Preventing Mold Growth on Stored Items
During the holidays your home seems to have grown smaller. Between parties, gifts and decorations stuff just accumulates. It’s time to do some purging to make space. Out with the old – in with the new! However, sometimes it’s difficult to part with some of the old. Let’s face it, some old stuff could prove to be quite valuable or sentimental. Those items should probably be put away for safe keeping. But this could prove trickier than you first thought. Looking back on some of your old items that have been stored away for a while, you notice some have been overrun by mold and mildew. The question: how do you go about preventing mold growth on stored items?
Differences between mold and mildew
Mold and mildew are fungi growths found on numerous surfaces. One of the biggest differences is in appearance as well as the surfaces where they grow. Mold is usually thicker and is either black, green, red or blue in color. Mildew, however, is often lighter, is powdery and gray or white in color. The culprits develop in moist, warm areas. Mildew is more likely found in showers as well as on paper and fabrics. Mold however, tends to form on foods, wood, leather and in walls and other permanent structures. While mildew has a powdery look, mold has a more fuzzy or slimy appearance. Some mold covered surfaces can begin to rot. These invaders can destroy your belongings and cause harmful health issues.
Safe storage to avoid mold growth
The causes of mold and mildew are clear – moisture! Before storing containers, make sure they are completely dry. Make sure you’re storing items in a unit that has low humidity. It would be a good idea to get a dehumidifier for your unit or basement/attic. Another idea is to use a charcoal briquette. These absorb water from the air (these should be replaced every 30-60 days). Allow your articles access to air. Do not leave your items unattended for long periods of time. Check in on them regularly to inspect for any signs of microbial growth.
Basement storage strategies
When storing your items in a basement, make sure the space is free of excessive moisture. Repair any cracks in the foundation, and in floors or walls. Apply waterproof paint on basement walls to guard against moisture. Check your gutters and downspouts frequently for signs of clogging or blockage. Remove all leaves and debris and make sure water flows freely so it won’t collect in your storage space.
When storage fails and you have mold on your belongings
Hopefully you can successfully put all your mold/mildew prevention methods to good use. However, if mold does invade your home, you should call a mold remediation professional. Soil-Away Cleaning and Restoration is an excellent choice for New Hampshire residents. Once the problem has begun, you need an expert to clean the mess. With over 25 years of quick, efficient service, they are the ones to call for mold removal services. Call them 24/7 at (603) 641-6555.
Written by E. Aceves