Even the most minor roof or plumbing leak can lead to your home becoming infested with mold. As it quickly spreads through the house, it produces allergens and irritants that can potentially cause other health effects and structural damage. The research on mold is clear. Besides the adverse health effects themselves, it’s estimated the cost to treat such conditions is over $21 billion per year in the U.S.
If your home suffers mold damage, mold remediation and restoration services from Central Florida Restoration Solutions can get your home back to normal as quickly as possible.
What is Mold and What Causes It in Your Home?
Mold is a type of fungus that grows from microscopic spores floating through the air. When clusters of mold spores grow on surfaces, they reproduce and become visible to the human eye. If you have mold allergies, asthma, or another lung condition, breathing in these spores can trigger an attack. People without these conditions may not be aware there’s mold in the home until it can be seen and smelled.
Every home naturally has the essential ingredients needed for mold growth: oxygen, warmth, darkness, the presence of mold spores, and a surface for mold to grow on. Add in moisture from a leaky pipe, flood, or even high humidity levels, and your mold problems can begin. Knowing where you can commonly find mold in your home can help you prevent and treat it before it becomes a bigger problem.
Here’s a room-by-room breakdown of where mold might be hiding in your Central Florida home. Because many molds grow in hidden places like behind walls, you might need to call in a professional, especially if you’ve had a water intrusion incident.
Room by Room Mold Growth
The more people who live in a home, the more likely it is that molds will grow inside it. The more people, the more:
- Breath moisture is released
- Long, hot showers are taken
- Cooking in uncovered pots takes place
- Clothes are dried on indoor clotheslines
- Humidifiers may be used
Other everyday events like storing wet firewood and watering indoor plants can make a mold problem more likely, too.
Mold Growth in the Bathroom
Poorly ventilated bathrooms are common locations for mold growth and structural damage. The room’s warm and wet environment is one mold loves. Mold is fairly easy to spot on tile, but there are plenty of other places you might find it, too.
In Showers and Bathtubs
Two of the most visible places mold grows in showers and tubs are on the tile and grout. But it can also make a home on the shower curtain, bath product bottles, washcloths, faucets, showerheads, and loofahs.
Sinks and Toilets
Where there’s water and humidity, there tends to be mold. If sinks and counters aren’t regularly cleaned and dried, you’ll start to see mold growth. It can easily spread to toothbrush caddies and soap dishes. Other places you might not think to look include toilet tanks, the tight area behind the toilet, and beneath the bathroom sink where cleaning supplies are stored.
In Walls and On Floors
Overflowing toilets and water leaks from pipes can both cause mold to multiply quickly in the bathroom. Rugs often harbor mold, especially if they aren’t regularly washed. To keep bathrooms free of mold:
- Always use a ventilation fan during showers and baths. Leave it running until the humidity has been completely cleared out. You can also open a window to speed up the process.
- Use an air conditioner or dehumidifier to keep humidity levels down throughout the house.
- Keep all surfaces, including counters and floors, clean and dry.
- Inspect for leaky faucets and pipes.
An important note on toilet overflows: Raw sewage, fungus, bacteria, and other microorganisms can be serious health risks. To keep you and your family safe, you should talk to a professional about removing what’s known as Category 3 black water.
Where to Check for Mold Growth in the Kitchen
Dirty dishes piled up in the sink and long-forgotten leftovers in the refrigerator are popular mold breeding grounds. Uncovered pots and pans on stovetops and running hot water at the sink add to a kitchen’s humidity level and cause kitchen mold to grow quickly. Some of the most common places to check for mold in the kitchen include:
Around the Kitchen Sinks
From wet sponges to leaky faucets, a lot of water-related action happens at kitchen sinks. The most common and risky place for mold growth, though, is under a sink, where a small drip from a leaky pipe can eventually result in mold infestation and damaged cabinets and flooring.
Refrigerators and Pantries
Food, particularly if it’s expired, can cause mold growth. Refrigerators and pantries should be kept free of old food and shelves should be wiped down regularly. Not-so-obvious places to look for mold are drip trays and water dispensers.
