Mold Remediation Blog

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How do you know if your DC area home has a mold problem? Valor Mold can help.

Mold can have a devastating effect on your home and your indoor air quality. It gets into your walls, into your air vents, and it can circulate through the air that you breathe throughout the house. But mold can also go unnoticed for some time. Because it’s often inside your walls, you might not realize you have a mold problem until you begin to feel the effects of it, which is too late, in our opinion. So how do you know if it’s mold? In today’s blog, we’ll discuss how to diagnose a mold problem in your home.

What Causes Mold?

Mold tends to form in damp, dark areas or when there’s considerable moisture in the air. This tends to occur on organic materials such as wood, paper, or wallpaper. But mold can also form on ceiling tiles, on paint and dust, and even on carpets. Sometimes mold can form inside your air vents, which sends mold spores out through the vents to grow in other places. A few conditions that can cause mold in your home are:

  • Roof leaks
  • Flooding
  • Poor insulation 
  • High interior humidity


Potential Dangers of Mold

No one likes to find mold in their home. But is it truly a serious issue? What are the possible ramifications it can have for your home?

The truth is that mold is an issue that you’ll want to take seriously, and more so because it’s often not immediately noticeable. Mold hides in walls, under floors, or inside your air vents, so often, by the time it’s noticeable, it’s already caused quite a bit of damage. The main concern when it comes to mold is health issues. Mold can cause breathing issues. If you already have a respiratory condition that makes breathing difficult, mold can make your life in your home nearly unbearable. Many are also allergic to certain molds, in some cases severely so. You may notice skin irritation, too, as a side effect of mold.

If mold goes untreated for long enough, it may begin to weaken the home’s structural integrity. What’s more is the conditions that cause mold can also cause fungi, which can lead to decay of the home’s structure. It’s also an unpleasant look, and it could significantly decrease your home value and make it difficult to sell if you plan to do so soon.

You should stay on guard for mold and be ready to root it out as soon as you notice an issue. But how do you notice it when mold tends to be so good at hiding? Here are our tips:

Instead of looking for mold, start by looking for issues that can cause mold. Did your house recently have a flood, or does your kitchen or laundry room experience frequent spills? This could lead to mold, as could potential leaks in the roof or in your siding. Go to the attic and lookup. If you notice any cracks of light, that means you have a roof leak and may need a mold test. If you see spots of water damage in the ceiling, there’s a strong chance of mold.
You may be able to smell mold before you see it. Mold tends to smell musty, like the smell of rotten wood or the ground after it rains. This makes sense, because mold tends to thrive on organic materials and in damp, moist areas. If you notice this smell in certain parts of your home, it’s worth having a mold test done, even if you can’t see anything.

There are over 100,000 different types of mold, and they can have very different looks. Some appear as a white fuzz along the wall, very subtle. Others are black and spotty. Some molds are green, while others are brown. You may be able to take a picture if you notice a suspicious spot on your walls, ceilings, or floors, and check a reputable source to find out if that picture is well as what kind of mold it is.

Have you been coughing or sneezing more lately? Are your eyes watering, or is your skin particularly itchy? These could all be signs that you have a mold problem. Headaches and nosebleeds could also be a sign of mold.

Of course, these can mean other things, as well. Perhaps you’ve been drinking hard tap water that makes your skin itch, or there’s a material in the house that you’re allergic to. If it’s allergy season, it can be difficult to tell the difference between mold allergies and seasonal allergies. If these symptoms tend to last longer than usual, however, it could be mold. Take the context into account, but any cause for concern should warrant a mold test, at least.

Mold can happen just about anywhere in your home, but there are some places where it’s more common than others, especially rooms that tend to collect moisture or humidity. Bathrooms and kitchens are commonly victims of mold. Basements tend to be most affected by floods, so these should be frequently checked; conversely, attics can gather higher levels of humidity than other parts of the home, and that could cause mold to form. Your garage could be another spot. Check rooms that are highly trafficked or have plenty of upholstery, like living rooms or abandoned storage rooms, as these rooms could also fall prey to mold.


Worried you might have a mold problem? Valor Mold can help from mold testing to expert mold removal. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you or to set up a mold test.


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