by Jon Nunan
Mildew is a thin, black, or sometimes white, growth produced by mold. Though molds are always present in the air, those that cause mildew need moisture and certain temperatures to grow. Mold will grow on anything, and mildew will flourish wherever it is damp, warm, poorly lit and/or where air is not circulated. Cellars, basements, crawl spaces, and even clothing closets should be watched closely for growth.
Mildew can also be found on draperies and rugs in basement recreation rooms, on shower curtains, and on damp clothes rolled up for ironing. These molds are also likely to grow in a new house because of moisture in the building materials. As the molds grow, they cause considerable damage and leave a musty odor. They discolor fabrics (including leather) and sometimes they eat into them until the fabrics rot and fall to pieces. To protect your home and your possessions, mildew prevention is a must!
House Mold and Mildew Prevention: Take Proper PrecautionsIf you already have house mold problems, mildew prevention is a tedious task. However, by identifying places where house mold is likely to form, you can nip the problem in the bud by keeping these areas clean and dry. Environments that contain warm temperatures and high humidity levels are ideal for mildew growth. Soil on dirty articles, including clothing, can supply enough food for mildew to start growing when moisture and temperature are right. Greasy films, such as those that form on kitchen walls, also contain many nutrients for mildew-causing molds. Make sure that these areas are watched closely, and make it a point to keep them as clean as possible.
Mildew Prevention BasicsHouse mold cannot exist without a source of moisture; mildew prevention is basically a process of seeking out areas that are too moist and drying them up. Excessive moisture may indicate that repairs or additional insulation are needed. Some basements are continually wet from water leaking through crevices in the wall, so replace cracked or defective mortar and make sure outside drainage is adequate. If your clothes dryer is equipped with a vent, have it exhausted to the outside to remove moist air. Get rid of dampness throughout the house by heating for a short time, then open the doors and windows to let out the moisture-laden air. An exhaust fan may also be very beneficial in mildew prevention.