The thought of having mold somewhere in the home is quite unsettling for most people. Mold is associated with bacteria and illness. No one wants to think of that lurking around in the house.
Not all mold is dangerous, but it is still a good idea to know the signs of mold in your house and how to prevent it or get rid of it should it become a problem.
Read on to learn 6 signs of mold that you should be aware of.
Where Does Mold Come From?
Mold has existed for millions of years and is actually found almost everywhere to some degree or another. Regardless of how clean you or your house is, mold will eventually find its way inside. It comes in through windows, on clothes, and even on pets.
Once inside, it searches for a wet place to set up house. It needs moisture to survive and multiply.
The good news is that most people are not adversely affected by mold and even those that usually have mild symptoms. However, in some cases, it can cause serious problems, especially with those who already have an underlying breathing problem.
The best defense is always a good offense, and the sooner you suspect or even find mold, the sooner you can get rid of it. If you want to be sure, here is how to test for mold.
Here’s what to look for.
1. Shower Tiles Have Discolored Grout
If you have started to notice that the grout in between your shower tiles is dark or becoming discolored, that is a good indicator of mold.
Usually, shower mold is not dangerous and a good cleaning with bleach will help get rid of it. However, if there has been recent flooding in the bathroom, you will want to have it tested just to be sure.
2. Unpleasant Smells
If you have a window or stand-alone AC unit, you may have a ripe breeding ground for mold. The moisture that is constantly accumulating on the unit will give way to mold in short order. Here is one way to prevent it.
Another way to handle it is to have the unit cleaned and serviced by an HVAC professional regularly.
Maybe you don’t have a window unit AC, but there is still a persistent sour smell in your home. It will usually be confined to one area where the mold may be concentrated. If you have taken out the trash and cleaned and there is still a musty odor in the air, it may be mold.
3. Peeling Wallpaper
Moisture that lingers behind a wall will eventually dissolve the glue holding your wallpaper in place. If you notice areas of the wallpaper that are peeling or cracking, it is a good possibility of another sign of mold in the home. It may also just appear as dark spots on the walls.
Keep a close watch on your walls to look out for any areas that bubble up, look warped, or discolored to stay ahead of the danger.
4. Water Leaks or Flood Damage
Since mold is attracted to, and thrives, in moisture, if you have had a significant water event, there is a good chance you may end up with a mold problem.
Sinks, toilets, and bathtubs can overflow. Dishwashers don’t always drain properly. Pipes burst within the walls. Even mother nature can work against you with heavy rains that cause leaks or even flooding.
If you have recently experienced any type of water damage in house or water running down in between the walls, you should take proactive steps to keep the mold at bay.
5. What Are Signs of Mold in Your House – You Just Feel Lousy
The body’s reaction to mold mimics the same symptoms as a cold. You feel run-down, have a runny nose, and sneeze all the time. If your cold-like symptoms persist and do not get better with treatment, it may be time to look for another cause.
Fatigue is a common indicator of mold’s reaction to the body. If you are constantly tired inside your home that may be the cause.
The same is true with asthma symptoms that get worse. Many people don’t necessarily get ill when in contact with mold, but if there is already a pre-existing respiratory problem it could definitely get worse. If your asthma flare-ups are more frequent or severe, it is time to consider mold as the source.
6. Clothes That Are Itchy
When clothing or towels are not dried properly, mold will form in the material. If you then wear that clothing, the mold will likely irritate your skin and cause it to itch.
Always make sure to completely dry your clothes before putting them away and avoid leaving wet towels lying around on the floor.
Light cases of mold can be handled fairly easily without calling in the professionals.
The first thing you should do is protect your hands by wearing rubber gloves. It is also a good idea to wear a face mask so no mold particles can get into your airways.
There are a couple of cleaning solutions that you can make to clean away the mold. Undiluted white vinegar works well on the hard surfaces found in the bathroom and kitchen.
If you want to go with something stronger, you can make a solution of one cup of household bleach to a gallon of water. If you are trying to clean a porous surface, you can also add some dish soap to help penetrate.
You can also do a 50/50 mix of ammonia and water. You should never mix any other ingredient with the ammonia as that will create toxic fumes. This solution will need to set on the mold for a few hours before rinsing off.
Don’t Put It Off
No one wants to think about it, but if you see signs of mold, you need to take the steps to get rid of it immediately.
Be aware of any ongoing moisture problems and pay attention to any physical symptoms as well. Mold is a nuisance, but it can be taken care of if handled correctly.
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