How To Prevent Mold in Your Garage

Red brick wall covered in mold spots

Because it's dark and moist the garage is an ideal breeding ground for mold. That's not good because mold is not always the unsightly but benign presence most people think it is. Mold spreads by releasing spores. When humans inhale these spores they can irritate the respiratory tract, aggravate or cause allergies, and in some cases lead to dangerous respiratory infections like aspergillosis. During the performance of garage door repair work in and around Loveland we see mold in a lot of garages. So we decided to create a short guide on the topic. Read on for six tips on how to get rid of mold in your garage.

Identifying Mold in the Garage

Mold can be found anywhere inside a garage including on the floor, walls, shelves, stored items, and even the garage door itself. If you don't have any obvious signs of mold in the garage that doesn't mean it's not there. Here are a few signs that will help confirm the presence of mold:

  • A persistent damp, musty odor.
  • Discolored areas on walls and other things that weren't there before.
  • Someone in the house begins sneezing, experiencing dry itchy eyes, or has irritated skin.
  • Someone with allergies or asthma sees their symptoms worsen.

Mold found in the garage will typically be black, green, or gray and less often white or orange. It will often appear as a stain and you may mistake it for water damage. Once the mold colony has matured it may take on a slimy or fuzzy texture. Remember too that mold can penetrate porous surfaces, so the mold you see may only be the tip of the iceberg.

The Causes of Mold in the Garage

Because it traps humidity and condensation the garage is, in many ways, an ideal place for mold to set down roots and thrive. Every time the door is opened (especially if it's raining or snowing outside) moisture gets into the garage, and once the door is closed it has nowhere to go.

Opening the door also allows mold spores to enter in large numbers. They find pools of standing water on the floor and condensation all over walls, shelves, and various objects and settle in.

Once they do they can go about their business of establishing colonies without worry because most garages are devoid of people 99% of the time. If someone does catch a glimpse of some mold out of the corner of their eye while heading for the car they usually dismiss it. But they shouldn't.

Is Your Garage More Susceptible to Mold Than Others?

While every garage is a potential breeding ground for mold, some are more susceptible than others or may promote larger mold colonies than others. Factors that make a garage more susceptible to mold include:

  • A leaky roof
  • A leaky window
  • A stuck garage door
  • Poor drainage in the garage
  • Poor ventilation
  • Worn out weatherstripping on the garage door

Six Tips to Prevent Mold from Taking Root in Your Garage

While you may not be able to completely eliminate the possibility of mold growing in your garage you can greatly reduce the amount of mold by taking the following tips to heart:

  • Sealing any leaks - If you have a leaky roof or leaky window in your garage seal it up. Remember, moisture not only promotes the growth of mold it can also undermine the structural integrity of walls and ceilings.
  • Get a new garage door - Old garage door panels tend to get progressively looser over time. As a result, they allow a lot of moisture into the garage leading to mold. A new garage door installation will eliminate that problem and a new garage door opener may open and close the door faster. Before having a new garage door installed, review our garage door installation guide exploring common questions and important factors to consider when selecting a local service team.
  • Don't wait to remove standing water - If you see standing water in the garage use a mop or squeegee to remove it from the garage ASAP.
  • Improve the ventilation in the garage - Air movement helps keep a space dry. You can improve the ventilation in your garage by installing a vent or two. If there is a window in the garage consider opening it on sunny, dry days. Just remember to close it when the sun goes down.
  • Check the drains - Most garage floors have built-in drains that prevent water from accumulating. But sometimes these drains get clogged. Inspect the drains in your garage and make sure they're clear.
  • Stop storing things in cardboard boxes - Porous cardboard allows moisture to soak in and can quickly become a magnet for mold. Replace any cardboard storage boxes in your garage with plastic tubs. They'll last for decades and won't allow mold to take hold.

How to Safely Remove Mold from Your Garage

Mold is not only unsightly it also presents a potential health risk for everyone in the house. If you find mold has gained a foothold in your garage don't wait. Take the following steps to remove it:

  • Throw out moldy boxes - If you find mold on a cardboard box just throw the box away.
  • Spray affected areas - If the mold is on a wall or shelf or door, spray it with bleach, white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or one of the many commercially available cleaners. Make sure you cover the entire affected area but don't mix any of these solutions together. Use one or use another.
  • Let the solution sit - After you spray the area affected with mold let it sit for half an hour so that the solution has time to kill all the mold.
  • Scrub the affected surface - If the surface will support it scrub with a stiff bristle brush. But whether or not you used a brush, rinse all the disinfecting solution from the area.
  • Dry the area - Dry the cleaned area with fans and leave them running for several hours to make sure the area is completely dry.

Important note: You should ALWAYS use personal protective equipment when removing mold. That means gloves, a respiratory mask, and safety goggles.

For Expert Garage Door Repair in Loveland Call C & M

People often enter and exit their homes through the garage more than the front door. This is one more reason to banish any mold you find in the garage. Take the above tips to heart and you're sure to make your garage cleaner and more hygienic. And for expert garage door installation and repair, call C & M at (970) 663-7335.

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