Microwaves and Stove
Food spills and grease splatters are two places molds love to call home. Immediately clean up any spills or splatter to prevent mold growth.
Other Kitchen Surfaces Mold Loves
You name it—trash cans, wooden cutting boards, windows, and windowsills are like heaven for mold spores. They feast off these places, so be sure to keep them clean and dry to keep mold at bay. Other steps to reduce the risk of kitchen mold include:
- Ventilating when cooking.
- Opening a window while doing the dishes.
- Regularly cleaning and drying stovetops, microwaves, counters, and windowsills
- Frequent cleaning inside the refrigerator and of the drip tray.
- Taking the trash out every day.
Mold Growth in Bedrooms
Most people don’t think of the bedroom as a breeding ground for mold. Proper humidity control helps, but since every room in the house is susceptible to mold, it’s worth checking these spots, just in case.
If the indoor humidity level is too high, mattresses can become damp and become a perfect environment for mold to grow. There are mold and mildew-resistant mattress covers you can buy. Keeping the humidity level low helps a mattress stay cool and dry.
Windows and Windowsills
Windows often collect condensation, which can be problematic in preventing mold growth. Once moisture penetrates a windowsill, a mold problem is more likely to occur. Be sure to dry windows and windowsills when they gather condensation.
While using the air conditioner and heater can help control humidity, mold can grow in the system’s vents. To prevent mold from growing in bedrooms:
- Remove excess moisture from the air with a dehumidifier.
- Dry up any window, windowsill, or wall condensation.
- Invest in a mold-resistant mattress or waterproof mattress cover.
Living and Family Room Mold Growth
It’s probably evident by now that mold can form in any room of your Central Florida home. Living and family rooms are no exceptions.
Upholstered furniture, curtains, rugs, and drapes are notorious for collecting mold spores. You might not notice mold growing on these surfaces, but a musty smell is often the first sign you might have a mold problem. If your home suffers a flood situation where these items are affected, you can dry some of them out, but you might have to dispose of others.
Fireplaces and Chimneys
When you’re not using them, fireplaces and chimneys offer mold spores the cool, damp, and dark places they love to grow. The brick used in most fireplaces is also porous, which means mold can spread quickly.
Where to Check for Mold in Attics, Crawlspaces, and Garages
Utility areas of the home where people spend less time making them ideal locations for mold to go undetected. The poor ventilation in attics, basements, garages, and crawlspaces can contribute to rapid mold growth.
In the Attic
Attic mold is a huge problem. Left unchecked, it can quickly spread throughout the rest of your home. Check for mold in these locations:
- On the roof
- Near any possible leaks
- In the insulation
- Near any kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room vents
- Around the soffit vents that provide ventilation to the attic
To prevent mold growth and spread in the attic:
- Immediately repair roof leaks, no matter how small they might be
- Use the proper type of insulation
- Don’t vent items into the attic and keep soffit vents clear to allow airflow
- Keep gutters free of debris and in good repair
In the Garage
Pipe leaks and flooding from washing machines are two of the most common ways mold is invited into your garage. It often grows in places you wouldn’t expect. Be sure to check:
- Behind or under storage areas that don’t often get moved
- Around garage doors and windows
- In areas where standing water accumulates
Keep garage mold at bay by using:
- A dehumidifier to keep moisture levels low
- Waterproof or mold and mildew-resistant paint for walls and concrete surfaces
- A squeegee to remove standing water from the floor
- Open windows to introduce sunlight and ventilation
Most Central Florida homes don’t have basements, but crawlspaces are also prone to mold growth, as they can be a moist area of the house, particularly around or near:
- Pipes and ductwork
- Areas where the foundation might be leaking
- Sump pumps
- Vents where condensation might gather
To prevent mold in crawlspaces:
- Use a dehumidifier to keep moisture levels low
- Use waterproof or mold-resistant paint
- Check for and repair any leaky pipes or foundation leaks
- Provide adequate ventilation to the area
- Fix any drainage issues
Even More Places In Your Home Where Mold Can Grow
We’re not through yet—there are plenty of other places to regularly check for mold growth or their potential to host mold.
