The Inspector

By NPI, Inc.

Melisa Rana
Melisa Rana


7 Places Where Mold Can Hide Inside Your Home

 February 19, 2024 |  Home Maintenance, Cleaning Tips, Safety |  mold, attic, garage, roof, basement, chimney, ceiling, walls, floors, home exterior, landscaping, HVAC, plumbing, ventilation

Everyone has run into mold from time to time in their bathrooms, in their kitchens, or around leaking appliances. While mold can actually come in many different colors and varieties, the dark fuzzy spots that crop up inside homes are usually easy to take care of without much issue, especially when addressed quickly. However, when left unaddressed, mold can damage and permanently discolor materials that they’ve attached to, as well as negatively impact the health of anyone in the home. In fact, according to healthcare professionals over on Healthline, overexposure to mold can lead to infection, lung inflammation, and other symptoms.

Mold thrives in dark, moist, and warm environments, which means that issues in certain lesser trafficked areas of the home can easily get out of hand. If you experience any of the following, schedule a mold inspection to find the root of the problem:

  • Family members develop health issues such as eye irritation, persistent coughs, or asthma flare-ups
  • A damp or musty smell develops in the home
  • Wallpaper or paint begins to warp or bubble
  • Recent flood or leaks are discovered

Homeowners can keep mold at bay by reducing humidity in their homes, maintaining good ventilation, and cleaning spills quickly. In addition, check and clean out these areas to cover some of mold’s best hiding spots inside the home:

  1. Inside Your Attic
    One of the most common areas where mold develops in houses is inside attics because they are notoriously dimly lit, poorly ventilated, and prone to excess moisture. The other reason why mold often goes unaddressed in attics is simply because homeowners tend to not spend much time in them, dedicating the area mostly for storage. Roof leaks that commonly spread into attics provide even more access for rain and moisture into the household.

    Learn more about addressing attic mold right here!

  2. In Your Basement
    Moving from the very top of the house to the very bottom, basements are actually incredibly similar to attics in that they also provide ideal conditions for mold to flourish. In particular, unfinished basements tend to be dark and dedicated in part to storage, causing plenty of obstructions where pests and mold can survive unnoticed. Poor drainage and landscaping that directs water run-off towards the home’s foundation greatly increases the chance for water intrusion and mold development. Consider adding a dehumidifier to reduce moisture in your basement!

    For more information about drainage and grading, check out this article from our friends at SodLawn!

  3. Beneath Your Crawl Space
    Homes that have crawl spaces also can see plenty of mold buildup due to these spaces being checked so infrequently and due to easy access for water. Crawl spaces can be difficult to access and maneuver in, so preventing mold to develop here in the first place is certainly the best option! Insulate piping, improve ventilation, and consider investing in a crawl space dehumidifier to reduce moisture and discourage mold development before needing to hire a mold remediation expert.

  4. Underneath Flooring, In Walls, and Above the Ceiling
    In the case of mold developing underneath flooring, inside walls, and in ceilings, homeowners should be able to detect a clear odor to help locate the source of the issue. Mold inspectors are equipped with special tools to locate moisture such as thermal detectors and moisture meters, but clear water intrusion issues like in poor landscaping or misdirected downspouts are more likely to tip professionals off to where mold may develop.

  5. Around Your Fireplace and Up Your Chimney
    Fireplaces and chimneys can get damp when not in use, and the porous nature of bricks means that when mold takes hold, it can be tough to eradicate. Keeping an eye on a home’s exterior is crucial to ongoing maintenance, so regularly review your roof and chimney for signs of leaks or mold growth to stay ahead of these problems. While mold isn’t a fire hazard, leaky chimneys can also increase flammable creosote buildup.

  6. In Your Garage
    Garages are known to get cluttered over time, and as vehicles introduce regular run-off, mold is sure to find its way behind boxes and under shelves. To stay ahead of garage mold, homeowners should sweep and clean regularly, reorganize their storage areas periodically, and remove standing water as quickly as possible (mold growth can begin in less than 48 hours!).

  7. Inside Your Vents and Ductwork
    Vents are a serious concern for mold growth because, if spores survive in these areas, they can be easily dispersed throughout the home. Vents and ductwork are tough to clean, so rely on remediation experts to remove the problem, and be sure to identify the cause of the problem. Homeowners should also check the condition of their HVAC units for mold due its similar capability of dispersing spores throughout the home. The good news is that HVAC units are much easier for homeowners to clean on their own with some regular attention.

Contact your local NPI home inspector to schedule a mold inspection!

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