Mold is something that can be dangerous to many people. In fact, 1 in 4 people are genetically disposed to mold, which means the fungi makes them experience the symptoms of an allergic reaction. A stuffy nose, scratchy throat, and irritated skin are just a few of the health problems that can come hand in hand with the growth of mold. Infants are especially susceptible to experiencing health issues from mold. links development of chronic inflammation in an infant’s lung airways to mold. This chronic inflammation can lead to wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, and coughing. Check out this earlier post from our blog to learn more about . Read more
Going through the process of removing mold from your home can be a nightmare. Mold hides in dark places, and slowly works on destroying a property. Often, Mold goes undetected, making it a serious problem. Mold, a fungus, can be found in bathrooms, beneath tiles and floorboards. Mold can also be found near appliances like washing machines or dishwashers, underneath sinks and near water heaters. Whether it’s visible mold, the smell of mold, or a hunch that the mold may be there, here are a few reasons why a pro should handle it.
If you’ve found mold anywhere in your home; it’s more than just an unsightly nuisance; it could seriously harm your health, and can even be fatal in some cases.
That being said, surely you don’t want to end up sick, and the same goes for anyone else in your home. So the first step is to answer some questions like “How does mold end up in my house”? As well as the very pressing and main worry “How can mold affect my well being?” We’re going to answer both of these questions for you so that you know what you’re up against, and why it needs to be handled as soon as you notice the problems exist. So let’s get down to it!
How did it get here?
The first step in protecting your home and health from mold comes from knowing how it shows up in the first place; as well as some of the trickier places it’s been known to pop up. You may dutifully keep a clean home and an attentive eye, but as you’ll see mold is a patient sort of thing. it’ll grow without your awareness of it’s existence.
Without getting into all of the science of what mold is, know that it boasts spores that spread mold around. A phenomenal amount of spores can even fit undetected on a stamp for example, which is what makes detection difficult at first because they are so small, they’re impossible to see with the naked eye. So once the spores exist, they just need the right environment and conditions to turn into mold. That environment is simply moisture and air, as such you can only really control mold and it’s growth, but you’ll never be able to entirely remove spores from an area.
So where do you start to look?
- Leaky areas – Bathrooms, Toilets, Showers, under sinks especially.
- Areas with potential slow leaks – Behind or under the fridge. Your washing machines.
- Attics’ with leaking roofs.
- Check your windows due to condensation
- Basements, their humidity can often vastly increase the likelihood of mold
You can remove mold by cleaning it with harsh chemicals but it isn’t easy. It is far easier (and a much better idea) to get rid of whatever mold is growing on; carpets and padding, furniture etc. However since mold can form on virtually any surface this could become costly or impossible; such as if it’s growing on your basement foundation or inside the walls of your home due to leaking pipes. Some suggest moving if you’re able to as a sure fire defense but, life is rarely that accommodating, and even still unless you’re renting, we wouldn’t suggest this as an option.
However once you’ve gotten rid of the mold or whatever it was growing on, you’ll need to control the humidity in your home through some other means or the mold will simply come back. You can learn more about it, and how to fix the humidity and moisture problems in your home by going here.
Who is at risk?
As the moisture in your home isn’t going to create any beneficial types of mold, there are wide arrays of effects it can have on your health. While it can affect anyone and everyone, some people are vastly more susceptible to the illnesses that can be a result of mold exposure.
- You suffer from allergies, or have another sort of respiratory issue
- The elderly
- Infants and younger children
- If you have a weaker immune system; Chemotherapy treatments, HIV, or have had organs transplanted etc.
How bad can it be?
To be short; VERY bad! Especially since most times as Dr. Harriet Ammann; a mycotoxin expert explains. “Many people get their symptoms treated, but don’t know what is actually causing them. This misdiagnosis even goes unnoticed by physicians.”
