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

mold

As a homeowner, you are likely aware of the problems that toxic mold can cause. Toxic mold can lead to severe health problems; even mild forms of mold and mildew can cause general health issues. Therefore, knowing how to detect mold in your house is crucial to identify the signs quickly and address the issue before it puts your health at risk.

Are you unsure what mold is or how to identify its signs? This article will cover signs of mold and mildew and ways to address these issues.

What Is Mold?

Mold is a type of fungi. It can be healthy and used for various things, such as cooking and medical care. However, some forms of mold can be harmful, especially the types 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 attics, basements, and bathrooms and pop up if a leak or flooding occurs.

Mold spores are tiny and lightweight, making them easy to become airborne, which can be inhaled by people unknowingly.

Everyone who comes in contact with mold doesn’t need to fall sick. Still, older adults, children, and those with respiratory issues or immune-related disorders are more vulnerable to illness. Even pets are susceptible to the harmful effects of mold exposure.

Are you 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 experiencing any of these issues, you should visit 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, it likely has mold. Inspect your home for any strange, musty smells and try to pinpoint where they’re coming from. Thoroughly inspect your whole house for mold, and then contact 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.

Watch for an increase in 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, you should first look around for any visual signs. Look for greenish-black areas or slimy texture residues in your spaces. If you can see mold visibly growing, you should immediately take action, no matter how small.

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However, 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 quickly spreads.

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 and any bubbles or cracks in your wallpaper or paint. If your walls look warped or bowed, mold has likely 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 remove any extra moisture.

Your Home Has Experienced Floods or Leakage

Have you ever experienced a flood in your home? Well, chances are you now have mold! If you’ve had flooding in your home, you first should 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. 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, leading 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 usual, you may have a mold problem.

How to Treat Mold in Your Home

If you have mold in your home, you must deal with it quickly. Otherwise, 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 certified and who works independently from a mold remediation company to get an unbiased assessment.

Hire a Mold Remediation Company

If your mold problem is severe, you must 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. A mold remediation company may have to demo and rebuild for more severe matters to eliminate the problem.

The cleanup process begins with removing any water-damaged, mold-infested materials from your home. Then, your space must be cleaned and disinfected, and any mold-damaged drywall must be removed. Lastly, your home must 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.

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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 promptly. By studying how to detect mold in your house, you can find mold quickly and eliminate it to keep your home (and family) safe.