Mold is a common type of fungus that sadly exists pretty much everywhere. From the air you breathe to most surfaces you touch, you can assume there are at least several types of mold you’re interacting with. Although not all of it is harmful, some types definitely are. And when a house becomes affected by toxic mold, it can mean serious health, financial, and structural repercussions.

Luckily, mold doesn’t just come up out of nowhere. It typically grows in areas that are warm and damp. Bathrooms, kitchens, and basements are popular spots for fungus to populate.

Because it is so prevalent, when you have it, you’ll have to call professionals who specialize in mold remediation, such as, to come in and remove it. And even though it may seem inconvenient, it’s so much better than waiting until things get worse.

Read on to learn about what signs to look for when you suspect you may have fungus in your home.

1. You’re Experiencing Allergic Symptoms

Different levels of mold affect people differently. If you are experiencing a rise in allergic or asthmatic symptoms, this could be a sign that you have it in your house. Especially if you find that you mainly experience these symptoms while at home.

For people who are sensitive to the fungus, it can mean serious health risks. Light symptoms include nasal congestion, sore throat, and skin inflammation. People who are allergic to mold or have weak immune symptoms can experience more severe symptoms such as vomiting and lung infections.

2. You See it in At Least One Spot

It may seem obvious but mold isn’t always easy to recognize. Because it usually takes the form of dark spots, many people confuse it for dirt marks or soot. The most common types of indoor molds are cladosporium, aspergillus, and stachybotrys atra (also known as black mold).

Cladosporium typically grows on carpets, wallpaper, cabinets, and windowsills. It usually appears as brown, green, or black spots. This is a kind that has been known to cause allergic reactions and asthma.

Aspergillus can normally be found on fabrics made from leather and cloth, typically on shoes, clothes, and furniture. It usually leaves a musty smell on these items. Exposure to this mold can cause Aspergillosis, a respiratory infection. Invasive Aspergillosis occurs when people with lung diseases breathe in this specific mold. This can become a serious infection as it can lead to bleeding in the lungs and even infect other vital organs.

Stachybotrys atra (aka black mold), like most molds, grows in spaces that are typically humid, warm, and moist. Black mold, like its name suggests, is usually a dark, black color and can be fuzzy to the touch. It is a toxic mold and when discovered should be dealt with immediately.

Long exposure to black mold can lead to internal bleeding and even mental deterioration. An early sign of black mold is if you see dark spots on your ceilings or walls. And even if those spots aren’t mold, they may mean water damage, which can lead to it.

3. There’s Water Damage

If you’ve had any long-term problems in your home involving water damage or leaks, or recently experienced flooding, there’s a likely chance you have fungus in your home. And if you have a leak or water pooling, you want to dry it up as soon as possible.

Molds love materials like drywall and if your drywall is wet for a long enough time, the mold will penetrate it. When this happens, you’re going to have remove and replace the drywall. And that’s going to cost you.

Spot These Signs? Call in the Experts

Mold poses serious risks for houses and the families who live in them. Be wary of water being in places where it shouldn’t be and don’t be afraid to call a professional at the first signs of fungus growth. It could end up saving you big time.