Homeowners have enough issues to deal with when it comes to cleaning and repairs. Most of us do our best in maintaining our biggest investment, our home, to keep it in good condition inside and out. Some problems are hard to spot, like the presence of mold.
Every time you open a window or go outside, mold can be ushered in through the air or by attaching itself to your clothing and shoes. Once indoors, it can grow on the walls, carpeting, or upholstery. Mold is good at reproducing anywhere there is moisture.
Knowing how to identify mold in your home is crucial because of the structural and health problems it can cause. More issues are not what homeowners want. Early detection is key in preventing mold from spreading throughout your home.
What Is Mold?
Mold is a type of fungi that consists of tiny lightweight spores that travel through the air. Mold grows in humid, damp and dimly-lit areas like attics, basements, and bathrooms. It can also be found in areas where there is a leak in the roof, windows, or pipes.
Mold has a damp, musty scent; however, in general, the smell is not really the best way to determine if there is mold in your home. The appearance of mold is furry and sometimes dark in color. It can also be white, orange, or green specks. Rather than look for multi-colored spots in your home, identify moist areas and then look for possible signs of mold. Some areas and situations to focus on include:
- Warped or bulging walls
- Cracked or bubbling paint
- Discolored walls
- Laundry rooms
- Underneath kitchen sink
- Window Sills
- Underneath flooring
7 Signs Your Home Has Mold
Mold is usually easy to spot when you know what to look for. Below are some key warning signs that you might have mold in your home. Most of these signs are related to standing water or moisture that is left untreated.
Unusual OdorsYou may smell a musty odor in your home. The worse the smell the higher the possibility of mold growing in that location.
Water DamageUnattended water damage can lead to mold. Moisture creates an ideal environment for mold spores to thrive. If you see water stains or discoloration on the walls, you need to correct the water problem or call a professional.
Water LeaksIf there is a leak in your home, it can eventually lead to water damage as well as produce moist conditions where mold can grow. This can include a leaky pipe, washing machine, refrigerator, or water heater.
Visible Signs of Mold GrowthMold grows in various colors such as black, green, white, gray and brown. It can be visible on surfaces, but beware that mold can also be hidden behind walls, under floors, etc.
CondensationA lot of condensation means that there is a lot of moisture and high humidity in the home. There could potentially be a mold problem. Using a dehumidifier can reduce excess moisture.
RustCondensation can cause rusting in the home. If you notice rust on pipes you may have a higher moisture level and mold problems.
WarpingMaterials such as drywall and wood can warp if moisture is present. Warped walls may mean mold growth is present.
Controlling the Growth of Mold
The best way to control mold is to eliminate the excess moisture in your home. Reducing indoor humidity is one way to combat the growth of mold. Some tips for controlling mold growth include:
- Vent bathrooms, dryers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside
- Use air conditioners and dehumidifiers
- Increase ventilation and air circulation
- Use exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing and cleaning
- Check for leaks around the kitchen sink, refrigerator ice makers, and other sources of water. Repair if necessary.
- Dry wet areas within 24 hours to prevent mold growth.
Symptoms of Mold
Indoor mold can affect the health of those who are exposed to it. The elderly, children and those with respiratory problems are more susceptible than others to develop a mold-related illness. You or a family member may experience symptoms such as:
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Respiratory Issues
- Memory Loss
If you think your home may have a mold problem, contact a professional mold removal specialist right away. St. Louis Cleaning & Restoration offers safe, affordable, and effective mold inspection and treatment. Whether your home has experienced flooding from a severe storm or water damage from a leaky pipe, St. Louis Cleaning & Restoration has the proper equipment to handle jobs big and small. Contact us today for a free consultation.