from growing in the first place. Dry any moisture you see as soon as possible, and make sure you dont leave standing water anywhere. Whether that water comes from something you spill in the bedroom, or its around the kitchen sink, drying it out will help stop a mold problem before it begins.
Signs Of Mold In An Apartment
Watch out for these signs of mold in an apartment:
- An off smell: If you notice a musty smell in your unit, it could very well come from mold. Check for further signs. Even if you dont immediately see anything obvious, a moldy odor means youll want to investigate more.
- Dirty spots: Mold is not always visible, but people can mistake it for stains like soot or dirt when it is. Remember that mold can come in various colors, sizes, and shapes, so dont just assume youre in the clear if that strange spot isnt black. A small mold spot could mean you have more mold lurking behind your walls or in other areas.
- Leaks: Because mold needs moisture, a leak in your unit may lead to mold. Mold often exists around pipes in front of and behind walls. If you have a leak, get it fixed right away, and check for mold signs after. The top causes of mold include leaks from another unit, clogged PTAC units, and broken washing machine hoses.
- Condensation: Again, lots of moisture creates the right conditions for mold. Condensation collects when a lot of moisture exists in the air. High humidity can make condensation even worse, and by extension, the conditions for mold growth even better.
- Flooding: Likewise, flooding often leads to mold. Even if the flood occurred a while ago, you might have mold that grew undetected and is just now showing itself.
If any of these issues exist in your apartment, you should start addressing them with your landlord right away.
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Product #3 Essential Oil Diffuser
Even though I had thrown away my childhood by discarding anything at my parents house that had been in our moldy home, I still worried that there were lingering spores in the closet where these items lived. I didnt want to spray the closet and bedroom with toxic chemicals and we didnt have our Airocide filter yet. I decided to order an uber-powerful diffuser and diffuse Rocky Mountain Oils special blend called Purify. It kills airborne anaerobic bacteria, viruses, mold, fungus, neutralizes mildew, cigarette smoke, and eliminates other noxious odors.
I diffused the Purify blend four times a day for 15 minute increments. I did this for 14 days and felt pretty confident that we got a lot of the mold spores out of the closet. I dont think I would rely on this method alone but if it is all you can afford at the time, it is better than nothing.
Whats The Purpose Of A Reference Mold Test
Reference counts Most mold reports contain a reference mold test. The purpose of this test is to measure the mold in the air outside the home to use as a reference to compare with the mold inside the home.
Mold counts mold tests boil down to simply counting the number and type of mold spores in a given amount of air or on a surface. Reference counts Most mold reports contain a reference mold test. The purpose of this test is to measure the mold in the air outside the home to use as a reference to compare with the mold inside the home.
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Mold In The Basement: Identifying And Treating It
Homes that have basements often have mold. Due to basements’ proximity to groundwater, water can wick up through concrete floors and continue wicking up through floor sleepers and wall studs. Homes without a robust water diversion system may accumulate water in the soil that can crack the foundation, which results in water leakage.
Identifying and treating basement mold is a multi-stage process. You must find the mold, then test it to make sure of what you’re dealing with. You’ll remove structural elements to permit access to the mold, as needed, and go through the process of killing the mold. Then you’ll mechanically remove or encapsulate the dead mold spores, depending upon which is best for your situation. Finally, you’ll turn your attention to fixing the problem that allowed the mold to grow in the first place.
Preventing Mold In Your Home
The best way to keep your family safe from black mold is to prevent it from growing. Since mold grows in damp, dark places, you should aim to improve ventilation and reduce humidity in areas that are prone to mold.
In your bathrooms, for example, you can use a shower squeegee to remove excess water from shower walls and bathroom mirrors. You can also install a vent fan or open a window when showering to allow humidity to leave the room. These steps help reduce the moisture in your bathroom and make it more difficult for black mold to grow.
Make searching for black mold or potential growth areas a part of your spring cleaning routine. The sooner you catch a mold growth, the better chance you have to get rid of it before it causes health problems.
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Your Skin Is Tingling
If youre allergic to mycotoxins, youll experience tingling, itching, or burning sensations when you come into contact with the mold. Your body is reacting by releasing histamines, and the result can be dry, itchy, and scaly skin you could get hives. If the condition persists, see an allergist and look into ways to locate and eradicate the growth. Here are some more hidden dangers in your home you should never ignore.
How Long Does It Take For Mold To Get Out Of Your System
Again, the answer to this question is highly dependent on several factors: your level of exposure, health history, environment, type of mold, and degree of sensitivity.
Some individuals get better just weeks after removing the source of mold and immersing themselves in clean, mold-free environments.
Other people have reported it took over a year to fully recover.
A good way to gauge how long you will be battling mold in your system is how much mold has built up. The more mold that is in your body, the longer it will take to remove.
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