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What is the Best Way to Treat Household Mold?

The best way to treat household mold is through prevention. Once mold has taken up residence in your home, you may find that you are fighting an uphill battle.

If instead you find a way to prevent mold from occurring in the first place you’ll never have to face the task of removing it.

Many popular products on the market are designed to prevent mold.

Each claims to have the best approach, but it’s ultimately up to the homeowner to decide which is for them.

However, there are other products that you may not think to consider when it comes to preventing mold:

  • A humidity meter (hygrometer): Although this may not seem like something that can work to prevent mold that is exactly what it does.A relative humidity meter measures the moisture within your home.Moisture is mold’s best friend and is the cause for a large majority of the mold spores that are found within homes.

    The meter should be read regularly and if the homeowner notices an increase in moisture, they need to find the cause and treat it.

  • New roof gutters: Roof gutters helps keep the rain flowing away from your home.If the gutters are old and rusting, they can spring leaks. This results in water falling close to the foundation of the home.Water can seep in through basement windows or cracks in the foundation causing the growth of mold.
  • New plumbing: If you live in an older home you may notice a tiny leak in a pipe from time to time.This is inevitable but it’s important to consider the fact that a pipe may spring a leak while you are at work during the day, or away on vacation.The resulting leak can cause moisture damage which then becomes a ripe area for mold growth. If the plumbing in your home is beginning to show signs of wear, consider slowly replacing it.
  • New ceiling tiles: If any of the ceiling tiles in your basement are showing signs of water damage, they need to be replaced as soon as possible.Even though they may appear to be dry, they still can retain some moisture from the initial incident. By replacing the tiles with fresh ones, you will be throwing out any chance of mold developing in your ceiling.

Doing routine maintenance on your home will help to prevent mold from growing. If you notice any water-damaged areas consider replacing the material if at all possible.

Another area that you’ll need to address is flooring. Mold can grow beneath carpeting and that is why it is advisable to replace carpeting in damp areas with flooring.

Having bathroom carpeting may provide for a cozier feeling, but it also encourages mold growth. The same can be said for carpeting found in the kitchen.

Flooring is a much better and healthier choice in these areas.

Preparing your home through prevention will result in a decreased risk of mold.

Keep areas clean, dry, and thoroughly clean, or replace any water-damaged surfaces as soon as possible.

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

mold remediator

Do You Need to Hire a Mold Remediator?

Is Your Home Mold Infested?

Your first reaction when you discover mold in your home is to grab a sponge and some disinfectant, roll up your sleeves and scrub it clean. If the area is small this can be the best approach.

However, if you are dealing with a larger space or the mold is within the confines of a wall or heating vent, you will need to call in the services of a professional.

A mold remediator does much more than simply taking on the task of removing the mold. Their services include:

  • Inspecting your home for mold contamination: If you suspect that you may have a mold problem in your home, yet you have been unable to locate it yourself, a professional has the insight and tools to find it.
  • Identify the underlying cause of the mold: Mold is actually a symptom of a larger problem. If you have mold in your home, it is indicative of a collection of moisture. A professional who specializes in mold remediation will be able to explain why the mold is there and how to treat the root cause.
  • Treat the underlying cause of the mold: After identifying the cause of the mold they can help treat the problem so that once the mold is removed, it won’t reoccur.
  • Mold remediation: They will remove the mold for you. Removing mold can be a dangerous operation and needs to be done with the least amount of danger to those living there.
  • Arrange for contractors to fix any mold-damaged areas: Sometimes during mold remediation, damage is done to the home. This is usually unavoidable because if the mold has invested the walls, they may need to be removed.
  • Testing of the home after remediation: After the home has been cleared of mold, the homeowner should insist on air quality tests to ensure the mold has indeed been completely removed.

How Do I Find a Mold Remediation Service?

Finding a company that handles mold remediation services can be as simple as perusing the local yellow pages. It’s important to choose a company that is experienced in mold removal as opposed to a company that specializes in general cleaning.

The mold spores need to be removed properly without the risk of re-infestation. It’s also very important that the reason the mold appeared be treated. Simply removing the mold may solve the temporary problem but it will do little long-term.

