Is it mold? There is something dark growing in my shower… my drywall is discolored in the kitchen… there is a funny smell in my laundry room and I don’t think it’s my husband’s work clothes… IS IT MOLD??
If you live in central Florida (anywhere in Florida, really) or any humid region, the answer to this question is more than likely YES. Here in Florida, we know what it means when your favorite shoes get wet– it means you won’t be wearing those shoes tomorrow because it is going to take a day or two for them to dry! Even after they are dry they have the “funny moldy smell”.
Or how about when you forget to move your wet laundry from the washer to the dryer? You can’t go ANYWHERE without that sour smelling t-shirt reminding you of your oversight. Lets face it, the moisture in Florida is great for growing three things: orange trees, back acne, and mold.
Indicators Of Mold in Your Home
Mold is ubiquitous by nature. Its spores travel through the air outside of your house, inside your house, on your clothes, your pets, your children, it’s probably sitting on your shoulder watching you read this article right now. It doesn’t decide to colonize and cause a problem until it finds the optimum environment to build a home and start its little mold family.
Frequently wet areas like ill-vented bathrooms, kitchens, or laundry rooms are prime places for mold spores to settle and colonize. The scary thing, is that mold only takes 24-48 hours to colonize. Sometimes you can see visible evidence of mold growing on your bathroom tiles or discoloring your drywall. Other times, your only indication is a “funny smell”, frequent headaches, coughing, or other respiratory problems. In these cases, mold is likely hiding in your vents, behind your drywall, or even laying low under your tile.
How Can I Be Sure It Is Mold?
As a home owner, it isn’t as important to know what specific type of mold could possibly be growing in your home (leave that to the professionals who can actually test it). If you want to spend hours and days trying to find pictures online that exactly match what you suspect to be mold, then fine. But you probably have other things that you need to be doing. If any of the circumstances below apply to you, then it is probably worth calling a professional to come and evaluate your home.
The room you suspect to have mold is a room that has water access: bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, etc.
You have had water damage at some point
You or your family members have frequent headaches, coughing, or other respiratory problems
Your house or area in the house has a “moldy smell”
Plumbing or roof leaks
If you live in Florida or another humid region
Click here for tips on mold prevention.