The last thing a new homeowner wants to discover is fungus or mold in their home. The presence of these nasty spores could mean you have a problem with mold or wood rot. Mold and wood rot both emit a musty smell (the first warning sign!) and they can both cause severe damage to your home by weakening a foundation, or causing more moisture to seep inside. There are also certain health risks associated with mold, such as breathing problems and allergies. Bottom line: You want to nip a mold or wood rot problem in the bud or, more appropriately, the fungal spore.
Here are the signs of wood rot and mold you should be on the lookout for:
Bubbles in Wallpaper
Mold likes moisture. That is why the bathroom is the best place to look for signs of mold. If you have wallpaper in the bathroom — or anywhere else there is moisture, such as around an air conditioner — then look for bubbles under the surface. This could indicate that mold spores have formed on the glue and are literally bubbling up to the surface.
Stains in the Carpet
Circular brown, green or black stains on a carpet could be an indication of mold. If you see these types of stains, then you might want to give it a smell test for the musty odor. Just don’t get too close to the stain as you don’t want to breathe in those mold spores. This area might also be damp to the touch. If you have a stain, smell or dampness, then you would be well advised to pull up the carpet to inspect further.
Soft to the Touch
Wood rot often occurs in wood that hasn’t been properly sealed and is then exposed to prolong periods of moisture. Poking wood on a deck, garage door or foundation with a screwdriver, or even your finger, should not reveal any “softness.” If the wood feels more like thin paper than solid wood, then there could be some rot.
Peeling paint can be a pathway to wood rot. Any crack or chip in paint that is then exposed to moisture can provide a fertile ground for wood rot to grow. You’ll want to use the screwdriver test mentioned above in these areas. If they are solid, then you’ll want to patch the crack before moisture can seep in. Keep in mind that if your home is covered in aluminum siding, you still have to be on guard for any potential wood rot along the joints and seams.
You should inspect the exterior of your home at least every six months for any signs of trouble. If you detect signs of mold or wood rot, you’ll want to act quickly to stem the flow. Mold mediators are professional companies who can test and clean up the majority of mold infections. Wood rot around window frames, decking or roofing might require significant repair work. This is why it is vital to make sure your home is properly sealed. The best way to avoid mold or wood rot is to prevent it from starting!