Most people are aware that mold grows best in dark, damp, porous environments. If your house has a windowless room covered in old wallpaper, and there are leaky pipes in the walls, it will be no surprise to discover a mold problem there.
But there are other, lesser known factors that can cause or exacerbate mold infestations in your home or business. Keeping an eye them can help you prevent future infestations, and if you already have a mold problem, they can ensure that your removal efforts have lasting effects.
Here are a few common factors that many people don’t realize can contribute to mold.
An environment that is too dry can cause health problems, such as dry skin or sinuses. It can also interfere with sleep. May people use humidifiers to rectify these problems, pumping moisture into the air using a central or standalone appliance. However, improperly maintained humidifiers, or improper use of humidifiers, can help mold grow. “Misting” humidifiers can actually spread mold directly if the water or filtration inside the unit is dirty; and the area around unit itself become overly moist, creating optimal conditions for mold growth.
2. House plants
Potted plants are a lively and attractive addition to any indoor space, but they can also attract mold. Most often, mold is found in the soil (usually the top layer), but it can also be found on the leaves. From here, all it takes is a slight breeze to transport mold spores through the air. A common measure to combat mold in house plants is to remove moldy patches of soil, replace with fresh soil, use an anti-fungal compound on the soil, and improve drainage within the pot, to prevent accumulation of too much moisture.
Porous and able to retain moisture, firewood is a favorable environment for mold. Many people who keep supplies of firewood indoors don’t realize it’s a mold risk. Old or rotting wood kept for long periods of time in the shade is almost guaranteed to be moldy, and mold can easily get transferred indoors when firewood is brought to be burned. Sunny, well-ventilated places are ideal for storing firewood and keeping it mold-free.
4. Indoor clothes hangers / laundry areas
These are often situated in basements and other out-the-way places. The extra moisture created by hanging clothes is one risk (and if there’s already mold growing, it can easily get into the clothes themselves!). Another risk is the warmth created by dryers, and the possibility of leaking created by washers. Keep a close eye on laundry areas, and whenever possible, hang clothes outside to dry.
5. Bathroom walls
We all need bathrooms, and many people like them to be the cleanest rooms in the home. However, the constant moisture and warmth produced by running water (often hot water) means that bathrooms are susceptible to mold. Cracked grout is of particular concern. Old, cracked or crumbling grout provides and “in” for mold and allows it to grow, feeding off the moisture produced by constant moisture. Fresh grout often helps; and some bathrooms simply have not been built with proper materials, meaning deeper renovations are in order if mold is to be stopped.
There are other hidden causes of mold, that’s for certain, but these are a few of the most common ones, and they’re worth considering! Has this list helped you to identify possible mold sources in your homes or business? We hope so. Please feel free to leave questions or comments below.