Mold can wreak havoc in our homes and on our health if left unchecked. Read on as we answer 19 common mold questions asked by Engage Mold Solutions of Florida customers.
1) What is mold?
Mold is a type of fungi that can grow both indoors and outdoors. There are over 100,000 types of mold, and they come in a wide variety of colors, including black, white, green, red, and orange. While most mold is not harmful, some types can produce toxins (mycotoxins) that can cause serious health problems in humans and animals.
2) What causes mold?
Mold spores are everywhere - in the air, on surfaces, and in soil. When these spores land on a damp surface, they start to grow. Mold needs four things to grow: moisture, food, warmth, and oxygen. Moisture can come from many sources, including leaks, flooding, condensation, and high humidity.
Related: How much do Mold Inspections Cost?
3) What are the health risks of mold exposure?
Mold exposure can cause a variety of health problems, ranging from minor irritation to serious respiratory illness. Symptoms of mold exposure include coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, and difficulty breathing. People with asthma or other respiratory conditions may be more susceptible to the effects of mold exposure.
4) How do you get rid of mold?
The best way to get rid of mold is to prevent it from growing in the first place. To do this, you need to control moisture and keep your home clean and dry.
If you find mold growing in your home, keep your family safe and hire a professional to properly identify and remove it. Toxic molds are... toxic. Trying to clean it on your own could disperse mold spores into the air, causing a variety of problems from breathing difficulties and allergic reactions to more serious health conditions.
5) Can you eat moldy food?
Mold can cause food to spoil and make it unsafe to eat. If you see mold growing on food, it's best to throw it away. Moldy food can look like a variety of things, but it typically has a fuzzy or furry appearance. It may also be discolored or slimy. Some types of mold, such as blue cheese, are safe to eat. However, you should always consult with a doctor before consuming any type of moldy food.
6) What is the difference between mold and mildew?
Mold and mildew are both types of fungi. They are similar in appearance and can both cause health problems. However, there are some key differences between mold and mildew. Mold is typically black or green, while mildew is white or yellow. Mold grows in damp, dark places, while mildew prefers warm, humid environments. Mold can also cause structural damage to homes and other buildings, while mildew generally does not.
7) Is black mold dangerous?
Toxic black mold can be very dangerous. It has been known to cause a variety of health issues, and can even be life-threatening. Black mold can also be difficult to remove, so it's best to leave proper identification and removal to the professionals.
8) How do you get rid of black mold?
If you suspect that black mold is growing in your home, it's best to call a professional for help. They will be able to properly assess the situation, properly identify the mold, and recommend the best course of action. Black mold can be difficult to remove, so it's important to leave it to the professionals.
9) What is the best way to prevent mold?
The best way to prevent mold is to control moisture. To do this, you should fix any leaks, seal any cracks or openings, and ventilate damp areas. You should also keep your home clean and dry, and monitor areas that are susceptible to mold growth, such as basements, kitchens, and bathrooms.
10) What are the symptoms of mold sickness?
The symptoms of mold sickness can vary depending on the person, but they typically include coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, and difficulty breathing, headaches, asthma attacks, hives, respiratory conditions, and more. People with asthma or other respiratory conditions may be more susceptible to the effects of mold exposure. Asthma can develop from mold in children.
If you suspect you have mold sickness, it's important to see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
11) What is the treatment for mold sickness?
If you suspect you have mold sickness, it's important to see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. The treatment for mold sickness will vary depending on the person, but it may include antibiotics, steroids, or other medications. It's important to have any sources of mold identified and removed from your home and workplace by a professional.
12) Can you file a workers' compensation claim if you get sick from working with mold?
Workers' compensation is a system of insurance that provides benefits to employees who are injured or become ill as a result of their job. In most states, workers' compensation covers injuries and illnesses that occur as a result of exposure to harmful substances at work, including mold. To file a workers' compensation claim, you will need to contact your state's Workers' Compensation Board.
13) What do you do if you think you have mold in your home?
