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Thread: Is anyone familiar with black mold?

  1. #1
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    Is anyone familiar with black mold?

    Is anyone here familiar with black mold? We have been having reoccurring problems with it since we've moved in to our apartment, five months ago.

    My family and I have been suffering from some unusual symptoms as of the last few months. We are typically very healthy people. I have had sudden blurriness in my right eye that came on suddenly. My wife has been breaking out in very abnormal skin rashes and hives on various spots of her body. We have both been getting nauseous and have displayed a lot of cold-like symptoms when we typically wouldn't.

    We were recently deep cleaning our apartment, and came across what appears to be a lot of black mold in various spots of our house. It's on virtually all of our windowsills. We noticed that there's an accumulation of water that has somehow made it's way on one of our windowsills, when no water has been in the area. It's almost as if it leaked in from somewhere.

    We had a pillow on the closet floor in our baby's room, and we went to pick it up, only to find it completely covered in a dark mold, and there was no moisture even on the ground.

    There are various signs of wood rot on lower parts of some of our walls, which leads me to believe that our apartment had previously flooded before we occupied it.

    Our health symptoms have matched up to symptoms of mold reactions, and really started around the time when we moved in.

    Do these pictures look like black mold to you? If so, I have a feeling that there's a much bigger problem than what's appearing on the surface.
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  2. #2
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    Looks like mold to me...could be the nefarious "black mold".

    I would contact your landlord right away.

    Just normal cleaning will not get rid of black mold. Remediation usually requires removal of infected areas or treatment...either way, its not cured in a day.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    My landlord or builder will not take any responsibility for cleaning up the mold in my home. Where can I go for help?

    If you feel your property owner, landlord, or builder has not been responsive to concerns you’ve expressed regarding mold exposure, you can contact your local board of health or housing authority. Applicable codes, insurance, inspection, legal, and similar issues about mold generally fall under state and local (not federal) jurisdiction. You could also review your lease or building contract and contact local or state government authorities, your insurance company, or an attorney to learn more about local codes and regulations and your legal rights. CDC does not have enforcement power in such matters, nor can we provide you with advice. You can contact your county or state health department about mold issues in your area to learn about what mold assessment and remediation services they may offer. You can find information on your state's Indoor Air Quality program at http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/airpollution/indoor_air.htm.

    http://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm

    http://www.ct.gov/dph/lib/dph/enviro..._home_5-10.pdf
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    Wowwie!!!

    grapes' advice is good,,, do all that!

    I will add this,,, Grab your baby and your wife and GET OUT OF THAT PLACE!!! NOW!!!!
    youre sick, your wife is sick and your baby is particularity at danger for a life of respiratory distress.
    you will NOT get weller,,, while you are there.
    a house with black mold is worse than a Crack house for your health.
    short of tearing every thing out, down to the studs and the sub floor, it cant be cleaned out.
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    Stachybotrys is nothing to fool around with, my friend. Go to a motel and call the EPA/CDC if necessary.

    If you have had exposure consult your clinician, and then your lawyer.

    Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick9 View Post
    Stachybotrys is nothing to fool around with, my friend. Go to a motel and call the EPA/CDC if necessary.

    If you have had exposure consult your clinician, and then your lawyer. Good luck!
    Somebody already mentioned the CDC

    Does Stachybotrys chartarum (Stachybotrys atra) cause acute idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage among infants?

    To date, a possible association between acute idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage among infants and Stachybotrys chartarum (Stachybotrys atra) has not been proved. Further studies are needed to determine what causes acute idiopathic hemorrhage.

    What are the potential health effects of mold in buildings and homes? [ ... ]
    The IOM also found limited or suggestive evidence linking indoor mold exposure and respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children.
    http://www.cdc.gov/mold/stachy.htm

    Use a dehumidifier. Clean with sodium/calcium hypochlorite, or sodium percarbonate/perborate. Cleanliness is next to godliness.
    Last edited by Nightmare; 11-17-2014 at 06:28 PM.
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    Aaron1124

    You don't need to get overly-worried or hysterical (as some here) about the mold. People in hurricane country see this regularly, and deal with it.

