6 Key Signs of Mold in a House

by | Dec 30, 2023 | Water/Mold Damage

Catching the early signs of mold in your house can save your life as well as your life savings. Mold growth can be disastrous for any homeowner. Sometimes, it may be difficult to tell if mold is growing in your home, as mold can be invisible, hiding under wooden surfaces, within cracks, or around inaccessible household areas. 

Everyone in your household should know how to tell if mold is in the house. Failure to identify mold growth could cause health issues as mold affects respiratory health and often triggers adverse allergic reactions. 

Moreover, mold growth spreads rapidly, causing mold damage and weakening your house’s structural integrity. So, which early signs of mold in the house should you consistently look out for? This post will cover all the tell-tale signs of mold growth within your home.

1. Stale Smell In the Air

A musty odor is one of the early signs of mold in the house. For mold to grow, the conditions for its rapid reproduction must be wet or humid. It happens after storms, flooding, or plumbing leaks within your floors, ceilings, or walls. 

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Maybe the carpet is wet, or the wooden structures of your house are drenched with water, and the poor aeration isn’t letting them dry it out. 

If the humidity in your basement is extra high and the air is stale all over the house, you better start looking out for mold growth. High humidity helps the mold spores to spread and reproduce faster, and it ultimately condenses in areas that further host mold growth.

 2. Peeling or Warping Surfaces

For surfaces to warp or start peeling off, it means they have absorbed way more moisture than they should. There could be other reasons, but water damage is a pretty good start.  

When surfaces absorb excessive moisture or encounter significant temperature rises, they tend to expand, leading to warping or peeling. Remember, such conditions are conducive to mold growing, and mold only worsens the warping. 

For instance, wooden surfaces may warp due to changes in humidity, while painted or laminated surfaces might peel if moisture penetrates beneath the layers. Mold goes on to breed well underneath the peels and warped surfaces. 

However, water damage isn’t always the only cause. It could be other factors like:

  • Poor adhesion during installation.
  • Inadequate surface preparation.
  • Low-quality materials.
  • Excessive heat exposure.
  • Physical damage. 

It’s best to always investigate the cause of peeling or warping surfaces in your home. 

3. Discoloration on Walls, Ceilings, or Floors

Discoloration on walls, ceilings, or floors is another tell-tale sign of potential mold growth in your home. Watch out for any patches of discoloration that vary in appearance from the rest of the surface. 

Mold can present itself in various colors, including green, black, brown, white, or orange. These discolorations often appear as irregular spots or patches. They might start small but can quickly grow and spread if left unattended. 

Sometimes, the color changes might take time to notice, especially if the mold is growing behind wallpaper, under carpets, or in hidden corners.

Your window seals could be leaking, or your drainage could be faulty. Something could be wrong with the roof also because walls don’t just discolor themselves. 

Going over this post will help you to prevent further damage: “What Do You Do to Prevent Mold and Water Damage?

4. Spotted Clothing

If you’re noticing slimy spots on your clothes that could be due to mold, you might have picked up mold spores from outside environments. Mold spores are ubiquitous and can easily latch onto clothing, especially if conditions are favorable for their growth.

You could have also left damp clothes unattended in a poorly ventilated area, providing a suitable breeding ground for mold. In this case, you may have to throw away the affected clothing and ensure the mold does not spread to other clothes and areas. 

You’ll need to disinfect all the clothes in that room and inspect the entire room for other traces of mold. But the more concerning chance is that the spots on the fabric of your clothes could have spread from other areas of your house. 

You’d have to check the closet and the ceiling above it. Inspect keenly to find the source of the mold in your clothes. 

5. Fungus-Infested Furniture

Most furniture entails wooden construction with a leather finish. In case of exposure, couches and other furniture common in living areas will likely hold lots of mold within their porous upholstery and even on the leather surface. 

Mildew really finds wood and leather conducive for growth as long as there’s any wetness or extra humidity in the air. The best way to prevent the spread of mold mildew on your furniture is to do regular cleaning and always air out your rooms with a proper AC system to minimize humidity. 

Using appropriate cleaners and keeping the furniture dry can help combat potential infestations. Whenever you notice fungi infesting your furniture, it’s time to do a wholesome house inspection to determine the source of the fungi before you end up with adverse mold infestation effects. 

6. A Cough That Never Goes Away

Several factors could contribute to this, ranging from allergies, asthma, or respiratory infections to more severe conditions like lung cancer or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD.)

But don’t get ahead of yourself; maybe it’s mold. A persistent cough or cold is actually one of the only two physical signs of mold in your house. The second is allergic flare-ups. 

Mold exacerbates existing respiratory conditions like allergies or asthma. The reason you need proper ventilation is because mold spores linger in the air, especially in high humidity, and you could inhale the spores, which cause:

  • Coughing.
  • Sneezing.
  • Triggering asthma attacks.
  • Eczema or allergic flare-ups. 

People sensitive or allergic to mold might experience more severe symptoms, including persistent coughing, difficulty breathing, or allergic reactions like skin rashes or eczema flare-ups, especially in children prone to such conditions.

If someone suspects mold might be contributing to their persistent cough or other health issues, addressing the potential mold problem in the environment is essential. It might involve:

  • Inspecting the house for any visible mold growth.
  • Assessing areas prone to moisture buildup.
  • Taking steps to remove or remediate the mold to improve indoor air quality.

However, it’s crucial to differentiate between a persistent cough due to mold exposure and other underlying health conditions. We think you should seek guidance from a medical doctor for proper diagnosis and advice.

Final Thoughts on Signs of Mold in House

From the early signs of mold in the house to the physical symptoms involved, your senses will observe when mold is spreading in your home. We already discussed how to check for mold after water damage and how to test for mold if you notice any signs of mold in the house. 

The best way to minimize damages and repair costs is to catch the six key signs of mold in the house early and act fast before it spreads. Getting insurance can also help, that’s why one of the most frequently asked questions in this matter is: does renters insurance cover mold damage? 

It depends on your location, but our Danville water mold damage services can help you if you get the right insurance deal.

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