Signs of Mold Infestation — How to Identify and Address the Problem

The threat of mold in your home or business is a scary thought for any property owner. Because mold can spread quickly, you must act if you find evidence. Some types of mold are toxic and can pose a danger to human health. Many people don’t realize they have a mold issue until they start experiencing allergies or other, more severe symptoms. You can make several choices if you discover mold at your property — clean it up yourself, call a professional or both. Because mold can hide within walls, in insulation and under flooring, it’s wise to get professional help to ensure your property is 100% mold-free.

What Causes Indoor Mold?

Excess moisture causes mold. If you experience a roof or plumbing leak, you may have to deal with a subsequent mold problem. One of the best ways to avoid mold is to keep everything in your home or business dry and allow fresh air to circulate. Humid, closed-off spaces are the perfect opportunity for mold spores to flourish. Mold and other fungi reproduce with spores. These tiny particles can be anywhere inside and outside buildings. Thankfully, small amounts of mold and mold spores aren’t a problem. The trouble occurs when mold spores find the ideal conditions to start proliferating inside your house or business.

Warning Signs of Mold

Sometimes, it’s easy to identify a mold infestation — like when you find mold on your bathroom ceiling. However, the signs of a hidden mold problem can be more challenging to perceive. Here are some indications of mold in your home or business:
  • musty or earthy smell
  • Discoloration on the walls or ceiling
  • Soggy, damp drywall or flooring
  • Visible spots on clothing
If you see something and you’re not sure if it’s mold, don’t wait and see. There’s only so much Google can tell you — if you have any reason to worry, treat the issue like mold and call for professional help. If left untreated, mold can spread quickly and become more difficult to get rid of.

Can Mold Make You Sick?

In addition to affecting your property, some types of mold can adversely affect your and your family’s health. If you notice any of these symptoms and can’t seem to find a good reason for them, they could result from breathing in mold spores. Symptoms of mold exposure can range widely, from slight allergy symptoms to hallucinations. It all depends on the type of mold in your property, your sensitivity and how much exposure you get. The following symptoms can occur from prolonged mold exposure:
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy eyes
  • Respiratory problems
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Brain fog
  • Dizziness
  • Hallucinations
If you notice one or more of these signs, there could be a mold problem in your commercial or residential property. Though some molds are toxic, others might only affect the building’s structure. Regardless of the type of mold, you must identify and remove it as soon as possible to keep everyone safe and protect the investment you’ve made in your home or business.

How to Identify Mold

To look for mold in your house, examine areas in the bathroom and kitchen — where water leaks may be more of a problem. Mold likes moist, warm environments. It’s easier for mold to take hold in a poorly ventilated area, since trapped moisture can accumulate. Running your bathroom fan and opening windows periodically can help you avoid mold growth. According to Healthline, several different types of mold tend to grow indoors. These molds all have different colors, textures and favorite environments. If you’re worried there may be mold on your property, you can check in these places:
  • Basement
  • Bathroom closets
  • Grout
  • Carpet
  • HVAC system
Check for dampness, a musty smell and signs of discoloration. Molds can come in many colors, including green, black, yellow and white. However, it’s important to note that not all black-colored molds are the same as the toxic “black mold,” or Stachybotrys chartarum. This mold is a toxic health hazard, and can appear as a mix of dark green and black. The best way to identify mold is to look at its color and where it’s growing. However, unless you have a specific health concern, it doesn’t matter what mold species is growing in your property. Indoor mold is always cause for alarm. If you don’t act quickly, it will continue to spread and reproduce, releasing more spores into the air.

How to Get Rid of Mold

The first step for getting rid of mold is to address the moisture problem in your home or business. If you have a leaking pipe or a crack in your roof, hire a contractor to fix it. Once the leak stops and water is no longer damaging your property, you can focus on cleaning out the mold that’s already there. If you clean up mold but never fix the underlying problem, it will keep returning. Sometimes, the mold you see is all there is to treat. If the area is small enough, you could wipe it away with detergent and a wet cloth. However, visible mold is often only a fraction of the problem. If you suspect mold is present in your HVAC system, insulation, inside the walls or in other integral systems, you should always call a professional. It’s paramount to wear a protective, filtered respirator anytime you’re working with mold to ensure you don’t breathe in the spores. Because some types of mold can be dangerous to human health, always take precautions. A professional cleaning company will have the proper equipment to safely remove mold from your property.

Worried You Have Mold? Reach out to Rhode Island Restoration

Maybe you’re experiencing physical symptoms that make you think there might be a mold problem in your home or business. Or, perhaps you’ve found mold in a closet, your basement or even on your furniture. If you’re concerned there might be an issue, the time to act is now. The earlier you handle mold, the less damage you’ll have to deal with later. Rhode Island Restoration can safely and efficiently rid your property of mold. Our mission is to support property owners with reliable water, fire and mold damage remediation and repair. We offer emergency services so you don’t have to wait to take care of your residential or commercial property. Call us today for a consultation and fast action to resolve your mold issue!

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