Safely Identifying and Removing Black Mold

Black mold is known to be a cause of illnesses like bronchitis and asthma and has also been responsible for many infant deaths due to respiratory bleeding. It is known to be found in water-damaged buildings where fungal growth is present and the indoor air quality is poor.

Mold Prevention

Mold can be prevented if the appropriate measures are taken. The first step is gaining control of the house’s humidity. There should also be sufficient ventilation in the house, especially in the kitchen and bathroom(s). Mold can also be prevented by using mold-killing products. Finally, carpet should not be used in any bathroom as mold favors damp areas and the carpet is difficult to dry in such an area.

Testing & Identifying Mold

While there are several test kits available for purchase to homeowners and tenants, the best way to identify the mold is to contact a licensed inspector. The inspector will be able to diagnose a black mold problem if the house has one. The inspector will also search many areas of the home that include but are not limited to inner walls, drywall, carpet tiles, floorboards, and ceiling tiles.

Mold Removal

Before the toxic mold is removed, the root cause must be found and fixed or the problem will continue. The area should be disinfected with bleach (one cup of bleach per gallon of water) unless the problem is more internal such as on carpeting. If this is the case, the affected items must be replaced. Never scrape black mold and always use a respiratory mask, and protective clothing on skin and eyes.

Mold Cleanup

First, only clean one affected area at a time and seal off the room that is being cleaned. Next, dampen the affected area with water. Dry areas of mold are more likely to produce airborne spores when cleaned. Clean the damp affected area and other dry surrounding areas with a disinfectant such as bleach, and then completely dry everything that has been cleaned. Do not reuse items that have been visibly destroyed.

Mold Symptoms

Symptoms of those affected by black mold are similar to symptoms of the common cold and flu. They may include but are not limited to coughing, sneezing, a sore throat, itchy or scratchy eyes, hives, rashes, lethargy, and depression. If any of these symptoms become present in someone who may be in contact with the toxic black mold, a physician should be consulted immediately as serious health effects can occur with frequent exposure to toxic mold.

Black Mold Health Effects

Black mold can cause many terrible health effects for those who have experienced prolonged exposure. These health effects may include Chronic sinus infections, complications with asthma, cancer, miscarriage in pregnant women, depression/dementia, frequent nosebleeds, open sores, spleen pain, unexplained fevers, and muscle pain. Anyone experiencing these effects should seek treatment and assistance in ridding their home of toxic mold. Even if the symptoms are treated, they will continue unless the mold is removed completely from the home.

Preventing Water Damage During The Winter

Water damage can be kept at bay even with the sudden influx of ice. Water damage during winter is usually very sneaky, as the frozen water works its way slowly into your structure. The damage can be extensive.

Preventing Water Damage During Winter

Below are some of the precautionary measures you need to take:

  • Insulate the home
  • Ensure that there is sufficient ventilation
  • Clear walkways
  • Install snow shields
  • Install gutter screens

The first thing you need to do is to insulate your home. This does not mean simply insulating the pipes— it should include all openings, cracks, and gaps that can attract water and frost, including the doors, windows, exhaust ducts, attic openings and more. These gaps expand with the accumulation of frost, making them bigger than they were. They also jack up your utility bills, due to heating. While you seal off your home, you also need to ensure that you proper ventilation in and around your home. You also need adequate air flow for which you may need to consult with a professional. The ice that forms on trees weakens tree branches which can fall and damage your property, cars or people. If you live in an ice storm-prone area, the frozen water could form major layers, causing even more destruction. We recommend you to trim the trees in and around your home, right before winter.

Next task, clear the walkways; the ice could not only cause a fall but also begin to slowly access your basement and lead to water damage. Snow shields are great since they prevent water from backing up on your roof, hence no water leaks. Gutter screens are also an important addition; they help prevent leaves and debris from accumulating. They also protect the gutters from getting damaged.

Inspecting Your Roof for Signs of Winter Damage

The roof is one of the most affected parts of your home during winter. You need to closely monitor your roof for damage during the wet season, by looking for the following signs:

Ceiling discoloration or water stains

  • HVAC leaks
  • Damp walls
  • Wall Cracks
  • Deteriorated ventilation pipes

You need to inspect the home’s interior and exterior as well. For that purpose, you need to carefully look for changes in the roofing tiles, gutters, and shingles. Besides that, inspect your home for signs of leakage. Remember, this kind of water damage is slow so you need to be extra cautious with spotting the signs of leakage.

Do You Have A Leaky Smelly Toilet

We all spend a lot of time in the bathroom and some of it is in the toilet. In our house, the actual toilet is the last place that gets any real attention or affection from anyone. It is just a practical part of life to be used when necessary and otherwise ignored.

When Something Goes Wrong

If your toilet ceases to perform as it should someone has to do something. If that someone is you do you know what to do? What if your toilet springs a leak. It can be messy particularly if it is not attended to quite quickly. The chinaware can suffer. The floor can get marked and in general, the malfunction of the toilet is a real nuisance.

If the leak is caused by some sort of stoppage it is obviously necessary to unclog it.

The famous plunger is the most used and often the most useful instrument for unclogging. However, it also can fail.

The Plunger

First, of course, there has to be enough water for the plunger to be effective. If not, all the hard work in the world won’t move anything. So it is necessary to make sure there is enough water in the bowl for it to be effective and hopefully dislodge the blockage.

If the plunger doesn’t manage to work even though you have added water so there was enough, the next best step is to use the toilet auger.

The Toilet Auger

I didn’t know what one was but after being introduced to it I have been able to move blockages from time to time without having to call the plumber and let him embarrass me by showing me how easy it was to accomplish the task with evaded my abilities so comfortably.

The auger is basically a wire apparatus which will let you penetrate and then dislodge the blockage. My advice, if you don’t have the expertise, is to ask the person who sells it to you what it is and how to use it. You will find that it will truly work very often quite easily. I am not going to give an auger lesson here but merely mention that exists and no well-equipped toilet fixing person should be without one.

The Toilet Seat

I don’t know about you, nor should I in these intimate circumstances, but to me, one of the most irritating and frustrating things that can exist is to go to the toilet, have a seat and discover that the seat is cracked. It is most uncomfortable and for me can easily interfere with the reason I came in the first place.

It is a very easy thing to do to replace it. All you need to do is make sure you know the actual size (there are a very few variations) and go buy a new one. Anyone, even I, can install a new seat quite easily and quickly.

My own personal preference, which I discovered by accident when I was trying to buy a nice one that would please my wife, is the padded seat. Somehow the added comfort and feeling of affection that one feels when sitting on a padded toilet seat is difficult to describe unless you have experienced it yourself.


When you finish with the necessary repairs to the toilet, treat yourself and your family to a padded toilet seat and you will find that you are suddenly more popular than you have been in ages.