Leaking pipes, cracks in your foundation, gutter problems, and roof leaks are just some of the common ways that water can find its way into your home or office building. Of course, water is the universal solvent also has a knack for bringing other particles and contaminants with it to affect just about any porous surface. In a case of flooding, water stains, saturated walls, and flooring can be a severe issues throughout the building.
With growing awareness about the dangers of water damage and how it can promote indoor mold problems, it has a lot of people with water stains in their homes or places of business are worried. If you are wondering if water stains in your building are a sign of mold, you can use the following article as your guide.
Health Concerns Caused By Indoor Mold
It is worth bearing in mind that there is a wide variety of mold species that exist in nature, which can find their way into your water-stained home or office building. While some of them are relatively benign, others like Stachybotrys chartarum, or so-called “Toxic Black Mold” can be a serious health hazard. Even more seemingly benign mold can still release microscopic mold spores and airborne mycotoxins that make people with respiratory health conditions sick.
This includes things like
- Persistent coughing
- Frequent sneezing
- Inflammation problems
- Increased asthma attacks
- Respiratory allergy flair-ups
Many people who are sensitive to the presence of indoor mold will sometimes notice that their symptoms go away when they go on vacation. Only to return again when they come back and return to the same mold-affected indoor environment.
Common Signs Of Mold And Water Stains
There are a few things to look for if you are concerned about the presence of mold on water-stained or wet surfaces. This includes some of the following cues.
Changes In Surface Color Or Texture
Visible discoloration on walls, floors, ceilings, and other porous surfaces can be a serious early sign of a mold problem in the area. Other visible or tangible signs might include:
- Discolored patches that are soft
- Discolored splotches that are slimy, or damp
- Splotches on water stains that smear when touched
- Blue, green, yellow, grey, black, white, or brown tints on porous surfaces
It’s also worth noting that without the presence of ambient water or moisture that mold on water stains can go into a dormant state. This just means that it is inactive, though the mold spores of the colony are very much present and can quickly germinate back to life should moisture or high ambient humidity return.
Dorman mold colonies on water stains can look:
- Dry & Powdery
- Easily rubs off of surfaces
- blue, green, yellow, grey, black, white, and other similar shades
Musty & Earthy Odors
A lot of different mold strains release spores and mycotoxins that are often described as smelling “Earthy” or “Musty.” These odors are typically stronger when you enter a room with mold-infested water stains. These airborne contaminants can affect people with respiratory health conditions, allergies, or chronic inflammation conditions.
- Changes In Surface Texture
- peeling or bubbling wallpaper & paints
- Curling or bubbling vinyl flooring
- Warped wooden floors
- Blisters & bubbles behind wallpaper
- Yellow, brown, or copper-colored stains
Professional Mold Testing On Water Stains & Affected Surfaces
If you suspect that mold has started to develop on water stains or a previously soaked surface it is best to call in a professional mold tester to verify the presence of mold. Attempting to manipulate the mold yourself can potentially disturb the active or dormant mold colony.
This causes it to react by releasing mold spores and irritating mycotoxins into the air.
You might manage to wipe away the mold, or affect its appearance only to find a new colony developing on a different surface somewhere else in the room or building. Not to mention the risk that new airborne mold spores and mycotoxins pose to people with chronic inflammatory conditions or respiratory health problems.
Professional Mold Testing Techniques
There are several different ways to test for the presence of indoor mold. This includes surface tests and air tests. Many professional mold tests involve a “Tape-Lift Test on a visibly affected area as well as air sample testing. It is important to contact a professional to inspect the damage as attempting to clean or remove the material will cause mold spores to become airborne. In a severe case of mold infestation, the mold tester might also take physical samples from the affected area.
Airborne mold testing might also be necessary. Especially if you have minor water stains that look like they have an insignificant mold presence, though the musty, earthy odors are strong, or vulnerable individuals are having strong reactions to the mold-infested environment.
In a situation like this, a mold air sampling test can help confirm that there are mold colonies in less visible areas. It can also provide clues on where those areas might be.
Professional Mold Remediation
It’s important to bear in mind that mold remediation is not a “Do-it-Yourself” project. Attempting to clean a water stained surface with a severe mold problem can cause spores and mycotoxins to be released into the air, leading to recolonization problems in other areas. Adding to this is the fact that a lot of the cleaning products sold at the retail level simply aren’t
When you contract a professional mold remediation and cleaning company like Building Services Inc. you get the peace of mind that comes from knowing that highly trained professionals are bringing state-of-the-art technology and industry’s best practices to bear against your mold problem.
Any mold-affected water stains and active mold colonies will be dealt with using commercial-grade cleaning products and equipment. Any materials that need to be disposed of will be done according to all pertinent health and safety standards.
Afterward, our professional mold remediation specialists will provide you with any documentation you need to prove that the mold problem has been properly remediated. We can also help you understand things you can do in the future to prevent another mold problem. All with the utmost level of discretion.