Mold is a major indoor problem, even in the cleanest of homes. Mold can be seen on food as it ages in the refrigerator and on the counter, but you may also see it form on walls, upholstery bathroom fixtures, or inside drains.
Mold can be many different colors (not just black), and it can grow anywhere in your home. Can you recognize it? And do you know what to do if you find mold?
In the following sections, we’ll describe the dangers of living with mold and explain how it spreads quickly throughout a home.
The Dangers of Household Mold
Mold is a fungus that grows by spreading its mycelium to form colonies. A single mold spore is impossible to see with the naked eye, and it takes several days for a colony that is large enough to be visible to form.
Therefore, mold can be in your home for a while before you even know it’s there.
Mold is dangerous during this period and beyond. It is known to cause serious health problems in healthy people, not to mention those with compromised respiratory and immune systems. The elderly and babies are very sensitive to mold as well.
Mold causes allergic reactions like stuffy nose, congestion, coughing, skin rashes, headaches and many more symptoms.
It can also damage your home and require extensive renovations.
Causes of Mold Growth
So it’s beneficial to know what causes mold. There are a few common causes of mold inside a home. If any of the following have been present inside your home, you probably need to have a professional inspection.
Humidity is present in homes that are sealed well, whether they are new or older homes. It comes from cooking and showering. Another possibility is that you have a water leak somewhere in the house that is causing excess humidity.
If you can reduce moisture levels in your home, you can reduce the risk of mold. Opening the windows and running a dehumidifier are two easy ways to reduce household humidity.
If humidity can lead to mold, it only makes sense that water does, too.
Flooding can be caused by pipe leaks, a faucet that’s left running, or an appliance breakdown. Any of these situations can ruin your floors and walls, and they set up the perfect conditions for mold growth.
Poor Home Maintenance
This usually occurs because no one is living in the home, or it’s within a room that no one sees very often, like the attic, basement, or an extra bedroom.
These areas can quickly develop water stains, a musty odor, or peeling paint or wallpaper — all signs of water and/or mold.
Surprisingly, having a dirty or messy house doesn’t make our list. Mold growth has less to do with dirt and more with moisture.
How Does Mold Spread?
A single mold spore can lead to a mold problem throughout your entire home. Here’s how:
- Mold spores settle anywhere there is moisture and food. Mold prefers a temperate, dark climate, but it can grow anywhere.
- As the mold takes root, it also grows mycelia, which grow outward and produce more spores at their ends.
- These spores are released into the air, causing a higher-than-normal concentration of mold in your home.
Once this cycle begins, it only happens faster, allowing mold to spread through your entire home. Mold can be spread by your HVAC system, on your clothes and shoes, and even with improper removal methods.
The only way to stop the cycle is to kill the mold and remove excess mold spores inside your home. You may be able to remove a small amount of mold safely, but larger colonies require the help of a professional to make sure all of the mold has been removed — and that it’s done safely.
Mold Testing & Inspection
If you see any of the following, you need to have a professional mold assessment. This could be an air test, a visual inspection, or both.
- Cracked or peeling wallpaper
- A musty smell
- Spots on furniture or walls
- Orange or pink substance on sink drains
The health concerns for a home with mold are substantial. Don’t wait to have a mold inspection done if you think mold may be present. It’s even worth having a mold test done if your home has experienced flooding, even if no signs of mold are present yet.
Any one of these signs is enough justification to call a mold removal company to check it out and professionally remove any mold that is found.
A preliminary mold inspection will give you an idea of where the mold is. You can pass this information along during your mold inspection from Pure Air Solutions. Check the following areas of your home to give them a head’s up about possible problem areas:
- Under carpet where flooding has occurred
- Behind appliances
- Under sinks
- Behind ceiling tiles and floorboards
- Within walls where plumbing runs
You don’t have to randomly guess where mold might be. Check areas that have water stains or where leaks have happened.
How to Prevent Mold in the Future
We highly recommend letting a professional remove mold from your home. Removing it with the wrong techniques and tools can result in spreading mold all over your home and exposing everyone in your home to mold-infested air.
Once the mold in your home has been professionally removed, here are some foolproof ways to keep your home mold-free in the future:
- Dry damp areas immediately by running a fan and opening windows if the weather is nice
- Improve ventilation in your home by cleaning vents, filters and ducts
- Repair leaks and drips as soon as you notice them
- Have plumbing checked by a professional, and make any necessary repairs
Dealing with the problem immediately will prevent mold from spreading through your home.
A mold removal expert can get rid of mold that is currently in your home, and they can go one step further by performing mold remediation. This service reduces the amount of free-floating mold in the air inside your home so there is less risk of a household mold problem in the future.