What Are The Most Common Symptoms Of Black Mold Exposure
Usually dark green or black in appearance, black mold is a type of fungus and refers to several species of mold. Whenever you spot mold, it should be removed as soon as possible. Thats because mold can multiply rapidly and cause a range of different health problems.
It can cause stronger symptoms in those that have weakened immune systems or those with mold allergies or asthma. That being said, mold affects each of us in different ways, but some of the most common symptoms reported include:
- Asthma attacks
- Difficulty breathing
- Lung infections
Conventional Treatment Of Black Mold
Typically, you can see or smell large black mold infestations. Smaller infestations can be harder to find. Wondering how black mold is conventionally treated?
According to the CDC, In most cases mold can be removed from hard surfaces by a thorough cleaning with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water. Absorbent or porous materials like ceiling tiles, drywall, and carpet may have to be thrown away if they become moldy. If you have an extensive amount of mold and you do not think you can manage the cleanup on your own, you may want to contact a professional who has experience in cleaning mold in buildings and homes. It is important to properly clean and dry the area as you can still have an allergic reaction to parts of the dead mold and mold contamination may recur if there is still a source of moisture.
Are you wondering how to test for mold? One option is to hire a professional mold tester to collect and analyze mold samples. A cheaper option is to order a black mold test kit, which you can use to collect mold samples yourself. You then send the samples to a professional mold testing laboratory.
How Much Does It Cost To Test Your House For Mold
Getting your home professionally inspected for mold isnt cheap. The average cost for an inspection is around $650. But, it can range between $250 and $1000 depending on the size and location of your house .
Many homeowners are enticed by the affordability of DIY test kits, usually available at around $40 or less. However, its crucial to get the house inspected by professionals if mold is detected or suspected.
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Common Mold Hiding Places
All mold needs to grow is moisture, darkness and warmth, but where exactly should you look when you suspect a mold problem? Here are a few common places around the house where mold is likely to grow :
- Behind appliances such as a refrigerator or dishwasher.
- Behind drywalls where plumbing pipes are located.
- Underneath cardboard or old newspapers.
- Beneath sinks.
- Under carpets, particularly in the padding.
Guide To Mold Remediation
Think you might have mold spreading throughout your home in Fort Myers? Its not uncommon. Mold just needs a little warmth and a little moisture. From there, it can experience explosive growth, allowing it to colonize any area of your home. Mold remediation is the answer to your challenge, but you may have some questions about the process.
Is Mold Remediation All I Need?
No. While mold remediation is an important, even vital, step, its only one of several. In addition to removing the mold from your home, its also essential that the water leak that caused the mold growth in the first place is located and repaired.
Is My Home Infested by Black Mold?
Black mold is very common, but it is only one of over 300,000 types of mold that could ultimately grow in your home. The best way to identify the mold is to have it inspected and tested.
Should I Clean Mold on My Own?
If you notice small patches of mold that are growing only on a hard surface, it can be cleaned using a little water and bleach. However, make sure to wear a face mask. In addition, larger mold patches on porous surfaces, such as sheetrock, should be handled by a professional, as they can be very difficult to handle on your own.
How Long After Water Damage Does Mold Start Growing?
If you have experienced any sort of water incursion, mold can begin growing in as little as 24 hours, making mold remediation essential.
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Indoor Air Quality Testing
Indoor air quality is something you rarely think about until you end up with an unexplained cold or flu symptoms and see mold growth on your walls or ceilings. Air quality services by certified air quality inspectors like those at Insight Environmental include professional air quality testing for mold spores, which will get the people in your home or office on track to breathe healthier air. The air quality experts at Insight Environmental will conduct an in home air quality test, and after tests and lab analysis, will create a report for you on how to improve air quality indoors if needed. Homeowners and business owners rarely think of air quality assessors when it comes time for home improvement, but without knowing how to improve air quality indoors, your family and coworkers could become ill.
If You See Mold Testing Is Usually Unnecessary And A Waste Of Money
If you already see obvious, visible mold, you usually do NOT need a mold inspection or mold testing you simply need to remove it following industry standard guidelines as we discuss below.
There are many cases where a mold inspection and mold testing IS a good idea, and we discuss these below. We also discuss why home mold tests that you can buy at hardware stores are a waste of money.
Many consumers who call us already see visible mold and think they therefore need to get it tested to determine what type of mold it is, whether its toxic, and other characteristics.
Do you think most companies who inspect for mold care to reveal that testing is often unnecessary when they have an easy $350-$1000 mold inspection on the table from a worried customer who is misinformed? Obviously not. Of course, there are some companies and individuals who are truthful, and we commend them, but they are sadly few and far between and drowned out by the others.
