We’ve talked about the most common places that mold can be found – most of these areas have issues with excess moisture and poor air circulation. Bathrooms and kitchens tend to have mold problems behind sinks and cabinets where mold is typically hidden from view due to the presence of plumbing. Basements and attics have little to no air circulation and moisture can be a problem.
However, there are less obvious places in your home that are still susceptible to mold.
Windowsills are a prime place for mold to start and spread. Windowsills are frequently exposed to moisture from condensation, usually due to temperature differences between the home and the outdoors. Make sure windows are well insulated, and if you see any condensation make sure you dry the area and keep it clean.
Refrigerator Drip Pans
The pans used to collect condensation for our refrigerators are rarely seen, so they are easy to forget about. Sometimes, food from spills collects in there as well, creating a perfect breeding ground for mold spores. You should clean out the drip pan using water and white vinegar at least once a year, more often if you notice a lot of mold growth.
Wherever there is plumbing, there is a chance that mold can grow. Make sure there is no condensation on pipes. Also check for leaks or puddles underneath your hot water heater. This could not only be a sign to replace it, but it can also lead to mold growth.
A major food source of mold is paper, so wallpaper can be a likely culprit for breeding mold. Glue is another food source, which doubles the chance mold may be hiding behind it. If you suspect you might have a mold problem, it’s best to just get the paper removed and replaced, however hire a professional who will know how to prevent spores from spreading into the air when the paper is removed.
Window Air Conditioners
Condensation can be the main problem, however the air that AC units suck in from the outside also contains dirt and pollen – attractive materials for mold. Machines that sit without use for long periods are likely to contain mold spores. Prevent mold by running your air conditioner every day, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. When the unit is not in use, remove it and store it in a dry place, if possible.
Pipes and ductwork can experience excessive moisture and are usually filled with dust and dirt. If you have mold, you may have to hire a professional to clean them.
Front-load washing machines are notorious for mold growth. The gasket around the door is wet all the time when the washer is running and doesn’t get to dry out because the door is usually closed when the machine is not in use. This creates a perfect atmosphere for mold to grow. Leave the door open after running a load to let the gasket dry, or you can wipe the gasket with a cloth when you are done washing.
If not properly capped, water from rain and snow, as well as debris such as leaves, can enter the space, creating perfect conditions for mold to grow. The porous surfaces of bricks and mortar also may add to the problem.
Carpets and Pads
Moisture from concrete floors or wet crawl spaces can easily make its way into your carpet pad and, eventually, the carpet. If your carpet starts to smell odd or seems damp, unfortunately it might be too late – mold is probably already growing.
Pipes and ducts often run through the space above a dropped ceiling so this area is a magnet for moisture, dust, and mold. Tiles located around your HVAC vents are particularly susceptible to mold because warm, moist air is constantly circulating there.
In short, the simplest way to prevent mold growth is to keep your home clean and dry. Mold needs moisture to grow, but dirt and dust encourage that growth. Periodically inspecting spaces to make sure that they are clean and nothing is growing is a good way to keep ahead of and prevent mold growth. However, should you end up finding mold, call a professional like Dry Master Restorations. We are IICRC Certified and have the right professional equipment to treat the mold safely.