Tips for Preventing Mold in RVs and Homes
Mold in RV’s and Homes can grow both inside and outside. It can be found frequently in basements and bathrooms. It may be found in closets and attics. Mildew and mold is found in kitchens and on mattresses. It can even be found in boxes that you may have thought were safely and securely stored away.
Darkness, moisture and lack of airflow are all conducive to the growth of mold and mildew. These issues, if left uncorrected, can cause physical damage to a structure and be hazardous to one’s health.
Like most problems, it is typically easier to prevent mold than it can be to correct it. Here are some tips for preventing mold:
- Check for mold frequently: While mold or mildew may be easy to spot in the bath or shower, many times it occurs in areas that are hidden. This means you may have to proactively look for it. Be sure to check dark, damp places like basements.
- Pay attention to leaks: Mold will seek out moisture and leaking faucets and pipes need to be fixed promptly. When a leak has occurred make sure the area is cleaned and dried completely. Check drain pipes and the areas underneath them. In RVs, roof seams need to be inspected and anytime something contacts the roof, holes should be patched immediately. Roof maintenance is very important to prevent leaks in RVs.
- Check areas where powders and liquids are stored: Under sinks and laundry areas are prime examples. Powders can absorb moisture but then transfer it to the bottom of the box. Liquids from containers can drip or leak.
- Clean with natural cleaners that can prevent mold: Cleaning surfaces with citrus-based cleaners or even a white vinegar solution can help prevent mold. Natural lemon is a terrific fresh smelling solution that can prevent mildew and mold growth. Leaving cleaning solution residue on the surface can help deter mildew and mold.
- Let the sunshine in: Sunshine can be the enemy of mold, so open up your windows, curtains, and blinds and let some natural light in.
- Let the fresh air in: Moving fresh air is also unfriendly to mildew and mold growth. A fresh breeze through an area or air movement from ceiling fans can minimize mildew and mold growth.
- Use a dehumidifier: If you have a problem in a specific room or area, a portable dehumidifier can be a solution. If you live in an area where humidity or moisture is a problem overall, consider a whole-house solution.
- Install (or upgrade) ventilation fans in bathrooms: Since moisture in bathrooms is often a source of mold, a ventilation fan can help minimize the problem. Use the fan whenever taking a hot shower that adds moisture to the air. It can also help to dry surfaces following a shower including the shower, sinks mirrors, and countertops.
- Check around windows: Mold in RV’s and Homes can be a problem with older windows that may let moisture in or that may fog up in extreme weather changes. Check under windows and in the window corners for mold growth. Using a vinegar window cleaner can help prevent mildew on older windows.
- Pay attention to musty odors: This is a warning sign that mildew or mold is developing.
- Inspect wood: In RVs, many walls and floors are made from wood or particle board, which absorbs water and quickly molds. Make sure to inspect the outside seams and interior floors frequently.
- Give your home or RV a thorough Spring and Fall cleaning: One of the best ways to prevent mold is to give your home a deep cleaning twice a year. This will give you an opportunity to get into closets, under sinks and through cabinets and drawers. You can act promptly and a solid cleaning will help prevent mold from finding a home.
Why Avoid Toxic Cleaning Solutions
Some cleaning solutions may be great at eradicating all kinds of messes, but they are not always made with the user’s (or the rest of the household’s) health in mind. Many of these products contain chemicals that can be harmful when inhaled and toxic if ingested. They can also be damaging to the skin and eyes. Some of these chemicals may have their place in certain major cleanup situations, but many would rather avoid them when they are not absolutely necessary.
The list of potentially toxic chemicals in cleaning solutions is long, including:
- Quaternary Ammonium Compounds
- Chlorine Bleach
- Diethylene Glycol Monomethyl Ether
- And more…
Even something as innocent sounding as “fragrance” can contain a multitude of chemical compounds that can trigger allergies or cause breathing issues like asthma.
These toxic chemicals may not only be harmful to users, their households and their pets — they can also be damaging to the environment. When these products are rinsed down a drain or otherwise disposed of they can leach into groundwater, causing further issues.
The answer is sometimes using natural mold cleaners that will do the job without creating even more problems. Natural cleaners are generally safe and environmentally friendly. They are often easily accessible and easy and affordable to use to boot. When deciding on a cleaning solution for a minor mold problem, consider the use of natural cleaners before taking more drastic measures.
To learn more about effective natural cleaners, check out the complete guide: 6 Natural, Homemade Mold Treatment Solutions to use Instead of Bleach
Ryan Poppe is a licensed RE/MAX REALTOR©️ with the Colorado Property Group Southwest.
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