The Most Likely Places for Mold to Form
Kitchen and Bathrooms — These rooms share a few commonalities. Besides receiving the most use, the surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom get wet and water condenses on the surfaces. Mold grows on the walls, behind tiles, and underneath the sinks. Remove everything from the cabinets to check for the presence of leaks, moisture, and mold.
HVAC Ductwork —The heating and air conditioning system in your home has multiple components that are conducive to mold growth. During the summer season, the air coming into your home has a high moisture level, which can condense and accumulate in the duct lining material. Any leak in the ductwork allows moist air to escape into the unconditioned spaces. The inside of the ductwork can have mold present.
Floors — Carpet provides a nourishing environment for molds because it captures dirt. Floods, leaks, and spills can soak carpet through to the underlay. Carpet also absorbs the moisture in the air. Make sure that you check under carpet pads, as well. Use a flashlight and mirror to look for mold underneath the floor.
Appliances — Machines that use water or create moisture in some form can facilitate mold growth and mildew. On a washer, the rubber piece that goes around the door, called the washer boot, may have mold behind the flap. Most refrigerators have a drain pan underneath the appliance that catches the condensation from the freezer defrost drain. You may have to remove the kick plate to access the pan, which may contain water and mold.
Other places to look under or behind for mold includes paneling, wallpaper, drywall, baseboards, and ceiling tiles.
Seeking Out Mold
Mold has a characteristic “musty” or “earthy” odor. It may look slimy or similar in appearance to that familiar “green fuzzy” material that appears on the surface of cheese, bread, or other food products that have been kept too long. When inspecting your home for hidden mold, keep in mind that the appearance of a mold problem has a direct link to one or more of the following sources of indoor moisture:
- Leaky roof
- Constant plumbing leaks
- Backed-up sewers
- Damp basement or crawl spaces
- Shower/bath steam and leaks
- Clothes dryers vented indoors
As you evaluate these systems and spaces, it is important to know that mold generates spores to reproduce, and the spores can remain dormant for 50 or more years. Be careful not to disturb spaces that may harbor dormant mold, and call in a mold inspection expert.
Remediating Hidden Mold
Hidden mold can present a challenge for most homeowners to remediate alone. Locating the mold may involve disassembling parts of your home, such as removing paneling, cutting away wall sections, lifting away baseboards, tearing up carpeting, to identify the affected area. You can easily infect areas of the home if you do not use the correct remediation techniques.
The mold remediation process requires experienced and skilled workers to remove and dispose of moldy contaminated materials properly. The EPA recommends that you call a professional mold remediation company for mold problem that covers more than 10 square feet. They have the proper tools and training to effectively find, reach, and remove the hidden mold in your home with as little invasion as possible.