How to Prevent Mold in Closets: 10 Simple Tips to Follow
Learning how to prevent mold in closets is essential for maintaining a healthy home environment. Closets are often overlooked spaces where moisture can accumulate, creating the perfect conditions for mold growth. By taking proactive steps, you can minimize mold growth and keep your stored items safe from damage.
This guide offers 10 simple tips to help you keep your closets mold-free. Follow along to ensure your storage spaces stay fresh and clean.
- Make Sure Your Clothes Are Dry
- Clean Your Shelves At Least Every Month
- Keep Control of Your Humidity
- Utilize an Air Purifier
- Consider Wire Shelving as Opposed to Wooden
- Check Your Spaces for Leaks Frequently
- Use a Dry-Cleaning Service? Keep the Plastic to a Minimum
- The Nose Knows: Don’t Ignore Musty Smells
- Make Use of Silica Packs
- Consider Using Elevated Doors
We’ve compiled the top ten tips you can enact to mold-proof your closet below!
1. Make Sure Your Clothes Are Dry
Mold loves moisture. It thrives off of it. If you store your clothes in your closet before sufficiently drying them off, you’re asking for trouble. Even if they only feel slightly damp, don’t store them in confined spaces. You’re providing the mold with a perfect breeding ground.
This is most relevant when you first retrieve your clothes from the dryer. Despite their best efforts, dryers don’t always achieve 100% dryness. If your clothes are still damp, hang them in a well-ventilated place until completely dry. All of this also applies to sweaty gym clothes. Sweat is still moisture, and mold isn’t picky about where it grows. Dry your damp clothes before you throw them in the laundry hamper!
2. Clean Your Shelves At Least Every Month
Another factor that contributes to mold growth is the buildup of bacteria. This isn’t to say that you keep your clothes in dirty locations; most bacteria are entirely invisible to the human eye. Mold isn’t exclusively caused by a lack of hygiene and it’s entirely possible you can discover mold if you clean often.
However, closets aren’t the easiest spaces to clean, and they often go overlooked. By wiping your closet space down at least once a month you can dramatically reduce the likelihood of mold growth. It takes minutes and it makes a big difference in the long-term.
3. Keep Control of Your Humidity
Humidity causes accumulations of moisture, and as we said before, mold thrives in moist environments. By keeping control of the humidity in your house, you can prevent the spread of excess moisture. Air conditioning is the most effective way to lower humidity.
Simple changes are also a great way of minimizing humidity, such as opening doors to promote air ventilation. If possible, try to keep your clothing in open areas where air can flow freely.
4. Utilize an Air Purifier
Air purifiers vary from the simple to the complex. Some purifiers simply keep the air clean, whereas others are specifically designed to capture fungi spores.
You don’t need to go out and purchase the most expensive if your closet doesn’t require it. However, If you deal with high levels of humidity and you are frequently finding traces of mold, a more sophisticated purifier might be the fix for you.
5. Consider Wire Shelving as Opposed to Wooden
Aside from humidity, the biggest culprit of causing mold is a lack of airflow. Pair that with heavy shelving made from wood, which absorbs and holds moisture, and you have a perfect recipe for mold growth.
Replacing your wooden closet shelves with wire structures will make all the difference. Their grid-like design allows for superior ventilation, even between your hung-up clothes. They’re better for folded clothes, too, as the wire shelves often have openings along the bottom to allow air to flow.
6. Check Your Spaces for Leaks Frequently
Is your home prone to leaks? Even the smallest of damp patches left unchecked can fester into a full blown mold infestation. It’s often easy to sweep these things to one side or promise yourself you’ll deal with it later.
You need to deal with damp patches as soon as possible. Perform frequent inspections in your living areas to check for leaks. If you discover any, call our team of experts at All Dry USA to have them fixed. Unchecked moisture will ruin your closet space.
