Not Sure If Mold Is Affecting Your Home? This Checklist Can Help.
“You have mold.”
These are words no homeowner ever wants to hear. Not only is mold a hassle to remove, but if it’s not removed properly, it can also cause serious health problems and damage to a home. SERVPRO realizes how hazardous mold can be to a home and its residents. That’s why we offer excellent mold removal services. However, there are certain warning signs that all homeowners should take into consideration. We at SERVPRO have compiled a checklist of ways to detect mold in their house.
In order to be able to detect mold in your home, it’s important to have a strong understanding of what mold is exactly. Mold is a fungus that likes to grow in places with lots of moisture. Whether it is a leaking roof or a damaged water pipe, mold can spread anywhere and everywhere inside and outside the home.
While nobody wants mold in their home, it actually isn’t bad everywhere. In fact, mold plays an important role in nature, as it breaks down dead leaves, plants and trees. However, when it reaches your home and starts to spread, that’s when mold becomes unwelcomed.
Mold comes in all different shapes and sizes, but the one thing that all molds have in common is its attraction to moisture. Mold loves to grow in wet areas. Because of this, mold will most likely be found in damp places like bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms. But if it’s not caught soon enough, it can spread further and affect all parts of the home.
How to Detect for Mold
1. Something smells suspicious.
Mold has a very distinct smell. The odor typically has a musty or mildew scent to it. When mold is kept contained to one area of your home, you may notice an unpleasant odor when you enter that area. Mold can sometimes live within the walls of your home. This means that while you may not be able to visually detect it, mold can still be growing in your home, so if you smell something strange, this could be a sign of mold.
2. It might not just be seasonal allergies.
While it might seem like you only have a little winter cold, you might want to think again. A symptom of mold is that it can oftentimes leave you feeling sick. Depending on how sensitive you are to mold, exposure to mold can cause a runny nose, sneezing, red eyes, skin rashes, shortness of breath and other respiratory issues.
3. Take a look around your house.
While not all molds are visible, many of them are. The easiest way to detect mold is by simply taking a look around your house. If you feel like there is a possibility of mold in your home, check out our Home Checklist that covers where you should be on the lookout for mold.
Spotting for Mold Checklist
1. The colors of mold
When inspecting for mold, it helps to know what kind of colors you should be looking out for. Mold comes in a variety of colors including, green, grey, brown, white and black. The most common types of mold usually come in the shade of black.
2. Check water source areas
Because mold loves to grow in moist areas, it’s a good idea to look around areas where your water comes from. If you check places like your kitchen sink, laundry room, basement and bathroom early enough, you might be able to protect your home from further mold growth.
3. Look up
Do you find any water spots on your ceiling? This could possibly mean that you have a condensation or humidity problem. The water spots have most likely been caused by a water leak above the ceiling, which means your house could be the victim of mold.
4. Look down
Just like mold can affect your ceilings, it can also affect your flooring. Moisture, dust and dirt make the perfect landing spot for mold to grow. The biggest trappers of dust are typically carpets and tiles. Carpets contain moisture very well, so if you want to prevent mold, it’s important to consistently inspect your flooring for any water damage.
5. Check your walls
Do you have paint peeling or wall discoloration? This is a classic symptom of your wall being exposed to moisture. If you see this, it’s important to really take a closer look at your walls and if necessary, take action immediately. While it might just be the beginning of some tiny mold growth, it could actually be much worse. Mold might be growing behind the wall, and seeing it on the wall’s surface can be a sign that there is a larger problem underneath.
6. Inspect your furniture
There are certain pieces of furniture that molds likes to grab a hold of. Furniture made of wood or other organic materials are common places for mold growth. Upholstered furniture typically holds moisture well, which means it’s a perfect space for mold to grow. One way to prevent mold from reaching your furniture is to keep it away from your walls. If you have mold growing on your walls and your furniture is touching those walls, it is likely that the mold will then grab ahold of your furniture. Because of this, be sure to check inside your cabinets and cupboards as well.
7. Take a look at your windows
During the colder months, windows and window frames can very easily become the victims of mold growth. Due to the cold outside air, condensation frequently forms on windows, which cools the glass. If your windows are dirty, the combination of the moisture and grime add up to be a great spot for potential mold to grow. Be sure to clean your windows on a regular basis. Also, check the area around your windows where the frame meets the wall.
8. Always keep dry clothes
Leaving wet clothes unattended for a long period of time can create mold. Keeping damp towels or wet clothing items for more than a day creates a very good possibility of mold growth.
9. Call SERVPRO!
If you are unsure as to whether or not there is mold in your home, our SERVPRO team can help! We use various professional testing tools and equipment to examine whether or not your house has been exposed to mold.
If by chance you discover mold in any area of your home, call SERVPRO today! We are experts in mold remediation and removal. As soon as we receive your call, we are dedicated to making the remediation process as quick and as smooth as possible. The faster we are able to get to your home, the more affective we can be in removing any signs of mold.
SERVPRO’s Mold Remediation Process
The process of removing mold from your home depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears to be. We use certain antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies and to help prevent new colonies from forming. Depending on the severity of the mold damage, SERVPRO will remove mold-infested pieces like drywall and carpeting if needed.
The Do’s and Don’ts While You Wait
When it is determined that you do in fact have mold in your home, the hardest part can be waiting for the removal process to be completed. While it might be difficult, there are certain things that should and should not do while you wait:
-Stay out of affected areas.
-Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
-Contact a SERVPRO Franchise Professional for mold remediation services.
-Touch or disturb the mold.
-Blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
-Attempt to dry the area yourself.
-Spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.
How to Prevent Mold in the Future
Once the mold is removed from your home, there are certain things homeowners can do to help make sure that the mold does not come back. Here are a few tips on how to prevent mold in the future:
1. Be weary of indoor humidity.
Higher than normal indoor humidity can support the growth of mold in a home. We recommend homeowners to keep the indoor humidity below 45 percent.
2. Clean up wet and water damaged areas as soon as possible.
Whether it’s a simple water spill or a disastrous flood, it is important to respond immediately to the potential water damage. The sooner you can dry up those water damaged areas, the more likely you can prevent mold from coming pack into your home. As soon as you discover the water damage, give SERVPRO a call, as we also specialize in water damage remediation as well.
3. Repair your home’s gutters.
If the mold originated from a leaking roof, it is possible that there might be an issue with your gutters. In the future, be sure to clean them on a regular basis. If the damage is severe, you might need to repair or purchase new gutters all together.
4. Increase the airflow in your home.
As the cold winter temperatures start to kick in, the air doesn’t hold as much moisture as it does in the warmer months. That leaves the extra moisture to appear on your walls, windows, floors and other surfaces in your home. To prevent this from happening, it is essential to have good airflow in your home. Open doors throughout your home and move your furniture away from walls to let fresh air in and prevent the possibility of mold forming in your home.
Mold in a home will never be welcomed. It smells, it’s hazardous to our health and can be just plain gross. We at SERVPRO understand that and are dedicated to helping our customers completely remove any and all types of mold in a home. If you discover mold in your house, contact SERVPRO today!