Walls and Ceilings
Mold can hide behind ceilings and walls for quite a while without you knowing it. Unfortunately, by the time you notice a musty smell or start to suffer worse respiratory problems, the mold growth has often gotten extensive. That’s when the professionals are your best bet for getting the problem taken care of.
There are a few early warning signs to look for, like seeing condensation on walls and ceilings. If you have wallpaper and it’s peeling or moist, that can also signal mold growth under the surface. Don’t remove it yourself, as this can release mold spores into the room. Whenever you suspect mold growth in the walls or ceiling, your best bet is to hire a professional mold remediation company.
Carpeting, Fabrics, and Upholstery
As we mentioned above, porous fabric surfaces are notorious for collecting mold. Once exposed to mildew, mold is usually well on its way. Carpeting in particular is a popular place for mold to grow. Spills, water leaks, or flooding can all cause carpets to become waterlogged. In worse-case scenarios, it usually must be removed completely to solve the mold issue.
Laundry Room Appliances
Since they’re both exposed to water and dampness, washing machines and dryers can both harbor mold. Avoid keeping wet clothes in them for any length of time. Make sure, too, that you’re properly venting the dryer outside the house, not into the attic. Keeping the door to a front-loading machine slightly open when not in use can help. Don’t forget to clean out dryer lint after each use as mold can grow here, too.
The Mold Removal Process
Microscopic mold spores exist naturally indoors and out. Removing all mold and mold spores from a home is virtually impossible. Any restoration business that advertises it can perform 100% mold removal is being less than honest in their advertising!
A qualified mold damage restoration company understands the science behind mold and mold growth. CFRS’ technicians have the necessary training and expertise to remediate mold in your Central Florida home and get mold levels back to normal, natural levels.
Every home’s mold damage is different and requires a customized solution. But the general mold remediation process includes:
- Step 1: Contacting a professional to inspect your home and determine the equipment, resources, and technicians needed to perform the necessary work. A mold damage assessment includes carefully checking for both visible and hidden signs of mold. Modern technologies are used to detect hidden water leaks and mold infestation.
- Step 2: Mold containment prevents mold spread. Advanced techniques are used to isolate the contaminated area. Physical barriers and negative air pressure may be employed to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.
- Step 3: Specialized air filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores from the air. HEPA vacuums and “air scrubbers” are often used to prevent the spread of mold spores while mold remediation is in process.
- Step 4: Mold and mold-infested objects and materials like drywall and carpeting are removed if necessary. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments can sometimes be used to eliminate mold colonies on different surfaces.
- Step 5: Home contents are cleaned and sanitized and odors are removed.
- Step 6: Restoration work, which might include minor repairs like replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpeting, is performed. Sometimes major repairs such as reconstruction of certain areas or rooms in the house are required.
Central Florida’s Most Trusted Mold Damage Remediation Professionals
No one likes the idea of mold growing in their home. Yet many people are unaware of the places it can grow and what they can do to prevent it or keep it in check. Checking for mold and taking early remediation steps can prevent you and other family members from getting sick and prevent your home from being damaged.
Once you know what to look for, protecting your Central Florida home from mold damage becomes a fairly easy task. If you believe your home has a mold problem, contact a qualified mold remediation company to help you get to the bottom of the problem and return your home’s mold levels to normal.
CFRS is Central Florida’s leading mold damage remediation and restoration company. Our friendly and professional team can help restore your home to normal as quickly as possible after a mold infestation. We also offer water damage, fire damage, and smoke damage solutions you can trust.
For more than 20 years, we’ve helped Central Florida homeowners remove any signs of mold damage, no matter where it’s hiding. Contact CFRS today for the mold remediation and restoration services you need to keep your home and family safe and healthy.