Your garage is one of the most common places to experience mold in the home, along with your basement, attic or storage space. The reason your garage is so susceptible to mold is that it is typically not a temperature-controlled space. The garage may become extremely cold in the winter and extremely hot in the summer, and humidity can be high all year long.
Mold thrives in moist, humid conditions. It may start small, but it can quickly grow into a large problem, covering your whole ceiling, walls and floors. When you see mold, the problem may already be very advanced, but most of it might be hiding where you can’t see it. If you see even small areas of mold, you will need to investigate to see how far the problem goes.
Once you find mold in your garage, here’s what you can do to deal with it:
Clean with Bleach
Once mold is present, it will not go away on its own. The only thing you can do to get rid of it is to clean it with bleach or some other agent that kills it. Many people have said that they have had success with rubbing alcohol, vinegar, ammonia and even tea tree oil. Mix the cleaning agent of your choice with water and put it in a spray bottle. Apply it to the area with mold and scrub.
You cannot use common household cleaners to deal with mold. The cleaning agents are not designed for mold, and they will not eliminate the problem.
Paint with Killz
A good latex paint or primer, like Killz, can prevent mold from spreading again after you clean it. This is a good step to take to cover yourself in case you were not thorough or you overlooked a spot. Even the smallest bit of mold can spread again, creating a big problem. The Killz will suffocate the mold and prevent it from growing. It will also help prevent new mold from forming since it creates a barrier between the mold and the wood, drywall and other materials on which it likes to grow.
Dehumidify the Area
Moisture is the driving force for mold growth, and one way that moisture gets into garages is through humidity. There are several things you can do to address humidity, but one of the easiest and most common methods for dealing with it is to run a dehumidifier. You can buy a portable unit that you just plug into the wall, or you can explore more advanced systems that are installed through a vent or a window.
Whatever method you choose, make sure that it has enough power to deal with the area that your garage covers.
Ensure Good Air Flow
Poor ventilation can also create humid and moist conditions in your garage. Air vents, windows and even your garage door can help to provide the right air flow in your garage. You can also install fans and blowers to keep things moving and ensure that mold does not grow. Getting to the root of a ventilation problem can be tricky. You may need to work with a professional who can diagnose your space and install the right vents and other solutions to get results.
Consider Temperature Control
Controlling the temperature in your garage is a great way to ensure proper air flow and ventilation. It also makes your garage more comfortable when you are leaving for work on a cold morning. Insulating your garage is the first step to controlling the temperature. You can install insulation in the walls and the ceiling, and you can replace your garage door with an insulated unit.
You will need to work with a professional to direct your HVAC system to the garage and install the proper duct work. You may even need to upgrade your system if it does not have the capacity to take on the extra garage space.
Retrofit the Space
Mold thrives on wood, drywall and other paper products. You can eliminate the risk of mold by retrofitting your garage with metal studs instead of wood and aluminum or vinyl siding for the walls. Of course, this is a very expensive solution, but it is a permanent one. If you are having a lot of problems with mold that aren’t responding to the usual solutions, this may be the best option for you.
Mold can be dangerous for you and your family, and it can quickly spread to the rest of your home. Make sure you deal with mold in your garage quickly to keep your home and your family safe.