The moment you discover mold in your closets can be a shocking, scary one that’s etched in your memory for a long time to come. You thought you were taking good care of your closets, but clearly not if black, white, or green mold has invaded the space. How can you get your custom closets looking cleaner and fresher once again, especially if you live in balmy New Orleans?
The following tips for preventing mold in humid environments will clear your New Orleans closets of this fungus:
Give clothes some space between one another
Add more light to your closets
Use silica packs
Avoid using your closet for dirty clothes storage
Let clothes dry completely before they go in your closet
Ahead, you’ll learn what causes mold, why this fungus is so dangerous to your health, and more on the above preventative methods so your New Orleans closet can continue to be mold-free!
Mold is a type of fungus that develops hyphae, or filaments with cells. Some mold can grow with individual cells, such as yeasts. The colors of mold practically encompass the rainbow, so look out for mold in white, red, yellow, pink, orange, purple, brown, green, gray, or black. In some instances, mold can be multicolored.
White mold can be confused with mildew, another type of fungus that often grows in conjunction with mold.
So what can cause the proliferation of unwanted fungi in your New Orleans closets as well as other parts of your home? Here are some environments that mold thrives in especially.
You often hear of mold growing in the bathroom or kitchen, and that’s because these rooms get very hot. Since your closet is kept closed, heat can build up in there as well. Once temperatures exceed 70 degrees Fahrenheit, mold is more likely to develop.
Considering that you live in New Orleans where it’s not unheard of for temperatures to linger in the 70s even in November, you already have plenty of heat to go around. When you have an enclosed environment like your closet then, it’s pretty easy to figure out how mold can grow.
Humidity is not necessarily a bad thing, as setting the relative humidity between 30 and 50 percent can keep your respiratory tract lined with mucus and maintain skin moisture to prevent itchiness and irritation.
Yet once your home’s relative humidity exceeds 60 percent, mold can begin thriving since humidity is hot. Leaving a window or two open in your New Orleans home on a humid day (so, most days) could be all it takes for mold to get in and attack your closets.
Mold doesn’t like light, especially UV light, which can kill the fungus immediately. Thus, mold will seek a dark environment to grow in. This is another reason why mold is common in bathrooms, because these rooms often lack windows that let in natural light.
Speaking of a lack of windows and natural light, that’s a perfect way to describe your closet. Without any source of light in the closet except when it’s open as you’re getting ready in the morning, mold has found an ideal space to propagate.
Mold also quite enjoys moisture, such as that which lingers in your sink or bathtub or even in your bedroom if you dump your wet clothes and towels into your hamper (or inside your closet).
The Dangers of Mold
If mold has grown to the point that it’s noticeable, it often carries with it an unattractive smell. Breathing in the mold in your closet or the rest of your home can cause skin and eye reddening, itchiness, wheezing, and a stuffy nose, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
That’s just for the average person by the way. If you have a mold sensitivity, a mold allergy, or a breathing condition such as asthma, your symptoms may be even worse. You could experience very dry skin, eye watering, postnasal drip, coughing, and sneezing.
Six Tips to Preventing Mold from Growing in Your New Orleans Custom Closets
Now that you understand more about the causes and dangers of mold, it’s time to combat mold growth before it even appears in your closets. Per the intro, here are six reliable methods you can use for mold growth prevention.
Give Clothes Some Space Between One Another
If you have a tight closet space, then you may stack as many hangers on your clothing racks as what will fit. The problem with putting all of your clothes so close to one another is that they’re rubbing up against each other so that there’s no room for the clothes to breathe, so to speak.
You’re creating dozens of small, warm, dark pockets between your clothes that mold can easily take advantage of. A solution is to make sure that all of your clothing is properly spaced and that each piece has room to breath.
Add More Light
If your closet is too dark, you can introduce more light in all sorts of ways. Perhaps you leave the light on in your closet, especially if it’s a UV light. You could also get a window built into your closet so light can penetrate. Even a small window ought to be enough.
Do keep in mind that mold doesn’t necessarily stop growing in the light, unless it’s UV light. You might have to try some of the other measures on this list to truly stop your closet from having a problem with mold. Still, adding more light is a good place to start and will help to keep your clothes dry and moisture-free!
Use Silica Packs
Have you ever wondered why you find packets of silica gel in your clothing when you buy it fresh from the store? Silica is great at water absorption so mold can’t get enough moisture to grow. Since silica is a non-flammable material and it’s not toxic either, it’s perfectly safe for people to be around. It’s only mold that hates silica gel.
If you have moisture issues in your New Orleans closets that could attract mold, placing some silica packs throughout that space, including inside drawers and your laundry hamper, will only help.
Don’t Put Dirty Clothes in Your Closet
Mold doesn’t just feed on moisture and darkness, but dirt as well. If you’ve worn your clothes even once, then yes, they’re dirty. You might not be able to see the flecks of skin, dirt, and dust that have settled on your garments, but mold can, and it will feast.
Wash your clothes when you’re done wearing them and only put them in your closet when they’re completely clean.
Never Hang up Damp Clothes in Your Closet
If you line-dry your clothes, you’ll want to ensure that your garments are bone-dry before they go back in your closet. The dampness and moisture of semi-wet clothes will encourage mold to spread. If you then add your wet clothes to a dark, humid environment such as your closet, you’re just begging for mold to invade.
Mold is a fungus that can cause sneezing, skin irritation, watery eyes, and a runny nose. Humid, dark, warm, and moist environments–such as those commonly seen in areas including New Orleans–will cause mold to grow. Now that you know how to prevent mold, your closet can stay clean and beautiful for years to come!