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Signs of Mold In Your Home

What Is Mold?

Molds are living microorganisms and forms of fungi. It is not uncommon to find hundreds or even thousands of mold spores per cubic foot of indoor air. Single spores are extremely small. For reference, 20 million spores would fit on a postage stamp. So there is usually a few signs of mold in your home.

Mold is in the air everywhere and there is no way to get rid of it altogether. But, having large clusters in your home is bad for your health and property.

How To Identify If Mold Is In Your Home

There are over 100,000 species of mold. The easiest way to identify what type of mold you have is to have a sample taken and tested. There is a lot of information out on the internet about what a certain mold may look like, but without a microscope, it is nearly impossible to identify.

Signs of Mold In Your Home

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Medical:

You feel fatigued, can’t concentrate, get headaches often, get allergy symptoms from being in your home, have a poor memory, difficulty concentrating, morning stiffness, or vertigo.

Physical:

You can see spots on your home’s surfaces and you suspect they are mold. This could be a bowed floorboard, discolored carpet, water stain, or specks on almost any surface.

History:

There has been a flood or water leak in the home and it was not treated properly from the beginning.

Mold Removal

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All mold is treated the same way. The first idea many homeowners have is to grab a rag and clean the mold. But this just spreads the spores and puts them into the air. Also, you can’t see the mold behind the surface.

That is why it is important to call a professional to remove the mold for you. They are the only ones that are going to be able to remove mold from large spaces safely. If the space is under 10 square feet, you can probably get away with removing the mold yourself. The quicker you catch the growth, the cheaper it will be to remove it.

To get mold removed in your home in Barrington, IL, fill out this form.

Common Types Of Mold In Homes

Alternaria Mold

Alternaria is a large spore mold that causes an allergic response. It is often found in carpets, textiles, dust, and damp areas.

Aspergillus Mold

Aspergillus can produce mycotoxins which may be associated with disease in humans and some animals. It is usually found in building materials and dust due to water damage or extreme dampness. 

Cladosporium Mold

Cladosporium is the most commonly identified outdoor fungus and can enter indoors through airflow. It also can grow on porous, damp areas indoors like wood or textiles. It triggers hay fever and asthma symptoms.

Penicillium Mold

Penicillium is a very common mold that can produce mycotoxins. It is known to cause allergies, hay fever, and asthma. It is often found in water damaged homes on wallpaper, carpet, and interior fiberglass duct insulation. 

Stachybotrys (Black Mold)

Black mold is especially toxic. The mycotoxins cause breathing difficulties, memory and hearing loss, dizziness, flu-like symptoms, and bleeding in the lungs. This type of mold requires excessive moisture to survive and is a slimy black mold. It is not found often, but is very dangerous when it is.

11 Ways To Prevent Mold In Your Home

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1.Reduce the humidity from your home

Humidity is one of the main culprits of mold growth. To reduce this put a dehumidifier in damp areas like the basement. Or even more ideally, install a humidifier that goes throughout your whole home. This is a more expensive option, but it hooks right up to your furnace and drain so does not need to be emptied. It is ideal to have in between 30 and 60 percent humidity in your home.

2. Dry wet spots immediately

Spills on the carpet or drips from a leaky pipe should be cleaned up as soon as possible. Water can get soak into the surface and initiate mold growth.

3. Proper ventilation

Put fans in the bathroom, laundry room, and other rooms that are exposed to moisture frequently. Always run them when you are taking a shower, air-drying clothes, or running a lot of water.

4. Replace old wood windows or damaged seals in shower

Older homes were sometimes built with wooden windows in the bathroom. This is a mold breeding zone. Replace it or make sure it is dry at all times.

Damaged seals can also be a spot to look for mold. It can even be colors like pink or green. Fix the seals so that the mold cannot get into small crevices.

5. Clean gutters on the roof regularly and replace if necessary

If there’s a blockage in your gutters, it can cause water to sit still in a confined area. Clean out the blockage or replace the gutters to reduce the risk of mold growth.

6. Insulate your roof and fix missing shingles or damaged areas immediately

A damaged roof can leak into your home and the water will cause mold to grow if not taken care of properly. Insulting your roof can help keep your home at the temperature you wish. Ensuring that the cold or hot temperatures outside do not make their way indoors.

7. Don’t ignore the laundry

Leaving laundry at any of its stages can cause mold growth. If it is laying in the hamper with wet towels, in the washing machine before or after it is clean, or if it is in the dryer but not completely dry, it can grow mold. If you are air drying your clothes, you should have a fan blowing, window open, or put them outside to get rid of the moisture.

8. Install plastic sheets in the crawl space

A crawl space with a dirt floor is prone to mold growth. Moisture from the ground can make the area wet all of the time. Dry the area and then cover it with plastic so that it will prevent the moisture from coming up.

9. Let the sun in

Mold grows best in dark areas. Let the sun in to let the natural light take over.

10. Clean, dust, and vacuum regularly

Dust is a food source for mold. Taking away the food source makes it harder for it to grow.

11. Reduce clutter

Dust collects on knick knacks and clutter around the house. Make it easier for yourself to dust by removing it.

Dangers of Mold In Your Home

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  • Ability to spread to other areas of the home

  • Allergies

  • Medical problems arise (all the way from coughing to serious infections)

  • Risk of not being able to sell your home

For more tips, take a look at our blog!