15 Signs That You May Need a Mold Inspection and Testing
- 1. Allergic Reactions
- 2. Asthma Flare-Ups
- 3. Fatigue
- 4. Skin Rashes
- 5. Weird Smells
- 6. Stains on Walls
- 7. Complaints from Tenants
- 8. Persistent Water Leaks
- 9. High Humidity
- 10. Gunk in the Grouts
- 11. Peeling Wallpaper
- 12. Condensation on Windows
- 13. Fuzz on Furniture
- 14. Contaminated Carpets
- 15. Lack of Full Disclosure from Landlords/Sellers
- In Conclusion
You’ve likely heard horror stories about household mold. It’s more than just a cosmetic problem. When mold is left to grow unimpeded, it can wreak havoc on your home and health, paving the way for a world of problems.
One of the most alarming things about mold is that it’s usually hidden out of sight. Mold thrives in hot, moist environments and may be tucked away in remote corners of your home, including attics, crawlspaces, and basements. You may not even be aware of an infestation until it is too late.
Detecting mold as quickly as possible can help safeguard your property and family – but you need to be aware of the warning signs. Here are 15 red flags that indicate it may be time for you to call a professional mold inspection and testing agency.
1. Allergic Reactions
Many people confuse mold-related reactions with seasonal allergies. While the two are alike, you can distinguish them by monitoring when the symptoms peak. If your allergies worsen indoors, rather than when you step outside, chances are it is due to mold.
Mold can irritate anyone – not just people with specific allergies. A few common symptoms of mold exposure include:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Red, itchy, and watery eyes
- Dry skin
- Coughing and sneezing
- Postnasal drip
- Sore throat
People with pre-existing allergies can have even more intense reactions to toxic molds, such as:
- Chest colds
As you can see, mold is a potent health hazard that can disrupt your well-being, as well as your family’s health. If you or your loved ones exhibit symptoms of mold exposure, get in touch with a certified mold inspection and testing specialist as soon as possible.
2. Asthma Flare-Ups
Sometimes, allergies aren’t the least of your family’s problems. Household mold may also be the reason behind breathing troubles and asthma flare-ups.
Mold can aggravate asthma in individuals who already suffer from the condition. Research from the American Lung Association suggests that asthmatic patients who are allergic to mold tend to have reduced lung function and may even die from related complications.
Do you constantly feel run down? Your lethargy could be caused by the mold in your home.
Mold can force your immune system into overdrive, increasing the body’s energy consumption. This, in turn, leaves you feeling exhausted, even if you’re getting enough sleep and eating right. Certain mycotoxins have also been linked with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
If you cannot figure out why you are so tired all the time, consider hiring a mold inspection and testing firm like GP Inspect. We check every inch of your home for toxic mold and return an accurate report of our findings. What’s more, we don’t have any hidden agendas, so you can trust us to be honest.
4. Skin Rashes
If you think mold only triggers respiratory problems, think again. People with mold allergies can also break out in hives when exposed to mold spores.
Again, these rashes look like any other allergic reaction, making them hard to identify. Schedule a mold inspection without delay. It’s better to be safe than sorry! Also, be careful not to scratch too much: excessive friction will break the skin and cause infections.
5. Weird Smells
Mold has a distinct, musty odor that increases as the infestation expands. The stronger the smell, the bigger the problem.
If your home smells strange, especially after a spell of rain or when the doors and windows are closed, you may have a mold problem that needs immediate attention.
6. Stains on Walls
Discolored walls are a tell-tale sign of mold. It usually grows near the ceiling, along the edges of baseboards, or near the floor.
Interestingly enough, mold does not always appear as black fuzz. It can take on a wide range of colors, often brighter than you would imagine (think orange, green, and pink). Either way, consider scheduling a mold inspection and testing service call anytime you see suspicious stains on the walls.
7. Complaints from Tenants
As a landlord, the last thing you want is your tenants complaining of mold. Since mold is associated with a wide range of symptoms, tenants may attribute their health issues to an underlying mold problem in your rental.
When this happens, you must act fast to avoid legal charges. Start your mold investigation with tenant interviews and a visual sweep of the premises. In case that fails, get the experts involved straight away. You don’t want to take any risks that may further exacerbate the dispute.
8. Persistent Water Leaks
Moisture damage is a reliable precursor to mold. A continuing water leak may be a strong sign that mold is on its way. Make sure to get the leak repaired and the area dried out as quickly as possible. Next, schedule a mold inspection to see if there are traces of mold in the affected areas. A little proactivity can go a long way!
9. High Humidity
According to the EPA, high indoor humidity (at levels over 60%) can encourage mold growth around the home. If you live in a humid area or constantly use stoves and steamers, it’s best to have your home checked for mold.
While a humidifier may help you sleep better at night, remember that it can also set the stage for a nasty mold outbreak. Taking proper preventative measures can help keep mold trouble at bay.
10. Gunk in the Grouts
Bathrooms are notorious for harboring mold colonies. Poor ventilation, leaky toilets, and damp cellulose materials can all combine to set off an infestation.
Mold often grows in tile grouts, thanks to their porous nature. Hence, if there’s noticeable black gunk in your grout lines, you have every reason to suspect it is mold. Get it checked by a professional mold inspection and testing service before cleaning up.
11. Peeling Wallpaper
Let’s face it – your wallpaper gets a little scruffy over time. That’s normal. However, unusual peeling or warping can signal the presence of moisture in the walls.
Where there’s moisture, there will be mold. Timely mold inspection and testing can save you from a nasty infestation down the line. Call a mold specialist as soon as you notice your wallpaper bubbling up.
12. Condensation on Windows
Condensation on the inside of your windows is a good sign that your indoor humidity is too high. Again, this is a prime trigger for mold. Besides conducting a mold inspection, you must reduce the humidity inside your home. Just use a dehumidifier or leave a door open!
13. Fuzz on Furniture
Any dubious patches on your furniture or upholstery should set off warning bells in your head. Since mold is attracted to moist leather and wood, it can take over your precious furnishings sooner than you think. Do not hesitate to call a mold inspection and testing company whenever you see mold spots on your fixtures.
14. Contaminated Carpets
Does your carpet smell funky? Do you see circular patterns of brown, green, or black stains?
If the answer is yes, then you may have to call for a mold inspector. Carpeted areas are at high-risk for mold, and they can easily spread the infestation to other parts of your home.
15. Lack of Full Disclosure from Landlords/Sellers
No one expects to buy a home with mold. If the seller is not upfront about a mold problem, you may be in for a nightmare.
A hidden mold infestation can be extremely detrimental to your health and well-being. It can also come with a hefty pocket pinch. In most cases, your insurance will only cover mold damage if it stems from a ‘named peril’, so there’s no guarantee you’ll make a successful claim.
You may have to get the lawyers involved if you believe the seller knew about the mold but chose not to disclose it. Needless to say, this is a messy, complicated affair.
Don’t wait to sign the dotted line before investigating your property for mold. Get in touch with a mold inspection and testing firm before you move in to ensure your peace of mind.
Dealing with mold is easier said than done. Unless you nip the problem in the bud, it will amplify over time. Hence, it’s crucial to test for mold as soon as you have a hunch.
When it comes to mold inspection and testing in California, GP Inspect is an ideal choice. As a trusted and certified agency, we’ve been serving Southern California for over 22 years.