Truth be told, black mold can turn your house into a nightmare. It quickly spreads on the walls and ceilings. If left untreated, it can cause respiratory problems. And just like other fungi, black mold thrives in a moist environment like bathrooms, showers, crawl spaces, basements, etc.
But will a dehumidifier kill black mold? Let’s find out.
Role Of A Dehumidifier In Black Mold Eradication
A dehumidifier won’t kill mold but will stop the onslaught of new mold and will stop further spore growth. It works by pulling moisture in the air to reduce dampness. Once the air is dried out, condensation will not settle on your possessions.
As long as the humidity levels are below 30 to 50%, the black mold will remain dormant. And because it lacks the necessary conditions to emit toxins, it will not spread. But once the moisture returns, it becomes active again.
When the room is completely dry, the mold appears crusty, sandy, or web-like. Keep in mind that black mold will release occasional spores. It’s imperative that you place your unit in the basement to prevent mold from getting a foothold.
A dehumidifier also reduces the odor that accompanies black mold in your home. This means that you’ll get rid of the musty smell. The most annoying places with such odors are the basement and crawl spaces.
Do not delay in such matters since once the mold sets in it’s difficult to remove. Generally, these versatile units suck up the musty air and replace it with a fresh one. Be sure to place your dehumidifier where you want to remove the smell at least 6 inches from the wall.
When running the unit, shut all the doors and windows. For the best results, you should leave the unit running for a couple of days. Make sure you check twice a day whether the tank needs emptying. The frequency will depend on the capacity and where its located.
The Hidden Dangers Of Black Mold
Unlike other types of fungi, black mold can remain undetected for years. It releases mycotoxins spores which can cause an array of health problems. Dozens of studies suggest that if you breathe these mold spores you can get asthma and allergies.
Some of the symptoms that you might be affected by this type of fungus include itchy eyes, nose stuffiness, coughing, and wheezing. Long term exposure can lead to chronic allergies and weak immune system.
The most common breeding ground for this mold is moist and warm areas. It grows on fiber-rich material and spreads throughout the house in 48 hours. Within a week, it can cover several square feet.
Once your nose gives the first sign that you have a mold problem, you should do a visual inspection. If you find it creeping on the walls, don’t fret. Make a bleach solution and clean the area thoroughly.
After that, run a dehumidifier. If you’re allergic to black mold, you should hire a professional.
How Can I Get Rid Of The Existing Black Mold?
Since a dehumidifier only stops the spread of mold, you should get rid of the black patches once you spot them. They are black, grow in a circular pattern, and look slimy on a wet surface.
On a dry surface, the mold looks like soot. The first step is to identify where the moisture is coming from. You could be having burst pipes or a leaky roof. If you don’t address the root cause of the problem, black mold will keep coming back.
Secondly, you should open the windows to allow in clean air. The cleaning products may irritate the skin and the eyes, so you should ensure you have enough fresh air. Also, you must have the right tools in your arsenal.
Make sure you have a face mask, goggles, and non-porous gloves to protect yourself when cleaning. And to prevent the spores from spreading, you should seal the room.
There are a variety of commercial products that can kill black mold. The most effective cleaning solutions include vinegar, peroxide, and bleach. If you opt for peroxide or bleach, you must dilute with water. You can use vinegar in its concentrated form.
As a cautionary measure, never mix these products to avoid unexpected chemical reactions. You can also use simple household products like water and soap.
Whichever solution you use, allow it to sit on the problem area for 20-30 minutes. After that rinse with cold water and pat dry. Because this method only kills the mold on the surface, you must use a dehumidifier to get rid of the mold spores in the air.
Your goal should be to maintain the moisture levels below 50% but above 30%. In some cases, you may have to use a formulated mold remover. Avoid using bleach on porous surfaces because it can do more harm than good.
Instead, scrub gently with soapy water. If you have a large patch of mold in your home, call a mold remediation specialist right away. A professional will know the extent of the infestation and the right action to take.
Choosing The Best Dehumidifier To Prevent Re-occurrence Of Black Mold
These appliances come in different sizes and capacities. The size of the unit will depend on the area you wish to keep cool and dry. But before you pick a unit, you should assess how damp your space is.
And to find the absolute best decision, you should consider your room’s conditions. How damp is your space? If the area is pretty damp, you need a large capacity unit. Small units absorb 30 pints per day while their larger counterparts absorb 90 pints a day.
Checking the humidity levels in your home is a straightforward task. Simply check for condensation on the walls, windows, and ceilings. If you want to test the level more accurately, you can buy a hygrometer. This device gives a precise reading.
How Should I Use A Dehumidifier To Prevent Black Mold?
When the humidity level in your home increases, you’ll see black patches of mold on the wall, ceiling, and clothes. If you have a unit that can handle the relative humidity, you can keep black mold at bay.
For smaller and portable models, you can keep them close to areas with mold growth. Apart from running a dehumidifier, you should improve air circulation in your home.
Wrapping it up
Black mold can be a headache to any homeowner. It hides in crawl spaces, basements, behind the walls, and remote corners. To avoid innumerable health issues, you should kill the mold before it spreads.
A dehumidifier won’t kill black mold but will fix the humidity problem.