- In Mold Removal
Mold can grow anywhere in your home if it has the right conditions. Mold requires moisture, poor airflow and a food source (typically building materials found in your home such as drywall) to survive. Knowing where a professional mold specialist typically finds mold growing in your house will give you the best insight to ensure that mold won’t find a home in “your” home. Here are the top 5 places where mold is commonly found growing in a home and some useful tips to help you prevent it.
Because water is frequently used in the kitchen, mold often has hiding places such as behind and under the dishwasher or sink. To help prevent this there are a few things that you can do:
- Regularly check under your sink for any signs of a plumbing leak.
- Make sure that you are not keeping any damp materials in cupboards and drawers.
- Look behind and under the dishwasher for any signs of a leak. If you do see any leaks, have them repaired promptly and keep the area dry.
- Remove any wet or moist cleaning cloths and sponges.
Humidity levels in the bathroom are typically high from showering which creates a good environment for mold to take hold. Usually, mold is found in the caulking of tubs and showers, the drywall behind tiles, and the floor by the toilet. The first thing to do is ensure that you have proper ventilation. This means installing a ceiling fan which is vented to the outdoors to remove excess moisture. To put a stop to water seepage you can check and repair any cracks or gaps in your grout lines or between tiles, touch up caulking around the tub and fixtures, and check that the seal on your toilet is not leaking. You can also look for signs of leaks under the vanity sink and make sure not to store moist cloths in the vanity cabinet. Keeping the bathroom free of places for water to build up will help minimize your risk of developing mold.
Often times we see mold growing in window sills and frames, especially in windows that have wooden sills or sashes. When there is humidity in the home (from cooking, showering, poor ventilation, or weather conditions) it will condense on the inside of the windows and leave a nice moist area where mold can grow. To help avoid this, ensure that you have proper airflow in the home. This can be done with an HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation unit), fans, opening windows, or running your air conditioner in the summer months to remove humidity. If you do notice condensation in your window frames, wipe it up as soon as possible so it doesn’t absorb into the materials. Sometimes your windows are older and the seals have failed on them, creating condensation and mold inside the window panes. This would be the time to consider replacing those old windows.
In older homes, basements are an excellent breeding ground for mold due to the lack of proper airflow. Most older homes have very small to no windows at all. Many have no air vents for heating or cooling and are typically constructed from dirt and stones, providing the perfect environment for mold to grow. However, mold doesn’t discriminate and it is not only found in older homes. Often, we find mold in the basements of new homes as well. This is common because when a house is built, the materials used to build it contain a large amount of moisture and it takes time to “dry out” the home. If you have your basement finished before it has had a chance to dry out, you may have moisture in your foundation walls that you just sealed up with drywall. Foundation cracks in basement walls are other moisture sources that can introduce mold into your home. We recommend introducing proper airflow using a dehumidifier and waiting to finish the basement until the home has had ample time to dry out after being built. If you have foundation cracks, have them professionally repaired to prevent water infiltration.
The attic is the number one place where we find mold in homes. Because the attic area is not usually used or frequented by the average homeowner, oftentimes the mold has been growing long before it is noticed. The main reasons mold grows in attics are poor or inadequate space ventilation and/or a leaking roof. Mold typically grows in attics on the underside of the roof sheathing and/or the wooden roof rafters. To ensure that your attic isn’t a breeding ground for mold you can take a few of these preventative steps.
- Ensure that you have the proper soffit and fascia venting. This will help the hot humid air in the attic escape to the outdoors rather than staying inside the attic creating moisture on the surfaces.
- Never vent any exhaust from a stove, dryer, furnace, water heater or bathroom directly into the attic. Always vent your appliances to the outdoors. This will prevent excess moisture from being put into the attic.
- Check your roof shingles, flashing and termination points for any signs of leaks. This will ensure that you are not allowing rainfall to penetrate into the roof sheathing material. Fix any leaks promptly and seal any openings or gaps that might allow water infiltration.
Hire a Professional Mold Specialist
Think you have mold in your home? Then you’ll need to do something about it as soon as possible. Mold grows fast and can spread quickly, putting your home and your family’s health at risk. Getting rid of mold can be a complicated process, so it is always a good idea to contact an experienced mold remediation professional. They have the tools and the knowledge to not only inspect, test, and remove mold, but also eliminate the source of it to ensure it won’t come back. Contact MoldCare today at 519-579-MOLD (6653) for a free phone consultation.