How to Avoid Dangerous Mold Growth in the Laundry Room

Mold Growth on Wall and Damp Stained Wood Door
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Laundry rooms offer the perfect climate for mold growth—heat and humidity. Mold is destructive to the structure of your home and can jeopardize the health of your family. Certain molds can cause illnesses and allergies. Taking steps to control humidity, frequently checking for the beginnings of mold growth, and quickly cleaning up can keep problems at bay.

How to Avoid Dangerous Mold Growth in the Laundry Room

Keeping humidity in the laundry room below fifty percent will deter mold growth, keep your dryer from working harder and make you feel more comfortable. Humidity can be reduced with a dehumidifier, an open window or a good ventilation system with a ceiling vent. If you live in a high humidity climate and your laundry room has poor ventilation, use a semi-gloss paint for the walls and ceiling that has an anti-mold and mildew agent added.

Washers and Mildew Growth

Clothes should be removed from the washer immediately and hung on a clothesline or dried in the dryer. Wet clothes can actually mildew in the washer. If they are removed without treating the mildew, spores can spread and cause more problems.

Water connections to the washer should be checked frequently for leaks. Even if you don't see a leak, there could be hidden trouble. Using a dry hand or cloth, wipe around each connection to feel for dampness. A water leak will often cause walls to bubble or ripple. It can also cause mold to grow in the insulation behind the drywall. If you see a black or bluish stain on the wall, clean-up must begin immediately.

Washers, especially front-load models, can harbor mold and mildew spores. Frequent cleaning and leaving the door of the washer open after each cycle can help alleviate problems.

Dryers and Mildew Growth

The build-up of dryer lint can also cause mold problems. If at all possible, the dryer should vent outside with an approved rigid dryer duct. The duct should be checked frequently to ensure that it is securely attached to the dryer and is clear of lint. If you feel the transfer of air around the duct when the dryer is operating, there are holes that are leaking moist air. Replace the duct as soon as possible.

We all know that removing the lint from the dryer filter after each use is essential to keeping your dryer operating properly and preventing fires. Lint can also build-up in the dryer vent and around the outside escape vent, encouraging mold growth. If you notice a musty smell in your dryer, it is time to clean the vent thoroughly as well as the outside escape.

How to Remove Mildew Growth From the Laundry Room

At the first noticeable sign of mildew or whiff of mustiness, use a scrub brush and a solution of water and bleach to wipe down all surfaces. Be sure to wear a mask and gloves to protect yourself from airborne spores. When cleaning the laundry, use an antibacterial spray or cleaning product to prevent regrowth.

If the mold has grown into the drywall or insulation, the area must be replaced to get rid of the mold infestation.