How to Prevent Mold in the Garage
Mold thrives in humid environments that have little ventilation and sunlight. If these conditions are met, it doesn’t take long for mold to grow on organic material like cardboard or drywall. Garages are typically havens for mold, unless homeowners take proper steps to reduce moisture. Here’s how you can keep mold from infesting your garage.
- Check your garage for leaks. Inspect the areas in your garage, such as the roof, floor, gutters, and pipes, to ensure that they are in good condition. Fix any cracks and damage you find immediately.
- Seal and insulate your garage door. To weather-proof your garage, it’s important to properly seal and insulate your garage door. Replace torn, ragged or crumbling weather stripping immediately. In addition, check the bottom seal for elasticity, shrinkage, and wear. As for insulation, a pre-insulated garage door panel has a much higher R-value (the measure of how well an object resists conductive flow of heat).
- Decrease humidity. Since garages can attract a lot of moisture due to being exposed more to the elements, it may have a high humidity (over 50%) that allows mold to grow. To control humidity levels, provide proper ventilation using vents and fans, and let sunlight in for a couple of hours daily. Also, use a dehumidifier to lower the moisture level.
- Install waterproof walls. If you’re building a new garage or remodeling an old one, choose mold- resistant drywall, as well as waterproof paint on walls and concrete. Alternatively, use pre-coated aluminum or vinyl siding for better protection against water and mold.
- Remove standing water. Pooling water in garages may come from various sources, such as outside precipitation, snow-covered tires, or even washing your car. Remove any standing water with a squeegee or mop and dry the area quickly to prevent mold growth.
- Have proper drainage. A garage floor drainage system is essential to avoiding water damage and flooding in the garage. Make sure your garage has drainage in addition to a proper floor slope that diverts water away from your garage.
- Extend gutter downspouts. Gutters and downspouts are your home and garage’s first line of defense against precipitation. To prevent moisture buildup around your garage, ensure your downspouts extend at least 10 feet away from the garage foundation. Also, keep the gutters clean and well-maintained throughout the year.
- Use waterproof containers. Water, and thus mold, is attracted to cardboard, paper, drywall, and other porous materials. To help avoid mold in your garage, use sturdy, plastic totes instead of cardboard storage boxes. Plastic provides better protection to contents and is not a source of mold food.
- Reduce plant growth around your garage. Shrubs or plants may look nice, but they collect moisture and may cause leaks in your garage. So keep them at a safe distance away from your garage walls and windows.
Mold will have a harder time growing when there’s less moisture in the garage. Follow these tips to keep mold at bay and enjoy a healthier home. For flood water damage repair and mold remediation services, contact your local PuroClean office.