You might have a hidden houseguest that’s making your family sick. Like any uninvited guest, they overstay their welcome, make a mess of the place, and stink up the joint. This nuisance likes to hang out in places in the house that no person wants to be in and makes itself at home. Black mold is a scourge to homes and people alike and can have adverse effects on your health. Mold is common in homes, especially in dark and damp places. Some you can easily see, making it easy to get rid of. Other forms of mold hide from sight, but they leave hints that clue you in. Know the signs you might have toxic mold in your home so you can be rid of it. While you can try to remove it yourself, if it’s in a tough spot or you just don’t want to deal with it, there are black mold removal experts that will do it for you. The team at Aloha Restoration has the experience and technical know-how to remove the black mold and make sure it doesn’t come back.
You Can See the Mold
This is fairly obvious, but if you can see mold, you have mold. To be fair, not everyone knows what it looks like. Black mold looks exactly like you might think, black and spreading. Mold comes in a variety of colors, and even black mold will have some variations. Visible mold, however, indicates that the problem is already out of control; if you can see it, then you know you have a big mold outbreak in the house. What is visible is only the tip of the iceberg. Scrubbing the mold with soap and water won’t be enough because it’s not just on the surface. The mold has grown into the wall, the floor, and the joists holding it all together.
A Chronic Cough
Before you can see the mold, there will be signs that it’s there. One symptom is a chronic cough and sickness. If you feel like you have a cold or the flu constantly, there could be mold in the house. Of course, reasons abound for feeling ill, like stress, poor diet, viral and bacterial infection, and anxiety, but ongoing malaise could also be a physical manifestation of a mold outbreak. The best way to determine if it’s mold is to leave the house for a few days. If the symptoms go away while you’re gone and return when you get home, mold is the likely culprit.
You Can Smell It
The nose doesn’t lie; it can sniff out mold like a hound dog. If you can smell a musty, damp odor in your home, there’s a good chance it’s from mold. Older homes that have had water damage will likely have mold in them. A major problem with relying on your nose to sniff out mold is that you can get used to the smell. Mold can grow literally under your nose, and you might not know it. You’ve gone nose blind. Have a friend come by and ask them if they smell anything odd or musty. Be ready to hear bad news, though, and be prepared to do something about it.
Constant Skin Irritation
Exposure to mold can lead to an allergic reaction and itchy skin. Some people are allergic to mold, and if so, like any other allergy, it can lead to a rash or hives. Allergic reactions happen when your immune system overreacts to an otherwise harmless stimulant and produces large amounts of antibodies. In severe cases, the throat swells from the exposure, impeding breathing. Doctors can prescribe medications to alleviate the itchy skin and other symptoms, but the only “cure” is to get rid of the mold and eliminate your exposure to it.
Black mold can affect the brain and cause constant headaches. Short-term exposure to mold can have long-term effects. In addition to headaches, coughing, runny nose, and mental health concerns arise from exposure to mold. If you are in generally good health but experience constant headaches—and migraines can be eliminated as a cause—then mold could be the culprit. A headache is an obvious sign that something isn’t right. Visit your doctor to find out if you have any underlying medical issues first. If you get a clean bill of health, then get a spore count performed in your home and find out if you have mold. Ignoring the problem will only lead to continued discomfort and pain.
Trouble breathing and other respiratory problems could be because of a mold outbreak in your home. The problem is that when we feel ill and want to rest, we take to our beds. If the mold in your home is in or near the bedroom, lying in your bed is only going to make the problem worse. Every time we take a breath around mold, we take in the mold spores and irritate our lungs and the lining of our sinuses. This stimulation could lead to an allergic reaction and throat swelling.
In more serious cases, people can get frequent nosebleeds. A nosebleed isn’t a big deal, and they do happen on occasion. If you don’t have a history of it, though, and don’t have any other medical conditions, nosebleeds could be due to mold. You wouldn’t ordinarily think that mold, or your house, is the cause of the nosebleeds, so visit your doctor to rule out other possibilities. The sinuses and lining of the nose are sensitive, and the mold will irritate these areas over time.
A History of Flooding
One final sign that you might have toxic mold in your home can be found in the structure’s history. Homes that have a history of flooding are prime targets for mold. Homes that are in tropical environments in the southeastern part of the country are more prone to mold than northern homes. After a flood, the puddles of water might be gone, but the dampness remains. That moisture hidden behind walls and in basements is the perfect breeding ground for mold. If your home has flooded more than once, then there could be a mold outbreak hidden from sight.