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A Brief History Of Black Mold (Stachybotrys Chartarum)

Given all the recent news stories and hysteria about Black mold, many people believe that this problem sprung into being overnight. But, just as with anything that exists, there is a history behind the origins of this household health threat. Here is a brief history of black mold throughout the ages.

Black Mold in Biblical Times

Yes. Black mold goes back at least that far. In fact, in the Old Testament Book of Leviticus the Bible gives instructions on how to eliminate toxic mold. It says that any house with “defiling” mold should be taken away from civilization and that anyone exposed to it should bathe thoroughly. Here is an excerpt from Leviticus 14: “The priest is to order the house to be emptied before he goes in to examine the mold, so that nothing in the house will be pronounced unclean. After this the priest is to go in and inspect the house.” Not quite the sophisticated methods we use today but it does show a very early acknowledgement of the problem by our forbearers.

Toxic Black Mold in Eastern Europe (1800s – 1900s)

Perhaps the person most closely associated with discovering toxic black mold in the modern era is Carl Joseph Corda, a Czech mycologist. Corda first described poisonous black mold in 1837 after he found it growing on the walls of his house in Prague. Later in the 1920’s, many Russian farm animals died from what appeared to be a mysterious disease that has since been linked to the presence of toxic black mold. At that time, the disease was called stachybotryotoxicosis.

Black Mold in Modern Timesblack mold

Toxic mold was first recognized as being a danger to human health in the 1940s. It caused disease in Russian farm workers who had been exposed to black mold from farm animals and their surrounding environment. The farm workers suffered from the same afflictions that were seen in their animals such as bleeding, fever, fatigue and respiratory difficulties. A few victims of black mold exposure even died at the time. Additionally, black mold is so toxic that it has been used as a biological weapon staring back in the Vietnam War. At the time, it was the key component to “Yellow Rain”. (This was a concentration of T-2 trichothecene mycotoxins which was harvested from toxic black mold.

Today

We’ve come a long way in our knowledge of black mold. We have technologies that can detect it in its most minute form. We have processes that can eliminate it and prevent it from becoming a danger to human health. Our company does mold cleanup Thousand in Oaks, in the aftermath of flood events. But mold remediation is only one component of what we do. We also do fire damage and smoke repair as well.

6 Holiday Fire Safety Tips: How to Stay Safe While you Celebrate

There are many in-home fire hazards over the Christmas season such as candles, fairy lights, trees, etc. In fact, statistics gathered by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) show that 30% of all home fire deaths occur during the months of December, January, and February. To help you protect your family this year, we have made this list of 6 things you can do to prevent home fires during the holiday season!

  • Christmas tree fire hazards: If you buy a natural Christmas tree make sure that it is fresh and green. To indicate this, the needles should be hard to pull away from the branches. If you purchase a natural tree that is brown and has needles that pull apart from the tree easily you are essentially placing a huge pile of kindling in your living room. Also, if you purchase an artificial tree – as many of us do – then purchase one that is labeled “fire resistant.”
  • Inspect your Christmas lights: Before plugging in your Christmas lights, inspect not only the bulbs but the strands as well. Throw away frayed or otherwise damaged wires and cracked/worn bulbs. Finally, make sure that you never overload the outlet you will be plugging your lights into.
  • Candle fires: What Christmas would be complete without warm, glowing candles? However, candles pose one of the greatest fire hazards of the season. Remember to extinguish candles before you go to sleep and to keep them far away from items they might ignite such as trees, decorations, curtains and furniture.
  • Space heaters: According to the US. Fire Administration (USFA), space heaters are behind 25% of all Christmas tree fires. Never place a space heater anywhere near your tree or near anything else that is flammable. Also, if you do use a space heater, make sure you buy one that has a safety cutoff feature to prevent overheating. holiday
  • Check your smoke detector batteries: Smoke detectors save lives. There is no doubt about it. Check the batteries in your smoke detector and test it before beginning your celebrations.
  • Cooking and baking: No holiday celebration would be complete without a feast. Just make sure to be extra careful when preparing those holiday meals as kitchen fires can start in an instant.

As experts in flood damage restoration in Thousand Oaks and water damage repair, we have seen all too often how the festive mood of Christmas can be ruined by one careless act. However, by following the above safety tips you can make it a truly wonderful time of year for all. And for more home fire safety tips visit the American Red Cross.

Ways to Prevent Condensation and Mold Growth on Your Windowsills

Mold forms on windowsills when moisture builds up around them from either condensation or from an airflow issue within your home. Either way it can be quite persistent as it tends to form on wood which is a porous material. Thus, it is easier to prevent mold buildup on windowsills than it is to remove it once it has established a beachhead in your home. Before you panic, read these helpful hints on how to identify mold around your windowsills and prevent it from returning in the future.

How to Identify Mold around Your Windows

Most people have trouble identifying mold growing around their windows. This is because mold often looks a lot like dust when it grows on the sill, joints, etc. Moreover, mold can be nearly the same color as your window frame depending on what kind of mold it is. You can generally spot mold that is not the same color of your window frame because it will make the area around it seem discolored. Finally, mold can damage wood window frames and threaten the health of your family.

Ways to Prevent Mold Growth around Your Window

As we said before, condensation and moisture issues – such as leaking windows – are major causes of mold buildup around the windowsill. Nevertheless, there are several ways you can prevent this kind of mold.

  • Increase the airflow: Keep the humidity in your home low using a dehumidifier. Also keep your doors and windows closed while using your air conditioner. This will reduce the amount of wet, warm air from circulating inside your home. Finally, you may also wish to use an exhaust fan in your kitchen to keep the moisture caused by the cooking process from building up around your windows.
  • Regularly remove condensation to prevent mold: Condensation is also a leading contributor to mold formation around windowsills. Be sure to clean your windows and to wipe away condensation as it forms. Warning: If you have a wood frame and mold has begun to form, it will not be possible to remove it using only bleach.window
  • Add caulk to the edges of your windows to prevent leaks: Caulk will help prevent leaks, insulate your home and save you money on your heating bills.
  • Keep your windows dry: Mold requires moisture to grow. Therefore, wash and dry your windows often in order to deprive mold of the fuel it needs to develop.

Our certified mold removal services cover windows, floors, walls, ceilings and basements too. We’re the area’s trusted mold remediation specialists. We are also experts in water damage restoration and water extraction carpet cleaning which can also help prevent and destroy mold anywhere in your home.

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