There are several different indicators for identifying a mold problem in your building. Mold has a distinct smell of a musty or earthly odor that can help indicate that mold is growing within the building. Sometimes it is possible to visibly detect mold. Mold can be identified by discolored smudges and/or blotches in dark or moist parts of a home.
However, other times indoor mold is less obvious. Mold can be hidden in various places in a building, including:
- Behind drywall, wallpaper, paneling, or furniture
- Beneath ceiling coverings due to leaks or poor insulation
- Under carpets, coverings and rugs
- In pipe chases, utility tunnels, or behind walls (typically due to leaky pipes)
- Other hidden areas where moisture may be prevalent
In these cases, mold can still be identified by its smell even if it can’t be seen. Be careful when investigating mold problems on your own, as uncovering moldy areas without proper planning can lead to mold spores being unleashed into the open air and spreading to other parts of the home. If you discover hidden mold, you should revise your remediation plan to account for the total area affected by mold growth.
You should be concerned about the growth of mold if your home has had:
- a flood
- a sewer back-up
- an overflowing toilet
- leaking pipes
- a leaking roof
- leaking windows
- condensation on windows
- malfunctioning appliances
- other serious water-related problems.
When it comes to dealing with molder, sooner is always better than later. Early detection, treatment, and control can exponentially reduce the time, effort, and money needed to control the mold in your building. Any extremely wet areas should be cleaned and dried immediately after detection, as mold can grow within 1-2 days in the proper conditions. Contact your landlord and home insurance agent to find out what costs may or may not be covered.