We get a lot of questions from property owners in South Jersey about how to spot mold. Many people who are concerned about mold may not even know where to start. There are some cases where it is easy to identify indoor mold growth, however this is not always the case. We have seen many cases of widespread mold growth in South Jersey homes that the homeowners were not even aware of. This is why it is imperative for SJ homeowners to educate themselves on how to spot mold, what causes it, and how to prevent future growth
What Causes Mold?
Mold is a naturally occurring component of our everyday environment. This means that mold spores exist all around us, and a truly “mold free” environment is unattainable. The main priority when it comes to avoiding mold in your home is to keep indoor mold levels within normal range of the surrounding environment. This means that when mold has an opportunity to thrive in excess in an indoor environment with spore counts exceeding outdoor levels, it becomes an issue.
An indoor mold problem is generally the result of a combination of multiple factors, including moisture, food source, and warmth. South Jersey homeowners need to first understand the causes of mold in order to learn how to spot mold. There are a few factors that are out of our control as homeowners. For example, we can not help that our home’s building materials are cellulose-based food sources. We also can not help that the temperatures in our homes are also usually ideal for mold growth. The one thing that we can do as homeowners is moisture control. Without moisture, these other two factors alone can not sustain mold development. Moisture from indoor humidity levels, improper ventilation, leaks, condensation and flooding can all be a source for mold development. Controlling and minimizing moisture sources within your home is the best way to prevent mold growth.
How To Spot Mold: Signs To Look For
When it comes to spotting mold in your South Jersey property, time is of the essence. Mold is an opportunistic organism, and can develop in as little as 24 to 48 hours under the right conditions. Early detection and intervention is key to preventing as much damage as possible. Knowing how to spot mold and signs associated with fungal development can protect your property and help you avoid a lot of stress.
• Mold is generally accompanied by suspicious staining and discoloration. You may also notice bubbling, peeling and cracking in paint or wallpaper.
• Mold can be found in any color of the rainbow. Most commonly, you will see white, grey, black, brown and green.
• Texturally, mold displays itself as a powdery or fuzzy substance that may appear in small clusters or widespread visible growth.
• Suspicious odors can be an indicator of mold development.
• Mold easily develops in hidden areas such as wall voids, behind wallpaper, and underneath carpet. Ensure that if you are detecting any suspicious odors that you check for mold in these hidden spaces.
• Mold gives off a distinct, organic odor that can be off-putting. It is relatively easy to notice the smell, but you may not connect the dots that it is mold.
• Where you are smelling the odor may not be where the mold actually is. Ensure that you are checking any potential areas for fungal development.
• Mold releases mycotoxins that have the potential to cause allergic reactions in individuals with sensitivities. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and different species of mold can elicit different reactions.
• Symptoms can vary by individual experience:
- Sneezing, runny/stuffy nose
- Coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath
- Itchy eyes, irritated skin, swelling
Found Mold In Your South Jersey Home?
If you have detected signs of mold in your South Jersey property, the best thing you can do is contact a local professional mold remediation company to assess the damage. Professional mold experts will have the proper tools to not only spot the mold, but also identify the source of it and create a plan for remediation. As previously mentioned, mold is opportunistic. It will just continue to spread if it is not thoroughly remediated. Don’t hesitate! Take the time to learn how to spot mold so you can catch it in the early stages.