Detecting Mold Damage in Your Kitchen
Mold growth and kitchens go together all too well. When it comes to being proactive against mold damage in your kitchen, it all starts with being informed.
Beware of Mold in the Kitchen
Mold needs very few things to grow and multiply – nutrients, a place to grow, and moisture. Areas of high humidity and moisture, like a kitchen, are very inviting to molds. In your kitchen, mold is most often found under the sink, around the sink or tap, near window sills, behind appliances, and in or behind cupboards.
Mold inside your home increases the risk of potential health problems ranging from allergic illness to toxic effects. In addition to harming your health, mold can also damage home building materials, household goods and furnishings. In order to protect your family and your home, learn what you can do to prevent, detect, and remediate mold.
Prevent Kitchen Mold Damage
The humidity and moisture in kitchens (and bathrooms) make it a perfect breeding ground for mold. A minor area of mold can rapidly turn into a major mold problem. Aim to keep humidity levels in your home below 60%. The first step in preventing kitchen mold is ensuring your kitchen is well-ventilated. A range hood will remove humidity from the air when you are cooking.
Also, when feasible, open a window to remove further humidity. Inspect your window weatherproofing to be certain no humidity is entering the kitchen from outside your home. Finally, make sure your plumbing is functioning properly.
Identify Kitchen Mold Damage
In most cases, indoor mold can be seen or smelled. Visible mold growth may appear cottony, leathery, or velvety. Mold can come in a variety of colors, including white, gray, brown, black, yellow, or green. On furniture or walls and ceilings, mold looks like a fuzzy growth, or staining. Always check for signs of water damage and moisture. Moreover, trust your nose. Mold has an earthy or musty odor. If you smell something odd or see visible water damage, inquire further as to whether you have a mold situation on your hands.
Mold Damage Remediation
Once you have identified mold, despite your best attempt at prevention, what steps should be taken toward mold remediation? Minor mold concerns may be remediated without a professional. Act quickly and wear gloves and goggles. Most specialists caution that bleach will only remove mold from non-porous surfaces. Thus, if you use bleach to remove mold from a wall, cupboard, or other porous surface, it will return. Use a detergent or soapy water or commercial mold cleaner as your line of first defense. Thoroughly dry the area after cleaning. Throw away rags and sponges used to clean the mold.
If the mold promptly returns or spreads, further investigation should be taken. You may have a water leak or other problem. At this stage you may consider hiring a specialist like SERVPRO of Delray Beach. The Florida Department of Health does not recommend at-home mold testing kits. According to floridahealth.gov, “Sampling for mold in the air can be expensive and, if done, should only be done by experienced professionals.” At home mold testing kits are known to show false positives or false negatives.
Keep an eye and a nose out for signals of mold. Promptly clean areas that appear to show mold. When in doubt, check the Florida Department of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency websites for further information. Finally, professional mold remediation services are available to keep your family and your home mold-free. At SERVPRO of Delray Beach, our mold remediation specialists are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us today to learn more.