10 March 2021

How To Identify Mold In Your Home And What To Do

Vasco Sousa on Unsplash

Mold is among the most detrimental elements in today’s world. By definition, it is a fungus type that grows in clusters and only becomes visible when it starts reproducing. Most people only appreciate the effects of mold spores on the health of people with allergies, but the spores can affect even those without allergic issues. Moreover, it causes structural damage to your home when not managed in time.

All homes contain the key ingredients that support mold growth. These include darkness, warmth, oxygen and some moisture. Unfortunately, identifying mold in your home is not so easy. To ease the identification of mold so that you can promptly deal with it, here are some signs you can look for.

Visible Mold Spores

Mold spores are normally visible as green, black or white spots, somewhat like discoloration on sections of your ceilings, floors, walls and furniture. The spores are velvety, rough or fuzzy depending on the mold type and the area of growth. In some cases, the mold spores look like dripping green slime. Unfortunately, visible mold spores are often indications of a serious mold infestation because the visible sections are only the tip of the iceberg.

House Occupants Have Lingering Flu-like or Cold Symptoms

If the occupants of your home are constantly dealing with cold and flu-like symptoms whose exact cause you cannot pinpoint, mold might be the culprit. It is tough to detect the spores when mold formation has just started behind your walls or in places with leaks. Even so, if people do not have flu-like symptoms when out of the house and only get them within your walls, this should lead you to investigate your property’s mold infestation. In a few cases, people experience frequent or chronic nosebleeds when exposed to mold spores. 

Worsening Allergic Symptoms

When exposed to mold-infested interiors, people with a pre-existing allergic respiratory condition often have a flare-up of their condition. For instance, if you are asthmatic, you might deal with unexplained breathing issues when you are indoors with no clear cause. The same is true for those with conditions that compromise the capacity of their lungs, like lung cancer and emphysema.

A Damp or Musty Indoor Smell

Most mold species have distinct odors. As such, it might be difficult to pinpoint a specific smell as a pointer of your property’s infestation by the fungus. Even so, you will usually notice that your indoors have a musty earthy smell even when you have scrubbed them clean. It is advisable to investigate any musty smell in your indoors so that you can rule out mold infestation.

Itchy Skin

Most property owners know that mold spores thrive in wet areas but do not know that damp clothing also forms a good breeding ground for the fungus. If you often leave your clothes on the floor or hang your laundry on an indoor rack that does not leave them adequately dry, this could mean coming into contact with damp clothing that harbors mold spores. The spores, when in contact with the skin in susceptible individuals, cause itching that can lead to secondary infections from the skin lesions it causes.

Bubbly Walls

Mold infestation sometimes causes the formation of bubbles on your walls. The bubbling is quite evident in the sections exposed to a lot of water. Therefore, if you suspect you have mold in your home, check the walls in your basement and those around bathrooms or toilets. If you see bubbling here and there are other signs of a mold infestation in your home, this might be a pointer to the presence of the fungus.

In most cases, homeowners reach for soap, water and bleach along with other cleaning products touted as the best for getting rid of mold when they notice the signs above. Even so, mold spores are very tiny and easy to spread when disturbed. As such, DIY cleaning might worsen your home’s mold infestation because it primarily spreads spores.

Bottom Line

The best solution for getting rid of mold in your home is hiring a professional mold remediation company. The experts will come armed with the right tools for testing the presence of mold before they embark on mold damage restoration. Testing for mold helps the experts know the extent of infestation in your home and the mold type they will be handling. With this information, they can employ the right remediation measures.

Once the experts have successfully tackled your mold infestation, ensure you prevent the fungus from re-invading your property. You can do this by ensuring your rooms are adequately ventilated, cleaning spills promptly, installing dehumidifiers to lower the amount of indoor moisture and fixing drainage issues. You can also use mildew and mold-resistant paint for places that are highly prone to mold infestation like bathrooms, basements and toilets.

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