How to Tell If Your Home Has Mold

Does my home have mold?

Mold…everything about the word is negative. No one wants to see mold on their food, but especially not in their home. Mold can not only cause damage to your home, but also to your health. According to Green Home Solutions, toxic mold exposure in the home can lead to health problems like “bleeding, internal organ damage, mental impairment, cancer, and even death.” Mold is a serious concern, and not something you want to mess around with! Here are a few signs that there may be mold in your home.

  • Appearance of Mold. The most obvious way to know there’s mold in your home is of course to see it. It can be black, green, yellow, gray, brown, or white. It can appear slimy, fuzzy, granular, or even leathery. Often, it’s found in areas where moisture occurs, such as in a basement, bathroom, or kitchen, but it can occur anywhere, despite being unwelcome everywhere.
  • Odor. Not all types of mold have a smell, but the majority do. It tends to have a strong musty or earthy smell that doesn’t go away easily. Follow your nose to what seems to be the main source of the smell. Even if you don’t see a visible sign of mold, it could be coming from behind or within the walls, or underneath the carpet.
  • Water Damaged Areas. If your home recently flooded due to heavy rain or a major pipe burst, or if you notice water stains and damage where there wasn’t any before, or if your roof is leaking or there’s been long-standing water, your home may be at risk for mold growth. It’s also important to take note of any areas on the outside of your home that may appear wet (for example, after a heavy rain or snow storm) and don’t seem to dry up. This might be an indicator of water pockets that can be a major source of mold if not taken care of quickly.
  • Allergy Symptoms That Improve Outside of the Home. Apart from pet allergies, many people experience seasonal allergies due to environmental changes. In other words, the outside air tends to cause symptoms such as:
    • sneezing
    • itchy and watery eyes
    • itchy and sore throats
    • nasal congestion
    • coughing
    • sinus headaches
    • skin irritations
    • difficulty breathing

Millions of people suffer from allergies every year, and besides these symptoms being unpleasant, they’re not cause for alarm. However, if you’re experiencing these symptoms and they seem to diminish whenever you leave your house, this could be a potential sign of a problem inside the home, and this is usually mold. (Again, this isn’t including pet dander.) Even if you don’t see or smell the mold, it may be worth it to get your home inspected. And if neither mold nor seasonal allergies is the issue, it might be wise to visit your doctor.

These are each an indicator that mold may be present in your home. If you notice any of them, it’s probably best to get your inspected and tested to prevent any further growth or potential health problems.