If you think you have mold in your home, it's important to take action right away. The best way to deal with mold is to prevent it from growing in the first place, so you need to control moisture and keep your home clean and dry.
If you find mold growing in your home, be safe and hire a professional to properly identify and remove it. Toxic molds are... toxic. Trying to clean it on your own could disperse mold spores into the air, causing a variety of problems from breathing difficulties and allergic reactions to more serious issues.
Related: Does Mold Dry Out and Die Over Time?
14) What are the different types of mold?
There are many different types of mold, and they can be found both indoors and outdoors. Some of the most common types of mold include Aspergillus, Penicillium, Alternaria, Cladosporium, and Stachybotrys. Each type of mold has a unique appearance and can cause different health problems. It's important to be able to identify the different types of mold in order to properly address any potential health concerns.
15) What type of mold is this?
16) What does mold smell like?
Some molds do not have a smell, while others can be quite pungent.
From the EPA: Some compounds produced by molds have strong smells and are volatile and quickly released into the air. These compounds are known as microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOCs). Because mVOCs often have strong or unpleasant odors, they can be the source of the "moldy odor" or musty smell frequently associated with mold growth. A moldy odor suggests that mold is growing in the building and should be investigated.
Exposure to mVOCs has been linked to symptoms such as headaches, nasal irritation, dizziness, fatigue, and nausea. More research is needed to determine whether there are any human health effects from non-occupational indoor exposures to mVOCs.
Related: Know When to Have a Mold Inspection
17) Can mold grow in the air ducts in your home?
Yes, mold can grow in the air ducts in your home. Ask your duct cleaning service provider to show you any mold or other biological contamination they find. Or, call a mold inspector to do a proper assessment of potential mold in your air ducts before your air system spreads mold spores throughout your home. A mold specialist will provide confirmation and identification of mold growth, and any mold removal recommendations.
You should consider having the air ducts in your home cleaned if there is substantial visible mold growth inside hard surface (e.g., sheet metal) ducts or on other components of your heating and cooling system. There are several important points to understand concerning mold detection in heating and cooling systems:
- Many sections of your heating and cooling system may not be accessible for a visible inspection, so ask the service provider to show you any mold they say exists.
- You should be aware that although a substance may look like mold, a positive determination of whether it is mold or not can be made only by an expert and may require laboratory analysis for final confirmation. For about $50, some microbiology laboratories can tell you whether a sample sent to them on a clear strip of sticky household tape is mold or simply a substance that resembles it.
- If you have insulated air ducts and the insulation gets wet or moldy, it cannot be effectively cleaned and should be removed and replaced.
- If the conditions causing mold growth in the first place are not corrected, mold growth will recur.
18) How much do mold inspections and air quality tests cost?
Mold inspection is a different process from typical housing inspections. The cost will typically depend on the size of the house and any additional services, such as Moisture Mapping, Thermal Imaging, and Psychometric Readings. Use our online pricing guide to get an estimate for mold inspections, mold remediation protocols, air quality testing, and more.
19) What is the difference between mold inspections and mold testing?
Mold inspections identify the presence of mold, define the size of the problem - usually in square footage - and help determine the best mold removal method.
Mold testing identifies what specific type of mold is in your home and how many mold spores are in the air. However, keep in mind the following:
- The carefully controlled conditions required to conduct a proper scientific test of mold are extremely difficult to achieve in a home. A professional mold specialist will provide proper assessments and mold identification.
- All indoor spaces have mold spores that drift in from outdoors, so mold tests will generally provide a long list of species.
- The EPA has set no guidelines for an acceptable amount of mold or mold spores in a house and recommends hiring a professional to look for growing colonies. Note that some mold inspections include mold testing or sampling, particularly in states where it is required by law.
Mold inspections and mold remediation in Florida
If you are in Tampa Bay, Florida or any of the surrounding areas and suspect that you may have a mold issue, reach out to Engage Mold Solutions of Florida. Our team of experts will be happy to come out and inspect your property for signs of mold growth, provide mold remediation services as needed, and test the air quality to ensure that your home is safe to live in. Contact us today to get started!