Toxic mold and mildew can hide in the most unsuspected areas, and on the most surprising surfaces. Given the right conditions, it can grow nearly anywhere in the world.
In the tropics and other moist, humid climates, the challenge of finding and keeping up with their mitigation and remediation tends to be relentless, exhausting, and costly, also dangerous health and safety wise.
Where does BLACK and GREEN MOLD – eg. stachybotrys chartarum – like to hide?
Short list of potential sites for hidden mold and mildew: *
- Wallpaper, drywall, paneling, cork: back side
- Ceiling tiles: top side
- Carpet, padding: underside
- Walls: inside, especially around piping, wall joists
- Furniture: surface facing wall behind, and/or adjacent
- Ductwork: inside
- Roof materials: above ceiling tiles
- Refrigerators: under/behind/around pans, door seals, ice cube maker connections, motor.
- Air conditioner/heating system: inside/under/behind covers, vents; around tubing, hoses.
- Drapes/linings/valances/swags: back side, folds; around/inside rods, around hardware.
- Bedspreads/skirts: undersides/backsides, especially edges touching flooring.
- Shower curtains/liners: behind, between, in folds.
- Tiles – wall, ceiling, floor: behind/around/under ceramic, vinyl, plastic.
- Exterior tiles and borders: on top/under/around.
* Note: This list represents a small number of potential hidden sites.
How do you INVESTIGATE for the PRESENCE of toxic mold and mildew?
1. Wear protective gear:
A. Preferred: Disposable hooded full-body suit, including shoe covers; also, gloves, free-standing breathing apparatus, snug eye goggles.
B. Basic: Long sleeved shirt, long pants, disposable long plastic gloves, snug fitting eye goggles, breathing mask.
2. Follow basic procedure:
- Temporarily TURN OFF all systems that will move or stir the air in the area where you are checking, also all electrical systems.
- Rely on your sight. DO NOT touch or disturb the area.
- Try to shine a flashlight into and behind the area.
- SLOWLY and gently pull back two edges/corners (in different spots) of wallpaper, drywall, tile, paneling, carpeting, pad, etc.
How to REMOVE hidden black and green mold and mildew.
Call a licensed mitigation and remediation specialist.
***WARNING: DO NOT try to handle any hidden mold and mildew problem on your own.
How to identify YOUR EXPOSURE to hidden black and green mold and mildew.
1. Watch for exposure to bio-contaminants (black mold, fungi, bacteria, virus) caused by exposure and moisture problems, poor maintenance and inadequate ventilation.
2. It can cause serious, life-threatening effects, disease, damage, and impairments.
Know the signs and symptoms of exposure to hidden mold and mildew.
1. Discomfort level – Associated with climatic conditions, especially when building contamination may be implicated (eg. “Sick Building Syndrome”).
***SYMPTOMS: Feel too hot/too cold, eye/nose/throat irritation; air too dry, stuffy, strange odor; feel sluggish, body aches, fatigue, odd taste in mouth, coughing.
2. Acute effects level – Within 24-hours of exposure.
***SYMPTOMS: Headaches; blurry vision, difficulty focusing; red/watery/burning eyes; difficulty breathing/getting air; nasal congestion/burning; dizziness; sore chest, lungs, rib cage; itchy skin/rash; fatigue; odd taste in mouth; upset stomach.
3. Chronic effects level – Long-lasting response to long-term/frequent exposure, even low concentration.
*** SYMPTOMS: Respiratory disease, skin disease, chronic/acute sinus infections and sinusitis, cognitive impairments, CNS damage, strokes, cancer, vision loss, hearing loss, hair loss/graying.
Important Note: Hair graying tends to be rather “sudden” and very noticeable.
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“Your world – your environment – includes every cell, tissue, neuron, fiber, muscle, tendon, bone, etc. of your body. PROTECT IT! PROTECT YOURSELF!” rdh
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Many thanks for keeping in touch, and for visiting “Painting with Bob.”
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Copyright 2013, 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.