When you think of mold, does your mind wander to that loaf of bread you left on the counter too long? It’s gross, but that type of mold is relatively harmless – tossing it in the trash quickly gets rid of your problem. Other types of mold and mildew lurking in your home are much harder to get rid of – not to mention they’re hazardous to you, your family, and your house. What are some signs that mold might be hiding in your home? Perhaps more importantly, how can you prevent mold from growing to begin with?
Signs of Mold in Your Home
Sometimes detecting mold in your home is as simple as taking a close look. Are there black or green spots on your walls? That’s mold, and it’s crucial that you deal with it quickly, before it spreads. But what if you don’t see it? If your home has a persistent musty odor, that’s a pretty good sign that mold is hiding somewhere.
Some of the most common indicators of mold are actually in your own body. When mold is growing in your home, you’re sure to inhale some of it. Symptoms of mold inhalation often look like allergy symptoms: you may be coughing or sneezing. In many cases, you may begin to feel lightheaded or confused. If you’re experiencing symptoms, don’t ignore what your body is trying to tell you. Schedule a checkup for yourself, and one for your home too! Your doctor will be able to identify signs of mold inhalation, and a home professional will be able to locate mold.
What’s Causing Mold in My Home?
Mold is often a symptom of a bigger problem in your home: water damage. Sometimes, people know they’ve experienced recent water damage due to flooding or a burst pipe. Other times, it goes unnoticed. Whatever the case, moisture problems should be taken seriously. A discolored ceiling may be simple to repaint, but if it’s hiding structural damage, you’re going to have a much more serious problem later on.
Mold has very few needs: it wants moisture, warm temperatures, and biodegradable material to munch on. This adds up to bad news for Florida residents, especially in the past few months. Hurricane Irma supplied the moisture, the Florida climate supplies warm temperatures, and wooden housing materials supply the biodegradable mold food.
But what if your home hasn’t been flooded? The culprit might be your attic – more specifically, faulty or missing attic insulation. Many people think that insulation’s only job is to keep warm air inside, but that’s not the case. Homes in warm climates need insulation too. Proper insulation keeps cool air in and moisture out. Gaps in insulation allow humid air to sneak in and take up residence.
Mold’s favorite partner in crime is your HVAC system. Pipes lead conditioned air into every room in your home. If mold is hiding in your walls or attic, mold spores can enter your HVAC system, spreading (and growing) all over your home. Suddenly your problem gets a lot bigger!
Spray Foam Insulation to Prevent Mold
It isn’t enough just to have insulation. You have to have the right kind for your home. While there are many different types of insulation, the best fit for Florida homes is closed cell spray foam insulation. Unlike other insulation materials, spray foam is water resistant, meaning it keeps that dangerous moisture where it belongs: outside. As an added bonus, spray foam forms an airtight seal. Outside air and allergens will stay out of your home, and the fresh air that you pay to heat or cool will stay inside, which can drastically cut your utility bills!
Take Matter Into Your Own Hands
Stop mold before it starts by keeping moisture out of your home. Spray foam insulation is your best ally in the fight against moisture. Don’t wait until you have a problem. Prevent mold by getting your free spray foam consultation from Energy Monster.
This blog originally published on February 15, 2016. Updated October 16, 2017.Return to Blog