The Hidden Places Mold Can Grow in Your Home

Mildew under the wallpaper reveals black mold buildup in the corner of an old house.

By now, we all know that certain kinds of mold have the potential to make us sick. We look for the first signs of mold in our bathrooms, basements, crawl spaces or any other moist, dark places in our homes. But mold can be sneaky and show up in hidden places you might not expect and might not find unless you go looking for it. Let’s take a look at what you should be searching for in some of the more unusual places mold spores can thrive.


Your kitchen has two factors that encourage mold growth—water and rarely-cleaned dark areas. Make sure your kitchen doesn’t turn into a breeding ground for mold spores by checking the following areas.

  • Refrigerator Drip Pans—Because they’re out of sight, drip pans are easy to forget about. The combination of moisture, poor air circulation, and even the occasional food spill makes them a perfect breeding ground for mold spores.

  • Around the Dishwasher—Even a small leak can create a big mold problem so, if you see any moisture around the base of the dishwasher, be sure to call for repairs immediately.

  • Under the Sink—Leaks from your water pipes or garbage disposal may be easier to detect, but even moisture from wet sponges can create enough humidity for mold spores to take hold.

Living Room/Den

We don’t usually think of the living room as a prime place for mold to grow, but there are several places you might want to check.

  • Windowsills—The combination of exposure to condensation, poor air circulation, and dirt can create a home for mold unless your windowsills are regularly cleaned.

  • Carpets—You might think carpets only get moldy if they get wet, but moisture from concrete floors or wet crawl spaces can work its way into your carpet and encourage mold growth.

  • Chimney—If your home has a fireplace, water from rain and snow can drip down your chimney. The porous bricks and mortar absorb it and give mold a place to grow, especially in the spring and summer when the fireplace isn’t being used.

Utility Room

These rooms are often small and don’t have a lot of natural light or good ventilation, making them one of mold’s favorite places to grow.

  • Washing Machine—Front-loading, high-efficiency washer are great, but they’re also notorious for having a musty odor because of mold growth.

  • Water Heater—Traditional tank water heaters are often placed in areas that are already at risk for mold growth: closets, attics, or utility rooms. Add drip pans or slow leaks and you have a recipe for mold.

  • Wallpaper—It may seem strange, but mold can grow under wallpaper in rooms with humidity and poor air circulation. The best way to avoid this kind of mold growth it to remove the wallpaper and use a mold-resistant paint instead.

Other Moldy Locations

Mold growth can happen in almost any place where moisture and organic matter are present. If still suspect you have mold but can’t find it in any of the obvious places, check out some more obscure ones.

  • Window Air Conditioners—Condensation strikes again! Window units suck in dirt and pollen from outside, providing mold with its favorite material in which to grow. If your AC sits without use for long periods of time, it’s even more likely to grow mold.

  • Filing Cabinets—Since paper is made from wood pulp, it holds moisture for a long time. If you live in a humid area, your paper files can become damp and give mold a dark place to grow.

  • Floor Mats—Because mats are a great place for removing mud and moisture from your shoes, they also create a hospitable environment for mold spores to grow.

  • Toothbrush Holder—A glass or ceramic holder is a convenient spot to store your toothbrush. However, it’s also a perfect habitat for mold, thriving on the water that drips from the toothbrush into the container.

Related Topic: Think You Have Mold? Take These Steps Immediately!

Find Mold? Call the Professionals!

No matter how you discover it, finding mold in your house can be a troubling experience. However, DIY mold removal is almost always ineffective and can even be dangerous. To ensure your mold problem is handled properly, call the mold remediation specialists at Rainbow Restoration. We’ll seal off the mold-affected areas, control the humidity, physically remove the mold, and clean up afterwards. And when the job is complete, we’ll make sure you know what caused the mold and how to prevent it from coming back. To learn more about our services, contact Rainbow Restoration’s mold removal team and let us help you breathe easy again.