Mold is a dangerous and harmful substance that appears naturally in the world we live in and while many people spend their day trying to avoid it, there’s no way to 100% remove it from your environment. It has always been present, it’s present right now, and it always will be present.
The body naturally protects itself from mold exposure, which is why mold generally won’t lead to illness or disease in most individuals. With that said, high levels of mold exposure and certain genetic limitations increase an individual’s risk of mold-related illness, disease, and infection.
One of the most dangerous and feared types of mold is black mold. Also known by its scientific name, Stachybotrys chart arum is one of the most common toxic molds that frequently appear in the home and workplace. While often black in color, black mold spores can also appear blue or green.
Reasons to Test for Black Mold in the Home
Just because you can’t see mold, doesn’t mean it isn’t growing and spreading inside the home. As mold levels in the home rise, so does the risk of illness and disease to you, your loved ones, and your guests. If you suspect excessive mold in the home, testing can help you confirm it.
Beyond just confirming the presence of mold, mold testing can help identify which molds are present and the severity of each one. This can help you detect areas that are more dangerous than others, giving you a sense of direction when remediating mold and maintaining your health.
In some cases, your doctor might want to test the mold levels in your home, especially if you’re presenting symptoms that are common in mold-related illnesses – such as coughing, sneezing, dry skin, itchy eyes, congestion, runny nose, shortness of breath, wheezing, and much more.
How to Test for Black Mold in House
While there are a number of different reasons why you might want to test for black mold in the home, most people have no idea how to test for black mold and therefore will avoid testing for it altogether. Luckily, the mold testing process is rather easy and there are several ways to do it.
The three most popular ways are by using your sight and smell to find mold in the home, utilizing an at-home mold testing kit, and hiring a mold expert to professionally test for mold in the home. Don’t worry, we’ll discuss each of those options in a little more detail down below:
Use Your Sight & Smell to Find Mold
Using your sight and smell is an effective way to find visible mold in common areas – such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, mud rooms, basements, attics, and nearby doors or windows. Since mold tends to be black, gray, white, blue, yellow, and green, it’s easy to spot.
You’ll want to be on the lookout for plumbing leaks, damaged plumbing lines, leaking windows, warped or discolored drywall, and other visible signs that might be causing mold growth.
Not only that, but mold tends to smell musty and stale. Still, your sight and smell won’t necessarily tell you what type of mold you’re dealing with and doesn’t really account for the hidden spots where mold can grow and spread – such as behind drywall and inside an air duct.
Utilize an At-Home Testing Kit for Black Mold
With the technology we have today, at-home mold testing kits are becoming much more accurate and dependable for homeowners worldwide. Not all mold tests are created equal.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development created the Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI).
This index analyzes settled dust in homes and buildings to determine the mold situation. It quantifies 36 molds and calculates an index number for comparison with a database of reference homes.
Removing Black Mold From Your Home
If you’ve confirmed the presence of black mold in your home and you’re worried that it’s causing unwanted and disruptive symptoms to you or any of your family members, you’re going to want to clean and disinfect the affected area with a mixture of one part water and 16 parts bleach.
While there’s no way of completely removing mold from the home, you can remediate it and regulate mold exposure back to a normal level – which the body can then handle on its own. We recommend hiring a mold remediation company if the affected area is larger than 10 square feet.
How to Get Rid of Mold in Your Home
Although there is no determined amount of how much mold is harmful to your health, it’s important to act quickly. If necessary, hire professionals to clean it.
There are mold remediation contractors on these websites:
- NORMI (National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors)
- The IAQA (Indoor Air Quality Association)
- IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification)
- ACAC (American Council for Accredited Certification)
- RIA (Restoration Industry Association)
- The IAQA (Indoor Air Quality Association)
Use a dehumidifier to keep your air moisture levels below 50%. Ventilate your rooms, and make sure to turn on the bathroom fan when you’re taking a shower.
Never use bleach to clean mold.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration declared bleach as ineffective to use, and it can even increase the toxicity of mycotoxins, worsening your mold exposure symptoms.
Suppose I suspect a Patient is suffering from Biotoxins illness or Mold Toxicity Exposure. In that case, several tests can help us understand why you feel the way you do and understand how severe of an exposure we are dealing with.
- Traditional Lab Testing: VEGF, Transforming Growth Factor Beta -1, VIP, HLA-DR, C4a, Alpha-MSH, cortisol, Leptin, ADH, DHEA-S, and Testosterone MMP9 blood level.
- ERMI Testing
- VCS Test: The Visual Contrast Sensitivity Test shows if you could be suffering from mold exposure.
- Great Plains Lab Testing: The MycoTOX Profile is another invaluable tool to assess mold exposure.
- Genetic Test: The HLA-DRB1 gene provides instructions for making a critical protein role in the immune system.
Are You Experiencing Symptoms? Contact Dr. Hagmeyer Today!
Excessive mold exposure can compromise the body’s immune system and put you at risk of various illnesses, diseases, and conditions. If you believe you’re experiencing symptoms due to toxic mold contamination, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Hagmeyer for a 15-minute consultation.
We’ll help you get to the bottom of your symptoms, determine a treatment plan to help you recover from those symptoms, and help you make the necessary lifestyle changes to prevent those symptoms from finding their way back. Together, we’ll get your body back in working order.
Contact us today for a free 15-minute consultation with Dr. Hagmeyer to discuss your symptoms and current health status.