What Do I Do About Mold in My Closet?
Due to our closets' dark, closed, and often poorly ventilated nature, they are the perfect place for mold to grow. The average home in America has four closets, and all are susceptible to mold growth. Therefore, it is essential to know the signs and understand what to do about potential mold growth in your closet.
What Causes Mold in My Closet?
Whether you have a large, perfectly organized custom closet, a standard-sized closet, or a small closet jam-packed with clothes – all of them are susceptible to mold infestation. Mold thrives in a damp, dark environment. Closets are usually dark and often closed with inadequate ventilation. An increase in humidity increases the risk of mold-infested items in your closet. The extra moisture from plumbing leaks, ceiling leaks, damp clothes in your closet, or a wet towel on the floor is all it takes for mold to grow — often undetected at first.
How Do I Know If There Is Mold in My Closet?
You may be unaware of mold growth in your closet until you notice that unmistakable musty odor. A musty smell can emerge quickly after unseen mold spores begin to grow. It is the first sign that you may have mold growth.
Another indicator of closet mold may appear on your clothing. For example, white or black spots on clean clothes or shoes may be mold growth. If you see this, it is best not to ignore it.
What Do I Do If I Find Mold?
If you find mold in your closet, the first thing to do is remove clothing and other items from the closet and ventilate it. Next, open the closet door and use fans to help the air circulate. The next step is locating where excess moisture is entering your closet.
Piles of blankets, stacks of clothes, or towels can all trap moisture and may feel damp when you pick them up to remove them. As you remove the clothes in your closet, pay attention to any items that feel damp. Where you find damp items may indicate where moisture is collecting in the closet.
Check from the ceiling to the floor for water damage. Damp towels, a dirty clothes hamper stored in the closet, and even hanging your wet bath towel to dry behind a closed closet door may cause added moisture to the environment.
It is also important to note if you see visible mold growth as you go through this process removing items and checking for moisture. You may find it on walls, carpets, or the ceiling. Make a note of anywhere you see the mold and take pictures.
Is Mold Dangerous?
The most significant danger of mold in your home is its effects on you and your family’s health. Studies have shown that children exposed to mold early in life have an increased risk of asthma. Severe respiratory issues, depression, chronic cough, digestive issues, brain fog, and fatigue are other mold-related health issues.
Consider any mold growth in your home as dangerous. Besides many health problems, mold may also make its way into air ducts and become part of the air you breathe. It can pose other problems for you as a homeowner by potentially weakening the structure of your home if left to grow. Mold is an issue that is critical to address immediately upon detection.
How Do I Get Rid of It?
The first step to mold removal is eliminating the source of the extra moisture entering your closet. Also, drying out the area is critical.
If you are trying to remove live mold growth from your home yourself, the CDC cautions against mixing any cleaning solutions as you approach mold removal. Standard retail stores sell mold removal products; however, it’s critical to remember that mold is a living organism. It can spread through the air and may also attach itself to your shoes or clothing as you work to remove it.
Another concern is potential mold growing in places you cannot see, making removal harder than you expect. Call a professional for consultation or mold remediation to be 100% confident the mold is completely removed from your home.Due to the toxic nature of some molds, removing it can be a health hazard. If you decide to approach mold removal with DIY solutions, use caution and call for help when unsure.
Preventing Mold in the Future
Once you have removed mold from your closet, you want to prevent it from growing again. You can take steps that may prevent mold from growing in your closet in the future.
- Repair all water leaks
- Use a dehumidifier or a substance that absorbs moisture from the air
- Only store dry clothes in your closet
- Keep your dirty clothes hamper outside the closet
- Proper storage of clean and dry clothes
- Clean your closets regularly
- Use a low-wattage incandescent light and keep it on in your closet for several hours at a time. The heat from the bulb can help keep the contents of your closet dry.
AdvantaClean offers mold services that include testing, removal, and remediation. In addition to mold services, we help homeowners with moisture control. If you have found closet mold or suspect you have mold, contact us online or call 877.800.2382.