According to Lauren Schumacker, Insider.com
From smelling something odd to feeling sick, there are a number of different signs that can indicate that you might have mold in your house.
If you do suspect you have mold in your home, getting it taken care of as soon as you can is very important as the situation generally will not improve over time. If you do not address any underlying leakage, however, you really have not gotten things under control, the mold will likely come back.
If you do not address any underlying leakage, however, you really have not gotten things under control — the mold will likely come back.
If it is visible, it could be worse than it looks. Of course, one of the most obvious ways to determine that you have mold in your house is if you can see it. The downside? If you see a ton of visible mold, it can be an indicator that you have a big problem on your hands. "Once you see it, you've got a big mold problem, because what you're seeing is literally just the tip of the iceberg," Kelly Hayes-Raitt, a house sitter and the former director of the HomeSafe Campaign in California, told INSIDER. Simply scrubbing the visible mold with soap and a sponge will not actually get rid of the mold. So if you see visible mold, you need to reach out to a mold remediation company or another expert to help you get things under control, including any leaks that may have caused the issue in the first place.
The best way to tell if its mold-related is to spend a few nights away from home to see how you feel. "It is pretty tough to detect until it starts coming through the walls because mold, as you know, is a problem with some sort of leak somewhere," Hayes-Raitt said. "So, the problem starts behind the walls. But if you are getting sick, it might be because of a mold problem." If you're dealing with symptoms that you cannot exactly pinpoint, it could be that you're stressed, haven't been taking care of yourself, or wound up with some sort of virus, of course, but it could also potentially be that you're dealing with mold. If possible, Hayes-Raitt said that one of the best ways to determine if the sickness you feel is related to the house or not is to leave for a few days and then return home. If you feel those same symptoms coming on again, it might be the result of something more than a cold or virus.
If it is an odor that you are not used to, it could be worth investigating. If you notice that your home has a bit of a moldy or musty smell to it, that might also indicate that there may be a mold issue.
If you are finding yourself getting more nosebleeds than usual, it could be a sign that there is a serious mold issue in your living space. "In more serious cases, people have chronic nosebleeds, but again, it's kind of difficult, you know, you don't ordinarily think that it's mold, that it's your house that's making you sick," Hayes-Raitt said. Of course, if you're experiencing chronic or frequent nosebleeds, you may also want to visit your doctor to rule out other potential causes.
If there is an area in your home that floods every time it rains, you may want to check it for mold. Past flooding could lead to mold issues later on as well. According to The Conversation, mold is not just a short-term possibility after flooding happens. It can also be a problem for a long period of time after the flooding takes place. So, if you know that your home has flooded in the past, you may want to check the commonly previously areas for mold, even if you did not see any mold shortly after the flooding occurred.
It is worth noting if these headaches commonly occur while you're home. "Mold exposure can cause short-term and long-term negative effects," Steve Worsley, the owner of CNC Contractor Services, told INSIDER. "Short-term effects of mold exposure include headaches, coughing, running nose, flu-like symptoms, and mental health concerns." If you are struggling with headaches more regularly, there could be a number of causes that can be ruled out by a doctor, but noting that a mold infestation could be what is impacting your health is important. "It's very crucial that people address any moisture intrusion events in a timely manner with the assistance of a mold expert," Worsley added. "Mold can start reproducing within 48 hours after a moisture intrusion event."
It is tough to recover from a cold if you are surrounded by mold. Hayes-Raitt said that difficulty breathing and other sorts of respiratory issues can also be symptoms of mold issues. She said the problem is that people often tend to take to their beds when they're sick so that they can rest and recover, but if you have mold in the walls in your bedroom, that is not going to help at all. Still, you may not suspect mold, but knowing that mold can have these sorts of health effects can potentially help you get to the bottom of your health issues and home issues sooner.
If tiles in your ceilings appear to be soggy or soft, you may want to call a professional to inspect them for mold. Ultimately, working with professionals to properly detect and remove mold is the best way to ensure that you will not end up with additional mold-related health issues down the road.