Quick Guide to Preventing Mildew

How can you make sure mildew doesn’t grow in your home?  And if you have had a mold problem removed what steps can you take to make sure molds don’t return?

Well the main thing that you must do is minimize damp and moisture in your home.  Did you know that by simply doing your regular household chores, such as cooking, laundering and bathing, three gallons of water is added to the air in your home?  To prevent mildew it is essential then that your home is properly ventilated on a regular basis.   Simply opening the windows every day will really help a great deal. You can combine this with regularly heating your home so that the air dries – but in this instance you must then ventilate to let the hot moisture-laden air out.  Even in winter it is important to ventilate your home from time to time, as this is the only way to ensure that the air in your home is refreshed and hygienic.

Some areas of the home need special attention. Most modern homes come ready made with good extraction fan units in the bathrooms – these usually are set to turn on when you turn the bathroom lights on and this ensures that each time the room is used, damp air is properly ventilated.  If you don’t already have an extractor fan in your bathroom, you can get one very easily and inexpensively installed.

If you have a chronic damp problem in your home, you will need to take extra measures to dry out the air in your home.  There are two ways of getting rid of excessive moisture in your home.  Firstly you can use properly-installed air-conditioning units which are designed to remove moisture from the air – these work by taking in warm moisture-laden air, cooling it and removing the moisture and then circulating cool, dry air back into the room.  Dehumidifying units work much in the same way.

There are also a number of commercial non-toxic chemical products available which can help draw out the moisture form the air and aid mildew prevention; these products usually contain moisture-absorbing silica gel, activated alumina or anhydrous calcium sulfate, and are most easily used in closet and drawer spaces to prevent mold and mildew growing on your clothes and linens.

Finally, in some areas of the home, particularly basements, mold and mildew growth is accompanied by a musty odor.   The best way of getting rid of the odor in the basement once you have treated the mold is to sprinkle chlorinated lime over the floor, then sweep it up once the musty smalls have disappeared.