Molds are common in homes and can be identified by dark stains, velvety patches, or a musty smell. They thrive in dark and damp places and can feed off various organic materials.
If you’ve recently had water damage or a leak that wasn’t immediately addressed and thoroughly dried, there is a good chance that mold may be present.
When a property experiences water damage, it can create a favorable environment for the onset of mold. Mold growth can lead to structural deterioration and health problems for you and your family.
One of the most common signs that you have a mold problem is stains on your walls. These stains usually appear dark and velvety, with a soft texture that feels wet. If you spot a stain on your wall, you can test it by dabbing the surface with a few drops of diluted bleach. If the color lightens, the wall is likely contaminated with mold.
Other signs of a mold problem include paint bubbling and sagging wallpaper. Mold thrives in wet environments, and if it is present in your home, you probably have a leaking roof or pipes, excessive humidity, or other moisture problems. Mold spores also often grow in hidden places, such as carpeting, behind drywall, or inside ductwork. A recurring cough, itchy skin, or other respiratory symptoms may indicate exposure to toxic mold.
If you notice a foul, musty smell in a room or areas of your home, it could be caused by mold. The spores from some species of mold can cause various health issues such as rashes, coughing and breathing trouble or even death in immunocompromised individuals.
Spores can grow on any surface, from the smallest dust particle to a fully grown carpet spot. Many spots that look like stains or discolorations on walls and ceilings are mold growth. If you notice any of these, it is important to consult with a professional and call for a mold inspection.
Another sign of a potential mold problem is if you or your family members have persistent allergy symptoms such as runny nose, itchy eyes and throat or constant coughing. If these symptoms persist, it may be because of a toxigenic mold such as Aspergillus, Alternaria or Mucormycetes fungi. Mold can also contribute to chronic sinusitis, especially in children and those with weakened immune systems.
If the walls of your home are beginning to look dark or dingy, that’s often a sign of mold and mildew buildup. This is especially true in areas with high humidity. This can also be a sign of other problems, such as water damage, so working with professional mold remediation in New Jersey early on is important to minimize the potential for damage.
Dark stains on bathroom tiles are usually caused by the fungus Cunninghamella bertholletiiae, which is often found in the soil but can be brought into the home by dust or by shower curtain or towel hangers that have been soaking in soap scum and shampoo for days. It can be identified by its orange or red color and velvety texture. Another type of fungus commonly seen in homes with high moisture levels is Mucormycetes fungi, which are green or gray-colored and have a velvety texture. Mucormycetes fungi can be allergy-causing and should be removed promptly.
If a wall has become warped, that’s a sign of hidden moisture behind the drywall or wallpaper. A musty odor often accompanies this sign, indicating what type of mold is growing.
If you notice dark spots on your walls, floors or ceilings that look like stains or discolorations, this is a sign of mold. Depending on the mold growing in your home, spores can be black, green, brown or even white.
Some common household molds include Cladosporium, which has a greenish-brown color and is often found on walls, in basements, attics or insulation; Penicillium, which has a blue or dark green appearance and is often found under carpeting; and Alternaria, which has a powdery appearance and is commonly found on fabrics and wallpaper and behind air conditioners and windows. These molds can harm people with certain allergies, triggering symptoms such as itchy eyes and runny noses.
Suppose you are experiencing these symptoms and have a suspected mold problem. In that case, it is best to have a professional inspection done as soon as possible to ensure your family’s health and safety are not compromised. It is also important to address the source of the mold so it does not return. This may require addressing water damage or a humidity issue in your home.
Inhaling mold spores can irritate the respiratory system. Symptoms may include stuffy nose, itchy eyes or throat, sneezing, coughing and asthma attacks. If you have a chronic lung condition or are immunocompromised, mold exposure can be dangerous and even life-threatening.
The EPA recommends that homeowners not try to kill or clean mold with bleach as it only works on non-porous surfaces. Bleach can also leave behind toxic fumes and does not kill mold burrowing into porous materials such as drywall or wood. A better option is to hire a professional mold remediation company to get the job done.
Many things can cause musty odors, but if you smell them more frequently in your home, it could be a sign of hidden mold growth. Checking behind furniture, carpets, and under wallpaper are good places to look for moisture issues and leaks that can lead to mold growth. It’s important to locate and fix any leaks as quickly as possible to prevent the spread of mold spores throughout your home.