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Mold

Mold Description

  Mold is a fungus that is virtually everywhere and is a necessary element in life. Mold growth is what helps in the decay of living material, such as fallen trees and leaves. The mold grows on this dead material and begins digesting it. Without mold there would be all kinds of organic material lying around that has not decayed.

  Even though mold is a necessary component in life, it is not necessary within your home. In fact, mold within your home is a cause for alarm. Especially when you notice the mold growth is recurring.

  Mold can cause illnesses and the impact can lead to long term and permanent health conditions, so do not take mold growth lightly. If you constantly are cleaning up mold within your home and it keeps coming back, then follow the guidelines on this site to eliminate your problem before serious health problems arise.

  Mold spores are what usually cause the most discomfort for humans. They are microscopic and float around on the tiniest of air currents. They enter your home through the doors, windows, on your clothing and on your animals. It is quite natural to have mold in your home because it is so prevalent in nature.

  The mold spores find a wet or moist place in your home and land on it. Think about how a dust cloud would act when you have a moist spot for it to land on – it stays and becomes mud basically. Mold spores land on the moist spots in your home. When there is moisture and a food source the mold begins to grow.

  Mold loves to eat organic material, so anything that is made of wood products is like feeding mold a steak dinner. The main ingredient in homes, other than wood or textiles, is dust. Mold can feed on the house dust. So that’s why mold can grow and thrive on the back and under your toilet tank. It’s the condensation causing moisture and your normal house dust that allow mold to thrive. If you can see it then it is a colony, the mold you can’t see – mold spores – are what will do the most harm eventually.

Testing in Your Home

  There are two types of people that end up reading this site: 30% are students doing a report for school and the other 70% are people who already think or know that they are having mold problems in their home. Mold growth can be cleaned up and is a regular cleaning chore in the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry areas. Those are the big three moisture sources of every home.

  The people with mold problems immediately want to test their environment for mold. That is okay, but you’ll do more good by beginning to learn how to clean up and prevent mold growth in your home. Testing is not necessary if you have had a flooded basement, a roof leak, water stains under windows after a rain, or dripping pipes. There is no need to test if this is the case. First, eliminate the moisture source so mold spores won’t land there. Then clean up the mold. If that was your problem you will notice after clean up that the smells are gone and don’t come back. You will notice that the area doesn’t keep getting darker in color from mold or water.

  However, some people really want to test because they have not found a concrete source of their suspected mold growth. If you have a basement, crawl space or attic you will be able to find mold there. The environments are perfect for moisture, air stagnation, and not being within your site very often to get your cleaning attention.

  You can get a do it yourself test kit for about $10 at your favorite retailer. Then you will take an outside and inside air sample. The air sample is collecting mold spores and those samplers will be sent to a lab. The lab will basically grow the mold spores into mold. If the concentration from the indoor sample is significantly higher than the outdoor sample, then you will have a mold problem. However, you will have just given the mold more time to grow.

Preventing Growth in Your Home

  When preventing building mold growth you need to understand more about how mold grows. Think about it by beginning outside first. What are the conditions outside that keep mold from being a problem? The air keeps moving – so there is enormous ventilation so it is harder for the concentration of mold and mold spores to increase to a harmful level. The second reason was just in that last statement – concentration. Mold concentration outside is hard to achieve because the outdoors is vast and the wind keeps blowing. In your home you have to be aware of ventilation.

  Mold only begins affecting you in high concentrations. So within the walls of your home, there is far less air movement than outside and you would not consider even the largest homes as “vast” when you compare their area with the outdoors. That means a home reduces ventilation that keeps the mold spores flying around and away from you and at the same time confines the mold spores to a small area.

  When mold becomes a problem there is a very high concentration of mold spores within your home. These spores find their moisture source and stick to it. The dust or the material that the spores land on becomes the food source. The spore grows into mold and then the mold colonies spread more mold spores throughout the home. The HVAC system helps spread them around, your vacuum, people, and everything that moves within the home spread the spores. The mold spores eventually find the suitable places to thrive and create millions of more mold spores.

  Preventing mold growth is a step by step process. First, eliminate the moisture sources; second, increase the ventilation; third, clean up the mold; and finally, keep monitoring the situation. This site has many pages that walk you through various processes to prevent mold. In “How to Get Rid of Black Mold” there are some technological solutions that become automatic mold killers in your home. The eBook has helped hundreds of people.

Clean Up Within Your Home

  This site follows the EPA guidelines for mold removal. If the area is larger than 10 feet X 10 feet, then you may need a professional!

