Mold is the last thing we ever expect to find in our homes. Is there a way to watch for it and catch it before it creates a lot of problems?
Mold Damage 101 – What to Look For
Here are 10 warning signs your home may have a mold problem.
- Watch for pipe leaks. Every home has normal wear damage just from normal use. If your faucets start dripping, or you notice wet spots underneath sinks or next to appliances, have them checked out and fixed.
- Pay attention with your nose. If you enter a room that has been closed up for a while, what does it smell like? Do you notice a musty odor? This can be the first sign of a problem.
- Watch for areas with high humidity. In Colorado, we rarely think about humidity problems – we’re usually so dry this time of year. But with the increase of rain comes higher levels of humidity; and more chances of mold formation. Monitor the different areas of your home that are susceptible to different levels of heat and cold. If you have a swamp cooler, that can also introduce humidity into a home.
- How is your health? If you or a family member notices a change in your health, such as an increase in cold/flu-like symptoms or an increase in allergy symptoms, you may want to check your home for mold as well.
- Watch for leaks on the outside of your home. Is your roof in good shape? Do downspouts work properly? Never let water puddle up on the outside, or it may seep into the walls, ceilings and floorboards of your home.
- Look for condensation on pipes, windows or walls. Condensation is a sign of a leak, or high humidity near the area, and could indicate a potential problem.
- Have you ever walked into a home with cracked or peeling paint on the walls? That’s can be a sign of moisture building up behind the paint.
- Bathrooms are a prime place for mold growth. Be on the lookout for dark growth on the tiles or along tubs, showers, sinks and toilets. Where there’s a constant flow of water, there’s always a chance for mold growth.
- A change in the appearance of your walls could signal a problem with mold growth. Mold damage can begin warping wood, or loosening drywall tape.
- Poor ventilation. Especially in older homes that may not be up to code, mold can grow quickly in poorly ventilated areas. Keep a special eye on bathrooms without vents or outside windows, or enclosed laundry rooms without proper ventilation.