What’s That Smell? Is Black Mold Hiding in Your Home?
There's a suspicious, musty smell you often notice, usually when coming home after being outside. You know you haven’t had a flood, and you've inspected for any type of water damage. You’ve searched the nooks and crannies and can’t see anything out of the ordinary, yet the smell remains. Take these steps if you suspect that you have black mold invading your West Whittier, CA, home.
1. Listen to Your Nose
Mold is considered secondary damage to a primary event (such as flood or leak) and can persist long after the initial event has passed. If you smell something, there is something in the air. While any mold can cause problems, black mold is particularly dangerous as it is toxigenic and can cause a variety of health issues in humans and pets. If you smell something, it is time to do something.
2. Do Not Disturb
Even if you can find the source of the mold, it is advisable to have a professional home inspection and begin mold remediation as needed. Mold spores become airborne when disturbed and can spread to other areas of your house and even to your belongings. Your vigorous scrubbing may distribute the mold rather than inhibit its growth and can exacerbate any health issues.
3. Reduce Humidity Levels
Mold spores, while always in the air, thrive when temperatures are above 70 degrees Fahrenheit with over 50 percent humidity. It only takes a few days for mold to start spreading on porous surfaces where spores can linger long after the weather has changed. If high humidity is contributing to mold growth, you may need to take additional steps to ensure that the problem does not return.
4. Prevent Future Growth
Determining the cause of moisture in your home will help you prevent further mold outbreaks. In addition to getting rid of mold, you may need to improve ventilation, clean gutters, repair roof leaks, seal windows, or take other measures to make a less friendly environment for fungal growth.
It doesn't matter if mold is the musty, harmless variety or more toxic black mold. When you find spores, it’s time to evict your unwelcome guests.