How to Tell if You Have a Mold Problem
Published: July 18, 2020
Find mold before it becomes a major mold problem
Mold is dangerous. It reproduces quickly, and once mold spores get into the air, they can be difficult to remove. Knowing this makes it quite disheartening when a homeowner finds a mold problem in the home they live in.
Discovering that you have mold within your home can cause you to feel a strange gamut of emotions. You might initially feel disgusted, frustrated or you may even feel a sense of being overwhelmed. Placing your home up for sale might be the first thing that pops into your mind, but that should be a last resort. Having a mold problem does not mean that you cannot get your house back.
However, it does mean that you must take immediate action. Many people live in a home with mold and never realize it is there. They ignore the warning signs until the problem reaches a point where the mold is taking over and affecting their health.
If you can find mold before it becomes a major problem, the remediation process will be substantially cheaper and easier to complete. There are warning signs that can alert homeowners to a potential problem. If you notice any of these warning signs, take the necessary actions to inspect and remediate.
Warning Signs of a Mold Problem
It is so important to be aware of what the signs are that you may be sharing your home with more than just your family. Signs that you may have mold include (but are not limited to):
A strange odor
Mold has a pungent smell. When it is confined to one area of your home, you may notice an unpleasant odor when you are in that area. Mold can sometimes live within the walls or behind wallpaper, and so you might not immediately associate the smell with a mold problem. If you do notice an unusual persistent odor in your home, the culprit may be mold. The best way to determine if the smell is coming from a mold is to hire a public adjuster specializing in mold damage to come by and check it out. He will be able to run tests to determine if you have a mold problem in your home.
The appearance of mold
In your shower stall or bathtub, it is easy to distinguish normal soap scum from mold. However, in the basement or cellar, you may have to investigate a little further to find the mold. Mold will take hold of damp areas, so if you have a wall or floor where dampness collects, mold could very well be there as well. It can hide in corners or dark areas all over your home. Virtually no area is immune.
While not all mold can be easily seen, a quick inspection of your home may alert you to visible signs that you have a mold problem. Schedule periodic visual inspections of your house – especially in susceptible areas and during susceptible times of the year. The quicker a mold problem can be identified, the better for everyone involved.
A known moisture source
If your house recently flooded, your roof recently developed a leak or you know you have a source of water ingress into your home, then you know you have a potential for a future mold problem. Even if you aren’t sure what the source of moisture is, once you discover that you have moisture, you should take this as a warning sign of a future potential mold problem. Identifying and fixing the moisture source is key to preventing or stopping the growth of mold in your home.
Because mold is not always visible, it can be difficult to realize that you do indeed have a mold problem. If you feel listless, congested, and experience watering eyes while in your home, these can all be signs of the presence of mold. It is not uncommon for a person who lives in a home that has mold might feel better while at work or out shopping. Their health problems begin the moment they step through their front door. Mold can often be the cause of this.
Be cognizant of your symptoms. What do you feel? When do the symptoms get worse? Are others around you feeling something similar? Can you narrow it down?
Do You Have a Mold Problem?
If you do suspect that you may have a mold problem, you’ll need to put on your investigator hat and get to work right away. Mold can become a serious issue very quickly so you won’t want to waste any time.
Check all moist areas of your home first (think basement, attic, and other areas you do not frequently visit). Check baseboards and ceilings of your home in addition to walls. Pay special attention to windows, doors, and other seals to the outside. Walk the outer perimeter of your home checking for signs of water intrusion. If it is safe to do so, inspect your roof. If that doesn’t turn up any visible mold, consider calling in a professional to perform a thorough inspection of your entire home. A professional inspection by a public adjuster will bring peace of mind as well. Mold can be a sneaky beast.
One of the questions that may pop into your head when you suspect mold is whether you need to get out right away. Mold can be quite dangerous to your health. If you know you have a mold problem, it can be difficult to stay in a home where the mold is causing an odor or is visible. While a small amount of mold will most likely not cause any health concerns, you should always do what makes you most comfortable. Putting your family and yourself in jeopardy isn’t an option. If you do suffer from allergies or someone in the home is showing symptoms of mold illness or allergy, it might be wise to find a temporary place to stay until the mold problem is addressed. If you are in doubt, ask your mold remediation professional whether or not you should vacate the home until the mold problem is fully remediated. Many people choose to stay with friends or family or stay temporarily in a hotel while the mold is remediated.
The most important takeaway is that once you suspect a potential mold problem (no matter how small), you do something about it and take action right away. Ignoring the warning signs that you may have mold only prolongs the problems you will experience. Be aggressive in locating the source of the mold and addressing it. After all, nothing is more important than your health and the health of your family. Mold can become a serious issue very quickly if left untreated.