Mold can show up in hidden places and start affecting your family’s health. Learn how to tell if mold is toxic and what to do about it in your home.
You’ve worked hard to create the home of your dreams.
The last thing that you want is for black mold to take it all away from you–and even cause you to suffer severe health consequences.
Especially if you have any kind of pre-existing health conditions, mold is something that you need to take seriously.
Identifying black mold can be notoriously tricky.
In this post, we’ll tell you all about how to tell if mold is toxic.
Even more importantly, we’ll let you know the steps that you need to take to get toxic mold out of your home for good.
Table of Contents
Health Consequences of Exposure to Dangerous Mold Types
Before we get into how to tell if mold is toxic, let’s talk about why you need to take this so seriously.
One of the most frightening things about exposure to mold is that it will impact everyone differently. This means that, in some cases, you could go for months — potentially even years — without even realizing that you’re being exposed to it. This long-term exposure makes you much more likely to suffer more severe consequences.
The first sign of exposure to black mold is usually some kind of respiratory illness. If you have a history of asthma and other breathing problems already — or if you have a weakened immune system in general — the respiratory symptoms will be more severe.
You’ll notice yourself sniffling, coughing, and feeling like it’s hard to catch your breath. You may even feel like you’re suffering from a cold, right down to itchy and watery eyes. Expect to experience headaches, exhaustion, and potentially even rashes across the body.
In more severe cases, the consequences to your health are incredibly serious. This is because the spores of the black mold have impacted your lungs.
You may experience nosebleeds, nausea and extensive vomiting, and even bleeding in your lungs. You’re also much more likely to develop bronchitis and other lasting respiratory infections.
Especially after long-term exposure, a toxic mold may even impact your emotional well-being. Patients have reported feeling uneasy and overly anxious, confused, and have stated that they had difficulty concentrating.
In some cases, you may even experience extreme depression and mood swings due to a presence of toxic mold.
Worst of all, toxic mold has been linked to brain damage.
In short? It clearly pays to know how to tell if mold is toxic. Let’s discuss that now.
How to Tell If Mold Is Toxic
Now, let’s take a look at what you need to know in order to identify toxic mold.
In general, we always suggest that you get more info from a professional in toxic mold identification and removal. This way, you’ll have greater peace of mind, and will be able to be 100% certain that the mold has been removed.
Remember that all molds, regardless of its toxicity, should be taken seriously. In addition to being a hygiene issue, it’s simply unsightly and can cause damage to the home.
However, there are a few things that you can look for in order to learn how to tell if mold is toxic.
Identifying black mold begins in moist rooms and spaces in your home. Generally, black mold will appear as a kind of cluster. In some cases, you may even be able to smell a musty odor, especially near cracks in your walls.
You may notice you also have more mold in the colder months.
When in doubt, look for signs of water damage. Chances are high that mold is lurking somewhere nearby. If you suspect that the mold is actually hiding behind walls, look for pinkish or dark stains on the walls themselves. Discoloration, peeling wallpaper, and water stains are all also probable signs of mold.
Remember that toxic mold isn’t always black, or even especially dark in color.
It can be pink, green, or even yellow. Instead of focusing on the kind of mold you’re dealing with, resist the urge to play detective, and play it safe instead. Call a mold removal company ASAP.
When it comes to getting toxic mold out of your home, action is often more valuable than knowledge.
This is even more important if you’ve already started to experience some of the symptoms that we referenced above.
How to Tackle Mold
Now that we’ve covered how to identify mold, let’s talk about what you can do to get a handle on the situation.
The first thing that you need to do is get specific when it comes to where exactly the mold is coming from. In some cases, it could be sourced all the way back to a leak in your home’s foundation.
In other cases, the source of the leak could be something as unexpected as condensation that’s created by a small appliance.
Finding the Source
Depending on the size of the source, and what exactly is causing the toxic mold, you may need to immediately contact a professional (after all, you can’t exactly fix a huge roof leak on your own.)
However, if you’re dealing with a smaller issue, there are a few DIY fixes you can try.
If possible, make sure that you stop the leak as soon as possible. The goal here is to quarantine the mold and stop it from spreading. Remember that, in order to do this successfully, you should focus on controlling moisture.
Ensure that the humidity levels are down to a maximum of 50% in the home. Also, focus on properly ventilating the room where the mold is located. You’ll also need to seal off any openings to other rooms of your home, to attempt to prevent the spores from spreading.
Cover up any larger pieces of furniture in the affected room that you’re unable to move. If you have access to open windows in the source room, open them fully and use a heavy-duty exhaust fan to direct the spores out of the window.
Always make sure that you’re wearing some sort of gloves and face mask when you’re trying to remove mold. Remember that any exposed skin is dangerous, and can be seriously impacted by mold in the home.
How to Clean Non-Toxic Black Mold
As we hope you’ve gathered already from this post, it’s extremely important that you leave the process of cleaning toxic mold to a professional.
However, if you think the mold is nontoxic, or if the mold hasn’t gotten out of control just yet, you can attempt to handle things on your own.
Once you’ve put on a mask, gloves, and long sleeves and pants, you’re ready to go.
Begin by spraying the moldy area with just water first. The goal here is to help to keep the number of airborne spores at bay once you start the intensive part of the cleaning process.
Use a scrubbing brush and water at the start (be certain to throw away the cleaning sponge you’ve used afterward.) Scrub the mold to loosen things up, and also scrub the area surrounding the mold.
Next, you can bring in the heavy-duty cleaning agents. In most cases, homeowners prefer to use bleach. This is certainly an effective way to get rid of mold, but it can also irritate your nose and throat. Again, ventilation and protective clothing are key here.
If you’re especially worried about exposure to bleach or bleach poisoning? You may want to use white vinegar and lemon.
No matter what, just make certain that you never mix cleaning agents. You’ll end up creating an extremely toxic gas, which can sometimes cause serious illness. Take frequent breaks, and immediately stop if you begin to feel sick.
Once you’re satisfied with the cleaning job you’ve done?
Grab a large trash bag and take the products outside. If you can, go directly outside, without passing through other rooms in your home. This will stop the mold spores from spreading throughout your house.
How to Tell If Mold Is Toxic: Wrapping Things Up
We hope that this post has helped you to better understand how to tell if mold is toxic.
Above all, remember that black mold is something you need to take extremely seriously. It can cause serious health problems, and can quickly multiply. In other words, it’s not just about how it looks alone.
Whenever possible, call in a professional to test for mold and to do the safest and most thorough cleaning possible.
Looking for more advice about how to keep your health and home in great shape?
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