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5 Warning Signs of Potential Mold Growth at Home or Work

When it comes to mold, the old expression “there’s more than meets the eye” certainly applies. There are certain indoor and outdoor warning signs that can signal that conditions are ripe for the development of mold in or around your building.

#1   Icicles

They may look pretty from afar, but icicles can be a clear sign that conditions in your residential or commercial property may be ideal for mold growth. Icicles on your eaves or roofline indicate heat loss from inside the house and this situation, coupled with snow on the roof and cold temperatures, can cause ice dams.

Snow on the roof melts due to the sun or due to heat loss from the house (such as the attic) and then trickles down. When cold temperatures return, the melted snow will freeze, forming ice dams, or thick, solid barriers of ice that form along the edges of the roof. These then prevent future melting snow from properly draining off the roof. Ice dams can cause rook leaks, damage to shingles and gutters, and water to back up and enter your home.

In addition to the damage caused by water penetrating your ceilings, walls and floors, water can saturate your attic insulation, which then becomes the perfect target for mildew and mold.


#2   Frost buildup

Another sign of heat loss is frost buildup on the sheathing inside your garage or attic and it may be worth investigating for its potential to cause problems.

Frost on the sheathing of your attic or garage indicates that your roof lacks proper air flow and inadequate air flow can lead to rotten sheathing and mold.

Although some roof inspectors argue that a bit of frost in small, contained areas may not be a cause for concern – and in fact may even be expected in older homes – you should contact a trusted roofing professional if you spot any moderate to large areas of frost or any areas with especially thick frost. These can signal a severe problem in your attic or garage space, and eventually lead to rampant mold and mildew growth if left unattended.


#3   Window condensation

Are your windows sweating?

A clear warning sign of potential mold growth is condensation on your windows.

And did you know? You’re at a much greater risk of window condensation if you live in a newer, more tightly sealed home versus a drafty, older home—most of which offer plenty of cracks, openings and other opportunities for air to escape (with the energy bills to prove it).

Whether condensation seems insignificant or severe, droplets of water can land on the window framing and adjoining drywall and promote mold growth. If you’ve had excess condensation on your windows for a year or more, chances are high that you already have a little (or a lot!) of mold growing, even if it can’t yet be seen with the naked eye.

Lastly, this shouldn’t come as a surprise but in addition to prompting mold growth, window condensation also signals that there is inadequate ventilation in the rooms where it appears.


#4   Lack of Proper Venting

If you’re operating your clothes dryer and you don’t notice any air coming out of its respective vent on the exterior of your home, that’s a bad sign.

If you’re cooking pasta on the stove and you don’t have an exhaust fan or it isn’t working properly, that’s also a bad sign.

Another bad sign is a bathroom that lacks an exhaust fan, window or proper venting to the outdoors, and we’ve discussed this with tips to prevent mold from growing in this hot and humid area of the home.

Appliances should be properly vented to the outside so that the warm, moist air being produced due to a running clothes dryer, stove or other appliance isn’t being recycled back into the home, increasing humidity levels to create a breeding ground for mold.


#5   Wet areas

This warning sign may not be all that obvious unless you regularly check the envelope of your home or commercial building but it can be a clear warning sign that you have mold or may have mold soon unless corrective action is taken immediately.

Luckily, it’s also difficult to miss: look for exterior areas that appear wet and/or that appear wet for several days after rain or snowfall. These can signal leaky windows, a dripping pipe hidden in the walls or another source of water accumulation.

If the temperatures are adequate for mold growth (and we already know that mold can grow in cold temperatures too), there’s no way around it: it will grow throughout the high-moisture area.

Worried about the warnings signs you’ve noticed in or around your home or office? Contact us today to book an appointment for professional mold inspection advice and we’ll be glad to help.


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