Warping Or Paint Peeling
Warping or paint peeling doesnt mean you have mold but its another sign of moisture. If the moisture doesnt dry up, mold will surely grow.
If you see warping or paint peeling you may have to remove a section of a wall to see whats happening within.
Once you find the cause, fix it and repaint or replace the warping.
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.
Can I Just Get Into The Wall And Use Bleach To Clean It
It may be tempting to get into the wall and spray everything with bleach by yourself. However, if you have never done this before, it is better to call someone licensed to deal with mold. This is especially true if you have never gone into the wall and dont know how to detect how extensive the mold damage is. Leaving the eradication of mold to professionals will save not only your health but also your sanity. A professional team will have all the protective gear, detection tools and methods necessary to get rid of all the mold in your home.
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What To Do For Black Mold
If you see a patch of what you think might be black mold, don’t touch it remember, says Anderson, that disturbing the mold is what causes the spores to release its toxins. “Don’t attempt to wipe it or spray it or put any chemical on itthat’s just going to make it angry,” she says. “The best thing to do is contain it.” She recommends covering the entire area with plastica bag or dropcloth will worksecured around the outer edge of the mold area . “If you have HVAC running into that room, shut the vents so they’re not pulling anything into the other rooms,” Anderson adds.
Where Black Mold Most Often Grows
Black mold grows in areas that stay consistently wet over long periods of timeso you won’t find it immediately after your toilet overflows, but you might notice it under the bathroom or kitchen sink where a slow drip has gone undetected. Look for it in “utility closets where your water heater is, basements, bathroomsanywhere you have the probability for moisture, or even groundwater seepagebasements are famous for that,” says Andersen. “It doesn’t need dark at all.” It’s also important to note that black mold isn’t the same gunk you might find on grout around an old bathtubthat’s more likely to be mildew, which thrives on residual dampness and dirt in your shower.
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What To Do When Buying A Property With Mold
If you have your heart set on buying a particular house and discover it has mold, you have options. A certified mold inspector can identify the problem and present you with a written report estimate based on the scope of necessary work for remediation/removal of mold.
You can take that estimate to your real estate agent or the sellers and ask them to either address the remediation before the close of escrow or to give you a price reduction on the purchase price of the property.
How To Tell If You Have Mold In Your House
It can be hard to tell if you have mold in your house. Obviously, if you see mold somewhere, youve got a mold problem in your house, but mold can hide in walls, ventilation ducts, crawl spaces, and in other hard-to-see areas.
A common way to check for mold is to smell for it. A musty smell in an area of your home is often an indicator that there is some kind of mold present. Symptoms like a persistent runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing and throat irritation could also be indicative of mold.
In addition, anywhere that has been exposed to a significant amount of moisture such as water damage from flooding is a potential area where mold may be growing. Look for water where it shouldnt be, and check areas which may have flooded in the past.
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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.
Condensation Around The Windows
Mold is often found near windows. It may not be a lot of mold but even a small amount of mold can damage paint and cause health problems.
Mold is less likely to occur on newer windows. Condensation is common on old, single pane windows but rarely on dual pane windows.
Also, make sure the window is set correctly so air isnt entering the house through the sides of the window.
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Why Does Mold Cause A Pungent Odor
Mold growth itself does not smell bad. It is the off-gases that are let off by mold growth called Microbial Organic Compounds .
The dank musty odor signifies the presence of microbial volatile organic compounds . Traditional volatile organic compounds are mainly industrial made chemicals with low molecular weights, high vapor pressure and low water solubility. MVOCs are released from metabolic processes of decay agents like fungi, bacteria and biofilm. The off gassing of MVOCs include a wide range of alcohols, ketones, aldehyde, esters, carboxylic acids, lactones, terpenes, aromatic hydrocarbons, sulfur and nitrogen compounds.
You don’t need to know scientifically how MVOC’s are formed, however, you must know it is caused in most causes by water damaged porous materials. This could mean drywall, clothes, flooring, etc.
Bottom line is this:
If you have had a leak in your home that was not dried up properly or maybe a hidden leak that led to mold growth
You have identified mold as the source of the moldy smell in your home.
What Is Black Mold
Black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, is one of the most common indoor molds. It grows in damp, humid, and dark areas in homes. Like other molds, it releases spores into the air surrounding it, which can be inhaled by humans or absorbed through your skin, and can also allow it to be transported to other areas of a home.
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How To Get Rid Of Mold
Just as there are many types of mold, there are numerous removal methods. The best option for your situation will depend on what type of mold youre encountering, the surface that its on and the extent to which it has spread.
In some cases, it may be necessary to call an expert when it comes to home mold removal. DIY mold removal is only possible depending on the size and impact the mold has made.
If you choose to handle the mold removal yourself, make sure to don adequate protective gear. The CDC recommends that you wear long pants and a long-sleeve shirt, protective gloves and eyewear, waterproof boots and a mask rated at least N95 or more to protect your nose and mouth. Note that while these masks protect you from small particles like mold, they are not adequate if you are encountering any sort of gases, chemical vapors, asbestos or lead.
