Becoming a homeowner is a great milestone in life, but it also comes with a new set of stresses. This is especially true when you’re also a busy professional and a parent. Unexpected maintenance issues come up all the time. Some can be ignored for the time being. Others need to be addressed right away.
Mold is one of those things you don’t want to fool around with. The financial and health risks are simply too great. You’ve seen the reports, the government warnings, the TV documentaries. You know you need to stay ahead of any potential mold problems. There’s just one problem: Mold isn’t always visible to the naked eye.
It’s one thing of the entire mold problem exists in plain sight, but this is rarely the case. Mold can dig deep into homes, spreading into drywall and insulation, growing behind walls and above ceilings. It can even spread into duct work and HVAC systems. This is not a situation you want to deal with!
So how do you know if you have an “invisible” mold problem in your home? There are a number of things to look out for.
1. Mysterious health symptoms
Coughing, wheezing, watery eyes, mental fog. These are all classic symptoms of mold exposure. That doesn’t mean your symptoms are mold-related for sure—but if you’ve been noticing persistent allergy-like symptoms amongst your family members at home, mold exposure is definitely something you want to rule out. Many people don’t realize how sick mold was making them until they have it removed.
2. Strange odors
While mold may not always be visible, it almost always generates that distinct moldy odor. You might not see anything wrong in your home, but if your sense of smell tells you that mold is lurking nearby, it makes sense to trust your nose and call a professional.
3. Recent flooding
Many cases of residential mold are due to water damage. People often assume that cleaning up the water damage itself is the only thing they need to do. But depending on how long the water was allowed to stay in the home, a mold problem may have developed as well. Leaky pipes and flooding are two of the most common causes of residential mold.
4. High humidity
A warm, steamy environment is ideal for mold. When the dew point rises outside, homeowners can take measures to control the humidity inside their homes. Air conditioners dehumidify air. There are also dehumidifiers and ventilation solutions that can make your home’s air cleaner and less susceptible to mold.
How can I know for sure?
Don’t worry too much about invisible mold problems—but don’t worry too little, either! The smart strategy is to understand the underlying conditions that lead to mold growth, and to be aware of any such conditions around the house. If you suspect mold, or if you just want to be 100% certain, a professional mold inspection is usually very affordable and will remove all doubt as to whether or not there is currently a mold problem in your home.
Best of luck in your efforts to stay mold-free! Your feedback and comments are welcomed below.