Outdoors, mold helps assist in the decomposition of natural materials. Indoors, mold can cause staining, property damage, and respiratory issues. Many people are allergic to mold, and it causes them to experience watery eyes, sneezing, and itchy skin. Even those not allergic to the spores may feel ill in the presence of mold. It is easier to get rid of it if you catch mold early. Here are a few common signs of mold growth in a home.

Dark Spots on Caulk and Grout

Some of the most common places to see mold growth are in the bathroom and kitchen. The mold usually starts around sinks and bathtubs because these areas are prone to moisture. It may appear as tiny, dark spots on the grout or caulk. Examine the area around your bathtub and check the corners of the room. Homeowners often notice mold growing in areas where the caulk is deteriorating.

Musty Odors are Signs of Mold

If your house smells damp or musty, this is a sure sign of mold growth. Venture into the attic and basement, and see if you detect an unpleasant odor. Mold is sometimes described as smelling like wet laundry or woodsy. If the space smells anything other than fresh, then there is a good chance mold has started to grow. You might also notice this odor in the mudroom, laundry room, and bathrooms.


Some people don’t experience typical allergy symptoms, like stuffiness and sneezing. However, they do develop headaches. When you’ve ruled out dehydration, stress, and fatigue as causes of your headaches, there’s a chance mold is the cause. If you feel better outdoors and the headaches subside when you’re not at home, there may be a mold problem in your living spaces.

Sick Pets

Pets often venture into areas humans don’t. For example, your cat may spend more time in the basement if the litterbox is there. As such, an animal might develop symptoms of mold exposure before you do. If your pet has been sneezing a lot, has watery eyes, or keeps scratching, this could be a sign of mold in your home. Talk to your vet to rule out other possible causes.

Water Leaks: Early Signs of Mold

Mold needs moisture to thrive. A porous surface cannot stay wet for long before mold forms. If you have a plumbing leak or have experienced a leaking roof, assume that mold has begun to grow. Use bleach as you clean, and you should be able to thwart the mold growth before it becomes too serious.

As a homeowner, it’s essential to look for signs of mold. If you suspect it is a problem in your home, work with a mold remediation contractor. They have the knowledge and equipment to deal with severe mold issues.

Prudent Home Inspections offers inspection services in the Washington DC metro area. Contact us to schedule an appointment.