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How to Detect and Remove Mold in Your House

Mold in the corner of white walls.

Have you been having trouble breathing lately?

Or maybe you’ve started to notice a strange smell in your laundry room you can’t identify. Either way, there’s a good chance you could be dealing with a mold infestation.

If you think you may have some mold in your home, but you aren’t sure what to do about it, don’t panic. We’re here to help.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to detect mold in your home, and what you can do to treat it.

How to Detect Mold

Fortunately, mold is a pretty common nuisance in the lives of most homeowners. That means that people have had a lot of experience dealing with it, and we now know what warning signs to look for if we suspect an infestation.

Here are a few easy ways to tell you may have a little bit of fungus growing somewhere in your home.

Odd Smells

As you may be able to guess, the type of fungus that can pop up behind your toilet doesn’t smell that great.

Most types of mold that can grow in your house put off a bad or odd odor that can be pretty easy to pick up on.

Try sniffing around for a musty, damp smell.

The exact odor mold puts off can depend on the type of fungus, where it’s growing, and the moisture levels in that area. That said, several common types of household mold put off a similar musty, old, damp smell.

Allergies Acting Up

Is your nose running?

If you feel like you’ve been fighting off a cold for far too long, or if your allergies are acting up, that could be a sign you have a bit of mold in your home.

Next time you go out, check your symptoms before returning home. If you’re breathing improves while you’re out, then you likely have some fungal spores polluting the air back at home.

Frequent Headaches

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that inhaling mold spores can be detrimental to your health.

That said, some types of fungi are worse than others, and can bring a few much more severe symptoms with them.

If you’ve been suffering from headaches or are having trouble concentrating, then you may have some toxic mold growing in your home.

Consistent Water Issues

Is your roof leaking?

Whether you live in a particularly humid area or have a damp basement, there’s a good chance you could have some mold growing in your home.

Mold loves moisture. So, if you have perpetual plumbing issues, or have an excess of water in some area of your home, then you might want to check that spot for mold.

Testing For It

Odd smells can come from a lot of things, and constant headaches could be a result of stress. So, how can you be sure you have fungus growing in your home?

The short answer is: by testing for it.

Whether you get a DIY mold test or call in a pro, testing for your house for mold is a surefire way to figure out if you have a fungus issue.

Visible Spores

Finally, it’s true what they say — at least when it comes to tracking down mold; Seeing is believing.

The easiest way to detect a fungal infestation is by seeing it with your own eyes. Most mold pops up in the form of fuzzy, black patches.

While these patches may look like something you can wipe away getting rid of visible mold isn’t that easy.

Odds are, if you can see visible mold spores growing along your walls, you may have a severe fungus problem on your hands.

Where Mold Likes to Grow

As we said before, some of the most surefire ways to detect mold in your home are by seeing it or testing for it. That said, how do you know where to look?

In general, fungus likes damp, dark, and warm places. Here are a few places mold tends to grow.

Near Water Sources

As we mentioned in the last section, consistently leaky pipes and other water-related issues can lead to a severe mold infestation.

When checking for mold, the first places you look should be any high-moisture areas in your home.

Try looking under your sinks and toilets, around your washer, in your attic or basement, and behind your refrigerator.

Around Vents

If you live in a humid area, condensation around your air-conditioning vents can often be a somewhat drippy nuisance. But, if left untreated, this extra moisture in and around your vents can lead to one headache of a mold infestation.

Look around your AC vents for any visible mold growth, and consider getting your home’s air quality tested for spores.

Under Cushions

It may seem a little gross, but to air on the side of caution, you may also want to check for mold growth around or beneath a few mattresses and cushions.

If you haven’t been home for a few days, and you left your AC off while you were gone, there’s a chance mold could start growing on these types of surfaces.

In the Dark

Mold loves the dark. So, while looking around for your fungal infestation, you’ll want to check out any areas in your home that don’t get a lot of light.

Check around your basement and attic, and inside any cabinets, closets, or pantries where mold might be lurking.

In more severe cases, you may want to consider pulling back a portion of drywall to check for any visible spores that may be hiding inside your walls.

Getting Rid of and Preventing Mold

So, once you locate your mold problem, what do you do about it?

There’s only one way to make sure you get rid of any airborne mold spores that may still be lingering; bringing in a professional that specializes in mold removal.

A professional will have the tools needed to kill off mold infestations for good.

But, once your mold is gone, how can you prevent it from coming back?

Regular cleaning will be more than enough to subdue and fungal infestations before they can grow and spread.

Living Mold Free

You shouldn’t wait for mold to pop up before taking the necessary steps to prevent it.

Now that you know how to detect mold, it’s time to make sure your house is fungus-free, and start planning on how you’re going to keep it that way.

Need help finding the right deep-cleaner for you? We’ve got you covered.

Contact us for more information about our services, or request booking with an Anita’s local office in Santa CruzSan Diego, or San Jose.


Anita's Housekeeping Editors