How To Prevent The Growth Of Mold
Keeping the interior of your home dry can help prevent mold. The home inspector can discover leaks, issues with plumbing, or problems with the HVAC system and ventilation, which can lead to the growth of mold. This is why a professional home inspection is so important.
High humidity levels can also cause mold to form on wood, drywall, and other materials the mold considers food. Using a dehumidifier to regulate humidity levels can help to prevent mold.
Common places you might find mold include:
- Areas where pipes have been leaking
- Areas beneath roof leaks
- Basements where there has been water damage or flooding
- Areas where you see a buildup of moisture
- Homes with poor air circulation and ventilation
Should You Buy A House With Mold Problems
If you find a house and discover it has mold problems, should you buy it anyway? If you or a family member has asthma or if a baby or an elderly person will live in the house, you’ll want to be especially concerned about limiting exposure to mold. You’ll have to decide whether the cost of removing the mold and fixing the source — both in time and money — is worth the price you’ll pay.
If you have an inspection contingency and the mold is revealed as part of the inspection, or if you have a specific mold contingency, you have a bargaining chip. You can ask the seller to reduce the asking price, to fix the problem, or you can choose to walk away from the deal.
Resources And State Laws On Mold In Homes
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides extensive information in the Molds and Moisture section of the EPA website, including advice on cleaning up mold after a flood in your basement. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has useful resources on mold on its website.
Most of the mold-related regulations occur at the state level. For example, California, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, and Texas have passed legislation aimed at developing guidelines and regulations for mold in indoor air. Here are some resources to find out your state rules on mold:
- Check the state agency responsible for mold and indoor air quality. You’ll find links to your state agency and resources on the EPA site. Many state agencies have useful guides to dealing with lead in your home (see for example, the California Department of Public Health publication Mold in My HomeâWhat Do I Do?.
- The National Conference of State Legislatures has an Environmental Health Legislation Database that tracks state legislation on environmental health hazards, including mold.
For more practical homebuying tips, get Nolo’s Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home, by Ilona Bray, Alayna Schroeder, and Marcia Stewart .
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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.
Question: Where Do I Look For Hidden Mold Reservoir In A Basement
We contracted a representative of F** Consulting to take a tape sample from a floor joist in the basement of what was suspected as possible mold by the buyers’ home inspector. The lab report came back as 4+ for Aspergillus/Penicillium types and 5+ for Mycelia. When he took the sample, the representative told our real estate agent that the humidity in the basement was 52%, unlikely for mold growth.
Yet, it would seem as if the house had a mold problem. When I built the house, 30 years ago, it rained during the time the basement was poured and intermittently throughout the framing.The basement has a sump pump, which runs occasionally, and both exterior and interior drain tile, but has never had water in it .
There are no water pipes near the joist that was tested. To all appearances, the joists look to me exactly the way they did when I moved in. In fact, over the 30 years I have had the house, I have only had 2 leaks: once when the clothes washer hose cracked and once when the refrigerator ice maker leaked, neither of which is close to the joist with the mold.
So now, given that the basement is unfinished, where might I have to look for the “hidden reservoir” of which you speak and where do we go from here? I want to protect future residents, but am uncertain what steps need to be taken. Thanks for any direction you can give me.
Or see these
- TRAPPED MOLD BETWEEN WOOD SURFACES for a discussion of the immobility of mold between wood framing and other surfaces.
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Is Mold In Your House Dangerous
Before we get to the checking and testing, lets first understand possible health effects of mold around us.
Most house molds and their spores are allergens, meaning they cause allergic reactions in people sensitive to indoor mold.
The so-called toxic molds have been blamed for even more serious health conditions such as memory loss, fatigue, seizures and brain damage. These are extreme, of course,
Children growing up where large amounts of mold is indoors, namely schools and homes, have more frequent asthma attacks and higher incidences of wheezing and upper respiratory infections.
Even for normal people, reactions range from increased runny nose, eye irritation, or congestion.
Children spend most of their time at home, so its a no-brainer to learn how to check for mold in your house and find out what type of mold is there.
Before getting too worried though, its important to understand that some mold is present in any house.
Since it is a natural organism that feeds off of organic materials and thrives when any moisture is available, mold in a house is unavoidable.
Where house molds are a problem is when there is excessive and persistent moisture for it to live on and reproduce.