It is also important to consider that the mold may have migrated into the heating or cooling systems of your home. If this is the case, the mold can spread quickly and also can become a health risk because you are constantly breathing the spores in.

Simply calling a cleaning company that specializes in cleaning vents may not be enough. They need to be aware that there is a for mold and take the necessary precautions to remove it safely.

If you are facing removing a large amount of mold from your home you should call a mold removal professional. They have the knowledge and equipment you need to ensure the safety of everyone who lives in your home.

Further Recommended Reading

Allergy Risks to Food Mold

Are you Eating Moldy Food?

Many people develop allergies to the mold that can be found in food.

Although most people consider food mold as something that you can see clearly, such as the green or white spots on cheese or the fuzzy growth on old meat, food mold is not always visible to the naked eye.

You may think that you are keeping a good eye on your food and throwing it away as soon as there are any signs of mold, but you actually may be waiting too long to throw it away.

Different foods will have different kinds of molds, and these different kinds of molds can in turn produce different types of allergic reactions.

Certain molds that can form on meat or poultry, such as cladosporium, oidium, or aspergillus, can cause anywhere from mild allergic reactions to more serious diseases.

Aspergillus can cause serious health risks in humans, especially those who have compromised immune systems.

Mycotoxins

Mycotoxins are toxic substances that are produced by mold. They can grow on certain foods such as grain, nuts, and some fruits.

Mycotoxins can be extremely dangerous to humans, and can be a problem when these foods are not properly stored and cleaned Aflatoxin, a type of mycotoxin, can cause cancer in humans and other types of diseases in both humans and animals.

Common Types of Food Mold Allergies

The most common forms of food mold allergies are respiratory distress, such as asthma, and lung/bronchial irritations.

Some severe allergic reactions to food molds can produce infections – or the molds themselves can produce more serious medical conditions that may require hospitalization, such as lung or bronchial infections.


Is there Prevention?

No matter what the source, it is best for those who have food mold allergies to stay away from several different types of foods that can be more likely to invite mold growth, or that might exacerbate the symptoms of food mold allergies or infections caused by food mold.

These foods include all different types of cheeses, mushrooms (the mushroom is actually a fungus in itself, although not typically dangerous for those who are not allergic), smoked meats and fish, meat products such as hot dogs and sausage, canned fruits and vegetable, and canned juices.

Simply keeping a food in the refrigerator is not enough to stop mold from growing, as many people have found out when they have discovered a food that had been forgotten in their refrigerator for a long period of time.

However, keeping your refrigerator clean can help inhibit the growth of food mold. If and mold is found in the refrigerator remove it by wiping it off with a bleach/water solutions.

By doing this you will also prevent mold from growing on food as quickly.

Anything that will be in contact with foods for long periods, such as fruit bowls or refrigerator crispers and meat drawers should be washed regularly, and kept as dry as possible.

Further Recommended reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

Three Ways to Decrease Mold in the Home

Mold Growth in the Home

Mold growth can be a serious problem when it happens in the home. Mold in a home can cause serious health problems for the people that live there; mainly pulmonary and respiratory problems.

This can be especially dangerous for infants and young children, although it can affect people of all ages. If you notice that there is mold in various places in your home, there are certain things that you can do to decrease the mold and prevent any further spreading.

What Can I Do to Prevent the Mold from Spreading?

  • Mold thrives in a warm, humid climate During the hot summer months, be sure to use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to keep the humidity level in your home at a minimum. Air conditioner and dehumidifier filters should be changed frequently.If mold is already present in your home, then be sure to change the filters more often than is recommended by the manufacturer. You want to make sure that these appliances are working at maximum efficiency.Be sure to buy and use the right size air conditioner or dehumidifier for the size of your home – the right investment now can mean much less trouble in the future.
  • 2 Rooms Containing the Most HumidityThe two rooms in your home that tend to have the most humidity are the kitchen and the bathroom. It is important that these rooms be well ventilated as often as possible.On cooler days when you will not be using your air conditioner, keep windows open in these rooms to let the cooler air in. In addition, if your air conditioner or dehumidifier is located far away from the kitchen or bathroom, you may want to consider installing extra units nearer to these rooms.
  • Kitchens and bathrooms Should be cleaned regularly and thoroughly with a solution of one cup of bleach to one gallon of water.Make sure that there is no standing water in either room for long periods of time, especially during the hot summer months when standing water can evaporate and cause humidity levels to rise.After baths and showers, wipe down all wet surfaces, and spray with the bleach solution, or a commercially prepared solution that is designed to inhibit the growth of mold.

