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cleaning black mold

Is it Safe to Clean Black Mold Yourself?

It’s time to answer one of the most persistent questions seen on MoldBlogger and other sites: Is it safe to clean black mold yourself?

Whether you’re a headstrong homeowner or you simply can’t afford professional mold remediation, you’ve certainly been wondering the same thing lately. Is the risk worth it—and what is the risk anyway? That’s what we’re about to find out!

Can Black Mold Kill You?

Yes, black mold can kill you, but there are a great many factors that must take place before that’s a possibility.

For one, the type of exposure to black mold is important. A one-time exposure may produce unbearable and debilitating symptoms for a period of time, but if the person is treated correctly and never exposed again, the chances of the symptoms becoming a chronic and eventual death threat are extremely low. That said, some one-time exposures have the capacity to become chronic if the person suffers from a weakened immune system or an immunodeficiency. They are at a greater risk of developing long-term and life-threatening mycotoxicosis symptoms (toxic mold sickness). Even a poor lifestyle—poor eating and exercising habits—can lead to a weakened immune system that is vulnerable to a great variety of life-threatening disease—not just black mold toxicity.

One-Time Exposure Black Mold Poisoning Symptoms:

  • a long, painful headache
  • a tightening in the chest
  • burning sensations in airways
  • cough
  • difficulty breathing
  • fever
  • fits of sneezing
  • nose bleeds
  • skin irritation
  • stuffy nose
  • watery or itchy eyes
  • wheezing

Repeat exposure, such as working or living in a mold-infested environment presents the greatest possibility of chronic black mold poisoning symptoms and death to both immunocompromised individuals and those at peak health. When exposure is persistent, the immune system experiences a bombardment of intense attack that affects the whole body. From the throat and lungs to the digestive system, to the bowels and skin, toxic mold symptoms act very much like a poison on the entire system. There is only so much even the healthiest of bodies can take before it becomes completely incapacitated and meets a fatal outcome.

Repeat-Exposure Black Mold Poisoning Symptoms:

  • asthma
  • autoimmune disease
  • cold and flu
  • emphysema-like disease
  • fatigue
  • memory loss
  • migraine-like headaches
  • muscle aches
  • nosebleeds
  • pulmonary hemorrhage
  • rashes and dermatitis
  • sore throat
  • vomiting and diarrhea (especially in infants)

How Long Does It Take for Black Mold to Kill You?

There have been many cases of toxic black mold sicknesses and death in public record for the past thirty years, but often, the issue is denied outright or the blame is shifted to keep landlords and businesses from being held accountable for their poor property maintenance.

In the 1990s, Cleveland, OH saw an inexplicable rise in pulmonary hemorrhage (bleeding in the lungs) of children. On average, such a severe affliction occurs in only one out of a million children worldwide from time to time, but when every pediatrician in Cleveland suddenly began seeing five or more patients each week suffering from the same symptoms, it was determined that cases in that region alone had risen to one in every one-thousand children. A two-year investigation into the incident identified exposure to Stachybotrys chartarum—toxic black mold—as the cause. Sadly, it took the deaths of several children before the results could be concluded. Those years were warmer and wetter than usual, and Cleveland’s general mismanagement of moisture-damaged rental buildings was to blame, yet many rose up to deny mold sickness was even possible, claiming it to be an imagined disease and downplaying the dangers of black mold. (See: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Acute pulmonary hemorrhage/hemosiderosis among infants—Cleveland, January 1993-November 1994. MMWR 1994;43:881-3.)

In 2009, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, FL lost three young cancer patients in less than a month due to mold inhalation. The cause was the hospital’s construction project that exposed and released toxic black mold into the pediatric cancer wing of the hospital. The children were trapped in poorly-ventilated rooms while microscopic black mold spores attacked their chemo-weakened bodies. Only the three deaths were admittedly due to this mold exposure, but more families are claiming their children suffered from chronic negative effects and even death due to the same negligent exposure.