7. Use a Dry-Cleaning Service? Keep the Plastic to a Minimum
If you utilize a dry cleaner, then you don’t have to worry about storing damp clothes in your closet. However, what you may need to worry about is the plastic covering that many dry cleaners use. Plastic is perfect for withholding heat, which can lead to excess moisture pretty quickly.
While it might be tempting to keep your clothes in their neat plastic packaging, the best course of action is swift removal. Don’t give your clothes the chance to fester. A common misconception is that your clothes are safest when wrapped up, but this isn’t always the case.
8. The Nose Knows: Don’t Ignore Musty Smells
If you’re starting to notice an unpleasant smell on your clothes or in your closet, that’s a distinct sign you might have a mold problem. Don’t ignore it or cover it in air freshener. All that does is conceal the problem, it does nothing to fix it.
Try to find where the smell is most strongly emanating, you may find mold growth has already started. To rectify this, either perform a full deep clean or call our experts to assess the problem. We can easily get rid of the smell if you call us right away.
9. Make Use of Silica Packs
If air conditioning isn’t available to you, and simple fixes such as improving circulation haven’t been effective, silica packs can be a lifesaver. They reduce humidity by absorbing moisture in their surrounding area. They do this via a chemical called anhydrous calcium sulfate.
Bear in mind that silica packs can be highly dangerous if swallowed. Do not keep them around small children. In addition, don’t place them throughout your entire house. If the air is too dry it can worsen symptoms of asthma. Be careful when placing these packs on shelves or in drawers.
10. Consider Using Elevated Doors
Solid closet doors can severely hamper air circulation. An effective way to prevent excess humidity is to invest in some elevated doors that don’t cut off fresh air from entering the space. These doors are typified by gaps at both the top and bottom to prevent air-stagnation.
What Causes Mold in Closets?
Mold loves to grow in dark, airless, and humid conditions, even in closets. Issues such as damp clothes, wooden shelves that create and release moisture, a general lack of ventilation, and leaks in ceilings and walls can lead to mold growth on clothes, closet walls, shelves, and flooring.
How to Identify Different Types of Mold in Closets
Identifying the type of mold you’re dealing with is the first step in effective treatment. Here are some common types of mold you might find in your closet and what you should know about them:
- Black Mold (Stachybotrys): This is the one you’ve probably heard the most about. Black mold is highly toxic and can cause severe health issues, including respiratory problems and allergic reactions. It’s usually black or dark green and has a slimy texture.
- White Mold (Aspergillus): White mold is generally less harmful than black mold but should still be treated as soon as possible. It appears as powdery spots and can be found on any surface, including clothes and walls.
- Green Mold (Cladosporium): This mold is common on walls and less harmful than black mold. It’s often green or brown and has a suede-like texture.
- Yellow Mold (Serpula lacrymans): This mold is often bright yellow and is more common in wooden structures. It feeds on wood, causing it to decay. If you find yellow mold, removing it and treating the wood to prevent further damage is essential.
- Blue Mold (Penicillium): Often found on fabrics and walls, blue mold is usually less harmful but should still be treated.
- Pink Mold (Aureobasidium): Don’t let the color fool you; pink mold can be harmful. It’s often found around windows and walls and can cause respiratory issues.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is mold in closet dangerous?
Yes. Inhaling and touching toxic mold can cause allergic reactions in you and your family. Mold can also grow on and destroy your clothes. In the closet mold may grow quickly due to stale air and lack of light.
Is mold in the closets common?
Not as common as mold in the kitchen or bathroom. But if you tend to hang wet clothes in your closet, then you are more at risk. Mold is not a sign of uncleanliness and can happen anywhere.
Can mold in a closet make you sick?
Yes. Mold in your closet can cause hay fever symptoms, trouble sleeping, headaches, and other allergic reactions. Remove mold at the first sign.
Still Unsure? Contact an Expert
If you find yourself struggling with persistent mold, consider contacting our team. All Dry USA will provide you with a free quote and a permanent solution. Contact us today to arrange a full inspection!
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