Articles by Natural Health Author Jaime A. Heidel

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Top Warning Signs of Mold in Your Home – The Mold Series, Part 2 of 3

by Jaime A. Heidel
See all TBYIL articles by Jaime A. Heidel

(The Best Years in Life) Mold is an insidious invader that creeps into your home and can cause multiple and seemingly-unrelated symptoms ranging from recurrent sinus problems to chronic fatigue. In part one of our mold series, we took an in-depth look at the top 10 symptoms of mold sensitivity. In part two, we will go over the top warning signs of mold in your home so you can spot it more easily. In the third and final part of our series, I'll show you how to get rid of mold naturally.

Here are some top warning signs of mold in your home:

Smelling a Moldy/Musty Odor

It's hard to explain what mold smells like if you've never smelled it before. To me, it smells dank, wet, and, well...off, for lack of a better way of putting it. It's like something happens in my gut when I'm around it. It's a smell that makes me feel uncomfortable and like I need to leave the area immediately.

From my research, others have described mold as smelling like wet, dirty socks, damp earth, a soggy phone book, a damp sponge, and a combination of dirt and rotting leaves. It's this invasive smell that can slowly permeate your household without you being fully aware of its presence until it grows to a point where ignoring it or passing it off as something else is no longer possible.

Seeing Mold in Your Home

It sounds like a no-brainer that if you see mold in your home, you have mold in your home. It's not always that easy, though. Mold comes in many different sizes, textures, and colors, so if you don't know what you're looking for, it can be easy to miss.

Some mold grows in black spots or patches while other types of mold are white and stringy. Mold can also be a grayish-green or grayish-brown color. Mold growing on vinyl wallpaper can have an orange, pink, or purple appearance.

 

Also, even if your home isn't mold-ridden yet, there could be signs that it has become a prime breeding ground for this toxic invader.

For example:

  • Water Stains

A concentrated discoloration on walls, floors, or ceilings could indicate a moisture problem, which could turn into a mold problem. Look for dark stains that spread outward from one focal point or splotches of black, white, or green.

  • Peeling Paint/Wallpaper

If your paint or wallpaper is beginning to peel, bubble, or crack, this could be a sign that moisture has gotten into your home and will breed mold.

  • Humidity and Condensation

A humidity level above 60 percent often leads to mold growth. If you notice condensation on your windowsills, walls, or metal surfaces, your environment is susceptible to mold.

  • Warped Walls and Door Frames

If your walls or doors are bulging, warped, or bowed, this is another sign of water damage and possible mold infestation.

  • Rust

Rust on metal pipes, nails, and other metal surfaces could be a sign of high humidity, condensation, or a water leak. This could also mean a hidden mold problem.

Symptoms of Mold Toxicity

Another top warning sign of mold in your home is symptoms of mold toxicity. Common symptoms are fatigue, numbness and tingling, wheezing, sinus problems, learning and memory impairment, blurry vision, headaches, light sensitivity, muscle and joint pain, and skin rash.

Hidden Places You May Find Mold

Even if you can't smell or see it, that doesn't mean mold isn't growing somewhere in your home. It often hides in places you wouldn't think to look.

For example:

  • Under the kitchen or bathroom sink

  • On dishes or the towel wet dishes rest on

  • Under or behind the refrigerator

  • In stacks of damp newspaper or cardboard

  • Around window sashes and seals

  • Around air-conditioning units

  • Under wet carpeting (beneath air-conditioning units or where there is a leak in the ceiling, for example)

  • The gasket of a front-loading washing machine (a combination of lint and moisture is an ideal snack for mold)

  • A basement that has recently flooded

    If a thorough inspection leads to you to mold growing in your home, there's no need to call a mold removal specialist just yet. In the next article, I'll give you some tips on how to get rid of the mold naturally.

See also:

10 Symptoms of Mold Sensitivity – The Mold Series, Part 1 of 3

And stay tuned for part 3 of 3: "How to Get Rid of Mold Naturally"

Sources:

http://www.anapsid.org/cnd/diffdx/mold2.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15029091
http://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15143852
http://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/2009/06/oped1-0906.html
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/35932711/ns/health-allergies_and_asthma/t/tired-depressed-it-may-be-hidden-allergies/
http://www.mold-advisor.com/mycotoxins-and-joint-pain.html

About the author:

Jaime is a professional freelance writer with a passion for natural health and wellness. Her website, I Told You I Was Sick, was created to help those living with chronic pain and illness find natural ways to heal.

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