Periodically, reports will come in regarding farmers, construction workers, handymen, and DIY homeowners who have been exposed to black mold and died from it. As most are usually middle-aged and very fit, the problem was repeat exposure as they worked in silos or on building or renovation projects. For some, it took years before they passed; for others, it took only months.

How long does it take black mold to kill you? As you can see, it depends entirely on your age and current state of health. Those who are most-likely to experience black mold poisoning symptoms and lose their lives because of it are:

  • infants and children
  • older adults
  • people with allergies or asthma
  • people with weakened immune systems

What complicates matters is that black mold exposure has also been linked to certain seemingly-unrelated diseases and cancers. This means that the death rate from black mold exposure could be significantly higher, but there is no way to know for sure until medical providers, landlords, and lawmakers take mold toxicity more seriously.

Is it Safe to Clean Black Mold Yourself?

Now that you have a better understanding of the dangers revolving around black mold exposure, surely you’re wondering if cleaning it on your property is worth the risk. The answer is: “Yes, but it depends.”

In most cases of illness and death, the victims did not use the proper equipment when cleaning or removing black mold from their home. Even if the cleaner wears the right protection, the other inhabitants are often exposed because not enough care was taken to ensure the issue was resolved before allowing them back in the home. If you must tackle this problem yourself, you must do it right the first time. You and your loved ones depend on every precaution being executed correctly.

Preparing the Home for Black Mold Removal

Any attempt to resolve mold issues in a home will disturb the mold and release millions—if not billions—of mold spores into the environment. These spores are invisible to the naked eye and completely unavoidable. They spread through every room within minutes—even seconds—so do not think for even a moment that your family is safe in another part of the house. Even if the spores finally settle, you can expose your family by introducing them on your clothing or opening a door and causing them to rise up again on air currents.

This is why a complete strategy must be in place before you make any removal attempt at all.

If you must do this on your own:

  • purchase the proper personal protection equipment (PPE)—wear and use it at all times!
  • have your family and pets removed completely from the home for several days
  • invest in an air purifier that combines HEPA and Activated Carbon filters
  • be willing to throw away any items that are fibrous or porous, such as wood or fabrics
  • if replacing elements of the home, purchase only mold-resistant drywall, paint, sheet rock, and other materials
  • use black mold removal products or cleaners, or make them yourself from anti-fungal essential oils—NO BLEACH!
  • document the entire process with videos, photographs, and/or journaling (in case of litigation)
  • safeguard yourself and your family with anti-fungal meals and supplements
  • maintain mold-inhibiting temperatures and moisture levels in the home

Conclusion

Cleaning black mold yourself can be a daunting task—and one that you should never take lightly. If it is at all possible, I urge you to seek professional assistance. That said, if you choose to move forward regardless of what you have read here, you are doing so with the full knowledge of what the risks are. My only advice is to be unwavering in your precautions and planning. Never move forward without the proper equipment. Do not cut corners. Do not compromise safety for “cheap” or “easy” solutions. Your life and the lives of those you love are at stake.

If you’re in need of black mold removal solutions for specific materials or situations (such as: “how to remove black mold from wood,” “how to get rid of black mold on walls,” or many other topics), please feel free to use the search bar on MoldBlogger. Every week, more topics and solutions will be posted to help you with your mold problems, so check back frequently.

If you’ve ever found black mold in your home, please share your experience in the comments below—it could greatly benefit other readers. What led you to search out the mold—did you experience symptoms beforehand? Where did you find it? What steps did you take to remove it? What black mold removal products did you use? Ultimately, do you believe it is safe to clean black mold yourself or do you think it is wiser to invest in the help of professionals?

Article by Amanda Demsky.

mold concrete block wall

How to Get Rid of Mold on Concrete Block Walls

According to the 2021 Old Farmer’s Almanac, this winter is going to be warmer and wetter than usual. Perhaps that’s what brought you here today. Is your basement collecting more moisture this winter? Have you noticed a musty smell or discoloration on your basement walls? If so, then the most-likely culprit is mold. It’s time to figure out how to get rid of mold on concrete block walls—and fast!


