Sight and smell may give you a good indication of whether or not you have a black mold problem — black mold tends to have a strong, musty smell, and of course it displays a trademark black color. If you believe you have black mold growth in an area of your home after these initial inspections, you have two options: professional mold testing or do-it-yourself testing.
Mold spores can certainly be toxic, but scenarios in which growths are large enough to pose poisoning risks to humans are rare. The more common problem with out of control mold growth is property damage. What’s worse is that most insurance policies don’t cover mold damage, and typically insurers deny these kinds of claims. So, what should you do when you find mold, fungus or bacteria in your home?
This would apply to small black mold killing projects only – larger jobs may require that negative pressure is put in place to keep mold spores from becoming aerosolized in your home (more on this later).
I had a portable humidifier in bedroom and filter molded. I did not know and still ran it for a few months. Meanwhile ended up so sick sinusitis bronchitis pneumonia asthma numb arms hands insomnia joint pain and swollen face and hands. I thre out the unit which was on dresser blowing right at me at night. Once I did that I began to get better. Could there be any air born issues? Our house is only 10 yrs old and we built it so i know its never had water damage, but I just dont know it its like on all my stuff or what.
Can you be gluten intolerant without having celiac disease? Can gluten cause symptoms not related to digestion? A growing body of evidence proves that non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is not only real, but possibly a larger problem than celiac disease.
ZERO GRAVITY: Like most plants, morning glories (Ipomea nil) usually grow up towards the sun. But this strain of morning glory, called Shidare asagao, has lost its balance – it has lost its ability to sense gravity. It doesn’t know where “up” is. Hence the vines of this morning glory fall down, making for a beautiful ornamental plant. Wikimedia Commons
Had a Miele for years – could leave wet wash in it for days and never had a problem. The GE that came with my condo began to stink after a month. I am ready to scrap it and suffer the considerable outlay required to have a Miele again. Cleaning it now, but not hopeful.
Forgot to empty the washing machine straight away? You may end up with mouldy clothes! These unsightly spots of brown, grey, black, or green can also develop if you leave wet clothes or towels lurking in a heap at the bottom of the laundry basket, or store fabrics in a damp place. Thankfully, it’s not too difficult to remove mould on clothes. This guide explores different techniques and products to remove mould from clothes, as well as advice on using Persil Powercaps washing capsules as a follow up to mould stain removal.
Some common health concerns associated with black mold could include hay fever-like symptoms for some. Others could experience more advanced upper respiratory challenges (asthma, ear infections, chronic fatigue and even kidney failure in extreme mold exposure cases). The very young and the elderly with weakened or undeveloped immune systems could also be at risk when exposed to higher levels of mold spores.
I had 2 flood/water leaks in my finished basement in 2011-2012. The company my insurance co sent out both times didn’t do the proper procedures either time and at that time I knew nothing about mold. The 1st time the dishwasher hose split and was pouring onto the couch, carpet etc they just sucked what water they could up and put 2 dehumidifies down there for 2 days and said everything was fine and left. That’s when a musty smell started. Then a year later the front spigot burst and was pouring down the wall of the basement behind the Sheetrock, flooding out all over the carpet. Th same company came out the next morning with insurance adjuster and again sucked the water out of the carpet, put dehumidifies and left. By the next day the mold smell started and I had to keep calling them back and they piece meal “remediated” the basement over 6 weeks time, never removing the soaked Sheetrock tea and just DOUSED the walls and floor with Microban (triclosan) which nearly the gases) killed me and my 11 cats who vomited all over the house til the sun came up and I was soooo dizzy, nauseous, headache and my slight asthma that hadn’t bothered me for 20yrs hit me like e ton of bricks!!! That was 4yrs ago and I can’t go without my inhaler. I suffered a SEVERE bout of depression leading up to the summer of 2013 (just found out that triclosan causes depression among other things). I’ve lost 3 cats to cancer since and I had cancer Oct 2014 and surgery/chemo ended March 31, 2015. I ‘ve been sick for yrs with weird symptoms and dr’s say nothing is wrong. Then I just in Jan went to a MD/naturopath for something else