3 Signs That Your Home May Have a Serious Mold Problem
If your home has suffered water damage from something like a leaking roof or a basement flooding, you may wonder if you have mold growing in or on your walls, ceiling, or floors. If so, look for the following three signs that you may have a serious mold problem.
1. Stale, Musty Odor Is Always Present
One of the first things you may notice is a stale, musty odor that is always present, in one degree or another. You may notice that the smell is stronger on hot, humid days. This smell could mean that you have mold growing inside your walls.
The odor is often caused by two things associated with the mold. First, it is often a byproduct of the gases given off by the growth, as well as the release of spores. Second, when the mold is growing on structures, especially wood, the surface stays moist underneath. This causes the wood to rot, which can cause mildew, that has a musty odor by itself, to grow along with the mold.
2. White or Black Powder Is Coating the Outside of Your Walls
Another sign that you have mold growing in your house is the presence of a white or black powder on the surface of your walls. This coating can either be made of spores that have attached themselves to a wet surface or the roots of the mold protruding through the wall, with the thicker growth on the inside.
If you see a white or black substance on your walls, scrape it with a dull knife or the end of a flathead screwdriver. If nothing comes off with scraping, there is a possibility the discoloration is caused by moisture. As a side note, even if you do not see anything, you should still have the walls inspected for mold, because the moist surface can provide a breeding ground for spores you may not be able to see.
When you scrape the wall and have a powdery or clumped-up substance come off on the end of your tool, this is a good indicator you have mold growing on and into your walls. This should be inspected by a professional as soon as possible, especially if you notice the same smell as talked about above or notice the symptoms discussed in the next section.
3. You Notice Symptoms in Yourself or Household Members
Whether or not you notice the signs discussed in the previous two sections, you may start noticing that you or other members of your household are starting to have chronic symptoms of a mold allergy. While these symptoms can be mild, such as occassional sneezing or watery eyes, some of these symptoms can be life threatening if you or anyone else in the house has asthma or any other chronic respiratory condition.
For example, if your child has asthma and has also been diagnosed with a mold allergy, the presence of mold in your home could trigger acute attacks more often, requiring an increase in the necessity of them using a rescue inhaler. As time goes on and the mold becomes worse, your child's attacks could become more severe, requiring them to be hospitalized because of extreme inflammation of the lining of their lungs.
If your home has one or more of the signs above, you may have a serious mold problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible to avoid health problems for you and your loved ones or possible structural damage to your home. You may want to contact a mold remediation service as soon as possible to have your home inspected, as well as to discuss possible solutions.