Why Concrete Blocks are Susceptible to Mold

Concrete blocks are made up of water, aggregate (gravel, rock, or sand), and Portland cement. The aggregate acts as a filler while the Portland cement acts as a binding agent. Many of the ingredients in Portland cement (what is commonly used in poured concrete today) are anti-fungal, such as lime.

Portland cement is created by pulverizing and measuring out specific proportions of the following materials:

– Alumina: sourced from bauxite, clay, or recycled aluminum.
– Gypsum: sourced alongside calcium oxide from limestone (below).
– Iron: sourced from clay, fly ash, iron ore, or scrap iron.
– Lime (or calcium oxide): sourced from calcareous rock, chalk, limestone, shale, or shells.
– Silica: sourced from argillaceous rock, clay, sand, or old bottles.

Cinder blocks (often confused with their concrete cousin) tend to be antiquated but can still be found in older buildings. They contained cement and cinder ash. Today, new composites of cinder blocks are being manufactured that have a special blend of concrete ingredients and volcanic pumice or coal. Volcanic pumice and coal are both anti-fungal, as well.

Fun Fact: Roman concrete was an ideal choice for building. Not only was its hydraulic-setting composition (meaning: it could pour and cure under water) unique in all the world, many of the Roman concrete structures remain to this day because the composite contains volcanic ash, which made an inhospitable environment for mold and other microbials that would have molecularly broken down the blocks over time. Sadly, the exact secret composition of Roman concrete was lost alongside the fall of the Roman Empire itself around 476 A.D.

Whether you have concrete blocks, poured cement, or old or new cinder blocks, the ingredients are relatively the same and provide the same amount of protection against mold growth within and throughout the structure itself. The problem lies in the fact that both concrete and cinder blocks allow for the re-absorption of water. Strangely enough, this actually restrengthens the molecular structures of the blocks themselves. At the same time, however, because they are so porous and have a high proclivity toward moisture, this allows for the risk of mold growth.

Thankfully, the concrete or cinder block itself does not supply mold with a food source. Unfortunately, it is the layer of dust and other contaminates that settle on the surface over time that can provide plenty of nutrients for a mold to grow.


How to Get Rid of Mold on Concrete Block Walls

Theoretically, if you kept your concrete or cinder block walls clean of dust and debris, and were able to control the temperature and moisture level of the room, your mold problem would dry up, so to speak. Unfortunately, even if these measures are taken regularly, it is still possible for mold to simply lie dormant as it waits for the ideal conditions to arise again.
Therefore, if a mold problem has already arisen, you will have to take extra mold-fighting steps in addition to maintaining the clean, dry conditions, as well.

Before we get into the specifics of how to remove mold from concrete basement walls, you will need to have the right gear. Going in unprepared could put you at risk for mold infection and toxicity. I suggest reading up about mold containment and personal protection equipment (PPE) against mold.

After you have decided on the appropriate PPE—and are wearing it!—your first task will be to remove the moisture issue in the afflicted room. Is it a spill, a leak, or just the result of the climate? Whatever it is, clean up any puddles and repair any broken pipes. Then, well-ventilate the room by opening windows or consider investing in a dehumidifier to control the humidity immediately and long-term. (Further reading: how a dehumidifier can help get rid of mold in your basement.)

Your second task will be to clean the room and concrete or cinder block walls thoroughly, clearing away dust, debris, and/or mold itself. Whether it’s mold on the surface of concrete blocks or mold inside cinder block walls, a liquid solution comprised of a mold-killing ingredient is best and you’ll need to seal it afterward with mold-preventive vinegar.

What you will need to clean mold off concrete:
• PPE (mask, goggles, gloves, etc.)
• hard bristle brush (here are some options on Amazon; don’t use a wire brush, as it will damage the walls)
• anti-fungal laundry detergent diluted with hot-water in a spray bottle (you can use a simple dilution of borax, but I highly suggest this recipe)
• white vinegar water-diluted in a spray bottle
• anti-fungal essential oils to add to the vinegar to veil the strong scent—optional
• hot water in a spray bottle
• rags and towels you are willing to throw away
• a trash bag

Please note: All spray bottles should have a misting option—not a jet spray.

