HOW COMMON IS MOLD IN BUILDINGS?
Mold is extremely common in buildings and can be found both indoors and outdoors. Mold growths, or colonies, can start to form in as little as 48 hours given the right conditions. All mold needs to grow is moisture, a food source (like leaves or wood), and moderate temperatures (between 40°F and 100°F). Mold is often found in damp or wet areas like bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements, and anywhere else that has poor ventilation and/or high humidity levels.
HOW DOES MOLD GROW?
Mold grows by releasing spores into the air. These spores are tiny (too small to see with the naked eye) and can travel easily through the air. When mold spores land on a wet or moist surface, they will begin to grow. Mold can even grow on dry surfaces if there is enough moisture in the air.
There are four main conditions necessary for mold growth:
- Mold needs a food source. Mold will often grow on organic materials like wood, paper, and leaves.
- Mold needs moisture. This can come in the form of water, humidity, or even dampness.
- Mold needs oxygen to survive.
- Mold needs moderate temperatures (between 40°F and 100°F).
While all four of these conditions are necessary for mold growth in Granada Hills, it should be noted that mold can still grow even if one of these conditions is not ideal. For example, some types of mold can grow without oxygen.
WHAT CAN MOLD GROW ON?
Mold can grow on both porous and non-porous surfaces. Porous surfaces are materials that mold can penetrate and grow within, such as wood, drywall, and fabric. Non-porous surfaces are materials that mold cannot penetrate, such as glass, metal, and plastic.
While mold can grow on both types of surfaces, mold is more likely to grow on porous surfaces because they provide mold with a food source.
Porous surfaces also make it more difficult to remove mold since mold can grow within the pores of the material. This is why it is often necessary to replace moldy materials like drywall and insulation instead of trying to clean them.
HOW DOES MOLD AFFECT PEOPLE?
Mold can cause a variety of health problems, including respiratory illness, allergies, and skin irritation. Mold produces allergens (substances that can cause an allergic reaction), irritants, and toxins that can affect people, especially those with asthma or other respiratory conditions.
Exposure to mold can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- runny nose
- watery eyes
- skin rash
In severe cases, exposure to mold can lead to fever, shortness of breath, and even death. If you think you have been exposed to mold, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE A MOLD PROBLEM?
The best way to find mold is to look for it. Mold often appears as fuzzy black or green growth on surfaces. Mold can also be white, pink, blue, or purple. It can sometimes be hidden behind wallpaper or under carpeting.
If you think you might have a mold problem, it is important to have your home inspected by a professional as soon as possible. Professional mold inspectors will be able to identify mold and help you get rid of it.
SO, WHERE ARE THE MOST COMMON PLACES THAT YOU SHOULD OFTEN CHECK FOR MOLD IN YOUR HOME?
- Mold in Bathroom
Your bathroom is a chief suspect for mold growth. It has different hidden corners for mold to grow, and those warm showers you take don’t help in any way. Any area of this room that comes in contact with water can harbor mold.
Areas you must check include your toothbrush holder, the mat, your towels (especially if you never really dry them), the toilet and bathtub, underneath the sink, and between the tiles. One way to avoid mold in this part of the house is to keep it as dry and cool as possible. You can use a ventilation fan to dry and cool the room after every shower.
- Mold in the Kitchen
The kitchen is the second most common place to find mold. It is not surprising as it is one of the warmest rooms in a home and has a constant water supply. You also get a lot of leaks and spills in a kitchen. Mold in the kitchen is even more dangerous as you cook your food in this room.
If you want to keep mold out of your kitchen, you want to keep your kitchen as clean as possible. It would be best if you also fixed any leaks, no matter how small, immediately. Do a check of areas where mold can hide, like under your sink and on the window sill often.
- Mold in the Attic
The attic is one of the most ignored rooms in a home. However, this room is liable to mold growth. The worst part is that since it houses most of your ventilation systems, it can spread the mold spores to other parts of the house. Ensure to check your attic often for mold.
- Mold in the Basement
You know that terrible smell that most basements seem to have. It is not a basement thing but a mold thing. You can have a nice smelling basement if you get rid of the mold problem that this area usually has. You should also take steps like using a dehumidifier to prevent its growth.
- Mold in the Chimneys
Your chimney might be doing more than keeping you warm on those dark, cold days. It can also be home to mold during those dark and damp times you don’t use it, and the mold can also spread to other areas through its porous bricks. Ensure you often have your chimney professionally cleaned, especially during the season that you don’t use them often.
- Mold in the Air Conditioning Vents
While your air conditioner works to keep your rooms cool, the vents might be a different story. The warmth and presence of moisture make this area an ideal place for mold to grow. If you suspect mold growth in your vents, contact professionals to help you get them removed and cleaned.
- Mold in Air Ducts
The air ducts in your home, like the air conditioning vents, can also harbor mold. The hidden corners of the air ducts have the perfect temperature and humidity for mold growth. Just ensure that professionals regularly check this area of the house.
- Mold in Walls
Mold in the walls seems like one of the weirdest places for mold to grow. But, mold can grow under the paneling, behind the wallboard, and the wallpaper. It is hard to discover this mold. However, if you notice any wet spots or dark stains on your walls, you should ensure that they are checked out for mold as soon as possible.
- Mold on Windows
Your windows are your protection from the outside elements. They keep the rain and the heat out, which also means they have the moisture and heat for mold growth. You should check your window sills and corners for any sign of mold growth.
- Mold on Carpets
Sometimes, you spill water on your carpet. Your kids drag in dirt and other substances. Add all these to the heat beneath a rug, and you have a perfect place for mold to grow. You can prevent most of it by keeping your carpet as clean as possible all the time.
- Mold in Refrigerator or Pantry
If you are in the habit of forgetting food in your refrigerator or pantry, it is time to stop. You are only providing mold with a perfect place to grow. It would help if you also kept your drip trays and food baskets as clean as possible. Mold spores can settle in these areas and grow pretty fast. So, it would be best if you tried to keep your fridge and pantry as dry and clean as you can.
- Mold in the Living Room or Office
The living room can be one of the most crowded and lived-in areas of the house. With many elements, an increase in temperature, and moisture from spilled food, mold can grow on your couch, your curtains, and even your green, potted plants.
It would be best if you used a dehumidifier in your living room even as you keep it constantly clean. Your office should also get the same treatment as mold can destroy the papers in your filing cabinet and shelves if you are not careful.
- Mold in the Laundry Room
Your laundry room is a common place for mold because of the moisture and warmth that this room usually has. The washing machine is the chief suspect in this room. Mold can also grow on the dirty or wet clothes you leave lying around.
- Mold in Bedroom
Your bedroom is a scary place to think about mold growth in Granada Hills. Even more alarming is the possibility that they can grow on your mattress. But that is possible! If you love eating on your bed, you should stop. Excess moisture can allow for mold in your bedroom. You can get a mold-resistant mattress to prevent mold growth.
- Mold in the Car
While your car is not inside your home, it is one of the places you spend a lot of time in, and that’s why it has a place on this list. Your car’s upholstery, floor mats, and carpeting store dirt and moisture, allowing mold growth. You should ensure that you get a regular, thorough cleaning for your car to prevent any mold spores from settling and growing.
Mold can grow in any part of your home. But that doesn’t mean you should let it grow. Mold, black mold or toxic mold, or even any other kind, can affect your health and make you fall sick. If you have asthma or allergies, it could lead to severe breathing problems.
Your building and comfort also suffer from the presence of mold. Therefore, you want to find this problem as soon as possible and deal with it.