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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. However, 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 small amounts 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.
How To Find Hidden Mold
One concern many home owners and consumers have is finding hidden mold. Luckily these kits are rather successful at locating hidden mold growth, especially the HVAC air testing and the settling plate methods. If these tests detect mould but its not readily visible or if these tests dont detect it yet there is still a strong suspicion that it is present, it is best to just start doing a visual inspection of the entire house, starting with windowsills, refrigerator seals, around the bathtub, and in the basement. Other areas to look at include behind drywall, wall paper, and in any part of the home that is overly damp and has a consistently high level of humidity.
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What Affects The Cost Of A Mold Inspection
There are two main factors that affect the cost of a mold inspection: the size of the house being inspected and whether or not the inspector has to remove or destroy parts of the property, such as drywall or paneling, to complete the inspection.
Quite simply, a large house with a lot of square footage is going to cost more to inspect because the inspection is going to take longer. An âinvasiveâ inspection involving digging through drywall or digging under a crawlspace is also going to cost extra because of the extra time and work involved.
Poor Reason For Testing #1 To Find Out If There Is Mold
A complex mixture of mold particles normally exists in all occupied indoor environments. If appropriate testing is done, it is expected that molds will be found. There is, however, an important distinction between the normal presence of mold particles, versus mold growth and accumulation indoors. Unfortunately, even when it is done well, testing may not be able to distinguish between normal and problem conditions and it may even give misleading results.
When mold grows indoors, it poses a potential health risk and damages what it grows on. When mold growth is visible or mold odors can be smelled, it is common sense that there is a problem that should not be tolerated.
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About Our Black Mold Allergy Test
This IgE antibody allergy test uses a blood sample to determine if you are allergic to the mold Stachybotrys chartarum , or black mold.
Stachybotrys chartarum , also known as black mold, is a dark green or black microfungus. Black mold can be found on fiberboard, drywall, paper, dust, and lint, and it grows when there are ample heat and moisture, often from water damage or excessive humidity.1 The mycotoxins found in Stachybotrys chartarum cause it to be harmful to both humans and pets.
Mold Armor Do It Yourself: Best Mold Test Kit From A Known Brand
The Mold Armor Do It Yourself test kit requires very little setup and tests for mold in the air, HVAC systems and surfaces. The tests take at least two days to incubate and mature, or you can send samples to a certified mycology laboratory to help you identify the exact types of mold in your home.
Laboratory tests cost extra, and it takes three weeks for you to receive a custom report the longest wait time of all the test kits we reviewed. Mold Armors lab is certified monthly by the American Industrial Hygiene Association , so you can rest assured that the results are accurate and thorough.This kit costs less than $8 and comes with all of the supplies for conducting the three available tests. You get a petri dish, a growth agar and a cotton swab. The instructions suggest testing both indoor and outdoor air, but because the kit comes with only one dish and one growth agar, testing both indoor and outdoor air requires two kits.
The Mold Armor kit doesnt identify fungus, yeast or pollen, and you dont have the option to send a carpet, fabric or wall sample to the lab for analysis.
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Offered By Life Extension Foundationyou Do Not Need Your Doctor To Order Thisafter Purchasing You Will Get A Requisition For Blood Testing To Be Drawn At Your Local Labthe Test Includes: Tranasforming Growth Factor Beta 1 Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone
FACTS ABOUT THE BIOTOXIN MOLD ILLNESS PANEL
Once you have determined you have:
1. Many of the symptoms of toxic mold syndrome
2. And you have done air quality testing on your home and office and they show high levels of toxic mold spores
3. Then you should get a toxic mold syndrome diagnosis from yourdoctor or healthcare worker.
Blood and/or urine testing is thus, the third step in the diagnosis of toxic black mold syndrome.
One way of determining if exposure to toxic mold is likely, involves testing of certain blood parameters. These blood parameters indicate exposure to a biotoxin if positive.
The Biotoxin Mold Illness Panel is designed to look at these blood parameters which test the chronic inflammatory response set in motion when a person is exposed to toxic mold.
Biotoxic illness refers to the cause of a persons illness. All biotoxic illnesses have one common denominatortoxins produced by living things. The tests contained in this panel look at the complex cascade of events throughout multiple inflammatory pathways produced by biotoxic mold exposure
Also, these blood parameters can be used to monitor progress in detoxification of mold toxins.
HLA DR MOLD GENETIC TESTING
This test is part of Toxic Mold Syndrome Diagnosis as it determines if you have the genetic predisposition to be very sensitive to mold and its toxins.