IMPORTANT: While laundry detergent is suggested, please do not use anything but a detergent that specifically highlights its anti-fungal properties. This usually entails an all-natural detergent made with essential oils. If you are unable to find such a detergent, create your own from the recipe link provided, or stick strictly with borax. Any other detergent will only provide nutrients to the mold and allow it to grow back exponentially worse.


How to Remove Mold From Concrete Basement Walls, Steps 1 – 6:


Step 1: Once you have donned your PPE and brought everything on the list into the affected room, remember to keep the room well-ventilated or leave your dehumidifier running. Then, spray the walls generously with your detergent mixture, soaking them thoroughly. (There is no need to wait for a specific period of time before you go on to the next step.)

Step 2: Start at the first area you sprayed and scrub vigorously every inch of the wall until you have finished scrubbing the entire room. The bristle brush is meant to break up and pull out from the concrete pores any visible and non-visible particles of mold-food or mold growth. (While poured concrete in the floors is less likely to have mold growth, it is wise to hit that area, too. I suggest a floor-scrubbing bristle brush instead of getting on your hands and knees with a handheld brush, though. You can find those in the Amazon link provided above, as well.)

Step 3: Spray the walls (and floor) with hot water from a spray bottle in segments one by one and then use rags or towels (you are willing to throw away) to wipe the walls and floors down. Remember to replace the towels frequently between segments so that you are not merely spreading the moldy mess. (The reason for spraying hot water is that, by the time you have finished scrubbing, the detergent and debris will have dried up and you’ll need to remoisten the walls in order to wipe them away.)

Step 4: After the walls (and floor) have been wiped clean, they will most-likely still be a little moist. That is perfectly fine. Now it is time to apply the vinegar spray. This, too, should be applied generously, which is why you might want to add an anti-fungal essential oil to it, like lavender—to help stave off that awful vinegar smell.

Step 5: Remember to safely remove and throw away the bristle brush, the rags and towels, and the PPE in the trash bag you brought with you once you are finished. It might seem like a waste of money instead of washing these things, but these items have so many nooks and crannies where mold can live, that it is best to toss them out to ensure they do not contaminate the rest of your house. This is especially important if you are dealing with toxic black mold.

Step 6: Shower and scrub your body and hair thoroughly, then opt to eat a dinner infused with plenty of garlic. You can find many anti-fungal food suggestions on MoldBlogger.

If you want to be extra thorough, add anti-fungal essential oils to your hot water bottle and repeat Step 3 twice before moving on to Step 4. This will ensure that there is absolutely no residue of detergent or mold remaining.

That’s it!


Conclusion

The answer to “How to get rid of mold on concrete block walls?” is a simple one, but if you live in a hot and humid climate, you may have to repeat this process once or twice a year. There are commercial mold sprays, but I cannot in good conscience suggest them due to their highly corrosive ingredients. Some PPE will not be able to keep your mucous membranes (mouth, nose, throat, eyes) safe from such chemicals, and it would be a shame if, in the process of saving you and your loved ones from mold, you inadvertently exposed them to chemical burns via inhalation. That is a very likely outcome if you are working on an entire room that had poor ventilation to begin with.

If you are still curious as to why ingredients such as borax and vinegar are worthy mold fighters, please feel free to read these articles that can answer the following questions:

How to clean mold off basement walls with borax? (This article is all about Borax and why it is a useful and safe mold cleaner.)

Will vinegar clean mold on concrete? (This article describes how vinegar can kill about 82% of known molds and help prevent future outbreaks.)



Article by Amanda Demsky

mold in crawl space basement

How to Get Rid of Mold in Crawl Spaces

Dealing with a mold problem in your home can be a daunting and scary experience. It is hard to know what to do first in situations that seem overwhelming. However, it is important to tackle a mold issue right away, so that it does not become worse and even more daunting of a problem. So what do you do if you have mold in your crawl space? This article will aim to help you break down the process and guide you in making decisions about your home and mold issues in your crawl space.

