Mold can grow anywhere there's a food source and moisture. It will even feed on the oils found on smooth surfaces that haven't been regularly cleaned. All it takes is a moist environment, room temperature conditions and an organic food source for mold to feed, and you may see the signs of mold in just 48 hours.
When molds grow on surfaces, they appear as a discolored patch, such as black stains in your grout or a red stain on your shower curtain. Whether by smell or by sight, any detection of mold should be viewed as a red flag and an indication that it is time to disinfect.
A University of Arizona study looked at 160 homes in all regions of the United States and found the presence of mold in literally 100 percent of all those sampled. 1 The highest levels were found in places that people normally overlook: window sills, refrigerator seals, under the kitchen sink, air registers and entryways.
Soap and detergents can remove mold stains but do not actually kill mold, and any mold that is left behind can quickly regrow.
Regular cleaning with a bleach-based product like Tilex® Mold and Mildew Remover when used as directed can effectively kill mold as well as mildew. You should clean visible mold on nonporous surfaces (such as hard plastic, concrete, glass, metal) with an EPA-registered bleach-based product.
Most of the time, a low level of mold will have little effect on you. However, if you are allergic to mold or you suffer from asthma or other respiratory problems, the presence of mold in your home can be particularly bothersome. Exposure to indoor mold has also been shown to exacerbate asthma symptoms in sensitive individuals.2
The best way to control indoor mold is to remove its source. Mold is most likely to grow in homes that are damp, have high humidity levels due to daily activities such as showering and cooking, or have cold surfaces onto which moisture can condense. A humid bathroom or a damp basement is effectively a microclimate. First on your list of preventive measures is to clean hard surfaces regularly with bleach-based products like Tilex® Mold and Mildew Remover* that effectively kill mold.
1 Reynolds, K.A., S. Boone, K. Bright, C.P. Gerba. Survey of Indoor Mold in the Home Environment and Efficacy of a Hypochlorite Disinfectant.
* Use as directed
Common Causes of Mold
Places Where Mold Can Grow