Having mold in your garage is a bad thing! Unfortunately, in Marietta, GA we often have damp, humid weather that can foster mold spores in any part of your house or business, including your garage! Most folks associate mold growth with bathrooms, basements, or even kitchens, but garages? If you think about it, garages are ideal for mold to grow in. They are often unventilated, dark, and contain damp or wet spots at times.
Is your garage just now being built? Whether you are a home builder or it’s a do-it-yourself project, you can greatly reduce the possibility of mold spores forming by doing these things. Start by using building materials that mold avoids. For example use metal studs instead of wooden ones. Choose vinyl or aluminum siding for your garage walls instead of wood, and specify to your builder what you are trying to do so that he or she can offer other spore proofing methods. Wood is beautiful and can do a great job but here in Marietta, GA we often entertain wet and humid weather that can foster both mold and wood eating pests.
Is your already built garage made of wood or other non-metal materials? Try keeping mold spores out of there by ensuring that your garage is well ventilated and not air tight. Mold loves damp, dank air and having a well ventilated area can go a long way towards preventing its growth. If you need to, use air dehumidifiers to extract excess moisture out of your residential or commercial garage space.
This should be done anyway, but you really need to fix that leaky garage roof if you want to keep mold spores out of your garage! You already know that moisture, darkness and wet environments are perfect spawning grounds for mold and what could be more conducive to its growth than rain leaking through roof cracks or worn roofing tiles?
Just kidding! You do that in the main part of the home, but in the garage; be sure to mop up any snow, water, or other wetness that can be tracked in on your tires. Liquid tends to drip off of your vehicle’s body, tires or radiator and accumulate in small pools where the moisture has the same effect as your leaky roof – enhancing mold growth.
As soon as you notice that mold is growing in your garage, you need to work diligently to remove it. You can equate mold with cancer; leave a little bit of it and it will be back in full force! Remove EVERY bit of mold that you find – this is no time for doing a mediocre job!
Mold LOVES porous material. It grows and thrives on concrete walls and floors. Drywall is another porous material that is commonly found in garages. If you have mold growing on any of these surfaces, be sure to clean them well with bleach. Check your walls, floors and garage corners for any growth and use a mixture of one part bleach to four parts water to do it. Be sure to wear gloves and you can scrub the areas with a sponge or brush to remove the spores. If your garage walls are made of unfinished drywall you can just spray the bleach mixture solution directly on it and let it soak in. Don’t forget to clean the actual garage door itself, and not just the floors and walls. Be double sure to open the garage door so that the fumes don’t get to you. In fact, our Marietta Garage Door Repair crew recommends that you not only work in a well ventilated garage, you also should wear a respirator while you clean.
That’s right; vinegar can replace the bleach if you wish to use it instead. Just be sure to use more if it; use one part vinegar to one part water for maximum cleaning strength. Add a tablespoon of dishwashing detergent for every quart of solution and use the white vinegar as opposed to the apple cider one! You can also clean effectively with denatured alcohol. Dab it on full strength with a sponge or spray it – either way works just fine. Let your cleaned garage air out and dry by leaving the door open or using a humidifier or space heater in the winter to remove any moisture.
A word of advice; NEVER use ammonia with your bleach mixture. Another “no-no” is mixing white vinegar with hydrogen peroxide. These combinations can be very toxic and should be avoided at all costs. Stick to the above formulas and you’ll be safe and mold free in no time!
Many people store items in their garage like boxes of clothes, books and memorabilia. While these things are wonderful to put into storage, avoid cardboard boxes if possible. Use plastic containers that are air tight and stackable instead. Not only do mold spores love cardboard, insects of all kinds do, too. Even the glue holding the cardboard together is a favorite of both mold and bugs. Try and avoid storing rags, fabric and any cloth items as these are also places where mold accumulates and thrives in. You can buy storage containers made of sturdy plastic at Home Depot, Lowes, Best Buy and Target. If you like shopping online; try Amazon, Wal-Mart, and even your local Craigslist for container sources.
Mold removal caught early doesn’t have to be a huge problem but it can be! Please be diligent in its removal and you should be able to lead a mold free life.