While you’ll encounter seemingly innocent enough symptoms such as
- Regular coughing and throat issues
- Above normal allergy like symptoms
- Stuffy/runny nose
- Itchy sore eyes
- Increased Asthma attack frequency
They are not just ‘that time of year’ events, or ‘something going around’, this is mold wreaking havoc on your health. The damage that can be caused is extensive, vascular issues can form into hemorrhaging tissues and lungs, digestive issues from liver damage and necrosis; right up to immune system damage and immunosuppression.
There has been and still is extensive research going into the exact effects of mold when it comes to causing death in those suffering its influences. It still comes down to those worse affected; the symptoms mentioned above are the hint that something is going wrong; the continued exposure and improper treatment of the illness and the issues at home eventually wear down the sufferers system until they succumb.
If you’re interested on reading a more in depth explanation on mold and its effects, you can read this very informative and in depth expansion on some of our above points.
The road ahead
So now you have a few pieces of important knowledge in regards to mold in your home. This will allow you to know what to look for and how to stay on top of it. Detection, Removal, and proper acclimatization of your home will keep you safe from the dangers that indoor mold produces. You also now know that just because it seems like a common cold, or flared up allergies, it may be a precursor to something worse, especially if it continues to occur and worsen despite doctors treatments.
Make sure to check those trouble spots, the basements and attics. The sinks and toilets, the muggy damp corners of your home; don’t let mold in, and don’t let it affect you or your family. Diligence is key in stopping that cough from becoming a serious respiratory issue, and potentially even a fatal one; those stories we’ve all heard are preventable, if we only know what to look for and how to stop it.
Hopefully this has gotten you thinking about potential breeding grounds for mold that could be active in your home, so that you and yours can be safe, healthy and mold free!
Suspect mold in your home? Call Restoration USA today at 1-866-745-6428 for a FREE mold evaluation!
What Makes a Good Home Restoration Company?
Many home restoration companies serve Fort Lauderdale, Florida. These provide excellent restoration services whether it is for fire, water or even storm damage. However, many homeowners faced with the prospect of seeking the services of a home restoration company for the first time may find it challenging to find the best one to suit their needs.
So, what makes a good home restoration company in this part of Florida?
Any professional business must be backed by the appropriate certification and accreditation by their respective trade organizations. For home restoration companies, it is imperative that they have the necessary certifications for the services that they provide. For the most part, a company that has the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification is guaranteed to provide you with the best and highest quality of home restoration services in the City of Fort Lauderdale. The IICRC offers more than 30 different certification courses whereby home restoration companies can complete a certain minimum number of course work will be able to obtain the much-coveted Clean Trust mark. If you want quality home restoration, look for the Clean Trust mark.
Credibility and Reputation
While certification from reputable trade associations will certainly assure you of quality services, you might want to look as well to the company’s overall reputation in the community. A good home restoration company is well-regarded and well-respected by members of the community. They will have a unique relationship founded on trust and confidence such that any resident in Fort Lauderdale will be able to rely on their quality workmanship in home restoration services provided by the company.
Excellent Home Restoration Skills
Home restoration takes tremendous skill. More importantly, it needs a unique understanding of the different aspects of inspection, cleaning, and restoration so that everything will take placed in its proper order despite extensive damage. Consider home restoration companies as plastic surgeons dedicated to bringing life back to water, mold, and fire damaged homes. And in instances where it is impossible to restore damages, the company is always ready with alternative solutions. Such is what makes a good home restoration company in the City of Fort Lauderdale.
Support for Insurance Claims
When your home is damaged due to flood, fire, water, storm or any other disaster, you need a home restoration company who can work with your home insurance company. While they may not necessarily be privy to the inner workings of insurance companies, at the very least they can help you prepare the documents that you will need to obtain compensation for your home restoration project. These companies can help you navigate tricky waters so you won’t end up shortchanged.
So, what makes a good home restoration company in Fort Lauderdale, Florida? Appropriate certification, credibility, reputation, remarkable skills, and support for insurance are what makes them great.
Give Restoration USA a call anytime at 866-745-6428 to truly experience a great restoration company.