Keep on reading!

attic mold

How to Deal with Attic Mold

How often do you spend time in your attic? Perhaps once a year to retrieve Christmas decorations? If you are like most homeowners, you probably don’t visit this non-living space very often. Because of that, attics are often left out of regular home inspections and maintenance. The bad news is that attic mold (along with a multitude of other issues) can easily be overlooked. It is important that you take the time to periodically visit your attic space and give it a thorough once over. Mold attic can quickly become dangerous because it often goes unnoticed until it begins to penetrate the rest of your house. By the time that happens, there is likely quite a bit of mold and may already be affecting the health of your family.
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wall

Should you Paint over Mold?

If you have a mold issue on the walls of your home, it can be an unsightly view. The black and green spots don’t typically make for a beautiful home. Mold grows quickly so if your walls are wet, they may quickly become covered in it. Looking for a quick fix and wondering if you can paint over mold?

Painting over mold is one of the most common methods to hide mold. But that is the problem – you are only hiding the mold temporarily. Many people choose this solution because it is the quickest solution to hide the ugly signs of mold on their walls. Often, when people choose to paint over mold it is because of ignorance. They simply are not educated about the seriousness of mold in the home. However, it is all too common for landlords, propery managers and even some homeowners to paint over mold because it is the cheapest and fastest way to cover mold.
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diy mold removal

DIY Mold Removal vs Professional Mold Remediation

DIY vs Professional

Are you a “DIY-er” at heart? A lot of people love the thrill of taking on home projects from building their own furniture to remodeling a kitchen. DIY can be a great hobby, involve the entire family and save a lot of money. But what about when it comes to major issues like mold remediation?

Mold inside your house is a serious condition. If you’ve seen some or suspect it in your home, you may be wondering what the best method is to remove it. No matter what, mold is definitely different than your typical home maintenance project. When it comes to mold remediation in your home, should you try to DIY or should you call in the professionals?
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mold expert

MoldBlogger Interview: Lisa and Ron Beres

Q. Being advocates for healthy homes, how often do you get contacted concerning black mold and how to remove it?

Lisa: We get contacted quite often for mold inquiries from people all across the country, but most people are unaware if they actually have mold, the scope of the problem or how to properly remove it. Many people will experience hay fever like symptoms, but if they can’t see visible mold, they tend to think it doesn’t exist or isn’t a real threat.

Ron: We always start by advising the person test, not guess. Too many people unknowingly put themselves and/or their loved ones in danger by ignoring the visible signs of moisture or water damage and/or a musty smell. They assume it will go away on its own. Many people wait too long before addressing the root cause of the issue – typically a leaky water source.
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mold remediation cost

5 Ways to Save on Mold Remediation Costs

Mold Remediation Tactics Used to Rack Up High Bills

(Secrets mold remediation companies don’t want you to know.)

A few bad apples can ruin the bunch. As a result, mold remediation companies have a bad reputation. We are known to bill for remedies to problems that don’t exist. With high insurance deductibles and outrageous estimates, it’s no wonder most home owners feel used and abused after an initial mold inspection. There’s hope. We’ve put together a list of billing tactics other restoration companies don’t want you to know to help consumers protect themselves and rebuild trust for honest restoration companies who believe integrity and transparency should be the rule, not the exception.
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mold inspection

Hire a Professional Remediation Team for Safe Mold Removal

The Dangers of Mold Spores

Having mold circulating in the air of a home can lead to multiple health problems, including allergic symptoms such as itchy skin, watery eyes and chronic coughing. There are many species of mold spores living outside that enter homes through venting systems such as air conditioning, in addition to doorways and windows. There are types of mold with mycotoxins that can weaken an individual’s immune system. Mold spores settle on everything in a building, including carpeting, walls and bedding. While homeowners may find it easy to clean these surfaces thoroughly, it is more difficult to clean mold from ductwork and vents.
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mold lawyers

How To Remove Mold From Non Porous Surfaces

It is frustrating and sometimes downright scary to notice mold growth on your walls, favorite furniture, and personal belongings. In such cases moldy drywall and other porous items typically have to be discarded by professional mold remediators. Fortunately, you can often salvage some specific types of moldy semi porous and non porous or hard items yourself. In this post we share some tips on removing mold from hard or semi porous and non porous surfaces.
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cleaning mold with bleach

3 Reasons Why You Should Never Use Bleach To Clean Mold

Mold is not a topic that most homeowners want to think about. If they are discussing mold, it is likely because they have discovered some mold in their home, and as it can be both dangerous and costly, the chances are if you have found some you are desperately trying to determine how to get rid of it as soon as possible.

