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- Distinguish the cause of the mold growth
- Decide whether moisture source has been removed
- Determine the type of mold
- What amount of the house or business has mold?
- What sort of materials is contaminated?
- How simple is it to get to the mold?
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How To Get Rid Of Black Mold
Black mold is a nasty form of mold that can cause serious health problems. It can cause you to experience symptoms related to upper respiratory tract issues such as coughing and wheezing. It can even cause you to develop a condition called hypersensitivity pneumonitis if you are susceptible to this condition. In fact, there is evidence that links indoor mold exposure to respiratory illness in children that are otherwise healthy. Also, people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are at risk for developing fungal infections in their lungs.
Getting Rid Of A Nuisance Problem
If you catch the black mold early and before it becomes widespread, it's relatively easy to eliminate. If the mold is on a hard surface you can get rid of it with a thorough cleaning using a commercial product or by using a solution made with a cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water.
Unfortunately, if the black mold is on some porous material such as ceiling tiles, drywall or carpet you should actually throw the material away. Since you can actually have an allergic reaction to even dead mold, you need to make sure you properly clean and dry the area. If you don't clean and dry it completely and there is still moisture present, the black mold could come back.
Cleaning The Black Mold Yourself
If you choose to clean up the black mold yourself using bleach, here are some things you need to know.
1. Never mix the bleach with other household cleaners or ammonia. This can produce dangerous, toxic fumes.
2. Be sure to open doors and windows so that you have a good supply of fresh air.
3. Wear protective eyewear and non-porous gloves.
4. If the area you need to clean is more than 10 square feet, you should consult the Environmental Protection Agency's Guide to Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. This guide may be focused on commercial buildings and schools but applies to other building types as well, including your home.
If you are using bleach or some other commercial cleaning product, be sure to follow all the manufacturer's instructions for its use.
How To Do The Cleanup
Begin by lightly misting the area to be cleaned with water. Next, scrub the mold with warm soapy water or the bleach mixture described above. When you have cleaned off all the black mold, you will need to spray the area with a disinfectant in order to kill any remaining spores that may not be visible.
Here are some of the best disinfectants you can use.
· Quaternary Ammonium Compounds
· Hypochlorites (such as Clorox Bleach)
· Hydrogen Peroxide
When you have finished the cleaning and disinfecting, seal the room and allow it to dry completely.
Wear Protective Gear
Since black mold can be hazardous to your health, you should wear protective gear while doing that cleanup. For openers, wear a respirator. Second, wear goggles. This will prevent black mold spores from getting into and infecting the delicate structure of your eyes. Third, wear rubber gloves. Finally, be sure to wear clothing that covers your entire body and that can be easily cleaned after you finish removing the mold.
If The Mold Is Extensive
If you have an extensive amount of black mold in your house or basement, it would be best to call a professional mold removal company. However, if you only have small patchy areas, you can remove it as described above and be rid of this nasty stuff!
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Think you've got mold? Mold sampling is the first thing to do. There are several ways to collect and analyze mold samples. You can take a surface sample, air sample or use a do-it-yourself kit.
The most basic type of mold sampling is surface sampling. If you've got visible mold in your house, you can take a sample of it, and analyze it to see if it is toxic or not.
There are a number of techniques for taking samples. One method is to use clear tape. Stick the tape to the surface, peel it off, and drop the tape into a plastic bag with the mold sample stuck to it. This sample can then be analyzed.
You can also swab the area for samples. You can take a regular Q-tip and swab the area 3-4 times, then drop the samples into a bag for further inspection.
Air sampling is the best way to check your mold problem. The results will tell you if you've got airborne mold spores already floating around your house, wreaking havoc on everybody's lungs.
The inspector uses a pump and spore trap. The pump sucks up air and holds it in the spore trap where it can be analyzed. It pumps not only air, but also bits of dust and insects which can reveal more accurately the amount of spores in the air.
This is the most reliable way to check for mold problems because it looks for the spores themselves. The inspector takes samples from various parts of the house, as well as inside walls and under floors. Often, mold infestations aren't visible to the naked eye.
At-Home Sampling Kits
You can buy at-home mold sampling kits to use yourself. These are easy and give quick results. The only downside is that they don't do as thorough a job as a professional mold inspector. There is some margin for errors.
Mold sampling is the first step in ridding your home of mold. If you think you have a problem, check it out and clean it up immediately.
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Fungi such as the Stachybotrys mold produce secondary metabolites such as antibiotics (e.g., penicillin), mycotoxins, and those that produce the acrid, musty smell characteristic of mold growth.
It's important to test for mold in your home because most symptoms of black mold illnesses are closely similar to sinusitis symptoms and may therefore be pooh-poohed by some physicians. They'll prescribe decongestants to relieve your stuffy nose or perhaps recommend syrups to alleviate the coughing, but if these are due to the Stachybotrys mold, then you're barely scratching the surface.
Apart from the symptoms that the non-toxic mold can cause in a person, the Stachybotrys mold effects severe, often long-term effects on the victim. Nausea and vomiting have been reported by patients, and this is because the mold can work its way to the digestive system.
Of course, the cleanup doesn't come with the inspection. If the results are positive, you would have to hire the services of a separate cleanup team. The work all this entails could easily chalk up several hundred dollars, but if you care about your health, then you shouldn't be worrying about the cost. Besides, tackling the problem would early on would nip the problem in the bud, so to speak.
You may alternatively want to purchase a mold inspection kit to check for the presence of the Stachybotrys mold yourself. These kits include high-tech mold testing films to check for contamination in the air or on surfaces. Apart from the films, kits normally have mold detection and cleaning guides, test kit instructions, and a screening kit.
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Testing for Stachybortrys mold is what professional technicians test for in homes and buildings. This is because the Stachybortrys mold is also called black mold and cane be very toxic. This mold is a greenish black slimy mold that is most often found on cellulose products, such as wood and paper. It does have a strong smell, so one clue you should do some testing for Stachybortrys is the strange musty smell that you get.
You can do you own Stachbortrys black mold testing by using a special mold testing kit. This will save you a lot of money that professional testing for Stachybortrys mold costs and you do the same thing. In the testing kit for black mold, there is a petrie dish containing a disc. You won't have to touch any black mold when you use this kit, so there is no danger involved. You just expose the disc to the air for about two hours and them close the lid to let it incubate for 48 hours. When you open it after that time, if there is a fungus growing on the disc, then this means that you have mold. It may or may not be black mold.
The main thing you have to look at when testing for Stachybortrys mold is that if you can smell mold you do have a problem. It is not enough to do the Stachybortrys black mold testing and to clean up the mold. If you have a problem with black mold, it means you also have a problem with water or moisture and this needs to be addressed. If you don't look for and solve this problem, the mold will only come back. Testing for mold is only part of the solution. You also have to do testing to find how the water is getting in.
Sometimes the testing for Stachybortrys mold is only easy to solve. The problem causing the black mold could be condensation building up on the pipes in your basement or it could be the result of not having enough heat in the basement. However, there are times when the Stachbortrys black mold testing calls for extreme measures for you to get rid of the mold. If, for example, the source of the black mold is the underlay under the carpet, this means you will have to take up all the carpet and throw it away. Just testing for Stachbortrys mold will not help you get rid of the toxic mold in your home.
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