Mold isn’t always visually seen or easy to find. Here are some of the most common warning signs that may indicate there’s toxic mold growing inside your home.
Some of the more commons signs of mold growth are:
- Dormant allergies or allergic reactions
- Aggravated asthma or other lung problems
- Discolored walls
- Black spots
- An increase in negative health symptoms such as a fever or feeling itchy; usually these problems are associated with an increased consumption of medications such antihistamines
We’ll dive into some of these mold symptoms more to help teach you whether or not you need professional mold testing and mold removal or if you just need to take some precautionary steps to prevent mold spores from settling in your home.
What does Mold Smell Like?
Does mold smell? You bet it does. But what does mold smell like? And what does mildew smell like? Probably what you’d expect it to smell like, actually: earthy, damp, tangy — kind of like dirty socks or rotting wood. These unpleasant smells come from the microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOC) mold releases as it grows. Of course, different molds and mildews can have different smells to different people. If you notice that the air in your home has a unique smell that you can’t pinpoint, you might want to start looking for mold.
Quite often, constantly smelling a musty odor could be the one of the only mold signs that your home has. If you can smell mold there is likely mold under something or mold in something. Just because you can’t always see mold doesn’t mean mold problems aren’t there. A nasal assault of musty odors is almost always the first sign of mold growing somewhere in the house. Thoroughly inspect your entire home or purchase a mold test kit if you suspect you may have mold. If you can take care of it before it turns into a huge problem, you could save yourself some serious financial (and health-related) headaches later on.
Do you feel better when you’re away from home, but notice your allergies tend to flare up whenever you’re at home? Mold is a very common allergen that can exacerbate chronic problems in those affected by mold. It does not usually take much mold to trigger these allergies. If you are suffering from allergies while you’re at home, there’s a strong probability that there’s hidden mold somewhere inside your home. It can be behind walls, in the basement, under the carpet, in damp areas of the house, surrounding roof leaks or in an area that experiences high humidity. It can even grow in your home’s mattresses. Typical allergic reactions to harmful mold include a runny nose, inflamed eyes, nasal congestion and sneezing.
Visual Indicators of Mold Growth
Seeing mold is obviously a sign that you indeed have mold. Greenish black areas, slimy textures residue left by stachybotrys chartarum and even simple mildew are all signs that a mold inspection needs to be scheduled. However, what most people don’t realize is that smaller mold spores may look like ordinary dirt or soot, but it could actually be mold in disguise. And so, people ignore it.
If you visibly see mold growing, no matter how small, immediately take action. If common molds can grow somewhere so can black mold and toxic molds like that are slowly poisoning many across the country who don’t realize how important it is to remove mold. Whenever you find mold make sure either you, the homeowner, or your landlord, if you rent, remove it immediately because all mold species can present a major problem if there’s no remediation. Even seemingly insignificant mold patches can quickly spread.
The fact that you have mold means you have the right conditions for it to grow and proliferate to several other areas of your home. Sometimes mold is unusual looking and doesn’t look like classic mold. In fact, some mold can appear whitish and thread-like, while other kinds of mold look like tiny clusters of black spots. Mold can appear in various colors including black, white, gray-green, or grayish-brown. Sometimes the mold that grows behind vinyl wallpaper can look pinkish-purple or even orange.
Indications of Water Issues
If your home has ever had any issues with moisture, condensation or some other water problems, you can almost be certain that somewhere, mold has started to grow. Therefore, if you know you presently have water issues, or had them in the past, you probably have mold and should probably hire professional mold inspectors to make sure your home is safe.. Strong indications that you have mold due to water issues include discolored walls, ceilings, or floors along with any water stains. Visually seeing any of these signs means there are colonies of mold growing either behind or within these materials.
Other indicators of moisture issues are bubbling, cracking, or peeling wallpaper or paint. If you notice that your walls are warped, bulging, or bowed, it likely means that moisture has penetrated the surface. When hiring professional mold inspectors look for those who will give you realistic advice on how to prevent mold in trouble areas. Sometimes it’s as easy as buying a dehumidifier to get rid of extra moisture. A good inspector can give further advice.
If you’ve ever had flooding in your home, the chances that mold took root and started to grow are virtually 100%. Most likely whichever area the water stayed the longest, such as the basement, is where it probably exists. Floods frequently cause mold to grow in unforeseen or unexpected places where it’s visually undetected such as underneath flooring or behind walls. Anyone with past flooding should check their home warranty for damage coverage information.
Signs of Condensation
If you notice any condensation within your home, it means you have a great deal of moisture and therefore a strong sign you could certainly have mold growing somewhere. Condensation typically occurs on metal pipes or glass windows.
Water issues in a home are most often produced by a water leak. If you are presently aware that you have, or had, a water leak issue (think ceiling or pipe leaks) then you should realize that even if you can’t detect any visible signs of water damage, there’s still a very strong indication that your home has mold growing — most likely where the leak originated.
How Toxic Mold Symptoms Affect Your Health
Mold negatively affects your home’s air quality, can cause serious health problems, and should be taken equally seriously. If you suffer from any neurological symptoms like a short attention span, dizziness, headaches, memory loss, or have trouble concentrating, it could be a huge red flag that harmful, toxic mold is growing and continuing to spread throughout your home — and it’s literally poisoning you. It doesn’t matter if it’s visible mold or not; enough mold to cause health problems is a problem no matter what. Just like allergies, if you or your family’s toxic symptoms increase when you’re at home, you can almost be sure your home is carrying mold. Don’t wait; take action immediately before risking both the health of your home and family gets too far out of control, especially if you have children.