Did you know that in a study conducted a few years ago, the University of Arizona made a startling discovery about molds?
That is, 100 percent of homes have mold present somewhere. Yes, all homes have molds.
But, don’t panic just yet. You don’t have to call a mold removal service immediately. Mold within manageable levels is fine – after all, a mold-free home is impossible. When the infestation has become widespread, that’s the time you should worry.
On this page:
- What is Purple Mold?
- What Are Signs of Mold in Your Basement and House?
- What Causes It?
- Is Purple Mold Dangerous?
- How to Get Rid of It
- Preventing Purple Mold
- Getting Quotes from Pros
Molds come in different varieties, with some types more harmful than the others. They also come in different colors – you have pink mold, purple mold, orange mold, the dreaded black mold, and so many others. You may even find black mold growing on your roof!
But for this article, we will focus on the purple mold – something a lot of us may not be all that familiar with but may have encountered at some point.
What is Purple Mold?
Eye-catchingly attractive. This is not something you would likely associate with molds. But if you ever see any purplish mold on the walls of your home, this may be one of your initial reactions… before remembering that there are some types of mold that are toxic and it may be one of them.
Then again, all mold should still be treated as such.
Purple mold is something that you can find behind walls, often underneath vinyl and wallpaper, and on wood. Because it mostly grows in areas hidden from plain sight, homeowners are often shocked to discover that the specks of purplish mold on their wallpaper they thought of as a simple issue is a lot worse in reality.
And if you see purple mold on any wooden surface, it is most likely the Phanerochaete Crassa type, which is known to cause wood rot. If it affects the wooden frames of your home, it will weaken its entire structural integrity. You don’t want to see any part of your home come crashing down while you are in the middle of entertaining guests.
What Are Signs of Mold in Your Basement and House?
Did you know that by using only your senses, you can detect the possibility of having mold at home?
No, you don’t have to be bitten by a radioactive spider to do so.
What you need to do is be aware of the different warning signs that would indicate the presence of mold – this may help you confirm if what you are seeing is not just residue but actual mold.
If this is something that you are totally clueless about, we’re here to help you out.
Here is a list of the most common signs indicating that you might have a mold issue at home:
- There is a weird, musty smell – if you smell something pungent, reminiscent of wet socks or rotting leaves, in one area of your home that doesn’t seem to go away no matter how many times you spray Febreze there, chances are it is due to mold.
- A flooded basement doesn’t surprise you – mold will thrive on dark and moist places, and the basement is the best candidate for it. If you have leaks in your basement and it also gets flooded whenever it rains, there’s a high chance that mold is lurking somewhere
- Your grout seems to have some dark stains – because it gets frequently exposed to water and doesn’t dry easily, mold can easily grow anywhere on your bathroom, especially the grout. But then again, it can also be mildew.
- You have a drywall or wallpaper that is peeling – these two will normally start peeling off due to water exposure. And when it starts doing so, there is a big chance that mold is also starting to grow behind it. All that water plus the dark space? Hello, home for molds.
- The walls or ceilings seem to have bubbles or cracks or have started warping – these things can indicate leaks and other water issues, which will ultimately lead to molds, if they haven’t started growing at all.
- You have asthma that doesn’t seem to go away, or you actually develop it – mold spores can worsen respiratory issues, especially asthma. In fact, their presence increases the chance of asthma attacks and they normally last a while. And if you suddenly develop it, mold may be the cause.
- Allergies have become second-nature to you – if for some reason you keep sneezing and experience allergic reactions every now and then, and you can’t pinpoint exactly what’s causing it, mold you have yet to discover is the likely source.
- The house is new – surprisingly, newly constructed homes are also a perfect candidate for mold growth. This is because they tend to be constructed tightly, limiting natural ventilation. As a result, the entire space tends to be damp and humid.
- You see water stains – normally indicative of leaks, water stains can also signal the presence of mold growing behind your ceiling or drywall.
- It feels itchy when you wear certain clothes – it’s not common knowledge that mold can also grow on clothes, particularly those that don’t dry out well. So, if you have a habit of throwing your clothes in your laundry basket without properly drying them out, don’t be surprised if you keep having the urge to scratch
- You keep getting sick, with almost all of them involving your respiratory system – it’s not just allergies and asthma that can get triggered with mold exposure. Your existing respiratory illness or its symptoms have a high chance of getting worse due to your constant exposure to mold.
- Mold is visible – mold in its early stages tend to grow unnoticed. Once you start seeing them on your walls, it indicates that they have been around for some time already.
Of course, these are not the only signs that you need to watch out for – they are just the most common and easily noticeable. Unless you already know how to actually identify mold, it would involve professionals to confirm if your hunch is correct.
What Causes It?
Mold doesn’t just appear out of nowhere, like magic. It will only thrive when mold spores meet certain conditions. And if you were paying close attention while reading, you probably have a clue what these conditions are.
