Mold can grow anywhere: on food, paper, clothing, carpet, and even in places you cannot see. Good examples of these places include above ceiling tiles, areas inside of walls or condensing pipes, and on the backside of drywall.
That said, some areas are more prone to mold than others. That’s why it’s important to know where exactly to look for mold. This knowledge can help you spot, eradicate and stop the mold problem in its tracks.
The following are the most common places to check for mold in your home.
1. Laundry Room
The laundry room is one of the most common rooms for mold. Piles of laundry can attract humidity and lead to mold growth. This is because soiled fabrics, heat, and humidity provide a perfect climate for mold growth.
Here are a couple of tips to prevent mold in your laundry room.
- Clean your exhaust vent pipe regularly and empty the lint trap on your dryer after every load.
- Hang non-dry or line-dry clothing immediately in a well-ventilated space to limit drying time.
- Clean the inside of your washing machine by running an empty cycle with just bleach.
- If you still have excess humidity or moisture in your laundry room, use a dehumidifier.
- Ventilate your laundry room properly.
Bathroom mold is an unsightly and unhealthy problem that should be addressed as soon as you spot it. Mold commonly thrives in bathrooms because of the humidity and excess water.
Here are a few tips to help you prevent bathroom mold:
- Minimize the number of wet surfaces where mold can grow.
- Remember to wash the curtain in your bathroom cleaning routine. You may even use a mold-resistant shower curtain.
- Spray undiluted vinegar on the bath and shower once a month to remove odors and prevent mold growth.
- Clean the bathroom on a regular basis and at least once a month, with an antifungal solution.
Mold grows in any place with sufficient sources of moisture, organic materials and oxygen, making the basement a mold heaven.
House mold generally starts growing from the basement up. Basement mold is often the result of a source of moisture – condensation from appliances or leaky foundations are typical culprits.
One of the clearest signs that you have mold in your basement is the smell. Here’s how you can prevent mold in your basement:
- Reduce humidifying factors. Avoid wood flooring and carpets in the basement. Also, make sure appliances such as heaters, stoves, dryers, and air conditioners have an exhaust to the outside.
- Use an exhaust fan. Air out stale, humid air and allow the intake of fresh air with the use of an exhaust fan.
- Take care of spills and leaks immediately. If there are any leaks in the basement, take care of them right away. You can also accelerate the drying process by using a dehumidifier.
Ensure water is directed away from your home. Ensure your home is sloped properly. Otherwise, water and moisture will pool around it, causing mold growth
Mold in crawl space under the house is an eyesore. It isn’t a good sign, either, because it’s a sign that there are bigger problems upstairs.
Most mold issues in crawl spaces are caused by high moisture and humidity. Crawl space mold and mildew not only smell bad but can also affect your family’s health. An open or unfinished crawlspace is one of the most convenient areas for mold to flourish.
Here are a few tips to prevent crawlspace mold:
- Use a dehumidifier. Mold growth begins when humidity levels reach 60 percent.
- Insulate against the crawl space’s subfloor.
- Make sure the dryer vents take moist air to the outside, not into the crawl space.
- Look for any leaks around HVAC ducts, pipes, and any plumbing components and fixtures.
- Make sure below-ground walls are free from cracks.
- Make sure all gutters and downspouts are working correctly.
5. Behind Walls or Under Floors
Have you had any water damage recently? If so, your walls and floors may be at risk. Luckily, there is a way to find out if there is moisture in a certain space. The home test is known as the “doormat test.”
To perform the doormat test, tape a dry doormat onto the wall or put it on the floor for a day or two before you remove it.
If the bottom of the doormat is wet, then it’s indicative that you do not have a vapor barrier. And this means that you are at risk of mold due to the moisture in the flooring or wall.
Exposure to mold can be harmful in the long term, especially in people with respiratory conditions and other risk factors. As such, preventing it should be any homeowner’s paramount priority.
If you suspect you may have an existing mold problem, please seek professional help!