Mould could be making you sick, here are 8 signs there's mould hiding in your home

iStockMould isn’t always visible.
  • From smelling something odd to feeling sick, there are a number of different signs that can indicate that you might have mould in your house.
  • If you do suspect you have mould in your home, getting it taken care of as soon as you can is very important as the situation generally won’t improve over time.
  • If you don’t address any underlying leakage, however, you really haven’t gotten things under control – the mould will likely come back.

Mould can be a common issue in homes and although it isn’t always dangerous, it can cause structural damage to the house and it can negatively impact your health when left untreated and undetected.

The best thing to do if you know or suspect that there’s mould in your living area is to address the problem as soon as you can and as thoroughly as you can.

Here are some signs that might indicate that you have mould in your home.


You visibly see mould spores.

iStockIf it’s visible, it could be worse than it looks.

Of course one of the most obvious ways to determine that you have mould in your house is if you can see it. The downside? If you see a ton of visible mould, it can be an indicator that you have a big problem on your hands.

“Once you see it, you’ve got a big mould problem because what you’re seeing is literally just the tip of the iceberg,” Kelly Hayes-Raitt, a housesitter and the former director of the HomeSafe Campaign in California, told INSIDER.

Simply scrubbing the visible mould with soap and a sponge won’t actually get rid of the mould. So if you see visible mould, you need to reach out to a mould remediation company or another expert to help you get things under control, including any leaks that may have caused the issue in the first place.


You feel like you have a lingering cold or are battling flu-like symptoms.

iStockThe best way to tell if its mould-related is to spend a few nights away from home to see how you feel.

“It is pretty tough to detect until it starts coming through the walls because mould, as you know, is a problem with some sort of leak somewhere,” Hayes-Raitt said. “So the problem starts behind the walls. But if you’re getting sick, it might be because of a mould problem.”

If you’re dealing with symptoms that you can’t exactly pinpoint, it could be that you’re stressed, haven’t been taking care of yourself, or wound up with some sort of virus, of course, but it could also potentially be that you’re dealing with mould.

If possible, Hayes-Raitt said that one of the best ways to determine if the sickness you feel is related to the house or not is to leave for a few days and then return home. If you feel those same symptoms coming on again, it might be the result of something more than a cold or virus.


You notice a bit of a musty or damp smell.

ShutterstockIf its an odor that you’re not used to, it could be worth investigating.

If you notice that your home has a bit of a moldy or musty smell to it, that might also indicate that there may be a mould issue.

“Many different mould species have different odours, so it is difficult to pinpoint the exact smell, however, if it is an odor that isn’t common in your home or building, then it should be investigated,” George Hernandez, the vice president of operations at PuroClean, told INSIDER.


You’ve recently been getting more nosebleeds.

Saneeyaphotoroom/ShutterstockYou may want to see a doctor to check if its related to a different underlying medical condition.

If you’re finding yourself getting more nosebleeds than usual, it could be a sign that there’s a serious mould issue in your living space.

“In more serious cases, people have chronic nosebleeds, but again, it’s kind of difficult, you know, you don’t ordinarily think that it’s mould, that it’s your house that’s making you sick,” Hayes-Raitt said. Of course, if you’re experiencing chronic or frequent nosebleeds, you may also want to visit your doctor to rule out other potential causes.


You know that there’s a history of flooding in your home.

iStockIf there’s an area in your home that floods every time it rains, you may want to check it for mould.

Past flooding could lead to mould issues later on as well. According to The Conversation, mould isn’t just a short-term possibility after flooding happens. It can also be a problem for a long period of time after the flooding takes place. So if you know that your home has flooded in the past, you may want to check the commonly previously areas for mould, even if you didn’t see any mould shortly after the flooding occurred.

Read More: 9 things you’re making dirtier by cleaning them


You get frequent headaches that just seem to keep getting worse.

Sarah Schmalbruch/INSIDERIt’s worth noting if these headaches commonly occur while you’re home.

“Mould exposure can cause short-term and long-term negative effects,” Steve Worsley, the owner of CNC Contractor Services, told INSIDER. “Short-term effects of mould exposure include headaches, coughing, running nose, flu-like symptoms, and mental health concerns.”

If you’re struggling with headaches more regularly, there could be a number of causes that can be ruled out by a doctor, but noting that a mould infestation could be what’s impacting your health is important.

“It’s very crucial that people address any moisture intrusion events in a timely manner with the assistance of a mould expert,” Worsley added. “Mould can start reproducing within 48 hours after a moisture intrusion event.”


You struggle with breathing or have some respiratory issues.

iStockIt’s tough to recover from a cold if you’re surrounded by mould.

Hayes-Raitt said that difficulty breathing and other sorts of respiratory issues can also be symptoms of mould issues. She said the problem is that people often tend to take to their beds when they’re sick so that they can rest and recover, but if you have mould in the walls in your bedroom, that’s not going to help at all.

Still, you may not suspect mould, but knowing that mould can have these sorts of health effects can potentially help you get to the bottom of your health issues and home issues sooner.


There are places in the house where water or moisture tends to collect.

iStockIf tiles in your ceilings appear to be soggy or soft, you may want to call a professional to inspect them for mould.

“[Another] sign of a possible mould issue is an elevated moisture level in building materials,” Hernandez told INSIDER. “This is difficult to assess without the proper equipment, so it is always better to contact restoration professionals and have them perform an inspection.”

If you suspect that mould might be an issue in your home, your next step is to reach out to a qualified professional who can help you clean up the mess. “Once mould growth has started, the situation typically does not improve with time,” Hernandez added.

Ultimately, working with professionals to properly detect and remove mould is the best way to ensure that you won’t end up with additional mould-related health issues down the road.

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