Mold is a fungus that grows in moist and warm conditions. It can cause several health problems like asthma, allergies, skin irritations, and infections. Mold spores are microscopic and easily airborne and infective. Anybody living in an infected space without proper protection is at risk of developing symptoms. The spores can trigger symptoms like wheezing, coughing, a runny nose, and watery eyes. Mold can also produce potent toxins that contribute to other health problems.
Removing mold requires advanced instrumentation and equipment to control it. Professionals have training in safe handling procedures and can perform a detailed mold inspection. Some specific symptoms ought to call for immediate attention by professional service providers. If ignored, the issue can become a bigger and more expensive problem. Here are five signs that should put you in touch with a pro as soon as possible.
1. Warped Walls and Floors
Warping is the bending or twisting of a material due to a change in temperature or moisture levels. Spacers and screws put in to secure a wall or floorboard to the subfloor might get loose upon exposure to moisture which causes warping. The seams where different materials meet can be typical spots for mold to grow. Warped walls and floors might mean that your home has been exposed to moisture intrusion over an extended period. This should compel you to get the mold inspected.
Even the slightest change in the framing and structure of a home can cause severe problems. It can trigger plaster failure, drain blockages, or even structural collapse. The best way to prevent these problems is to prevent moisture intrusion in your home. Use a dehumidifier, air conditioner, and exhaust fans to control the moisture levels in your house.
2. Musty Odor
Mold has a distinctive musty odor that smells like mildew, dirt, and decaying leaves. The spores float in the air and come from sewage backup, plumbing leaks, water-damaged wood or building materials, storm-damaged buildings, and damp carpeting. A moldy smell is an indication that there is an increase in the number of mold spores in your house. It is important to locate the source of the smell as soon as possible so you can take preventive measures to avoid further growth of mold.
A professional mold removal service provider will employ several tests to locate the source of the moldy smell. They can use electronic equipment to detect and identify mold spores, moisture levels, and air quality in your home. They will also conduct chemical tests to determine the type of mold(s) present in your house. They will then remove all traces of mold from your home using specialized tools and techniques.
3. Fungus in the Furniture and Appliances
Mold growth often starts as a small spot in the furniture, then expands over time. The fungus can spread quickly to fill the furniture and appliances. Sometimes it can even create new mold species altogether. Some examples of mold growth on furniture and appliances are fuzzy patches, black spots, and dusty formations. You might also discover a white residue on your belongings. This is usually an indicator of high moisture levels.
Mold growth can also affect appliances such as refrigerators, washers, and dryers. You will notice moisture stains or water spots on your appliances. Professional service providers can regularly check for growth in these products, cleaning and disinfecting them as necessary. They should also give you some tips for mold removal.
4. Allergy or Asthma Flare-Ups
Ongoing exposure to mold spores can trigger symptoms like sneezing and a runny nose, resulting from your body reacting to the mold on a molecular level. If you or any of your family members experience prolonged allergy or asthma symptoms, you might have a mold problem. Some people develop allergic reactions to certain species of mold, but most people will experience it if they inhale more over time. Sometimes even a small number of spores can cause severe allergic reactions.
Mycotoxin is a very toxic substance usually found in mold. Exposure can cause several diseases, like aspergillosis, a lung disease caused by inhaling fungal spores. They can also cause respiratory problems like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), allergies, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis. These effects can be a result of mold growth in the air ducts.
5. Tarnished Tiles, Wood, and Plaster
Mold will often grow on specific materials such as wood, tile, plaster, and other porous materials. These places are often prime for mold growth because they have the characteristics that the fungus requires, such as water or high humidity levels. The moisture level is usually within a certain range, depending on the material hosting mold growth. Mold growth can also occur on vinyl flooring, carpeting, and ceiling tiles.
Bathroom and kitchen tiles are the most susceptible to mold growth. Wood areas exposed to moisture, such as a porch or balcony, are also prone. The mildew associated with mold growth on porous materials will often grow on walls or floors and may be smelly and discolored.
If you suspect a mold problem in your home, contact a professional service provider immediately to handle the situation before it worsens. Look for a company with the right experience and knowledge. They will clean and disinfect your home, leaving it smelling fresh again.