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How to Know if Mold is in Your Walls

by Neal Julie on Aug 18, 2018

Some mold types are very dangerous. So, it's vital that the contaminated areas are remediated right away. Find out how to know if there is mold in your walls.

Mold is a fungus and lives both indoors and outdoors. The problem with mold growth indoors is that it becomes dangerous to our health since it expands in a confined environment. Mold infestation won't only make you sick but will also weaken the structure's foundations. How to know if mold is in your house hiding behind the walls? The best telltale sign is to follow your nose. But that's not the only way to discover whether or not you have mold in your walls. Before we go into details, let us just say that there are thousands of molds but not all of them are dangerous.

Different types of household mold

The most common types of mold that grow in the home include Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, Fusarium, and many more. And there are many different species of each mold type some of which are more harmful to humans than others. But your health is at stake when Stachybotrys chartarum grows. That's the type of mold we also know as black mold.

How mold is built-up indoors

Most mold types are built-up when they find warm and wet environments. That's why the usual places, where mold grows in the house, are under the sinks, around the windows, in the refrigerator seals, and in the basement. The higher the moisture levels the higher the possibility of mold growth. And that's why water damage usually leads to mold growth. Don't forget that water-related disasters don't happen only when pipes burst or the roof leaks.

Let's say your home in San Jose catches fire. Firewater will also increase indoor moisture and so you won't only need a Restorations company to extract water but check for mold too.

How to know if mold is in your walls?

Follow your nose

The mold odor is bad. It has a musty smell like wet dirt and rotten leaves. And that's easily explained since mold feeds on drywall, wood, and other substrates which are damp.

Watch out for signs

Whether or not you have experienced water damage, it's good to keep an eye on the most humid areas in the house. Check around the windows, the basement walls, and anywhere there is condensation. For example, if you have tiles in the bathroom, grout is the most possible area for mold growth and the best place to start your mold inspection at. Please note that black mold is not actually black, but green-black and while it is considered the most hazardous type, other types can be harmful too.

Beware of health issues

If any member of your family develops some health problems, don't ignore them especially if there is also an intense odor in some parts in the house. The health symptoms are not always intense at first. So, take persistent coughing, eyes irritations, respiratory problems, skin inflammation, nausea, headaches, and hemorrhage seriously. They are often caused by mold.

Don't relax after water extraction

Once waters are extracted by a restoration company, make sure the pros inspect for mold. Even if the house is dried out quickly, remember that mold usually grows within 48 hours. Black mold might take a bit longer. And so the pros might search the flooded areas and offer mold remediation solutions.

Run a test

There are some ways to test whether or not there is mold in your walls but these are expensive methods. So it's best to call experts for mold removal as soon as you experience one of the above symptoms.

Don't forget that most black mold types are toxic and thus very dangerous but the other types can also make you and your house sick. It's also important to know that since mold exists everywhere, it can also remain dormant for many, many years and wake up and spread when it finds the ideal environment – moisture, food, and heat. So if your house is flooded or you have a serious condensation problem, it's best to call in the experts and avoid any contact with the areas that might be contaminated.  

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