Top 3 Warning Signs of Mold Growth in Your Home or Business
Do you own a home or business in Pompano Beach or one of the surrounding areas? Mold is no stranger to the humid temperatures of Florida—if your house or building has been affected, it’s a maintenance issue that you’ll want to resolve immediately. Mold won’t only cause damage to your home or business, it can cause health problems for you, your family, your employees, and even your pets. The good news is that mold removal in Pompano Beach, Florida doesn’t have to be a complicated or expensive process.
Top Mold Warning Sign #1: Sudden Onset of New Allergic Symptoms
Have you or your families or employees been experiencing any new symptoms of allergies lately? Common allergic reactions to mold growth—even if you can’t see it—might include a running nose, congestion, sneezing, and/or a sore throat or eyes. If you aren’t experiencing these symptoms yourself but someone else is, ask them when they typically experience the allergic reactions.
If they tend to feel better when they’re outside the home or workplace, it very well could be that local mold is the cause of their symptoms. Conduct a mold inspection yourself (discussed below), or call Restoration USA as quickly as possible.
Top Mold Warning Sign #2: Mold Smells or Odors
Most mold which appears in buildings has a distinct smell. While it can be odorless, often depending on the size of the mold’s growth and where it’s located, this is sometimes the only way a home or business owner becomes aware of mold. If you smell anything “off” or moldy, this is one of those maintenance issues where it’s far better to be safe than sorry. Hiring a professional mold inspector in Pompano Beach can catch a mold infestation before it becomes a serious problem.
Top Mold Warning Sign #3: Visible Mold
The most obvious of all warning signs is, of course, any visible signs of mold. However, mold can be deceptively difficult to notice—oftentimes, it crops up in places where you might simply think it’s normal dirt or soot that’s built up.
Keeping a close eye out for gray or dark areas on the floor, walls, and especially behind large appliances such as your refrigerator or water heater can be an excellent preventative measure to notice mold before it spreads. And that’s the thing about mold: it spreads rapidly. Even a small patch of mold can rapidly spread to other areas of your home or workplace and quickly become a problem that’s far more severe.
The three scenarios described above are the most likely indications that mold might be beginning to grow in your home or business, but other signs or indicators of mold are as follows:
Discoloration on floors or walls
Excessive moisture in any area of the home or building
Bubbling, peeling, or warping on walls
Black or gray stains that seem to “come back”
Water leaks or past moisture damage (see below)
Moisture: The Best Friend of Mold
Now that we’ve examined a handful of the ways that you might come to realize that mold has cropped up in your home or place of business, let’s look at the primary cause of mold. In case you hadn’t guessed yet, yes, it’s moisture. If you’ve ever had some kind of problem in your home involving water leakage, particularly if it was a long term problem (such as basement flooding or other common problems), your home or building is at a greater risk for mold. This is true even if the moisture problem has since been resolved, since mold might have formed while the issue was still present.
If you’ve noticed any of the possible warning signs we’ve discussed here, you may wish to conduct an inspection on your own—but remember, if you’re not sure, a Restoration USA can perform a very thorough inspection on your behalf.
How Conduct a Mold Inspection on Your Own – And Why You Probably Shouldn’t
If you’d like to take a stab at conducting a mold inspection on your own, the best way to start is by thoroughly reviewing any area of your home or workplace where moisture may have been a problem in the past. This can include:
- Bathroom and Kitchen sinks
- Hot water heaters
- Near air conditioning or HVAC units (condensation can cause moisture and thus provide an opportunity for mold to grow)
- Hose outlets (mold doesn’t necessarily always start inside the home)
- Near any other kind of plumbing, pipes, or drainage
Use a flashlight if necessary and thoroughly inspect all areas for signs of mold, which usually appears as a gray or black substance. Try using your sense of smell too—if anything seems amiss, it might be mold even if it’s not visible. This is because mold often likes to grow inside walls, under carpets, or even within your ventilation ducts.
