Mold requires a specific environment to thrive, including an organic base, moisture, and oxygen. Unfortunately, these conditions are found in areas throughout your home. It's not unusual to find mold growing in the grout around your bathtub or a leaking pipe under your kitchen sink.
However, there are other, more unexpected areas in your home where mold might be growing, spreading, and making your family sick. Here are a few unexpected spots inside your home where you might find mold and what to do about it.
Inside Your Dishwasher
Most dishwasher clean off food, grease, and other contaminants with super-heated water. The clean dishes are then dried thoroughly before you pull them out and place them back in your cupboards. A lack of visible mold on the dishwasher's main interior compartment doesn't mean mold isn't lurking somewhere else.
Pull back the rubber gasket around your dishwasher's door and chances are, you will find some mold. The interior of your dishwasher might be bone dry, but the gasket is constantly exposed to moisture and because it doesn't dry properly, it becomes the ideal environment for mold to thrive. Replace the rubber gasket and remember to wipe it down periodically to prevent future mold growth.
The rubber gasket on the door of your front loading washing machine is another place where mold will thrive. If your clothes come out of the washing machine smelling like mold, chances are mold is growing beneath the gasket. Like your dishwasher, replacing the gasket is the best option.
Beneath Wallpaper and Inside Filing Cabinets
Cellulose is a main ingredient in all the paper products throughout your home, including wallpaper, the paper in your books, and the paper found in your filing cabinets. If your home is humid, you suffer a flood, or if any paper in your home is exposed to water, mold will begin feeding on the cellulose and growing rapidly.
Lift a corner of your wallpaper and check for mold formation. Unfortunately, if mold covers the underside of your wallpaper, mold has likely infiltrated the drywall underneath as well. Mold also thrives inside filing cabinets because the environment is dark and potentially damp, which is the ideal environment for mold growth.
If you notice mold on your wallpaper, contact a professional remediation team to remove the paper and test the drywall underneath for mold infiltration. Do not attempt to eliminate the mold on the paper or the drywall beneath it by yourself. In addition to being dangerous for your health, DIY mold remediation can cause the spores to become airborne and spread throughout your home.
Covering Your Child's Toys
If you're like most parents, you spend a good portion of your day yelling at your kids to get their toys out of their mouth. Unfortunately, all the germs, leftover food particles, and saliva covering your child's toys creates an ideal breeding ground for mold. Vinyl or plastic toys can become covered in mold as well when mold grows on the dirt that covers the toys.
Scrub off the toys with soapy water and place them in the sunlight to dry completely to eliminate mold. Do not clean your child's toys with any harsh chemicals, including bleach. If the toys are covered with mold, including after they are cleaned, throw them away to avoid making your child sick and spreading spores throughout your home.
Mold grows in a moist, warm environment, including several unexpected areas throughout your home. If you have any additional questions about mold or need to have your home tested or mold professionally remediated, don't hesitate to contact the professionals at Piedmont Disaster Services.