Mold is probably in your house right now. If you don't know whether you have mold, read on to learn which types are most common, where they grow, why they're so hard to spot, and when you need to take action.
Most people know what it takes to get rid of mold. You need to make sure everything stays dry and clean. Molds thrive in moist environments, so if your basement is flooded, then you should call an expert who knows how to prevent water damage. However, if you do not have any flooding issues, you can try cleaning your basement yourself. Just remember that you cannot remove molds without proper ventilation.
There are several molds, but most fall into just two categories: Black Molds and White Molds.
- Allergic: Allergens include pollen, dust mites, mold spores, pet dander, cockroach droppings, and cigarette smoke. They can trigger an allergic reaction and mild allergy symptoms in nonallergic individuals.
- Pathogenic: These mold spores are usually harmless unless someone has an immune deficiency or another health problem.
- Toxic: These kinds of molds are the most dangerous, and they can cause serious health problems, even in healthy people
Environmental Protection Agency (EEPA) guidelines for dealing with mold advise homeowners to clean small areas independently. Still, state to contact a remedial mold specialist when mold grows greater than ten sq ft or occurs alongside dampness. Mold cleanup includes professional cleansing and elimination of mold from the house. It can additionally include demolishing and removing building components, including drywall and carpet if they can not be effectively cleaned. It's likewise a great thought to get a pro if the mold could be hazardous, if the HV AC unit has been polluted with mold, or if septic tank waste has caused dampness and mold development.
Several different kinds of molds can be found indoors, even if they're not visible. These include certain species of fungi (mold) that can cause illness when inhaled by humans. If you're allergic to these molds, you may experience more severe symptoms.
Commonly called 'black mold' for its greenish-blue color, Stachybotrys (also known as Cladosporium) is a toxic mold that thrives in moist conditions and is most likely associated with cellulosic materials, such as paper, cardboard, or damp leaves. It begins as tiny black spots that grow into large colonies. Stachybotrys causes serious health problems, including severe headaches, nose bleeds, respiratory distress, and fatigue. Infant lung infections may also occur if a child breathes in spores. Some types of mold are blue, but most aren't Stachybotrys; however, they share similar characteristics. If you suspect your house contains Stachybotrys, contact an experienced professional who can safely identify the mold type and remove it.
Mucormycotoxins are toxic substances produced by certain types of fungi called mollusks. They are found in the feces of various animals, including humans, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and insects. Some mollusk species produce mycotoxins as part of their natural defense against predators. Mycotoxin poisoning occurs when an individual ingests food contaminated with these toxins. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache, dizziness, confusion, seizures, coma, and death. A person who eats raw shellfish (such as oysters) may ingest enough toxins to cause illness or even death.
Alternaria, an allergy-inducing fungus, grows in damp areas such as basements and bathrooms. If allergic to Alternaria, you may experience coughing fits and wheezing attacks after coming into contact with these fungi. In addition, Alternaria can cause skin rashes and breathing problems. Keep your sink clean and avoid touching your face when washing dishes to prevent getting sick. If you get sick, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. You should also wear gloves whenever cleaning around your house.
Most often found in homes, Aspergillus is a common source of allergies for some individuals. If you see any signs of this Fungus, immediately remove it.
5. Aureobasidium pullulans
Known as a "sooty mould," Aureobasidium can make your skin itch if you touch it. This allergenic Fungus often appears on wallpapers when removed from the walls; it can also grow on bare wood surfaces and paint. When it starts growing, it is light pink, grey, or yellow, but as it matures, it becomes black. Touching Aureobasidium mold and then rubbing your eye or mouth can transfer the allergens into your body and cause an allergic reaction—this mold often growsin humid areas - including kitchen and bathroom tiles and grouts - where moisture collects. Breathing in the spores can cause typical hay fever symptoms such as sneezes and watery red/itchy/burning/sore/blocked nose.
Acremonium is a common genus of fungi that contains about 100 species. These molds can grow in damp areas such as bathrooms, basements, laundry rooms, kitchens, and other places where moisture accumulates. They also thrive in moist environments that contain organic material, such as compost piles, manure, and decaying vegetation. When exposed to high humidity levels, the molds produce toxins that cause respiratory illnesses. Some people may develop allergies after exposure to the molds, so it's important to keep them out of the house if possible.
