Mold is a master at hide-and-seek. It likes to grow in the damp, dark places around your house that you rarely check. By the time it spreads to more visible regions of your home, you already have a major problem on your hands. To keep mold in check, here are some of its favorite hiding places around your home.
Bathrooms and Kitchens
Mold loves moisture, so any appliance that uses water is a haven for mold. Your kitchen and bathrooms are filled with water-based appliances like sinks, toilets, showers, and refrigerators. If any of them leak, it could encourage mold growth.
Keep a close eye for hidden leaks in your cabinets and under sinks. Another bathroom hotspot for mold is in the shower. Water could escape the shower and puddle on the floor. Without proper water mitigation, it could encourage mold growth. That’s why it’s important to call a water mitigation professional to clean up any major water leaks before mold starts to grow.
One of the less obvious sources of mold is humidity. Activities like showering and cooking release a lot of steam (moisture) into the air. That moisture could saturate your drywall and ceilings and cause mold growth. Whenever you’re showering or boiling water, it’s a good idea to run an exhaust fan. That will help to remove some of the humidity from the air and prevent mold from growing.
Attics are one of mold’s favorite hiding spots. The conditions are perfect: It’s hot, dark, damp, and full of food (wood). They’re also one of the least-visited places in your home, which means it has plenty of time undisturbed to grow.
There are three main sources of attic mold:
- Lack of ventilation
- Incorrectly installed fans and vents
- Roof leaks
While attic mold doesn’t really affect indoor air quality, it can cause major damage to the structure of your home. It can cause your support beams and wood sheathing to deteriorate at a much faster rate. Every year, mold destroys more wood than all the termites and fires combined!
The key to preventing attic mold is eliminating moisture. Central Florida is known for its humidity. When that moisture gets trapped in your attic, mold thrives. Make sure your attic is well ventilated, there aren’t any leaks in your roof, and that any exhaust fans vent to the outside to keep the humidity and moisture levels down.
Behind Walls and Ceilings
Water pipes run all over your house. They’re behind the walls and in the ceilings, supplying water to every appliance, sink, toilet, and tub in your home. Sometimes, these pipes can leak, causing water and moisture to build up in the most inconvenient places. What comes along with moisture? Mold!
Unfortunately, mold inside your walls is one of the most difficult to detect because you can’t just poke your head in to look around. Pay attention to water stains on your walls or ceilings. They’re always a good indicator that mold could be present.
If you notice any signs of a water leak behind your walls, your best bet is to call a water mitigation specialist. They’ll be able to locate the source of the leak and clean up the mess properly to prevent mold from growing.
Basements and Crawl Spaces
Like attics, basements and crawl spaces have all the right conditions for mold to grow, except they’re even more prone to water damage. Water obeys the laws of gravity. What’s at the very bottom of your house? Your basement or crawl space.
The lowest level of your house is the most prone to flooding and water damage. With flooding comes mold. Your foundation is the first line of defense against water, so check it regularly for cracks. Even the smallest gap can let in water and cause mold.
Crawl spaces, like attics, need to be properly ventilated. This is especially true if your crawl space has a dirt floor. Moisture can build up in your crawl space, causing mold to grow on your house’s subfloor. Over time, it could eat away at the wood and weaken your floors. Make sure your crawlspace is properly ventilated and that no water can get in from the outside. Plastic vapor barriers are a good idea to reduce humidity levels from the dirt floor.
Clues Mold Might Be Hiding in Your House
Mold isn’t always obvious. It likes to be sneaky and hide in the most secluded corners of your house. Here are some clues that mold might be hiding in your home:
- You can visibly see it (obviously)
- There’s a persistent damp or musty smell
- You constantly feel sick
- You’ve experienced flooding
- Water stains on walls and ceilings
The best way to find mold is to look for it. Regularly check your attic, basement or crawlspace, and around appliances that use water. In harder-to-find spots—like behind your walls—pay attention to water stains and musty smells. They’re both excellent indicators that mold is present.
Any time you’ve experienced a water leak or flooding, there’s a good chance that mold will grow. Even the slightest amount of water leftover from a DIY water mitigation job is enough to encourage mold growth. No matter how extensive, it’s always best to hire a water mitigation team to clean up water damage. A professional will use commercial-grade equipment to ensure the area is sufficiently dry to prevent mold growth.
If You Notice Mold, Call a Professional
Mold isn’t easy to clean up, and DIY solutions don’t always solve the cause of the problem. If you notice any signs that mold might be present in your house, the best thing to do is call a professional. Only a professional mold remediation team will know how to locate and eliminate the source of the mold to make sure it doesn’t come back again.
Central Florida Restoration Services has been serving Central Florida homes for over 25 years, offering mold, smoke, fire, and water mitigation services. If you find mold in your house, don’t trust DIY cleanup solutions that won’t work. Contact the experts at CFRS and solve the problem for good.