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!
Black Mold: What You Should Know
Sinister-sounding and potentially dangerous, toxic black mold can strike fear in the heart of any homeowner. But by being able to identify black mold and understand how to prevent and control its growth, you can help to keep your home free of toxic black mold.
I Was Up In My Attic And I Saw This Is This Mold
Yes, that is very likely mold growth. The amount shown in the photo is fairly minimal and would not cause structural degradation. If the mold growth is systemic throughout large portions of the attic, its likely due to an ongoing condensation issue. If its only in a limited area, it might be due to the original construction or a past, one time incident .
If the mold growth is systemic, I recommend evaluating the ventilation . Also, check for disconnected bath fan ducts and a lack of air sealing on the ceiling.
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Your Eyes Are Watery And Stinging
People can have allergic reactions to mold, explains Purvi Parikh, MD, an allergist/immunologist with Allergy & Asthma Network. The symptoms can include itchy and watery eyes, coughing, and nasal congestion. If you suspect mold is triggering these symptoms, the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology suggests you track your reactions for two weeks to see if they kick in when youre in certain rooms or spaces within your house. You can also visit an allergist for a blood or skin test to confirm the allergy.
What Should You Do If You Suspect There Is Mold In Your Home
Step 1: Stay Calm
First thing you should if you suspect there is mold growing in your home is not to panic. Mold damage is a common problem that occurs in almost every home.
If you can see mold or you have suspicions of mold in your home, its likely much worse than youd ever want to see.
Step 2: Get Tested
Next, you should contact a local home mold removal company. They can come out and do a mold inspection and air test.
Step 3: Hire Local
From there, you can be confident if you need any mold removal or if your home is safe. Either way, you will have peace of mind knowing what to do next.
If the test comes back that you do have mold, you will want to work with a local mold removal company to get the mold removed as soon as possible.
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Your Asthma Is Acting Up
Mold spores can find their way into the lungs and trigger asthma symptoms. One study found that dampness or mold in houses could account for one in five cases of asthma in the United States. If your asthma seems to be getting worse, you may have undetected mold in your house, according to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America. The group warns that mold can also cause a rare but more serious condition called allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis: This is a dramatic allergic and inflammatory reaction that leads to severe sneezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.
How To Get Rid Of Mildew And Mold Without Making Matters Worse
Step one in how to get rid of mildew and mold is to fix the moisture problem thats setting the stage for its growth. This is key. You can scrub, dispose of and replace moldy materials, but until you fix the problem, mold will keep returning. The fix can be as simple as sealing up leaky air-conditioning ducts or as daunting as reshingling a leaky roof or regrading your yard so water runs away from, rather than toward, your foundation. Sewer backups and floods also set up ideal environments for mold and mildew growth.
Once the moisture problems are fixed, get rid of the moldy materials carefully. Rough handling of damaged materials will not only stir up spores and spread them even farther around your house but also launch zillions of spores into the air, where youll inhale them. One square foot of moldy drywall can harbor more than 300 million mold spores slam dunk that onto the basement floor and youre just opening another Pandoras box. Even dormant spores inhabiting dried-out materials are irritating to inhale, and if they find moist environs again, they can zip back to life and establish new colonies.
Follow these procedures when removing damaged materials :
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How Can I Prevent New Mold From Growing
Getting the right combination of sun, air, soil and water will keep the natural balance of your soil in check. Start by watering only when necessary. Many houseplants come with care instructions, but Levi says not to adhere to them. Most plant tags that come with a plant provide care guidance for where the plant was grown, not necessarily your home/area, he says.
Instead of watering on a rigid schedule, stick a finger a few inches into the soil to check its moisture level. Hydrospikes are another option for forgetful plant owners.
Avoid pots without drainage holes. If you fall in love with a decorative pot that doesnt have holes, there are a few things you can try. One common solution is to add landscape rocks beneath the potting soil so that water has a place to pool. You can also try to drill holes into the pot, but clay or ceramic pieces may shatter. Be aware that these solutions are not guaranteed, so you may end up repotting your plant due to mold on its soil.
Finally, place your houseplant where it will get enough sunshine and air circulation. This means that tight spaces and forgotten corners might need fake plants. If an open window is out of the question, consider using a fan to mimic a natural breeze.
Testing For Mold Toxicity
If you find mold in your home or workplace, it is important to test for mold toxicity in your body. Oftentimes, people who are struggling to get healthy , are dealing with mold toxicity.
Mold toxins increase the burden on the liver and create chronic inflammation in the body. These toxins are highly indicated in neurological disorders and symptoms like brain fog, depression, and anxiety. One very effective option for testing mold toxins in the body is the GPL-MycoTOX Profile.
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Could This Be The Roof Or Window Issue Recently Had Windows Changed And Came Back Again
Are you seeing condensation on the windows? Does the home suffer from poor ventilation? Mold growth along the wall/ceiling junction is often due to a combination of poor ventilation and missing insulation. This leads to a cold spot where the ceiling meets the exterior walls. Over time the condensation will lead to mold growth.
The easiest way to verify this is with a moisture meter. Way until youve had significant rain, then run a moisture meter over the area. Moisture from condensation will typically not show up on a moisture meter. However, if its from an actual leak, it should register as wet.
My House Was Remodeled Before I Bought It The Previous Owners Did Not Replace The Old Drywall I Drilled Into It And Then My Neighbor Told Me That There Was Mold Got A Test Kit And Sure Enough Mold Is It Recommended That I Replace The Drywall
These types of test kits are highly inaccurate. The substrate in the dish is designed as perfect food source for mold growth. Even the cleanest home will contain enough mold spores to cause growth on those kits.