This toxic and pathogenic Fungus develops most commonly following water damage or flooding. Since it flourishes in high humidity and dark conditions, Chaetomium fungi often begin to grow inside wall studs. They may not be noticed until the Fungus starts spreading to the outside surface of the wall. Chaetomium can cause mild allergic responses in healthy individuals and more severe respiratory issues in those with weak immune systems when inhaled. The best approach to preventing Chaetomium is to dry out flooded homes quickly so that the Fungus does not spread throughout the building. After Chaetomium has begun to spread through interior surfaces, it typically requires a professional to obliterate it.
Another allergenic mold, Cladosporium, prefers to grow in textile materials, such as carpets and upholstered items. It has a soft texture and appears in various colors, including greenish-gray to brownish-black. Cladosporium often enters homes through clothes and animals when airborne allergens are elevated; the spore settles on carpeting or furnishings and begins reproducing. A humid environment increases the risk of Cladospora growth. Breathing in the spore can lead to respiratory issues, including a sore nose and irritated sinuses. Pet owners should clean up pet hair regularly to prevent Cladosporium from spreading into the home. Vacuuming frequently with a HEPA-filtered vacuum cleaner can help reduce the amount of Cladosporium in the house. Dehumidifiers also can help keep the house dry.
Ulocladium is yet another kind of Fungi that often grows after floods or waters. While some varieties are toxic, others are not harmful to humans. The blackish color may make it easy to mistake the Fungus for Stachybotrys, but the latter is much larger and has tiny hairs on its surface. Ulocladium and Stachybotrys require moist conditions to thrive, so if the materials they're growing on dry out, the fungi will likely die off. But the spore-producing ability of both species means they can stay alive without further moisture. In addition, if you think you've got an allergy to Ulocladium, check with your doctor before taking any antihistamines. Some people with allergies to Ulocladium develop allergic reactions to the Fungus, which can be life-threatening.
Some types of mold require warm conditions to survive, but Fungus thrives and spreads even in freezing temperatures. Some strains of Fungi can cause severe allergic reactions, including hay fever-like symptoms, but others can be highly toxic, leading to neurological disorders and internal bleeding. Mold loves damp environments, so clean everything thoroughly before drying out the area if you're dealing with water damage. It would help if you also removed any old furniture or carpets that may harbor spores. Finally, keep an eye out for signs of mold growth indoors; it tends to hide in dark corners and under cushions. Regular vacuuming with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum cleaner can help prevent mold from taking root in your home.
Penicillin is an effective antibiotic, but one type of Fungi is allergenic and causes serious illness. It releases spores that can cause respiratory problems, including sinus infections, trouble breathing, and asthmatic attacks. For those with immune system disorders, these conditions may be worse and could develop into chronic illnesses. This velvety blue-green mold often grows in moist areas with flooding or other forms of water leakage. Once it takes hold inside your house, it can easily travel through damp walls, carpets, and wallpaper. A single drop of prevention is worth many cures for this mold. Get rid of any standing water immediately, and fix leaking pipes. Once Penicillium has taken hold in your house, call in a specialist to get rid of it.
To prevent Trichoderma from causing illness, keeping the area clean and dry is essential. You should remove any standing water from the affected area immediately. After removing the water, you should take steps to prevent further moisture damage. A good rule of thumb would be to avoid putting things like shoes and clothing inside the house. These items can carry bacteria into the home, leading to sickness. Additionally, if you notice any signs of mildew or odors coming from the place, you should contact a professional right away. Mildew smells unpleasant and can make anyone sick.
Finding Mold Remediation Services
When you discover a large amount of mold (over ten sq ft) or have people with weakened immune systems in your house, it's high-quality to contact the professionals. Remedial services promote online and may deliver crew to areas with recent floods. Qualified remedial work can be pricey, averaging $15 to 30 per square foot, with an expected total price of approximately $2,300, depending upon the size of the mold issue. Be sure you shell out for top-quality support by verifying whether they're licensed and insured and have a listing of previous customers as recommendations. Additionally, ensure they're certified through a nationally recognized organization, including the Institute of Inspection Cleanup and Restoration Certification.