4 Signs You May Have Mold, Plus What To Do If You Find It - Home & Texture
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Think You Might Have Mold? Here Are the Signs To Look Out For, Plus What To Do If You Find It

The subtle signs and red flags can help you identify the problem and address it before it gets worse.

January 7, 2024 at 10:46 AM PST

If you haven’t had an experience with mold in your household, chances are, you know someone who has. It’s caused by a number of factors and has different levels of severity, so it’s important to be able to recognize its presence to address it right away. Here are a few tips for figuring out if you have it, and what actions to take if you do.

What is mold?

At a glance, it’s a type of fungus that can thrive in both indoor and outdoor environments. It comes in a variety of colors, such as green, black, and white, and reproduces by releasing tiny spores into the air, which can settle on various surfaces and give rise to new colonies.

Person cleaning in hazmat suit
Photo Credit: Matilda Wormwood

The Causes of Growth

Essentially, it requires three primary elements to thrive.

  • Moisture: Mold has a particular fondness for damp environments. This means that issues like leaky roofs, plumbing problems, or elevated humidity levels can create the perfect breeding ground.
  • Organic Material: It feeds on organic materials, including wood, paper, and fabric. If your home contains these materials and there’s excess moisture, it’s more likely to take hold.
  • Warmth: While it prefers temperatures between 77°F and 86°F, it can grow within a broad temperature range, making it tricky to avoid in many climates.

What To Do If You Find Mold

Recognizing the specific mold variety based on the color can help you gauge potential health risks and determine the necessary remediation steps. While some can be easily identified and managed, others may require the assistance of remediation experts to minimize infection risks.

If you find mold in your home, timing is important to prevent it from spreading. You could take matters into your own hands to clean and disinfect, but consider reaching out to a professional to assess how bad it is and remove it. Or, if you’re renting, notify your landlord immediately, and depending on its severity, they might be responsible for paying for your relocation and accommodations while it gets taken care of.

Man cleaning window
Photo Credit: Tima Miroshnichenko

Signs of Mold Infestation

So, what are the signs that you have an infestation in your home? Here’s what you should look out for.

Visible Mold

This is the most obvious, as you can identify it as visible patches on walls, ceilings, or other surfaces. These patches often appear as discolored spots or irregular growth.

Musty Odor

Mold emits a distinctive, musty odor. If you notice a persistent, unpleasant smell in a specific area of your home, it could be a clear indicator of mold-related issues.

Allergic Reactions

People and pets can be sensitive to spores and may experience allergic symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, or skin irritation when mold is present.

Water Damage

If your home has recently experienced water damage, whether from a leak or flooding, mold growth is more likely. In such cases, it’s crucial to inspect and address the affected areas promptly.



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