Mold is a type of fungus, and these tiny organisms live almost anywhere indoors and out. They can be black, white, orange, green, or purple, they thrive on moisture and reproduce via lightweight spores that fly through the air.
It’s everywhere, and mold is usually harmless in small amounts. But given the right conditions, they can start to grow and release spores that you might breathe in. If you’re sensitive to mold and inhale a large number of spores, it could make you sick.
And mold likes to hide where you may not suspect it. It’s important to mitigate these sources, and professional help may be needed to get rid of the mold and clean the air.
So, where are these hiding places?
Windows and window sills are exposed to dampness regularly, and don’t get good air flow unless windows are open. If your windows are sealed correctly, you can prevent mold growth by wiping down windows and sills often, especially after a rain. Dirt on your window sills and tracks is tasty food for mold.
If you have older windows or have broken seals, you could have a more serious mold issue. It’s a good idea to hire a professional to find out what’s going on.
The drip pans that collect condensation from our refrigerators are easy to forget about. Sometimes, spilled food collects there as well. This makes the perfect breeding ground for mold spores.
Mark your calendar to clean out the drip pan once a year using water and white vinegar. If you notice a lot of mold growth, clean twice per year. Be sure to clean the floor below the pan as well.
It’s hard to know if mold is growing behind wallpaper until you remove it. But, if the paper is older or the edges are peeling, mold might have begun spreading where you can’t see.
Suspect you have a mold problem? Remove and replace the wallpaper. If you know there’s a lot of mold behind the paper, do not remove it yourself. Hire a trained professional to remove the paper and sterilize the area.
When removing the paper, only a pro will know how to keep huge amounts of spores from exploding into the air.
Tip: If you want to put up wallpaper, be sure to treat the surface with a mold-resistant primer, use a high-quality paste and remove all air bubbles. Don’t hang wallpaper in moist areas like bathrooms and basements.
That water leak in your room? The water had to go through the attic to get there, so chances are mold could be growing in your attic.
Mold loves dusty, damp places with little air circulation, so your attic is the perfect environment. Check your attic twice a year for mold and make sure air vents aren’t clogged. And if you have any roof leaks, get them fixed right away and have your roof inspected so leaks are caught before they become a problem.
Condensation is again the culprit. Also, the air that AC units bring in from the outside contains dirt and pollen, which are attractive materials for mold. Units that sit without being used for long periods likely contain mold spores.
To prevent mold, run your air conditioner every day, even if it’s only 10 minutes. Remove the unit and store it in a dry place, when not in use, if you can. If you know your AC has mold, remove it from the window and clean the interior carefully with water and bleach solution or hire a professional to do so. If your whole-house air conditioner has mold, you’ll have to call in a professional to clean it.
Front-loading washing machines may be great for efficiency, but they are notorious for mold growth. The gasket around the door is wet all the time when the washer is running and doesn’t get to dry out because the door is usually closed. And even when you leave the door open, you’ll find the telltale black stains.
Leave the door open after running a load and wipe the gasket with a cloth when you are done washing. If mold has already colonized the gasket, kill it with a bleach solution and keep an eye out to make sure the mold does not return.
Your drapes, upholstery, and wall-to-wall carpeting trap dust, dirt, and skin cells, which are all tasty food for mold spores. Compound that with a spill or a plumbing leak, and you have created mold’s perfect breeding ground.
Minimize your risk of mold colonization by vacuuming regularly, washing with mold-inhibiting cleaning solutions, and drying carpets, or upholstery completely after a spill.
Your sense of smell comes in handy here.
This is something you’ve probably not thought about, but when you stack dishes that are still wet in a cabinet, it creates the ideal environment for mold, especially if you don’t use the dishes often.
Thoroughly dry your dishes before putting them away. If you use a dishwasher, always run the dry cycle, and hand-dry the dishes if they’re still damp.
Overwatering a potted plant will rot roots, and the excess moisture can cause mold to grow, on the soil and on the pot. Mold spores like to travel, so even a little too much watering can cause mold to spread.
Because they’re exposed to significant moisture from rain and snow, chimneys are especially vulnerable to mold growth. Leaves, dirt, and other organic debris combined with the moisture creates ideal conditions for mold growth.
To prevent mold in your chimney, make sure that the top is covered correctly, and if your chimney gets a lot of use, hire a professional to clean annually.
Mold is almost everywhere, and can make you and your loved ones sick. Do what you can to keep mold at bay, and call in a professional when needed to keep your home safe and healthy.
We have a highly skilled team of mold removal experts with certification in mold remediation by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration.
At Complete DKI, we’re familiar with the vulnerable areas where mold can form and target them. We focus on hygiene and safety and change air filters on our machines so there is no cross-contamination.
Our team will start with determining the extent of mold infiltration and then begin the remediation process. We efficiently treat all types of mold problems caused by water damage, poor ventilation, high moisture, leaking pipes and ceilings.
Mold can contaminate that moist area of your home in just 24 hours, so don’t delay. Contact Complete DKI today.
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