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Black Mold Symptoms and How to Remove the Toxic Mold from Your Home

[ 0 ] December 5, 2011

Black Mold Symptoms

Black mold is a nasty fungi that you don’t want in your home and prompt mold removal is a must. The toxins from this deadly fungus mimic other illnesses and continue to make you sicker and sicker until your health severely declines. Several years ago I was a victim of toxic mold.  They began growing in my bathroom and continued into my bedroom. At that time there wasn’t much information or concern about black mold, so I didn’t know I was exposing myself to a serious health problem. In fact, it wasn’t until I removed myself from that home that I realized my health was suddenly getting better.  And it wasn’t until I began doing research on toxic mold that are realized I’d been exposed to them.

Toxic Mold Signs and Symptoms

If you smell a stale musty odor, particularly in the basement, attic or bathroom, it is most likely that you have a toxic mold in your home. You may also smell a stale odor in your central air unit or portable air conditioner. Or you may see splotches of a grayish white substance growing on surfaces such as walls, ceilings or other moisture problem areas.

If you’ve been exposed to toxic mold like I had been, you may experience headaches on a regular basis, migraines, ear infections, a runny nose, red itching and watery eyes that may mimic allergies, fatigue, shortness of breath, unexplained nose bleeds, a skin rash or sore throat are just a few of the many symptoms that these molds can cause in people. However, you should keep in mind that the symptoms will vary and you should see your doctor to verify whether or not your symptoms are caused by black mold or something else. 

The symptoms I experienced were migraines that surfaced at least three times a week, allergies and chest congestion that just wouldn‘t go away no matter what medication I tried, and fatigue that I experienced on an almost daily basis. I also realized that when I was away from my home for a long period of time, my symptoms went away, which is almost always another sign that you have been exposed to toxic mold.

Getting Rid of the Black Mold

If you are fairly certain that you have a toxic fungus growing in your home you must take immediate action to remove it.  So many people don’t believe just how serious these molds can be.  They put the task of removing the toxic mold on their to-do list and almost always find some sort of excuse to leave it for another day because it’s another chore they don’t really want to do.  But if you don’t eliminate these deadly house molds, your exposure to them can become deadly itself, especially if you have little ones, pets, and elderly living in your home.

If you even suspect there is a problem with toxic mold growing in your home you should first have the air tested to find out just how serious it is.  However, keep in mind that depending on the company you hire, the testing can get quite expensive. But it is well worth it when it comes to your health.

Once you know for certain whether not you have a problem with black mold, your next step is cleaning up. And depending on whether or not you have a small amount of growth or a large amount (which is anything 10 square feet or more), will depend on whether you should hire a professional or you can do it yourself.

If it is a job you can do on your own, you will need to invest in some protective gear such as a respirator, eyewear, and rubber gloves. You will also need to purchase a commercial cleaner that is designed to kill black mold. Keep in mind that not all commercial mold cleaners are the same.  Also, no matter what you read or hear, bleach is not a good alternative to killing mold because it cannot penetrate below the surface with the spores of the fungus can hide.

In some cases, you may need to remove and replace materials that have been exposed to the toxic spores.  Drywall is a good example of this. Before you began the cleanup process, you should block off any areas that can be exposed to the spores since they can become airborne when they are disturbed. You should also repair any leaks that may be the source for the moldy growth. Then you can begin cleanup. 

Always follow the manufacturer’s directions on the mold removal product label.  It may also be helpful to wash the affected area with soap and water before applying the product. Once you’ve applied the mold cleaner, allow it to dry for the time indicated and repeat the manufacturer’s directions if necessary. After the mold removal is completed, you’ll want to be sure the area is kept dry to prevent a future problem with mold.


Cleaning Mold from Your Home

Cleaning Mold from Your Home

[ 0 ] July 12, 2010

Cleaning Mold

No one wants a moldy home. It looks bad, poses a health threat and can cause odors. Cleaning mold from your home should be a priority. However, there are some things to consider before starting the (fungi) mold cleanup process.

First, you need to find out why it’s growing in your home. When you find the answer, fixing the problem is the next step. You might have to inspect your home to discover the source of the problem. It depends on where the fungi are growing.

If the growth is in the bathroom, then you know it is because the bathroom is damp. You need to dry the walls following showers or steam baths. The steam causes moisture to accumulate in the area. Drying wet walls and shower stalls prevents mold from finding a home.

Unfortunately, it’s not always so easy to find the source of the mold problem. The source could be behind a wall, under the floor, hidden in a closet or in another hidden location. This is when you must decide to get help or tackle the project on your own.

A thorough search of the home is necessary. Getting rid of the mold is useless if the problem that created it remains. You must search everywhere because fungi often grow in hidden places. It thrives as long as it has a source of water, adequate food and a nice atmosphere. Places in your home that are damp and closed off are prime spots.

When you locate the problem, fix it immediately. If you don’t, the problem will return until it’s stopped. If the area is damp, get rid of what’s causing the dampness. For example, if a leak in the wall is causing the problem, fix the leak. If your basement is humid, ventilate the area.

You might also have to replace certain items in your home. It’s impossible to clean mold from carpets and drywall. Those items will have to go.

Mold Testing

Mold testing is often not necessary. In many cases, the mold is in a visible spot. If it’s not visible, you may still detect it if it has an odor. If the growth looks slimy and is dark green or black, then testing may be best. You could have a toxic black mold infestation.

Toxic mold requires special care during the mold removal process. You most definitely need a professional cleaning crew.

Mold Removal

You can use a cleaning agent to remove mold from shower curtains, bathroom stalls, walls and windowsills. Mold cleaners are available from stores such as Home Depot and WalMart. Simply follow the instructions on the cleaner, and clean the surface.

Cleaning mold from your home is normally a simple process. In extreme cases, over-the-counter cleaning supplies will not be enough. Plastic sheets may be needed to cover door openings, vents and floors. Facemasks, gloves and goggles may be necessary as well. Assess the situation before performing mold removal in your home. Contacting a cleaning team may be the best solution.

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