    ...in the meantime, while you await action (or not) from your landlord, get an empty hand sprayer (a used laundry pre-stain treatment sprayer, window cleaner sprayer -- whatever one you have available) and make a simple chlorine BLEACH ("Clorox" or other brand, doesn't matter -- bleach is bleach) solution to deal with that mold. Yes, I know as I've been through a hurricane and black mold began the very next day! Actually, just about EVERYONE living on the Gulf Coast knows about black mold! Even though you're not in hurricane country (Washington state), mold is mold! And you do live in a "Rain Forest state" so there's lots of moisture up there for molds, moss, algae and so on...;-)

    Anyway, for the time being -- AFTER YOU TAKE GOOD PICTURES OF IT ALL (of course) as you may need the "evidence" later -- mix up the bleach solution I mentioned (meaning, 10% bleach & 90% water...that's ALL you need, more than 10% bleach is a waste) and spray/wet-down the mold areas (no need to SOAK through the sheetrock -- AVOID that as it will soften the gypsum). It kills mold quickly.

    So, you CAN take care of surface mold yourself: Whatever/wherever you see mold, spray it. It's dead. Period.

    Problem is what's in the air vents or inside the walls (as hurricane country people ALSO know) and to fix THAT the sheetrock needs to be removed, any insulation (which if wet is also probably modly), a fungicide solution is then sprayed all over the interior (and now exposed) stud wall cavities, it's all left to dry, and finally new insulation and sheetrock is installed.

    As for vents, a professional vent-cleaning service would be best, but still, for health reasons you could spray what mold you can see from looking in there and kill what you can get to.

    Yes, doing the WHOLE "repair" thing IS costly -- that is, IF the mold was that bad and spraying it alone won't get it all -- and a landlord may not want to spend the $$, but maybe he has insurance for that...except, IIRC (at least in the hurricane-prone coastal areas), water/flood insurance policies USUALLY do NOT include black mold (not sure, you may need to add a "mold rider" or "mold floater" to your flood/wind policy), but since you're NOT in hurricane country, maybe your landlord's Home/Business insurance policy WILL cover mold issues and as a result, the repairs required to replace the moldy materials.

    But FOR NOW, you should act on your own (as mentioned, for health reasons) to kill the stuff you can see (and so it doesn't mature enough to release mold spores into the air you breath!) -- so just use the bleach solution wherever you see the stuff. Then you've a bit more time to wait to see what the landlord will do (if anything).

    But also as mentioned, take good pictures of it all first! And, you may need to get a HVAC pro to check out your vents...if so, you'll have his written "estimate" (or report) you can keep as evidence, also.

    PICTURES will be the only evidence you'll have after you spray the mold and it's gone. So if you have to go to court to prove you had mold in the first place for such reasons as the landlord does nothing about it, or, won't let you leave saying you're breaking the lease and so it'll COST you for doing that, or, charges you big-time for breaking the lease if you DO leave anyway (lease-breaking $$ penalties are in EVERY lease/renter's contract, so look at YOUR lease to find that info) -- for some OTHER reason you end up in court (or dealing with the Health Department) -- you will have PICTURES to show them, or the judge! Breaking a lease can be VERY COSTLY...black mold causing you to break the lease SHOULD be a defense to that -- but IANAL (although I DO play one in JP Court on occasion). Still, it SHOULD be a valid defense as it's a HEALTH issue! And don't be afraid to go to Small Claims (AKA: Justice of the Peace Court) if your landlord becomes unreasonable -- let him "tell it to the judge" if he wants lots of $$ from you (if you leave) for breaking the lease. Show the judge your pics and say you were concerned about our family's health and HAD to leave (if the landlord did nothing to fix the problem). It's my guess the judge will rule in your favor. I've been to those courts 3 times and won my case every time.

    But at least give your landlord enough time and every opportunity to do the right thing, whatever it may be (such as, IF the sheetrock needs replacing, or the vents cleaned) -- as you must do that as per the law (give him written notice, time to respond, etc. -- the law spells the process out -- look research tenant/landlord law online). I'm just saying if he does nothing and/or plays hardball, don't be intimidated -- go to court.

    I just glanced at your pics, but do not see a serious mold issue on your sheetrock like I (and everyone else) had in Galveston after Hurricane Ike -- you'll KNOW the difference -- so what we did was "mitigate" the mold issue until the crews could come in and redo it all (rip out all the moldy sheetrock & insulation, spray the studs, let it all dry, then reinstall new insulation & sheetrock. You're sheetrock looks pretty good, it's just around the windows and such where water has gotten in to let the mold grow...just spray it and see if it comes back. Not saying there isn't any mold inside the walls at the bottom (sill plate) areas, but from the outside, it doesn't look bad. Whatever is causing the LEAKING (water to get in), however, is definitely an issue and need fixing ASAP.

