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All Posts Tagged: mold symptoms

Why Test for Mold If I Know It’s There?

Many homeowners are now aware of the health hazards of toxic mold that may be growing inside their home. However, merely visually detecting mold is not an effective way to manage or remediate the problem. Even if you already know that you have mold in your home, you should still call in a professional to collect samples and perform a comprehensive test for mold. Here’s why.

It’s Important to Know What Type of Mold Is in Your Home
There are lots of different types of mold, including “black mold,” aspergillus, penicillium, alternaria, and more. Thus, if someone in your home gets sick and is exhibiting symptoms of toxic mold exposure, it is important to know exactly which type of mold they’ve been exposed to so that it can be effectively treated. The type of mold, however, is impossible to tell with just a visual inspection, so having the mold tested, as soon as you see a sign of this problem in your home, is of the utmost importance.

According to the CDC, some of the most common health effects of mold exposure include:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Throat, eye, or skin irritation

In the case of black mold poisoning, you might also experience fatigue, muscle weakness, headache, loss of memory function, joint pain, skin tingling and numbness, and shortness of breath.

Mold Testing Can Detect Mold in Other Areas of Your Home
Even though you might only see signs of mold on your bathroom ceiling, for instance, it could also be lurking underneath your tiling flooring, carpeting, inside your walls, or in other less noticeable areas of your home. For this reason, a professional should come in to inspect your home for mold, take samples, and send them off for testing to ensure you don’t miss anything when looking for mold yourself.

It’s Better to Have a Professional Interpret the Results
Another benefit of calling in mold testing experts is that a professional will be able to interpret the results of the testing, which can involve a variety of different factors that need to be taken into account before reaching the final result.
Once you get your mold testing results back and a professional explains exactly what they mean, you can then set to work creating a mold remediation plan that will address the specific problem areas that the testing revealed.

Need More Information on Mold Testing?
Whether you’ve already noticed mold growing in your home or you simply want to take preventative measures to ensure the safety of you and your family, getting a mold test can be extremely helpful. Just make sure you are working with an accredited environmental laboratory that offers mold testing.

For more information on how to have your home tested for mold, please feel free to contact IRIS Environmental Laboratories at (908)206-0073 or by using our online contact form. We would be happy to answer any questions you might have and help you better understand the mold testing process.

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Mold 101: Common Spores & Exposure Side Effects

There is almost a complete lack of information on specific human responses to well-defined exposures to molds contaminants. There is currently no proven method to measure the type or amount of mold that a person is exposed to, and common symptoms associated with molds exposure are non-specific, aggravated by the facts that molds are present everywhere in the environment and that responses to exposure vary greatly among individuals.

 

Mold is a non-scientific term for many types of fungi – unwanted, unattractive spots of green, brown, yellow, black, furry, smelly growths. Endless species of mold are found both indoors, and outdoors.

 

Mold and fungus harbor in many different places, most of them being unpleasant: damp basements, underneath carpets, on or behind drywall, ceiling tiles, cabinets, attics, among others. On a positive note, molds are also responsible for penicillin and blue cheese (let’s face it; hot wings and blue cheese are like peanut butter and jelly), yeasts are fungi used in beer, bread, and for those who don’t know……wine.

 

Although mold and its spores are literally, everywhere, active mold growth requires moisture. Common indoor mold species include Aspergillus, Alternaria, Acremonium, Cladosporum, Epicoccum, Penicillium, Stachybotrys, and Trichoderma. Specific types of molds can be tested for and identified. This allows comparison of indoor and outdoor mold species. If both indoor and outdoor don’t correlate, at least roughly, it’s possible that indoor mold has developed. Even without showing signs of visible surface mold.

 

The Nitty-Gritty

Although difficult to predict, exposure to mold growth indoors is most often associated with the following allergy symptoms:

  • Nasal and sinus congestion
  • Cough/sore throat
  • Chest tightness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Asthma
  • Epistaxis (nosebleed)
  • Upper respiratory tract infections
  • Headache
  • Skin and eye irritation

 

Having long term exposure in indoor molds is certainly unhealthy to anyone, but some will develop more severe symptoms sooner than others, including:

  • Infants and children
  • Elderly people
  • Individuals with respiratory conditions, allergies and/or asthma
  • Immunocompromised patients

 

Don’t freak out! There are ways to prevent and eliminate indoor mold!

Now let’s be honest. Mold spores are found typically anywhere! The key aspect of preventing their growth is in controlling the moisture. This means preventing leaks, removing standing water, venting areas prone to condensation (bathrooms and kitchens) and drying furniture or removing wet carpets immediately.  Air conditioners and dehumidifiers should be used during humid temperatures.

In the event mold in present or suspected, having the property inspected for mold and mold spores is important. Although, there are no nationwide standards for mold inspectors, testing methods, or reporting formats – this makes it difficult to interpret test results. Hiring an inspector can be a very delicate process, you need to make sure the inspector you hire is very knowledgeable when it comes to mold, this will save you a lot of time and headaches when you need someone to provide a breakdown of the analytical results.

If mold is present during the visual inspection, it should be remediated as soon as possible to avoid destroying any materials that the mold is growing on and to prevent health problems. The longer you hold onto this problem, the worse it will get. Check out some more FACTS or feel free contact us directly to learn more about how we might be able to help with your mold problem.

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How Does Mold Affect Allergies

How Does Mold Affect Allergies

How Does Mold Affect AllergiesAllergies are a very common problem amongst many families all over. Most often seasonal changes can bring on symptoms of coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes etc. Environmental surroundings can also play a part, but did you know that mold can also affect allergies. Household issues like mold can contribute to a person’s symptoms and they might not even know it. Read this article to learn more about how mold affects allergies.

What Is Mold?

Mold is a term used to refer to fungi that grow in the form of multicellular thread-like structures called hyphae. There are different kinds of mold and it can grow in many different areas, but one thing that’s the same is that mold requires moisture to grow.

The sources of moisture could be washing, cooking, air humidifiers, condensation or leaks from plumbing or from the outside. Poor ventilation contributes to higher humidity levels and leads to condensation, which also allows mold growth.

A person might buy an older home, doing renovations, skimping on the home inspection, and then start having symptoms of a cold or allergies. They might not realize that they have mold in their home and it’s causing them health problems.

Mold Allergy Symptoms

Mold allergy symptoms can be similar to those of other respiratory allergies:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Irritated eyes
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Itchy throat

Because mold allergies have similar symptoms as common cold or seasonal allergies it can  sometimes go unnoticed. It’s important not to ignore these signs especially if you suspect your home might have mold. If you have infants, children, and elderly living with you they  can develop symptoms sooner and be more at risk.  Some indoor mold can  produce toxins that are absorbed through your body and have serious side effects causing harm to your health.

Controlling Mold In Your Home

If you think you might have mold in your home, it’s a good idea to contact an expert. Have them assess the area and let you know if there is in fact mold. If you feel like you’re having health related symptoms to mold be sure to contact your physician and speak to them about your situation.

Controlling the mold is very important. Depending on the kind of mold you have in your home, you might need professional care to remove it. However, there are a few things you can do to help prevent it in the future.

  • Use dehumidifiers or exhaust fans — or crack open a window — to help reduce moisture and humidity in bathrooms or other rooms in your home.
  • Regularly clean garbage cans and refrigerator drip pans.
  • Regularly clear your gutters, and ensure that drainage flows away from your home’s foundation.

Be sure to contact a professional to learn more about what steps need to be followed for mold removal.

Have More Questions About Mold?

Check out our FAQ page or feel free contact us directly to learn more about how we might be able to help with your mold problem.

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