Mold requires moisture, food (dirt, soil or any carbon-based household material like drywall or wallpaper) and the right temperature in order to grow.
If it’s humid indoors or if you’ve had leaks, flooding or water damage in your home, there is a high chance of mold developing. That’s why it’s a good idea to periodically inspect your home for possible mold growth and get to know some of the warning signs.
Signs of Mold in the Home
The following are ways you can watch out for household mold growth.
- Observe any musty odors. Even if you’ve never lived in the presence of mold, you may have noticed a similar musty odor in old libraries or homes.
- Keep your eyes peeled for signs of mold in your household. There’s not a single and specific appearance for mold. It can appear very thin or very slimy, and it can manifest itself in a variety of colors like white, black, gray, green and yellow. Typically, it will appear in patches of all sizes on porous household surfaces like walls, ceilings, carpets, furniture, books, shower tiles, grout and upholstery.
- Install a hygrometer inside your home, which can be found at your nearby hardware store and is sometimes called a relative humidity sensor. A hygrometer functions much like a thermometer but rather than telling you the temperature, it measures the amount of relative humidity inside the home. If the hygrometer consistently shows above 55% relative humidity, you may already have a mold problem, since it spreads so quickly in humid conditions. Use a dehumidifier to maintain safe humidity levels in your home.
- Examine areas of your home that you normally wouldn’t think to look. Mold can grow for a prolonged period of time without anyone realizing it’s there. Make sure to check your attic, the basement and any sheds – because these areas often get overlooked.
- Stay aware of how you’re feeling and whether you’re experiencing health symptoms associated with mold exposure. If you’re coming into contact with mold for long enough, it can lead to several issues, including respiratory infections, allergic reactions and more severe asthma attacks. In some cases, you might not see a mold problem, or even smell one, but you’ll experience symptoms associated with mold exposure. If you’re experiencing symptoms and you suspect there’s mold in your home, have your air tested or call a mold removal professional immediately.