How to deal with mold under the kitchen sink
If someone were to ask you where mold was likely to grow in your kitchen, what would be your top-of-mind response? Many people would probably guess around or underneath the dishwasher. Or, maybe even inside of the refrigerator. (Yes, we're talking about you, last week's leftovers!)
It's true that mold can grow around a leaky appliance and on top of forgotten meatloaf. However, there is an out of sight, out of mind location where mold thrives, and that's underneath your kitchen sink. You may not know how to spot mold growth or what to do about it, so we're here to help. We'll also give you some tips on how to prevent mold from growing in the first place.
How to recognize mold under the sink
First things, first. You need to be able to recognize mold in your house. It's a myth that all mold is black. Mold comes in many different colors, even white. Depending on the material that it grows on, mold may appear in a dotted or mottled pattern. It can also look "fuzzy." The presence of a musty odor can also be a sign of mold growth somewhere in the home.
If you spot mold, you're probably thinking, "How Does Mold Get Into My House?" Unfortunately, mold is one house guest that does not wait for an invitation. Mold spores are in the air and enter your home via windows, doors, and even your clothing. Mold isn't something you want to hang around, but you're probably exposed to it more than you realize. And, mold only needs three things to survive:
- warm temperatures
- a food source
And when we say "food," we're not talking about fruits and vegetables. Mold is not a picky "eater," so to speak. It can grow on many different types of surfaces, including wood, cardboard, drywall, and grout.
How did mold get under my kitchen sink?
Mold loves the space under your kitchen sink because it's relatively warm, has the potential for moisture, and is full of "yummy" surfaces like wood and drywall. (With mold, there is no accounting for taste!)
Because mold needs moisture to grow, if there is mold under the sink, it usually means some repairs are in order. It could be a cracked water pipe, loose plumbing joints, condensation, or a leaky sink.
Many of us use the area beneath our kitchen sinks for storage. Be mindful that any liquids you store there are in tight, leak-proof containers. Check for water stains and even small pools of standing water. And make sure any cleaning rags and sponges are completely dry before putting them away under the sink.
Can mold under the sink make you sick?
Yes. In addition to being unsightly, mold under the sink can make some people sick. Exposure to mold can cause symptoms like:
- A stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Skin irritation
- Severe reactions can cause a fever or shortness of breath
Some people are more sensitive to mold exposure than others. Anyone with asthma, a mold allergy, chronic lung disease, or who is immunocompromised can become quite sick after exposure to mold.
Ignoring mold growth under your kitchen sink is never a good idea. Not only do you risk making yourself or your family sick, but the mold will likely keep growing and spreading. The longer you wait to remove mold, the more difficult and expensive it can become. Mold is nothing to mess around with.
If you're thinking about trying to remove the mold yourself, think again. Most DIY mold removal methods are simply not effective. In fact, trying to remove the mold yourself can actually make the problem worse.
How to remove black mold from under the kitchen sink
You may wonder, "Does bleach kill black mold?" Bleach is not an effective or long-term solution for mold growth on porous surfaces such as:
Mold removal from wood is harder than you think. In fact, using bleach to try and kill mold on wood can actually make the mold growth worse in the long run. That is because bleach is mostly water. And remember how much mold loves water?
When bleach is applied to a porous surface like wood, the chlorine may kill some mold on the surface. You may think, "Problem solved!" However, the water then seeps into the wood's surface. The dampness attracts mold spores, and the mold cycle continues.
How can I prevent mold growth under the kitchen sink?
If you've ever had to deal with mold in your house, you know what a nightmare it can be. Luckily, there are a few steps that homeowners can take to prevent mold growth in their kitchens.
- Routinely check under your sink for water stains, discolored surfaces, and leaky pipes.
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recommends keeping the humidity in your home below 50%, if at all possible.
- HUD also discourages the use of carpeting in kitchens.
Why you need professional mold remediation
If you have mold under the kitchen sink, it's time to call in the professionals. Mold remediation in your home is a two-part process:
- The water or moisture source must be identified and eliminated, or mold will return.
- The mold must then be safely removed, once and for all.
At AdvantaClean, our professional mold remediation experts have the right protective equipment and tools for the job. We know how to remove mold safely and effectively, without putting your family, pets, and home environment at risk. We've been providing professional mold remediation and water damage repair services for over 25 years. We know that emergencies rarely happen between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., so we do offer 24/7 emergency services.
Want to learn more? For more information about how to locate undetected water leaks throughout your home, read Small Leaks, Big Problems.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment with an AdvantaClean kitchen mold removal specialist!