Consulting With A Doctor And Mold Specialist
When your health is at stake, it is a good idea to talk with a doctor in order to determine the best treatment process to get rid of the mold toxicity within your body. If you know that the symptoms are caused by mold, you can let your doctor know the cause of your health problems and they will determine the best course of action. If needed, a doctor can also give you a black mold blood test.
Additionally, working with a professional mold specialist can help you to effectively clean up the mold problem in order to prevent future symptoms of black mold poisoning. Just like a doctor understands the best treatment for your health, a mold specialist understands the best process to get rid of the mold within your home. They have plenty of experience working with a variety of mold exposure situations, and they will be able to easily and effectively clean up the mold spores and prevent cross contamination throughout the rest of the home.
An initial consultation with a mold removal specialist is free, and they will do a thorough examination of your home and show you all the areas of mold growth, including any hidden mold. For a list of local Mold Removal Specialists that provide a free at-home consultation, follow the link.
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My Thoughts On Toxic Mold Syndrome Diagnosis Through Testing
For toxic mold syndrome diagnosis, many have found it is very hard to find a doctor that is familiar with this syndrome to order the diagnostic testing.
Many times, in the past, I have just made a toxic mold syndrome diagnosis based on a patient’s symptoms and demonstration of toxic mold in the patient’s environment. And I still do this clinical diagnosis quite a bit, mostly due to the costliness of diagnostic testing. But, I now feel that diagnostic testing is worth the extra cost. I think the tests are accurate enough to be used with confidence.
But, testing does have other advantages as well, one being a sense of closure. Also, testing gives you confidence that this is really what you are dealing with and psychologically this can be a huge help for the patient as well as family members struggling to believe that their loved one is not crazy.
Another benefit to testing to get a toxic mold syndrome diagnosis is getting a baseline level for the testing so you can see how you are progressing with the detox.
The Biotoxin Mold Illness Panel offered by Life Extension Foundation is able to be ordered by a patient through physicians at Life Extension Foundation. This is similar to a lot of the direct labs out there that use a physician on staff at their lab to order the test. This allows patients to order their own testing if they cannot find a doctor to order these test for them.
BIOTOXIN MOLD ILLNESS PANEL
How Can I Tell If I Have Black Mold
Black mold can be visible in your home in the form of small black specks along baseboards in high moisture areas such as the bathroom, kitchen or basement. However, it can also be hiding inside your walls, in the ceiling, in the basement or crawlspace, behind your washer, under the sink or carpeting, producing an unpleasant musty odor.
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Can Black Mold Spores Travel In The Air
Yes. Mold spores are airborne and can attach themselves to peoples skin, clothing, shoes, shopping bags, furniture, carpets, and even pets. Once spores enter your home, they can settle onto any surface and start to multiply. They can also enter your house through open doorways, open windows, and HVAC systems.
Mold spores are microscopic and are virtually found everywhere. They are naturally found in the air we breathe, both indoors and outdoors. Since spores are tiny and lightweight, they become airborne easily, every time we vacuum or walk on the carpets or even sit on our couch.
Finding The Right Mold Inspector
Look for a contractor with specific experience and expertise in mold inspections and remediation. Ask them how many mold remediations theyâve done in the last six months. Call around your area and get a few estimates. There might be a wide price range, so shopping around could save you a few hundred dollars.
Check your state health department or labor department to see if mold inspectors are required to have a special license or certification. If so, you obviously want to make sure you only work with a properly certified contractor.
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Why Is A Mold Inspection Almost Always Unnecessary If There Is Visible Mold
Dont you need to know what kind of mold it is so you can determine whether its toxic? No. For starters, so called Black Mold is a term that is badly misused and misunderstood as we already discussed in our other industry shakeup article on toxic black mold.
Secondly, once you already see obvious, visible mold, knowing what type it is is usually irrelevant because at this point, you or a mold professional simply need to get rid of the mold following proper Mold Remediation and Mold Removal Principles.
Doesnt the type of mold matter in determining the right way to properly remove the mold? No. In fact, once visible mold is present, the same Mold Remediation Principles referenced above are followed to remove it regardless of the color, species, etc.
If this all sounds too hard to believe, especially coming from a mold company, dont take our word for it. Here is what the Environmental Protection Agency says verbatim:
Notice the EPA says that not only is mold testing usually unnecessary when visible mold is present, but they also tell you that there are no federal guidelines for determining the amount of mold spores that is safe or dangerous. This is also something we tell our clients all the time, and by now you can probably guess is a rather important fact that most other companies will of course not bother to reveal!