Did you notice some black spots in your home? Unlike most homeowners, you may also think of it as a small inconvenience, but the truth is mold is a serious issue that can cause significant damage to your property and even put your health at risk.
But don’t worry. We have come up with a comprehensive guide for you that briefly discusses about mold and how it affects you and your property. Also, we will let you know common signs of mold exposure and the potential spots to look for so you can easily find the mold to remove.
Finally, we will guide you by providing a step-by-step mold removal process and how professional mold removal services in Florida can easily save you from this misery.
What Is Mold And Where To Find Them?
According to Wikipedia, a mold is one of the structures that certain fungi can form. The dust-like, colored appearance of molds is due to the formation of spores containing fungal secondary metabolites. The spores are the dispersal units of the fungi. Note: All fungi don’t form molds.
Now that you have clearly understood what mold is, the question arises where do they grow? The main factor that triggers mold growth is moisture and humidity.
Basically, every place that consists a lot of moisture can cause mold growth in your home. Usually it can be found in the basement, bathroom, kitchen, attics, laundry room, and any crawl spaces, especially if they have come in contact with any water leak or damage.
5 Warning Signs of Mold In Home
Now we know about the places we may look for mold. But when to actually find them? How would you know if you have a mold issue in your home? Obviously, you can’t be checking for mold every other day in crawled places. So here are some warning signs that can make you suspicious about mold growth in your home-
A strange, musty odor pervading your house can be one of the earliest indicators of mold. The smell begins faintly and grows stronger over time.
Mold produces microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOCs) into the air as it develops, including unpleasant molecules such as aldehydes, benzenes, carboxylic acids, and terpenes. When they combine, they create unpleasant odors that might be defined as musty, stale, earthy, or wet.
Mold’s musty stench can sometimes be confused with other home odors. However, if you notice a strange odor that doesn’t have an obvious source, such as dirty laundry or food waste, there’s a chance that you have unseen mold growing somewhere.
Check this blog by Greenorchard if you want more detailed description of the smell of mold.
Dark Spots On Walls or Ceilings
Mold growth on walls and ceilings sometimes appears as dark-colored spots or patches. The discoloration can take on a variety of tints and colors, with black or brown being the most common. Mold stains can also be green, grey, white, blue, or yellow.
You can inspect the texture to see if the stain actually indicates mold growth. Mold is generally sticky, slimy, or fuzzy to the touch, and it smears easily and quickly.
Another simple mold test is to put a few drops of diluted bleach on it. Mold is probable if the stain lightens after a few minutes. It could be dirt or another type of discoloration if it remains dark.
If you have wallpaper in your house, finding areas that are bubbling or peeling might indicate moisture issues and mold growth beneath them.
Temperature and humidity changes can cause condensation to collect on the reverse of wallpaper, especially in summer. The stored moisture causes the wallpaper to loosen, allowing mold to develop.
Don’t get us wrong! Peeling wallpaper can also be caused by insufficient glue or other non-mold issues. But when combined with other signs, such as recent water damage, and odors coming from the walls, it will be wise to check behind it for mold.
Worse Asthma or Allergy Signs
If you notice your allergy or asthma getting worse when indoors, this can indicate mold growth in your home. Mold is one of the most common triggers of asthma and allergy.
Mold spores and volatile organic compounds (mVOCs) are particles in the air that can worsen asthma and allergy symptoms. Such as-
- Nasal congestion
- Coughing or wheezing
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
- Red, watery eyes
- Itchy eyes, nose, throat
- Dry, scaly skin
If you see these symptoms appearing or worsening indoors, you need a professional mold inspection on your house. Neglecting this can cause severe health concerns.
Read our detailed blog about mold allergy to get alerted on mold allergy symptoms and how you can prevent them.
Recent Water Damage
If you recently faced a water leakage or any other water damage in your home, chances are very high that your house is facing mold issues. We have already said moisture is the best friend of mold.
Mold spores are generally inactive and harmless in the air and will not spread without moisture. They need moist, humid, or wet circumstances to grow into full-fledged mold.
Mold may have started to form if you recently came across a water leak, flood, or other sorts of moisture issue that was not quickly repaired and fully dried.
Dangers of Mold
Effects On Your House
Mold is a silent killer for your beloved home. It’s not just a surface problem. By damaging places like your walls and basement, it severely weakens the structure of the property.
Mold between the walls, under the flooring, or on the support beams in your home is not a minor issue. Mold is doing everything possible to ruin every part of your home and return it to dirt. In other words, mold is constantly eating your property, and it can cause significant structural damage over time.
One of the most difficult parts of mold removal is how deep it may have spread into the structure. ‘Washing away’ mold can seem like a solution, but this can worsen the situation as you are just adding extra moisture through the water. This is what mold thrives for, so you are just accelerating the damaging process.