and he questioned me about if I’d been exposed to any water problems and I told him so he sent me out with a lab slip a mile long and 2 1/2 weeks later (I’m a nurse and got the results sent to myself as well) had me come in. I’m missing the HLA gene, have hypothyroid, Hashimoto’s and tested positive for 4 types of mold (3 of which the air quality specialists I hired after 6 weeks of smelling HORRENDOUS MOLD, and being yelled at by Restorecore that there was nothing wrong and that they know what their doing because THEY ARE THE PROFESSonals and I’m nobody and making things up, found with samples and air testing and she saw and smelled the mold as soon as she entered the house) as well as candida and all the other mycotoxin/CIRS labs are of the wall! I feel validated but now I have to move because I’m still symptomatic even though I had a full remediation 2 mths after the flood. My insurance that I’m fighting with does not want to cover the naturopath because he’s not in network (he was just certified by Dr Shoemaker and is the only one in the state of NJ). I’ve tried to explain the complexities of the treatment, but there are no codes for CIRS/mycotoxin illness so they say if they have no codes they can’t charge. I told them they had better make up some because I pay $1,100 a mth for insurance and can’t afford treatment and will continue to get more sick and end up un the hospital and THAT will cost them even more money, so don’t be stupid! So we will see. Mean time I’m trying to get my condo together and on the market to sell but as these weeks go by, I’m at this time unable to eat -more then 2 bites of any food just 2x’s a day and I’m very anemic (ferritin was 9 and now after 6nths of trying to eat iron rich foods is only 23 and should be around
Been waiting a long time for this article. Thank you! The surviving mold site is rich with information but not entirely clear. Very eager to read future articles here that delve deeper into the subject. Particularly how to interpret neuroquant results and hopefully some healthier natural alternatives to CSM, Welchol, and BEG spray (Mupirocin).
How to remove mold and how to perform black mold removal can be done with ordinary household cleaning products. But disturbing big infestations can be bad for your health, particularly if you are an allergy sufferer or have a weakened immune system. When you discover an extensive mold problem, we recommend that you use the rigorous protective measures we show in Photos 1 – 6, or consider calling in a professional, who knows what kills mold, to handle the problem of how to remove mold. (Search “Industrial Hygiene Consultants” or “Environmental and Ecological Consultants” online to find out how to remove black mold. Or call your local public health department.) And even if you hire pros, read through this article and make sure they follow similar precautions on how to get rid of mold and to keep the mold from spreading throughout your house.
I also live in the SF Bay Area and have been searching for a knowledgable specialist to come check out my new apartment (just recently had to move as ERMI score was too high). Can you please share who you found in this area?
Proper safety gear should be worn when dealing with mold. A high quality, high filtration face mask is a must, as are vinyl or neoprene gloves. A full protective suit is recommended when using harsh chemicals and for larger mold remediation projects.
“An acute and chronic, systemic inflammatory response syndrome acquired following exposure to the interior environment of a water-damaged building with resident toxigenic organisms, including, but not limited to fungi, bacteria, actinomycetes and mycobacteria as well as inflammagens such as endotoxins, beta glucans, hemolysins, proteinases, mannans and possibly spirocyclic drimanes; as well as volatile organic compounds.
In practice, I think both of these tests can be used successfully as screening tools, but the OCST offered by VCSTest.com has the advantage of full display calibration, which allows for accurate results across any device (helpful in re-testing and tracking progress if the patient is re-taking the test on an iPad, for example, if the original test was done on a laptop computer).
The post is great. However, in order to make your guides more credible, you may wish to doa bit of homework beforehand. Mould is not caused by bacteria; it is fungi (same as mushrooms) and it is a growing organism.
I. Have black mold under kitchen sink for a yeat if not more. Have used bleach but still there. The floor board is damaged. Contractor say need to be torn out at a wopping $5.000.00. Never tried tea tree oil or vinegar!!! Any suggestion! HELP HAVE 3 small children
 It is true that indoor molds can be destructive to the physical structures on which they grow. This has been a source of litigation when insurance companies have denied coverage for removing mold and repairing damaged structures.