Also, make sure that you don’t forget to inspect “problem areas” such as your attic or basement if you have them. These areas of a building are often forgotten by home or business owners, since there’s no direct usage of water—however, since plumbing likely passes through them, it’s very possible that even a small leak on a pipe can cause moisture and therefore mold.
It goes without saying that if you’re not absolutely sure of yourself, the best, safest course of action is to immediately hire a professional mold removal team in Pompano Beach. After you set an appointment with Restoration USA, specialists will come and conduct a thorough inspection on your home or business.
Restoration USA has special tools and insights at their disposal which most home and business owners do not. Preventing mold from spreading or simply having the peace of mind to know that you don’t have mold is well worth the nominal cost of an inspection fee. And if Restoration USA does happen to find any sign of mold—large or small—they’ll let you know what needs to be done next to remove it once and for all.
Mold and mildew can be tricky wherever you live. Sometimes you see them; sometimes you don’t. Sometimes they’re black; sometimes they’re white. Mold is a major-league nuisance. It blackens the grout lines in your shower, discolors walls by drying them. It shows up as black spots on, dark decks, and grows on and rots damp wood everywhere. Even worse, it can be bad for your health. It releases microscopic spores that cause allergic reactions, runny noses and sneezing, as well as irritating, even injurious odors.
Almost every home gets mold infestations due to their negligence. The trick is to stop them before they get big and harm you and your home. In this article, we’ll show you how to identify mold and eliminate small infestations as well as the big ones that have created a nuisance. Mold and mildew can be perilous to your health, even if you aren’t allergic. Many people react to mold by getting tired and even depressed. Try to stay on top of moisture and mold as soon as either arises. Dry out anything that is damp, such as basements (use a dehumidifier) and carpets. Fix leaks in plumbing and roofs. Wipe up spills. Make sure water doesn’t escape from shower curtains.
Three natural ingredients that kill mold include: Tea tree oil (an essential oil found in most health food stores), grapefruit seed extract and vinegar. There are pros and cons of each, but all three will work. Vinegar is by far the cheapest. Tea tree oil is expensive, but it is a broad spectrum fungicide and seems to kill all the mold families it contacts. The problem is that it has a very strong smell, but that dissipates in a few days. Grapefruit seed extract is also expensive, but has no smell.
After a fire or flood, and even after remediation services have begun, your main concern will soon be mold testing. After an emergency involving fire or water, risk of fungal pollution is even more extreme, although Florida weather provides perfect conditions for volatile development of mold.
There might be cause for concern over mold, even in case your property has suffered no water damage.The best-maintained houses are subject to mold, and very often it is even invisible to the untrained eye.The most dangerous type of mold is in fact airborne, which will be not totally visible to the naked eye. It is totally possible for no observable mold to be present in your house, but for the airborne levels of mold to measure exceptionally high, causing a risk to inhabitants who breathe it.
That is why, in case you’re concerned about mold growth, you will need to call in an expert mold testing services firm. Restoration USA specializes in the discovery of fungal and mold evaluation. Our accredited, OSHA/EPA-controlled team is merely a phone call any time or night away.
We are going to arrive promptly at your property to perform visual inspection, moisture survey, and collection of samples for laboratory analysis. Commercial space or your house will likely be scrutinized completely, including interior places like exterior ares and crawlspaces like gutter systems and foundations.
Ensuring Indoor Air Quality for Your Health
Before it leads to serious allergic reactions, the most important measure is immediately identifying and locating the mold development. The long-term effects of breathing mold-contaminated atmosphere will trigger a whole series of unpleasant unwanted effects, including sinus blockage, mood changes, and sore throats.
Indoor air quality is not only crucial to your health, it’s additionally a significant factor in quality of life. Smells in your home because of mold are profoundly affecting to you and also your household, or to property owners who sell or can not rent their property.
