Like any other part of your home, your garage is vulnerable to mold. In fact, garages can be even more susceptible because mold thrives in dark, damp spaces.
Even if you aren’t in your garage much, mold can still pose health risks to you and your family — you may be bringing it into your home on shoes and backpacks without even realizing it. Exposure to mold can lead to symptoms such as skin and throat irritation, coughing and nasal stuffiness.
Preventing and eliminating mold in your garage can prevent lasting damage to your home as well as keep your family safe, happy and healthy.
How Does Mold Get Into the Garage?
Garages are prone to mold because they are relatively dark and damp. Your garage is probably not as insulated as the rest of your home. Additionally, many older garages are made from materials like wood that don’t provide much resistance to moisture.
If your garage is attached to your home and used as an entrance, the risk for mold is high because it is open so much, allowing moisture inside. However, you can find mold in detached garage spaces as well, and you might not be as likely to notice it right away, allowing for continued growth.
How to Eliminate Mold in Garage Spaces
So you’ve checked your garage and found mold. How can you get rid of it?
If the mold is on a non-porous surface like concrete, you can remove it by following these steps:
- Before you get started, be sure to wear protective clothing, especially gloves and a mask.
- Some household agents such as bleach, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and ammonia can kill mold. Spray one of these agents onto the area.
- Let it sit for an hour or so.
- Scrub the area with hot water and a stiff brush.
Depending on the materials in your garage, you may be able to remove mold from a garage door, wall or floor on your own using these techniques. If the problem persists, however, you may need to consider professional mold removal.
If you find mold on a porous surface like a wood garage door, there’s a good chance that you won’t be able to eliminate it, especially if the mold has been there for a while. You’ll likely have to replace it with a mold-resistant material like polyurethane steel.
How to Prevent Mold in Garage Spaces
Once you’ve gotten rid of mold in your garage, you’ll want to ensure that new mold doesn’t develop. Here are a few ways to prevent mold in your garage:
- Get a dehumidifier. This will cut down on the moisture in your garage. Proper ventilation (like vents and fans) will also help lower humidity.
- Upgrade your storage from cardboard to plastic. Do you have any cardboard boxes of odds and ends lying around in your garage? Switch to a waterproof material for storage. It doesn’t have to be fancy — plastic tubs will work just fine!
- Remove standing water. You might notice pools of water on your garage floor after a heavy rainstorm, or if you wash your car in the garage. If there’s standing water in your garage for any reason, mop it up or use a squeegee to get rid of it.
- Let in some sunlight. Mold thrives in dark spaces. If your garage has windows, make sure they aren’t obstructed so that sunlight can get in. Fresh air is good for your garage as well, so if you can, leave your garage door open for a few hours a week to let in some light.
Following these steps can go along way toward preventing mold in your garage. If the problem persists in spite of your efforts, you might want to consider remodeling your garage with moisture-resistant materials.
Act today to keep your home and family safe from mold. Check out the selection of moisture-resistant doors at Oregon City Garage Door and contact us for installations and repairs in the Portland area.