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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.

Black Mold Removal – Where To Begin

Screen shot 2010-03-21 at 6.22.59 PMBlack mold removal can be a real trial, and it’s best left to professionals if it’s a large area. There’s no reason to risk harm to your health and potential damage to your home when you can get professionals to handle the issue for you. For small areas, though, you may be able to remove black mold yourself.

Understand The Process

Whether you try to do it yourself or hire a company it’s a good idea to know how the black mold removal process is handled. That way, you’ll be prepared for any issues that might come up and you’ll be knowledgeable enough to make sure the job’s being done right – no matter who’s doing the work.

Identify The Source

The first thing you should do with black mold removal is identify the source of the moisture problem. If you don’t know where the moisture (and, therefore, the mold) is coming from, you won’t get it stopped and the mold will continue coming back. Flooding, water leaks – including slow ones, and even high humidity can all contribute to the growth and recurrence of black mold.

Stop The Leak

Stopping the moisture or the leak from causing further damage is the first step with black mold removal. From that point, the cleanup needs to begin. Black mold isn’t something you can just spray with an antibacterial spray like Lysol and forget about.

Contain The Spores

If the area is a small one and you’re going to handle the cleaning of it yourself, you should first seal off the room so that mold spores don’t drift around. They can easily get into the air, mix in with dust and dirt, and get carried throughout the house. By isolating them to one room and not letting them get into the rest of the house, you’ll be better off and healthier. The cleanup will be easier, as well.

Avoid Further Contamination

Even for a small area, it’s important to seal off the room so you don’t risk any further contamination in the rest of the house. Once you’ve sealed the room, make sure the moldy area is damp. If it’s dry, mist it lightly. Dry mold spores are very quickly airborne. Keeping them damp is another way to help cut down on contamination.

Use Air Power

If the room you’re working in has a window, it’s a good idea to open it and place an exhaust fan in it, because any mold spores that do get airborne will be drawn that way and removed from the house. If you don’t have a window in the room, don’t just run a fan – you’ll just blow the black mold spores around and risk inhaling more of them.

Don’t Miss A Spot!

When you clean the area – which should be done with soap and a sponge – make sure you clean the moldy area first, and then expand your work to clean the entire room. Mold spores are tiny, and you want to make sure you get all of them so they don’t try to cause you health problems in the future. If you’re unsure about your ability manage the black mold removal from your home, do the safe thing and hire a professional to handle the job for you.

Bathroom Mold – How To Remove & Prevent Regrowth

Mold can grow anywhere in a home or business, but one of the most common places to see it is in the bathroom. Bathroom mold is more common due to the higher humidity levels you’ll find there, and the fact that the area doesn’t always get the chance to dry out properly. If a lot of people use the bathroom or if there’s no vent fan running when a person is using the shower – and for a little while afterward – it’s much more likely that dampness will accumulate and can cause water damage to your home.

Suspect a leak?

It really doesn’t take much for mold to start growing. If you see it, especially if it’s black mold, you’ll want to do two things: remove it, and prevent it from coming back. To get rid of the problem, you need to get rid of the source of the moisture. Check carefully for leaks, and for places where moisture and wetness collect. Along the edges of sinks, tubs, and showers are important places to check. You’ll also want to make sure that the pipes under the sink or for the shower or tub aren’t leaking.

If you notice a leak, have it fixed right away. If you don’t have a vent fan in your bathroom – especially one near the shower area – it can be worthwhile to have one installed. If it’s used when the shower is running it’ll take a lot of the moisture out of the bathroom. Just leave it on until you get ready to leave the room, and you should help avoid any mold problems that way. Those kinds of things will help prevent mold from coming back, but they won’t get rid of the issue that you already have. If it’s black mold, it can easily make you sick. Getting rid of it is important.

“What if I only have a small area that needs remediation?”

You can clean small areas of mold with a soap and water solution and a sponge. Make sure to clean the area thoroughly and get all the infestation. It doesn’t take much for mold to return, and even a few spores can start it growing again. If the area isn’t wet when you start to clean it, the spores can get into the air and spread throughout the house. Make sure to dampen the area if the mold is dry. You can also use bleach when cleaning, but you’ll need to be very careful what surfaces you use it on. Bleach can damage a lot of different things.

After you’ve cleaned the black mold, rinse the area thoroughly and make sure it dries completely. You can use a fan or a hair dryer to give yourself some peace of mind. That way, you won’t be risking more mold because you got the area wetter than it was before. Black mold grows quickly, so keep an eye on the area you cleaned for a few days and see if you notice the mold coming back. If you do, it might be time to call in a professional.

What can I do to remove and prevent mold in a home halfway below ground?

Question


I live in a basement flat built in about 1910, with no central heating system. Half my flat is below ground and I was told that the damp coursing had been completed. My main problem is in hidden and now open areas all over my flat I have black mould growing and a damp smell through the flat. I regularly wash the walls in bleach to inhibit it but always find more, the paint is peeling off my walls in the worse affected areas. My shoes I don’t regularly use, which I stored at the end of my hall all have white mould growing on tham and smell damp and now my Sofa and curtains smell damp too. I have a dehumidifer and try to ventilate, but I am aware that ventilation is not too good due to window placement. What else can I do to inhibit this or stop it? I spend most of my time at home sniffing trying to find the next patch.

