How to Prevent Mold in Your Closet

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Photo by Ashlynn’s Dreaming

Is the Mold In Your Closet Green, Black, or Brown?

In order to prevent mold growth in a closet there are some serious moving and cleaning to be done.  First you will have to clear all of the clothes out of the closet if you have a large infestation.  The clothes should all be washed on high heat and dried on high heat if possible.  The next step is to get rid of the moisture problem that is allowing the mold to grow.  The, moisture and the mold’s food source need to be eliminated. Because mold is everywhere, the goal is keep the closet clean and dry. If you can get your closet clean and dry, you can win the war on mold.

Too much moisture in a closet will cause mold.  Excessive humidity in a closet can be caused by steam from a close bathroom, wet laundry in a hamper, and or wet shoes on the floor.  Porous organic items will collect this moisture in a process called secondary damage.  Secondary damage is when one item with excessive moisture passes that moisture onto another item via osmosis.  When the moisture finds a mold spore, mold will then start to grow.  Items most commonly found to be a food source for mold growth in a closet are dust, grime, drywall, mdf or wood baseboards, clothing, shoes, carpet, and wood within the walls.

Pro Tip:  Excessive moisture can be caused by exterior landscaping even in a dry climate.  We had a project with a very humid master bedroom closet. The property had no leaks and or signs of water intrusion. We studied the property and found that the large tree outside of the home was the cause of up to 70% humidity in the master closet as the owner opened the closet window up to catch the smell of the morning dew when getting ready.

In order to control the moisture in a closet there are some great solutions. Install a 110 CFM plus ceiling fan that is turned on automatically by a motion sensor and vented to the outside. An electrician should be able to install this for you but you may also need a HVAC contractor to install the venting.  Install wood, tile, or linoleum floors instead of carpet.  Do not have a hamper in the closet with damp or sweaty clothes.  Also, applying semi gloss paint to the walls will also help to deter any mold growth.

Pro Tip:  Have the electrician also have your ceiling fan and light turn on automatically when you enter the closet.  This will be great for ease of use and also save electricity as it will automatically turn off when it is not in use.
Once all of the upgrades have been completed, the closet will have to be maintained clean, free of grime, dust, wet shoes and wet or damp clothing.  With the items mentioned here, your closet will now be more dry and have little to no food for the microbial to eat, therefore limiting molds opportunity grow in your super in stylish clothes.

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