Got Mold?

There are many areas in a home that can be prone to mold; bathrooms, kitchens or closets that share a wall with a bathroom. You are also at higher risk if your home has experienced a flood or water damage of any nature, whether it be from a plumbing leak or leaky roof.

Mold in your home can pose some serious issues if not dealt with promptly, not the least of which is your health. Being aware of the signs of mold can help you reduce the long term effects that mold could have on your health and the structural integrity of your home if left untended. below are some waring signs that can help you determine what to look for, before mold can cause major damage to your family or home.

Moisture

Mold thrives in wet environments, so if you’ve experienced water damage, your chances of mold growth have increased. Look for spongy floor, bubbling paint and wallpaper or water stains, these all point to signs of water damage and should be inspected and repaired ASAP!

Condensation

Condensation around windows and doors, if left unattended, can lead to mold. Mold loves moisture and will flourish if the moisture build-up isn’t removed. Check the caulk and seals around these areas and repair or replace if there are signs of damage. Add these areas to your regular cleaning routine and adjust the temperature in your home to avoid creating condensation.

Musty Odors

Mold produces a smell that can be reminiscent of smelly feet or a gym bag full of sweaty clothing. This smell is one of the first signs of a possible mold problem, particularly if there are no visible signs of mold or water damage. The smell is created by mold releasing microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOC). These toxins may begin causing irritation to you eyes and respiratory system. So, that strange, musty smell that you can’t quite identify may mean it’s time to look for signs of mold growth.

Never Ending Allergy Symptoms

Mold sickness symptoms

Health issues that are caused by mold create allergy symptoms, because your body may be having an allergic reaction to the toxins you are breathing in. So, if you begin to have allergy symptoms and are not prone to seasonal allergies, it may be a sign that you should investigate for mold. Some of the other symptoms you can experience from mold are headaches, dizziness and difficulty with concentration. Immune suppressed individuals have a greater risk of having allergic reactions to mold.

Common Sense

Keep your eyes open to signs of water damage or increased moisture in your home and take care of it before it becomes a bigger problem. Simple maintenance checks in areas that are prone to issues (plumbing, around sinks or bathtubs and windows) can help stave off water damage or condensation build-up before it leads to mold. However, if you believe you may have a mold problem, always contact a professional to assess and repair the situation. Then you can feel confident knowing your home is safe for you and your family.

Signs Of Hidden Water Leaks In Your Bathroom

Bathroom leaks can be tricky and hard to detect, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Puddles left on the floor after a shower or bath can seem innocent enough, especially if you have children. You may need to poke around to find the not-so-obvious bathroom plumbing leak.

Look for these somewhat subtle signs to determine whether you need to hire a plumber to fix those leaking pipes or plumbing fixtures before things get worse. If left untreated, a water leak in you bathroom can cost you, expecially if it leads to serious water damage to walls, flooring and paint.

Mildew or Mold

No matter how well and how often you clean your bathroom, mold or mildew can spring up if you have a hidden water leak. Mold thrives on moist, dark areas, and a pipe, which is typically hidden in a wall or under flooring, provides the perfect starting point for mold or mildew if the pipe springs a leak.

While it’s normal for a little mildw to occur wherever water accumulates, such as in the corner of a shower, mold or mildew on non shower walls or in corners of the bathroom is a clear sign that water is leaking somewhere and finding its way close to those areas. A leaking pipe provides plenty of moisture so the longer it takes you to detect and fix the leak, the easier and faster mold will grow.

Damaged paint or wallpaper

Wall damage from toilet leak.

A wall with blistering paint or wallpaper is another sign of bathroom leaks.

In most cases, steam from the occasional hot shower shouldn’t cause paint or wallpaper to come loose. When water and moisture get between the wall and paint, they eliminate the bond and begin to separate the two, causing the paint to rise from the wall and fall off in pieces. The same goes for wallpaper: The adhesive used to bond the paper to the wall becomes less sticky and the paper begins to come loose.

Damaged Walls

Tile damage from leak in shower. Mold in wall board behind tile.

A wall that is warped or stained for no reason is a clear sign that you have a plumbing leak in your bathroom.

When drywall is exposed to moisture, it becomes soft and begins to bubble, ultimately warping and breaking into pieces. If the leak reaches the ceiling, it causes it to sag and possibly leak some of the water that has accumulated. The same goes for the wall board behind tiles; once water has penetrated and moisture can accumulate, the tiles will begin to come loose and fall off.

To fix the leak, a plumber often must tear out the drywall, requiring someone to patch and paint or retile when the plumber is finished.

Damaged flooring

Unless you purposely let water sit on it, a bathroom floor rarely suffers water damage unless there is a leak. If your bathroom floor is buckling, cracking or beginning to stain for no obvious reason, chances are hidden water is the culprit. The water could be from a pipe directly underneath the floor, or it could have traveled there from another area.

Depending of the type of flooring in your bathroom, moisture can make it feel spongy or soft. Tile may lose its adhesion and become loose, allowing you to easily remove a piece and possibly expose water or moisture underneath it. You will also often find a damp subfloor.

Stains on ceilings

If you have a bathroom on a second floor, you might spot a leak in the ceiling under the bathroom. Check the patch of ceiling in the room directly beneath the bathroom for stains and signs of water damage. However, because water can travel a long distance, it’s possible to find water stains on the ceiling farther away.

An occasional wet floor in a second-story bathroom won’t cause enough seepage to damage anything underneath it. Any brown, copper or dark stain on the ceiling is a sign of a pernicious water leak in the ceiling. A sagging ceiling is a sign that water from a leak is reaching the area.

sources: J.T. Gonzales. Signs Of Hidden Water Leak In Your Bathroom. Web blog post. Solution Center: Plumbing. Angie’s List.