When Should I Check My House For Mold
It is recommended to check for house mold if you:
- See growth somewhere in your house
- Smell musty or or mildewy odors
- Have a situation where you or someone shows signs up allergies indoors
- Suspect regularly occurring moisture somewhere in your house.
View an actual mold in house report to see what comes back after you analyze your house mold.
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How To Find Mold In Your Home
Damage caused by mold growth in your home can be a huge inconvenience and if the damage is severe enough, costly to repair. Mold forms in environments where moisture is present and it is important to know how to detect when there is mold growth in your home. This article addresses how to find mold in your home.
What Mold Smells Like
Mold has a damp, musty scentsimilar to what youd smell after opening an old book. In general, smell is not a good way to determine if there is a mold problem, says Laureen Burton, a staff chemist and toxicologist for the Environmental Protection Agency . The smell of indoor molds can differ depending on the type of mold, the surface on which its growing, and its source of moisture. Plus, she says, some people dont notice a smell at all.
The mold smell is caused by microbial volatile organic compounds , which are substances that are naturally produced by molds as they grow. The health effects of inhaling mVOCs are largely unknown, says Burton, although exposure to some mVOCs has been linked to symptoms such as headaches, nasal irritation, dizziness, fatigue, and nausea.
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How To Test The Air In Your House For Mold: Step
With new technology, mold testing has become simplified for homes. The best places to test are the following spaces:
- In ventilation ducts
- Where leaks previously occurred
Go for a viable test kit to detect spores in the air. You can buy an easy test kit to use at home by searching the web. Be sure that it is for indoor use and conditions like yours.
Heres how to use your kit once your purchase it.
Testing For And Diagnosing Mold Illness In A Clinical Setting
A helpful technique that practitioners of environmental medicine, such as myself, are taught to do is to draw a timeline of each patients health history. By doing so, we are able to tie together the onset of symptoms with certain environmental exposures or illnesses. This exercise often provides the greatest clue in figuring out what is going on with the patient. However, it is also necessary to look at several objective tests to determine what is going on.
One of the first things with mold that we cannot lose sight of is the fact that testing the environment is just as important as running tests on the patient. A patient cannot be sick from mold if they are not being exposed. To that end, ordering mold plates and doing some simple DIY testing, or calling in a licensed and certified professional mold inspector to come in to look at the mold counts in the home, car, and workplace is extremely important. This information will also be important for getting the patient out of the exposure, so that treatment can work, and they can properly respond and heal.
As for testing of the patient, there are several things that I find very helpful and important, both for diagnosis and for convincing of family members, work place supervisors, and at times, proving in a court of law that a moldy environment was the cause of illness.
What follows are those tests that I find most helpful in looking at the problem:
1. A fungal culture of the nose and sinuses
2. IgG mold antibodies test
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Poor Reason For Testing #3 To Learn If The Mold Is The Toxic Kind
Many, if not all, molds may produce one or more substances broadly called mycotoxins. Molds that are known to be able to produce mycotoxins are referred to as “toxigenic.” Mycotoxins may harm living tissue if enough of the agent enters the body, but science does not yet know how much of the many mycotoxins that could be present are necessary to harm a person, especially by breathing it. It is simply safest to assume at this time that any molds may produce mycotoxins or other harmful substances in some circumstances and they ought to be removed.
Testing for mold is not the same as testing for mycotoxins. Since toxigenic molds may or may not be producing mycotoxins depending on the environmental conditions, their presence does not necessarily indicate that known mycotoxins are also present or that occupants will be harmed. Likewise, failing to detect molds that are currently recognized to potentially produce mycotoxins, does not mean that mycotoxins or other harmful substances are absent. MDH advises that any mold growth indoors should be safely removed regardless of whether toxigenic species have been found.
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What Happens During A Mold Inspection
The inspector will first examine any areas that may have already been susceptible to mold. The inspector will also perform a visual inspection of the remainder of the house, concentrating on areas where mold is known to commonly form.
The home inspector may use equipment such as moisture meters or infrared camera to detect the presence of moisture in drywall or in other inaccessible areas. The source of moisture may also be determined. This will help to come up with a solution to remedy the issue.
Afterward, the inspector will recommend a course of action. Part one of the plan is solving the moisture problem. The home inspector may have discovered the source or further investigation may be needed. Without solving the moisture problem, removing the mold is pointless because it will just grow back over time.
