When preparing for painting projects, people may sometimes come across unpleasant surprises. Some examples include insect infestations, rotten walls, mold, or mildew. Most people confuse mildew with mold when in reality, they are different things. They are both bad for people at baseline, but it’s important to know the differences between them. Here, we will go over the several causes of mildew in your home, why it’s bad, and how you can eradicate and avoid it. This will help keep your walls and home healthy for future painting projects and remodels.
Mildew is on the spectrum of the mold family. Mold often grows on the inside of materials, whereas mildew usually grows and sticks to the surface of things. This means that mildew can grow on cardboard, wallpaper, carpets, walls, drywall, foods, plants, etc. Mildew usually comes around when water leaks or high moisture areas in a home aren’t attended to. Unattended toilets, water faucets, washing machines, kitchen sinks, showers, and outdoor hoses are just a couple of examples of where mildew can start.
Now that we know what causes mildew, steps need to be made to prevent it. One of the first things to do is to identify all of the areas in your home where mildew can start. The previous paragraph included just a couple of examples, but you’ll have to do a more thorough search of your home. Be sure to check outdoor sheds, attics, basements, and any other area that gets poor ventilation and no natural light. Remember, mildew grows on surfaces, which means that the material it lives on is almost unlimited! A properly installed air and heating conditioning system also helps regulate the different areas in your home. Since cool air holds in less moisture than warm air, an air conditioning system helps dry out the potentially moist nooks in your home that you may not be aware of. For basements, where air circulates less, try a dehumidifier. Failure to take care of the problem can worsen the situation and result in mildew breaking down the materials it lives on. Fabrics, drywall, and clothes are just some of the examples that mildew can destroy and break down. Leave it any longer, and it becomes mold.
Getting rid of it
Mildew and light mold are everywhere. In fact, you are exposed to it every day. It is a natural part of life and serves to decompose things in life that require decomposing. Leaves on the ground or fallen tree branches are just a small example. However, just because it’s a natural part of life doesn’t mean that we need it in excess. Letting mildew live on surfaces in your home can lead to negative health effects. To get it cleaned off surfaces, try wiping and washing the area down with a bleach-mixed cleaner. For clothe-based surfaces, try a brush and a good quality washing detergent. These two should be enough to kill the mildew and prevent it from growing.
By keeping the surfaces and walls in your home clean from mildew, you are doing a service to yourself and your home. This is especially true when you want to paint your walls or start a home project in the future. There are few worse delays to a home painting or remodel project than finding out you need to put in more drywall or new beams, and all because unattended mildew turned into mold. If cleaning these things out doesn’t sound like something you’d like to do, then contact us! We have experience in helping customers prepare and execute their painting projects.