How to tell if you have Black Mold?

It might take you several days or weeks to notice the presence of mold in your home. One of the most difficult situations you can encounter is getting rid of hidden mold. Toxic mold is known to cause serious health conditions especially for people suffering from asthma and allergies.

This article looks into various signs that tell if you have black mold and why you need to address the problem as soon as possible. Getting to know the status of hygiene in your home gives you peace of mind so that you can live a healthy lifestyle. Here are some signs that you may have black mold in your home.

1. Musty Odor

The presence of mold can be determined by a musty smell that makes the room feel stuffy. Most often you will be sneezing or coughing when you enter a room with such a smell. Many times homeowners find it difficult to locate the mold even though they can smell its presence. A musty odor demands a thorough inspection of your home to help mitigate the problem before it becomes worse.

2. Allergic Symptoms

If you happen to experience allergic reactions when at home but you feel better when you are out, it is most likely that you are breathing mold spores floating in the air. Some of the common allergic reactions you may experience include nasal congestion, a runny nose, sore eyes, and sneezing. People who are allergic or suffering from asthmatic attacks are more prone to the health effects of black mold. It becomes worse over time if nothing is done to locate and remove the mold.

3. Moisture Problem

Black mold thrives well in areas with high levels of moisture. If you have been encountering long-term moisture problems in your home, then there are higher chances of mold growth around the house. Some signs of moisture problem include discoloration or stains on the ceiling, walls, and floors. It is also characterized by a surface peeling off, cracking or bubbling of the paint or wallpaper. Damp materials or surfaces are more likely to attract mold.

4. Pipe Leaks

Pipe leaks are the major cause of molds since they create a conducive environment for their survival. This is usually common in wet or cold areas such as the bathroom or basement. In such situations, black mold often starts growing and hiding below the leaking pipes before it spreads over the walls and other areas around the house. The best remedy is to fix leaky pipes as soon as possible to reduce the high level of moisture favorable for mold growth.

5. Visible Growth

The common way of telling whether you have black mold is when you can see it growing on various surfaces. There are chances that the mold appearing above the surface is just a tip of the iceberg. A thorough inspection will help locate other areas where black mold is present. Sometimes it can be hidden behind furniture, walls and dark areas such as the basement. Failure to remove the whole growth leads to recurring mold, which causes constant allergies and mold-related illnesses.

6. Carrying out Mold Tests

Mold tests done by professionals are considered effective since mold spores floating in the air are invisible to the human eye. If you have not yet encountered all the above signs of black mold in your house but experience allergic symptoms every time you come back home, then you should consider taking a mold test.

Why are Mold Tests Important?

A mold test helps locate invisible mold that is causing allergic reactions and cannot be located just by looking. It also comes in handy when buying a new home since not all homeowners disclose full information about the property in a real estate transaction. This also applies when you are selling your own home since a potential buyer may find your house infested with mold after carrying out a mold test. Besides increasing the value of your home, a mold test gives you peace of mind and the assurance of a healthy lifestyle.

All the above signs help to identify the presence of black mold. Sometimes it is difficult to tell if you have black mold just by looking, which necessitates having a mold test. The only tests considered effective are those done by professionals and samples taken to the lab for further assessment. Once you have identified the growth of black mold in your home, it is important to take necessary steps for complete removal to avoid chances of recurring mold.