Home Maintenance – Mold & Mildew

Welcome to All Reasons Moving’s Home Maintenance blog series. October’s focus is on bathroom maintenance, and this time we are tackling a potentially big and hazardous problem. Mold and mildew. Keeping your home free from mold and mildew is not only a good idea for health reasons but will make it easier should you be deciding to sell your home in the future. A home that is free of mold and mildew will sell much more quickly.

Mold is not only unsightly, it is also smelly, often allergenic, and can permanently damage wood and other surfaces if left too long. Bathrooms are notorious places for harboring molds and mildews, which are often airborne and thrive in moist, warm environments.

The best way to prevent mold and mildew from getting a toehold in your bathroom is to keep wooden surfaces dry. Open windows as much as possible, and when you are away leave cabinet doors slightly ajar for ventilation.
Clean up all wet spills immediately, and dry down wooden surfaces that are adjacent to watery or steamy areas.
Cleaning Wood.
Mold and mildew is an organic substance and grows on organic surfaces like wood, or where it has a steady supply of moisture like a shower curtain. If you find mold and mildew on wooden surfaces in your bathroom, like cabinet doors or shelving, follow these steps to eradicate it.
Mix: 1T ammonia-free detergent & 1C bleach in 1gal. hot water.
Wear rubber gloves and using a scrub brush or stiff toothbrush, scrub all surfaces with this solution. Allow to stand on mildewy or moldy area for at least 20 minutes.
Follow the scrubbing procedure with a wipe down: warm, clear water and a washcloth.
Dry excess dampness with a clean, white towel, and allow the area to air dry thoroughly. Leave cabinet doors open until the area is completely dry, which could be overnight or over the weekend.

Prevent future mold and mildew growth by turning on a bathroom fan or opening windows while showering, and completely drying shower doors or curtains, and periodically wiping down cabinet surfaces.

Sanding Cabinets.
Sometimes the mold/mildew problem is so severe that it requires sanding and refinishing. Using rough sandpaper, and protecting yourself with rubber gloves, plenty of ventilation and a mask, sand the affected area until you no longer see the mold or mildew.
When it’s gone, scrub the area with the same solution recipe, above: scrub, wash, dry and air out.
Before sealing, varnishing or repainting it is critical that the area is completely dry. Follow the manufacturer’s application instructions and make sure the room is well ventilated while you work.

Comments

  1. I’ve used the same homemade mixture before with great results. It’s nice when all the ingredients are commonly found in the home so a trip to the store isn’t required.

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