11 Common Areas Prone to Mold in Your Home
Mold, a common household issue with potential health implications may be hidden throughout your home in concealed area. If you suspect you have mold complications but are unable to find visible mold you should double check the locations below within your primary residence. At times, mold may be concealed and indoor air quality testing should be performed.
Basement: Basements often contain elevated humidity levels. Additionally, older basements or structures that have poor drainage may floor and or contain stagnate water within the basement making them susceptible to mold growth. Leaky pipes and seepage can occur which will increase the humidity levels and create a conducive environment for mold growth. Consider utilizing dehumidifiers to control humidity levels, a key factor in mold prevention. Regularly check for potential seepage which may be caused by a failed sump pump, clogged gutters and or poor grading surrounding the structure. Checking for plumbing leaks is just as important.
Bathrooms: Bathrooms contain various water sources, such as showers, sinks, and toilets and are a breeding grounds for mold. Mold can accumulate on shower curtains, behind sinks or toilets and even on tub and shower surfaces. Promptly dry any wet surfaces in the bathroom and run the ventilation fan for 30 minutes after showering to reduce moisture levels.
Kitchen: Kitchens, with sink water and organic food can provide opportunities for mold to grow. Be vigilant about keeping the kitchen dry, consider using mold-resistant paint on walls, avoid carpets near sinks, and check under the sink for potential leaks. Refrigerators water supply lines may leak under the finished floor causing mold growth that may not be intially visible to the naked eye.
Attics: Attics often house hidden mold. Mold may grow on the sheathing and or rafters. Mold growth in attics may be caused by one or more variables such as: roof leaks, lack of ventilation, inadequate insulation, bathroom vents venting humid air into the attic etc
Crawl Space: While not all homes have crawl spaces, these areas can become breeding grounds for mold. Most crawl spaces contain dirt floors which contain moisture. The moisture from the dirt floor evaporates into the air which increases humidity levels. A 6 mil plastic vapor barrier and a de-humidifer can help reduce the moisture/humidity levels. Its crucial that all gutters are clean and do not discharge near the structure and or crawl space area. There is less margin for error with crawl spaces due to the limited volume of space.
Laundry Rooms: The moisture generated by washing machines and sinks can lead to mold growth in laundry rooms. Avoid allowing wet laundry to pile up and maintain your washer and dryer. Clean up spills and check all water supply and drain lines to catch leaks before they become a big problem
Air Conditioners: Air conditioners can lead to mold growth due to condensation. If AC window units are not properly installed condensation may leak back into the structure causing damage to the structure and the growth of mold.
Dehumidifiers: Dehumidifiers, designed to prevent mold growth, can ironically become mold breeding grounds if not properly cleaned and maintained. Make sure you maintain you dehumidifier by checking the catch basin for mold. Check all discharge lines (if a pump is present) to make sure they are clear of obstructions and or derbis. A clogged discharge line in a dehumidifier can lead to a leak.
Vents: Humid air in your home can carry moisture into your ventilation system, making vents susceptible to mold growth. Usually HVAC vents that are heavily soiled are susceptible to mold growth.
Plants: Indoor plants can also serve as a source of mold. Over-watering is a common cause of mold on plants. A structure that contains a lot of plants and is very well insulated can trap moisture in the structure. Window panes may be come moldy due to condensation from temperature differences between the outside air and the inside air.
Fireplaces and Chimneys: Fireplaces and chimneys, when not in use, provide a cool and damp environment or mold growth. Although not typical, mold can grow on the dirt and grime on the mason materials
In your search for better indoor air quality and mold prevention, consider hiring Shield Guard Home Inspections LLC to perform a visual inspection and conduct indoor air quality testing.
The Author Adam Clark is the owner and operator of Shield Guard Home Inspections. Adam Clark is a local Home Inspector located in Albany NY that has performed over 8000 Inspections Phone: (518) 649-9111