how to identify a mold issue in your house

How to Identify Mold in Your Home

Table of Contents

According to statistics, 70 percent of homes contain mold. While not dangerous, mold in your home can potentially affect your health and the structural integrity of your house.

While the occurrence of some extent of mold is very common, it is also controllable. Read on to learn about the cause, the effect, and the prevention of mold in your home.

What Is Mold?

Mold is a type of fungus made up of tiny organisms that grow on organic matter. It thrives in moist environments and spreads in the air by releasing microscopic spores. While some forms of mold can be harmless, there are others that can pose risks to your health.

These spores are airborne and are easily spread by sticking to surfaces and through direct contact. Spores can grow years after being produced, and though they can remain dormant for a long time, their allergens can last for years.

They feed off materials such as wood, drywall, brick, concrete, carpet, plants, food, and insulation, to name a few. Mold spores are invisible, making it impossible to keep them out of your home. The key is early detection and effective prevention.

Types of Mold

There are many types of mold out there, and can range in various colors. By knowing how to identify their effects, you can start to eliminate their exposure. Here are different types of mold to be aware of:

Black Mold

  • dark, furry texture with circular spots that are black, brown, or green
  • found in dark, damp areas
  • can cause respiratory issues such as sneezing, coughing, and an itchy throat
  • commonly Stachybotrys, Alternaria, Aspergillus, and Cladosporium

Green Mold

  • powdery and fuzzy
  • grows in damp, humid places with little airflow
  • can cause watery eyes, a runny nose, and dry skin
  • typically Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Cladosporium

White Mold

  • fuzzy, filmy white spots similar to mildew
  • thrive in moist environments
  • can cause headaches, dizziness, and nausea
  • commonly Chaetomium, Penicillium, and Alternaria

Blue Mold

  • pale to dark blue surrounded by white discoloration
  • found on food, walls, and ceilings
  • thrive in areas with high humidity and poor ventilation
  • can trigger allergic reactions like sinusitis and asthma
  • typically Aspergillus or Penicillium

Brown Mold

  • thick, hairy spots that are brown or almost black in color
  • thrives in dark, moist areas
  • grows in wood, walls, floorboards, ceilings, and bathroom tiles
  • can cause allergic reactions like itchy, watery eyes, shortness of breath, and rashes
  • commonly Cladosporium, Stemonitis, Taeoniella, and Mucor

Orange Mold

  • shady spots that become spongy and slimy in nature
  • thrive in moisture and humidity
  • grow on wooden surfaces
  • can cause wheezing, skin rashes, and eye and throat irritation
  • typically Acremonium and Fulio Septica

Knowing what to look for before mold growth occurs is the best way to prevent it. If you know what to look for, you can probably spot a number of clues that will help you avoid future costs and health risks.


Mold can be identified by its smell and is very distinctive from mildew. The smell is one of the first signs of mold and can start to give off a musty smell as quickly as the first 24 hours. It is highly recommended to find the root cause of the odor and eliminate it.

Black Spots

Mold is usually easy to find because it leaves black or green spots where the water damage has occurred. It can be found in areas that contain high moisture, such as bathtubs, showers, basements, and laundry rooms. They also appear on wooden surfaces such as kitchen cabinets, bathroom walls, and trim.

The dark spots appear dry and powdery and typically form in a circular pattern that can grow several inches wide. If you see black spots, they have most likely been exposed to moisture and should be removed by a specialist.

You Feel Like You’ve Had a Lingering Cold or Flu

If you’re experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms that you can’t identify or refuse to go away, it could possibly be due to mold exposure. Symptoms may include coughing, sneezing, sore throat, headaches, fatigue, and asthma. The longer mold festers in your home; the more likely these issues will return.

Recent Nosebleeds

Have you been having nosebleeds recently? Experiencing an unusually high number of nosebleeds may be an indication of a serious mold problem in your home. Although mold can affect people in different ways, other symptoms can include nausea, fatigue, mouth and throat irritation, and difficulty breathing. It is best to take immediate action to protect and prevent mold growth in your home.

History of Flooding

Mold is frequently discovered in areas that have been flooded and dwell in dark crevices between the drywall and the insulation. Keeping moisture levels under control is essential in preventing mold growth. If you remove the mold but don’t address the underlying water issue, the rotting and structural damage caused by the mold will continue.

Breathing Issues

Mold problems can cause various symptoms, including difficulty breathing and other respiratory issues. If you are experiencing coughing, itchy eyes, and shortness of breath, there may be a high chance you are having an allergic reaction to mold.

Mold Removal In Portland

Mold in the home is a common occurrence. It grows in dark places and slowly weakens the foundation of your home without you even realizing it. Mold is a serious issue because it often goes unnoticed, so it is critical to understand how to recognize signs of mold in order to act quickly and prevent further damage.

Mold removal in your home can be a hassle to do on your own. It is advised to enlist the aid of a specialist who can accurately identify the issue and resolve it. Read on to learn about mold services and the mold removal process:

Mold Inspection

The first thing you should do if you suspect mold growth in your home is to schedule a mold inspection. They’ll be able to find any mold present, assess its severity, and eliminate the source of the problem to ensure that it doesn’t come back.

Prior to the inspection, a thorough consultation will focus on any issues related to previous water damage as well as any areas of your home where mold or moisture has been found. 

Following that, they will thoroughly inspect your home for signs of mold. Since mold thrives in moist environments, they will search for signs of water intrusion and other areas where moisture may develop to identify HVAC issues.

To determine whether moisture may be trapped between walls or in your insulation, the inspectors may use a specialized moisture meter. After examining your home from top to bottom, they will discuss their analysis with you and address any questions you may have.

Mold Testing

The possible risks associated with mold growing in your home can be assessed with the help of a mold test. The scope of the issue can also be determined through mold testing.

Mold Remediation In Portland

Proper awareness allows for the most effective remediation strategy for your home. Since there are various kinds of mold, the remediation procedure will be customized to your particular situation. Mold should be removed quickly to prevent further damage. To ensure removal, mold testing must be repeated after remediation.

Mold Removal Process

When removing the mold, they take meticulous care to treat and scrape all visible mold from the harmed surfaces. The contaminated area is isolated by closing doors, windows, and air vents that lead to other rooms. Plastic sheeting may also be used to seal any openings as an added precaution.

To stop mold spores from sticking to dust particles, the process may include misting the mold-infested surfaces or using specialized vacuums or air filtration systems to ensure that potentially harmful dust is not in the air.

Mold growth in absorbent materials like carpet, drywall, or insulation may require removal. Before leaving the containment area, wet and moldy materials are sealed in plastic bags and sanitized thoroughly.

Mold is removed from non-porous materials and wood surfaces using specialized chemicals to remove hidden spores and prevent their regrowth. After the mold has been eliminated, the affected surfaces are thoroughly cleaned, and then containment barriers are safely removed.

It is advised to postpone any activity in the affected area until the remediation process is finished.

A Mold-Free Home

Discovering mold in your home can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Our goal is to provide you with an effective guide to help prevent the spread of mold and protect your health and home.

The key to mold removal is identifying, understanding, and addressing it appropriately. Contact us and take that first step to a mold-free environment.

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