My Tumultuous History with Mold
Posted Dec 10th 2013 | By:
Before I detected mold in my ownhome, I faced the wrath of the health department when I was a landlord. I had to spend quite a bit of money in cleaning out mold from my rental home when it was detected, especially since my tenant's child had asthma.
And I live in an area where black mold is a common occurrence, since my subdivision has poor drainage. And the scary part about black mold is that you may not know when you have it, because it can form behind your walls, furniture, basement, etc. When my sister stayed at my house, she started having coughing fits and eventually a chest cold. This occurred as I noticed a musty smell throughout the living room, but could not pinpoint it. It wasn't until we noticed that the smell originated from behind the storage closet under the stairs.
Eventually, I began to have severe allergy-like symptoms as well.
And no, I did not freak out by calling the health department to have them tear up my home in search of mold. Instead, I took simple remedies. In fact, you don't have to call the health authorities or an expensive detection agency. But you need tobe very careful when dealing with black mold, especially if you have respiratory issues. 100 people die each year from mold contamination in the US, and 57 million people die annually worldwide.
The most effective thing I did was purchase a mold decontaminant at my local store and sprayed that around the closet. This did the trick to an extent, but the real problem won't be solved until the mold is completely removed.
What to Watch Out For
Now since mold thrives most when humidity thatis 55 percent or higher, it is going to form mostly during the spring and summer months.
You can contact a mold detection agency if you are at a loss of where it is coming from, but you can also follow the odor with your nose. Also, just look for water-prone areas such as under your pipes, or in your laundry room. The appearance of mold can take on a black or greenish form. You're not looking for mildew, since they mostly attack plants, and its appearance usually takes on a dusty form.
But mold will most likely be ina dark and watery place such under the kitchen sink or inthe basement. And black mold can also be in the most obvious places and out in the open.
My Most Horrific Mold Experience
If you or a family member are notorious for leaving high stacks of dishes for a long period of time, you may want to wash them quickly or place them in the dish washer. Black mold can form on your dishes, and to expose yourself to these spores can be dangerous as you're cleaning the sink. This once happened to me as I left for a trip after forgetting to clean out my sink. I came back to find not only black mold, but maggots festering beneath my contaminated dishes. To say the least, it was not a pretty sight, and I was forced to decontaminate using bleach, mold disinfectant, along with throwing every dish that was in the sink away. I thought was I going to eventually fall gravely ill, but I turned out just fine in the end; however, I am a young man in my thirties with a healthy immune system. Had I been an elderly person, or someone with a weaker immune system, I stood a high risk of falling seriously ill.
In this instance, I treated the mold like a toxic substance, covering my face with a mask and using gloves to clean everything.
And since spores can float in air, they attach themselves to other parts of the kitchen or throughout the house, severely affecting air quality. You'll know when spores are spreading when you see small, black spots around your kitchen or house.
They say indoor air quality can be more toxic than outside pollution, especially if you do notreplace your air filters.
If you're dealing with heavymold contamination, remember to replace airfilters immediately to prevent the spreading of spores throughout the home, and be sure to keep your windows open to let fresh air inside.
Another way to preserve decent air is with a dehumidifier.
I hope my personal story will serve as a warning to keep your homes clean and be on the lookout for poor drainage. Otherwise, mold situations can leap from bad to worse.
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