Top 10 Places To Find Mold In The Home

Top 10 Places To Find Mold In The Home

Mold can and will grow indoors when the conditions are ideal. The most important stimulant for mold growth is moisture. If you can get rid of the moisture, then mold will not grow. However, it doesn’t mean that mold will not be there. Actually, mold spores can lay dormant your month or years until the right temperature, moisture and nutrients are available. Anything like paper, cardboard, wood, carpets, leather or even that old food in your refrigerator serve as breeding grounds for mold to thrive. Mold will grow on anything organic where nutrients are abundant.

Stopping mold spores from entering your home is impossible. We will always have mold in our homes. Since we can’t get rid of it completely, the key is control it in the home. Knowing where it can be is a good start, but preventative ongoing maintenance will help you keep it under control.

Listed below are the top 10 places in the home where mold is likely to grow.

1) Bathroom Mold is at the top of the list for most homeowners mainly because there is a lot of moisture generated here from several sources. Mold can grow on or around the toilet, under the sink from a leak, on wet towels or shower curtains, ceilings and walls. However, the most expensive and problematic mold condition in any bathroom comes from the shower. When caulking has been neglected and there are cracks in the mortar between the ceramic tiles, moisture seeps in behind the walls.  Overtime the moisture can’t escape, so it builds up…resulting in mold growth. Most people are unaware of this issue until they smell, begin to suffer allergic type reactions, start renovating or hear about from a home inspector.

2) Attic Mold is very common in homes, which have not been properly ventilated, have roof leaks, or drain tile issues. With our newer tighter built homes, this will continue to be problematic because warm air rises to the highest point in the home, which happens to be the attic. In the winter when the temperature on the attic sheathing is cold, condensation forms, creating yet another opportunity for mold growth. Why is this a problem? Nobody actually lives in the attic. Mold will eventually damage the structure of the roof when left unchecked. By far, poor ventilation is the most common cause of moisture related mold issues in the attic.

3) Basement Mold is common in older homes, or any home that is poorly sloped, missing waterproof membranes, has broken drain tile or foundations cracks. All of these conditions contribute to moisture into the home. Often people store old furniture or cardboard boxes in the basement for years on end. As the moisture develops the mold begins to grow, often ruining old photos and important papers or documents. If you happen to store items in the basement, be sure to put them into hard plastic, sealed containers.

4) Kitchen Mold can usually be found under the sink, behind the refrigerator, or near the dishwasher. These are the most common areas of mold growth simply because small leaks often go unnoticed for quite some time. If you smell a musty odour, you’ll want to look for the surface mold. It is a good idea to check each month as a preventive measure to help control and repair any leaks.

5) Drywall Mold is the result of moisture seeping into the walls and staying there long enough allow mold to grow. (Typically 24-48 hours). The mold takes nutrients from the organic paper materials, which surround the gypsum board. Unfortunately, this condition is not usually discovered until someone is suffering from mold symptoms, leaks are found, or a musty smell is noticed.  The amount of drywall compromised by mold depends on how long the moisture as been exposed to it and how many spores have taken hold. Often large sections of the drywall must be removed in order to solve the problem, which can be very expensive.

6) Window Mold is commonly found around the edges of wood or metal-framed windows, but can to a lesser extent be found on vinyl-framed windows. Condensation develops when the cooler air beside the windows cannot hold its moisture, typically in the winter. When left unchecked, the moisture accumulates on the sills or frames until the mold grows.

7) Crawlspace Mold grows on the structural wood members when the home (usually older) has been built on a dirt floor. There is an incredible amount of moisture vapor that seeps into the crawlspace from the ground below. In addition, ground water can spill into the crawlspace where there are voids along the outer perimeter or cracking foundation wall. Overtime the accumulation of mold can compromise the structure of the home. In addition, these spores can migrate up into the living space through small voids. Ideally vapor barrier should be installed under a concrete slab. If not, above the dirt floor and properly sealed.

8) Surface Mold includes any sign of visible, obvious mold that can be seen throughout the home. As mentioned, bathroom ceilings and under sinks reveal mold. Exterior (outside) facing closet walls, or those adjacent to bathrooms should be examined for signs of mold.

9) Carpet Mold can be found on the underside of the carpet, typically in the basement over a concrete floor or at ground level. Evidence appears after a flood, leak, from over watered plants, by exterior walls and doors. It is also possible for moisture to come in from the outside when an exterior drain has backed up or when the home is positioned on a low point of the property or the land slopes towards the home.

10) Laundry Room Mold can occur due to a slow leak from the washing machine, a nearby sink, drain or other hidden location. The laundry room is considered a wet area, so it should be monitored closely just like a bathroom or kitchen. Inspect behind and under the washing machine, the floors and floorboards for water stains and past moisture damage.

Remember, the most important part of managing the mold in your home is to identify and remove the moisture source(s) as soon as possible.

For tips on removal, check out my blog article called How to Clean Mold From Your Home . For additional details about this article or Mold inspections feel free to contact me and I will help you out…