Before we dive into specific locations of mold, I think it is important to note how mold grows in the first place. There are three basic components that mold needs to thrive in; food source, moisture, and air. Mold reproduces through tiny spores that travel through the air and will multiply once it finds a moist surface. These pests like to nest in places you normally wouldn’t consider.
Mold isn’t always visible as it can spread underneath floorboards and behind walls. If there has ever been any kind of water damage, mold could be growing. The only way to be sure that there isn’t any in your home or workspace is to hire a professional. They have tools to detect the mold that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Some companies will do a free mold consultation or inspection to ensure you are free of the pesky spores. Dust is mold’s best friend so the cleaner you keep everything, the less inhabitable your space is for the intruding spores. If you love to use diffusers, tea tree essential oil can help you combat mold in all the spaces you spend most of your time in.
Places You Can Inspect for Mold in Your Home
There are rooms and appliances within your home that create ideal living spaces for mold. The good news is that you can inspect these areas yourself and ensure that your home and everyone you love is safe and infestation free.
Rooms That Are at High Risk of Mold
Bathroom– If you do not air out and dry bathrooms properly, moisture from the shower water and steam create the perfect atmosphere for mold to grow in. A good indication that the room is not airing out properly and mold may be growing is a consistent wet towel smell.
Crawlspace– Try to remember the last time you went into your crawlspace. Any room that is not frequently used and cleaned will leave mold completely undisturbed and free to reproduce at will. If you have learned anything from this article you know by now that dust and moisture create a home for our moldy villains. The next time you go to get the Christmas decorations out, take a duster with you and thoroughly check for visible mold.
Basement– Concrete collects dust, which in turn feeds the mold. Unless your spring cleaning involves a good wash down of all the concrete in your home, the dust will inevitably lead to mold. Flooding can be common in basements and the combination of dust and moisture makes this space infestation prone.
Kitchen– Standing water from hand-washed dishes, the dishwasher, or moisture from the fridge makes your kitchen a mold-friendly atmosphere. If you are not wiping down every surface that could contain a drop of water, mold could be growing. Since food sources are close by in the fridge the mold can hop from place to place spreading rapidly. Make sure to clean and thoroughly dry the fridge once an outbreak takes place to keep it from repopulating.
Appliances That are Mold Friendly
Front Loading Washing Machines– Do your clothes come out of the washing machine discolored and smelling like dirty rags? If so, your washing machine may have a mold problem. Warm, moist air is a breeding ground for mold. In top load washing machines, the hot air escapes up and out. In front load washers the air stays trapped in the machine. The door of a front load washing machine stays moist when shut, making a mold infestation even more likely. If you are buying a used washing machine, make sure it’s a top load where there is less risk of mold already existing.
Refrigerator Drip Pans– The purpose of a drip pan is to catch defrosted ice and keep puddles from collecting on your kitchen floor. This moisture can cause unwanted mold growth. You should consider cleaning your refrigerator drip pan every three months to prevent this.
Air Conditioner- Mold can spread quickly to the rest of the home from your air conditioner, especially if you have a central air system. The HVAC will most likely have mold if your AC unit has been exposed to it. The HVAC then disseminates mold spores through every room in the house. When they’re inhaled, these spores can activate allergies and even cause illnesses. To prevent anything from growing here make sure you have mold reducing filters and check for mold frequently.
Places You Can Inspect for Mold in Your Workspace, Office, or Business
Mold discovered in an office space can create a nightmare if you neglect to deal with it promptly. If your office has any of the appliances listed above make sure to use the same care when looking for mold and make sure you know the OSHA safety standards. How do you know if the mold at work is making you sick? Common symptoms include runny nose, coughing, disorientation, dizziness, and consistent watery or red eyes. Take a look at these other common spaces for mold to linger within the workspace to keep everyone happy and healthy.
Water Coolers and Coffee Machines– The standing water collected in the drip pans of these appliances can create a cozy home for mold to develop and spread. Even if it is self-cleaning, it may not be immune to mold growth so keep an eye out every time you stop to have a chat by the water cooler. If people are working in the rooms these machines are stored, it can be an even bigger concern. Everyone will be breathing in the mold spores, multiplying the risk of your employees getting sick.
Leaking Windows– If you never open your windows, or they cannot be opened in the first place, you could have mold growing there. Dirt builds up in windowsills and moisture also lingers here which makes this area highly susceptible to growth.
Carpeting– If your workspace is home to a klutzy Kim that spills her coffee more than she drinks it, the carpet may be hiding mold. It creeps its way into the carpet pad and then eventually to the outer surface you walk on. Keeping the carpet clean and dry is the best way to prevent mold growth.