Mold is everywhere—it is in our environment and is in the air we breathe. It can be found both indoors and outdoors and is a necessary part of our natural environment. It breaks down organic materials and is a major part of the decomposition process. Mold spores found in the air is not hazardous as long as it stays within safe and normal ranges. If mold is found growing in your home, however, it is likely because it has found a moisture source and the spore count is no longer safe for you and your family.
One of the most common places to find mold in your home is the kitchen and it is actually one of the most dangerous places to find it. Having mold in the kitchen can contaminate the foods you are eating and the beverages you are drinking. The biggest issue with mold in the kitchen is that it can grow almost anywhere. Here are some of the most common causes of kitchen mold:
Leaks in general are one of the most common sources if interior mold. A leaking kitchen sink or a leaking water line for your refrigerator are the perfect breeding grounds for mold, particularly because they are in dark, wet, temperate areas. In these proper conditions, mold and mildew can begin to grow in less than twenty-four hours.
Dampness and Elevated Humidity
Dampness and elevated humidity levels are very common in the kitchen. Things like steam, spills, wet dishes or appliances all contribute to higher humidity levels. Kitchens are typically warmer than the rest of the house as the stove and oven put off a lot of heat. Mold loves warm and humid environments.
Rotten food is the best organic food source for mold. Foods that have higher water content have a higher susceptibility for mold growth. Mold can grow on food within 12 hours in proper conditions.
Ways to Prevent Mold in the Kitchen
Understanding the causes of mold in the kitchen is the #1 best way to prevent mold from growing. Below are some additional suggestions on things to do to help you prevent mold growth in your kitchen.
- Periodically check for leaks
- Wash the dishes everyday
- Ventilate when cooking or cleaning (open a window, turn on the fan or range hood)
- Clean your stove, microwave, counters, cabinets and windowsills regularly
- Take trash out every other day at a minimum
- Clean out your refrigerator and refrigerator drip tray often
- Wipe down your cabinets and food storage areas periodically
- Check your pantry for open/expired foods
The best places to regularly check for mold in your kitchen are:
- Garbage disposal
- Sink (on, in, and under)
- Cutting boards
- Sponges and sponge caddies
- Kitchen tools or appliances
- Behind stove (where crumbs can fall)
If you find mold in your kitchen, we recommend that you contact a mold remediation professional immediately. Mold in the kitchen can be a health risk and is not something to mess with!