You may be wondering if you can do the remediation yourself and if so, what type of chemicals or cleaners you should use. Luckily for you, we’re here with those answers!
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molds in the car

Black Mold Cleaner Product Review: Vital Oxide

Vital Oxide is an odorless disinfectant that is also used to kill mold. It is additionally utilized as a deodorizer and is approved by the EPA as a hospital grade disinfectant. I was sent a sample and tried it in two locations. The first was in a car, and the second on an aluminum window.

Because I don’t drive to work very often, my car doesn’t receive as much use as most cars do. This coupled with living in a very rainy place (the coast of the Pacific Northwest) was the perfect opportunity for a little bit of mold to show up on the seats and in the cup holder. So I sprayed it on and scrubbed. The cup holder mold came off easily because it is a non porous surface. The seats however took a bit more elbow grease, but I was eventually successful in removing the mold. A couple weeks later the mold did come back on the seats, but no where near as strong as before. So I repeated the process with success.

My second experiment was on a single pane aluminum window. Because the U-values (insulating properties) of single pane glass and aluminum window frames are both low, this combination makes for a rather cold spot in a warm room. The warm air holds moisture quite well, but as soon as it gets near the window its temperature drops and so does the water, right onto the window. Naturally the water breeds mold. So I used Vital Oxide to clean the window with success. The glass and aluminum are both non porous surfaces so the mold wiped right off.

In general Vital Oxide is a strong and effective mold cleaner. It’s less effective on porous surfaces, but from my experience that is the case with all cleaners due to the properties of mold. It is sold both in a can or spray bottle. I preferred the control of the spray bottle, but understand how the can would be easier to use in tight spaces. Even though Vital Oxide is a little more expensive than most, it is well worth it for one very good reason. Most mold cleaners that I’ve used tend to have a strong and often offensive odor to them, but Vital Oxide has no odor and it removes the smell of the mold.

Brian Reeves co directs MoldBlogger.com with his wife Krystle. As an intern architect living in the Pacific Northwest he often encounters the damage mold can cause in buildings not properly constructed to prevent mold growth.

 

clouds

Dispelling Mold Myths (Don’t be Afraid of Mold Remediation)

Thanks to extensive media coverage, public knowledge about mold and the potential health problems associated with it has increased. It is common to find magazine articles, TV spots, news reports and blog articles on the topic

However, even with this dramatic increase in media coverage, many people often wait to seek mold and remediation help. A home owner’s delay in seeking the professional help often stems from perceived misconceptions about how the actual clean up could occur; from time, the level of invasiveness, to just plain embarrassment.

The purpose of this article is to shed some light on the five most common misconceptions about mold and mold abatement.

Myth #1: Only the “Dirty House” Can Have Mold Problems

Many people are embarrassed to seek professional help simply because they do not want their neighbors to know that they have a mold problem. This is due to the popular misconceptions that only a “dirty” house can have a mold issue. The truth is any home with the right combination of factors can be impacted by mold.

Mold will grow if certain conditions are met; there has to be a high level of humidity, an organic source of food, steady supply of oxygen and a proper temperature.

Does your house have to be dirty in order to meet these conditions? Absolutely not! All it takes is a prolonged exposure to water damage caused by plumbing problems, flooding or by any substantial water spill.

Since mold spores are microscopic particles (at most 100 microns in diameter), they can be easily carried into your home on your shoes, clothing, waft in from an open window or come in on your pet’s fur.

