Black mold, also known as Stachybotrys chartarum, is a green-black mold that can grow on fiberboard, gypsum board, and paper. Growth typically occurs after there is some kind of moisture leak, like after water damage. In order for black mold to grow, it needs a constant source of moisture.
Black mold can be dangerous. It can make asthma symptoms worse and make people with lowered immune systems sick.
But how can you tell that your house is growing black mold? keep reading to find out.
1. The Paint on Your Walls Bubbles
One of the key signs that there is mold growing in your house is bubbly paint. Whether it’s in your bathroom or near a window, bubbled paint means that there is moisture sneaking in somewhere. If you’ve got moisture, there’s a good chance you’ve got mold too.
This isn’t the kind of problem that you can cover up with a new coat of paint. You need to find the source of the moisture and fix it. Otherwise, the moisture will come back and mold will grow.
You could have a leaky window, excess humidity in the bathroom, or even leaky plumbing. But unless you find the problem and fix it, new paint is just going to provide more of a dark, damp spot for the mold to grow undetected.
Once the leak is gone, you can scrape, patch, clean, and dry the walls before painting again.
2. An Uptick in Asthma Symptoms
Around 25 million people in America have asthma. Some of the main things that can trigger asthma attacks are:
- Tobacco smoke
- Dust mites
- Air pollution
That’s right, mold is one of the leading causes of asthma attacks. It’s a serious respiratory irritant and, if you’re not careful, you could be growing it in your home. One study suggests that home-grown mold accounts for at least one out of every five asthma cases in the United States.
If someone in your house deals with asthma and you’ve noticed an uptick in their symptoms, it could be a sign that you’re growing mold.
Some of the signs to look out for are:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness and pain
- Trouble sleeping due to coughing
Asthma is a persistent problem that doesn’t go away, like cold or flu symptoms. If someone in your home is experiencing more asthma symptoms than usual, a mold check-up may be in order.
3. Watery, Stinging Eyes
In addition to asthma, mold can cause allergic reactions as well. Mold is a major allergen that can cause a multitude of symptoms.
If you’ve noticed itchy, watery eyes, coughing, or nasal congestion, you could have issues with allergies.
A good way to determine if you have environmental allergies is to pay attention to your symptoms. Monitor them to see if they occur more when you’re in a specific area of your home. Keep an eye on your allergy symptoms for two weeks to see if there are any noticeable patterns.
If your allergies are more severe, you could visit a doctor for a skin test to confirm your suspicions. Either way, have your home tested for mold.
4. Unidentified Coughing
The mycotoxin spores found in black mold find their way into your lungs. As we mentioned earlier, they’re a major respiratory irritant. They trigger coughing that can persist for a long time.
It’s important to remember that you don’t have to have allergies or asthma to experience issues brought about by black mold. If you’ve noticed that you have started coughing more frequently since you moved into a new place or after a leak, there’s a good chance that there’s mold hidden where you can’t see it.
5. You Have a Soft Spot in Your Hardwood
Under windowsills and on bathroom walls aren’t the only places to worry about mold. It can grow anywhere that excess moisture sits.
If you’ve noticed that your hardwood floor has a soft spot, you know there’s moisture where it shouldn’t be. If you have the ability to access the subfloor by going through the crawlspace or the basement, it’s a good idea to check for moisture.
If your hardwood floor has soft spots or is rotted out, you have to change the entire floor. There’s no way to ensure that you can get all of the mold out with a mold remover if the water damage is deep in the wood.
But, if there’s just a small amount of water damage, a mold remover could do the trick.
6. Musty Smells
If you’ve got a busy family and pets, you know that sometimes random, musty smells just come with the territory. But if you notice a persistent, musty smell that doesn’t go away with a good spring cleaning, you could have more serious problems on your hands.
Small mold spots that get cleaned up and repaired don’t leave behind a smell. But, if left unchecked, mold can be extremely musty.
7. You See Mold Spots
And lastly, the most obvious sign that you have black mold is that you see mold spots. Mold is a lot like an iceberg. What you see on the surface is likely just a small sample of what’s growing where you can’t see it.
Mold can show up like green-black spots, slimy textures, or even mildew. Small mold spores can even look exactly like dirt.
Take immediate action against any mold you see.
Get Rid of Black Mold Today
If you suspect that you could have black mold in your home, you need to take action immediately. Over time, mold can grow and pose a serious health risk to you and your loved ones.
Getting your home assessed for mold is the best thing you can do for your family if you suspect that you have a mold issue. If you need more information about how to get rid of mold for good, contact us today.