Even relatively harmless types of mold can cause damage to your home, and the same conditions that encourage harmless mold growth can attract more dangerous black mold into your home.
No matter what kind of mold you’re dealing with, it’s essential to identify it early and figure out why it’s growing in the first place. Here are some of the most common signs of mold in your home.
13 Signs of Mold in Your House
- Musty Smells
- Foul Odors
- Feeling Like You Always Have a Cold
- You Feel Better When You Go Outside or Leave the House
- Dark Grout
- Your Paint Or Wallpaper Started Peeling
- There Are Dark Patches On Your Walls
- You Develop Asthma, Or It Gets Worse
- Your Carpets Are Starting To Come Out In Spots
- Your Walls Look Bubbly Or Warped
- Funky Furniture Smell
- Dirty Bathroom Tiles
- Your Home Has A History Of Water Damage
1. Musty Smells
One of the most common early signs of mold in your house is musty smells. The location of the odor can also help you determine where the mold is. For example, a musty smell in one room might indicate that you’re dealing with mold in that space in particular, while a musty odor throughout your whole home, can be a sign of mold in the vents.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to tell what kind of mold you’re dealing with from a musty smell alone. It could be harmless, or it could be a more dangerous black mold.
2. Foul Odors
Foul odors are also a sign of mold. Not all mold just smells musty, so if you notice a bad smell especially one that smells like something decaying, it can also be a common sign of mold. This is a particularly concerning sign because the molds that smell worst are often also more dangerous than those that don’t smell or have a musty odor but don’t really smell bad.
If you start noticing a persistent foul odor, it’s crucial to locate the source and deal with it as soon as possible, including hiring professional cleaners or mold mitigation experts if needed.
3. Feeling Like You Always Have A Cold
Mold in your home can cause a wide range of health symptoms and often masquerades as feeling like you have a persistent cold. But, even the worst colds should eventually go away. If you’ve been dealing with a stubborn cold for more than a week or two, it’s probably time to consider that mold might be to blame.
Even without other signs of mold, this is a good indicator that something is wrong with your environment and that you’re feeling worse because of it.
Common symptoms of mold exposure include headaches, difficulty breathing, coughing or sneezing, itchy runny eyes, and skin irritation.
4. You Feel Better When You Go Outside Or Leave the House
Especially if you have the symptoms of a persistent cold, feeling better when you leave home is a pretty good sign that there might be mold in your house. This is a good indicator because your home is supposed to be where you’re most comfortable and relaxed. If you leave and your cold symptoms, headache, or fatigue immediately go away, chances are something in your home was making you feel that way.
Getting away from mold, mold spores, and the toxins certain molds produce can help you feel better pretty quickly. If you feel better and better the longer you stay away, that’s also a convincing sign there might be mold in your home.
5. Dark Grout
Dark grout might be one of the most common bathroom and kitchen cleaning problems out there. But, unfortunately, it’s also a sign of mold. In fact, the dark color in your grout is almost certainly mold growing there.
Don’t worry too much. Most of the time, mold in grout is harmless and not a sign that you have more dangerous black mold in your house. But, it is a warning sign that your home is a good habitat for molds, so you should try to find the cause.
First, you’ll want to clean the grout itself. As long as the mold is still there it will release spores and grow. Next, see if there’s any way you can reduce the humidity or increase airflow in the rooms that develop dark grout.
6. Your Paint Or Wallpaper Started Peeling
Peeling paint and wallpaper are other signs of mold in your home. Since moisture often leads to mold, it’s important to pay attention to this symptom and look for the cause as soon as possible.
Even mild peeling or bubbling should be taken seriously, especially if you also have any of the other signs of mold in your home.
7. There Are Dark Patches On Your Walls
Mold comes in hundreds of different forms. Sometimes it might look like a little grayish fuzz, sometimes, it looks like a bright-colored ooze, and other times it just looks like a slightly darker patch on the wall.
Even slight discoloration is a good cause for concern about mold in your walls.
Dark patches can also be a sign that you’re dealing with moisture in the walls, which means you need to find the source of the moisture and deal with it and might need to deal with mold as well later on.
8. You Develop Asthma, Or It Gets Worse
Breathing problems and lung damage are two of the most common complications of having mold in your house.
If you recently started having trouble breathing or feeling short of breath, and it resulted in an asthma diagnosis, or your existing asthma suddenly got worse, that’s a good indication that you might have mold in your home.
Check your vents, and any room where your breathing problem seems worse, to see if you can find the source of the problem and deal with it.
9. Your Carpets Are Starting To Come Out In Spots
Much like spots on your walls or ceiling, carpet spots are often mold.
In fact, carpets are an excellent place for mold to start developing. This is because carpets have a lot of surface area, hold moisture longer than other surfaces, and are typically full of dust, dirt, and other things mold can eat and use to grow.
If you notice discoloration or dark spots in your carpets, chances are you’re dealing with some mold and need to treat or replace your carpet.
10. Your Walls Look Bubbly Or Warped
Warped walls are typically a sign of moisture leaking behind the drywall or other materials, but it can also be a sign that you’ve got mold growing behind the wall.
In fact, since moisture often leads to mold growth, if you have one you’ll probably have the other.
This sign of mold is one of the most serious and is a good reason to call a professional to inspect your home and see how severe the mold is, and what can be done to deal with it and repair the damage.
11. Funky Furniture Smell
It’s not just your home itself that can get infected with mold! The items in your home, including your furniture, can also develop mold over time.
If your furniture is starting to smell, especially if the smell doesn’t go away with a quick surface cleaning, it’s time to look under the surface and see if you have mold growing.
In some cases, mold can be eliminated, but in other cases, you may need to get new furniture.
Unfortunately, mold in your furniture often means mold elsewhere in your home as well, so you’ll need to give your home a thorough inspection and should get your ducts cleaned just in case.
12. Dirty Bathroom Tiles
It’s not just tile grout that can hint at mold in your home, the tiles themselves can be suitable mold habitat too.
If your tiles seem like they’re always dirty, especially if the dirt and grime come back too quickly after you’ve cleaned them, you might be dealing with mold.
Fortunately, a more powerful cleaner will usually fix this problem. However, you should make sure there isn’t any excess moisture in that room or other reasons for mold to grow there, otherwise, the mold might keep coming back.
13. Your Home Has A History Of Water Damage
Water damage from a burst pipe, a flood, or an overflowing sink can be one of the biggest risk factors for mold in your home. Even if the water itself was taken care of a long time ago, you might still have mold and excess moisture causing problems in your home. It’s always important to be especially vigilant when it comes to mold for the weeks and months after a water damage event.
Signs of Mold in House Bottom Line
Having mold in your home is a huge problem that can negatively affect your health and cost thousands of dollars to repair. It's important to be familiar with the early signs of mold in your house so that you can address any potential problems before they get out of control.