Myth #2: Mold Inspection is Messy and Intrusive

Due to the nature of the mold, it is often impossible to assess the scale and size of your mold infestation with just the naked eye. Mold may be hiding in hard to reach corners of your house, under the carpets and wallpapers, inside of the walls, or behind the sheetrock.
Before the invention of thermal imaging, the only way to visually verify the presence of mold in such places was by removing wallpaper, breaking through the walls and removing the carpet from your floors. Such inspection would leave a path of destruction and a mess in your home.

Fortunately, intrusive mold inspection methods are the thing of the past. Today, most mold inspectors are equipped with a thermal imaging camera. This camera allows them to confirm the presence of mold without the need to poke holes into your walls or rip up the carpeting.

Myth #3: You Must Leave Your Home During Mold Remediation

In case of a severe mold issue, the mold remediation process can quickly grow into a time-consuming and labor-intensive project. In such situations, surface mold removal is not enough, and remediation could require removing drywall, cleaning up the building structure and the replacement of the drywall materials.

Due to the level of work that may be required, many people think they have to leave the house while the mold remediation occurs. The good news is you do not have to leave your house during the mold removal, unless you want to.

During the cleaning process, the mold-infected area is isolated with plastic sheeting sealed with duct tape. Negative air machines and air scrubbers run around the clock to make sure mold spores do not spread outside the work area.

A typical mold abatement job takes one to three days with a full-sized crew. After mold has been removed and encapsulated, they rebuild and clean up the affected areas, leaving your house cleaner then it was before they started.

Myth #4: Mold Removal Presents Health Risks

Historically, mold removal involved using chemical cleaning solutions that, in some cases, were even more toxic that the mold itself. Fortunately, in the last decade this situation has changed.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency requires that only non-toxic mold cleaning solutions be used during professional mold remediation. There are many mold cleaning products that meet this requirements and completely safe and biodegradable.
Depending on your mold situation, you may want to consider a chemical-free mold removal method called dry ice blasting. The only byproduct of this method is carbon dioxide (CO2), a harmless gas that is ventilated away without leaving any traces.

Myth #5: Mold Removal Will Make Your House Smell

Many people think mold remediation will result in strong chemical odors during the remediation. Some types of mold have a strong characteristic odor and most mold cleaning products carry their own odor. However, a professional mold remediation company will put all of your “stinky house” fears to rest.

The work areas are always tightly isolated with plastic sheeting and sealed with duct tape. Negative air machines and air scrubbers run during the process to vent out odors along with the mold particles. Following the mold abatement, most crews will deodorize the house to make sure it smells better than before.

On the other hand, if you were to clean mold from a large polluted area on your own, there is a good chance that your home will be odor-filled, as you are not likely to have all the necessary equipment to keep the work area and air contained. Also, when you turn mold removal in do-it-yourself project, there is a risk of spreading the mold into the other, unaffected areas of your house.

Thanks to sophisticated equipment, non-toxic biodegradable cleaning products and time-proven remediation protocols, mold removal is a safe, fast and typically painless process.

If you think you may have a mold problem, don’t delay. The sooner you call a professional, the sooner you can get the issue take care of. Don’t let fear or misperceptions result in delays to deal with this serious life-threating issue.

This guest post was contributed by Carl Bennett, the vice president of Above & Beyond Unlimited Cleaning – a New Jersey based company specializing in mold remediation, testing & mold inspection services.

Black Mold Symptoms – Know The Enemy

symptomsBlack mold symptoms are nothing to play around with. Black mold can be extremely dangerous, and it can cause a wide range of symptoms, varying in severity. Some are easy to deal with and more of an annoyance than anything else. Others can be debilitating and potentially life-threatening. If you think your home or business may have a black mold problem but can’t locate the source of it, you should consult a professional mold remediator about finding the mold problem and eradicating it.

“What are some of the symptoms?”

Until the mold is cleared up, there’s a lot of potential for symptoms. Most people only have mild symptoms like a runny nose, itchy eyes, and a cough. Some people get much sicker, though, and even the mild signs can be annoying and debilitating after a while. Because they’re so persistent, black mold symptoms sometimes turn into more chronic respiratory problems that can cause missed days at school and work, as well as other health problems.