Mold can also significantly reduce the resell value of your property. So if you are neglecting the issue because you are thinking of selling it anyways, it can turn out to be a very bad decision for you.
Whether you accidentally bought a home that already had a bad mold problem or didn’t realize your home’s been growing mold for years, quickly contact a reliable mold removal service to get rid of mold and save your property from further damage.
Effects On Your Health
Is mold dangerous for your health? The answer is yes, but it might not affect everyone in the same way. Also, every mold is not dangerous. Toxin molds, commonly known as black mold (Stachybotrys Chartarum), can severely affect your health, especially for people allergic to it.
Black mold releases components like mycotoxins and biotoxins, which can harm your respiratory system if inhaled for a long period. Also, dampness encourages materials to break down, increasing the volume of particles, or dust, in the air. Here are some health conditions associated with mold growth-
Systemic fungal infection (systemic mycosis) is a major health risk associated with mold exposure. Individuals with weak immune systems or those exposed to high levels of mold for an extended period may become infected.
The most frequent infections are sinus and digestive system infections, but lung and skin infections are also possible. The invading mold may or may not create mycotoxins.
The parasitic fungus known as dermatophytes causes skin illnesses such as foot and tinea cruris.
Aspergillus is a fungal illness caused by mold. The infections caused by aspergillosis primarily affect the respiratory system, but their symptoms and severity vary widely.
Aspergillus is found both indoors and outdoors. Most strains of this mold are non-toxic, but a few might cause fatal infections when inhaled by persons with compromised immune systems, underlying lung disease, or asthma.
The spores might cause an allergic response in some people. Some may develop mild to severe lung infections. Invasive aspergillosis is the most deadly type of aspergillosis which arises when the infection spreads to blood vessels and beyond.
HP, also known as extrinsic allergic alveolitis, is a condition that has mild, severe and chronic manifestations with significant overlap.
It is an allergic disorder characterized by the inhalation of an allergen in the form of organic dust of bacterial, fungal, vegetable, or avian origin. Sensitization and illness elicitation often need high-dose, protracted, or both exposures to the causal allergen.
As a result, many cases are job related. Workers exposed to chemicals, particularly isocyanates, have been reported to have a similar, if not identical, condition. A few cases of the illness have been linked to systemically delivered medications.
Professional Mold Removal Process
Here’s what you may expect if you’re thinking about hiring a mold removal specialist or speaking with one. First, contact a professional mold removal company to schedule an in-home inspection and receive a free quote. Then, a trained mold removal professional will conduct a thorough mold inspection to identify the mold types and levels that may affect air quality.
To assess the source and broadness of mold, they will utilize a combination of visual examination techniques as well as moisture meters and thermal imaging cameras. An expert may recommend mold testing if necessary to understand the condition further.
A mold removal specialist will utilize a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter to filter the air, clean mold spores, and eliminate other airborne contaminants in the target area on the day of treatment.
They will isolate the target area to prevent cross-contamination (including the removal of infected goods) and the transmission of spores to other parts of the house. Unlike typical vacuum cleaners, all contaminated surfaces will be vacuumed using a HEPA vacuum to catch mold spores while emitting clean air.
Then, a professional will spray and wipe down the previously contaminated surface using microfiber cleaning cloths. This breaks down the links between the surface and the contaminants while also eliminating any remaining spores. Finally, an antimicrobial will be applied to the area using an electrostatic sprayer.
In conclusion, mold is not a small convenience. When it comes to the dangers of mold, there are not only health risks but also risks to the structural integrity of your home. Mold can cause significant damage to your property and weaken your home’s structure, leading to costly repairs in the future. Mold can grow and spread rapidly; if left unchecked, it can cause irreparable damage to your home’s infrastructure.
Mold can thrive in moist environments and can cause damage to walls, flooring, and support beams. Over time, the presence of mold can cause drywall to deteriorate, paint to peel, and wallpaper to bubble and peel away from the walls. Also, mold can cause wood to rot and weaken, compromising your home’s structural integrity.
If you suspect your home may have a mold problem, it’s crucial to act quickly to prevent further damage. Ignoring the issue can result in long-term damage to your home, leading to costly repairs down the line.
Furthermore, mold can have serious health implications, especially for individuals who are sensitive to mold or have underlying health conditions. Mold spores can trigger allergic reactions like sneezing, coughing, and skin irritation. In some cases, mold exposure can lead to more severe health issues, such as respiratory problems, infections, and even neurological issues.
Therefore, it’s essential to take mold growth seriously and seek a professional mold removal service as soon as possible to mitigate the risks to your health and home. By addressing the issue promptly and thoroughly, you can protect your property and your loved ones from the dangers of mold.