Where to Look for Mold
Mold can grow virtually anywhere—in any room of any house, in any commercial building and in any storage room.
That said, some areas are more prone to mold problems than others. Knowing where to look for mold can help you detect, eliminate and prevent the problem.
In the following section, we’ll let you know which parts of your house are most vulnerable to mold infestations.
Common spots for mold
If you’re concerned about mold in your home, pay special attention to these high-moisture areas as they are hot spots for mold growth.
- Basements: Flooding, leaks, condensation, poor ventilation…
- Kitchens: Cooking, washing, inefficient exhaust fans…
- Bathrooms: Showering, steam, leaks, inefficient exhaust fans…
- Attics: Poor ventilation, insufficient air circulation, roof damage…
- Crawlspaces: Leaks, moisture intrusion, poor ventilation…
- Laundry rooms: Washing, inefficient exhaust fans…
Despite your best efforts, mold problems aren’t always visible–sometimes they spread behind walls and ceilings or underneath floorboards. This is often the case when there’s a crack in your home’s foundation, a leaky pipe or some other type of water intrusion.
That’s why you should also keep an eye out for mold on drywall, carpets, curtains, wallpaper, wood, furniture, food, plants and soil.
You should also consider hiring a professional mold inspector who will be able to use an infrared camera to detect mold in inaccessible places without tearing up walls or floors.
Mold in basement
One of the most common places for mold to grow would be your basement. The basement tends to be very moist, especially if you have had any flooding down there. Concrete floors in basements are a great place for mold to grow, as are the corners of your walls. The floor being cooler than the humid air causes condensation, which leads to moisture, causing mold.
Mold in crawlspace
Another great place for mold is your crawlspace. To you, it is dark, and kind of smelly, and probably full of spiders; not a place you want to spend a lot of time, but to mold, it is the perfect place to live, and grow, unbothered by people trying to get rid of it. Because you don’t go in there very often, it can continue to grow and spread, with no intervention on your part. Your crawl space is usually dusty, which feeds the mold, and damp, which the mold needs to survive. So make sure you don’t neglect your crawlspace, every once in a while, go check it out, make sure it is clean, get any dust out of there, and take a good look at the corners, the walls, the ceiling, and the floor.
Mold behind the walls or under floors
Mold can also grow in places you may not notice at first, like behind your walls, under your floors, in your ceiling, and behind tiling. If you’ve had any water damage, your walls and floors may be at risk, and you can’t even see it happening!
How can you know what is going on behind your walls, and under your floors? Well, if you are suspicions of a certain space, unsure if there is moisture in the walls, there is an at home test, to figure out if there is a vapor barrier or not, it is called the “doormat test”. What you do, is take a dry doormat, and put it on the floor, or tape it to the wall, and leave it there for a day or two. When you lift the doormat up, if the bottom is damp, and there is condensation between it and the floor or wall, then you know you don’t have a vapor barrier, there is moisture in the flooring or wall, and you are at risk for mold.
Mold in air-conditioner
Another place that can cause mold in your home, is your air conditioner. They are perfect for helping mold to grow. They cause a difference in temperature, which results in condensation, and they circulate dusty air. Make sure that if you have an air conditioner, you have clean, mold reducing filters, and you check it regularly for any signs of mold. If you see any mold on it, shut it off, put on a mask, to avoid breathing the mold spores in, and clean it thoroughly with a rag or wet vacuum, and mold cleaner.
Mold in bathroom
The last place I will mention, which is an extremely high risk of mold, is a room we all use on a regular basis. The bathroom. If you are not cleaning, and allowing your shower to dry often enough, if you are not drying your floors after you step out of the shower, and if you are not allowing air to circulate your washroom during, and after you shower, that can all cause mold to grow. The steam from your shower makes the perfect home for mold, it is so warm, and damp. When you finish showering and close the door behind you, not allowing it to air out, not only will your washroom smell like a wet towel, but it greatly facilitates the growth of mold.
Why mold forms
While it’s great to know where mold most often grows, it’s better to understand why in order to prevent it. Let’s dive deeper and explore the reasons why the basement, for instance, is a problem area.
There are four main reasons why mold so often grows in the basement:
- Basements are prone to flooding.
- Basements are not as well ventilated as the upper floors of a house and are, therefore, more humid.
- Basement walls are cooler, allowing warm air to condense on them in the summer.
- Basement floors rarely have a moisture barrier or proper insulation. With neither a moisture barrier nor proper insulation installed, the moisture from the underlying soil migrates upward.
If you suspect mold growth, call Mold Busters now and ask about our quick, convenient and affordable mold inspection services in Ottawa and Montreal.