Where Are The Common Mold Areas In Your House?
Mold is present almost everywhere--both inside and outside. It can produce allergens and lead to poor air quality. It can spoil food and damage a house. Mold thrives with moisture and can be smelly. And when left unaddressed, mold can be highly destructive. Here are some of the more common areas to check in your home for the possible infestation of mold.
Any house--both old and new--is susceptible to a leaky roof. Leaks on a new house are likely to come from a builders error, while leaks on an older house will naturally come from wear and tear over the years. Leaks also originate from damage.
It is rare for leaks to develop in open areas of uninterrupted shingles, but most commonly, roof leaks come from penetrations in the roof. Any plumbing, roof vents, chimneys, dormers, or anything else that projects through a roof can cause leaks. Water will typically come through worn, broken, or missing shingles. Or through corroded or poorly sealed roof flashing around vents, skylights, or chimneys. Check around and below these areas for water stains, black marks, or mold.
Plumbing leaks are common and can be found around any type of plumbing--bathtubs, showers, drains, sinks, toilets, etc. When water escapes its intended area and seeps into the subfloor or walls, issues will arise. Signs of trouble include:
- Curling vinyl or loose tiles
- Damaged flooring
- Peeling paint
- Water stains
- Mold spots
- Standing water where it shouldn’t be
- Leaky faucets
- Loose faucet base
- Deteriorating caulk
Humidifiers put moisture back into the air which can create a lot of benefits. They help cracking skin, shriveled lips, and reduce the risk of infections. They also lead to faster healing times, healthier houseplants, and protect wood furnishings. But in moist environments, mold is provided a wonderful breeding ground, especially if you don’t regularly clean your humidifier.
A dirty humidifier can become an incubator for germs that launches them into the air you breathe. It is recommended to clean your humidifier regularly and thoroughly. And oftentimes, the manufacturer will recommend doing so with vinegar or bleach--just to make sure you get any mold that has developed.
Steam from Showers or Cooking
Every household has one--the family member that takes super-long showers. They bathe themselves and then create a steam bath as hot water continually runs for minutes on end. Although this practice does relieve tension and soothes stiff muscles, it also creates additional moisture. Whether bellowing out from the shower or from cooking an extravagant meal, steam is moisture. And excessive amounts will increase the moisture levels of a room and increase the likelihood of mold.
Sprinkler Spray Hitting a Building
For those who like their grass green, often, your sprinklers are set to spray water against the side of a home. This overcompensation is great for keeping a lush, green yard, that extends up to the sides of your home. But not so great from a mold perspective. Over time, moisture from sprinklers hitting the side of a home or building can cause damage to the siding, brick facade, or stucco of the home.
When walls get wet, mold and mildew can develop. Moisture that has seeped inside of a wall can also result in mold, as well as rot or deterioration. Stains and musty odors are common symptoms and if moisture intrudes the wall, the insulation may get wet and leave stains on the drywall or baseboards. If a sprinkler is consistently hitting your wall, keep an eye out for damage.
Clothes Dryer that Exhausts Indoors
As clothes dry, moisture is being removed and vented out of the dryer. If your clothes dryer directly vents into the house, you are pumping a tremendous amount of warm, moist air directly into your home. This source of humidity is a perfect recipe for mold growth and could even lead to structural damage.
Not to mention, a clothes dryer that vents directly into your house is contaminating the air by filling it with an assortment of fine lint particles.
Damp Basement or Crawl Space
If there was any place mold you would expect to find mold, a basement or crawl space are likely at the top of the list. Cracks in basement slabs, poor circulation, appliances that produce moisture (e.g. humidifiers, furnaces, clothes washer, clothes dryer, etc.), are all commonly found in home basements. This combination of ingredients leads to a great place for mold to grow.
Crawl spaces typically don’t have vents, lack temperature control, and are the least of a homeowners concern. But often, moisture can evaporate from the ground or the foundation walls and into the air of a crawl space if there is no vapor barrier or waterproofing on the concrete block. Additionally, mold likes wood. Exposed floor joists in your crawl space are a great place for the mold to call home.
Overflow From Sinks or Sewers
On occasion, a sink or sewer will backup and overflow. So clean up the mess and forget about it, right? Unfortunately, there may be long-term effects from an overflowing sink, especially if it happens multiple times. When water flows onto the floor, it likely moves toward the wall or vanity. And that additional moisture could result in mold and mildew growth, weakened floor joists, and dripping onto the floor below.
If you left the faucet in the sink or tub running for 20 minutes while taking a phone call, there is a good chance for water damage. If the overflow was sewage, you may have contamination as well. Address the issue to stop the overflow, then determine what got wet (e.g. tile flooring, carpet, drywall, ceiling, etc.) and be proactive to limit mold growth.
Wet Clothes Hung to Dry Indoors/Outdoors
Wet clothes that have been washed, or wet clothes that haven’t been washed, are full of moisture that can increase the humidity in your home. Letting wet clothes sit in a pile for extended periods of time is a definite risk for mold growth. And when you hang them, the moisture in the clothes is escaping the garment and entering the area near the clothesline.
Wet clothes hung indoors contributes to the growth of mold and dust mites. While wet clothes hung outdoors can absorb outdoor pollen and mold spores that are floating through the air. There is a risk either way, determine what works best for your situation to limit the mold areas in your house.
These are some of the more common areas where mold can develop in your house, but in reality, mold will develop anywhere there is moisture, food (mold spores need food in the literal sense as well as materials such as wood, paper,etc.), and optimum temperatures and conditions.
Highmark Restoration is capable of all mitigation services, including the removal of mold. Check these common spots in your house and if you find mold present, give us a call and Highmark Restoration’s rapid response team will get the job done.