One day you smell it, the faint but familiar, musty scent of earth or rotten wood. You may not be able to follow your nose to where it’s originating from but you may begin to worry about what you may soon find or how long it has been silently growing for. Even though mold is a naturally occurring substance all around us, both indoors and out, discovering it inside is never a good sign.
Mold is a fungus that flourishes in moist, humid environments and spreads by spores in the air. It can manifest in all colors, textures and patterns and is generally harmless in low humidity or small amounts. The potential danger is when mold spores settle and grow in a favorable location indoors and these spores are inhaled. Exposure to mold can affect the eyes, lungs, skin, nose and throat in various ways. Those with existing respiratory conditions or asthma may also experience an increase or worsening of symptoms in the presence of mold.
Usually, this is one of the first signs of mold being present in a property. Perhaps there’s a lingering smell that makes you question, but there is seemingly no visible evidence of mold. You may even deep clean soft materials like cushions, curtains or carpet in an effort to dispel the smell but it still remains. If this is the case, it is suggested to turn off the HVAC system and wait a few hours. You may be able to detect where the scent is the strongest and this could be the possible source.
If you have an existing respiratory condition like asthma and begin to notice a worsening or frequency of symptoms when occupying a certain space, this may be a sign of mold being present. Even if you do not have any health conditions but begin to experience symptoms like irritated eyes or throat, coughing or wheezing in a building where mold is, this can be a likely indication. It may seem like a cold that never seems to go away but these can be symptoms of mold exposure.
Water Damage/ Leaks
Since mold requires a water source to thrive, noticing recent water damage or leaks may also signal mold. Bubbling, cracking or peeling wallpaper or discoloration on walls, floors or ceilings can indicate mold. The source will need to be corrected during a mold remediation so that it does not continue to be an issue once a restoration has been completed.
If you suspect mold is present in your home or business but have yet to determine the source, it may be worthwhile to schedule a mold inspection. If you have visibly found the source, mold testing is not usually necessary. Removing mold as quickly as possible is what is most important as leaving unaddressed can cause serious health issues and possible structural damage.
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