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6 Early Signs of Mold in Your Home

The thought of the word mold makes people queasy because it instantly associates them with unpleasant things like green spots on their bread or the sour smell of milk that has been left out. However, the symptoms of a mold infestation in your home may not be so clear-cut. Mold may grow in even the cleanest of homes and often appears in places you wouldn’t expect to find it. Therefore, it’s crucial to know the early signs of mold in your home and react immediately. To help you, we have listed the earliest symptoms of mold in your home.

Watch out for these early signs of mold in your home

Mold may grow on various household items, including wood, paper, carpet, and food. It could be any of several colors, including purple, orange, green, black, or white. The species involved and the surface it has attached itself to can affect how it appears.

Close-up photo of green mold.
Mold can grow on all surfaces in your home and its symptoms are not always obvious.

Mold spreads through a building through microscopic spores. If you ignore mold in your home and don’t take any action, the colony might swiftly spread, posing health risks to your family and causing significant structural damage to your property.

Of course, we aren’t here to scare you but to help you prevent this from happening in your home. By the end of this article, you’ll know the six early signs of mold in your home, and in case you notice any of them, it might be time to reach out to mold remediation specialists who’ll swiftly take care of this annoying problem for you.

#1 Weird, musty odors

Aldehydes, benzenes, carboxylic acids, and terpenes are some of the many unpleasant microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOCs) that mold emits as it multiplies. Combined, they give off off-putting odors, whether musty, stale, earthy, or damp.

Therefore, one of the first warning signs of mold presence is a musty, old-house stench. In most cases, the odor is weak at first but grows stronger as time goes on.

The moldy, musty odor may be hard to distinguish from other smells in the home. But if there’s a musty odor in the house and there’s nothing rotten or putrid in the vicinity (like soiled clothes or rotting food), then mold may be growing in places you can’t see.

#2 Symptoms of asthma or allergy getting worse indoors

For those who suffer from allergies or asthma, the presence of airborne irritants like mold spores and mVOCs can have a significant impact. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that mold is a major indoor asthma cause.

Woman sitting next to a house plant and wiping her nose.
Worsening allergies or asthma symptoms are some of the most common early signs of mold in your home.

Here are the most common symptoms you should pay attention to:

  • Sneezing
  • Nasal stuffiness
  • Inspiratory symptoms such as coughing or wheezing
  • Lack of oxygen in the blood
  • Pain in the chest
  • Itchy, teary eyes
  • The itching of the nose and throat
  • Skin that is dry and flaky

In case you’re experiencing these symptoms, and they seem to worsen when you’re inside your home, indoor mold could be to blame. Household pets and pest problems, especially mice and cockroaches, are other possible indoor asthma and allergy triggers that should also be ruled out.

#3 Constant headache and fatigue

In addition to triggering asthma and allergy symptoms, mycotoxin exposure is suspected of playing a role in sick-building syndrome. Poor indoor air quality has been linked to various health problems, including those connected with “sick building syndrome” (such as a house or apartment building).

SBS is characterized by a wide range of nonspecific symptoms, the most common of which are fatigue and headaches. These signs and symptoms usually appear within a few hours of visiting the afflicted area and may subside shortly after exiting the facility.

#4 Recent dampness or water problems

Is the humidity in your home higher than usual, or have you just experienced a water leak? These are not so much warning indicators as they are risk factors for mold growth. Mold spores, which float around in the air inert and harmless, cannot grow until water is present. To develop into a full-fledged mold, they need damp, humid, or wet conditions.

Mold growth is more likely after a moisture problem, such as a water leak, flood, or condensation, that hasn’t been promptly addressed and thoroughly dried. That’s why it’s essential to have everything thoroughly inspected and, if needed, remediated.

Depending on the severity of the issue, you might need to get used to some inconveniences until the problem is resolved. However, if you prepare ahead, everything will be that much easier. For example, you may need to rent storage for items you have no safe place to keep. Finding a safe place for extra items is an excellent way to start. Instead of renting storage, you can ask a friend if they have enough room to store your belongings until your home is mold-free.

#5 Peeling wallpaper

Noticeable bubbles or peels in the wallpaper could be one of the early signs of mold in your home. Condensation on the back of wallpaper is common throughout the summer due to the high humidity and fluctuating temperatures. Because of the condensation, the wallpaper begins to peel, and mold can start to form.

Wallpaper peeling may also result from issues unrelated to mold, such as inadequate or improper glue. However, if you also see other clues like water damage, a musty odor emanating from the walls, or symptoms of mold exposure, you may want to go ahead and examine behind it for mold.

#6 Dark stains on your walls and ceilings

Growing mold on walls and ceilings usually looks like staining or spots of a dark tint. This discoloration can take on a wide range of tones and colors, but black and brown are the most prevalent. Some of the other colors that mold can take are green, white, blue, and yellow.

Wall with mold on it.
Dark stains or patches commonly manifest mold growth on walls and ceilings.

Examining the stain’s texture can be a good indicator of whether or not it’s caused by mold growth. When mold is present, it often takes on a fuzzy, slimy, or squishy texture and can be smeared around easily. Dabbing a suspected mold spot with diluted bleach is another easy way to check for its presence. Mold is likely to be the cause of the stain if it fades after being exposed to air for a while. Discoloration or grime may be to blame if it doesn’t lighten up.

Mold stains are most common on damp surfaces. However, this is not always easy to determine because the moisture could come from behind, underneath, or inside the walls.

Did you recognize any of the early signs of mold in your home?

Now that you know the six early signs of mold in your home, it’s time to look around and ensure there aren’t any. Even if you find them, don’t panic – reach out and request a quote from an experienced mold remediation specialist, and they’ll quickly make sure your home is mold-free and safe for your family.

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