September is Mold Awareness Month! As a homeowner, it’s important to be familiar with the signs and symptoms of mold. Undetected or ignored mold can turn into a serious issue. Not only for the safety of your home but for the health of those living under its roof. Help reduce your risk by knowing the signs of mold to keep your home and family safe and healthy.  

Signs of Mold
Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. If you find any of these signs in your home, the possibility of mold lurking in your home is very likely.

1.) Water
Although mold and spores are everywhere, active mold growth requires moisture. Whether on it is on visible surfaces or hiding behind drywall, attics or under carpets, indoor mold grows in the presence of excessive dampness or water. 

2.) Humidity and/or Condensation
Humidity or water vapor in the air can sometimes supply enough moisture for mold to grow. If your home feels humid, or you notice condensation forming, that is a prime environment for mold. EPA recommendations are to keep your indoor relative humidity below 60 percent, or ideally between 30 percent and 50 percent, if possible. There are several steps you can take to get the moisture in your home under control:

  • Install vent fans in kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Seal air and duct leaks (you’ll want to make sure all your ducts are cleaned before hand).
  • Tons of houseplants help to absorb the moisture from the air(Boston ferns are a great option).
  • Make sure you air-conditioning drip pans and drain lines are clean and unobstructed.

3.) Odor
Is there a strange, earthy smell in your home that won’t go away? Mold may be root of the issue. The musty odor that you smell from mold is caused by Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds (MVOCs). These odors are produced by molds during mold’s growth cycle.

4.) Health problems
Mold allergy symptoms are very similar to any other allergy symptom. Mold triggered allergy symptoms include:

  • sneezing
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • itchy throat or ears
  • hives
  • swollen or itchy eyes
  • coughing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing

If you suffer from asthma or other respiratory problems, the presence of mold in your home can be more harmful. Exposure to mold is known to aggravate asthma especially in children and elderly. The longer you and your family are exposed to mold the more severe these symptoms become.

How to Prevent Mold Growth
Knowing the signs of mold is important, but what if you can prevent it altogether? Here are just a few things to help stop mold in its tracks: 

  • Prevent leaks and keep track of any water damage.
  • Remove all water damaged furniture and carpets. 
  • Use dehumidifiers to remove excess moisture from the air.
  • Run the bathroom fan while showering.
  • Make sure your home has proper ventilation.
  • Equip your home with mold-resistant paints and sealants.
  • Have your air ducts cleaned to increase air circulation within your home and prevent the spread of mold.

Reduce Your Risk with Air Duct Cleaning
In general, prevention is key when it comes to dealing with mold.  Along with running a dehumidifier and increasing the airflow within your home, consider scheduling an air duct inspection and cleaning to help ensure no mold is hidden in your home’s duct work. To get the job done right the first time, hire Aura Air Duct Cleaning. We have reliable technicians who are held to a higher standard. They can evaluate your air ducts for mold growth and recommend the necessary steps to remedy the issue.