    While ANY mold is bad, YOUR situation (IMO) isn't as bad as it looks as you can spray that surface mold and kill it quickly. If the mold is in your HVAC VENTS then that is more serious and needs a professional cleaning. But for the other stuff in your pics, just SPRAY IT, leave it for about 30 minutes, then wipe the area down, let it dry and see if it comes back.

    And of course, FIX THE LEAKS to keep water out...or else it probably WILL come back!

    As for the sheetrock, mold doesn't feed on the gypsum in the sheetrock (AKA: wallboard/gypsum-board), it feeds on the outside PAPER of the sheetrock when it gets wet. So it's just on/in the paper...so spraying it with the 10% bleach solution I told you about (and, which is a staple in hurricane country emergency supplies: BLEACH) kills it immediately, and any black stains of the mold are gone, At most, you will just see an outline of where it was. Then just keep an eye on those places to see if it returns, if so, there may be some in the wall cavities, and you have to go further to be sure by looking in the walls -- yes, the only way to do that is remove the sheetrock.

    Anyway, after you take action NOW by spraying with the 10% bleach solution all the mold you can SEE (and then wipe it up), you can wait (and do so less worried) to see what the landlord decides to do about the sheetrock (removal, if necessary) and re: cleaning the AC vents. But ALSO ask him about how the water is getting in...maybe all he needs to do is remove/replace the (apparently failed) outside caulking.

    Otherwise, all the mold you see and spray will be dead immediately and will not be a current health hazard.

    Good luck...
    Last edited by cloudcroft; 11-17-2014 at 11:29 PM.
    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

  8. #8
    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    if you are inclined to clean pls ensure you wear a mask 95 or equiv and rubber gloves and get a fan to circulate air in area you are cleaning...

    i do it all the time (every 6 mths as the stuff grows in nonventalated closets...final cut holes and put furnace vents over the holes and life returned to normal.

    ipse
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    Regular Member twoskinsonemanns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudcroft View Post
    Aaron1124

    You don't need to get overly-worried or hysterical....
    snipped

    I wasn't going to reply but I will +1 this.
    Don't let idiots get you overly worked up with their hype. Black mold can, in rare case, cause mild respiratory symptoms. However it's mainly benign. It certainly won't cause permanent damage. Just clean it. If you really want to fight with your landlord for some reason go ahead. But don't make it so because of retards that would scream your children's live's are at risk!! It's nothing more than sheep bleating at manufactured fear. Have the intelligence to rise above it.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by twoskinsonemanns View Post
    snipped

    I wasn't going to reply but I will +1 this.
    Don't let idiots get you overly worked up with their hype. Black mold can, in rare case, cause mild respiratory symptoms. However it's mainly benign. It certainly won't cause permanent damage. Just clean it. If you really want to fight with your landlord for some reason go ahead. But don't make it so because of retards that would scream your children's live's are at risk!! It's nothing more than sheep bleating at manufactured fear. Have the intelligence to rise above it.
    Other Symptoms From Toxic Black Mold

    Symptoms:


    • Hair loss
    • Weight loss, anorexia
    • Hearing loss
    • Liver disease
    • Coma
    • Death


    http://blackmold.awardspace.com/blac...ycotoxins.html

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ar...A-mansion.html
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 11-17-2014 at 09:27 PM. Reason: added
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

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    our old house had aluminum frame windows, w pier and beam foundation - moisture from under house would condense on cold window frames and pool on window sills. Never had mold but we bought 2 dehumidifiers and emptied every day about 2 gallons of water a day in winter. Finally put down visqueen vapor barrier under floors to stop water from humidifying our house


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  12. #12
    Regular Member twoskinsonemanns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Other Symptoms From Toxic Black Mold

    Symptoms:


    • Hair loss
    • Weight loss, anorexia
    • Hearing loss
    • Liver disease
    • Coma
    • Death


    http://blackmold.awardspace.com/blac...ycotoxins.html

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ar...A-mansion.html

    I have to admit to being utterly and completely shocked Grape. You've posted an awardspace page (completely unsubstantiated blog basically) and a news article of a grieving mother claiming, with no proof at all, mold as the cause of death as cites?
    wow is all I can say. wow. wow. wow.
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  13. #13
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twoskinsonemanns View Post
    I have to admit to being utterly and completely shocked Grape. You've posted an awardspace page (completely unsubstantiated blog basically) and a news article of a grieving mother claiming, with no proof at all, mold as the cause of death as cites?
    wow is all I can say. wow. wow. wow.
    The idea was to cause people to look further. I have both past professional knowledge as well as a personal base as a relative was severly affected.

