A garage is a place that most of us use for storing anything from A to Z and then some. Housing old furniture, magazines, clothes, or unused items, etc. it is often not the first place we think of for a mold problem to start. Whether they are attached or detached, filled to the brim, or methodically organized, they can still be a place where mold can grow prompting health concerns and causing cross contamination into your home.
Garages are usually damp, dark, and humid spaces with virtually no ventilation which is the perfect place for mold to grow and thrive. Mold that grows on items in your garage may go unnoticed and unknowingly be transferred inside your home, promoting mold spores to spread and adversely affect your indoor air quality causing negative health issues to your family, pets and visitors. This can not only cause these potentially dangerous health issues but become very costly should mold remediation be needed in the future.
Mold grows rapidly on organic surfaces such as wood products, paper products, cardboard, and items like wallpaper, drywall, insulation, carpet, fabric, and upholstery. Mold will grow in paint, dust and can grow on the dirt present on inorganic materials like concrete, glass, and metal.
Some tips to keeping your garage mold free are:
- Water Leaks: Check for and repair immediately any visual water leaks in the roof, floor, or pipes. Make sure if your water heater is in the garage you follow your manufacturer instructions for optimal function.
- Weather Stripping: Inspect and properly maintain weather stripping on the garage door to keep a tight seal to prevent moisture from entering.
- Standing Water: Remove standing water that has accumulated in any area of the garage from weather, tires, spills, etc.
- Gutters: Make sure gutter spouts and drains are extended far enough away from the garage to prevent water from entering or pooling.
- Decrease Humidity: Use of fans, vents, or a dehumidifier to keep humidity below 50% will help to prevent mold growth.
- Distance of Shrubs and Plants: While plants, shrubs and trees are aesthetically pleasing, keeping it a safe distance from the garage may help to keep out dirt, water, and mold spores from entering.
- Cleaning and Organization: Keeping a clean and organized garage will limit the potential for mold to grow. Use waterproof plastic bins with good sealing lids to store items that could collect dirt and dust. Make sure paint cans are sealed properly and stored within bins.
Be conscientious that your garage is ventilated, free of clutter, organized in sealed weatherproof bins, free of standing water, clean of dirt and dust and keeping the humidity level low by using fans, vents and dehumidifiers will allow for the best defense in preventing mold growth. By taking these steps you can help to protect your valuables inside your garage as well as your home and even the garage structure itself not to mention clean indoor air quality for the health of your family and pets!
At Coastal Air Assessments, we work our way from the outside in, first identifying potential issues at the exterior of the home that could be causing poor air quality inside the home. Our Mold Assessments and Air Sampling Tests are timely, accurate, and a true asset for Florida homeowners. We’ll provide a detailed indoor air quality assessment that will get to the root of a potential mold issue and identify sensible solutions so that you and your family can breathe a little easier. Contact us today for your free consultation.