HOW TO PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM MILDEW ATTACK
Do you ever see a building or surface and wonder why there are these black or greenish spots and patches on them? Do you perceive this awful smell when you get closer? Yeah, that is mildew.
Mildew is sometimes confused for spirogyra and though they might look alike a little, they are not the same. Mildew is a type of fungus closely related to mold. Mold is commonly associated with bad food while mildew is commonly associated with buildings and other hard surfaces. Both are forms of molds. It is important to also note that mildew can also grow on clothes, leather, paper, floors, ceilings, walls.
Mildew requires certain things in order for it to be able to grow, multiply and spread. One of those things is a food source which is anything it can grow on such as buildings, leather, walls, doors, etc. Another requirement for the growth of mildew is an environment with enough moisture. This is why mildew is mostly found in damp but slightly warm places. It thrives better during the rainy season.
The type of mildew many people are most familiar with is the one that grows in bathrooms and toilets. This type of mildew is often ignored for a long time because it is thought to be dirt. This is risky because mildew often contains toxins that are called mycotoxins. These toxins are capable of causing allergic reactions and sickness.
Mildew grows in a variety of colors such bright and dark red, swampy green or brownish looking just like dirt making it easier to mistake for regular dirt and to ignore. Ignoring mildew can lead to headache, cough, sore throat and general irritation.
Myths about Mildew
Black Mildew is the Ultimate Killer: This is a very common misconception that has spread over time. The toxicity level of mildew cannot be determined by the color. Mildews are capable of producing mycotoxins and it is not clear which ones produce mycotoxins.
Mildew Can only cleaned with Bleach: Many people are of the strong believe that mildew can only be cleaned with bleach. This is false. Bleach is harmful to the human lungs so the safest way to get rid of mildew is to scrub it with soap and water. If very hard surfaces like walls or carpet have mildew, you can also clean them by scrubbing with soap or water but bear in mind that the cleaning might not be thorough due to their nature so they eventually have to be replaced. The only time you need bleach to clean mildew is if the moisture that brought about it is from sewage.
If it has no smell, then it is not there: This is a major reason why people ignore mildew and it is wrong. The fact that you cannot smell mildew does not mean that it is not there. In such situations, the best thing to do is to inspect your surroundings and check possible areas like bathrooms, sink cabinets, leaking roofs, walls with holes and so on.
Anti-mildew products are Omniscience Solutions: There are products that are designed specially to get rid of mildew. Although these products do exactly what they are meant to do, their effect is mostly just temporary because the mildew will return as long as moisture is in that particular area.
How Do You Remove Mildew?
The first thing you need to do is to accept that you cannot get rid of mildew 100% and this is because of their nature of rapid multiplication. Regardless, it is very important to remove mildew immediately you see it because delay in removing it facilitates it’s spreading. You should find out what triggers dampness in the areas in which the mildew always gathers.
If you continuously clean up mildew but do not fix up the reason for dampness in that area, the mildew will continue to return and spread further. In order to reduce moisture and dampness within the house generally and keep mildew away, the following should be done:
- Use air conditioners or dehumidifiers particularly in hot climates in order to reduce moisture circulation.
- Try and keep the indoor humidity below 60% if you can. You can successful track the humidity by using a hydrometer. It is not expensive and you can get it at hardware stores nearby.
- Air conditioner drip pans should be clean and free of any sort of blockage in order to aid smooth flow.
- When it’s rainy season, strive to keep the house warm because as the temperature takes a decline, it’s gets more difficult for the air to retain moisture causing it to condense on cold surfaces, aiding the growth of mildew.
- Be sure to add insulation to walls, floors, windows, ceilings, etc. in order to reduce condensation and further prevent mildew.
- Wet areas should be dried within 24 to 48 hours in order to prevent the growth of mildew.
- You should ensure that all leaks are properly fixed. If water is leaking from a source into the house, you have the options of landscaping, waterproofing and extensive excavation.
- From time to time, have a heating and cooling specialist check your heating and cooling in order to ensure that it is working properly and removing humidity.
- Open a window whenever you are showering.
- Ensure damp or wet towels are not left on the floor or in a laundry basket.