9 Common Hiding Places for Mold
Given food, moisture, and a dark space, mold can thrive in a variety of spaces. Unfortunately, that includes spaces that are hidden from your day-to-day view. Here are nine of mold’s favorite household-hiding spots.
Damp dark places, like detergent chambers, are perfect for mold. Gaskets around doors of front-loading washing machines provide an equally appealing location.
To prevent mold growth, leave both the washing machine door and the detergent chamber open to allow airflow in between loads of laundry.
Unless you regularly change up the décor of a room, you probably don’t look behind your wallpaper too often. However, especially if it was not sealed properly, it can hide mold for quite some time. If you notice peeling edges, or if your wallpaper is getting old and in a moisture-heavy room, you may want to check for mold.
When applying wallpaper, make sure to remove all air bubbles and to use a high-quality adhesive paste. You may want to skip wallpaper altogether in rooms with a lot of moisture like kitchens and bathrooms.
Chimneys provide lots of crevices where moisture and organic debris can gather, which creates a happy home for mold.
Brick and mortar are already porous, but rusted or insufficient chimney caps are often the biggest culprits when it comes to chimney mold growth. Annual inspections along with well-functioning chimney caps should help to prevent mold.
Refrigerator Drip Pans
When it comes to refrigerator drip pans, out of sight is often out of mind. However, moisture, food spills, and the dark space underneath your refrigerator makes the drip pans a perfect place for mold to grow unnoticed.
Make sure to clean your drip pans at least once annually. Increase the cleanings if you notice mold more frequently.
Obviously stacks of dirty dishes left in the sink for a long time can cause mold issues, but clean kitchenware can cause issues as well.
After you wash dishes, either the sink or the dishwasher, make sure they are completely dry before placing them in cupboards. Remember—dark, damp environments are perfect for mold growth.
If you are guilty of putting away dishes and silverware before they’re 100% dry, examine your dishes for mildew and check the shelves in your cabinets as well for mold.
If old leftovers leave mold in your plastic storage containers, a quick wash may not be enough to get rid of the mold. Make sure to rinse your containers well before throwing them into the dishwasher. After the load is done, make sure they are clear of mold before putting them away.
Roof and Attic
Unless you make frequent trips to the attic, you probably won’t notice mold growth up there. Attics typically have a lot of dust and not as much airflow. Small leaks in the roof or from pipes can lead to mold problems quickly.
Periodically examine your attic for mold and leaks. Frequent checkups can prevent small problems from escalating.
Carpets collect much of the dirt and grime in your home, which provides perfect food for mold spores if the carpet or carpet pad gets wet. Moisture from concrete floors or crawl spaces can seep into the carpet pad, providing the perfect circumstances. If you have pets that frequently have accidents on your carpet, your chances for mold increase.
Unfortunately, if your carpet smells musty or feels wet, there’s a good chance you already have mold. To help prevent mold growth, regularly vacuum your carpets and get them deep cleaned periodically.
Your HVAC system can easily hide mold and distribute mold spores throughout your home. The air used to cool homes contains a lot of moisture. Over time, this moisture often condenses in duct lining materials. Mold spores feed off the moisture and dust particles. If there are leaks in your ductwork, moisture can also accumulate on the outside of the ducts.
If you smell a musty or mildew odor coming through your vents, your ductwork may have mold inside it.
Inside Your Walls
Leaks from outer walls, broken pipes, and roofs can all provide the moisture needed for mold growth. Because you likely don’t open up your walls very often, mold can easily grow unnoticed for quite some time.
Watch for signs of discoloration on your walls and ceilings as well as any musty odors, as both of these signs can indicate mold.
Our highly trained mold remediation specialists can help locate hard-to-find mold and begin the remediation and restoration process. We understand that mold problems can worsen over time, so we provide you with quick, effective service. We’re available 24/7 to better serve you.
If you find mold in your home, or suspect you have mold you can’t see, call SERVPRO® of South Everett at 425-367-4484.