Answer


You’re definitely in a difficult situation. To begin, I’d like to recommend you read the following post that I did regarding mold remediation and prevention:

You’ve done well in trying to increase ventilation. Your most difficult problem is that half the flat is underground, which makes sunlight and airflow extremely difficult or impossible to get down there. If there is anything you can do, even if that means putting more windows in, to create better airflow or increased sunlight – definitely do it. You could also try putting an industrial strength fan in to aid in overall ventilation. The dehumidifier that you’re using is good as well.

Bleach is a good “extra” additive to do when trying to perform home mold remediation, but should not be used as the sole fighting ingredient. I would recommend getting a product that specifically deals with mold removal, like Concrobium, etc.

Another option you might want to look into is hiring a professional mold remediator. Also try to figure out the reason for mold growth. Is it the overall weather in your area? Is it because of a chronic leak? Or is it because the house is underground and away from immediate sunlight?

Depending on the reason, remediation can cost a significant amount of money to complete. Have you considered moving? Is that even possible? You need to evaluate your overall health and well-being as well as prioritize your options.

If you have any questions about what I’ve said, feel free to e-mail me back.

I wish you the best as you fight your personal battle with mold.

Joslyn Wold
MoldBlogger.com
Jasper, IN

toxic mold

Understanding the Dangers of Toxic Mold

What Is Toxic Mold?

Stachybotrys is a greenish-black mold that is often known as toxic mold, or black mold. This type of mold is often more dangerous than other white molds, such as food mold.

Highly dangerous toxins are released into the air by Stachybotrys, and breathing anywhere around the infestation of mold can cause serious health risks.

There are also other dangers of living with this toxic mold, including damage to the home that can be costly to its overall value.

What are the Dangers of Toxic Mold?

Since a house doesn’t have to be subject to a natural disaster for Stachybotrys to grow, it is important for all homeowners to know the dangers of this toxic mold, so that if they suspect their house is affected, it can be dealt with immediately. Leaks, high humidity, and poor ventilation are all possible avenues that encourage mold growth.

Preventing mold is the best thing a homeowner can do, and leaving a known patch to grow beyond contamination is only asking for one or more of these dangers to knock on the door of your home.

Further Recommended Reading

Stachybotryotoxicosis

Stachybotryotoxicosis – Black Mold

Symptoms of Stachybotryotoxicosis

In the late 1930s, stachybotryotoxicosis was reported in humans working on farms in Russia. People who were affected are those who handled hay or feed grain infested with S. chartarum.

Some of the individuals who were infected had burned the straw or even slept on straw-filled mattresses that had rampant growth of Stachybotrys chartarum. The infested straw can be described as black in color from growth of the fungus.

Common Symptoms

Common symptoms in humans that have stachybotryotoxicosis are rashes – especially in areas subject to perspiration, dermatitis, pain and inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat, conjunctivitis, a burning sensation of the eyes and nasal passages, tightness of the chest, cough, bloody rhinitis, fever, headache, and fatigue.

The workers who were infected developed symptoms within two to three days of exposure to the fungus. Some members of the Russian teams investigating this disease rubbed the fungus onto their skin to determine its direct toxicity.

The fungus induced local and systemic symptoms similar to those observed in naturally occurring cases.

Mold in the Media

It was seen in recent years that a cascade of reports about toxic molds was constantly seen in the national media. The New York Times Magazine, August 12, 2001 issue, ran a front page story on toxic mold.

Television news shows have run entire programs on Stachybotrys contamination of homes to alert the public and educate them on how dangerous these molds can be. Because of the sudden media coverage of this fungus, it has resulted in multimillions of dollars of litigations.

It also caused a lot of problems for homeowners and building managers who must deal with the human issues related to mold.

Further Recommended Reading

black mold

Mycotoxins & The Effects of Black Mold

What are Mycotoxins?

A mycotoxin is a toxin produced by a fungus under special conditions of moisture and temperature. These fungi may colonize or infect many kinds of food from the field where you play to the table where you eat.

Mycotoxicosis is the term used for poisoning caused by ingestion of a mycotoxin.

For the past 15 years in North America, evidence has slowly accumulated implicating this fungus as a serious problem in homes and buildings that must be dealt with quickly and efficiently.

Black mold is also tagged by specialists as one of the causes of the “sick building syndrome.”

What do Mycotoxins Cause?

In 1993-1994 in Cleveland Ohio, there was a very unusual outbreak of pulmonary hemorrhage among infants. Researchers then found out that Black mold was growing in the homes of the sick infants.

This incident alone increased the publics awareness of molds in homes and buildings. They also brought this fungus to the immediate attention of the medical community hoping for answers.

How Do I Know if I Have Mycotoxins?

To determine any growth of S. chartarum (Black Mold) in your home would only require visual inspection and/or air and surface sampling. Because black mold is not readily airborne compared to other fungi, air sampling in a contaminated indoor environment may show low levels of spores in the air.

Thorough examinations of potential sites of contamination, especially in covered and protected places, is a must to determine where the fungus occurs and the level of contamination.

If areas contaminated with S. chartarum are discovered, do not attempt to solve the problem without following recommended safety procedures for working with toxic molds, especially if heavily contaminated.

Get advice or professional help if there is a serious problem.

Further Recommended Reading

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