Preventing and Treating House Mildew Growth

Have you ever walked into a house and immediately noticed an earthy or musty odor? Did you notice excess moisture on the windows or heating pipes or dark stains on the floorboards? Is this (hopefully not) your house? These and other tell tale signs point to mold and mildew problems, problems that can be resolved with the right approach.

What is Mildew?

Mildew is a form of mold. Mold is a fungus. Mildew thrives where there is moisture. If your house’s moisture level is too high, mold and mildew will grow and reproduce by generating spores. As the mildew grows it will destroy the material it is living on, and the spores it releases can be hazardous to your health if inhaled.

Where does Mildew Grow?

Mold grows in places with excess moisture, so the obvious places are bathrooms, basements, kitchens, and around air conditioning vents. In fact a recent study found mold and mildew growing on 88% of windowsills, 83% of refrigerator seals, and on 49% of shower grout You will also find it hiding in places like closets, under carpets, behind wallpaper and paneling, and around pipes and duct work.

How can I tell if I have a mildew problem?

–  Look for visible signs, of mold and mildew growth. Mold and mildew can appear cottony or granular and have varied colors of black, brown, green, yellow or white.

–  Inspect areas that have noticeable mold and mildew odors.

–  Look for evidence of excess moisture or standing water, especially around walls, ceilings, and sinks.  Check under your carpets and around your windows, windowpanes are ideal grounds for mildew growth as they are near an outside wall, where cold air meets the warm air inside, producing moisture.

How do I prevent mildew growth?

The absolute best step in preventing mildew growth is controlling your homes moisture. You want to keep the humidity in your house below 50%. You can control the humidity by using a dehumidifier. The humidifier may come with a gauge that tells you this, if not, consider purchasing a hygrometer, which will give you the humidity reading. Both of these products can be purchased for around $ 40. Keep your closets, dressers or drawers and all the other places where the mildew is likely to grow, absolutely clean. Try controlling moisture in your basement by waterproofing using cement paints containing mineral coloring for an extra tough coat.