Testing For Black Mold
You can have your mold tested to find out exactly what kind it is. Cost varies, but you can expect to pay hundreds of dollars to determine the type of mold.
There are also black mold testing kits, available at the hardware store or on , that you can purchase for around $35-50. With this DIY route, you take samples from a suspected affected surface, then send off to be tested in a lab.
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Black Mold Removal And Cleaning
Mold remediation in stores, offices, or schools is best left to the pros. This also applies to household mold exceeding 10 square feet.
The contractors you choose should have insurance and licenses from organizations like the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification .
Homeowners can handle cleaning about 10 square feet of black mold on their own.3 If the patch is small enough, a combination of bleach, water, scrubbing, and ventilation should do the trick.
Before treating mold on your own, prioritize ventilation and protective gear.
Removing black mold is a tough and dirty job. If you or anyone in your family is sensitive to mold allergies, has respiratory or immune issues, trust the professionals.
Find a contractor in your area to get started.
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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Problems In The Attic Leading To Musty Odors
Odors that are caused by issues in the attic can be a nuisance because they are not simple to diagnose.
The most issue to diagnose is of course roof leaks. You start seeing stains when it gets bad enough and you easily figure it out.
Unfortunately, it’s not always quite that simple.
There are other issues that can arise in the attic that can lead to your home smelling like mold.
It could have been a problem brewing for years since the day your house was built or it could have been due to the things moved around by people that were doing work in the attic.
Is Mold In The Closet Dangerous
Mold can potentially cause serious health problems, the EPA has reported. Their spores produce allergens, irritants, and toxic substances. Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores can cause allergic reactions such as sneezing, runny noses, red eyes, headaches, and skin rashes.
More serious problems can include bleeding in the lungs and nose. Molds can also trigger asthma attacks and other respiratory problems. Young children, the elderly, and those with lung conditions can be especially sensitive to mold in the home.
The dangers of mold have prompted the World Health Organization to deem it a health hazard.
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How To Remove Mold Outside The House
External mold is just as serious as mold inside the home. Youll want to remove mold from the outside of your house, on siding or on your deck, as soon as possible. External mold can do significant damage to exterior surfaces over time, eating away at wood, stucco and other materials. In addition, exterior mold can easily work its way into the house if left unchecked.
- Don gloves and eye protection and liberally spray a 1-to-10 solution of bleach and water on the surface.
- Scrub tough stains with a stiff bristle brush dipped in the solution.
- Let sit for 10 to 20 minutes and rinse with a garden hose.
Identify Areas Known To Harbor Mold
When you believe you smell mold, go on the hunt to find it. Look near water supply pipes, around water drainage lines and sewage pipes, anywhere near dryer vents and in laundry rooms, under sinks, in the ceiling above a finished basement, near bathroom exhaust vents, around sump pumps, and inside wall cavities.
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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.
Is There A Device Detecting Mold
Yes, its called the Informant or the Informant Plus Black Mold & Fungal Allergen Detection Test Kit. They are the only commercially available mold test designed to detect specific black molds, such as Aspergillus, Penicillium and Stachybotrys species, which are toxigenic, plus many major and minor allergenic spores.
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Seal Moldy Areas After They Dry
- Set out dehumidifiers and new fans to dry the now-cleaned areas for at least three days, then check them by sight and smell for mold.
- Pro tip: If you discover more mold, clean again with bleach for mold remediation.
Treating Mold Can Be Expensive
Once a mold infestation affects a home, it can take a great deal of money, time, energy, and resources to eliminate the problem.
First, youll have to hire a mold inspection team to identify the type of mold in your home and their potential health risks. They will also help to develop a remediation plan to remove the mold and address the source of the growth, known as the moisture intrusion source.
If the mold infestation is fairly advanced, you may need some major structural work to eliminate the issue. For instance, it might require cutting into drywall or even complete demolition to some parts of the home. Any infested carpeting, drywall, flooring, and other porous materials will need to be fully replaced, which can be quite expensive.
Serious mold problems need to be treated using special mold-resistant solutions. This can be something as simple as anti-fungal paint, but it may also involve using special seals and chemical solutions. These treatments were rather inconvenient as it restricts you from using your house to its fullest capacity.
Chances are that you will need to renovate the area after mold remediation is complete. In worst-case scenarios, your home may be condemned, especially if it is infested with toxic mold. This is an extreme scenario and often preventable if you catch the mold issue early enough.
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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.
Mold Poisoning Symptoms In Humans
Mold poisoning can cause a number of different symptoms, depending on the age of the affected individual, the strength of their immune system, and whether or not they have a pre-existing mold allergy. Here are a few of the most common signs and symptoms of mold poisoning in humans.
- A stuffy or runny nose
- Sinus issues or infections
- Worsening or development of asthma
- Wheezing or difficulty breathing
- Skin itchiness, redness, or discomfort
- Fever and shortness of breath
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