Yes, mold will grow when the airborne mold spores find an environment that has the right temperature, is kept moist, and has a food source.
To be specific, mold will grow in these conditions:
- In a place with temperatures ranging from 40 to 100 ˚F
- Has organic matter for it to feed on
- Spaces that are damp, moist, where condensation is present, or have a humidity of 70% or more
- Dark areas
- Has oxygen available
- Ventilation is poor, which is one of the reasons why roof vents are installed
Moisture is the biggest factor to mold growth, that’s why you always see them in a moist environment. The corners of your walls are especially prone to mold growth, since these spots do not have good air circulation.
Is Purple Mold Dangerous?
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but purple mold is generally considered dangerous. More often than not, purplish mold is either Phanerochaete Crassa or Gibberella, with the latter closely associated to the toxic pink mold Fusarium known to produce mycotoxins. The Phoma glomerata is also another type of mold that can be purple in color, although it is less dangerous than the other two types of mold.
Because there are different types of mold present, identifying which ones are growing behind your wallpaper will be much more difficult. This is because they often appear purple when wallpaper is involved, making people mistake it for purple mold. In this scenario, it’s not just purple mold that you may be dealing with – all types of mold are actually suspect.
But no matter what species of purple mold is present in your home, you need to treat it as if it were hazardous. In fact, this mindset is something you need to have for all types of mold.
How to Get Rid of It
Molds in general, not just any purplish mold, require immediate removal. You might scratch your head and think that it’s another added expense for you, especially if you have confirmed its presence in your home. Don’t think of it as an unnecessary expense – think of it as you investing in your home and the health of everyone living in it.
If you managed to catch and discover its growth while it is in its early stages or has not yet become widespread, you can breathe a sigh of relief. You can attempt a mold removal in your home, as long as the infestation is confined to a small portion.
In particular, only try and remove molds by yourself if its size does not exceed 10 square feet. Otherwise, you have to call for backup and get the help of professional mold removal services.
You’re probably familiar with the most common way of removing mold, but we’ll add some more alternatives that you can try out, if you want using strong chemicals as your last resort. Read on to find out, although our recommendation of getting in touch with pros still stands.
A lot of homeowners use bleach in attempts to remove mold growth, and for a good reason. Bleach is a very strong chemical capable of killing mold, as well as removing most discolorations resulting from it, such as those found in grout and caulk. And because of its strength, it also has the capability of eliminating any bacteria as well.
If you’ve handled bleach, which is most likely, you know how strong its smell is. But, did you know that its fumes are also dangerous to you and the environment? This is why you need to keep all your windows open when you use it.
Not only that, mixing bleach with ammonia or anything that has it as an ingredient is a recipe for disaster – it will produce noxious fumes that can have fatal consequences when anyone is exposed to it for prolonged periods.
When using bleach for mold removal, you need to dilute it with water first. You should combine water and bleach, with water having a greater proportion in the solution, and use it on non-porous surfaces. But if you will use it on porous ones, like drywalls and wood, you need to add detergent to the solution.
You can either spray it over the surface with the mold, or use a rag dipped in the solution and wipe over the surface. Allow it to soak the mold for around 5 minutes or longer, then use a rag, brush, or any other abrasive tool to gently scrub the mold away. Afterwards, wipe the surface clean to remove the residue.
Do note that mold still has a chance of growing back after some time if you use bleach.
Think of it as the milder version of bleach. Hydrogen peroxide is much safer to use, although the effect is not as strong as bleach. It also has the ability kill not just mold but also viruses and microbes as well – just not as quickly or effectively. Unlike bleach, it does not have any smell.
You can pour undiluted 3% hydrogen peroxide over the mold and let it sit for 10 minutes or more before brushing it away. For stubborn molds, you can use the 10% hydrogen peroxide or make a solution of hydrogen peroxide with either baking soda or vinegar in equal amounts.
Hydrogen peroxide also works with both porous and non-porous surfaces, as well as fabrics.
Who would have thought that something you can find in your kitchen can be a mold killer? Its high pH level of 8 will not only kill mold but it will also prevent it from re-growing. It also doesn’t have any smell and is environment-friendly, making it a great option when it comes to mold removal.
Unfortunately, you need a lot of elbow grease when using baking soda when dealing with mold, since it will not easily remove it. You can also use it on both porous and non-porous surfaces, although it may leave a residue on porous ones since it doesn’t dry fast.
To use this, you can either combine a cup of water, half a cup of baking soda, and 1 tbsp of liquid detergent, or just add ½ to ¼ tbsp of baking soda to water in a spray bottle. Mix them up and spray the moldy surface and use something abrasive for its removal. Clean the surface and spray it again with the baking soda solution to discourage mold from growing in the same spot.
