Indicators of Mold in Your Home
There are some cases where mold development within your home is easy to identify. However, most cases are not that simple. Fungal growth can exist within your home without you even knowing, This is why it is imperative that homeowners educate themselves about not only what causes mold, but also how to identify indicators of mold within their homes.
Mold is everywhere. It is a natural component of the outdoor atmosphere, which means that a completely mold free environment is unattainable. The main objective is to regulate indoor mold levels to be equal or lesser than the surrounding environment. When mold has the opportunity to thrive in excess in an indoor environment, it becomes an issue.
What Causes Mold?
There are multiple factors that can create an indoor environment that is conducive to mold growth. Mold thrives on moisture and warmth. Mold can not exist without a source of moisture. Homeowners must understand the conditions that support mold development in order to prevent and avoid them. Moisture control is essential in an indoor environment. Moisture from condensation, leaks and floods, indoor humidity levels, or poor ventilation can all make your home susceptible to fungal growth.
Identifying Different Indicators of Mold
Mold can develop within as little as 24 to 48 hours after moisture is introduced. Time is of the essence when it comes to identifying indicators of mold in your home. Early detection and intervention can be the difference between a small cleanup and extensive property damage that requires a costly mold remediation.
Visual Indicators of Mold
Mold can come in a variety of different colors. It often appears as black, grey, brown, white, or even green. It can also present as a chalky, powdery type of substance, or appear in small dark patches. Mold is often accompanied by discoloration, or staining of the affected area.
Invisible Mold Indicators
Mold often develops in areas that are more difficult for us to get to. Areas underneath carpet, behind wallpaper, or above ceiling tiles can be a breeding ground for fungal growth. You may be wondering, without being able to see the mold, how will you know it’s there? The fact is that there are multiple other signs of mold that are not visible. Pungent, off-putting odors can be one of the biggest indicators of mold. Be aware of any unfamiliar smells when on the lookout for mold within your home.
You or your family may have been experiencing allergic reactions to mold within your home without even realizing. Mold releases mycotoxins, which have the potential to cause reactions in people with sensitivities. Symptoms of these allergic reactions can vary depending on the individual. Symptoms include:
- Irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, or skin
- Shortness of breath or other respiratory trouble
- Rash, itching, or swelling
Past Moisture Issues May Be Indicators of Mold
Signs of past water damage can be a huge indicator of potential mold growth. As previously mentioned, mold can not thrive without a moisture source. Whether it be excess humidity, or something more direct like a leak or flood, it must be addressed promptly to avoid severe fungal development. The moisture should be dried out as soon as possible, and indoor humidity levels should be kept between 35% and 50% at all times. Proper ventilation in all areas of the home will also significantly reduce the chances of excess moisture buildup.
After Identifying Indicators of Mold In Your Home
In the event that you have discovered indicators of mold within the structure of your home, you should contact a professional. As previously mentioned, mold is opportunistic and can develop in as little as 24 to 48 hours. Trained and certified mold remediation specialists in your area will be able to handle the issue promptly and efficiently. As previously mentioned, mold is opportunistic and can develop in as little as 24 to 48 hours. To avoid severe damage to your home, it is best to try and spot mold in its early stages. Take the time to routinely check your home for indicators of mold development.