Finding mold at your home or business can be devastating. Mold forms in moist environments, usually due to a leak or water damage, and it can cause significant property damage. The damage from mold can be very costly to fix and exposure to mold can be dangerous for your health. This is why you should always watch out for signs of mold damage in your home or building and immediately take action to remove any mold growth you find.
Causes of Mold
Mold is caused by mold spores that easily multiply and grow in the right environment, and they attach to common building materials. Mold grows the quickest in a very damp and warm (about 77 to 86 degree) environment and it attaches to wood, drywall, carpet, and other materials that contain cellulose and other food sources. Because mold spores exist naturally in the air, mold growth can form anywhere the spores meet these conditions. It is most effective to control the moisture level and address water damage quickly if you would like to prevent mold in your home.
Usually, mold forms where there is moisture present such as in basements, bathrooms, kitchens, poorly ventilated areas etc. Therefore, these are the spaces you should always check first if you suspect mold at your property.
Signs You Have a Mold Problem in Your Home
Here are some signs to watch out for that may signal that you have a mold issue at your property:
1. Musty odors:
If you notice a musty odor such as that of old books coming from your walls, or damp, musty odors coming from your floors, you may have a mold issue.
2. Spots on your clothing:
If you notice white or black spots on your clothing that are fluffy or slimy to the touch, you may have a mold problem.
3. Carpets that are contaminated:
Carpets are at a high risk of mold growth. Make sure to inspect your carpet for stains, spots, or odors resembling mold. Make sure to look at both sides of the carpet and the padding. If you do not treat mold right away, it may spread further, so make sure you inspect the carpet and the padding regularly if you suspect mold in your home. A great way to avoid this issue is to have your carpets cleaned professionally a few times per year.
4. Water heater closet:
Since the water heater is usually in its own closet, which can be a dark and moist area, it is prone to mold. Mold can form in this area due to a leaky water tank, so make sure to frequently check for condensation or leaks that could lead to mold.
5. Flareups of allergies and asthma:
Certain molds will release a very harmful substance called mycotoxin. This substance can trigger flareups for those who suffer from allergies and asthma. If you have been sneezing, coughing, blowing your nose, or having allergy-like symptoms, your home should be inspected for mold.
6. Fungus forming in furniture:
Mildew (which is a type of mold) can easily affect different materials, such as leather and upholstery. The mold spores will usually stick more to porous surfaces such as furniture and foam. Make sure to always inspect the fibers in your furniture and check for any spots, fuzz, spores, or discoloration.
7. Walls that are warped:
If you notice that the paint on your walls is bubbling and the wallpaper is wet, that means you are at risk of mold forming. Make sure to fix the issue that may be causing the moisture such as a leaky windowsill for example so that you do not end up with mold growth which can be costly to fix.
8. Cough or cold that is persistent:
If you seem to have a cough or a cold that will not go away, this may be a sign of a respiratory issue caused by mold. It is always best to consult your doctor for treatment and make sure you do not have another underlying illness. If the issue is caused by mold, make sure to get your home treated by professionals to remove all traces of mold.
9. A/C filters that look dirty:
If your AC system seems to have a musty smell or you see black spots in the filter, you may be dealing with black mold. Make sure to always purchase high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. Your unit should be regularly cleaned, and the filters replaced, so that current mold can be starved of its food sources of moisture and dust.
10. Tarnished bathroom tiles:
If you notice gunk in the grout of your bathroom tiles, you may be dealing with mold. To prevent this, you should always use a squeegee to wipe water from the tub and walls after showering.
Professional Mold Remediation by ServiceMaster
If you’ve experienced mold at your home or business, ServiceMaster DRR specializes in mold removal and we can help remove it from your property. Whether your mold issue came from a leaky appliance, sewage backup, or flooding, our experts will make sure to clean, disinfect, and restore your property back to its original state. Contact us as soon as you notice any signs of mold within your home or building. For all of your mold remediation needs, make sure to call ServiceMaster Disaster Restoration and Recovery at (800) 439-8833.