The first roadblock with trying to avoid mold is that it’s absolutely everywhere. In nature, mold has an important purpose: to feed on plants and other organic matter once they’re dead and break them down. This is the reason that the world isn’t entirely covered in the leaves that hit the ground every fall, or the grass we mow in the summer time. It becomes a problem when this organic-matter-muncher shows up inside your home. Increasing counts of mold spores indoors can cause sickness in humans and animals, and homes are full of things that mold likes to eat: paper, wood, carpet, dust, dirt- and the list goes on.
The two ingredients that really get mold growing and feeding are warmth and moisture- a temperature between 41 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit, which is where almost all homes are maintained. High temperatures also lead to more humidity, which provides extra moisture naturally. This is why people commonly think of finding mold in places like your shower- where it’s often warm and wet.
Where else will you often find mold in your home- places that might not occur to you right away? Read this list of seven places to keep an eye on and help prevent the growth of mold before it gets out of control!
Bathrooms and kitchens
Although showers and bathtubs are commonly identified sources of mold, they’re certainly not the only ones. Underneath sinks, around drains, along baseboards, there are many places to keep an eye on in these two places that are often full of warmth and water.
Your refrigerator, washing machine and dishwasher are all other places that hold moisture and are often full of heat, and can be a source of leaks that also grow mold. Keeping them clean and dry will help, as will using cleaners that kill mold spores.
Roof and attic
The easiest way to find out whether or not your roof or attic are leaking is by looking up. If your ceiling has water stains or other sings of damage, you likely have a leak that will let in enough water to grow mold.
Windows generally become a source of mold when condensation already exists in the home, which can come from things like using the shower or cooking without enough air circulation. Make sure to use the fans in your bathroom or above your stove to prevent moisture, and open windows when possible.
Crawlspaces aren’t often a place you think of going to explore, but if you’re committed to keeping mold out of your home, you should. They’re dark and don’t have much air flow, and can easily contain any moisture that gets in, so don’t be afraid to take a flashlight and check yours out.
If you’ve already noticed that your home seems moist or even just humid inside, the next place you need to investigate is your basement. Like crawlspaces, they are places in the home that are often dark and lacking in air flow. A dehumidifier is a worthwhile investment for any basement space in order to prevent spores from turning into mold.
Closets often contain pipes which can break or leak very subtly, leading to a buildup of water inside. As you surely remember by now, moisture is one of the key ingredients for allowing mold growth, and closets are an easy place to overlook, so make sure you check yours out regularly.
Mold in the home can be a source of stress, but it doesn’t have to be. If you have any concerns about mold growth or even spores in your home, contact the Flood Medix for your next steps. And be sure to keep an eye out for an upcoming post on our blog for what NOT to do if you do come across mold!