Top 10 Places Mold Likes to Hide
Mold is sneaky, and it might be lurking in your house in some unexpected places. Here are 10 of the most common spots that you may find mold hiding in your home.
1. Windows and Window Sills
Mold grows where there’s moisture, and windows are a likely culprit due to all the dampness they are exposed to regularly. Thankfully if you’re windows are sealed correctly, mold growth here is preventable by wiping down your windows and window sills often, especially after rain. This will eliminate much of the moisture and bacteria that mold needs to grow and survive.
If your windows are older, or have seals that are broken, you may be facing a more serious mold issue. In these cases, the seals are so deteriorated that condensation builds up and mold has a much stronger habitat to grow. If your windows are newer, but made of certain types of materials, you may still experience moisture issues. Ultimately, it’s a good idea to have a professional take a look and let you know what’s going on.
2. Wallpaper or Drywall
It’s common for mold to grow behind your home’s wallpaper, drywall, or paneling. Unfortunately, mold hiding in these places can be pretty difficult to spot. However, keep an eye out for wall paint or wallpaper that’s bubbling, flaking, or bulging. This indicates that there’s moisture buildup behind the paint, meaning that mold growth is likely.
Additionally, be alert for any musty, mold-like smells coming from the wall. Use all your senses to catch mold! If you notice the tell-tale musty odor in passing, get a little closer to identify the location of the smell. If it’s behind the wall, you will need to confirm with a moisture inspection - and then have it taken care of.
3. Carpets and Upholstery
Carpets, furniture, drapes, and other fabric trap dust and dirt, making them a feeding ground for mold spores. Carpets and upholstery are especially susceptible to mold growth when they become wet, like from a spill or leak.
Minimize the risk of mold by vacuuming regularly, cleaning up and drying an area thoroughly after a spill, and not letting leaks go unrepaired. Sometimes it can be tough to detect mold in carpets and upholstery, especially when water is involved and it becomes absorbed before you notice. You can rely on your sense of smell, and a moisture inspection if needed.
When you stack dishes that are still wet in the cupboard, it creates the ideal environment for mold to grow, especially if the dishes go unused for some time. For this reason, it’s crucial to thoroughly dry your dishes before putting them away. If you use a dishwasher, make sure to always run the dry cycle, and hand-dry the dishes with a towel if they’re still damp afterward.
5. HVAC Systems
When it comes to being on the lookout for mold, always remember to check your air conditioning unit and heating ducts. HVAC systems collect dust, dirt, moisture from the air and, as a result, mold. You should inspect your air conditioning unit regularly, and make sure that it’s running properly and not leaking or collecting excess moisture. Additionally, be sure to run your A/C regularly during hot, humid weather to keep the air circulating inside your home.
6. Potted Plants
Overwatering a potted plant will not only cause its roots to rot, but the excess moisture may cause mold to grow, both on the soil and on the pot itself. Spores like to travel, so even something as innocuous as a little too much watering can cause mold to spread.
Not to mention that overwatering a plant can drastically decrease its lifespan. So, be sure to go easy on watering your indoor plants - many of them don’t need as much water as you’d think. Also, remember to use pots with drainage holes and trays so moisture doesn’t build up in the soil itself.
7. Refrigerators and Pantries
We’ve all seen what happens when you leave food go for too long. So, for many of us, it’s simply common sense to keep the refrigerator and pantry free of old, expired food. However, food isn’t the only place where mold can grow inside a fridge.
It’s also common for mold to appear in drip trays, which are often forgotten about because they’re under the fridge. To decrease the chances of mold growing, be sure to wipe down the inside of your refrigerator and pantry regularly, and clean the fridge’s drip tray often.
8. Washing Machines
Washing machines, especially front-loading ones, are especially susceptible to mold growth. This is because the gasket around the door is always wet - it doesn’t get a chance to dry out since the door is usually closed. That said, it’s smart to leave your washing machine door open when the machine isn’t in use. Or, you can dry off the gasket with a towel when you’re done with the wash.
Because they’re exposed to significant moisture from rain and snow, chimneys are especially vulnerable to mold growth. This moisture, combined with the collection of leaves, dirt, and other organic debris, creates ideal conditions for mold to grow. To prevent mold from calling your chimney home, it’s important that the top is covered correctly. Additionally, if your chimney gets a lot of use, it’s probably in your best interest to hire a professional to clean the area once a year.
Attics are typically dark and damp, making them a prime spot for mold spores to thrive. So, it’s beneficial to check your attic for mold every so often. On top of that, be sure to repair any roof leaks as soon as possible. It’s also not a bad idea to have your roof inspected by a professional on a yearly basis to identify any problems that you might not be able to spot on your own.
Be sure to keep a watchful eye on these spots in your home, and stay alert for signs of mold growth. For the more hidden areas, it can be tough to determine if mold is there or not. If you spot mold or have experienced any of these issues, it might be a good idea to contact a professional.
At Compleat Environmental, we are highly trained and specialized in identifying moisture and mold hotspots. We can help you find where mold is hiding, and eliminate it.