Because it is an acid, vinegar is capable of killing mold by breaking down its structure. But even if it is an acid, it is still safer to use than bleach – you just have to put up with its strong smell.
Use it with a rag or directly spray over the surface that has mold. Leave it alone for around 10 to 15 minutes, or even an hour for hard-to-remove ones, before scrubbing and wiping the surface clean using a rag that is slightly wet.
Do note that it is recommended that you leave some residue of the vinegar on the surface, as this leftover vinegar can will prevent mold from growing back.
Make sure to apply the distilled vinegar pure, since diluting it will make it ineffective. While you can use it on any surface, don’t use it too much on porous ones. Its acidity might damage the surface you are treating.
Just like baking soda, borax has a high pH level that prevents new mold from growing and old ones from surviving. It is also cheap, non-toxic, and doesn’t have any noxious fumes. You can also use it to kill not just mold but also germs and bacteria.
Although it can be used on any surface, you need to be careful when using it on porous materials that act like a sponge – the water it absorbs and retains may cause various issues later on.
The ideal mix is a gallon of water with a cup of borax. Apply it over the surface and use a brush or other abrasive materials to remove it, making sure to wipe it clean afterwards. You don’t have to rinse the area if you want to prevent new mold from growing.
Whatever solution you want to use, just make sure that you are well protected. This means wearing sleeved shirts, gloves, goggles that don’t have holes for spores to enter, and other protective gear, and making sure that the area is well-ventilated when you start removing mold. Even if you use the safer means, you still have to deal with mold and its spores, that’s why you still need to protect yourself. As always, safety first.
And again, a severe mold problem is not an open invitation for you to flex your muscles and say “challenge accepted!” It is only when the infestation is still at a manageable level that you can DIY its removal.
Preventing Purple Mold
No matter how much you clean your home, mold growth will reign supreme if you are unable to eliminate excess moisture. This is the major culprit that promotes mold growth in any home.
The easiest way to stop mold from rearing its ugly head is by regulating the moisture present. It’s not limited to fixing water leaks or wiping your entire house dry all day every single day, this also means controlling the level of humidity inside your home.
But not to worry, this is a relatively easy thing to do. Just make sure to follow these tips and you can prevent the infestation of not just purple mold but also pink, orange, black, red, or basically all kinds of mold:
- Regularly clean and disinfect your home, including your furniture made of fabric and wood
- Immediately dry up and clean any spills or wet areas you see
- Fix all leaks on your home asap, especially in areas where it can promote mold growth, such as the roof leaks, ceiling, and your basement
- Avoid placing furniture made of fabric and carpets in areas that tend to have a lot of moisture or high humidity
- If painting your home, make sure to add mold-inhibitors to help prevent mold from growing on walls and other painted surfaces
- Do some regular maintenance on your roof and roof gutters, as blockages and other issues can contribute to mold growth, since rain will cause mold growth.
- Make sure that the drainage lines and systems in your home are in good condition and do not hold up water
- In case of flooding, clean up as soon as you can and allow all areas that got wet to completely dry up before returning your stuff to their proper places
- All items that got wet should also be dried up first and thoroughly checked if mold has started to grow on them
- If you discovered that your stuff has become a breeding ground for mold and there’s no chance of saving it, just toss it away
- Monitor humidity levels in your home by getting a humidity meter. Make sure that the humidity level sits between 40 to 60 percent only to ensure the highest quality of air
- Use a dehumidifier if needed
- If you see constant condensation on a cold surface, such as pipes, cover it up with insulation
- Allow air to circulate well in your home by opening doors and windows when possible
- Have adequate ventilation, especially in rooms that are frequently exposed to water. This means getting an exhaust fan installed in your bathroom and kitchen
- Don’t toss your damp clothes immediately to your laundry basket. Allow it to dry first
- If you have concrete floors, get a vapor barrier installed or place area rugs instead of carpets
- Check your indoor plants for signs of mold
- If you have drip trays, regularly remove the water it has collected. Don’t allow water to settle there for prolonged periods
Moisture is something that you need to focus on if you want to keep mold from becoming a headache in your home. While it is something that can never be completely eliminated, you can take measures to make sure that it doesn’t reach dangerous levels.
By following our tips, the notion of having a mold infestation in your home will be a thing of the past.
Getting Quotes from Pros
If the idea of dealing with the mold infestation in your home is something that you can no longer handle, or it has become such a big problem for you, it may be high time for you to admit defeat and get a professional involved.
You might ask yourself: “where am I going to find a competent one? And how sure am I that I won’t get ripped off, especially if it is my first time dealing with this issue?”
You’re in luck – we will help you out with that!
All you have to do is fill out our form and you can receive up to four quotes from different contractors that are highly skilled to do the job.
After that, just sit back and wait for the quotes of contractors located within your area.
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