Mold, Moisture and your Home…

Here are some common signs to watch out for that could indicate you have mold growing in your home.

Allergic Symptoms from Mold

If you are having a problem with allergies then there’s a chance there could be mold growing somewhere in your home. Common allergic reactions to mold include sneezing, nasal congestion, eye irritations and a runny nose.

Do you notice your allergies are worse when you’re at home but feel better when you go out? If so then it’s likely that you may have mold. If you find that your allergies are worse in some other building, like at your workplace, then there could be mold there.

Smelling a Mold Odor

When you have mold growing hidden away in your home, often a moldy smell might be the only clue that it’s there. Don’t ignore any mold odors if you cannot see any mold. You should thoroughly inspect your home before any mold problems get worse.

Seeing Signs of Mold Growth

Visible mold growth might seem like an obvious sign of mold. However many people do not notice small amounts of mold growth or they think it is just dirt or soot. Sometimes people just simply choose to ignore visible mold in their home.
If you see any signs of mold growth, even if it’s only a small amount you should take action immediately. Even small mold patches can spread and the fact that there is any mold in your home shows that conditions are right for mold to grow and spread.
Ignoring this could lead to a bigger problem and could be a sign that there may be a larger colony growing hidden away from view.

Mold can appear unusual looking and may come in all types of shapes and colors such as black spots, gray-brown, gray-green, or white and mold behind wallpaper can even appear orange, pink or purple.

Signs of Water problems

If you have had any long term moisture problems in your home it’s very likely that it can lead to mold growth so if you are aware of past or present water problems then you could have mold.
Some signs of moisture problems include water stains or discoloration on walls, floors or ceilings. Any of these signs may be a clue that there is mold growing behind the material.

Another sign of a moisture problem can be surface abnormalities like peeling, bubbling or cracking of the paint or wallpaper. If your walls are bowed, bulging or warped it probably means that moisture has gotten to them, another clue is the wall surface or other material may feel damp.

Mold in the Kitchen

Mold can often be found in the kitchen because there is a lot of moisture. Another reason is there’s always plenty of food in the kitchen that can also be a contributor for mold to start to grow on.
If the humidity in your kitchen stays at a very high level for a long time it can cause mold to start to grow. Some of the big causes are tap water, steam from a boiling kettle, spilled liquids that were not cleaned up which evaporate into the air, steam from cooking food or washing dishes.

To decrease your kitchen’s humidity you should ventilate your kitchen regularly by opening a window or door. Using an exhaust fan will help if you have one and be sure to clean up any spilled liquids.

Mold in the Bathroom

It is very common for mold to be found in a bathroom and the most obvious reason is that there is lots of water and humidity in a bathroom.
Frequent running water in the basin, the bathtub and the shower create wet surfaces and puddles of water that can quickly lead to mold growth if you do not dry the moisture out.

In addition to this when the water does dry out it evaporates into the air and increases the humidity.
Steam from a hot shower or bath also makes the bathroom more humid. Since most bathrooms are not well ventilated the humidity tends to hang around and the wet surfaces take a long time to dry out.
Always use a vent fan when possible while taking a shower or bath to remove excess moisture.

Bathroom Mold Removal

If mold has begun to grow in your bathroom you need to remove it immediately. You can use a sponge, cloth or scrubbing brush to clean mold from most bathroom surfaces you can also use an old toothbrush for those hard to reach places where mold has begun to grow.

Such products as bleach, Borax, Vinegar and Ammonia sometimes have good results in removing mold and to help in preventing it from coming back.

If you find that mold has started growing in a sealer then the sealer may need to be removed and replaced. As a last resort walls may need to be cut out and replaced if you cannot remove the mold from the walls surface.

Mold in the Basement

One of the most common rooms in the house we find mold is in the basement. There are many sources of moisture found in the basement. Any water problem in the basement usually takes a long time to dry out because of the lack of sunlight, very little ventilation and is often humid.

To make matters worse, once mold has begun to grow it often goes unnoticed for a while because people do not spend much time in their basements or rarely clean them. Dust and dirt covers and helps to promotes mold growth. Mold also loves to grow on such building materials as drywall, wood and insulation.


Greg Drago, ASHI Certified Inspector
Proudly serving St. Louis County and City, Jefferson County, St. Charles County and Northern Ste. Genevieve County,
And the entire 63129 and 63010 zip code area.