mold in home

Mold spores can be found almost anywhere.  Practically speaking, it is next to impossible to keep them out of your home.  Add to this the fact that mold can grow in just about anyplace where there is sufficient moisture, and you can easily see why mold can become a problem in any structure.   In fact, over time mold spores can accumulate in a home, thereby increasing the “mold load” of the home.  When, therefore, a house with a high accumulated mold load experiences a change in environment due to a roof leak, plumbing problem, or HVAC malfunction, an “explosion” of mold growth can occur.  

While it is true that you will sometimes see mold before you notice any other adverse effects, quite often that is not the case.  Mold growing out of sight in hidden places can cause serious health problems.  And while there are many many different types of mold, some of which are more dangerous than others, any mold you discover in your home should be dealt with by Pure Air Solutions as quickly as possible.

Even small patches of mold shouldn’t be ignored because mold can spread very quickly. In other words, a seemingly small problem can quickly turn into a much larger problem.  Moreover, small amounts of visible mold can signify the presence of much larger mold colonies that are hidden from view.

In addition to the fact that molds can often be hidden from view, they can also vary in appearance.  While most people are aware of the fact that black spots can be a sign of mold, many are unaware that molds can also be brown, grey, white, orange, and even pink in color. 

That being said, there are a number of clues that can indicate that mold is growing in your home.  These can range from various odors in the home to personal, allergy-like symptoms.   

Your House Has a Musty Odor

If hidden mold is growing in your home, a “funky” smell might be the most noticeable sign that it is there. The odors given off by mold can include a musty smell (like that of old books) as well as odors similar to that of dirty, sweaty socks (like that of a locker room).  Some molds even give off an odor similar to that of wild onions or garlic.  The odors vary according to the type of mold and the surface upon which it is growing.  

If you think you can smell mold it is always worth investigating.  However, just because you don’t smell it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.  Some people, for various reasons, simply do not notice the odors. 

Your Chimney Smells Funny

One particular area in which odors may be the only indication of mold is your chimney. Moisture can build up in a chimney giving the perfect conditions for mold to thrive.

If you detect a musty smell coming from your chimney (maybe on days when the wind is blowing in a certain direction), it might be a good idea to check the chimney cap and flashing for damage.  You may also want to consider bringing in a professional to both inspect for mold and to deal with any that they find.

The Wall Paper or Paint is Bubbling or Peeling

One visible indicator of excessive moisture and possible mold growth is the peeling of wallpaper and the bubbling / peeling of paint.  This is especially the case in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and the areas around windows. 

To properly address this, you will first need to identify the source of the moisture and deal with that. Repaint (or re-paper) the surface only after the wall has thoroughly dried out and after you have checked for any existing mold growth.  

The Grout Between Your Tiles is Dark

If the grout between your tiles has turned from white to dark, the culprit is probably mold. This type of mold isn’t usually a health risk unless you are particularly sensitive, but you probably want to get rid of it anyway in order to prevent it from spreading and further marring the appearance of the tiled surface.  

Your Eyes Sting or Water

In addition to noticeable odors and visible indicators, mold can also cause allergic reactions.  Some people will be more susceptible than others, and people with other allergies (such as seasonal allergies) often suffer more than most.

One common reaction is that of watery and / or stinging eyes.  If you find that your usual, seasonal allergies are not improving when they normally would (or that they are worse at home or in a specific room or area of your home), it could be that you are reacting to the presence of mold.

Your Asthma is Worse Than Usual

Likewise, asthma can flare up as a result of breathing in mold spores. If you notice your asthma getting worse (especially if this happens after an extended period at home), and you cannot identify any other explanation, you should definitely checking your home for mold.

While it seems that most molds do not cause serious issues for most people, if you have a pre-existing condition like asthma they can have a much more noticeable effect. It is also worth noting that infants and children that are exposed to mold at a young age are at a higher risk of developing respiratory conditions.

Your Skin is Reacting

The effects of mold impact more than just your eyes and airways.  Your skin can also be adversely affected by mold.  If you are allergic to the mycotoxins released by mold, your body will react by releasing histamines. This can result in dry, itchy, flakey skin and, even, hives.

If you suspect mold might be the problem, or you are struggling to identify the cause of skin irritation, having your home inspected for mold is a good place to start.

You Have a Persistent Cough

Even if you don’t have asthma, mold can still cause coughing, sneezing, and a sore, itchy throat.  If you have persistent, cold-like symptoms, you should definitely consider having your home inspected for mold. 

Babies coughing at night should also be cause for concern because mold spores are more likely to do damage to their delicate lungs.  Moreover, studies have shown that children exposed to mold as babies are more likely to develop asthma.

You’re Tired All The Time

If you’ve been feeling constantly tired and lethargic, mold might not be the first thing that springs to mind as a cause.  However, toxigenic mold can exacerbate the symptoms of chronic fatigue.  In fact, the mycotoxins produced by molds can even be the root cause of chronic fatigue.  Therefore, if you feeling excessively fatigued and lethargic with no obvious explanation, it is possible that mold exposure may be the reason.


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