Your Kitchen and Mold

Kitchen Mold Removal

Are you concerned that black mold could be lurking in your kitchen, perhaps hiding in the cupboards? Not only is it unattractive, it can also cause respiratory problems for your family. The following guide can help you locate, prevent and destroy any black mold that has taken up residence in your kitchen.

Where to find black mold in the kitchen?

Black mold tends to grow in dark, damp areas, which means it could be festering in a kitchen cabinet or cupboard for a long time before you uncover it. For this reason, it’s vital that you identify the areas in your kitchen that are going to be most prone to mold growth. This will give you the necessary knowledge so that you can find the problem before it gets too bad. Places to check include the following:

    • Underneath the kitchen sink. Check the cabinet bottom and the back wall where the sink pipes enter for dampness or past signs of water damage, such as bubbling or peeling surfaces. Even if black mold isn’t visible, it could be growing on the underside of the sink cabinet or behind the wallboard.
  • Under the refrigerator. A leak from a water line to the icemaker or simple condensation collection underneath the fridge could create the optimum environment for fungal growth. If your kitchen flooring looks like it has suffered water damage or if there is standing water and mildew present, black mold could also be growing under the floorboards. Also, check any cupboards near the fridge to make sure there is no moisture damage.
  • Cabinets above or next to wall mounted microwaves or oven hoods. Another common trouble spot is behind the cabinets that border microwaves and hoods. This is because moisture and condensation from cooking can accumulate in these cupboard areas, especially if ventilation is insufficient.

Kitchen mold prevention

Since prevention is key to black mold management in the home, now that you know your kitchen’s trouble spots you are better able to stop it from growing in the first place.

Begin by checking underneath the sink on a regular basis and fixing leaks immediately. Keep the sink cupboard area clean and neat so you can empty it out for a quick leak check regularly. If you are like many people and use this cupboard area for cleaning supplies, place the supplies in a handled carrier so you can quickly pull everything out. A good time to check is after you have been using the sink, such as after dishwashing. If there is a leak, it is likely going to be damp if you just drained the sink.

As for the fridge, it’s good practice to pull it out and dust the rear coils every one to two months, anyway. Simply pencil this chore into your home maintenance calendar. You can then use this opportunity to check beneath the fridge for leaks and to make sure water lines are attached and not leaking.

Finally, inspect the area around and under the cabinets, microwave, and hood after you use the oven or microwave. If you find a lot of moisture or condensation, chances are that you need to add a stronger fan or better ventilation to the kitchen.

Kitchen mold removal

Black mold can be tenacious when it comes to removal. Although you can often remove the visible black mold by yourself, there is likely hidden mold that you cannot find for removal as easily. The basic removal process is as follows:

Step 1: Testing Testing is done if there is signs of moisture but no obvious visual signs of fungal growth. Testing may also be done if there is light visible growth, since the remediation firm will need to determine the extent of the growth.
Step 2: Seal the infested area The home is sealed. This means that the area that has mold, in this case the kitchen, is sealed off from the rest of the house so that black mold removal doesn’t send spores into other areas.
Step 3: Identification and replacement The cause of moisture is identified and fixed. Otherwise, the mold will simply return if there is still a moisture source. This may mean the removal and replacement of cabinets and wallboard so they cleaning can occur under them.
Last step: Removal and cleaning The actual removal and remediation begins. The crew will use a disinfecting and cleaning solution that removes and kills the fungus. Stains from the black mold may be present on cabinets, but these can usually be painted over and repaired.

Why it’s a Good Idea to Use a Certified Indoor Air Quality Professional

Why it’s a Good Idea to Use a Certified
Indoor Air Quality Professional

 

It is critical that homeowners who have experienced a flood (or even what appears to be a small amount of water intrusion) employ the services of a Certified Indoor Air Quality Professional to ensure the home will be brought back to the state it was before any water intrusion.

Why hire a Certified IAQ Professional?
A Certified Professional has a wealth of tools and technologies, such as infra-red cameras and moisture meters. These help source out potential hidden moisture, which can be difficult to detect with the naked eye or by touch.

Why does hidden moisture need to be found?
All building materials have a dry moisture content range, generally between 8 to 12 percent. Moisture content in the range of 17 to 20 percent may appear to the look and feel to be dry. However, it is still wet enough to cause tremendous mold growth and contamination that may not be visible to the naked eye.

Why is flood water intrusion so serious?
Flood waters are classified as Category 3 Water Intrusion. This means that the water can contain sewage, bacteria, and other dangerous contaminates that can get absorbed into walls, structural framing, and contents. All porous and semi-porous building materials need to be removed and discarded. A Certified IAQ Professional can ensure that this is done properly.

 

For more information on how IAQ professionals can help with flood damage, visit

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Share This PageWhy it’s a Good Idea to Use a Certified
Indoor Air Quality Professional
By Steve Levy

It is critical that homeowners who have experienced a flood (or even what appears to be a small amount of water intrusion) employ the services of a Certified Indoor Air Quality Professional to ensure the home will be brought back to the state it was before any water intrusion.

Why hire a Certified IAQ Professional?
A Certified Professional has a wealth of tools and technologies, such as infra-red cameras and moisture meters. These help source out potential hidden moisture, which can be difficult to detect with the naked eye or by touch.

Why does hidden moisture need to be found?
All building materials have a dry moisture content range, generally between 8 to 12 percent. Moisture content in the range of 17 to 20 percent may appear to the look and feel to be dry. However, it is still wet enough to cause tremendous mold growth and contamination that may not be visible to the naked eye.

Why is flood water intrusion so serious?
Flood waters are classified as Category 3 Water Intrusion. This means that the water can contain
sewage, bacteria, and other dangerous contaminates that can get absorbed into walls, structural framing, and contents. All porous and semi-porous building materials need to be removed and discarded. A Certified IAQ Professional can ensure that this is done properly.

 

For more information on how IAQ professionals can help with flood damage, visit www.iaqa.org/storm-damage-resources.