IS THERE MOLD IN YOUR HOME?
Mold spores are microscopic and can enter your home a variety of ways: through an open door or window, on pets, or on your clothes. So you might be wondering: where does mold settle in the home?
Once inside, the spores can settle anywhere. Given the right conditions, mold can spread very quickly. Removing it is not an easy task and requires the help of a professional. It’s much easier to prevent mold than it is to get rid of it, so make prevention a priority!
Keep an eye out for new mold growth at all times, especially in areas where mold is common. And, for that matter, eliminate prime conditions for mold growth at first sight. In this article, we’ll tell you how to do both!
HOW TO SPOT MOLD
Sometimes a mold problem is obvious, but not always. Mold loves to hide in dark, damp areas, so you might not see it initially.
Mold can be black or green, and it will appear first as spots that eventually grow to connect with one another.
If you don’t see it, you might smell it. Mold has a musty odor, so if there’s a smell in your home that you can’t get rid of no matter what you try, mold could be the culprit.
PRIME CONDITIONS FOR MOLD
Mold is everywhere in the air, both indoors and out. But what leads to unchecked growth is the perfect conditions. Mold needs moisture, food, and warmth to thrive. These things can all be provided by common areas in your home.
Leaks, flooding, and high humidity provide the moisture mold needs. But windows, doors that aren’t sealed, and leaking potted plants can also be a source of excess moisture.
Mold feeds on organic materials like dust and wood, but it will also grow extremely well on paper-like materials such as cardboard, ceiling tiles, and drywall.
Inside insulation and HVAC vents, mold would never be seen by most homeowners. The dark, warm conditions there can quickly result in a mold problem. Other common places mold will take up residence include carpet fibers and under carpet backing, on paint and wallpaper, and upholstery.
Unless your home has experienced flooding, it’s fairly easy to keep mold out of some rooms, like the bedrooms and living room. However, there are some spaces that naturally provide the perfect situation for mold growth.
WHERE DOES MOLD GROW IN BASEMENTS & GARAGES?
Whether it’s a finished or unfinished, your basement will experience a lot of the same challenges, including high humidity and poor air circulation.
Mold is often found in basements and garages on exposed pipes or underneath leaking ones, around the floor drain, or underneath ground-level windows. Garages that are underground or partially underground have the same risk of flooding that basements do.
Running a dehumidifier can really help decrease the risk of mold in your home’s lower levels, especially if you spend a lot of time in these rooms.
WHERE DOES MOLD GROW IN BATHROOMS?
Who doesn’t love a good steamy shower? But that extra moisture has to go somewhere, and when it isn’t funneled out of your home, it settles on the walls, floors and ceilings where mold can easily take hold.
The bathroom is almost always warm and moist, so every area of your bathroom is an opportunity for mold to grow. Shower walls, shower curtain, faucets, tile, and grout, are just a few places it can be found. You will be able to wipe away mold on a shower wall, but getting it out of grout’s deep pores is a whole different story.
To reduce mold’s chances of survival, run the exhaust fan while you shower to extricate the steam quickly. It also helps to leave the bathroom door open as much as possible.
WHERE DOES MOLD GROW IN THE KITCHEN?
Because the kitchen is used every day, you may think there’s no way mold could grow there. Or, if it did, you could spot it right away. But mold’s rapid growth rate says otherwise. Before you know it, you could have a mold problem under the sink where it stays dark and warm due to a pipe leak or a household spill.
Other common areas of the kitchen that are vulnerable to mold include sponges and kitchen towels, which should either be thrown out or washed frequently, depending on the intended use.
Food spills and splatter provide food for mold if it stays around too long, so simply wiping up accidents when they happen will prevent most of these types of mold issues.
Out-of-date food in your fridge often grows mold. You may not think about it the same way as you do mold that’s growing on a basement wall or in the tub, but it’s the same thing. Mold on food can spread to the inside of your refrigerator or pantry, so get rid of expired food like bread and leftovers before they show signs of mold.
HOW TO TREAT MOLD
Not treating mold simply isn’t an option. It’s necessary to remove mold from walls, baseboards and other household surfaces because it can weaken home materials, literally feeding on the wood, vinyl, plastic or fabric where it is found.
Some mold removal solutions are pretty simple. These practices will keep your home free of mold and its side effects with minimal effort and risk:
- Throw out moldy food immediately.
- Clean the shower, tub and tile regularly.
- Monitor the humidity within your home.
You can also run dehumidifiers in your home to keep moisture levels balanced out. Even your home’s air conditioning system can decrease humidity and make your home less hospitable to mold.
More serious cases of mold need to be handled by a professional service who has the training and safety equipment to destroy mold and remove its stains without exposing your family or themselves to breathing dangerous mold spores as they are released.
If you find mold in your home, don’t second guess your ability to handle it yourself. The health risks just aren’t worth it! Find a mold specialist in your area to remove mold from interior and exterior surfaces without spreading it to other areas.