Are you moving into a home that tends to be damp, humid, and dark? Do you want to make sure your family remains healthy in the home? Make sure that your house is free of black mold by checking for these top 10 warning signs.
Like bacteria, not all molds are harmful or bad for us. The antibiotic penicillin comes from the Penicillium mold. Yet, certain molds like black mold or Stachybotrys produce toxic chemicals called mycotoxins.
Long exposure to or high doses of mycotoxins can affect our bodies. Thus, you need to spot the signs of black mold in your home as soon as possible. Keep reading to find out how.
1. Your Nose Picks up a Musty Smell
One of the most common signs of the black mold is the musty, pungent, and/or moldy smell that it produces. It’s an earthy, rotting smell that’s especially strong. Once you get a whiff of this, try to follow the smell to find where it’s strongest.
Check bathrooms, since they’re often the dampest places in the home. You also want to take a look at the exhaust fan in the bathroom where the mold may be enjoying the darkness. If you want to avoid cultivating mold in your bathroom, make it a habit to clean the walls with a bleach solution.
2. You See Dark Rings and/or Spots From Water Damage
The second most obvious sign that you have black mold growing in your home is the dark spots. You’ll often see these dark spots or rings on your walls or ceilings. These visual signs are often early indications of black mold.
3. You Find That the Paint on the Walls Is Bubbling
Moisture in the air is one of the very obvious warning signs of black mold. Anything from leaky plumbing or too much humidity can cause it. However, you won’t always know about it, especially if it’s trapped under the paint on the wall. It’s also impossible to detect with the naked eye but a thermal imager can be used for leak detection. When you see them, get some professional help.
Do you see the paint bubbling on your walls? If you do, it may be time to get a new paint job. Before that, you need to clean up the mold and fix the moisture problem first.
As we always say, where there’s moisture, mold isn’t too far behind.
4. Your Unventilated Attic Has Lumps in the Insulation
Head to your attic now and check the insulation. Do you see areas that look uneven? Get a feel of the air inside the attic. Is the air stagnant and humid?
If the answers to those questions are yes, you may be facing a mold problem. Check for unseen roof leaks and have them fixed. Only after you checked for leaks, replace the moldy insulation.
Any dark place without proper insulation spells a big problem for you. Always check for places like this before you move in or buy a house. Buying a house with mold will require more money to clean up and repair.
5. Your Eyes Become Watery and Irritated
You might have an allergic reaction to molds. However, this won’t always be obvious, especially when you have allergies to other things. If you the source of your allergies are never present in the home, it may be the molds.
Some symptoms of allergic reactions include irritated and watery eyes. Other people can start coughing or have nasal congestion. If you suspect that you’re allergic to molds, visit an allergist and get tested.
6. Your Skin Itches and Burns
Feeling your skin tingle, itch or burn is another effect of having an allergic reaction to black mold. In worst-case scenarios, you can get hives. This will most likely happen when you get too exposed to black mold at home.
See a doctor or allergist if you don’t know that you have an allergy to molds. It’s also possible that the home is harboring other sources of your allergies. Check the home for these sources as well as black molds.
7. You Experience Headaches or Mood Changes
Black mold can do more than let you know that you’re allergic to molds.
It can also cause issues like persistent headaches, diarrhea, and more. These are the effects of black mold on you when you’ve had a lot of exposure to it already. Some more health concerns of mold poisoning include memory loss and aches and pains.
8. Your Asthma Gets Triggered
Studies show there are millions of mold spores in the air all the time. It’s only invisible to our eyes. For anybody with preexisting lung problems or asthma, this is bad news.
Mold exposure can worsen these health issues. If you notice that your asthma is acting up, this may be a reason. Also, note that infants and children who grow up exposed to mold are more at risk of developing asthma.
9. There Are Soft Areas in Your Hardwood Floor
Black mold doesn’t grow in your walls and ceilings only. It can also row under your hardwood floors. This often happens when moisture gets trapped in the subfloor. If you have a crawlspace or basement, access it and check for moisture.
If you don’t have that kind of access to your subfloor, you’ll have to pull up a section of the flooring. It’s best to pick a soft spot on your wood flooring. Take a good look to see if the mold has already spread throughout the floor.
If the wood floor already rotted throughout, you’re at risk and have to change it all. However, if you see that the flooring is still in good condition, it’s safe to assume that the growth isn’t too widespread yet. Here, you can remove the mold with a remover.
10. Health Signs of Black Mold: Vomiting, Nausea, and Bleeding
The last of the signs of black mold are serious health symptoms. You may experience unexplainable bleeding in the lungs and nose, vomiting, or nausea. These are possible reactions of your body to the toxicity of black mold.
If you have a weak immune system, you’re at an even bigger risk of getting fungal infections. This includes people with uncontrolled HIV, those undergoing cancer treatment, and transplant patients.
Prevent Black Mold From Growing in Your Home
Is black mold dangerous? Yes, it is, as you can see from the warning signs mentioned above. You may not think it’s as serious as having rats or pests in the home. However, it’s a big risk to your health, anyway.
We hope you learned something valuable from this guide on the signs that you have black molds. Spot these warning signs of black mold early to avoid mold poisoning.
But don’t quit learning here. If you want to learn more about how to keep your home clean and mold-free, check out our other guides.