We all have that friend who is constantly complaining of some non-existent problem. She thinks her house had mold, but she can’t prove it. The paranoia has set in. You don’t have to wonder whether or not you have mold in your home. Knowing is, of course, half the battle. Don’t let hysteria set in at the first sight of an discolored spot on your wall—before you do anything drastic, make sure you know whether or not you really have mold. Here are a few warning signs that will help you determine whether or not you really have mold:
1. An odor. Mold smells. Sure, mold spores are everywhere, indoors, outdoors, and you may not smell them—that’s because the concentration is so low that it does not affect you. However, if you can smell the mold, you know that you have a serious problem. A persistent, pungent odor is a great indicator, especially if your mold is growing under wallpaper or inside the walls themselves, where it isn’t visible.
2. The appearance. Mold itself is fairly easy to spot. Start by looking at the dampest rooms of your house—the bathrooms. It’s not soap scum (that white film that forms on the walls and doors of your shower, but little spots and colonies. In color, it could range from yellow to green to black. Damp areas of your home are most likely to develop a mold problem, as the damp area provides somewhere for mold spores to land and reproduce, creating a visible spot. Besides bathrooms, check your basements and kitchens.
3. Health problems. Those with pre-existing respiratory problems, like asthma, are more sensitive to mold spores in the air than people with respiratory issues. Children and the elderly are also more likely to develop mold-related health problems. If you or someone in your house is experiencing allergy-like symptoms that seem to clear up when you are not in the house, then you might have a mold problem in your home.
Ask if the person feels better when they are work or running errands. Do they start to feel sick only when they step into the house? The higher concentration of mold spores caused by active mold colonies in your house could be the culprit.
What Should I Do?
If you suspect that you have a mold problem, do a little investigating. Where could the mold be living? If you do not have visible colonies, is there a damp place inside your walls that it might be living? When it doubt, it is probably best to call a skilled mold remediation company, who can help you both find and combat any mold colonies.
About Brickley Environmental
Brickley Environmental creates safe-and-sound schools, homes, and buildings by designing and executing safe, cost-effective containment, abatement and removal solutions. We do it right the first time — making your profits predictable while supporting your ethical standards and reputation for excellence — and have served Southern California for over 30 years.