Black mold in homes is a serious problem for many home owners. Mold isn't a subject to ignore—these organisms present not only health concerns, but also serious risks to vulnerable building materials. In order to grow, mold requires moisture, so mold is naturally found in areas that are damp and humid. This should be obvious, but if the roof leaks, repair it. Stachybotrys chartarum, often … Mildew begins as a gray or white powdery colony. Finally, whenever you're completing a restoration project, repainting, or exposing older bare wood, always give surfaces a good washing with a fungicide or a 1:1 to 1:3 bleach-and-water solution (followed by a clean water rinse) to kill any existing growth. Here are some common places in … Mold Makeup Molds are microscopic fungi that grow year-round and thrive in any damp, warm, or humid environment. Generally, however, it’s not a good idea to remedy a mold problem by obliterating all the mold spores on the surface with a biocide, especially if the moisture problem hasn’t been addressed. That's why it's important to work to reduce excess moisture and eliminate water infiltration into your home. Mold Removal Safety Precautions. Fortunately, toxic molds are rare, usually occurring only in indoor environments that have been damaged, flooded, or closed up for long periods of time. Mold does best in water-soaked materials (paneling, wallboard, carpet, paint, ceiling tiles, and the like), but can survive in almost any damp location. Enjoy modern comfort while preserving the charm of your original windows. Environmental mold is a far bigger concern than asbestos or lead paint, and it affects us all, says Asprey. Keep in mind that professional mold remediation efforts can include extreme measures like tearing out walls. Tune in to the dangers of hearing loss on job sites. If you have to remove mold concentrations or perform any black … During moist, humid months, always run basement dehumidifiers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common indoor molds are cladosporium, penicillium, alternaria and aspergillus. The issue affects more and more new homes these days, and we want to know what you think. No one wants those things in their home, of course, but mold also contributes to a number of health problems, some quite serious. When launching serious remediation efforts, regardless of the product chosen, always wear proper protection, including a respirator mask, gloves, and eye protection. Because mold spores can aversely affect your health, wear gloves, goggles, and a mask when cleaning affected areas. “Three things that musty old houses have in common: little ventilation, high humidity, and darkness,” says Bill Carroll Jr., an adjunct professor of chemistry at Indiana University. Mainly, he advises: Caulk around the water fixtures. Molds are living organisms, so they can be killed by biocides such as bleach. Bleach is the old standby, but it's not tolerated by everyone. Hidden mold is pernicious; a few strains are toxic. Vent all combustion appliances to the outside. Mold can grow in houses situated in the desert, and it can grow in homes in hot and humid climes. If a moisture problem exists, mold will come back whether or not the area has been cleaned with bleach. That is, your kitchen and bathroom sink, or any sinks or showers in any rooms. White mold is a very common problem for houses in the northwest. We rarely see mold problems in older houses with plaster walls because plaster is not made of cellulose and does not provide food for the mold. You’ll want to remove mold from the outside of your house, on siding or on your deck, as soon as possible. Well, at least you were going to get around to this sometime, anyway, right? How old is the mold growth: This building mold contamination assessment article discusses how we can estimate the age and history of mold contamination in a building and how we can find evidence suggesting that a given mold contamination case is new, old, or includes both old and new fungal growth. Molds reproduce by means of tiny invisible spores that float through the air. Pathogenic molds are a threat to people with compromised immune systems—people undergoing chemotherapy, for example, or who have HIV or other immunological conditions. Mold spores—microscopic reproductive "seeds"—can travel inside on people and pets or through windows and doors. The Lowdown on Mold Reducing Moisture. Black mold in houses causes numerous health problems for those living in the houses and is often quite difficult to remove. Contributing Editor Noelle Lord operates Old House C.P.R., Inc. and shares her passion for older buildings through consulting, teaching, and writing. Health Issues Due to … © 2020 Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc. an Active Interest Media Company. Although many molds are harmless, any amount of mold in an indoor environment is potentially harmful. Latex gloves are fine for cleaning with water and detergent, but if the remediation calls for chlorine bleach or another strong cleaning solution, use rubber, neoprene, nitrile, or other industrial gloves.