Updated: Feb 22, 2019
When a flood occurs, it is not a shock to find mold growing on the drywall, in the basement, or even behind walls. But there are many other places that mold tends to grow. Have you ever thought of checking these places?
#1 Refrigerator Drip Pans
Drip pans under the refrigerator do exist, yet they rarely get checked. Set a calendar reminder to check and clean your refrigerator drip pan at least once a year. It collects water, food spills and when you add the heat that is produced by the fan producing underneath, it creates a perfect breeding ground for mold.
Cleaning the drip pan is simply a matter of wiping it clean with a mixture of water and vinegar or water and hydrogen peroxide. Before you replace the pan, take time to wipe the floor beneath it too.
Surprisingly mold does grow in chimneys. During the rainy season and winter months, water and dirt can make their way past the chimney cap. Another area of concern that pertains to the chimney is the flashing. Any areas that are not tightly sealed or even bricks that have developed cracks will trap moisture, which can entice the mold to grow.
An annual chimney cleaning can keep it working efficiently and safely, and a roof inspection to detect leaks can save you from the trouble and expense of roof replacement or mold remediation process.
#3 Windows and Doors
Wherever you have windows, there is an increased likelihood for mold to develop. Typically these areas develop only surface mold which is easily cleaned up, but the reason it develops is due to drafty crevices and condensation. This occurs frequently during the winter months when you have the house sealed tight and the heat running. Then when the cold temperatures from the outside produce condensation because of the trapped moisture and temperature differences.
Use caulk or weather stripping to fix any drafty areas, or have your windows replaced with quality insulated alternatives.
Whether you clean your dishes by hand or in a dishwasher, don’t let dirty dishes sit around. The food particles are inviting mold to come to the party. Keep your dishes washed and dried. As for the sink and dishwasher, clean them with a vinegar solution or a disinfectant of your choice. Don’t forget to wipe down the cabinet faces that have water or food drips too. Taking the few extra minutes to clean up after a meal will be well worth it in the prevention of mold.
#5 Front-Loading Washing Machines
The gasket seal around the front-loading washing machines have a tendency to stay wet unless the door is left open to air-dry. Get in the habit of wiping both the gasket and the glass window of the washing machine door dry prior to closing it.
Some front-loading washing machine manufacturers have proprietary solutions and instructions for cleaning. But, if not, when you notice a moldy smell coming from your washing machine, wipe it clean with a vinegar solution. You can also run a wash cycle when the machine is empty, using chlorine bleach to kill the bothersome fungus.
#6 Air Conditioners
Air conditioners are welcoming to mold. As condensation develops and dust particles or pollen accumulate, the perfect food source for mold is created. Be sure to keep air conditioners clean, change the filters regularly and watch for mold growth in the duct system and around vents.
Air conditioning systems that are routed throughout the home are fairly complex, so if you notice musty smells or see mold, have a mold inspector evaluate it for you.
You can help prevent mold growth in your home by routinely cleaning these mold-prone areas. Keeping your home free of mold growth will keep your family healthy and your home safe.