    If there are any other rooms in your home or yard that may experience higher than normal humidity, such as a pool changing room, sunroom, or greenhouse, take the same measures and precautions with these rooms as you would with your kitchen and bathrooms.

What should I do If Mold Contamination is Increasing?

If you find that the mold in your home is increasing even with all of the precautions you have taken, you can call your local state Health Board and ask them to recommend the services of professionals who specialize in the removal of mold in the home.

You may have to start out by having your home professionally inspected for mold. Professional inspectors may find mold in your home that you have not yet discovered, and it is important to know where all the mold is so it can be successfully and completed eradicated.

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

Identifying Potentially Dangerous Molds

How Do You Know if a Mold is Dangerous?

When an inhabitant sees their environment affected by mold for the first time, it is easy to jump to conclusions that the mold is dangerous. The truth is that there are over 200 known types of mycotoxins, or toxicities released by mold.

Not all of these are dangerous, though it is unknown how many undiscovered toxins are yet to be identified. When trying to determine the seriousness of a mold infestation, the best thing to do is to look to hiring a toxic mold inspector.

Mold identification is something that should only be attempted by a trained eye.

Mycology

Mycology is the study of fungi, and only those trained in mycology should attempt to identify the mold present in a location to determine its exact type and toxicity.

Not only are inspectors trained to recognize causes, symptoms, and instances of mold, but they can provide valuable helpful information on cleaning the mold and preventing a recurrence.

Toxic mold inspections require a thorough evaluation of the premises, including mold sampling and mold testing.

It is important to remember that mold may even be present where it is not seen, and only a trained or certified mold inspector will know where to check for the growth of mold. Not only are they trained to detect mold by visual inspection, but they can also determine if mold is present by scent.

Potentially Dangerous Molds Give Off Odor

Potentially dangerous molds such as Stachybotrys, give off an unmistakable odor that is easily recognizable by mold inspectors. Most likely, those inhabiting the dwelling have smelt the odors as well.

However, to determine exactly which spores are present, the inspector will need to take a sample of the mold. Lab testing under a microscope could take from one to several weeks.

What about Toxic, Black Mold?

Stachybotrys, also known as black mold and toxic mold, is recognizable because of its color. While there are several types of mold that appear black in color, Stachybotrys is a greenish-black, flowering-type mold.

It grows rather rapidly, and is the mold you so often see on news programs featuring homes ravaged by floods. This mold is different from the green and white mold on foods, and the black mold that shows up on the shower curtain.

Toxic mold will typically show up on high-cellulose surfaces, such as paper, dry wall, wood, and ceiling tiles. Carpet and wallpaper are great surfaces for Stachybotrys to grow on.

What Does a Mold Inspector Look For?

Most important for the mold inspector is to find the source that created an atmosphere in which the mold could grow. If the source of excess water is not found, such as leaking pluming or an inefficient HVAC, mold spores will only re-infect the area once the current damage is cleaned and removed.

The only way to prevent the dangerous molds from growing is to control the moisture indoors and provide proper ventilation throughout.

By taking these measures indoors, and by controlling excess water outdoors with proper grading, building owners can help prevent the dangerous mold spores that can grow – and the health affects that they come with.

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the Moldblogger Team

The Economic Costs of Black Mold

What Impact is Mold Having on the Economy?

Stachybotrys, also known as black or toxic mold, is quickly becoming a problem not only in homes and buildings, but in pocketbooks of building owners, contractors, and insurance companies.

There has been a large rise in black mold legal claims being filed, many of which are getting serious attention from the courts.

In addition, insurance claims that are not being properly recognized by the insurance companies are being transferred to the court system as well.