    Here are a few more:

    http://www.ehagroup.com/mold-iaq-services/toxic-mold/

    http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/publications...sing/cha05.htm

    Then we have a similar reference (not an unsubstantiated blog) of the original link:
    The following Mold exposure symptoms are the most severe and are attributed to high levels of exposure:

    • Blindness
    • Brain Damage
    • Memory Loss "Long term"
    • Bleeding Lungs
    • Cancer
    • Death

    http://www.biosignlabs.com/Symptoms_Mold_Sickness.html
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 11-17-2014 at 10:33 PM. Reason: fixed
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  14. #14
    Regular Member twoskinsonemanns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    The idea was to cause people to look further. I have both past professional knowledge as well as a personal base as a relative was severly affected.

    Here are a few more:

    http://www.ehagroup.com/mold-iaq-services/toxic-mold/

    http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/publications...sing/cha05.htm

    Then we have a similar reference (not an unsubstantiated blog) of the original link:
    The following Mold exposure symptoms are the most severe and are attributed to high levels of exposure:

    • Blindness
    • Brain Damage
    • Memory Loss "Long term"
    • Bleeding Lungs
    • Cancer
    • Death

    http://www.biosignlabs.com/Symptoms_Mold_Sickness.html
    would you share your professional knowledge?
    "I support the ban on assault weapons" - Donald Trump

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  15. #15
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twoskinsonemanns View Post
    would you share your professional knowledge?
    Senior Property Manager of large commercial real estate firm. Numerous dealings with moisture and mold problems - recognized as a court expert in 2 states....Virginia and North Carolina.

    Normal procedure was to get an in depth analysis and treat as indicated, immediately relocate the tenant if necessary. Often required removal of sheet rock, insulation and flooring, particularly vinyl tile and parquet. These actions were supported by insurance carrier, rather than incur further health risks, potential liability.

    Locate and fix all sources of water/moisture intrusion. Make sure that there was adequate air flow and possibly add dehumidification.

    Properties must continue to be habitable to retain positive cash flow and enhance value.

    It was much about protecting the investment - that was my primary responsibility.
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 11-17-2014 at 11:04 PM.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  16. #16
    Regular Member twoskinsonemanns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Senior Property Manager of large commercial real estate firm. Numerous dealings with moisture and mold problems - recognized as a court expert in 2 states....Virginia and North Carolina.

    Normal procedure was to get an in depth analysis and treat as indicated, immediately relocate the tenant if necessary. Often required removal of sheet rock, insulation and flooring, particularly vinyl tile and parquet. These actions were supported by insurance carrier, rather than incur further health risks, potential liability.

    Locate and fix all sources of water/moisture intrusion. Make sure that there was adequate air flow and possibly add dehumidification.

    Properties must continue to be habitable to retain positive cash flow and enhance value.

    It was much about protecting the investment - that was my primary responsibility.
    In how many of the proceedings in which you were recognized as a court expert was there a death from mold?
    "I support the ban on assault weapons" - Donald Trump

    We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission - Ayn Rand

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    Regular Member 1245A Defender's Avatar
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    Wowwie!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by twoskinsonemanns View Post
    In how many of the proceedings in which you were recognized as a court expert was there a death from mold?
    Death from mold is NOT the base question here...
    You dont need to DIE,, to to realize the danger to health of black mold in the home.
    Arron1124 and his Wife are already suffering ill effects from that scourge.
    Also, they have a baby,,, and little tykes have a better chance of
    suffering life long, debilitating health problems from black mold exposure...

    I may be an over reacting sheeple in your mind,,, But
    many esteemed folks,,, that know more than the average bear,
    believe that black mold poses a real danger to people that live with it in their homes!
    Last edited by 1245A Defender; 11-18-2014 at 03:16 AM.
    EMNofSeattle wrote: Your idea of freedom terrifies me. So you are actually right. I am perfectly happy with what you call tyranny.....

    “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

    Stand up for your Rights,, They have no authority on their own...

    All power is inherent in the people,
    it is their right and duty to be at all times ARMED!

