Mold in the home commonly occurs in many areas. Unfortunately, many of the spaces that mold starts to colonize are ones we don’t observe so much because mold likes dark and moist spaces. Here are some of the prime spots for mold growth in the average home.
The walls of your home are susceptible to mold, especially if they are made of untreated sheet rock or untreated wood. Painted drywall, treated wood, and other non-porous surfaces are usually easy to remove mold from. A solution of borax, bleach, or vinegar can be applied to a rag and the surface wiped down. Make sure just to wipe a small space if trying out a new cleaner so you can make sure no surface issues occur. Untreated sheet rock and wood that is contaminated with mold often has to be completely removed because the mold can penetrate deep down into the porous surfaces.
Attics and non-living environments in general can develop some serious mold problems before its noticed because people do not always enter these spaces. A small leak can go unnoticed for months and be a big headache to fix. Problems can also happen in attics from blocked or poorly designed ventilation.
Basements & Crawlspaces
Both of these areas typically develop mold problems due to either foundation problems, improper drainage, failed sump pump, or high humidity. A crawlspace Is not heated and cooled but a basement needs to be. If you do not utilize your basement regularly be sure to check it once in a while for any irregularities, especially after rains. Crawlspaces can be problematic as well and while many people choose to put a vapor barrier down, it won’t help if there is water intrusion; only moisture.
One reason ceilings are so susceptible to mold is that they are often one of the first places leaks appear if a roof or 2nd story pipe is creating a moisture issue. Ceilings are often overlooked throughout the course of the busy modern lifestyle. Discoloration of the ceiling that is brown indicates a moisture issue that is the predecessor to a big mold problem. It only takes 24-48 hours for mold to have a great start to colonizing your home if they have enough moisture and nutrients.
Although wallpaper is very beautiful in many cases, the glues used to adhere wall paper can provide the nutrients required for mold growth. Trapped moisture in walls, especially between the wall and the paper surface, can create a perfect breeding ground. Dark spots and discoloration on wall paper are major signs of a mold problem.
We all know that if a shower or tub doesn’t get cleaned regularly, then mold can set in quickly. Bathrooms are one of the moistest places in the entire modern family home. The more frequently a bathroom is used, the worse the moisture problem can be. A good vent fan can help suck moisture out, especially if you leave it on for awhile after each shower.
The more you cook in a kitchen, the more steam and vapor created. Good ventilation is important to keeping your kitchen mold free. A high-quality vent hood over your cooking range is well worth the investment. Ventilation also takes grease and other organic vapors away, so there are not as many nutrients for mold to grow on.
Air Duct and Vents
Central air and heat are great, but you have to maintain them properly if you don’t want them to harbor harmful bacteria and molds. Vents and ducts should be on a good cleaning schedule. There are some precautions you can take such as vacuuming registers well and preventing debris from falling into them. The filter on your HVAC system should be a high-quality allergen filter that is changed regularly.