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Tag: "Stachybotrys"

Toxic Mold Facts You Need to Know

Toxic Mold Facts You Need to Know

[ 0 ] July 12, 2010

Toxic Mold

There are many different types of mold. Most are harmless, but some cause health problems. Toxic mold is one type that makes people and animals sick because it produces mycotoxin. A mycotoxin is a dangerous product produced by some fungi.

Kids, animals and people with allergies normally react negatively to most types of mold. However, mycotoxins are more likely to cause health problems in anyone – even if they are healthy with a strong immune system. Possible health complications include asthma, headaches and rashes. Loss of memory and lung problems is possible as well.

One problem is mold releases spores when disturbed. The spores are invisible to the human eye. They could be anywhere in your home. The spores would remain undetected until they started to grow.

Even if the spores never grow, people can inhale them. If the spores accumulate around the home, anyone visiting will breathe the spore-infested air. In the case of toxic fungi, this is how the spores cause sickness and irritate the lungs.
The most common type of toxic mold is called Stachybotrys chartarum. It is recognizable by its greenish-black color and slimy appearance. It grows on moist materials that contain cellulose. Items that contain cellulose include drywall, paper and wood.

This type of fungi doesn’t grow on cement or tile, so you won’t find it on the tile in your bathroom. However, if you have a bathroom window, it can grow on the wooden window frame. It can also grow on the bathroom ceiling.

Even if the mold in your home is not toxic, you still need to get rid of it. The problem will not go away on its own. It will only get worse, and continue to destroy items in your home. Eventually, the air quality will worsen. Your home might even start to smell musty.

Mold Removal

Mold removal is sometimes a complicated process. Removing a small amount from a bathroom is not a big deal. All you need is a mold remover, some gloves and time to complete the task.  It’s not that simple when a large area is involved.

If you need to clean more than 30 square feet of space, a professional is the best idea. That’s a significant amount of space, and special care is required to remove the mold without spreading spores. The goal is to remove the threat, determine its origin and eliminate the problem.

There’s also the matter of the cleaning process. Depending on which method is used, odors and spores may spread. A professional can use barriers made of plastic or other material to block the infected area. The barriers prevent spores from contaminating surrounding areas. After cleaning, the professional can also check to make sure no spores have spread.

Getting rid of toxic mold is a professional job. Doing it yourself is risky because you could spread the spores. Based on what you know about the toxic fungi, you should be able to recognize it. If you think your home is contaminated, contact a professional for help.

Black Mold Is Dangerous Stuff

[ 0 ] April 19, 2010

Black mold is one of the most deadliest molds known to man. Also referred to as Stachybotrys, this toxic mold can be found growing on carpets, baseboards, drywall, ceilings or anywhere there is even the slightest amount of moisture. It can be found in basements, kitchens, bathrooms, in attics, under crawlspaces and even away from the home.

But, because this fungus is extremely toxic, anyone who comes into contact with its spores by either touch or inhaling can develop cold or flu-like symptoms, fatigue, headaches, earaches, hair loss, joint pain, memory loss, bleeding of the lungs and in some rare cases, death. No one is immune, and the toxic fungi is particularly dangerous to those who have weak immune systems like with the elderly and infants.

That’s why it’s extremely important that anyone who comes in contact with this particular fungus apply a mold removal treatment to the affected area immediately. This can be done  by either the homeowner if done with extreme caution and the growth is under 10 square feet or by hiring a professional who can assist the homeowner in removing these particular types of mold.

And while it may seem economical to try and save some money when it comes to the cost of mold remediation, you should never hire anyone that isn’t certified and licensed for inspecting mold.

Once you’ve found the right professional for the job, you should expect the inspection to take anywhere from a few hours to a few days, depending on the extent of the mold and the damage they’ve caused.

Depending on the company you hire, the inspection may consist of inspecting for various types of mold including water damage mold, testing for the different molds, testing for any moisture problems, testing for allergy problems such as pollen, pet dander and dust mites, and testing for the quality of air that is in your home.

One of the most common tests that the inspector may do is a swab test that is swiped across a growing mold and then sent to a lab for analysis. The testing may occur in crawlspaces, hidden areas, the attic, bathroom, basement, kitchen or anywhere there is a moisture problem.

The inspection may even consist of analyzing the areas outside of your home that may be showing signs of mold growth using moisture meter testing, thermal imagine, and humidity testing. These tests are done to identify the nature of the molds and to show the homeowner what steps are necessary in order to begin the mold clean up process, if there are toxic molds involved.

However, even when the mold is not toxic, removing the mold is still very important since spores from other less dangerous molds can still lead to serious allergy problems, sinus infections and so forth.

No mold is safe, no matter how you  look at it and a black mold is just asking for serious trouble no matter how little or much of it you have in your home. Do what’s necessary to keep you and your home safe.

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