In order to prevent mold and mildew, control of and monitoring of the relative humidity in the home or business environment is of the utmost importance.
Relative humidity should always be kept below 65%. It is much less likely that spore germination (the way mold and mildew spread) will occur at around 45% to 55% relative humidity.
Since most home dehumidifiers only go to 50%, in problem situations of high humidity such as a damp basement, it makes sense to invest in a commercial dehumidifier. A temperature between 64 and 68 degrees F. should also be targeted.
Any conditions that raise humidity levels need to be remediated. Some of these may be leaking pipes, gutters and downspouts, leaking roofs, cracked walls or windows, etc. Proper humidity and temperature controls decrease the possibility of germination and thus growth of mold and mildew.
It is of equal importance to maintain adequate air circulation, such as with a fan (especially in bathrooms). Moving air evaporates moisture.
Caution: Do NOT use fans if mold is suspected to already exist so as not to disturb the spores and send them airborne. After moisture is gone, the invisible spores will go searching again. Fans can move the air to keep evaporating moisture.
In combination with lowering humidity levels and providing adequate air circulation, the home or business environment should be cleaned regularly to remain as free as possible of dust, dirt and organic debris that can feed spores.
You can also put a light on as microorganisms such as mold and mildew need not only moisture, high temperature and a food source but they also need darkness. Removing any of these four factors will deter their growth.
1. Take out anything that has mold or mildew on it.
2. Kill any remaining mold or mildew with a mildicide.
3. Vacuum everything.
4. Replace cardboard containers with plastic bins but make sure to position small boards on shelves under the bins in order to allow for continued air flow.
5. You may want to spray walls with a commercial sprayer containing 10% sodium hypochlorite (bleach).
Unfortunately, none of these actions will kill the spores so continuous monitoring of these areas is still necessary.
Should you find mold or mildew in your home or business, please feel free to call our office at 272-1566 with any questions.
We no longer provide mold remediation services, but we may be able to steer you in the right direction for help you prevent mold and mildew in your home or business environment.