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Mold is a type of fungi that grows in humid areas and it produces spores. You can notice mold in your home by way of a musty odor and color change on surfaces. There are different types of mold and you can notice the difference by their colors such as green, white, black, and greenish-grey, among others.
The signs of mold in the house include a weird smell from the air conditioner, dark grout, peeling wallpaper, persistent colds, and a musty odor. You may also experience sneezing, runny nose, skin rashes, itchiness, asthma attacks, and a tight chest. Carry out mold remediation to kill the mold.
Signs of mold in the house
There are basically two ways of detecting the presence of mold in your house namely by way of smell and color. You can detect mold in the house with the following signs:
Pungent smell from the air conditioner
It is easy to identify the presence of mold in your house when you are keen on the smell that is produced by your air conditioner system. This is by way of an earthy pungent smell. Check out for this smell when you turn on your AC.
Changes in color on walls and appliances
Black mold is the most common type of mold and also the easiest to be noticed. Generally, mold forms colonies and spreads all over the areas that have favorable conditions such as moisture and warmth.
When you notice a change in the color of some of your appliances in your house, it could be a sign of mold. At times you can notice dark-colored marks especially around air vents or on damp surfaces. Underneath the carpet, you might find powdery-colored material.
Along the shower, on window panes, and other surfaces in rooms that have a high moisture content, you are likely to discover different colorings. Equally, on your house furniture, especially if your house is poorly ventilated, you are likely to come across the colorings caused by the growth of mold.
On clothes in your house, you can notice dark specs or stains. This would mean that there is mold in your home. Also, when you take out a drink from your fridge and immediately notice black spots floating in it that is a sign of the presence of mold in your home.
Sometimes you can also notice colorings around the edges of your refrigerator dishwasher, among other machines that use water. Often times such surfaces are not cleaned, which makes them a breeding ground for mold.
When you have your wall covered with wallpaper and you notice it peeling off, that is a sign of the presence of mold in your house. At times, the wallpaper could appear as it has bubbles beneath it.
With plants that are stored in your house, you can notice a colored growth especially when it is damp. This is evidence of the presence of mold in your house.
Rust in the home
Rust is also a sign of the presence of mold in your house. Rust, being a sign of excessive moisture in your house, means that the environment is thus suitable for the growth of mold.
Another sign of the presence of mold in your house is when you have your sink and toilet flooded. Here, the buildup of water in your drainage system makes it a good breeding ground for mold.
Allergies and other health issues
If you experience allergies and other health complications, it could be a sign of mold in your house. Here, you could be sneezing, coughing, irritable skin, and other allergic complications. You also become itchy and constantly worn out. With the presence of mold, these reactions increase and become more frequent than before.
Mold in the fridge
Food stored in your fridge can also develop mold. This occurs when your fridge has a problem or is overloaded. Here, you might find grey, white or black coloring on your food. Such food is poisonous and you should get rid of it.
Dark grout lines
When you observe dark lines on the grout between your tiles, it’s likely a sign of mold. Mold loves the wet conditions of the bathroom and will likely grow there if the bathroom is not dried enough in between showers.
If you use a humidifier in your home, there are high chances that mold could build in specific parts of the house. Be careful to avoid too much humidity in the home as it invites whole house humidifier mold.
What is mold and how does it look like?
Mold is a type of fungi that grows in humid areas. The mold produces spores that are tiny light particles that float in the air. The spores exist in two stages, active and dormant. That means that the mold spores never die, but when they are exposed to the right conditions, they go into the active stage.
There are several types of mold, which range from grey, white, greenish-grey orange, and purple. These also tend to exhibit in different environments as follows:
Found in damp places indoors. Has a velvety texture and takes the color of dark green or brown.
Grows on powdery materials, found indoors. Has a flask-like shape.
Grows in cool or warm conditions and on fabrics, with a blue or green color. Has a suede-like texture.
Grows on materials that have been damaged by water. Has a velvety texture and a blue or green color.
Pink, grey, or orange in color. Has a powdery form.
Found underneath wooden surfaces. Takes a pink, brown, or black color.
Has a cotton-like texture, starts as black then changes to brown and eventually black.
Found in both warm and cold conditions. Grows on fabric materials and has a pink, white or reddish color.
Grows in thick patches, appears in white or greyish color.
Also known as black mold. Has a slimy texture and is black in color.
White in color with green patches and a woolen texture.
Thrives in wet areas.
Black mold is the most common type of mold and it has a black appearance. Mold grows on several surfaces that include, walls, furniture, ceiling boards, carpets, among others, including freezers.. It forms rings around the infested areas.
There are three types of mold depending on their effects on people.
These cause allergic reactions like asthma in people.
These cause health problems in people who are already suffering from acute illnesses.
These mold types emit toxic substances that can lead to severe health complications, even death.
How does mold in your house make you feel?
When you have mold in your house, it is quite unhealthy. There are people who react differently to mold spores. Some would end up coughing, sneezing, and having a sore throat, impaired concentration, nausea, excess fatigue, dry eyes, headaches, and skin irritation among other complications. Mold can be ingested or inhaled and the severity of the effects depends on the immune system of your body and the amount of exposure to the mold.
Some specific situations include the following:
People who have a compromised immune system have a high risk of getting infected. These can be conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and exposure to mold spores can lead to damage of the lungs.
2. Respiratory conditions
Exposure to mold can lead to respiratory illness even in healthy people. This can appear in the form of coughs, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Asthma is also a common side effect of exposure to mold. For children of tender age, they are also susceptible to developing asthma and other respiratory illnesses.
3. Severe and chronic conditions
Mold spores produce toxic materials and are harmful to the skin, airways, and intestinal walls. Prolonged exposure to mold toxins can lead to severe conditions like cancer, immune and blood disorders, liver and kidney conditions, digestive and heart disorders, among others.
If you experience any of these health complications, seek medical advice from a professional doctor.
How to get rid of mold
You can remove mold in the following ways:
- Soap and water
- UV light
- Bleach and water (1 cup bleach in 1 gallon of water)
- Commercial products
- Mold remediation
Mold remediation is best done by an expert since it involves a lot of professional activities.
How to prevent mold in the house
To avoid all the issues brought about by mold in the house, prevent it with the following tips and guidelines:
- Replace or repair windows that sweat or leak since the moisture creates conducive conditions for mold growth.
- Use carpets only in rooms with controlled moisture. Avoid carpets in basements, bathrooms and laundry rooms.
- Routinely clean the house with mold-killing products.
- Always drain the water away from the house.
- Fix water leaks and clean any remainign water.
- Keep humidity levels in the house below 50%.
- Service air conditioners and clean them as recommended by the manufacturer.
- Keep the house ventilated by openign the windows and doors or using ventialtion fans.
- Keep cloths, curtains, towels and all other items dry.
- Use mold inhibitors in the home.
With these tips, keeping mold away from your home won’t be difficult. You will thus be able to prevent it and take care of the people in the households by preventing any health risks caused by mold.
HVAC tech with over 30 years of experience. Retired and doing repair work on the side around Madison County, AL.