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The No. 1 Mistake That Leads To Mold Growth, From A Functional MD

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July 20, 2022
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You may know that mold can have a negative effect on your health, but finding out where it may be lurking around your home can prove challenging. After all, mold thrives in dark, moist places, which means it's often hiding in hard-to-see spots. To shed some light on the most common mold sites around the home, we spoke with functional medicine doctor and mold toxicity expert Ann Shippy, M.D., on the mindbodygreen podcast

You can find all of her tried-and-true tips here, but below, Shippy shares the No. 1 mistake people make that leads to mold growth.

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The No. 1 mistake that leads to mold growth.

Short answer? Take a peek at your bathroom. Now, it's not surprising that the bathroom is a potential hot spot for mold, thanks to increased levels of humidity from the shower's steam. However, where, exactly, that mold grows might shock you: According to Shippy, "Do not put wallpaper in the bathroom. That's just a place to collect humidity and cause problems there."

See, steam from the shower can easily become trapped behind wallpaper, creating a dark and moist environment for mold to grow. Plus, it can be hard to detect because of the paper covering it. While you might love the design of your adorned walls, the mold festering behind it isn't so pretty. Not to mention, it can take a while before you notice anything has gone awry since the paper shields mold growth from view.

If you already have wallpaper in your bathroom, not to worry; Shippy simply suggests being extra vigilant about reducing excess moisture in the area. "Definitely put moisture detectors in so that you know if there's been a slow leak in a cabinet," she suggests. In terms of product recommendations, she prefers the Govee Wi-Fi Water Sensors, which you can monitor from your phone while you're away.

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The takeaway.

If you're redecorating your home, you may want to think twice before putting wallpaper in your bathroom, as it yields a higher potential for mold growth. And if your walls are already adorned, just be sure to keep an eye on excess moisture. For more tips on protecting yourself from mold exposure, make sure to tune in to the full episode on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, or check out the video below!