Mold, which is really thousands of types of fungus, can form and grow any place there’s organic matter plus moisture. This very much includes a home. Mold can be different places in your home and in places you’d never think of.
Since mold grows in warm, dark and wet environments, it’s normal to think of kitchen and bathroom sinks, under toilets, in cabinets and spots where pipes or fixtures might drip or stay wet. What are places, normal or odd, mold commonly grows in or around your home?
It’s pretty straightforward to think of moisture, and warmth, and little spaces we might not look at very often, and think a bathroom is a place for mold. The spots or areas which are more likely to have mold growth are:
- Near a toilet or tub
- Near a water heater
- Between tiles or a tile and the wall
- On a bathmat
- In a toothbrush holder
- On wet towels left out
If you find mold in a bathroom, it’s fine to clean it yourself. If it’s a very small amount of mold, you should be able to clean it and take care of it. You might opt to put a waterproof material like silicone down to keep water from soaking into a wall or the floor. Keeping a bathroom as dry as possible is always smart.
Kitchens and Laundry Rooms
Kitchens have water, appliances, lots of hidden or dark spaces and food. A kitchen is often the most likely place in a house for black mold. You should regularly check pipes, areas under the sink, and the seals and components of refrigerators and dishwashers, or any other devices which combine water and food or organic material.
It’s good to clean, then dry, appliances inside and out quite frequently. Any place where water may collect should be cleaned and dried more often.
Mold can grow relatively fast on a bunch of dirty glasses or dishes. It can grow on washed, but wet, dishes, glasses, devices and silverware.
Even if your trash doesn’t fill up, it’s best to take out the trash often as even small bits of food or matter can attract mold and it’ll grow fast.
It’s a good suggestion to check the sink cabinet for any drips or leaks, which then can be mold colonies. The drip pan of a refrigerator can be left wet and stagnant, which is good for mold. Washing machines, with wet clothes, humid components and lint, can be spots for mold.
If you see mold or anything dirty and nasty in a kitchen or laundry room, you can clean the area with bleach or hydrogen peroxide.
It’s nice and convenient, and mostly a clean idea, to have a toothbrush holder next to the sink. But think about it for a second. There’s moisture and microscopic organic bits there. To stop mold from growing there in the first place, rinse and dry the holder regularly. This goes for soap holders and anything you keep on a bathroom counter all the time.
A Filing Cabinet
This might not make as much sense right away. A filing cabinet has a ton of paper in it. Paper is organic material. Mold can live and grow on wood perfectly well, so it’ll love paper if it starts to gather there. It’s more likely if your home has high humidity, say, during the summer.
Once paper has mold on it, it’s hard to stop from spreading or really clean it. Prevention before mold gets there is the key. Check what’s in filing cabinets, in boxes in a basement or attic, and similar stores of paper regularly. Using a dehumidifier in an office might be a good idea for your health and for stopping mold, too.
Little kids play with toys. Little kids may put toys in their mouth. Kids might spread food, drink, moisture, germs and more with toys, which are then shared with other kids. Mold might just be one thing that’s shared. If toys can go in a dishwasher or washing machine, or be wiped with cleaning or anti-bacterial wipes, it’s good to do this on a frequent basis.
It’s better to have a mat collect some of the moisture, dirt and grass, but then all the stuff stays there inches away from the inside the house. Mold can grow on, under or near the mat, which is near the front door, and then the mold is tracked into the house. You can rinse, vacuum and dry mats often. Even moving it a few feet can let one spot dry out so there’s no hidden mold.
Pipes, Ducts, Heaters
Pipes and ducts may have high moisture and condensation. To stop mold from gathering on these parts or in these spaces, a home humidity level should be kept from 30-50%. Insulation, leaks, the weather and devices such as filters and humidifiers (or dehumidifiers) play a part in humidity level. UV lights in a duct system will kill mold and other contaminants.
Water heaters have drains designed to let moisture run out, but these components can become dirty or corroded, then become moldy themselves or create spots for mold. You can wind up with mold under or near a heater or the pipes.
There are numerous benefits to having plants in a home. The answer isn’t get rid of plants, it’s just give a little extra attention to them. Overwatering potted plants may cause rot and mold. The mold can grow in the soil, on the plant or on or around the pot or container. Be careful with too much water, standing water or an accidental mess.
In Your Car
Mold can get into, then grow, inside a vehicle just as it would a house. Think of all the spaces around and under seats, floor mats and consoles in a vehicle. Then you have dirt and moisture, maybe even bits of food, and the car is, um, nasty, whether mold adds to it or not.
The cleaner and drier you keep a vehicle, the better. Don’t leave windows or sunroofs open when the car’s parked for long periods of time.
At South End Heating and Air we specialize in HVAC and furnace repair, call us for a free consult and free estimate. We’ll evaluate your system and help make recommendations for optimum value. After all, we want to keep you cool all summer long and warm in the winter. Just schedule a visit with one of our technicians to talk about how we can help with your heating needs. Would you like to learn more options our techs can help you with? Give us a call 704-684-5339.