Suspect Mold Growth Around Your Home? 7 Places It May Be Lurking
Mold in your home doesn't just look ugly, it can make you sick, along with lowering the value of the house. While mold spores are common and basically harmless in minuscule numbers, if there's a source of water for them to feed on, they'll quickly grow into a major problem. Mold looks dark green or black, it's sometimes slimy and nearly always puts off an offensive odor.
Here's where to look in your home if you suspect mold is creeping up on you:
1. In And Around Appliances That Use Water
Your air-conditioner, washing machine, dishwasher and fridge all use water in one way or another and that may mean breeding ground for mold. Inspect around each appliance and inside of them, as much as the device permits you to do so.
2. Around Window Frames
Since windows can leak, sweat or otherwise harbor condensation, this is one place you need to frequently check for mold growth.
3. Underneath Carpets
Especially if your carpeting is old or endures a lot of potentially wet foot traffic, it could harbor mold. Get up close and give a cautious whiff: Does it smell musty? Although some of the gases emitted by mold spores have no odor, you're most likely to detect some level of olfactory unpleasantness. If there's a smell, find a way to lift the carpet while inflicting the least damage (just in case there's really no mold to remediate), then look for traces of mold.
4. Air Vents And Ducts
Because air, which carries droplets of water, travels through vents and ducts, this, too, could be a hiding place for spores. Unfortunately, inspecting the air systems is no easy task; thus, if you have reason to believe there's growth in there, you're probably better off contacting a professional mold restoration expert than heading in there yourself.
5. Beneath Wallpaper
There's plenty for spores to feed on between your walls and wallpaper, beyond the typical diet of moisture. The materials the paper and glue are made of may provide the ideal growing environment, particularly if the wallpaper is old. If it's already peeling off, suspect mold. If not, try to find an inconspicuous spot and lift away the paper. Any indication of growth should prompt you to contact a pro, as the act of removing the wallpaper itself can release the spores.
6. Within Walls Themselves
Depending on how well your walls were built, trapped moisture can easily result in problems. If you're not sure where mold is coming from around the house, wall cavities could be culpable. Although tearing through a wall is an extreme measure, it may be necessary, but again, this is where professional help should come in.
7. Up In Your Attic And Down In Your Basement
Anywhere moisture and darkness are undisturbed should be held in suspect. Check around and under the insulation on the interior roof, behind furniture that's been unmoved for some time, by water pipes and HVAC elements and anywhere else growth can hide.
Know what mold looks like, where it's most likely to hide and if you discover any significant growth, bring in the mold removal professionals. Mold is simply too risky to take chances with.