It may feel easy to disregard signs of mold. But it can be dangerous and damaging to you and your family’s health, so mold requires quick remediation. Mold can seriously affect people with chronic conditions like asthma and seasonal allergies, but it can also cause a number of health problems, even for people without any respiratory conditions. If you have mold in your home, you or your family members may find that they are suddenly coughing or wheezing, experiencing throat, eye, and skin irritation, or feeling sick. Though it’s hard to control any mold from entering your home, surveying your home for signs of mold is an important first step to take.
Mold can appear all over your home, but there are some key places you should check that are most likely to be culprits.
- Basements or cellars with flooding history
- Under sinks
- In plumbing in walls
- Around A/C units
- Under wet carpeting
- Leaky windows
The key, of course, is proximity to water. Places where water gathers or stands, where pipes might leak, or other drips occur are prime locations for mold to begin to grow. Below are seven of the most common places for mold to grow.
Mold Appears in Basements or Cellars that have been Flooded
Basements and crawlspaces easily become wet-spaces, inundated with rainwater or water from leaky pipes or drainage systems. Standing water or wet carpets quickly foster mold growth, particularly in dark environments. If your basement begins to smell particularly musty, it may be a sign that there is mold growing.
Mold Appears Underneath Kitchen and Bathroom Sinks
The cabinets or space below sinks serves as a prime location for mold to grow, because it is dark, damp, and often goes unnoticed. It’s worth moving your cleaning materials or soaps and conditioners aside to check for mold growing behind or underneath them. While you’re down there, it’s also worth checking to make sure your pipes are properly secured and not causing a leak.
Mold Appears in Plumbing in Walls
Over time, the plumbing appliances in your home will begin to deteriorate—nothing lasts forever! This is normal, but when water begins to be able to leak, a serious problem has arisen, both for the integrity of your walls and your home’s foundation, but also for the rise of mold. It’s much more difficult to check behind walls for mold, but if you notice water damage, there’s definitely a risk of mold that you should make an effort to get checked out.
Mold Appears around A/C
When air-conditioning units don’t drain properly, moisture is contained in the appliance and mold begins to grow. This can be particularly dangerous because the blowing of the air conditioning unit can spread spores throughout your home. Air-conditioning units may also begin to leak, causing mold to grow beneath them on floors or other surfaces.
Mold Appears Under Wet Carpeting
Because there is space beneath carpeting and because carpets absorb water, carpeting creates a prime hiding place for mold growth. It’s also difficult to see, because it can become contained between the floor and the carpet. It’s important to keep carpeting dry and to take note if something smells funky.
Mold Appears in Leaky Windows
Leaky or unsecured windows let water into the home and create space for mold buildup on windowsills or surfaces beneath the window frame. These spots are easy to identify with a quick sweep of the house.
What to do about mold
Though mold can take root in a number of places, there are a number of things you can do to try to limit its growth. You can try to do a better job ventilating your space and using a dehumidifier, particularly if you live in a particularly humid climate. You can check for leaks and try to repair your plumbing in a timely manner.
But unfortunately, mold does happen to everyone. Once you identify a mold problem that already exists, act quickly to find a mold remediator that will clean up the mold quickly and simultaneously help you to solve the problem that has given rise to mold growth. Once the problem is solved, you will surely breathe easier.