Signs Mold Might be Growing in Your Home

Updated June 15, 2021
a mold removal specialist in a breathing mask.
A remediation worker wears an air mask to prevent him from breathing in the mold he clears out of a home. (Gilbert R. Boucher II)

Consider calling a professional at the first sign of mold.

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Nobody likes to think they have mold in their home, but ignoring its presence will only prolong the problem and allow it to worsen. Mold occurs where there has been standing water, moisture or water leakage. Since mold exposure can cause health problems, it is important to take steps to eliminate mold from your house.

There are several things to look for if you’re suspicious mold might be growing in your home. If you notice a pungent smell in one area of your home, check for mold. Sometimes mold hides behind walls, making the odor difficult to isolate. Mold may be visible in moisture-prone areas of your home. Check bathrooms, under sinks, in the basement and anywhere else water leaks may have occurred.

Discoloration of your ceiling or walls may indicate moisture problems. Check the area for mold, and take steps to eliminate moisture buildup. The most common symptoms of mold exposure include runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion and fatigue. If these symptoms improve away from your home, you may have a mold problem.

If you find or suspect mold in your home, consider calling in a professional to inspect your entire home, including floors, walls and ceilings. Professional mold inspectors can also test air samples for dangerous growth. Mold may be hazardous to remove, so consider consulting with a removal specialist who possesses the equipment and specialized knowledge necessary for the safe removal and prevention of mold growth.

Robert Simpson hired highly rated Same Day Mold Testing of Pasadena, Calif., to test air in several rooms in his house as well as a wall sample of a wall he guessed was infested with mold. Simpson was provided with a report that listed the findings as well as recommendations for contractors who could help fix the issues in his home.

“Overall this was a great experience and I would highly recommend this company to any homeowner that is dealing with a mold infestation,” Simpson says.

Common molds found in the home:

Stachybotrys chartaru: This is a dangerous mold that causes asthma, headaches, memory loss and respiratory infections. This mold is green to black in color and thrives on moist cellulose-containing products such as drywall, wood and paper. Stachybotrys has been identified as one of the culprits of “sick building syndrome.”

Aspergillus: This is a common indoor mold found on basement stairs and ceilings, in areas of longstanding high humidity and at the bottom of foundation walls. Exposure to aspergillus can cause itching, rashes, headaches, fatigue and respiratory symptoms.

Penicillium: This green mold grows on bread as well as in air-conditioning systems, and can be found by leaks and flooded areas. Some people experience allergic symptoms if exposed to penicillium. Symptoms are similar to those of aspergillus exposure.

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