One of the responsibilities of homeownership is to keep your home in good condition. Mold is a threat that can be hard to detect if it’s not visible. It is also difficult to get rid of, particularly if it covers a large or inaccessible area. Check for these warning signs of mold in the home to find out if you have a problem that needs to be addressed.
Warning Signs of Mold: Mold Types
Knowing the common types of household mold is helpful in understanding what to look for. The three most prevalent types of mold are Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and Stachybotrys (black mold).
The first is commonly found on foods and within air conditioning systems. The second can be black or green and grows on painted surfaces, the backs of toilets, and fiberglass air ducts. It is non-toxic but can trigger common allergy symptoms. Black mold is the most dangerous. It releases spores while it is feeding on organic materials such as drywall, insulation, carpet, or sub-flooring that has been exposed to moisture.
1. Water Stains and Damage are Warning Signs
Mold thrives in damp conditions where condensation and water have accumulated over time. Unless the water damage was recent, gradual damage, like warped boards or stains on the ceilings, walls, and floors, is an indication that you may have a mold problem. Bubbles and cracks in wallpaper or paint also indicate moisture in the area which can be a warning sign of mold in the home.
Homeowners may mistake mold growth for dirt or discoloration on the walls. However, different molds appear in different forms. Sometimes it has an appearance of furry blooms of black, gray, or green; other times it is streaks of white. Investigate any discoloration to learn if it is one of the signs of mold in the home.
3. Musty Odor is a Warning Sign of Mold in the Home
If your house has a persistent musty smell, this is a clear sign that mold is growing somewhere. You may be so acclimated to your home that you cannot decide if it smells musty, so ask a friend over to help locate signs of mold in the home. Narrow in on the source of the smell with a professional mold test.
4. Respiratory Problems, Allergies, and Other Health Issues
If you or a family member have breathing issues or allergies that disappear upon leaving the house and worsen when you return, you may have a problem with mold. These symptoms include coughing, congestion, itchy eyes, sneezing, flu-like symptoms, and difficulty breathing.
If your health issues are truly mold-related, the mold problem itself is likely already advanced. Limit your time in the home until the mold problem is remedied. Knowing the warning signs of mold in the home can save your health and reduce mitigation expenses if you catch the problem quickly.