  Most people clean up mold themselves. There are many mold killers at your favorite retailer. In fact there is an entire industry developed around killing mold. Now that you have read this, you will begin to notice all the mold killer commercials on TV.

  First you need to protect yourself from mold when you are cleaning. Use rubber gloves, such as the type used for washing dishes, wear a pair of protective goggles without vent holes because you don’t want fumes or spores causing a problem, and also wear an N-95 mask that will keep you from inhaling any mold material that launches when you begin cleaning it up.

  For large areas in your home that have been infected, such as a wall or ceiling or even the kitchen cabinet under the sink, contain the area. The mechanical process of cleaning – spraying the cleaner, scrubbing the area, wiping up with a rag and so on will stir up the mold and mold spores will be flying all over the place. Those spores will continue to fly, land, and feed, grow and create the mold spore cycle elsewhere. In order to reduce spreading your mold problem you need a containment.

  A mold cleaning containment is simply a plastic compartment you make with sheet plastic and duct tape. For large areas, your containment should be constructed from floor to ceiling. The door is an overlapping of two plastic sides that lay over top of one another. For best results, include a HEPA filter that will intake the air from inside the containment and vent the air outside through a window. That will create negative pressure within your containment, so mold spores will tend to migrate to inside the containment instead of outside of it. If you don’t have a filter, then try to rig up a fan in a fashion so that the containment has less air pressure within in than there is without.

  Now, wear old removable clothing or one of those disposable jump suites. The reason is that the mold spores will attach to your clothing and when you leave the containment, you will release them into your home again.

  Enter the containment and begin cleaning. If your drywall or insulation was wet then cut it out and throw it away. To prevent mold from leaving the containment, take several clean garbage bags into the containment. The material you clean and or remove all go into the garbage bags. Once your cleaning is complete, you will seal the garbage bags except for one. You will now wipe down the entire inner surface of you containment, including the ceiling, floor and walls. All of your rags will go into the garbage bag. Once the inside of the containment is cleaned of mold, remove your jump suite and discard it in the garbage bags. Seal the last bag and now wipe down the outside of all the garbage bags with your cleaner. Once complete, take down the containment and throw it away outside. Also throw the garbage bags away outside, making an immediate exit from the house.

  This process is time consuming but effective. It keeps the mold spores from further contamination. Now you can repair any area that you had to remove in the cleaning process. Always keep in mind to contain any area where you suspect further contamination can take place.

  To summarize how to clean up mold: 

  • Cure the moisture problem 

  • Contain the area 

  • Clean the area Safely discard all the materials 
  • Ventilate as much as possible

Your Health Concerns

  There are many health concerns that become real nightmares when mold infests your home. There are even life threatening complications that mold causes with people having immune system problems.

  Most people suffer a headache from time to time. Mold exposure over a long period of time can cause severe “shut-down” headaches and migraine headaches. Mold begins to affect you when you have allergy, cold, flu type symptoms over and over again. Most of us blow it off as one of those conditions, but see how stealth mold is? Mold makes you think that other illnesses are your problem. But over the course of time you need to log your illnesses to see if they make sense.

  Mold sneaks up on you. You will find yourself buying allergy pills regularly; you will find that you buy cases of facial tissue every year because you will have itchy, watery, tired eyes. You will have sinus headaches that mimic migraine headaches. Their intensity will grow stronger over time and their frequency will increase making you think there are other problems. That’s how mold destroys your health.

  If you go away for a weekend and feel better, or you feel good all week but tend to be miserable on weekends, then there is a good chance mold is the problem. But you have to be very aware of how you feel and when in order to figure out what’s going on.

  When you suspect that you have a mold problem just follow the recommendations outlined here and keep tabs on your symptoms. Here is a more detailed article on House Mold Symptoms.

  Over a long period of mold exposure you will have serious health issues. People get respiratory problems the most; worse mold infestations will cause tumors, hair loss, short term memory damage and more. So don’t take mold infestation too lightly. Doctors will be treating you for other diseases and will never suspect mold – here’s why. . .

  Mold attacks your immune system and over time your immune system wears down. Diseases of opportunity set in because your immune system is so busy and tired of fighting the mold that it allows the “real” diseases to get “over the wall” so to speak. Now you have classic migraine headaches, asthma, and sometimes tumors. Those are what will be treated not the mold. That’s why you need to take action yourself at the first sign of a mold infestation.

  Mold illnesses are even worse on immune system compromised people, the very young and the very old. Mold will even attack your pets so if they have rather severe illnesses you may want to expect mold growth as a problem within your home.

  Please research different mold issues on this site. “How to Get Rid of Black Mold” goes into more detail regarding the elimination of mold and how to remove mold safely.

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