Signs of black mold in the home — what should you look for?
How to identify black mold
Black mold is one of the biggest fears for any homeowner or renter. Many times, toxic black mold (also known as Stachybotrys chartarum) can hide in places that are unseen for months or years, releasing spores that affect air quality and the health of those living there.
Black mold feeds off damp organic material; in homes, this can include drywall, carpet, insulation or flooring that has been exposed to moisture.
- Smell — your home may develop a moldy smell. Don’t ignore this, as there’s usually a reason! Inspect your home for additional signs of mold and contact a professional to address the issue immediately.
- Visible growth — one of the easiest signs of mold is seeing the mold growth. This may seem obvious, but sometimes, homeowners write this growth off as dirt or soot. Keep an eye out for speckled brown, white, green or black spots, often in damp places such as in a bathroom or near a window. Mold can grow and spread quickly, so take care of these growth areas immediately.
- Water damage or leaks — as we previously discussed, mold grows well in damp areas, so if you’ve had a recent moisture problem, such as snowmelt or a leaky sink, you should investigate for mold. This could include areas behind sinks, wallpaper or drywall, or under tiles and carpeting.
- Health issues — sometimes, the first signs of toxic mold growth aren’t visible in your home, but in your health. If you experience symptoms of toxic mold poisoning, such as chronic coughing, eye irritation, headaches, respiratory issues or rashes, you should see a doctor and call a mold specialist to inspect your home. Mold clean-up is extremely important and should not be delayed.