CRAWL SPACES

Crawl spaces are excellent dwellings for mold. Their dirt floors allow moisture in the ground to readily evaporate and collect on the joists above. Typically, crawlspaces have poor ventilation, which allows for spores to settle and water to condensate easily. The main problem with crawlspaces is that because they are not frequented, the problem often goes unnoticed until it is too late. If your HVAC system or air mover is in a moldy crawlspace it can spread the affected air to other locations in the house.

KITCHEN

Most of the fungi we would normally want in our house is in our kitchen. We use fungi like yeasts in beer and wine, mushrooms, and even antibiotics. Ironically, the kitchen is one of the best places for mold growth in the home because of all the water that is used.

Kitchen sink is probably one of the most used fixtures in the entire house. Be aware of water that may splash behind the sink and also check the seals around the basin to ensure that water is not traveling under or behind the sink that would cause mold to grow.

Dishwashers may leak or have faulty water lines that contribute to mold growth around or under the appliance.

Refrigerators, especially those with automatic icemakers, have been responsible for mold growth. Be sure the refrigerator is pulled out from the wall far enough to allow the cooling coils to function appropriately. Also, exercise caution when moving a unit that has a water line for the icemaker. Often times these copper water lines can kink or easily crack allowing moisture to infiltrate the area below and surrounding the unit.

LIVING AREAS (dining room, living room, bedrooms, dens, etc.)

Wallboard or Drywall is an excellent source of food for mold. Drywall is made of paper and a plaster like, fire resistant material called gypsum. When drywall gets wet it is very difficult to dry it out. Many times if you see mold growing on the outside of drywall, there is a high probability that the backside of that drywall is completely saturated with mold. (See MAS testing section to see how we can assess a mold problem in the wall cavity). Drywall will also wick water from the floor if flooding has occurred. Taped joints in drywall will become visible if a moisture problem has occurred. If you notice discoloration or visible tape joints, a moisture problem may have occurred and further investigation is necessary.

Carpets get wet for a variety of reasons. Floods, pet accidents, and leaky air conditioners will all help moisten your carpet. Many times when carpet gets wet they are dried immediately, however, the padding beneath them stays damp and allows for mold to grow. Hardwood floors will dry fairly quickly as well, but often times trap moisture underneath that cannot be readily noticed except by the mold that begins to grow on it. Many issues with Stachybotris sp. Evolve after water stands for a period of time in places like under hardwood floors or carpet padding.

Areas around radiators should be checked periodically for mold growth as hairline cracks in piping and poor bleeding valves can release moisture that will cause mold growth.

Deteriorating ceilings can be a sign of a water intrusion above. Possibly a leaky pipe, poor shower drain, or even a leaky roof may become apparent when tape joints not previously visible become noticeable. If you do notice ceiling deterioration, address the problem immediately as it has probably been occurring for some time in order to affect the drywall or plaster above.

 
 


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