What impact is this having upon the economy? While you may not have been personally affected by a loss resulting from black mold claims, the losses occurring around the country are affecting us all.

Here are some of the reasons why we all should care about an increasingly reported black mold problem.

Reasons Why Mold is Important to Us :

  • Mold problems are not distributed evenly across the country:Losses due to mold claims are, for instance, thirty times greater in Nevada than they are in Wisconsin. New home construction and the use of air conditioners has helped contribute to an increase in mold claims in the western and southwestern states.This uneven distribution of claims means certain builders and lenders are taking the brunt of all the claims, leaving them little profit and often forcing them into bankruptcy.
  • Juries are awarding multiple millions of dollars:There are already several instances of individuals or groups being awarded multi-million dollar lawsuits. These suits bankrupt lenders, raise insurance costs, and put builders out of business.This is increasing costs drastically, as builders themselves need to purchase more costly insurance to cover their losses.
  • Insurance companies and lenders are greatly impacted:Both lenders and insurance companies are experiencing high rates of loss due to black mold claims. Insurance companies are paying out millions in claims, and lenders are being affected by bankruptcies filed by both homebuilders and building owners.Those increases are, of course, passed onto the public.
  • Mold is now a “class action” negligence: The losses incurred with black mold suits are so high due to the fact that plaintiffs are no longer limited to an individual residing in a home.There are employees suing companies, companies suing builders, tenants suing property owners, etc. One doesn’t need a big imagination to see how vast the class action lawsuits can become.


Do You Want to be a Homeowner?

With the presence of black mold increasing along with the increase in home construction and natural disasters, it only stands to reason that building owners, builders, lenders, and insurance companies will continue to take the brunt of losses claimed to be from mold.

While we may not fit into that category, most of us would like to be homeowners one day, and the negative effect the excess litigation will have on the fees charged by these affected companies will have a great impact on the cost to purchase housing and insurance in the future.

For this reason, we all need to be made aware of the economic costs of black mold.

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the Moldblogger Team

mold remediator tips

3 Tips for Choosing a Mold Remediator

Do You Suspect Mold in Your Home?

If you suspect mold in your home, you are probably anxious to get the problem taken care of as soon as possible. If you have small children, older adults, or animals in your home, it is even more important to rid your home of mold effectively so that it doesn’t adversely affect their health.

Follow these three tips for choosing a reliable and competent mold remediator:

Only choose mold remediators that are certified

To ensure the highest quality of service, go with mold remediators that perform all of their own inspections and remediations. You can find this out by asking if they hire subcontractors.You can also find out if a mold remediation company is reliable by asking for a list of past clients. Generally, mold remediators who have been in business for a while and who have worked in a variety of settings including commercial and residential areas will be able to perform the most reliable services for you and your home.

Find a mold remediator that will inspect your home before they begin work

You can find mold remediation companies that will test for asbestos and lead as well as different types of mold. When the mold remediators visit your home for the first time, expect them to do a visual pre-inspection of your property before proceeding. Later, the mold remediators should perform both an air-quality check and a swab check to test for mold.After your home is checked by the mold remediators, get a proposal of services that the remediators plan on providing for you home. Look for a remediation company that will give you general information about mold and its health risks, thorough lab results, and a detailed list of the procedures that will be performed on your behalf to fix the mold problem. Make sure that contact information is included in the proposal so you’ll know who to get in touch with in case of problems.The best mold remediators will be prepared to stand by their service. After your home has been disinfected, it should be retested for any remaining traces of mold. Even a little leftover mold can reproduce quickly and undo all the work that you paid for. Look for a mold remediator that will give you a written document certifying that your home has been cleared of all mold.

Check for a warranty

Check that the mold remediator also offers to come back and redo any area that shows signs of mold within six months to a year. If the mold remediator is not confident enough to back up their service with this guarantee, look elsewhere.

By taking a little extra time to choose the best mold remediator for your home, you will enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you have hired the very best to take care of a serious problem.

Further Recommended Reading

Do You Need to Hire a Mold Remediator?

Tips on Removing Surface Mold

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