When most people imagine the possibility of a mold infestation in their home, their minds tend to go immediately toward an infestation of the actual house itself. They imagine fungal growths eating away at their wallpaper, creeping along walls and ceilings, or blooming up in the dark, damp corners of the house.
This fear of mold attacking the home itself is certainly logical: after all, widespread mold infestations are one of the most serious health and safety concerns to arise in many people’s homes. No one want to have to deal with the sight, smell, and danger of a mold growth that has worked its way into the very fibers of their home!
What homeowners should not forget, however, is that all organic matter can potentially play host to a mold infestation. This means, for example, that even if you are lucky enough to avoid a mold problem in your basement, attic, kitchen, or bathroom, mold could still take hold through various household items that are made of organic matter.
Of course, these two problems are oftentimes interrelated. If you ensure that your home does not offer ideal conditions for mold growth, then both your house itself and your possessions will be less prone to an infestation. Likewise, if you do experience a mold problem in either of these regards, treating it quickly is the best way to ensure that the mold does not continue to spread. (Note: if you need to treat a mold problem in your home, RMR’s Botanical Cleaner and Treatment can do the trick!)
Here are a few household items that are particularly susceptible to mold trouble.
Wood. From coffee tables to cutting boards and even jigsaw puzzles -- our homes are filled with wood products. Unfortunately, wood’s organic makeup and porous surfaces make it an ideal host for mold. The best way to prevent such problems is to never let these items stay wet for an extended period of time: always use coasters, dry your cutting board, etc.
Cardboard. Often used for storage, cardboard poses a threat for mold growth for many of the same reasons that wood does. Though cardboard is not often exposed directly to water in the way that many wooden items are, it does absorb moisture very well, which is why keeping cardboard out of high-humidity areas is important.
Food. Keeping the fridge clean and ventilating the kitchen are the best ways of ensuring that no food is ruined and no people are accidentally sickened by eating mold-tainted bread, fruits, vegetables, etc.
Medication. Keeping medications sealed is crucial: moldy medicine can be ineffective or even poisonous.
Paper. That classic “old book smell” that we all love is actually caused by a very complex set of chemical breakdowns that occur with book materials over the year -- but it is often tinged with a small amount of mold. In small quantities, this can be charming, but if the mold gets out of hand it can ruin the paper and even risk triggering an asthma or allergy attack for the next person who opens it! Many documents, photographs, and other valuable keepsakes are made of paper (or paper-like) materials, which is why keeping these items in low-humidity areas is so important.
Visit RMR Solutions online to learn more about best practices for treating and preventing mold.