Top Tips to Prevent Mildew Growth Inside Your Home

Mildew is a type of mold that is typically thin and either black or white in color. Mildew can grow anywhere in your house or office, where the area is damp, poorly lit and/or where air is not sufficiently circulated. High humidity, moisture and even the slightest presence of organic materials are favorable conditions for the growth of mildew.

Be it your basements, attics, moist walls, your rugs and draperies, clothing closets or even damp clothes, mildew can grow almost everywhere. Mildew not only leaves your house with a musty odour but also causes considerable damage to the clothes/walls on where it grows. To protect your house and your belongings from mildew as well as provide a healthy and clean environment for you and your family, it is essential to take few steps to prevent mildew growth.

Mildew Growth

Removing mildew is not an easy task. However it is also not very difficult. If you have identified the areas in your house that are infested with mildew, then you can definitely nip the problem from its root and make your house spick and span again. You can also follow the below given two methods to prevent mildew growth from your house and prevent it from reoccurring again.

  • One of the easiest methods to thwart mildew growth is by controlling moisture and keeping things clean. Be it your bathrooms or toilets, you need to keep these areas as dry as possible. Shorten your bath times, reduce water flow and spread your towels to lessen moisture and humidity. Moist walls, basements, closets and damp cloths should be cleaned and kept dry as soon as possible. Spread your curtains apart to prevent accumulation of dust and dirt and to encourage fast drying. Similarly while cooking, cover your pans and pots. Cooking oils and smoke that settle on the kitchen walls are also a good source for mildew growth. Keep these areas clean. If any of your drawers or closets emits a musty odour then, remove its contents, clean the area and dry it.
  • Another very easy method to prevent mildew is through encouraging good air circulation. On your ceiling fans, dehumidifiers, exhaust fans, air conditioners and/or keep your windows open for air to circulate. If possible, use heaters in affected areas/rooms of your house to reduce moisture and dry the place. If you have any leakages in your house, then get them fixed.

The above two methods will help you prevent mildew from your house. However before starting your battle with mildew, arm yourself with a pair of rubber/latex gloves and then get going.

  • If in case a small room or an enclosed area of your house is infected with mildew, then follow the above tips i.e. clean the area, control moisture and increase air circulation. In addition to these, use desiccants to reduce moisture. Materials like silica gel/alumina and granular calcium chloride act as desiccants. Keep these desiccants in an open container in your affected room or closet shelf. These desiccants will absorb moisture till they get saturated. While alumina can be reused after heating it, calcium chloride cannot be used after it liquefies.
  • There are a number of water-repellents and even soil-resistant sprays that are available at stores. These spray treatments deter mildew growth by lessening availability of moisture and organic materials. However before using them, it is very important to read the instructions written on the label and follow safely and as is.
  • For affected curtains or clothes, brush off as much mildew as possible. Soak and rinse these clothes in chlorine bleach or oxygen bleach with hot water. Wash these clothes as directed and then dry them off in sun. However before using them, check the labels on the container to verify if these are suitable for your clothes and if they are color safe. Wooden surfaces and painted surfaces should be cleaned with a damp cloth, dried and then use ammonia or bleach with water for cleaning. Never mix these substances together.

Despite the best of attempts, one cannot fully guarantee that mildew wouldn’t return. Hence the effective methods to keep off mildew problems are cleaning and keeping your house and belongings dry and take necessary and immediate steps whenever mildew raises its head.

About the Author:  Shanta Narayan writes on behalf of Sulekha.com, an online property portal catering to all the consumer needs in the Indian real estate sector. It provides information on residential and commercial properties, apartments, rental homes in a quick and effective way.

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