I do not recommend replacing the drywall. The drywall acts as a containment barrier. If mold growth had occurred in the past, it is completely sealed and having no impact on the indoor air quality. Additionally, unless youre experiencing an ongoing water leak in the all, the mold growth is dead/dormant. It cannot grow without moisture.
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How Can I Tell If I Have A Mold Problem
Any part of your home that gets wet is likely to be moldy. Check for:
- Leaks in your roof or plumbing. If water is trapped inside your walls or under your carpet, molds may grow there, although they can’t always be seen. See if your walls or rugs have light stains or a strong musty smell.
- Mold in your basement, especially if your basement floods because of rain. Moisture can also seep through your home’s concrete foundation and make the bottom of carpets or the inside of a finished wall moldy.
- Water damage around your windows or doors to the outside of the house. In winter, moist air can change to water on these cooler surfaces and cause molds to grow there.
- Mold on walls, ceilings, floors, carpets, books or piles of newspapers. Smell these areas too sometimes a musty smell is your only clue that you have a mold problem.
How To Identify And Treat Mold In Your Basement
- Working Time: 3 – 4 hrs
- Total Time: 3 – 4 days
- Yield: 80 square feet of basement wall
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Estimated Cost: $30 to $60
If any place in the house will grow mold, it’s the basement. Basements collect and trap moisture, and moisture is one factor that leads to mold growth. And because basements have less natural light and airflow than other parts of the home, that mold will not die off on its own.
Some strains of black mold can be a health hazard. Plus, mold can quickly decay organic materials such as wood, leading to structural failure. This means that identifying and treating mold in the basement should be a priority as soon as you believe that you have it.
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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.
I Have A 3 Story Home With An Attached Garage Off To The Side Which Has It’s Own Roof Above And Inside My Garage I’m Seeing Mold In Two Different Areas But No Water Stains At All Any Clue Why
Mold in a garage is fairly unusual. Are you seeing mold on the ceiling or somewhere else? What region of the country are you located in?
If the mold is on the garage door, its due to condensation from excess humidity in the winter. Installing a low-CFM constant flow bath fan in the exterior wall will solve the problem.
If the mold is on the ceiling, I recommend investigating it as a roof leak. Mold due to condensation is very unusual in the garage because there is typically no moisture source .
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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.
What Else Can Cause A Musty Odor In The Home
As a mold assessor, the number one culprit that I find is causing musty smells in homes during a mold inspection is:
Humidity is how the amount of water vapor measured in the air.
Humidity itself can lead to mold growth on both hard surfaces
Mold generally will only be on the surface of hard surfaces and in most cases but may let off what people describe as a mildew smell.
High humidity for an extended period of time could lead to mold growth on porous items such as couches, beds, clothes, etc.
There are many times however by just controlling the humidity within the home that the smell will vanish. The smell of dampness is mostly related to humidity.
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What Are The Laws Regarding Mold Remediation And Who’s Responsible To Pay For It
New York state requires that all mold assessment and removal professionals be licensed, and details a framework for how the jobs are to be planned and carried out.
If a consumer believes a mold assessor/remediator hasn’t followed the law while on the job, he/she can fill out a state mold contractor complaint form.
Neither federal nor state law addresses a landlord’s responsibility when it comes a mold outbreak in a rented space, other than broad standards that require them to keep living spaces in a safe and sanitary condition.
Landlords of multi-family units like apartments can have their own property managers handle mold, and are exempt from state licensure laws, said Nardozzi.
“People fight about this every day,” he said. “It is a constant battle in our world.”
His tip for both tenants and landlords for a relatively small fee, you can get a professional into the space in question to assess whether a problem exists and how severe it is.
If a tenant feels a landlord has ignored a repair issue to the point that it has become a health concern, he or she can bring the matter to court and consider rent withholding or “repair and deduct,” during which the tenant repairs the issue and reduces his or her rent.
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.
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Change Ac Filters Regularly
Regularly changing your filters is one of the most important steps you can take to prevent dust and dirt from clogging your air vents. When debris is allowed to build up in your air vents, this promotes the accumulation of spores.
Wondering when and how to change your central air conditioner filter? Depending on the type of filter you have and the size of your family, you should change your air filters every 30 to 60 days. If you have a pet, you should change your filters more frequently. Most systems are very straightforward. You can simply remove the filter cover, take out the dirty filter, get the new filter out of its packaging and place it inside.
Im Building A New Home And We Havent Even Moved In Yet And We Noticed This This Week
Unfortunately, this is fairly common in new construction. There are a couple of possible causes. The subfloor and joists often become saturated by rain before the roof is installed. Over the subsequent weeks, mold growth forms before the building materials can dry out. Another common cause is exposed soil in the crawl space. Most builders wait until the very end to install the vapor barrier. If the soil beneath the home is damp, this can create high humidity conditions in the crawl space. Over time this will cause mold growth on the joists.
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How Does Mold Get Into Our Homes
The more people who live in a home, the more likely it is that molds will grow inside it. This is because we release a lot of moisture in the air when we breathe. When we take long hot showers, cook with uncovered pots, dry clothes on an indoor clothesline, or use humidifiers, we also make more moisture for molds to grow. Storing wet firewood, watering many plants, and storing many vegetables like potatoes and squash can make a mold problem more likely, too.