Common Places Where Mold Grows
Mold can potentially grow in many areas in the house. Ideally, where ever it can find the right surface, moisture and warmth. Some of the most common indoor places include –
- Air ducts
In a previous article we have already discussed, how to remove mold from a variety of different surfaces.How to Remove Mold on Drywall, Wood, Carpet, and Tiles
This article gives insight on the signs and causes of mold in these areas as well as how to remove mold.
Mold on ordinary Walls
Mold grows differently on different types of walls. Removing mold from non-porous walls is easier than removing mold from porous walls. For non-porous walls, a quick wipe with a damp cloth is enough to remove mold. Mold killing solution like vinegar, bleach, borax etc. would be good but it’s optional.
On the other hand, porous walls like unpainted drywall require more involvement. You may have to cut out and replace the section attacked by mold because mold does not only grow on the surface but penetrates it.
Mold on Drywalls
Drywalls are made of substances that have a high quantity of cellulose in them. This causes molds to grow on them more commonly than on other surfaces. Because drywalls are porous, you may have to cut out the area affected by mold rather than clean it.
Mold behind Walls
Sometimes mold grows secretly behind walls and in wall cavities. These places are characterized by darkness, humidity, and moistness which are conditions favorable for the growth of mold.
For wall papers, molds typically grow behind where glue holds the paper onto the surfaces. Wall paper glue sometimes carries organic debris that is a source of food for the molds.
Molds behind walls are usually not noticeable unless invasive and mold testing methods are used to detect them. Such processes are best left for specialists to carry out.
Signs that Mold is growing on your Wall
Common undeniable signs of the presence of moisture in your wall include peeling paint, bulging, and discoloring. This might just as well be the start of the growth of mold or even an already existing mold behind your wall therefore keep a keen eye on walls showing this signs.
Smaller spots of mold on the wall are also another clear sign of a larger mold that could be growing on your wall from behind. Since mold penetrates porous walls, it is not unusual for mold to penetrate and show on the outer side of the wall.
Other signs of the presence of mold on your wall could be moldy odor and frequent allergic reactions like sneezing and rashes.
What Causes Mold to Grow on Walls
There are many causes of mold growth on walls but the most common are high humidity levels, condensation and concealed water leaks.
Condensation is the process of water vapor in the air converting to liquid and settling on surfaces in the form of tiny water droplets. Walls forming the perimeter of the house are more susceptible to condensation because they are exposed to cool air from outside particularly during the cold seasons or at night.
Condensation also occurs when damp clothes dry indoors or when steam is generated from hot water thereby releasing more humidity in the air. If the home stays in this state for a while, mold will begin to grow. Proper ventilation helps keep a balanced level of humidity in the home. You can open doors and windows and let your home get some ventilation.
Leaking pipes are usually not easy to be discovered yet they are another major cause of mold on walls. As pipes are fitted inside of or in between walls, when they leak and this goes unnoticed, the wall nearby is affected by wetness and eventually mold. Regular check and maintenance of the plumbing system of the house helps prevent this situation.
Mold on Ceiling and how to handle it
Mold on your ceiling may be a sign of high moisture levels or condensation or a possible leaking pipe or roof above the ceiling.
Most but not all ceiling are made of porous materials and this is a great challenge as far as mold removal is concerned. Non-porous ceilings are simply wiped with a damp cloth to remove mold. Porous ceiling on the other hand is more involving and will need the affected section to be cut out and replaced, as mold will have penetrated it.
Mold above the Ceiling
Mold that grows above the ceiling often goes unnoticed. It is usually caused by leaking roofs or pipes. Small patches of mold or mold stain on the outer side of the ceiling is a clear indication of the possibility of a larger mold colony growing on the inside.
Check out for water leaks, pipe or roof damage above the ceiling and fix the problem to prevent mold from growing or spreading.
Mold on Floor
Mold grows under the floor just the same way as it grows above the ceiling. Dirt and dust sometimes collects under the floor and these coupled with moisture create conditions favorable for growth of mold.
Tiles and carpets are usually associated with dust and dust. Carpets especially have the ability to store dust and moisture. In case of floods and water leaks, carpets take a long time to dry and this is the main reason mold grows under them.
Air Ducts and HVAC
Vents, ducts, air condition and heating systems may not only have mold growing on them but also conceal mold within them. A regular check and clean of these systems will keep mold off them.
Windows and Window Frames
Windows and window frames are usually caught between the air inside and the air outside. Therefore, it is quite common to find condensation on these surfaces. The hot air from outside hits the cool windows and frames to converts into water droplets. Now, windows are made of glass and mold usually will not grow on glass unless the glass is covered with dirt and dust.
Window frames too can have mold as a result of moisture on the glass running down the frames. For the same reasons, window seals too can have mold on them.
Insulations attract mold especially if there has been water leaks or if the surfaces have had mold grow on them before. Clean insulation can be deceiving. A closer look will inform your decision of whether or not to treat it for mold.
Unfortunately, insulation will have to be replaced if attacked by mold as it is porous and mold will certainly penetrate it.
Clothes need to remain dry and aerated at all time whether clean or dirty. This is because damp clothes sitting on a pile either waiting to be washed or after being washed, attract mold rather fast. It takes a day for mold to start growing on wet clothes.
Mold on Furniture
Furniture is commonly made from wood and fabric and both of these are organic material. Furniture in houses with high levels of moisture usually ends up having mold if moisture problem is not addressed.
Furniture are best placed away from the walls as this reduces air flow around them, also making them exposed to condensation. A regular check on your furniture including the lower parts will help you identify and deal with mold problems and causes.
Mold in Basement
Basements are typically dark, moisture loaded, wet, and on the lowest side compared with other rooms in the homes. Furthermore, they are the least used and poorly ventilated rooms in the home. Leaks from damaged pipes and roofs somehow often end up flowing to the basement. Also in case of floods in the area, the basement gets wet from water flowing towards it. This is why mold is more common on basements than in any other room.
For basements, mold will grow on walls, wood, frames, posts, and literally any other part. If mold goes unnoticed for some time, it can eat up and weaken frames causing more damage.
If you sense dampness, heavy moisture and are experiencing allergic reactions, then there is a possibility that mold is growing in your basement. Plan for a regular check up and maintenance of your basement as well as proper ventilation and lighting, this way you will have dealt with the mold problem.