Today, I have a shorter post for you with a link to a video segment from “The Doctors.”
This segment is about unexpected places in your home where mold can be hiding. The video is not quite 5 minutes in length, but provides a wealth of information. As a quick overview, so that you know what you will be watching, I’ll tell you a little bit about it. The doctors consult a home improvement expert, Eric Stromer, about this “hidden mold in the home” topic. According to Stromer, the top 3 places where mold can grow, but that people do not always know to check are as follows:
- The flange under your toilet that connects and seals it to the pipe in the floor that takes the flushed waste outside of your home. If your toilet wobbles, or seems unstable, the flange could be broken or has become unsealed. If this happens, water can leak underneath the toilet and create mold growth. Also, the water pipe behind your toilet that connects it to your water line can leak. This pipe goes directly into the drywall. Any leaks that have to do with this pipe occur in or on the drywall. Drywall is a favorite medium for mold to grow on, because it has little to no moisture in it, so it absorbs EVERYTHING. You want to periodically check this area for leaks to prevent any major mold problems. Wet drywall is visible, and will be darker or discolored. If you find moisture, shut off the water to toilet ASAP, and use a different bathroom, if possible. Then, you probably need to call a professional to remove any wet drywall immediately, and to find and fix the leak. The sooner a leak like this is identified, the better the prognosis, in terms of mold prevention.
- The rubber seal on your refrigerator door. This seal that works to keep the cold air inside, but can also trap moisture. Because it is right in line with where you place your hand when holding the refrigerator door open, dirt and grime and food particles can also become trapped in the rubber. This only gives the mold more organic material to feed on. The dirt and grime can also cause bacteria to flourish. I advise you to go ahead and wipe this area down once a week with warm water and a mild detergent soap. After cleaning it, spray it down with an antifungal, like the EC3 Mold Solution Spray to kill and prevent any mold growth. Allow the spray to sit on the area with the door still open for 3-5 minutes, wipe it with a paper towel and close the refrigerator. It is important to dry the whole area thoroughly prior to closing the refrigerator. If there is any residual moisture, mold can grow.
- Your chimney. This is an often overlooked source of moisture intrusion in homes. A spark arrester is used to keep sparks from your fireplace from come up the chimney and catching things on fire around your home. They are also useful for preventing moisture and rodents from entering through your chimney. Check to make sure that you have one over your chimney opening. It is also wise to look inside your fireplace after a good rain to make sure you do not see any water. If you do find moisture inside the fireplace, call a professional to come out to your home to go up on the roof, examine your chimney and the flashing around it, and to determine the source of the moisture. Depending on where your fireplace is located, even if it is gas, moisture can get into the seams and can leak into the attic or be visible in ceiling drywall. This would also require some professional help to fix properly.
That’s all for now! I hope you will watch the video segment, because it is really helpful. The main idea here, as always, is to control and eliminate the moisture source. Once that is determined and taken care of, mold cannot grow and potentially harm your health.