How to Identify Black Mold

Black mold growing on the ceiling in the corner of a room.

Black mold can cause some serious health problems if left untreated. Learning how to identify black mold in your home is important so that if you do have a problem you can quickly remove it.

Identifying Black Mold in Your Home

Water Damage

Look for water damaged areas in your home where mold is present. Basements and laundry rooms are two main culprits, as is anywhere that has a water leak. Mold needs a high amount of moisture to grow, so anywhere that fits that bill is a good place to look.


Begin searching for patches of mold on walls. When you find the mold, determine if it is growing in a circular pattern. Black mold always grows in a circular pattern until it spreads to somewhere that is not moist. The mold will also look to be slimy on wet surfaces and sooty on those surfaces that were previously wet, but now have dried.

Health Issues

Skin irritations, fatigue, and sinus problems can all be associated with black mold in your home. If anyone in your family is suffering from any of these problems and they do not seem to ever go away, you may have black mold in your home.

If you suspect that you do have a problem based on your home examination, contact a licensed home inspector that can definitively make a determination as to whether you have a problem or you can follow these steps to kill black mold. Having a professional remove the mold promptly will be the best step to improve the livability of your home and protect the health of its inhabitants.