When your house has mold, there’s more than the smell you have to worry about. Not only can mold cause an unpleasant odor, but it can also damage the integrity of your home’s structure and cause ill health effects. Mold can cause a variety of illnesses affecting the eyes, skin, lungs, heart and more. The most common indication of mold is a musty smell. However, there are many other signs your house has begun to grow mold in different areas. Learn more about spotting the signs of mold and what you can do to wipe it from your home.
Spotting the Signs
If you’re concerned that your house has mold, here are the most common and obvious signs to look out for:
- If you see black spores spreading on surfaces, it’s a sure sign of mold in your home.
- You’re always fighting cold or flu-like symptoms – Mold causes cold and flu-like symptoms, so it may be an indication that you have mold hiding somewhere if you’re sick way too often.
- You can smell a musty/damp odor – Mold smells, it’s one of the best ways to detect it even if you can’t see it.
- You’ve developed respiratory issues – Mold spores are airborne, when you breathe them in, they can find their way into your lungs and cause breathing difficulties or trigger asthma symptoms.
- You see uneven patches on floors or walls – If damp is finding its way into your walls or floors and causing bubbling under your paint, squishy floors, etc., then you almost certainly have mold growing there too.
What does mold smell like?
When mold is growing and spreading, it releases compounds that have a distinct, unpleasant odor.
It’s a smell that once you’ve smelled and are familiar with, there is no mistaking it. The best adjectives to describe mold are; wet, stale, and musty.
People describe the odor as being similar to damp rotting wood, or wet paper and damp clothes that have been sitting around way too long.
Where Can Mold Hide?
Mold flourishes in areas of the home where there is moisture, oxygen, warmth, and darkness. The problem is that the areas where you’re likely to find a combination of elements are not always the most visible.
Here are some of the most common places mold can hide in the home:
Bathrooms are breeding grounds for mold. While it’s easy to spot black mold creeping across white tiles, there’s also plenty of places you can easily miss.
Check behind the toilet around the waste pipe, under the flooring, under your bath (you’ll have to remove the bath panel to see), around sink taps/pipes behind the basin.
Check behind your appliances that use or produce moisture, such as your refrigerator, freezer, ice dispenser, and so on.
Mold can also start creeping up walls that are soaking up damp from the elements outside. So, check inside cupboards, behind appliances, and so on for any external walls.
The main areas of concern in bedrooms are mattresses, and window sills. If you haven’t flipped your bed in a while, do so. Also, check around your windows throughout the home as moisture can collect in window seals.
Attics and Vents
Unless you go into your attic often, you’re not going to know if mold is growing up there. All it takes is a leaky roof to fuel the mold spores, and you can have a severe problem on your hands.
It’s a good idea to check any heating vents and air conditioning units too. The constant flow of air combined with moisture are ingredients for the presence of mold.
What Should You Do If You Found Mold?
If you’ve found mold in your home, it’s important you act sooner rather than later to get rid of it. Mold is potentially very hazardous to your health, and the health of others in the home.
There are two parts to ridding your home of mold. The first is to clean up and treat the area where mold is growing. The second is to take steps to fix the issue that caused the fungus to grow in the first place.
In regards to cleaning the mold, there are some useful products on the market I recommend checking out.
To stop mold from returning, the most effective way is to reduce the moisture in the affected areas and in your home in general.
Using dehumidifiers and air conditioners to keep the indoor humidity level below 60% will make a huge difference. You should also dry wet areas in bathrooms after use, fix any leaks, address damp structural problems, and generally wage war against damp in and around the home.