When mold grows indoors it can harm people, pets, and property. The potential dangers that mold brings is something that should be common knowledge for any home owner. Dark, moist areas like basements and crawl spaces are the areas that most people expect mold to show its ugly face. Unfortunately, mold has been known to show up in areas that people would never imagine. Here are some of the more uncommon areas to harbor mold:
1. Window Sills
When people are buying or inspecting a home, they don’t often consider the smaller details like window sills. Window sills are a great place for mold to grow. You can thank condensation for the moisture. As for what kept that moisture in place, you can thank the months long period of the window being closed during summer or winter, depending on where you live. Dirt that accumulates in the grout and grooves of the window sill serves as a perfect food source for growing mold.
Preventing mold in window sills is simple. Wipe down windows when there’s a build up of condensation, and clean out window tracks every so often to eliminate the mold’s source of food.
2. Drip Pans In The Kitchen
Pans that are there to collect condensation under the fridge are rarely seen, so it’s easy to forget about them. In most homes, there isn’t much air circulating underneath the fridge, and as the saying goes, out of sight, out of mind. It isn’t uncommon for food to spill underneath the fridge, and that food can be used as source of food for mold. A perfect breeding ground for mold is born.
Once a year, clean out the drip pan using water and white vinegar. If there is a lot of mold in the pan, increase the cleanings to twice a year. It’s a good idea to also use the water and vinegar solution underneath the drip pan, as mold as been known to grow there as well.
3. Behind Wallpaper
Most people don’t change wallpaper often, so it’s impossible to know if mold has been growing back there. Older wallpaper, or wallpaper that is peeling on the edges can be a hot spot for mold. If you suspect mold growing behind the wallpaper, the best idea is to just remove the paper entirely. If there is for sure large amounts of mold behind the paper, have it removed by a professional. When it comes to removing large amounts of mold, always seek out professional help. Professionals will know how to prevent launching large amounts of spores into the area as the paper is being removed.
If wallpaper is the way you want to decorate the walls in your house, treat the surface with a mold-resistant primer first. Make sure that the paste to adhere the paper is high quality. Also, make sure to remove all air bubbles from the paper. Never use wallpapers in moist areas like bathrooms, pool rooms, or laundry rooms.
If there’s any sort of water leakage into a room, there’s a great chance that mold could be growing in the attic. Accumulated dust paired with minimal air flow creates a perfect breeding ground for mold spores.
Check the attic for mold every once in a while. Another good way to prevent mold growth in the attic is to install air vents to create air circulation. When you notice a roof leak, get it repaired as soon as possible. Regularly have the roof inspected to catch any leaks before they become a serious nuisance, especially in the rainy seasons.
5. Air Conditioning Units
Condensation, paired with dirt and pollen sucked in from outside air creates a perfect area for mold to thrive in. Units that sit idle for long periods of time commonly carry mold spores.
Prevent the growth of mold by running the air conditioner every day, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. If possible, removed the unit and store it in a dry place while not in use. If the AC for sure has mold, then remove the unit from the window. An alternative to removing the unit would be calling a professional and having him thoroughly clean the unit. If your central air conditioning unit has mold, the best bet is to have a professional come and clean the ducts.
6. Washing Machines
Front loading washing machines are great for saving space, but they are infamous for expelling odd odors from mold growing on them. The gasket that seals the washing machine is wet when the machine is in use, and is unable to dry since the door is kept closed when not in use. This creates an ideal breeding ground for mold.
To prevent this, leave the washing machine door after you run a load to allow the gasket to dry. Alternatively, wipe the gasket dry after use. If mold is already present in the gasket, use a bleach and water solution to remove it. Keep an eye on the area to make sure that the mold does not grow back.
If a chimney is constructed correctly and has a proper cap, then it should be able to take a considerable amount of water from the elements. Regardless of it’s construction, it’s likely that leaves and other decomposing natural items have already entered the chimney. These facts combined make chimneys a great place for mold to thrive and grow. Many chimneys being made from porous building material like brick or mortar only makes it easier for mold to grow.
To prevent mold growth in the chimney, you first must make sure that the top is covered adequately. Next, call a professional chimney cleaner to come and remove the mold, allowing you freedom to use your chimney as you please.
8. Carpets and Pads
Concrete floors and damp areas like crawl spaces can contain considerable amounts of moisture. This moisture can easily make its way into your carpet pad, then, your carpet. If your pet occasionally has an accident on the carpet then the carpet could potentially already have mold spores growing there. If your carpet begins to smell funky or seems moist, it may be too late, and mold may have already started to take place.
The easiest way to prevent mold growth on carpet or its padding – no matter how exposed to moisture it is – is to keep the carpet clean. Dirt encourages the growth of mold. Vacuuming once a week, and getting your carpets cleaned every once in a while can reduce the chances of your home experiencing mold growth.
Restoration USA is a fully certified disaster restoration company located in Pompano Beach, Florida. We restore water damage and fire damage, and also perform mold removal and leak detection, in all of Broward county. Most of the services we perform can be paid for by standard home owner’s insurance. Call us, toll-free, 24/7 at (866) 745-6428 or visit us online to schedule your free evaluation.