Four Places to Check For Mold Growth
Identifying where you may find mold growth in your home can be the hardest part of mold prevention and maintenance - it can be tricky to locate and then, once discovered, hard to figure out where it came from in the first place.
But mold growth is a predictable problem, unlike severe weather or burst pipes. Today on the blog we’re going to go over four common places that you can regularly check for mold growth in your home. They’re areas where the technicians at MoldTech have a lot of experience with mold removal and remediation, and where clients sometimes miss the signs of mold growth developing.
One of the places we often found mold growth in and around your home is on concrete. An important and versatile building materials in modern construction, concrete can be found all over the interior and exterior spaces of your home. If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, you probably already know that mold needs an organic material, moisture, and a stable temperature to survive. Concrete, as a naturally porous substance, soaks up plenty of moisture, and a stable temperature is easily found indoors and out depending on the season - but what about the key ingredient for mold growth, an organic material?
While concrete itself isn’t edible to molds, its surface can collect dust, dirt, pollen, or other edible materials and trap them. Add water and temperature stability and you have the ideal conditions for mold growth.
Keeping your concrete clean, dry, and well ventilated is one of the best things you can do to prevent it from becoming a site for mold growth. Sealing it can offer an additional protection by reducing its moisture permeability.
2. The Attic
In mold remediation we go on about attics - in fact, mold growth in attics is so common we almost always start an assessment there, even if a client complains about mold elsewhere. The attic is such a frequent place for mold growth in part because it’s one of the least used parts of our home. There is often inadequate ventilation or improperly placed vents - and infrequent visits mean that water damage or pests go unseen and unchecked.
The attic can also be a problem because our indoor lives generate a lot of humidity, whether it be from running the dishwasher to having a shower, and that warm air can rise and collect in the attic, condensing onto wood supports and insulation.
Mold growth in attics can be easily solved and remediated - a thorough inspection and clean-up is needed to remove any contaminated materials, and then any moisture or humidity problems can be solved.
3. Outside of Your Home
Mold outside of your home might not seem like a problem - isn’t the outdoors where mold belongs? While this is true to varying degrees, mold outside of the home often points to problems within the home, and can be a problem for your indoor environment when spores hitch a ride inside with your shoes or pets.
Mold growth on the exterior of many homes is a problem - it can form right onto brick, siding, and other materials, and from there it makes its way into the building envelope. Mold can also take hold near windows, doors, and vents, where it can enter your home and become an unsightly nuisance.
The easiest way to prevent mold growth from the exterior of your home is to clean up any materials or litter lying in and around your home:
- Leaves and other organic waste from the garden can easily support a mold colony
- Old tools, wood, or construction materials leaning up against the home can trap water
- Dirty concrete (see topic one!)
- Rotting wood, especially around window and door frames
- Overhanging tree limbs can create excess moisture in roofs and along siding - trim your bushes too!
4. Behind & Underneath
The last place that we recommend you check for mold growth is behind and underneath objects, furniture, and appliances. Mold doesn’t like being disturbed, so if you’re regularly checking, cleaning, and moving things around, there should be enough air movement to prevent mold growth and any leaks are likely to be caught quickly.
It’s when things are left for months on end in damp conditions or a leak goes unattended that there can be problems. Mold is excellent at growing out of sight, and some of its favourite places to grow are:
- underneath carpets
- behind drywall
- on furniture pushed up against the wall or in tight spaces
- under cupboards and dark drawers
- underneath insulation
Regular maintenance and tidying should ensure that any mold in these places is caught before it can get out of hand. Some places, like behind drywall, are nearly impossible for you to check on your own without making a big mess, so that’s why it’s important to have a professional mold assessment done if you suspect any mold growth behind or underneath hard to check objects.
What to Do When You’ve Spotted Mold
Despite our best efforts, taking care of your home (and yard!) are a big job, and mold problems strike even the most diligent homeowner. If that’s the case, the best thing to do is to call a professional. Mold is extremely difficult to remove using hardware store chemicals - while many websites recommend varying methods, most are more likely to spread mold throughout your house rather than get rid of it.
At MoldTech, we use a number of different methods to remove mold growth from your home. We use:
- Dry ice blasting
- Soda blasting
- Chemical wash
- HEPA sand
The ideal method isn’t the one that we choose, but the one that’s right for your home and the size and depth of the project. If you think you have mold growth in your home, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at MoldTech, and we can start getting you on track to a safe and clean home today.