If the mold does not affect a large area, you may be able to handle the cleanup yourself. If it contaminates a larger area, a mold remediation specialist is recommended. The professionals will have the proper safety gear and equipment to perform the job safely and properly.
Do You Really Need A Mold Inspection Or Testing
We are going to tell you something right away about mold inspections and mold testing that is going to make almost every other mold company and mold inspector squirm. Most other mold companies will not reveal the following, but we have been doing so for years because it is our mission to get good factual information about mold out there to combat all the misinformation and fiction that dominates our industry. Ready?
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Mold Behind The Walls Or Under Floors
Mold can also grow in places you may not notice at first, like behind your walls, under your floors, in your ceiling, and behind tiling. If youve had any water damage, your walls and floors may be at risk, and you cant even see it happening!
How can you know what is going on behind your walls, and under your floors? Well, if you are suspicions of a certain space, unsure if there is moisture in the walls, there is an at home test, to figure out if there is a vapor barrier or not, it is called the doormat test. What you do, is take a dry doormat, and put it on the floor, or tape it to the wall, and leave it there for a day or two. When you lift the doormat up, if the bottom is damp, and there is condensation between it and the floor or wall, then you know you dont have a vapor barrier, there is moisture in the flooring or wall, and you are at risk for mold.
What Are Signs Of Mold In Your House
Homes are supposed to shield us from the harmful things outside like water, wind, and extreme temperatures. Sometimes, however, our houses fail to provide the necessary shelter and moisture enters our house and allows mold to grow.
If there is adequate moisture mold can grow in our bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and attics. Mold can also grow undetected inside of our walls.
As someone who grew up with allergies, Im vigilant about monitoring moisture inside my home. I have felt the effects of mold allergy symptoms and suffered for a long time.
In addition to health problems, mold can cause structural damage and damage to furniture inside a house.
In todays article, Ill share 13 important signs of mold in your house. Growing up I remember seeing mold in my bathroom and near windows. At the time I didnt realize it but the fungus was affecting the quality of my life.
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Ways You Can Prevent Mold
1. Humidity: According to Redfin Relative humidity should be below 60 percent, meaning the air should be fairly dry. Humidity condenses on surfaces making ideal growing conditions for mold If you see lots of condensation in your house, it may be a sign and excessive moisture, that may cause a mold problem. If you see rusting indoor pipes or rusting in metal artifacts, you may call a professional that can help you control the humidity inside your house
2. Repair Leaks: if water is coming out of the pipe, make sure to fix those issues immediately and check the area around the leak for potential mold. Make sure to check after a heavy rain areas near the doors and windows to make sure water is not coming into the house.
3. Clean Up Spills: According to Redfin, All spills should be cleaned and dried immediately. Mold can begin to grow within a 48 to 72 hour period. Another area to pay close attention is near the bathtub. Usually after a shower or bath water accumulates between title and wall, and if not clean intermediately mold could develop.
If you are thinking about solving the issues on your own, do some research before starting doing the remediation. For better results, sometimes may be necessary to contact a professional that may resolved the issue once and for all.
To read the complete Redfin Article click this link.
If you need to sell your house fast in Houston or any of the surrounding areas, please give us a call at 281-710-8525
S To Detect Mold In Your House
1. Seeing Signs of mold: Mold will appear first in areas where there is moisture and can have a variety of colors gray brown, gray-green, white, orange, pink, etc, although the most common is black. it can be a small patch and over time it can spread over the area
2. Odor: If you have mold hidden in your house, and it is not visible, but you can smell it, it may be a high possibility that mold is in your house. Do not ignore it, event if you cannot see it. Start
3. Visible Water Problems: If there has been a leaky pipe or water seating regularly for long periods of time by window or bathroom, more likely mold will develop. Some sings may include water stains or discoloration of ceilings, walls and floors. Other signs of moisture in the area are:bubbling of the Sheetrock, paint or wallpaper
4. Unexplained Respiratory Problems: When several people in the same area/space start to have unusual respiratory issues without any prior history of such problems, mold may be the main caused.
Now, after finding mold, the best way to eliminate it or prevent future issues is to remove the main source that is causing the mold . In many instances, people may thing just scrubbing the area affected may eliminate the mold, but in reality they are spreading the spores into new areas that mold may grow making the issue even worse.
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