Updated December 12, 2022
Are you tired of dealing with mildew in your home? Then you’ve come to the right place. In this ultimate guide to getting rid of and preventing mildew in your home, you’ll find all the information and tips you need to eliminate and prevent mildew from taking over.
Mildew is a fungus that thrives in moist and humid environments and can cause a musty smell, discoloration, and damage to surfaces in your home. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to get rid of mildew and prevent it from coming back.
Here, you’ll learn how to identify mildew, how to remove it, and how to prevent it from occurring again in the future. So, if you’re ready to take control of mildew in your home and keep it away for good, read on!
One of the most obvious signs of mildew is a musty smell. If you notice a musty odor in your home, you may have a mildew problem. Mildew also causes discoloration and stains on surfaces, such as walls, upholstery, and carpets.
You may notice discoloration on surfaces near windows, vents, or other areas near moisture. You can also spot mildew on the underside of your roof tiles and the underside of your gutters.
If you notice discoloration or staining on surfaces in your home, you may have a mildew problem, so it’s essential to act quickly. If you spot mildew in your home, it’s crucial to identify the source as soon as possible.
If you don’t, the mildew will quickly spread, making it much harder to get rid of. For example, if you notice mildew on the underside of your roof tiles, you’ll need to identify the water source, such as a leaky roof, before getting rid of the mildew.
What Causes Mildew?
Mildew thrives in moist and humid environments, making bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry the most likely mildew problem.
The amount of moisture in the air is referred to as relative humidity, which is the amount of water vapor in the air compared to the maximum amount of water vapor the air can hold at that temperature. The higher the moisture level in the air, the more likely you will have a mildew problem and a host of other issues in your home, such as mold and corrosion.
Increasing the humidity level in your home, including running a humidifier, boiling water, and cooking certain foods, such as beans and rice. These activities create moisture in the air, which can contribute to mildew.
Tips For Preventing Mildew
Mold spores are always in the air, so you can never eliminate them. For example, a shower curtain may have a mildew smell after several months of use, even if you take all the necessary steps to prevent it.
That’s why taking steps to prevent mildew from occurring in your home is important. Here are some tips for preventing mildew growth:
Keep The Air Moving
Mold growth is encouraged by stagnant air, so it’s essential to keep the air moving in your home. This can be done by using fans and opening windows regularly.
Mildew loves humid and stagnant air, so ensure proper ventilation. Use fans to circulate the air in damp places like bathrooms, basements, or open windows when possible.
Make Sure It’s Dry
Moisture is one of Mildew's favorite things, so keep all areas of your home as dry as possible. Make sure to wipe up spills immediately and repair any water leaks or damages contributing to moisture.
Stains remain on surfaces, so it’s essential to look for them and address them quickly. Hot water on bath towels and clothes can help reduce the amount of moisture in a room and encourage air circulation.
Clean Off Surfaces
Wipe down walls and other potentially damp surfaces like shower curtains regularly with diluted bleach, vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide to kill mildew spores and prevent them from taking hold.
Mildew stains are stubborn and can be challenging to get rid of. That’s why it’s essential to take steps to prevent mildew from occurring in the first place.
Chlorine bleach and vinegar are two common and effective ways to kill or remove mildew stains, but if you want a more natural solution or organic material, tea tree oil is also known to be an effective way to get rid of mildew. Put the solution on a spray bottle and spray directly onto the mildew.
Use Air Conditioners
Summertime heat is the perfect temperature for mildew growth, so using an air conditioner can help keep your house cooler while preventing humidity buildup in the atmosphere.
The mildew smell can also be unpleasant, so an air conditioner can help reduce the odors.
Use A Dehumidifier
A damp basement or crawlspace is an ideal place for mildew to grow, so be sure to use a dehumidifier in these areas. This will help control the air's moisture level and prevent mildew from taking hold.
Dehumidifiers work by extracting excess moisture from the air, which can reduce the chances of mildew growth. Always empty the reservoir regularly and clean it to keep the unit working correctly.
Removal Methods For Mildew
The best way to remove mildew is to prevent it from occurring in the first place, but if you’ve already got a mildew problem, you’ll need to take action. You should first identify the source of the moisture, such as a leaky roof or a dripping tap, and fix it.
Next, you should clean away any mildew and scrub any stained surfaces. You can use a mild bleach solution to clean and kill the mildew. It would be best if you also tried to dry out any damp areas in your home as quickly as possible to prevent mildew from returning.
One of the best ways to do this is by opening windows whenever possible. It would be best if you also used fans to circulate air and dry out damp areas, such as basements, attics, and crawlspaces.
How To Protect Your Home From Mildew
There are several steps you can take to protect your home from mildew. First, you should make sure the humidity level in your home is at a healthy level. If it’s too high, you can reduce it by increasing ventilation, using fans, and running a dehumidifier.
There’s no point cleaning off mildew if you’re going to let it come back again. Once you’ve cleaned your home of mildew, you’ll need to find ways to prevent it from returning. One of the best ways to do this is by sealing up any cracks or holes in your walls and roof, known as penetrations.
Cracks in your walls, such as around windows and vents, allow moisture to enter your home, which can lead to mildew. You can seal these penetrations using an exterior caulk, metal or rubber gasket, or other suitable sealants. You should also ensure you’re using the right cleaning products in your home.
Professional Cleaning Services
You may want to hire a professional cleaning company if you’re dealing with a serious mildew problem in your home. These companies have experience with all types of cleaning, including cleaning up after a severe mildew outbreak.
Before hiring a company, you should ensure they are adequately insured, use environmentally safe products, and follow state and federal guidelines for lead removal. You should also ensure the company uses the HEPA vacuum system, which can remove up to 99.9% of allergens and dust mites from the air.
If you’re dealing with a serious mildew problem, you should consider replacing moldy and mildewed materials, such as carpet and wallpaper, with mildew-resistant products, such as vinyl flooring.
Mildew Resistant Products
Many commercial products, such as vinyl flooring, wall coverings, and paint, are mildew resistant. You can also buy mildew-resistant carpets and fabrics. If you need to replace any materials in your home, you should look for mildew-resistant products, as they are less likely to get moldy and mildewed.
You can also prevent mildew from forming in materials already in your home. For example, you can treat mildew on fabrics with a commercial product. You can also put a product on the walls and roof of your home to prevent mildew from forming.
The Importance Of Ventilation
Ventilation is the process of bringing fresh air into your home. It is a critical aspect of protecting your home from mildew. You can get fresh air into your home in three ways: natural ventilation, mechanical ventilation, and indoor air quality products.
Natural ventilation relies on open windows and doors to bring fresh air into your home. However, you should only use this method when it’s warm outside, as you don’t want to bring warm air into your home in the winter.
Mechanical ventilation involves using a system, such as a furnace or air conditioner, to bring fresh air into your home. This is the best method for getting fresh air into your home when it’s cold outside.
Summary And Conclusion
Mildew is a fungus that thrives in moist and humid environments and can cause a musty smell, discoloration, and damage to surfaces in your home.
The best way to avoid mildew is to ensure dry air in your home. If the indoor humidity levels are too high, mildew will quickly form.
You can reduce humidity by increasing ventilation, running a dehumidifier, and using dry cleaning rather than washing clothes in a machine. It would help if you also tried to avoid activities that increase humidity, such as boiling water and using a humidifier.
Once you’ve cleaned your home of mildew, you’ll need to find ways to prevent it from returning in the future. It would be best if you tried to seal up any cracks in your walls and roof, as they can allow moisture to enter your home, which can lead to mildew.