Mildew may be found on various surfaces. Even if molds are often present in the air, such that cause mildew require moisture as well as particular temperatures to grow. Commonly, they develop in humid summer weather, particularly in closed houses. Such molds grow on anything from where they get enough food.
Mildews and molds are microscopic organisms. They are not plant or animals, but part of fungi kingdom like yeast and mushrooms. Like all kinds of fungi, they produce enzymes, which allow them to digest and decompose organic matters.
Also, they produce spores, which enable them to reproduce and spread easily. There are thousands of species of such microorganisms and they’re found everywhere.
They thrive in humid, warm, and moist surfaces and environments and frequently seek out the organic materials like food and wood. This means that your home is a potential magnet and target for mildew and mold.
How Mildew and Mold Develop in Your House?
Microscopic mildew and mold spores can travel through the air easily and settle in your house. They require moisture to start growing as well as organic materials to eat so they’ll start gravitating to the surface where excess water or moisture builds up in your house.
This moisture may arise from bad drainage, flooding, leaky roof, high humidity, poor ventilation, faulty plumbing, HVAC problems, and any moisture source makes perfect conditions for mildew and mold.
Signs of a Mildew and Mold Problem
Thread-like growths and clusters of specks on the fungus-prone surfaces are the most obvious signs of a mildew problem. Some signs include dampness around and in the surfaces. You might detect also a musty odor. While smell, sight, and feel are always good signs of a mildew problem, you can’t always depend on your senses.
The hidden mildew may be growing behind ceilings and walls. They can be below carpets and floors or behind pipes and appliances. The bottom line is that mildew may accumulate and form anywhere moisture may form or accumulate.
The less obvious sign of mildew infestation might be your health. If you have asthma or allergies, you might be sensitive to mildew and experience some symptoms including runny nose, skin rash, congestion, cough, and eye irritation.
For some people, exposure to mildew may produce nausea, fatigue, respiratory irritation, eye irritation, headaches, and muscle pain. If you or your family members have health problems that can be caused by mildew, you must consult with your doctor.
How to Control Mildew and Mold Growth in Your Home?
There’s no way you can get rid or prevent mildew and mold from your house. The best way to control mildew is to control the level of moisture in your home. The key to ensure fungus free surface is keeping fungus prone places clean and dry.
1. Boost Air Circulation Within Your House
Consider ventilating your house with dry air from the outside. Give warm air to every area of the house, particularly along the inside of the exterior walls. Open the windows on a regular basis and use the fans.
Move big objects several inches away from the exterior walls to provide great air circulation. Install and consider using exhaust fans in your bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens. You should also use old-fashioned propeller fans and ceiling fans regularly throughout your home.
2. Repair Any Moisture Problems in Your House
Search for any water leaks in your house and stop them. Repair the leaky roofs or plumbing fixtures. Replace or repair old heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.
If moisture and water accumulates in basement walls and concrete slabs, you might have to install a dehumidifier or sump pump. Never procrastinate because delays might have some devastating consequences.
3. Install a Dehumidification or Humidification System
Available with majority of cooling and heating systems or as an additional unit to your older systems, dehumidification or humidification controls may let you set the perfect level for dryness moisture in your house and experience the right indoor air quality throughout the year.
Generally, the recommended indoor humidity levels are between 30 percent and 50 percent.
4. Ask for Help from HVAC Contractors
Ask a particular HVAC contractor to check your HVAC unit to ensure if it is running and sized properly to eliminate humidity. If your system is very big or if airflow is not right, your air conditioner won’t get rid of the humidity like it must.
Moreover, ask contractors to check the duct system for air leak and air flow and proper size to every room.
5. Insulate and Ventilate Crawl and Attic Spaces
Warm and moist air would collect and rise in your attic. Right attic ventilation will let it dissipate away from your house. Dirt floor in the crawlspace must be covered with plastic as vapor barrier to avoid moisture from the soil increasing the levels of humidity in your house.
If there’s standing water or there’s wet soil, dry it out with the fans before covering your floor.
6. Call for Some Expert Contractors
If the moisture problem is because of the leak from the water pipe, shower, bathtub or toilet, consider hiring a plumber to fix the leak. If leak is in the walls, ceiling, and roof, consider hiring a roofing contractor.
If leaks have caused structural damage and substantial water or if your mildew infiltration is extensive, you would want to hire contractors who specialize in water damage repairs and mold remediation.
7. Try Using a Natural Remedy
As an environmentally-friendly and safe alternative to bleaches and some chemical anti-fungal agents, you might want to look in the kitchen cupboard and pantry and try distilled vinegar, grapefruit seed extract, and tea tree oil.
Use straight and combine with water. You may use a spray bottle for this and wipe it with a sponge on majority of surfaces to prevent or clean up mildew and mold formation.
There are various things that cause mildew and mold in your house. But, no matter what the cause of mold and mildew, you can follow those tips to prevent them from coming back.