5 possible warning signs that should alarm you
Mould is not always visible, yet it affects many households more than you might think. The World Health Organization estimates that 10 to 50% of Australian homes and other indoor environments are affected by mould brought about by dampness. If you suspect that you have mould in your home, you should take care of it as soon as possible to prevent you and your family from getting sick and your home from being damaged.
How do you know your house has mould?
Warning signs tell you if your house has mould; from smelling something odd to someone in your family feeling sick, the signs are not always visible to the human eye. However, these common indicators, compiled by the team here at Vital Building and Pet Inspections should warn you that your house could have mould:
- Visible mould spores.
- A damp or musty smell.
- Condensation or moisture build up.
- Past flooding in your house.
- Water damage.
Visible mould spores
Seeing mould spores is a dead giveaway. It could also mean that you have a serious problem because what you actually see is just the tip of the iceberg – there is more where you can’t see it.
You will see some moulds in clusters of black, grey, dark green or brown spots. Others appear white and thread like, while some look like soot stuck to ceilings, window frames and walls. It is sometimes easy to mistake mould for surface dirt, so if you are in doubt, it might be a good idea to have an expert look into it.
A damp or musty smell
Different mould species give off different odours, so it is difficult to say for sure that what you are smelling is mould. However, if it is an odour that you are not used to, then you should investigate. That mouldy or musty smell could indicate that your house has a mould issue.
If this odour persists, it can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, and nasal and throat irritations. It can also set off asthmatic or allergic reactions. This odour – combined with your body’s reaction to it – indicates that there is likely to be mould in your home.
Condensation or moisture build up
If you notice moisture build up in your home, you may have an indoor humidity situation. Condensation may look like fog or beads of water on glass windows or doors; however, you might not easily spot condensation on walls, ceilings, floors and furniture.
Rusty window frames, curtain rods and other metal fixtures and fittings also tell you that there is condensation in your house. This damp interior can become a breeding ground for mould because it loves moisture. Once mould starts growing, it can be quite difficult to get rid of it.
Past flooding in your house
It is crucial to remove floodwater in your home and clean the area immediately because mould can start growing as fast as one day after your house has been flooded. Like other moisture, flood, especially within wall cavities of the rooms and underfloor coverings where flooding occurred, creates the perfect condition for mould to grow. You may also want to check areas in your home that flood each time it rains.
Cracks, peeling or bubbles in your painted walls or wallpaper can indicate water damage. Other signs of mould growth under the surface include warped walls and ceilings. Water stains or discolouration on ceilings, walls and floorboards are also signs of high humidity inside your house, leakages in your plumbing or ventilation problems. If you notice any of this, call a professional to immediately assess and get rid of your problem immediately.
Where should I check for mould?
When mould spores are visible to the naked eye, it means that they have already grown and reproduced. However, some mould growths are hidden, so, knowing where to look can help you to prevent further growth as well as to remove them. Here are the most common places where you are likely to find moulds in your home.
If you like soaking in the tub or taking a long hot shower, so does mould. Mould likes warm, damp areas, and your bathroom is the perfect setting for this condition. So, if a space lacks proper ventilation, there is a high possibility that mould will spread to other parts of your home.
Steam from your hot shower has a lower molecular weight than air. As a result, it rises and causes ceilings and walls to become damp and saturated. So, it makes sense to check these two areas first in your bathroom.
Mould may also be found on the sink and countertop. Make sure you clean them down as soon as you are done using them, and then wipe them dry. You should also check for visible mould growth on bathroom floors, tile grouts, behind the toilet, and inside the toilet tank.
Most kitchens are humid, making it an ideal place for mould to grow. Make sure to check the sink and under it. Leaky pipes and wet sponges also invite mould growth. Also, check the water pipe, drainage hose and ventilation tube of your washing machine if it is located in your kitchen.
Window curtains, upholstery, fabric and indoor plants attract mould, especially if they become damp or moist. A painted fireplace can also encourage mould to grow because it is damp, porous and dark, particularly when not in use.
Check your bed frame, mattress, wardrobes and windowsills – these are the most likely places to find mould. Look behind cabinets and drawers, as well as your aircon or heating vents, for any sign of mould infiltration.
Garage, roof cavities and subfloors
These areas are usually dark and damp. When combined, poor ventilation, water intrusion and moisture build-up make these places ideal for mould growth.
Vital Building Inspections can help you rid your home of mould
When it comes to your family’s health, choosing to DIY could pose a bigger problem. Let an expert handle your mould inspection instead. Vital Building Inspections can assist in locating potentially harmful mould growths even if they are hiding out of sight. Our team of experts will also take care of cleaning the affected surfaces and will recommend preventive measures to keep mould at bay. Enquire about our mould inspection report and remediation services. Call us on 0401012074 or email us at [email protected] today to book an inspection. Alternatively, click here to get a quote now and we will contact you back.