Mildew Prevention

Mildew is produced by mold.  It is a thick black growth substance that can sometimes be white. Mildew needs moisture and particular temperatures in order to grow.  Mold has the capability to grow on just about anything.  Mildew will flourish where ever it is damp, poorly lit, warm and where air is poorly circulated.  Some places you should check often for the growth of mildew is your basement, cellars, crawl spaces, bathrooms and even closets where you store your clothing.  Mildew can be found on draperies, shower curtains and damp clothes and towels. You can even find molds and mildew growing in new homes as well because of the moisture in the building materials. 

As molds grow, they can leave a musty odor and can cause considerable damage by discoloring fabrics and leather.  It can continue to eat through them until they rot and fall apart.  

Take precautions in order to protect your belongings.  You must identify places in your home where mold is likely to form.  Environments that are ideal for mildew growth are ones with high humidity and warm temperatures.  Soil on dirty articles, including your clothing will have enough nutrients for mildew to start growing when the environment is right.  If you have any greasy films such as in the kitchen area, this is also a prime place for mildew to grow as the grease provides food for this type of mold. Make a point to keep all of these areas as clean and dry as possible. 

Since mildew cannot exist without moisture, prevention is basically done by seeking out areas that are too moist and drying them up. Excessive moisture can also indicate that repairs need to be made. If your basement is moist or gets flooded, replace cracked or defective mortar and be sure to have adequate outside drainage.  Be sure your dryer vent exhausts outside to prevent moisture from staying inside.  To get rid of dampness throughout the house, heat for a short time, then let out the heated air which will contain the moisture by opening up the doors and windows. An exhaust fan may also prove very beneficial to the prevention of mildew. 

Many air conditioning systems take up warm air, cooling it and then recirculating the cool, dry air back into the room. You can attach a humidistat to your unit to control the humidity level. When using air conditioning systems and dehumidifiers, keep your windows and doors closed.  Air movement and good ventilation are excellent at removing moisture. When the air outside is dryer than the air inside, ventilation allows the dry air to enter and then get carried back outside.  If the breeze from outside is not enough to ventilate, you can use a fan by the window.

Dry clothing or other cloth items before placing them in your hamper because this is an excellent breeding ground for mold and mildew. Be sure to dry washed fabrics and garments quickly and thoroughly.  Drying them slowly can cause sour and musty smells. 

Stretch out wet shower curtains or dry with a cloth. Shower curtains can get moldy quickly.  

Just remember, musty odors usually indicate mold growth. 

Happy Cleaning! 🙂


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