When did you last get your home inspected for mold?
Mold spreads rapidly, can grow almost anywhere and can damage your health. There is no way to effectively remove all mold spores from your home – all we can do is avoid making it easy for mold to grow, and stay vigilant. But what do you actually need to look out for?
Read on for 10 signs that you need a mold inspection now!
Mold spores will see rapid growth in areas of moisture. If you have water intrusion in your home, this can encourage mold overgrowth. After receiving flooding from both indoor and outdoor sources you’ll notice mold within 72 hours.
It takes a long time for drywall, carpeting, furniture, and other porous materials to dry when they’re soaked with water. And mold loves nothing more than damp, dark areas. You should especially watch out for mold ingress in basements and attics because of this.
While not as severe as water intrusion, leaks can still be problematic. If left, they can lead to water damage. This is turn will create those damp conditions mold thrives in. Be vigilant, as even after you’ve fixed the leak mold might have already infested the area.
When your home is humid, or the weather outside is, there is higher moisture content in the air. High humidity conditions will produce excess water – air molecules can’t absorb it all. This aids in encouraging mold.
What you need to keep in mind is that mold and moisture go together like cheese and wine. If your home has humidity levels about 60%, you’re at a high risk of getting mold. Be sure to ask your mold inspector questions about any potential risk factors they spot so you can fix them.
In rooms that have poor ventilation, moisture won’t leave the area properly. Instead, it will begin to form condensation on the walls which will encourage mold. Rooms most at risk include:
The more condensation you have, the more likely you’ll be to have a mold infestation. It’s a particular problem as mold can set in wherever there is condensation. It can hit anywhere.
Another problem of condensation is the fact it can cause rust too. This happens when the humidity is too high or the ventilation is too poor to let excess moisture out.
If you notice that rust on your pipes then this indicates moisture is having a hard time getting out. It could also be another sign that you have a mold problem.
When they become saturated with excess moisture, wood and drywall will warp and bend out of shape. If you notice that your drywall or wooden objects are starting to change shape then look further. It could be a sign that you’re about to get hit with a huge mold problem.
Another issue is moisture can cause paint chipping, peeling water among other signs of deterioration. Having a mold infestation won’t always start by showing those familiar black spots. The early signs are often more subtle, to begin with.
You might see yellow, brown and orange ceiling, walls or bathtub/shower discoloration. And not all types of mold are black. So watch out for patches of other colors that you haven’t noticed before and get it checked out.
When you have a mold infestation, you’ll notice a damp and musty smell. Like opening a book that’s old. But this smell can differ between different types of indoor mold; they don’t all smell the same.
Factors that can affect the smell are the type of surface it’s growing on, the type of mold, and the source of moisture. Some people might not even notice the smell either if it isn’t strong.
Mold smells because of microbial volatile organic compounds that are within it – or mVOCs. It isn’t known exactly the extent of the impact inhaling mVOCs is on health. But some links suggest it can cause:
That said, a good sign of a mold infestation is the general health of the occupants of that building. When spending long periods of time within the space, do they feel worse than if they spend that time outside?
If residents or employees are experiencing fatigue, respiratory issues, headaches, and congestion after sleeping at night or working each day, then this suggests a problem with poor air quality. Mold can be the cause of this.
If the affected people get better after spending vacation time away from the property this is a sign there’s a problem. The home, workspace or school could have unhealthy air quality and you should check immediately for mold.
Obviously, one of the clearest signs of mold infestation is the mold itself. Molds are part of the fungus family. They can take on forms of anything from yeasts to mushrooms. You’ll often see outdoor molds eating up dead organic matter like rotting logs or fallen leaves.
Indoor mold thrives and multiplies in humid, wet places like bathrooms and basements. Or anywhere that has experienced recent flooding. But there are thousands of types of mold and their appearance can vary massively.
The most common mold found in indoor areas are:
Perhaps the most infamous is black mold or Stachybotrys chartarum. It’s greenish-black in color and likes to grow on things like fiberboard, paper, lint, and dust. It particularly thrives in areas that have water damage or recently flooded.
Black mold is infamous for being more dangerous than any of the other types of indoor mold you might find. But, it’s not necessarily the case. It’s not proven that Stachybotrys chartarum is any more dangerous or harmful than the other types of mold.
If you are seeing any of these ten signs, then you need a mold inspection now. Mold spreads rapidly so the sooner you can find any the better. Particularly if anyone in your home suffers from asthma – you can’t be too careful.
A mold remediation company will be able to find any mold that has taken hold in your property, identify any potential causes you may have missed and clear your home of mold.
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