The Global Hygiene Council – the same folks who taught us that the kitchen cloth is the dirtiest thing in a North American home – recently conducted a study in eight different countries to find what the dirtiest item was in homes across the globe.
As it turns out, it’s that grungy seal around the bathtub. A total of 39 per cent tested positive for various molds. As for bacterial contamination, they also rated higher than the inside of refrigerators and computer keyboards.
Bathrooms can be an attractive home for mold, which needs three things to establish itself – warmth, humidity and organic material to feed on. This criterion is easy to find in a bathroom, especially after a long hot shower.
Mold in the bathroom is also difficult to fully remove, because cleaners like bleach only kill the mold on the surface – not the roots. A professional mold inspection can help you determine if the mold in your home is dangerous or run-of-the-mill mildew. Meanwhile, there are a few other places that mold are likely to hide:
Inside of your air conditioner – Because of their moisture levels, most window-unit air conditioners are havens for mold – which then infiltrates the air in your home. When purchasing an air conditioner, ensure it’s a variety that can be effectively cleaned. If you have a central air conditioner mold can enter the duct joints if they’re not sealed properly and the same problem can arise, but this is far more difficult to detect on your own and requires a professional mold inspection.
In carpets and upholstery – Mold can settle in softer surfaces and be difficult to remove. The vacuuming or disturbing of these surfaces can release the mold, aggravating asthma and allergies.
Around or inside of appliances that use water – This can mean your refrigerator drip tray, under and around a leaky washing machine or inside of humidifiers that aren’t running properly.
Mold can be found in many more places than one might realize, and there are plenty of areas within a home that are hospitable to mold growth. This mold can be harmless and unsightly, or toxic and cause illness. However, the various species can’t be identified as either without professional mold testing, which is the first step to ensuring a mold-free home.
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