The spores of black mold, like other molds, grow naturally both indoors and outdoors. Mold gets indoors, into your home, via a variety of means. They can enter through open doors and windows. They can get in by way of the outdoor air intake of a heating, ventilating, and/or air-conditioning system. They can also attach themselves to you, your family members, your visitors, and your pets when you or they are outdoors, then “hitch a ride” inside. As well they will attach themselves to your clothing, your shoes, or the shopping bags you are carrying. Molds are opportunists—they find many ways to get into your home despite the fact that you don’t want them.
Mold will not typically grow well in a dry environment. Molds need moisture. When they find it, though, they will proliferate like mad. You may have moisture in places you haven’t even thought of…like the underdish of a plant pot that collects excess water when the plant has been watered. Other typical suspect environments include roofs, pipes, walls, or anywhere there has been flooding.
Construction materials are hospitable to molds, as are wet cellulose products, such as paper and cardboard; also ceiling tiles, wood, and wood products.
While those are among the most hospitable, dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation materials, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery, also encourage mold growth.
How do you know black mold when you see it?
Differentiating black mold from other molds is best left to the experts, whom you will need to call anyhow to rid your house of the mold, whatever the type. That said, however, so-called “black mold” actually is greenish-black. It requires a lot of moisture to grow, and if you are able to remediate the dampness situation—that is, if it does not require professional intervention, such as to address the mop-up after a major flood or to stop a water leak—that’s the first step you should take. Then you need to call a mold specialist to rid your home of the mold.
If you are experiencing nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation, consider that it may be a reaction to black mold. Unfortunately, not all reactions are relatively benign like those. You or a family member could also experience fever and shortness of breath, fungal infections in the lungs (especially in people with compromised immune systems or chronic lung diseases such as COPD). The range of symptoms, in fact, is quite broad and includes problems affecting most parts of the body, from the genito-urinary complex to the gastrointestinal tract right up to the brain. The fetus of a pregnant woman is at risk if she is exposed. Black mold is indeed an unwanted “guest”!
HOW INFORMED ARE YOU ABOUT BLACK MOLD?
Although black mold (and its mold “cousins”) are hazardous to virtually every part of the body, the upper respiratory tract, which is where the mold’s toxins most commonly enter the body, is the most likely part to first display symptoms. Cold-like symptoms (runny or stuffy nose), cough, and wheezing might occur in people who, except for the mold issue, are perfectly healthy. Asthma symptoms can occur in people with asthma. And hypersensitivity pneumonitis can beset persons susceptible to that condition.
Unfortunately, however, the list doesn’t stop there. Its poisons, which are called mycotoxins, can literally kill (people and animals, too—consider black mold as a possible cause if your pet develops symptoms and your house has been damp, and mention it to your veterinarian).
In between giving you the sniffles and causing you to lose your life, there are a variety of symptoms affecting virtually every part of the body. These range from brain fog to impotence, from fever to diarrhea.
Besides being hazardous to you and your family members, black mold is hazardous to your house itself. It can destroy walls, flooring, ceilings, and more. It feeds on the various surfaces it attaches to and, as it grows, it erodes the surface. It can literally make a house uninhabitable.
Black mold can create dry rot in the wooden beams of a building, rendering it no longer able to support the structure.
As well as growing on walls and other obvious surfaces, black mold can also grow where it cannot be seen. It can proliferate behind walls and under flooring, doing much damage before you ever realize that it has invaded your home.
The components of your house are not the only inanimte objects at risk. For example, if you hang a leather jacket in a humid closet, the mold can eat at the leather and ruin the jacket.
As mold in a building grows and proliferates, the degree of contamination will worsen, and the more mold there is, the more toxins, hence the greater danger to the home’s inhabitants.
Mold cannot be removed from building materials. The materials will have to be torn out and replaced. This is done by qualified mold remediators wearing hazmat suits, which should give you an idea of how seriously the professionals take the threat of mold.
TOXIC BLACK MOLD: JUST HOW SERIOUS A THREAT IS IT?
Are you at risk for the symptoms that arise from exposure to black mold toxins? Is your family? The reality is that any home (or workplace) can be a breeding ground for toxic black mold—all it take is the right conditions for the mold spores to grow.
