Mold can sneak up on you. One moment your home, apartment or office is fine, the next you appear to have mold.
Mold needs a cocktail of five things in order to take root and thrive: moisture, darkness, something to grow on, minimal air flow, and organic ingredients. Virtually any spot with this combination of factors can turn into a breeding ground for mold.
Some places for mold growth are pretty obvious. Showers that are not kept clean may develop mold on the tiles or ceiling. The space underneath kitchen sinks can be susceptible to mold, too, without periodic cleaning and ventilation.
There are a few spots you might not immediately think of, however. We’re going to outline some of them so you know where to look, that way you can catch mold growth before it gets out of control. Some of these spots include:
Beneath Your Fridge
Whether in your fridge drip pan or beneath the fridge in general, this is a prime spot for mold to develop and thrive. The reasons are obvious. The area gets poor air circulation, can be damp or gather wetness from spills, and is rarely ever accessed. It’s a great breeding ground.
Around Your Air Conditioner
The enemy here is condensation combined with all the goodies the air conditioner sucks in from outside, such as pollen spores, dirt and mold spores. The result is a good spot for mold to grow. It can form around the outsides of your in-window air conditioner, and inside air conditioners of all types.
Under Your Carpet Pad
This is a tricky one to spot. Moisture from spills or leaks, or in the case of carpeting in basement areas, from condensation or “bleeding” floors, can get beneath your carpet pad and end up becoming a nearly invisible spot for mold to grow.
After a time it can even get into your carpet (which is when you’ll probably notice it). A damp carpet or a carpet with odors is a sign that it may have mold. How to prevent this? The best way is good old fashioned cleanliness.
Inside Your Cavity Walls
A cavity wall is a wall formed by two “skins” with an open space in between, such as an outer layer of brick and an inner layer of masonry. These walls have advantages, especially for insulating your home or building, but if moisture is allowed to access the inside it can prove a perfect place for mold to grow.
Even worse, it’s a place where it can grow undetected for years, since there is rarely ever a reason to open a cavity wall. The best way to address this before thousands in damage is done is with prevention, and the best approach to that is to quickly and thoroughly repair any leaks or holes in order to keep moisture out.
Within Paper Products
If you have stacks of newspapers in a room that gets damp, or books that became water-logged, you just might have a mold breeding ground. Mold can take root in books, papers and cardboard, and once it does it can spread quickly.
Dispose of papers showing signs of mold, and do not return soaked books to the shelf until they’ve had a long, long, thorough drying period.
Mold is more than a nuisance. It can actually be hazardous to your health. Knowing where to look for it might save you thousands in the long term.
(Need to know if there's mold lingering in your Northeast Ohio home? Sign up for a free Home Health Audit.)