The first step to getting rid of mold is identifying it in your home. Here are 5 tips to help you figure out identifying mold in the attic.
It’s not uncommon for people to only go into their attic a handful of times each year. Unfortunately, this can allow mold to cultivate and spread.
While it may seem that this isn’t an immediate issue because it’s confined to the attic, the mold can spread through air ducts and cause health problems for your family.
It can also lower the value of your home.
Need to figure out if you’ve got mold but aren’t sure what to look for? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Check out these five tips for identifying mold in your attic.
1. Check For Colored Spots
One of the easiest ways to figure out if there’s mold in your attic is to look for colored spots throughout the area.
It also helps that mold commonly possesses colors that stand out from its surroundings, such as pink, yellow, orange, or white. These are all different species of mold that, while not immediately harmful, can cause complications over time.
Other colors to watch out for are gray and black. These are typically more harmful than other types of mold and tend to spread quickly throughout the attic.
Greenish black, however, is more of a concern. This is the color of the infamous black mold you often hear about being a problem in homes.
Prolonged exposure to black mold (in this case through the air vents connected to your attic) can lead to severe health problems, such as lung complications and memory loss.
If you notice a water leak coming from upstairs or have recently experienced water damage from a storm, there’s a good chance you have mold in your attic.
Since mold is a fungus, it doesn’t need light in order to grow. It does, however, need water and oxygen.
Thus, any source of consistent moisture in your home carries a risk for mold developing around it.
It’s important that you find a permanent fix to any leaks you find in your attic and not just a temporary one. Mold has the capability to go dormant when its environment is not conducive for further growth. Then, it can become active again in the future.
By failing to eliminate the cause of the moisture in your attic, there’s a chance the mold will come right back if there’s more water to be found. By fixing leaks or water damage and having a professional clear out any remaining mold, you’ll be back on track to having a healthy home.
3. Look For Shapes and Patterns
Most molds show up as big, unsightly splotches on wooden surfaces. This is especially true in attics given the lack of disturbance and likelihood of small water leaks in the pipes that run through them.
As previously mentioned, these can be in different colors, as well, although green and white seem to be two of the most common.
Something to keep an eye out for, though, is mold that grows in a pattern.
Black mold has a tendency to form perfect circles or crescent moon shapes as it spreads. If you see this type of formation, you’re not dealing with average mold and should contact a professional to remove it as soon as possible.
Failure to eliminate this type of mold could pose a health risk to you and your family.
4. Unpleasant Odors
When it comes to identifying mold, this one can be tough.
Mold often brings a not-so-pleasant odor that smells foul and musty. People also often report that it smells like urine.
Unfortunately, attics also have a stuffy, stale smell to them due to rising hot air and all of the undisturbed dust that’s allowed to settle for months at a time.
The key scent to look for, however, is moisture. Many types of mold emit a smell similar to that of wet newspaper.
If you do notice a damp or musty smell in your attic, have a look around for any of the previous signs. This is especially true if you notice moisture in your attic because water on its own doesn’t give off the same smells that mold does.
5. You Notice Health Issues
The sudden onset of health issues is a common sign that something might be wrong with the air in your home. This means, of course, that mold is likely the culprit.
It can be difficult to discern where these complications stem from due to their similarity to allergic reactions. However, there are some you need to keep an eye out for:
- Asthma that worsens or develops
- A sore throat
- Itchy skin and eyes; watery eyes
- Prolonged coughing
- General fatigue
Most of these symptoms could be part of coming down with a common cold. However, if they last longer than two or three weeks, the source could be from unchecked attic mold.
Mold symptoms generally subside once you take action to eliminate the mold growing in your home. However, toxic mold types (such as black mold) can cause longlasting damage to those who live in the home.
Regardless of what type of mold you have, it’s best to get rid of it as soon as you can to avoid any future health issues.
Identifying Mold Is Only The First Step
The next after identifying mold is making sure that you remove it quickly and professionally so that the air in your house is safe to breathe for you and your family.
Want to learn more about how to make your home a safer place to live?
Check out our blog for all the information you need!