Are you worried that there may be mold in your home? If so, it is vital that you identify any areas of concern as mold is very unhealthy for you. In fact, exposure to a large amount of mold and spores can lead to serious respiratory issues. Not to mention, you may be allergic to it, and this can exacerbate the situation too.
Mold inside your home can create a bad smell in the home and become unsightly, especially when it appears on the walls. However, the problems that it can cause are much worse than that. Moisture is required for active mold growth.
Getting rid of mold is important to keep inhabitants of the home healthy and save the fixture structurally. But, before you can remove it, you must know whether or not you have it and where it is.
Here are some warning signs that you have mold in your home.
Asthma or Allergy Flare Ups
As we mentioned above, mold can cause allergies and can cause respiratory issues in individuals, whether or not they are allergic and whether or not they have asthma. If you have noticed that you are experiencing allergy flare ups or asthma flare ups, then it is likely that you have mold in your home. Some of the symptoms you may experience include stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, fatigue, and coughing.
One of the tell-tale signs that there may be a mold problem in your home is that the wallpaper or paint on your wall starts to peel or bubble. This is due to moisture getting behind the paint or wallpaper. Typically, if the moisture has affected the paint like this, mold is probably present. However, it is possible to catch and rectify the issue in time where mold will not have the chance to develop.
If you have noticed that your walls are warped, then moisture has definitely affected them and mold is likely to be present. Again, act swiftly to correct the issue and identify any mold that may be there.
Funny Smelling AC Filters
Have you noticed a musty smell coming from your air vents when the air kicks on? Or have you noticed some black fuzzy spots on your Ac’s filter when you change it? If so, it could be mold.
Large Water Damage Event
Did your home experience a large water damage event recently? If so, it is possible that the water was not completely dried up and that mold has started to form due to retained moisture. Unfortunately, moisture can seep into your walls, wood, and home’s structure.
Since mold feeds on moisture, any retained moisture will lead to mold growth and it can quickly get out of control. It is important to make sure that ALL water and moisture is cleaned and dried from your home.
Just as your AC can emit a musty smell, you will notice that mold growth in your home can lead to a bad smell. You may notice that this smell comes from a specific room or a specific area within the home. For example, your walls, floor, sunroom, or even underneath a counter.
If you do smell this, it is most likely that mold is already present and growing within the space. You may even notice spots along the walls or on the flooring. These spots can appear black, green, or white.
A mold or musty smell coming from a specific room could mean that there is a foundation crack that is allowing water to get through. It is important to have these issues addressed to avoid further mold problems.
While you may not think that your clothes would be an indication of mold in your home, they can be. Mold can grow on your clothing’s fabric and you may notice that the clothes have black spots on them or that they feel wet or slimy when you place your hand on them.
Check the Water Heater
Moisture is the culprit and we have said this before. If you have an area within your home that is prone to moisture, you want to keep your eye out for mold. For example, check out your water heater. This area is prone to mold growth as the conditions are usually right for it.
Since your water heater is often in a closet or in a place that is difficult to reach within the home, mold often goes unnoticed by homeowners. Leaks can and do happen with water heaters, so it is important to be vigilant and keep an eye out for this. You also want to look out for any condensation that may be present on the walls or ground near and around the heater.
Rugs and carpets within your home can quickly retain moisture and then become a breeding ground for mold. Even something as simple as a small spill will become a problem, if not cleaned up correctly.
If you have spilled something, you want to get it cleaned immediately. You should keep your eye out for any spots to develop on the carpet. You may see the mold spots on the surface of the carpet or you may see them on the underside of the carpet on its backing.
To avoid mold issues with your rugs and carpets, you should have them professionally cleaned several times a year.
Problems with Your Furniture
It seems that mold can cause problems just about anywhere, huh? It really can. In fact, mildew and mold are attracted to wood and leather, as they both will retain the moisture. Mold spores can breed within foam and upholstered furniture.
You should frequently inspect your furniture for any spores, fuzz, or spots that may indicate that mold is present.
Tiles That Are Tarnished
Gunk caked up on your bathroom tiles or within the grout of your tiles is a strong indication of mildew and mold. Since your bath and shower are home to water, mold and mildew can quickly form here and continue to breed.
Darkened or black grout is the first sign that there is an issue. To avoid this from happening, you want to make sure that you wipe down your shower stalls and tubs after you take a bath or shower. You want to avoid hanging up any wet towels or clothes in your shower or tub too. Lastly, clean your shower curtain regularly and replace it when needed.
Where Should I Look for Mold?
While you want to keep your eye out for mold in all types of places, the most common places to regularly check include:
- Caulk or grout
- Attics and basements
- Underneath sinks and vanities
- Door frames and window sills
Can I Remove Mold as a DIY Project?
It is not recommended that you remove mold from your home as a DIY project, especially if there is an extensive mold infestation within your home. DIY solutions for mold are only effective if you catch the mold problem early on and many treatments that people think work, actually do not. For example, many believe that bleach will kill mold and get rid of it, but this is actually not true. In fact, bleach is too weak to kill off the mold spores themselves.
Just as bleach does not work, neither do traditional household cleaners. However, fungicides will work, but only if there is no mold remaining once cleaned up. Typically, homeowners cannot clean up all remnants of the mold on their own, even though it may appear that they have at first glance.
It is crucial and recommended that homeowners work with a professional to remove mold from their home. Mainly because mold spores can be activated and released into the air. When this happens, the mold spores will relocate and cause mold issues in another place within your home. In addition, you will find that if mold spores do become loose, they can be inhaled and cause serious respiratory issues.
Professionals are ideal for mold removal because they can discover all the mold that is within your home. There will be no stone unturned, so you will know exactly where mold is present. They also have all the proper equipment needed to remove the mold from your home including the home’s structure and even your furniture.
The pros are also able to locate the source of the mold, which, if you have mold, means there is a source. It can sometimes be nearly impossible for homeowners to find these sources. If you do choose to hire a professional for the job, you can rest assured that they will eliminate all the mold for you.
As a homeowner, you want to make sure you keep your eye out for any mold problems and also act quickly if you do suspect mold growth within your home. Prompt action can stop mold from becoming a problem.