There is a multitude of reasons why we don’t want to invite mold into our homes. For one, the fungus looks fairly disturbing, no matter where it happens to grow. More importantly, inhaling black mold spores can be incredibly harmful and cause anything from breathing problems to serious lung conditions. It can be even more irritating to people who already suffer from asthma or allergies.
So how can you find out if you have mold in your home? Well, there are several clues that will prove to be helpful. Before we talk about the places around our homes where mold is most likely to grow, let’s talk about the kind of environment that is likely to exacerbate the problem.
Ideal Conditions for Mold Growth
As most of us already know, black mold is most likely to appear in warm, dark, and damp conditions. In fact, a musty odor is the first sign we might notice to indicate mold growth.
To be even more precise, fungus often grows in the areas where water congregates. So if your bathroom tiles are letting water pass through into the bedroom wall, you might be at a higher risk. The wall provides a handy place for the mold to stick to, which is also an important part of the equation.
Having an object that mold can stick to is a key factor here. With that in mind, let’s talk about some other places around the house that can develop mold.
The Most Common Places for Mold Growth
Black mold can appear in pretty much any room inside of our homes. While most people believe that it’s contained inside bathrooms, kitchens, and basements — places that often abound in stagnant water — that’s not always the case. Still, those rooms are definitely the first places you should check: so let’s begin with the bathroom.
Because our bathrooms have so many sources of water and are often dark and warm as well, they are the perfect breeding grounds for mold growth. So let’s check off the different areas we might find mold:
- Around the toilet and the bathtub
- On the walls near the boiler or the water heater
- Between the tiles
- On the bathroom mat
- In the toothbrush holders
- On overused towels that are frequently put away wet
If you find the presence of mold in any of these places, try to clean as much of it as you can. If you only found a speck or two, it should be easy — then you can apply a waterproofing solution like silicone. That should keep the water from seeping into the drywall.
Aside from that, you should also fix any leaky pipes you find and keep all surfaces as dry as possible in the future.
Kitchen and Laundry Room
The kitchen is another notoriously difficult room to mold-proof. After all, it too satisfies just about all of the requirements for black mold growth. You should check the appliance seals of the dishwasher, the fridge, and the washing machine in particular. If the seals are frequently wet, they will start to deteriorate or attract fungus.
For the sake of health and safety, you should also clean your appliances inside and out pretty often. We don’t want mold in our food now, do we? When you’re cleaning the fridge, you’ll want to pay special attention to the drip pan. Basically, make sure to clean and dry any area where water collects.
The fungus can also find a home on the dirty dish pile or even on clean dishes that haven’t been properly dried. To prevent that, you can take a more timely approach to dishwashing duties and towel dry your dishes before you put them away. If you often find yourself scraping wet food off the plates and into the trash bin, you should also change the trash bags often and keep the bin itself clean and dry.
Finally, you should also check the cabinet underneath the sink. Plumbing leaks and condensation can make an excellent home for mold. So if you suspect that something may start growing under your sink, clean the area with bleach or hydrogen peroxide to kill mold.
Living Room or Home Office
Living rooms and home offices may not seem like the most obvious place for black mold to appear. However, it does happen. Even though they don’t typically have any water sources, these areas do tend to have a lot of books or paper documents lying around.
As you know, paper is comprised of wood pulp, which is a veritable buffet for fungi. If the paper gets damp, it can quickly sprout mold which can then be almost impossible to get rid of. Still, some methods, such as dehumidifiers, are viable options even in this case.
These two rooms also often have potted plants. Whether you’re dealing with an orchid or a cactus, you’ll want to make sure that you’re not overwatering the plant. If you do, you may find mold growing on the surface of the dirt or on the pot itself.
Finally, you’ll also want to make sure that the space around your AC unit is dry to the touch. These kinds of machines often create condensation that can be ideal for mold. Even if the area around the unit is dry, you still ought to check the inside of the machine. Specifically, you ought to change the filters as often as you can, at least once per year, to prevent the machine from circulating spores.
If there’s one room you don’t want black mold in, it’s your bedroom. Just imagine inhaling those spores while you’re sleeping! You could have serious coughing fits or worse! So where could mold be hiding?
Unfortunately, we often find mold in the very mattresses we sleep on. If the mattress you’re using is old, it has soaked up more than its fair share of sweat over the years. Combine that with your body heat, and you get the perfect conditions for fungal growth.
As with living rooms and office spaces, wallpapers and drywall can also have mold, especially the areas around the windows. Still, with proper cleaning and care, you should have nothing to worry about.
Attics and Basements
Finally, attics and basements are frequent targets for all sorts of fungal growth. The dust and the lack of ventilation can make for ideal conditions for mold to appear. You should make sure that neither your attic nor basement have any piping issues or external leaks.
Protecting Your Home Against Black Mold Growth
If you’ve already spotted black mold in your home, the immediate course of action should be to give us at Mold Solutions a call in order to properly diagnose the situation. Dealing with mold requires safety gear most homeowners don’t own. Furthermore, it also requires expertise most people don’t have.
However, there are some things you can do to prevent mold from appearing in the first place. Pay attention to the areas we’ve pointed out today:
- Walls and ceilings
- Porous materials such as carpets and upholstery
- Water sources
- Appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators, and laundry machines
- AC units, vents, and windows
Make sure to dry any spills and thoroughly clean the areas that might have been affected. But if the fungus is too much for you to handle — there’s no shame in calling for help.