How To Spot Mold In Your Home
For many, it’s a bit of a scary idea, but the reality is that likely all of us will experience some level of mold somewhere in our home at some point in time. Mold can form in moist areas as quickly 72 hours, and often in spots where the resident or property owner is unlikely to notice right away, such as less-commonly used rooms and spaces like attics or basements, inside cabinets, under or behind furniture and appliances, inside walls, and other cracks, crevices, and crawl spaces. if left unnoticed or untreated, it can cause health issues for those living in the building. The good news is that if you know how and where to look, you can usually catch mold before it becomes a serious problem. Or, at the very least, put the power of knowledge in your hands so that you know that you do have it, as well as what you can do about it. In this blog, we’ll tell you exactly how to find out if you have mold in your home.
Visual Signs Of Mold In Your Home
Perhaps the most obvious sign of mold is if you can see it. But this also requires knowing what to look for. Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
- Dark spots similar to dirt. One of the biggest mistakes people make that causes them to miss the early signs of mold growth is dismissing something that could be mold because they think it’s just dirt. Don’t be fooled! Look closer and make sure that dark spot is actually what you think it is. If it has an odd texture or consistency dissimilar to the soil, it may be mold.
- Strange colors and shades (of mold). Mold can take on many shapes and colors. It can be white and stringy, appear as clusters of polka dot-esque spots, it can be black, green, gray-brown, or gray-green. Depending on the type of material it is growing on, it can even appear as shades of orange, pink, or purple.
Smells That Determine Mold In Your Home
One good sign that your home may have mold somewhere, mold that may not be immediately visible to you (like mold growths in hard to reach areas, like wall interiors, chimneys, ducts, and air vents), is if a room or part of the home suddenly adopts a strange and uncommon smell. This may indicate that mold is present in the room. Here are some signs to be aware of:
- A musty, damp, or otherwise strange smell
- Your chimney smells weird or “off.” Not all residents or homeowners have to consider this, but if your home does have a chimney, it may be worthwhile to check this part of the home, in particular, to see if anything seems different.
- Your air conditioning or heating system smells weird. These are common places for mold growth to occur, and if you suspect you may have mold in your HVAC system, it is recommended to refrain from using it until it can be checked out and cleaning by a professional. Otherwise, you risk the possibility of further dispersing mold spores through the air and throughout your home.
Mold Exposure Symptoms
Sometimes, unfortunately, the first indicator that causes people to suspect mold in their home is a change in their state of health. Especially for allergy-prone individuals or those with asthma, mold in the home can cause or exacerbate symptoms like the ones listed below. If you or someone else in your household starts experiencing one or more of these symptoms (especially if they become worse than usual or don’t improve over time), the reason may be mold. Especially if your home has experienced flooding and/or water damage in the past, keep in mind the following symptoms:
- Experiencing cold, flu, or allergy-like symptoms such as a lingering cough, runny nose, congestion, or sore and/or watery eyes.
- Breathing or respiratory issues
- Itchy skin or rashes
Other Ways To Detect Or Test For Mold In Your Home
A rather obvious but equally important way to check for the possibility of mold in your home is to keep your eyes peeled for signs of water damage, too, such as peeling or bubbling paint on the walls.
It’s also important to note that even if you can’t initially find any mold, any home or structure that is especially susceptible to water and moisture problems such as water leaks, flooding, and condensation (or have already experienced them in the past) you are much more likely to experience mold issues in the future. Residents and property owners of homes with a history of these issues should be especially careful and proactive about preventing and continually testing for mold.
If the mold is visible, you don’t need to do mold testing or purchase a mold test kit. For your safety, it will need to be removed, no matter what kind of mold it is.
However, if you suspect the possibility of mold in your home due to odd smells, changes in your health, or signs of water damage, but aren’t entirely positive, you can contact a professional or purchase a mold testing kit yourself.
When To Hire A Mold Remediation And Restoration Contractor
To some degree, you may be able to clean away the mold growth yourself. The Spruce has some good advice on how to remove mildew from surfaces and other common household objects/surfaces such as fabric, shoes, clothing, furniture, books, and household appliances. However, there are times where a simple DIY cleaning job just won’t do the trick.
If you find black or green mold that looks fuzzy or slimy in appearance, especially when present on wood or drywall that is becoming softer or crumbling underneath, this is usually the sign of a much more serious problem that may be much more difficult to solve. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, if the mold covers 10 or more square feet, it is highly recommended that you hire a professional to remove the mold.
What To Expect From A Mold Remediation And Restoration Contractor
A contractor that specializes in mold remediation and restoration like Mammoth Restoration will not only be able to remove the mold, but also provide pack-out/pack back services for your belongings and reconstruction services for your home if needed. They will be able to contain and properly ventilate the area, clean, disinfect, and fix the mold source. They can also clean your belongings before bringing them back into the home.
You can expect that a professional mold remediation contractor is able to explain to you what the problem is and how they are going to go about solving it. They should also wear proper safety gear such as masks, gloves, and protective suits. They should also seal off the area in question with plastic sheeting and use industrial-level equipment to clean the area of mold.
Quick Tips To Prevent Mold Growth And Damage In Your Home
There are many steps you can take to prevent mold growth and damage in your home, and most of them aren’t expensive or complicated to do, they just need to be done frequently and consistently. These include, but are not limited to:
- Increasing ventilation by opening a window or running a fan (especially during bathing, showering, and cooking).
- Cleaning and vacuuming more often, especially in moisture-prone areas of your home.
- Directing water away from your home through landscaping.
- Cleaning and repairing roof gutters regularly.
- Improving the airflow in your home by opening doors between rooms, moving furniture away from walls, and keeping closet doors open.
No matter what we do, it is impossible to live in a world free of mold- and actually, believe it or not, we’re grateful! When it’s not showing up in our bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and elsewhere in our homes, mold offers a great many benefits to our world. It helps us make penicillin, cheese, and biodegrade our leftover food and other materials. In some cases, we’re happy to see mold! But when it shows up in our homes- in places it shouldn’t- that’s a different story. For those times when mold gets in the way and out of hand, Mammoth Restoration is here to help.
CONTACT MAMMOTH RESTORATION
Mammoth Restoration works with home and business owners throughout Flagstaff and Northern Arizona, insurance companies, the State of Arizona, various law enforcement entities, and other licensed contractors. Call us today for your restoration and remediation needs.
Mammoth Restoration works with home and business owners, insurance companies, the State of Arizona, various law enforcement entities, and other licensed contractors