Mold spores are virtually omnipresent. There is a good chance you have them in your home (or place of business) right now. But unless conditions are ripe for them to grow, they’ll remain dormant, not bothering anyone. It’s when dampness sets in, however, that mold spores proliferate.
Dampness can creep into your house in any of a number of ways. One is in the wake of a flood that encroaches into your house, be it from the weather or from a mishap in your home. One such mishap would be if your water heater pipe broke and your home was flooded as a result. Similarly, broken pipes or hoses connected to dishwashers, clothes washers, sinks, drains, tubs and showers, and toilets can flood your home. An event occurring outside your house—a river, canal, or other waterway overflowing its banks—can flood your home. Storm surge connected with a hurricane is another culprit, as is flooding rainwater from a hurricane or other severe rainstorm.
But it doesn’t take flooding to produce damp conditions. In a humid climate, such as in subtropical South Florida, everyday weather and the humidity it brings is all that’s required to create damp conditions inside a house unless you make good use of your air conditioner. Homes without air conditioning, homes where the resident mistakenly tries to save money by not running the air conditioning even when the weather is muggy, and homes where the air conditioning is broken (or where the air conditioning isn’t running because storms or other mishaps have caused the electricity to fail) are all prime candidates for mold growth.
Thankfully, most black mold symptoms aren’t permanent. But take note of that “most.” The statement about lack of permanence isn’t blanket dismissal. If the mold has been cleared from your home (or business), most of your symptoms (and those of the other members of your household or business) should gradually clear up. But I did say “most.” Your immune system, for example, won’t be as sturdy as before, and you’ll be more likely to react to mold and its mycotoxins if you’re exposed to them again in the future.
In summary, toxic black mold is, as its name clearly states, toxic—hazardous to your health—and is not to be taken lightly. Your health and well-being, and that of your family, are paramount. If you suspect a black mold issue, don’t hesitate. Call a professional to come out, size up the situation, and mitigate the problem. Then see your doctor, and tell her or him that you’ve been exposed to black mold
The classic joke goes that you should always invite mushrooms to a party because they are fungi (fun guys), but there is one fungus you don’t ever want to invite into your home, and that’s black mold. Black mold is a bad actor, a hazard to your health and that of those who share your home or work environment—wherever it is that the mold is growing.
The list of symptoms and conditions ascribable to black mold is lengthy indeed. It affects the brain, the respiratory system, the reproductive organs, the developing fetus of a pregnant woman, the skin, the muscles and joints, the digestive system, and more. In fact, there’s hardly a part of the body that isn’t subject to damage from black mold. But let’s look at a few specifics, some of them overlooked at times.
First of all, black mold, also known as toxic black mold is, like other molds, allergenic. This is one of the least dangerous but most common effects of mold. Among the effects it produces—and this is just a partial list—are difficulty in breathing, runny nose, sore eyes, sore throat, itchiness, and sneezing.
More troubling, and more scary, is the possibility that toxic black mold might cause cancer. The jury is still out on this one—an airtight case has not been made for or against—but what is known for a fact is that certain other toxic molds, including aspergillus, definitely do cause cancer. Aspergillus produces aflatoxin mycotoxins, which are among the most powerful carcinogens there are. Given that that is a known and indisputable fact, the odds are certainly great that black mold, too, is carcinogenic.
Not all people are affected by black mold in the same way or to the same degree. If you take four family members living in the same household where black mold is present, you might find one who displays only minimal symptoms—say, a runny nose and itchy, burning eyes—one who suffers from nausea and vomiting as a result of black mold exposure, one who has severe joint pain, and one with severe symptoms such as lapsing into a coma.
The fact is that young children, the elderly, people with weak or compromised immune systems, and people with allergies are more likely to experience symptoms from black mold exposure and/or to experience more severe symptoms.
The reality is, though, that anyone, regardless of age, presence or absence of allergies, and current state of health, is at risk for symptoms and conditions ranging from annoying all the way up to fatal if they are exposed to black mold.