  18. #18
    Regular Member twoskinsonemanns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1245A Defender View Post
    I may be an over reacting sheeple in your mind
    Quote Originally Posted by 1245A Defender View Post
    GET OUT OF THAT PLACE!!! NOW!!!!
    uh...yeah.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1245A Defender View Post
    little tykes have a better chance of
    suffering life long, debilitating health problems
    Will you cite where mold such as shown in the OP is the direct cause of a life-long debilitating health problem?
    "I support the ban on assault weapons" - Donald Trump

    We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission - Ayn Rand

  19. #19
    Regular Member 1245A Defender's Avatar
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    Pffffft!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by twoskinsonemanns View Post
    uh...yeah.


    Will you cite where mold such as shown in the OP is the direct cause of a life-long debilitating health problem?
    NO I wont.
    Grape cited,, I read...
    Ive had my say.
    I will now be done discussing this with you.
    EMNofSeattle wrote: Your idea of freedom terrifies me. So you are actually right. I am perfectly happy with what you call tyranny.....

    “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

    Stand up for your Rights,, They have no authority on their own...

    All power is inherent in the people,
    it is their right and duty to be at all times ARMED!

  20. #20
    Regular Member twoskinsonemanns's Avatar
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    gotcha.
    Anyway living with black mold will increase your lifespan 30 years. no I won't cite.
    "I support the ban on assault weapons" - Donald Trump

    We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission - Ayn Rand

  21. #21
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twoskinsonemanns View Post
    gotcha.
    Anyway living with black mold will increase your lifespan 30 years. no I won't cite.
    Being removed from the environment, most people's health improved. Reentering caused the symtoms to return - strange that.

    The fact that there are people you speak on both sides of the issue is IMHO a poor reason to proceed w/o taking steps to improve the condition.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  22. #22
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twoskinsonemanns View Post
    In how many of the proceedings in which you were recognized as a court expert was there a death from mold?
    The idea is to recognize the dangers inherent to thereby prevent serious injury or death. The danger is not lessened by my not having a list of documented cases ending in that fashion.

    I recognize the danger of standing in the middle of a busy highway. Avoiding that foolishness does not diminish the reality that there are better courses of action.

    "An unusual black mold has been linked to at least 34 cases of pulmonary hemorrhage and hemosiderosis (PH/H) among infants in the Cleveland area since 1993, resulting in at least 10 deaths. The condition, which involves bleeding in the lungs, is believed to be caused by toxins produced by the mold Stachybotrys atra (also known as Stachybotrys chartarum), which grows only on water-soaked cellulose-based materials, such as wood, acoustic ceiling tiles, cardboard, newspaper, cotton, and gypsum wallboard."

    "The Cleveland outbreak of PH/H was discovered by Dr. Dorr G. Dearborn, Ph.D, M.D., a pulmonary specialist at the Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland. Previously, this disease had been primarily diagnosed in livestock that had eaten moldy fodder. Of the 34 cases in Cleveland, 29 of the infants were African Americans, and all were from a contiguous seven-zip-code area of the city. Investigations of several years of coroner records from the same area indicated that six cases of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) showed evidence of preexisting pulmonary bleeding, so they too may have died of PH/H. Since the Cleveland outbreak was first reported, at least 70 similar cases have been found from across the country, indicating a more widespread problem."

    http://www2.buildinggreen.com/articl...aths-cleveland
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 11-18-2014 at 06:12 AM.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  23. #23
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    The seeing of black mold does not necessarily mean that the mold is confined to visible surfaces only. The extent of black mold must be investigated. IF black mold is confined to visible surfaces then cleaning may be appropriate. In any event the medical symptoms provided seem to indicate that the mold is not confined to easily cleaned surfaces only it may be airborne.

    Get out of the dwelling, report the condition of the dwelling to the local authorities charged with inspecting multifamily structures. Engage a attorney.

    http://blackmold.awardspace.com/blac...ycotoxins.html

    https://www.google.com/search?q=blac...ed=0CAYQ_AUoAQ
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

  24. #24
    Regular Member Redbaron007's Avatar
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    Cloudcroft summarized a great deal...very good info. Based upon the pictures you have an issue with moisture. Sure, living in high humidity areas is a problem, however, proper venting will go a long way in remediating this issue. Why do you have so much moisture in the dwelling? Find this out and you will go a long way in cleaning up your problem.

    Mold is everywhere...sometimes in small amounts, sometimes in large amounts. Everyone responds to the concentration differently. Mold basically grows where this is moisture/heat. If there is no moisture, it won't grow. So if you see it, there is moisture. Eliminate the moisture and your problem will go away.
    "I can live for two weeks on a good compliment."
    ~Mark Twain

  25. #25
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    OP has not posted since the first post ... hope he's OK.

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