Mold in Kitchens

Mold in kitchens is quite common because kitchens provide a great environment in which mold can thrive.  High humidity from steaming cook pots, steam from dishwashers and sinks, leaky faucets, and leaking refrigerators all provide sources of moisture that mold needs to grow.  Add a washing machine and there’s even moisture available either from steam or from leaks.

Mold can often be found in the cupboards beneath kitchen sinks.  Tiny leaks that go unnoticed, or dripping water from sprayer hose, coupled with the dirt and grease that can collect there are perfect invitations for mold, which never says “no” to an opportunity to set up a colony and grow.

Mold spores are found everywhere and they float through the air.  As they land, if conditions are right, they rapidly form mold which reproduces and creates more spores.  Some people are particularly sensitive to mold spores and will exhibit allergic symptoms such as coughing and wheezing when mold counts are high.  If mold is found to be growing in the kitchen, measures should be taken immediately to control and ultimately stop its growth.

Plumbing is very often stacked in a home.  Because of this, showers and toilets may be located directly above a kitchen.  Leaks from those upstairs bathrooms, or even condensation from drains can leak onto the kitchen ceiling, causing mold to grow within the ceiling or within the walls of the kitchen.  Often, because mold sets roots in porous materials, ceilings must be partially or completely removed to retard mold growth.

Wooden structures such as cabinet bottoms or even joists beneath bathrooms can be treated with a sealant specially formulated to resist water, which can help prevent mold from colonizing within wood.

As kitchens are typically areas of high humidity, ventilating them to dry them out is very important.  Use exhaust fans above the stove or install one if there is none.  Consider replacing an overhead light fixture with a ceiling fan to improve air circulation.  Air conditioners and dehumidifiers also help to remove the humidity required by mold.

It is best to attack mold before it starts or while the problem is minor.  Regularly inspect the kitchen for leaks and mold growth.  Unfortunately, when deeply entrenched, mold problems must sometimes be resolved through the actual removal and replacement of affected materials such as ceiling tiles, drywall, linoleum, subflooring, and cabinetry.  But before drastic measures are taken, contact a mold mitigation specialist for advice and a cost estimate for mold remediation.

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