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
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.
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.
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
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
Cure the moisture problem
Contain 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
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
Please research different
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.