Mold growth is a common and potentially dangerous problem in some homes. Mold thrives in a warm, dark, moist environment and can develop in as little as two days. It’s important to recognize signs of mold because of the damage it can do. Mold contributes to the deterioration of building materials, causes stains, and affects your family’s health. Take action to remove mold and prevent it from returning.
Visible Mold Growth
A visual inspection for mold is one of the easiest ways to find it. Look in damp or humid areas for streaks, specks, or stains. Mold comes in nearly every color and sometimes looks fuzzy. It can appear as a splotchy stain or discoloration on some surfaces.
Mold often appears in bathrooms due to water and steam. If the grout between your bathroom tiles turns black, that is probably mold. The same is true if you see black spots on your bathroom ceiling, dark areas beneath the sink, or green streaks on the shower curtain. Mold often develops where condensation accumulates after a shower.
Bubbling Paint and Wallpaper are Signs of Mold Growth
Bubbling paint or wallpaper can be a sign of mold in your home, whether or not there is visible mold or discoloration. The mold itself is not what causes the bubbling; it is due to excess moisture. However, bubbling or peeling paint is a good indicator of dampness and mold may be present under the paper or paint.
A musty or damp odor in your house is a sure sign of mold. If you notice a smell but can’t find the source, look around for other visible evidence. Because mold needs water to grow, check damp areas of the home. Look under cabinets, beneath appliances, and around plumbing pipes. Mold may grow near your heating or cooling system, especially within a stand-alone air conditioner.
Health-Related Signs of Mold
Some molds in homes have a negative effect on the health of your family members. The presence of symptoms can be an indicator of mold growth. Molds release a substance called mycotoxin which can cause problems. Sneezing, constant fatigue, allergy-like congestion, headaches, and itchy eyes are all signs of mold. If these symptoms clear up when you leave the house and reoccur when you return, that is a sign the issue is in your home.