You’re busy setting up a sawhorse to do some cutting job in your garage when you spot mold in the corner.
You spend a lot of time in your garage but guess who also does?
Mold! Mold is one of the worst things you can find in your garage – it’s unsightly and unhealthy – so you want to eliminate it as quickly as possible.
Why is mold appearing in your garage?
Mold requires a lack of light and lots of moisture to grow, two things that are pretty common in garages.
You can’t just clean up the mold you see and then be done with it – it will come back if you don’t get to the source of the problem. With that in mind, let’s look at why mold is growing in your garage and how to get rid of it for good.
- 1 What, Exactly, Is Mold?
- 2 What’s Causing Mold In Garage?
- 3 How To Remove And Prevent Mold
- 4 How To Eliminate Mold That’s Already Present
- 5 Will Air Purifiers Work To Remove Mold?
- 6 Related Questions
- 7 Conclusion
What, Exactly, Is Mold?
While you might think of mold as bacteria, it’s actually a fungus. But, just like bacteria, mold survives and flourishes in a humid environment. Mold spores perform mitosis and meiosis, two types of cell division, in order to reproduce.
During this process, mold spores are scattered through the environment. You won’t see these as they spread, which is why it’s so important to tackle a mold problem as soon as you can detect it, otherwise mold spores can spread throughout your home.
It’s scary to think that mold spores can grow on damp surfaces within a day or two – that’s a max of 48 hours (via FEMA)! Mold is not only harmful to your health, but it actually destroys the surface on which it grows and afterwards will spread over to a new surface and material to restart the process.
What’s Causing Mold In Garage?
As we’ve already mentioned, mold requires a lack of light and lots of moisture in order to grow.
So, if your garage doesn’t have a lot of natural light or it’s been designed with a lack of proper drainage, these could encourage mold. In addition to that, if your garage doesn’t have good ventilation, that’s also a risk factor.
In order to prevent mold from growing, and to get to the source of the mold problem to eliminate it for good, you need to ensure you follow some important steps.
How To Remove And Prevent Mold
- Fix leaks. Check your garage for any leaks, whether on the floor, in pipes in the wall, or in the ceiling. Make sure you fix leaks as soon as you see them.
- Seal your garage door. If water and moisture are getting into your garage as a result of a poorly-secured garage door, then you need to replace torn weather stripping, check the bottom of the garage door for wear and tear, and insulate the door properly.
- Let the natural light in. If your garage doesn’t have windows, you’ll need to open the garage door and try to let some natural light inside it on a daily basis.
- Install a dehumidifier. Your garage is exposed to the elements and if it’s not sealed correctly or it has leaks, this can cause it to become very humid which attracts mold. Therefore, make sure you improve your garage ventilation, such as with the use of a dehumidifier. Aim to keep your indoor humidity levels around 30 to 50 percent to keep mold at bay (via Environmental Protection Agency).
- Clean your garage floors. If your garage floors are prone to getting wet, always make sure you keep a mop and bucket nearby so you can mop them up immediately and prevent water from soaking into the floor. After washing your car, leave it in the driveway to dry so that you don’t bring water into the garage.
- Install a drench train. If your garage doesn’t eliminate water properly, you need to secure a drainage system. This can include installing a trench drain to quickly and effectively eliminate standing water before it causes problems. You can find out how by reading, “How To Install Garage Trench Drain.”
- Change your storage method. If you’re storing items in your garage in paper or other porous materials, you should ensure you trade these containers for plastic ones instead. This will protect your items while preventing mold growth.
- Don’t grow plants around your garage. If you have plants and bushes that grow in close proximity to your garage walls, this could cause cracks to form in the walls or ceiling. While that’s not annoying enough, this could also cause leaks to occur.
How To Eliminate Mold That’s Already Present
If you have a problem with mold in your garage, you’ll need to ensure you get rid of it before it can cause health problems or get worse.
To do this, you need to scrub the mold thoroughly while also ensuring the mold spores don’t spread. Here’s what to do.
- Spray the area that’s affected by mold with warm water. Then spray the mold with bleach. You could also use a commercial cleaner that is said to lift mold spores. An example is hydrogen peroxide.
- After you have applied it, you should scrub the area well with a stiff-bristle brush.
- Then, rinse the area with water and see if there’s still any mold present. If there is, you should repeat the process.
- Afterwards, dry the area well so that you don’t cause another mold problem due to leaving anything damp.
To remove mold from hard surfaces, you should do the following:
- Wash the surfaces, such as plastic, metal, solid wood, and glass, with hot water and a non-ammonia detergent. You can use a stiff brush to clean rough and hard materials, such as concrete.
- A wet-dry shop vacuum can be used to remove all the water, as well as ensure studs and exposed wood framing are cleaned correctly.
- Make sure you use a 10-percent bleach solution to disinfect cleaned surfaces. You should leave this on the surface for 10 minutes, then wash it with water or let it air-dry (via FEMA).
- Always wear protective clothing when working with chemicals. Wear gloves, glasses, and a mask.
- Try to keep the area well-ventilated so that you don’t breathe in the dangerous fumes. Keeping the garage door and windows open to let in air is essential.
- Never mix different chemicals together to remove mold, such as bleach and ammonia. This can produce fumes that are toxic to your health.
Will Air Purifiers Work To Remove Mold?
You might have heard that installing an air purifier in your garage can help you to reduce and eliminate mold problems. Is this true?
While some air purifier brands will make wild claims about what their products can achieve, it’s worth noting that having an air purifier in the home can help you to reduce mold. However, it depends on the type of filter that the air purifier contains.
A True HEPA filter is most effective at eliminating very small particles from the air, like those of dust, pollen, mold, and dander.
These filters can remove at least 99.97 percent of particles that are as small as 0.3 micron in size (via Good Housekeeping). Mold spores can be 3 to 30 microns in size, so a True HEPA air purifier can definitely help to remove them from the air.
That said, if you suspect you have a mold problem in your garage, you can’t rely on your air purifier to solve it. An air purifier will only remove mold spores from the air, but won’t be able to remove mold from surfaces in the home.
In addition to that, if you don’t clean the mold that’s present in your garage and find the source of the problem so that you can eliminate it for good, air purifiers will only be a short-term and limited solution.
What are common symptoms of mold exposure?
Mold exposure can cause symptoms such as respiratory problems, nasal congestion, eye irritation, throat and nose irritation, skin irritation, nervous system problems (such as memory loss and headaches), and bodily pains.
How can you detect mold in your garage?
Once mold takes hold, you’ll be able to detect it. This can take the form of seeing discoloration on walls and/or ceilings, and smelling a foul or musty odor.
Having mold in garage is a common problem that many people experience, due to how garages tend to be high in humidity. That doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it.
In this article, we’ve looked at how you can clean mold from your garage and prevent it from growing again in future. Mold, be gone! Here’s to healthier indoor air.