How Does Mold Grow In Your House? 13 Things You’re Doing Wrong

By: Diana Rodriguez-Zaba
Updated on: April 19, 2023

It’s a natural part of the environment and plays an important role in the ecosystem, but you don’t want it under sinks and behind walls.

Mold grows inside your house because it thrives in temperatures between 40 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit when indoor humidity is above 60 percent.

Add cold-condensing surfaces and areas that stay damp, and you have an environment that encourages unhealthy mold growth.

We know that you always take good care of your home, but over the years, our experience with mold testing in Chicago residential properties has given us an inside look at the problem.

Here are some surprising ways you’re contributing to mold growth around the house.

How You’re Causing Mold to Grow Every Day

1. Forgetting to Ventilate the Bathroom

Enjoying a hot shower creates a damp environment that breeds mold. If you don’t open a window or turn on the ventilation fan, all that steam builds up and lingers on walls and inside vanity cabinets.

2. Not Using the Exhaust Fan in the Kitchen

When you cook a meal or run the dishwasher, you’re filling up the kitchen with moist air. When you forget to use the exhaust fan, you’re giving mold a better chance to take hold.

3. Ignoring Condensation on Windows

Ignore condensation on windows, and you overlook another source of mold growth. Moisture on any indoor surface means high humidity, and it should be addressed right away.

4. Turning off the Heater

Finger on thermostat heating
Completely turning off your heater can lead to mold growth

Completely turning off your heater can lead to mold growth
Although a money-saving strategy, leaving the heater off when you’re away from home for several days can cause mold-friendly condensation inside walls.

5. Forgetting to Inspect Your Home for Mold

Without regular inspections around toilets and under sinks, you miss the first signs of mold problems. Even drip pans under the refrigerator and AC unit are breeding grounds for unhealthy growth.

6. Postponing Plumbing Repairs

You keep putting off small plumbing repairs, and that gives mold a head start. In just 48 hours, a tiny leak can lead to problems that require professional mold remediation

7. Pushing Out Bathroom Chores

Bathrooms don’t clean themselves, and it’s easy to put off this chore. Mold takes advantage of dirty corners; consider the advantages of professional home cleaning services.

8. Improperly Removing Mold

Your DIY mold cleanup efforts may make the problem worse if you don’t take proper precautions. While you think that you’re eliminating its source, airborne mold spores easily spread throughout the house.

9. Painting Over Mold

Painting over mold doesn’t make it go away. That fresh color you apply to exterior or interior walls is a temporary cover that will eventually peel as mold continues to grow and undo all your hard work.

10. Not Cleaning Out Overflowing Gutters

Gutter full of leaves
Overflowing gutters are ideal breeding grounds for mold growth

You may not like cleaning out the gutters, but did you know that mold can make itself at home in the drainage system around your roofline?

11. Ignoring Pooling Water

It’s easy to ignore water that pools around house foundations. It’s better to grade areas away from your home’s base so that mold can’t take hold and start growing up exterior walls.

12. Forgetting to Insulate Water Pipes

You don’t realize that insulating cold water pipes year-round helps control mold. When a surface is constantly cool, changes in surrounding temperatures cause condensation that breeds mold.

13. Not Checking the Attic for Leaks

You’re up in the attic, but you aren’t looking for small roof leaks. Whatever takes you up there, tend to it, and then check rafters and insulation for any signs of damp and mold.

Don’t Let Mold Grow

Controlling mold isn’t easy, but you have an advantage when you understand how quickly it takes hold in different areas around your home. We shared DIY techniques for solving small mold problems in an earlier post, and our teams are always available to tackle the big jobs.

Whether you need advice and tips or professional help with a mold problem here in Chicago and suburbs, you can count on ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba.