Tips to remove enemy of mildew The Herald-Dispatch

Tips to remove enemy of mildew The Herald-Dispatch

Tips to remove enemy of mildew

Jun. 03, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

If mildew isn’t the number one headache for most Americans, then it runs a close second. Mildew is everywhere all around us. But we don’t see it until it finds a food source. Once that happens mildew begins to flourish. At the end of this article we offer our famous home grown mildew remover. But, before that, let’s chat about the specific causes of mildew and how we can prevent it.

First, keep enclosed spaces, like closets, clean and dry. With mildew, cleanliness is close to godliness. Dirty clothing, for example, can provide enough food for mildew to grow when the humidity and temperature are just right.

Water droplets caused by condensation create enough food for mildew to run rampant. Water leaks in walls, ceilings, floors, the crawl space and the basement result in yet another food source for mildew. Waterproofing all of these elements is a must. To waterproof exterior concrete walls apply several coats of latex block paint. Several coats of a high quality clear sealant also can be used on masonry. For crawl spaces add a layer of 6-mil plastic sheeting over the entire area. Be sure to leave a six-inch space between the foundation walls and the edge of the sheeting. Doing so will prevent a buildup of moisture beneath the plastic. If possible, install additional foundation vents and if that isnÕt enough add a fan as well. Ventilation inside is also important too. The shower, laundry and the kitchen all create steam that turns to moisture droplets everywhere. Every area where steam can be produced should be fitted with a high-powered exhaust fan.

An air-conditioner (the refrigeration type) is another defense against mildew feeding moisture. Air-conditioning systems remove moisture from the air by eliminating warm air, cooling it (which removes the moisture) and circulating the cool dry air. Where air-conditioning isnÕt available a portable or built-in dehumidifier will do the trick.

Here’s a trick you can use to fool mother moisture: With all windows and doors closed, heat the house until it is warmer inside than outside. Then open doors and windows to let out the hot, moisture-laden air. To dry out an average size closet we recommend using a 60-watt light bulb in the ceiling. Leave it on all the time. Mildew will never grow in the closet again. Place the light bulb clear of clothing or other flammables. Can you spell fire? In some cases, opening the closet door(s) and spacing clothing loosely can aid in enough air circulation to eliminate the use of a light bulb. Absorbents such as lava rock also help to dehumidify almost any area.

When the air outside is drier than the air inside, open windows and doors. Natural air currents often can do the trick. If there is no breeze, create one with fans placed at opposing windows. Make sure the fans are blowing outward.

During winter months run decorative ceiling fans in reverse so that air is blown against the ceiling. The circulation of hot air from the ceiling will prevent condensation on windows if the drapes/curtains are open.

As promised, here is our famous mildew removal formula. You will need:

1/2 cup powdered laundry detergent

Tips to remove enemy of mildew The Herald-Dispatch

16 ounces liquid chlorine bleach

11/2 quarts hot water

Add the detergent to the water first, and then add the bleach. Stir thoroughly. Although this formula is mild be sure to wear rubber gloves and eye protection. Add the blend to a spray bottle and apply the solution to the mildew. Next, use a nylon bristle brush to scrub the affected area. When the black mildew turns white rinse with fresh water. Dry immediately.

For more home improvement tips and information, visit our website or call our listener hot line 24/7 at 1-800-737-2474 (Ext 59).

James Carey and Morris Carey, known as the Carey Bros. are nationally recognized experts on home building and renovation.

Tips to remove enemy of mildew

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