Mold can be one of the most frustrating and stressful problems to deal with as a homeowner. It can take root and spread quickly, it’s often in hard to find or completely hidden places, and it can even have a detrimental impact on your health if left untouched for too long. Black mold is particularly dangerous; when exposed to this particular strain for too long, people often experience respiratory problems, fatigue, skin irritations, and even lung disease or cancer. As such, it’s extremely important to solve your mold problem with a thorough cleaning and remediation service right away.
However, you may not even be aware that mold is present in your home. As we said, mold likes to hide in places that you don’t normally look, or even where it may not be visible at all. Mold can grow inside walls, beneath carpets, and even in the foundation of your home if conditions are right, and that means you need to be alert for signs of mold in order to take action quickly.
How Does Mold Grow?
Mold can grow almost anywhere and seemingly at almost anytime without much of a warning. However, it’s not a random threat—every mold infestation or colony growth requires three principal ingredients.
First, every mold colony needs a food source. Mold consumes carbon-based substances, and you might be shocked to learn just how many of those you have in your home. Drywall is an ideal food source, as is wood, including the wood that makes up the structure of your home. Other organic-based materials include natural fabrics like cotton and wool, carpets, food like fruit, vegetables, and bread, and so much more.
Second, every mold colony needs a source of water. Because spores are tiny, however, even a damp surface will suffice with more than enough water for a colony to form. Mold generally takes about 48 hours for a colony to start to appear, so it will generally congregate where water is stagnant, constant, or frequently appears. Damp basements, humid closets, or even areas around slow plumbing leaks all make great sources for mold.
Finally, mold needs protection from sunlight. Sunlight emits radiation that is far too strong for most strains of mold to withstand, so it’ll often appear in places that are dark and hidden away from all direct sunlight (and most sunlight in general for that matter). This is why spaces like under your sink or behind large appliances make great locations for mold to grow—they’re dark, damp, and often have organic material that can be used as a food source.
Signs of a Mold Infestation
If you spot any of these three potential signs of a mold infestation, you should have your home professionally tested by the experts at Element850 Restoration immediately.
- Moldy or mildew-like smells: Your nose is going to be one of your most effective tools for finding mold growth. Mildew has a very distinct smell that almost anyone can recognize right away—it’s extremely sharp and almost completely unique from any other odor. If you catch a whiff of this distinct smell floating through your home, there’s a good chance you probably have mold present somewhere as well. One place to look out for in particular is your chimney—damaged flashing or rusty chimney caps allow water to leak in when it rains, and that makes the creosote in your chimney damp and extremely inviting for mold to grow.
- Paint bubbling on walls: Remember how we said that mold can grow inside your walls? Well nobody wants to tear open their walls to look for a mold problem—that would lead to a ton of labor-intensive and expensive repairs to set things right again. Instead, your walls themselves may give you a few hints as to what’s on the other side. Paint bubbling is one of these hints. If you have bubbling paint on walls near a window or in a moisture-heavy room like your kitchen or bathroom, there’s a chance mold may be growing behind it. Why? Paint bubbling is a side-effect of moisture in your drywall, and damp drywall is a breeding ground for mold. This is also an easy way of finding things like leaks in your plumbing that could be dropping water inside your walls.
- Lumpy attic insulation: The insulation in your attic can tell you a lot about the condition of the roof over your head. If your insulation is lumpy, wavy, and uneven, then odds are it has taken on a considerable amount of moisture. Moisture in your attic can come from a plumbing issue or excessive humidity, but the most common source is a leaky roof. Leaky roofs are a huge source of attic mold buildup, and very few people inspect their roof often enough to make sure they keep mold out.
If you suspect your home has a mold problem, Element850 Restoration offers professional mold testing and diagnosis services. Get an accurate answer and start your mold remediation process by contacting Element850 Restoration today.