Nobody wants mold in their house. However, sometimes it is inevitable, and the kitchens and bathrooms become the most common targets. But what about when you find mold in your closet? It is an absolute nightmare because your clothes and shoes are highly likely to be destroyed.
Closets are usually dark and can get damp too sometimes. This type of environment is perfect for attracting mold spores. However, having mold in the closet may lead to allergies and breathing problems. You can also face fatigue, irritated eyes, coughing, etc. If the scene gets too severe, it can cause vomiting and nausea.
Even though this situation is unfortunate, there are a few steps that can help prevent mold in closet. And this article will cover everything you need to know in this department.
Is it dangerous to have mold in closet?
If we talk about more serious issues, there could be bleeding in the nose and lungs. For anyone who is suffering from asthma, mold is the worst irritant. It can trigger attacks and other respiratory problems. Aged people and young children are usually quite sensitive to this condition.
What are the signs that you have mold in closet?
Typically, your nose will catch it first. Mold and mildew give off a very musty type of smell. Sometimes mold may not be directly visible to your eyes, but the unpleasant smell will definitely give you a clue. However, it’s not just the smell. You will see specific patches on the wall or ceiling of the closet covered in brown or black spots.
Once you see the less severe signs, it is time to investigate and get to the root of it. The first step you must take is to remove all items from your closet and inspect the entire area. You may see the growth when the place is extra dark or damp.
Where does mold in closet come from?
Is there any particular reason why mold is attracted to closets? Is it just because they are dark spaces? Why do they appear even if you keep your wardrobe clean and organized?
Here are some potential reasons why you might be seeing mold in closet.
Way too high humidity.
One primary reason behind mold growth is excess moisture in the house. This can especially happen during summers or if your closet is present near a place drowned in humidity, like bathrooms or basements. Moreover, the closet doors are closed, and the moisture stays trapped inside due to that.
Leaks in pipes or plumbing leak.
We have different types of pipes running through our walls in the house, especially near the bathroom. And sometimes, there might be a minor leaky plumbing or leaky roof leading to dripping water.
You may not always notice the leaks immediately, but they leave slight black stains with time. If you suffer from this problem, it is time to immediately call a professional plumber to repair all leaks.
Fabrics that are highly prone to mold growth.
Some fabrics are highly prone to attracting mold. And one such example is cotton. The cotton fabric is full of nutrients and creates the perfect environment for promoting mold growth when it gets wet or absorbs moisture. And once mold takes over the fabric, it spreads to the entire closet, including the ceiling and wall.
Leakage in the attic.
Like a basement, the attic in the house is another place that is dark and usually damp. It does not get proper ventilation. And since you do not go up to the attic regularly, you may not notice if there are any leaks there. Typically attic mold arises due to faulty plumbing systems and if the storage tank has been damaged.
If you leave your clothes moist.
All of us have faced a situation at least one point where our clothes did not dry completely, yet we stuff them up in the closet. Apart from the unpleasant smell, it emits afterward, the clothes can also easily catch fungus. This situation is prevalent during the monsoon season when the clothes take too much time to dry.
For any excess moisture or humidity issue, ventilation is a crucial solution. And it can single-handedly solve a lot of problems. Every house or apartment needs fresh air circulation to eliminate excess humidity and prevent moisture from capturing different areas.
Ventilation and air circulation also help to keep the items dry and provide sunlight to the house. Many may not know about this fact, but the rays from the sun contain antibacterial properties, which are excellent for preventing mold and mildew growth.
How to get rid of mold in closet
Now you know why there is fungus growing inside your closet. So what to do to get rid of it? Here are some solutions you can try to get yourself out of this trouble.
Invest in a dehumidifier.
It cannot be stressed enough how vital a dehumidifier can be for your place. This device can help eliminate the excess humidity in the air without you putting any effort into it. Depending on the size and convenience, you can set up a dehumidifier near the closet or inside.
The dehumidifier will ensure your ideal moisture levels inside the house and that you breathe clean and fresh air. If you haven’t tried installing a dehumidifier in your home yet, it is time to invest in one and see the difference for yourself.
Go for an air purifier.
Even though the most central issue is related to excess humidity in the atmosphere, air purifiers also do a decent job of improving the overall air quality of the house. Air purifiers contain several filters, the popular one being the HEPA filter.
