Understandably, most people don’t want to talk about the M word. As unpleasant as the subject is, it is important to know the warning signs of mold in your home. Unrecognized, undetected, or simply ignored, mold can be an enormous health concern for you and your family. Let's go over a few important clues that mold might be growing in your home.
1. A Moldy Odor
Mold has an unmistakable, ''musty'' odor. It can be quite pungent and hidden mold can often only be detected if a building, or a particular room or area in a building, emits this odor. You may not actually see the source because it can hide under carpets, beneath paneling and drywall, or inside walls beside pipes which may be leaking or wet with condensation. If you do notice any unusual odors, it could be mold.
A buildup of condensation in your home, such as on window surfaces, is a sign that you have conditions which often lead to mold. It might be indicating that there is a humidity problem. Mold will grow wherever condensation builds up and collects. Rusted pipes under a sink, or in the basement, are another signal to be looking for.
3. Stains and Discoloration
If you notice water stains or discoloration on ceilings, walls, or floors, take steps to find the source and correct the problem because mold may be growing behind or within the material. Also, look for peeling wallpaper or cracking paint, or the presence of dampness in any of these areas. One of the worst things that you can do is to cosmetically cover up these stains.
If you see something that doesn’t look right, or seems out of place, always search the area for any other signs that it could be mold. Even the tiniest indication of mold growth ican evidence of a much greater problem.
4. History of Problems
Did your basement ever flood? Did a water heater burst? Was there a major leak under the kitchen sink? These areas in your home need to be periodically checked for hidden remnants of mold symptoms. You should particularly check for evidence of mold under floors or cabinetry. As we previously stated, it could remain hidden, making your family sick while growing out of sight.
5. Poor Health Inside the Home
Mold isn't always easily seen and sometimes can be hard to find and for those who are suffering the health effects of exposure, it can be life altering. Tragically, mold related illnesses are often misdiagnosed because the symptoms of mold exposure often mirror common respiratory issues such as asthma, wheezing, or bronchitis. In reality, mold is often the culprit behind these illnesses. If you're having a problem with recurring allergies, there's a good chance mold might be in your home.
MOLD IS A POISON
Imagine feeling better away from your house than in it. Sometimes, the first evidence that there is a mold problem in your home comes from recognizing that the health of your family improves when they are away. Any symptoms of a cold flaring up only in the home are a common sign of health related mold issues. Common allergic reactions to mold include sneezing, sore eyes and throat, and a runny nose or nasal congestion. Even greater concern would be symptoms of any neurological disorder. Nosebleeds, headaches, problems with memory loss, concentration, or dizziness are all evidence of a toxic mold presence somewhere in your house. This is especially true if you, or a family member, have these experiences in your home.
You should also watch for signs of abnormal behavior in your pets. Often, like the canary in the coalmine, our beloved animals can become the first indicators that toxicity is present in the home. A little investigation and knowing what to look for can literally make or break your health and home.