Mold is a painful problem for any homeowner because it does more than affect the look and feel of the property. Toxicity is a far more significant concern because mycotoxins make mold poisonous and hazardous to human health. You surely have a reason to worry if you notice the dense, black variant in a moist area inside your living space. The fungus may trigger health issues such as headaches, breathing trouble, diarrhea, and more.
Long-term exposure is even more harmful, so eliminating it should be a top priority. But homeowners may not recognize the early signs of mold presence and delay the resolution until severe problems surface. Awareness can help you spot it sooner than later and act immediately. Here are a few toxic mold red flags no homeowner should overlook.
Bubbling paint on the walls
If you notice that the paint on the walls is bubbling, you have a reason to worry. Moisture is the primary reason paint begins to bubble. You are more likely to witness it in areas like your bathroom, kitchen, or near a window.
Mold may be present wherever there is moisture in your home, and it may even be toxic. Covering the problem area with a fresh coat of paint sounds like an easy shortcut. But it is not an ideal solution.
You must look for the underlying source of the moisture, which could range from a leaky window sill, damaged plumbing, or too much humidity. Get experts to scrape, patch, clean, and dry the walls after fixing the moisture issue and before repainting the wall.
Musty smell in your house
Besides the visible signs, you must pay attention to your sense of smell to detect the presence of toxic mold in your living space. Unfortunately, you may not notice it as it can grow undetected in unexpected places.
In fact, it may thrive even in the cleanest homes. Ditch the guilt if you dust and sweep the house daily and invest in deep cleaning every weekend.
Mold is a moisture-related condition, and it can easily lodge in hidden cracks and crevasses without giving away a sign. However, watch out for musty odors and check your place thoroughly to detect anomalies.
Weird odors in the chimney
Another subtle red flag that is easy to miss is the weird odors in your chimney. Moisture may accumulate in the chimney over time because bricks and mortar are porous.
Moreover, rusty flashing can allow rain and snow to seep in. This gives mold a favorable environment to thrive.
Although you cannot see any visible signs, you may encounter odd smells emanating from the chimney on windy days. The best way to deal with the issue is to repair the chimney flashing. Then get a cleanup for the interior area. The last thing you want is to inhale toxic fumes from your chimney due to the mold thriving inside it.
Unexplained health problems
Unexplained health problems are perhaps a red flag most homeowners overlook because they cannot relate these issues to toxic mold. But you definitely require professional mold remediation services sooner than later when your family’s health is at risk.
Watch for signs such as watery and stinging eyes, tingling and dry skin, allergies, and cough without a cold. Your asthma likely acts up if there is an infestation in your living space. You should be even more concerned if you have a senior or a baby at home because the risk is higher for them.
Soft spots on the flooring
Soft spots in your hardwood flooring indicate a problem underneath. Start by checking the basement or underlying crawl space for the presence of moisture. Alternatively, pull up a section of flooring if you cannot access the subfloor through the basement.
The moisture will probably lead to mold growth over time. The worst part is that it may be toxic and spread eventually, posing a serious health hazard.
Moreover, you may also have to deal with extensive structural damage and the cost of changing the entire flooring. You can opt for mold removal from an affected area if the whole floor is not rotten.
Lumpy attic insulation
The condition of the insulation in your attic is another hidden evidence of mold infestation in your home. Consider taking a closer look at it once every couple of months.
Lumpy and uneven-looking insulation may suggest a bigger problem, such as an unforeseen roof leak. Besides roofing repairs, dealing with mold damage should be on top of your mind because it will surely be present in moist, undisturbed areas.
Things may worsen if your attic lacks proper ventilation and circulation because these conditions are ideal for toxic fungus growth.
Stinking HVAC systems
Another sign you must look for is a stinking HVAC system. In fact, standalone air conditioning units are often prime spots for mold growth.
They offer a favorable environment as they are dark, damp, and exposed to warm temperatures while not in use. Likewise, placing the unit in a heated basement during the winter also elevates the risk.
You can invest in regular checks of your heating or cooling systems by an HVAC specialist to keep them clean, dry, and mold-free.
Dark grout between your bathroom tiles
If the grout between your bathroom tiles is dark, you should definitely consider a professional check. While it may be a harmless type of growth, things may be more complicated than you imagine.
The mold may be toxic if there was a recent plumbing leak or flooding in an adjacent room. Avoid handling the issue on your own because only experts should deal with a more toxic kind of fungus. Also, do not step into your shower until it is clean and safe.
Homeowners should pay attention to cleaning and maintenance, but it is easy to miss out on a mold problem. However, it is the last thing you should overlook if you have the toxic type. You must definitely watch out for these red flags and get professional help before the issue causes health hazards for your loved ones.