Often enough, many mold killing products will have ammonia already in them. Be extra cautious to follow the directions on the label to the letter and ensure that the cleanser is never mixed with bleach (in part or whole)!
It is probably best to know how to clean black mold off of walls, especially when it usually reappears during humid seasons. Black molds are not only nasty, they are dangerous to your health. When these small microorganisms become airborne, they enter the respiratory system and cause problems such as difficulty breathing. In order to avoid the possible health hazards that these molds cause, here are some steps for cleaning black molds.
First, find and eliminate the source of moisture. Then, verify it is truly black mold, which requires moisture to live. Moisture ruins particle board causing it to swell and delaminate. If the surface is sound, it is probably not black mold. If it is black mold, to see it you have already removed the linoleum, so replace the particle board and know the the job is done – black mold is very pervasive, and particle board is inexpensive.
If you touch it with a gloved hand, it feels slimy. It usually looks black but may also have a shade of greenish-yellow and spreads in a spotty pattern. Black mold will have a very distinct mildew smell.
Ammonia will react strongly with chlorinated bleach. Take care of you and Yours! Label your spray bottles for your mold cleaning solutions and always read the label for active ingredients before combining any solutions.
Wear a respirator or a facemask rated for black mold spore protection, and cover arms, legs and hands to avoid contact with mold spores. Use soap and a sponge to remove visible mold. If the moldy area is dry, lightly spray with water, as this will reduce the incidence of airborne mold spores during cleaning. Next, use commercial black mold removal products, which can be found in most hardware or home repair stores, to disinfect the moldy areas, in addition to any adjacent areas. If you use bleach, make sure it won’t discolor the material or surface. Place all sponges, equipment and other materials used in cleaning in a heavy duty garbage bag, and if possible, remove the bag through an nearby exit as opposed to the main house, to avoid distributing mold spores.
Hi Chris. Thanks so much for shining a light on the subject of mold. I’m just checking in to see if you have any further information from Dr. Ghosh about the safety of using the air oasis units while in the room or are you still just using them when not in the room? If so, I’m considering some programmable wifi outlets where I could set up a schedule for them to run when I’m not home. Thanks.
Replace items that are covered with mold. In some cases cleaning the mold isn’t going to eliminate the problem and you might need to replace the contaminated material. Assess the damage and determine whether to replace any or all of the following that may be infused with mold spores:
Wear respiratory (nose and mouth) protection when handling or cleaning moldy materials. The minimal type of breathing mask, or respirator, that should be used for protection from mold particles is an N-95 particulate respirator approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
Another disadvantage of bleach is that it can damage the materials it’s used on as it is a harsh, corrosive chemical. Chlorine bleach also gives off harsh fumes and it even produces toxic gas when mixed with ammonia. There are safer alternatives such as borax or vinegar which don’t produce dangerous fumes or leave behind toxic residue. For these reasons try to avoid using bleach and if you must use it, only use it on non-porous surfaces.
I have a LG steam front loader and am a compulsive laundry doer! Our repair person looking at another appliance gave me a tip about about our machine. He said in addition to using the tub to clean appropriately, you can put the speed wash cycle on, let it fill for 2 minutes, push pause cycle, add 1 cup of vinegar, close the door, and let it finish the cycle. Helps get rid of a smell that comes out of the discharge hose when you start a wash cycle. Also, using too much soap causes that stinky smell. Front loader use lap very efficiently. I use under the normal and max lines. I am a laundry perfectionist; less soap works. I do use regular unscented and dye free All. I had tried plant-based soaps in my previous front loader and nothing was really clean … clothes began to stink … washer began to stink. Had to ditch it for use in the machine and I do not use fabric softener. I just use the brand Honest dryer sheets when necessary. I got a bit lazy and for several weeks did not wipe the seal carefully enough and mildew/mold on the rubber seal. I am going to try the bleach recipe and procedure; will report back.