Those With Respiratory Problems Beware

People who have allergies to black mold or who are already dealing with chronic respiratory problems like asthma or emphysema can be at serious risk when it comes to mold, and they have to be more careful than the general population. That’s a very important thing to remember if you fall into one of those groups or know someone who does.

Treating The Symptoms

Black mold symptoms should be treated by a doctor or healthcare professional, and the source of the problem should be located and eliminated. That will make sure the person who has sickened by the mold has the best chance to recover, and it will also help to ensure that the mold doesn’t keep coming back, poisoning other people.

Don’t Let Symptoms Escalate

If the mold isn’t removed, there are more serious black mold symptoms that can develop. Many people become nauseated and fatigued when they live with a mold problem. Those kinds of problems persist, and they can take a toll on the body. It’s difficult to get anything done when you’re tired all the time. Being nauseated is a problem, as well, because it’s difficult to eat and can lead to poor nutrition.

“What are the most dangerous symptoms?”

In rare and extreme cases, some of the most dangerous black mold symptoms are bleeding from the nose and lungs. Thankfully, this is uncommon. When it does occur, though, it can be life-threatening. The best choice is not to allow mold to get to the point where it causes those kinds of symptoms. Black mold symptoms should always be treated properly and quickly and the source of the black mold removed. If you’re unsure how to do it the right way, you can get a professional to help you.

“When do I need to call in the professionals?”

A mold removal service run by professional mold remediators may be needed if the job is a large one, you have trouble finding the source of the problem, or you think you’ve removed the mold but you’re still battling black mold symptoms. Don’t be afraid to consult a professional if you need one. Most of them are very reasonable in cost and can take care of the problem quickly. Your health and the health of your friends and family members is too important to compromise.

Mold Removal Services – How to Choose a Mold Remediator

Finding that you have mold in your house can be very stressful, for a couple of reasons. The danger to your health can be significant, and the cost to have it removed can also be a serious issue. If you only have a small mold problem in one area of your home you may be able to take care of it yourself. However, if the problem is large, in more than one area, or has worked its way into the walls, it might not be something you can handle as a homeowner. At that point, you’d be better off calling in a mold remediator.

What Is A Mold Remediator?

Mold remediators are people who are specially trained to handle mold problems in homes and businesses. They know what they’re doing and they have the right tools, equipment and chemicals to get the job done. They guarantee their work, too, so you won’t have to worry about the mold coming back, as long as the problem that caused it (such as a leaking pipe) has been taken care of. Not all remediators are the same, so you’ll want to check them out and get the right one. Here are some things to look for:

  • Is the remediator licensed and insured?
  • What kind of guarantee is offered, and for how long? Is it in writing?
  • Are there any Better Business Bureau complaints against the company?
  • What kind of cost will you be looking at for the remediation?
  • How long will it take?
  • Will you have to stay elsewhere while the job is being done?
  • Does the remediator handle any other work, such as fixing a pipe, re-sheetrocking an area, or painting? If not, can he or she recommend someone?

It’s important to ask these kinds of questions. You don’t want to get caught unaware because you thought you had everything planned out but really didn’t. Those extra and unwanted expenses can really push your budget if you don’t get a good remediator that’s going to take care of everything for you for a fair price.

Get More Than One Estimate

You should always get more than one estimate from multiple remediators. The prices charged for services are usually similar, but there can be sharp variations.  Ask around for recommendations and carefully compare the services offered with the final price. Don’t sign a contract until your questions have been answered to your satisfaction, you’ve checked with more than one company, and you feel comfortable with the remediator you’ve chosen to do the work.

Make Sure You’re Comfortable With The Remediator

Tools and equipment and know-how are important, but personality matters, as well. The remediator and the people he or she works with will be in your home or business, possibly for several days – depending on the extent of the problem. You want people you can trust and feel comfortable with, and you can find them by taking the time to locate the right mold remediator to handle your job.

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