But what is the specialty of this particular filter? The HEPA filter can successfully eliminate up to 99.97% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns. And when this filter joins hands with a carbon one, it can also help eliminate the musty odor left behind by the mold.
Never ignore ventilation.
You may think that ventilation is not a significant deal, but it can do wonders for the overall health of your house.
Healthy sunlight and proper air circulation can help inhibit mold growth to a considerable extent. Plus, it also helps in getting rid of many unpleasant smells. While you open the doors and windows, you can also turn on the fan to fasten the process.
Empty the closet.
If you spot any mold growth in the closet, it is time to empty the entire closet immediately. Even if there is no mold, it is crucial to building a proper schedule so you can take out enough time to empty the wardrobe and clean it.
If you have any piece of clothing that you cannot wash in water, it is time to visit the dry cleaners. And for washable ones, put them in the washing machine and use some good-smelling laundry detergent.
Check for leaks and damages.
As already mentioned above, sometimes it is hard to notice the leaks or damage in plumbing unless you see dark patches on the wall. Build a schedule or set a reminder to look for any signs of water damage on the closet walls and ceilings.
If you find any, get it fixed immediately. The issue does not only arise from plumbing leaks. The primary objective is to control moisture if you want to avoid mold growth.
Never store damp clothes in the closet.
Storing wet clothes in the closet is one of the most common reasons people find mold in closet. Mold is highly attracted to moisture, and you are just creating a suitable environment to invite them. It does not matter whether your clothes are thoroughly wet or slightly damp.
Keeping them in a closed space is a bad idea. Even if you choose a dryer to dry your clothes, it cannot do the job 100%. After taking them out of the dryer, try hanging them in the sun or with proper air circulation.
Another example of moisture in clothes is sweat. Do not ever store sweaty clothes directly inside the closet without letting them drive properly. It will also promote mold growth.
Build a schedule to clean your closet regularly.
We know our lives are hectic nowadays, and no one has the time to clean and scrub the closet daily. But you do not even need to! If you feel that your wardrobe is getting left out from the cleaning spree, build a fixed schedule for when you want to get it cleaned every month.
Sometimes you may not realize that your closet is dirty as not all bacteria are visible to the human eye. Plus, it is easy to miss out on the nooks and corners while cleaning it. However, maintaining and keeping the wardrobe clean can make a significant difference. And it will also reduce the chances of mold growing inside to a considerable extent.
Use necessary disinfectants.
Sometimes only wiping the surfaces of the closet may not be enough. You may need to choose more powerful and practical solutions. Distilled white vinegar works just as well if you want to use natural ingredients.
All you need to do is mix white vinegar and water and store this solution in a spray bottle. You can then spray this liquid on the affected areas. Leave it like that for at least 30 minutes, after which you can scrub it off.
Choose wire shelves for easy maintenance.
Wood is a heavy material and can hold moisture very quickly. However, this feature can be detrimental if you want to prevent mold. If cleaning the closet regularly is not feasible for you, wire shelves can be highly convenient in that scenario instead of wood shelves. They are great for offering the required ventilation to your clothes, and the airflow can prevent mold growth.
Use the solution of bleach or hydrogen peroxide.
Bleach or hydrogen peroxide are great alternatives for white vinegar. Or you can use white vinegar for the first step and then repeat the cleaning process with a bleach or hydrogen peroxide solution.
All you need to do this is mix equal quantities of bleach and water or hydrogen peroxide and water. However, in this case, unlike the step where you left the white vinegar solution for 30 minutes, keeping it on for only 10 minutes is recommended.
Reach out to professionals.
If none of the solutions work for you and the mold infestation is too severe, the best recommendation would be to reach out to professionals.
They have a lot of experience in this field and offer you the best solution according to your situation. You might have to replace the shelves in extreme cases.
Mentioned above are some of the best solutions for when you find mold in closet. Even though this problem is quite common, it is better to fix it as soon as possible so that it does not spread further.
Humidity is one of the primary reasons behind this issue. Remember, you can opt for a dehumidifier to prevent mold and mildew growth. If you want to try the simple route, try using silica gel packs inside the closet.