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How to Detect Mold in Your House (And What to Do About It)

moldIf you’re a homeowner, you know how problematic toxic mold can be. Toxic mold can cause a range of serious health issues, and even the slightest forms of mold and mildew can cause general health problems. That’s why you need to know how to detect mold in your house so you can catch the signs quickly and address the issue before you put your health at risk.

Not sure what mold is or how you can identify the signs of it? In this article, we’re covering signs of mold and mildew, and how you can best address these issues.

What Is Mold?

Mold is a type of fungi. Mold can be healthy and used for a variety of things such as cooking and medical care. But some forms of mold can be harmful, especially the types of mold often found within homes.

Mold can be found indoors and outdoors, as it thrives in damp, dimly-lit areas. Mold can most often be found in places like attics, basements, and bathrooms, and pop up if there’s been a leak or flooding.

Because mold spores are small and relatively light, they can easily become airborne and inhaled by unsuspecting people. And while not everyone exposed to mold will become ill, elderly people, children, and people with respiratory issues or immune-related disorders are at high risk of illness. Even pets can get sick from the mold!

Worried you may have a mold problem? Here are some symptoms of mold-related illness:

  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Asthma
  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Sinus infections
  • Rashes
  • Hives
  • Fatigue
  • Red, itchy eyes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Congestion

If you’re dealing with any of these issues, you should visit with your doctor to determine if your symptoms are mold related.

How to Detect Mold in Your House

Mold isn’t always easy to find or detect. But it can cause incredible problems if left untreated. Here are some warning signs of mold in your home:

There’s a Musty Odor in Your Home

If your home smells moldy, chances are it has mold. Inspect your home for any strange, musty smells and try to pinpoint where they’re coming from. Thoroughly inspect your whole home for it, and then reach out to a mold specialist to help you treat the issue.

Your Allergy Symptoms Are Worsening

Do your allergy symptoms flare up whenever you’re home? Well, chances are you could be dealing with a mold problem. Because mold is an allergen it can easily exacerbate any allergies you have.

Keep an eye on an increase of symptoms like a runny nose, nasal congestion, and wheezing, and then inspect your space to see if you have any potential mold.

You See Visual Signs of Mold

If you’re worried you have mold, the first thing you should do is look around for any visual signs. Look for greenish black areas or any slimy texture residues in your spaces. If you can see mold visibly growing, you should immediately take action no matter how small it is.

You should know, however, that mold doesn’t always look the way you’d expect. Sometimes it can be black, grayish brown, or gray-green, or look as innocuous as a small dirt spot. If you find mold anywhere, you should call an expert, as the mold is quick to spread.

Your Home Has Moisture Issues

If you’ve dealt with moisture or condensation issues in the past, your home is more likely to develop mold. Look around for discolored ceilings, walls, or floors, as well as any bubbles or cracks in your wallpaper or paint. If your walls look warped or bowed, chances are mold has penetrated the surface, or is growing behind or within them.

If you don’t see these signs, that doesn’t mean your home won’t develop mold in the future. Hire an inspector to check out your spaces and give you an informed opinion on what to do. And if you don’t have mold, consider options like a dehumidifier to get rid of any extra moisture.

Your Home Has Experienced Floods or Leakage

Ever experience a flood in your home? Well, chances are you now have mold! If you’ve had flooding in your home, the first thing you should do is inspect the space where the water stayed the longest. Floods make it easy for mold to grow in unexpected places.

The same can be said for a standard water leak. Things like leaky ceilings or pipes can lead to unexpected mold. So if you’ve experienced flooding or leaks, bring in an expert for a consultation, and for flooding specifically, check your home warranty or insurance to see if any of the damage is covered.

You’re Feeling Fatigued or Having Trouble Focusing

Did you know toxic mold can negatively affect your brain? Inhaling mold spores can make you more anxious and forgetful, and can lead to concentration issues and memory loss.

Toxic mold can also lead to chronic fatigue and weakness. You may also develop itchy and uncomfortable rashes, which cause inflammation, swelling, and even hives. So if you’re experiencing these issues more than normal, chances are you may have a mold problem.

How to Treat Mold in Your Home

If you have mold in your home, you have to deal with it fast. Or else you put your home at risk of severe property damage, which can be costly and time consuming to address. Here are some top tips for addressing mold in your home:

Hire a Mold Inspector

The first thing you need to do is hire a mold inspector to assess your mold problem. They’ll be able to discover the root and extent of the issue and provide you with some advice on how to proceed. When hiring a mold inspector, look for someone who is certified and works independently from a mold remediation company so you can get an unbiased assessment.

Hire a Mold Remediation Company

If your mold problem is serious, you’ll need to hire a mold remediation company to address the issue. For minor mold cases, a mold remediation company can clean up your space in just a few days. For more serious issues, a mold remediation company may have to demo and actually rebuild to eliminate the issue.

The cleanup process begins with removing any water-damaged, mold-infested materials in your home. After that, your space has to be cleaned and disinfected, and any mold-damaged drywall has to be removed. Lastly, your home has to be vacuumed with high-efficiency particulate air filtration to completely eradicate the mold.

Need to know the ins-and-outs of the removal process? Learn more about mold remediation.

Final Thoughts on Mold in Your Home

As a homeowner, the last thing you want to do is put your property at risk by not addressing issues like mold in a timely manner. By studying on how to detect mold in your house, you can find mold fast, and eliminate it so you can keep your home (and family) safe.

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