As professional plumbers, we’re always on the lookout for mold in our customers’ homes because mold can be hazardous to people’s health and because it can be expensive to clean up if it’s grown out of control.
When we are on a job site, there are many indicators of mold that we actively look out for. If a pipe leak for example, has evolved into a serious concern, it may be wise for the homeowner to contact a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) or an Indoor Environment Professional (IEP). We do feel that the best way for us as plumbers to handle a mold issue is to immediately bring it to the homeowner’s attention so they are aware of the problem.
Indicators of Mold in a Home
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some people are sensitive to mold and exposure can cause health effects in some people, such as nasal congestion, coughing, wheezing, throat irritation, and even skin irritation. That said, here are some of the signs of mold that plumbers look out for:
- Standing water: If a home has standing water; for example, in the basement, building materials are soaking in water every minute they’re sitting in water. The longer they’re in the water, the harder it will be to dry them out. Water damage can lead to mold, but if it’s quickly cleaned up and dried, it doesn’t have to.
- Condensation: Water condensation is a real issue, especially in older homes with poor ventilation. In bathrooms in particular, mold will typically grow on the ceiling above the bathtub or shower. If there is a window, it should be opened during a shower, and if there’s a vent fan, it should be run during showers.
- Water stains: If there are water stains or lines on drywall, windowsills, or cabinets, etc., it’s an indicator that there was water damage there in the past. Why is this a concern? If water damage is left untreated, it will usually lead to mold growth.
- Black or green color: If you see a black or green substance on building materials, it usually means there is mold. However, mold isn’t always black or green, it comes in a variety of colors. Any discoloration is a sign of mold.
- Health problems: Allergic reactions to mold are not uncommon. If someone in your household is experiencing eye, nose, lung, or throat irritation, it could be associated with exposure to mold and they should see a doctor about it.
If you suspect that there is mold in your home, we can help. We encourage you to contact Winters® Home Services to schedule a service call with one of our Boston plumbers.