Rid home of mildew culprits

Mildew, a form of mold is often seen as black, white or greenish growth on siding, drywall, roofing and other areas.  

Mildew likes organic materials like drywall, wood, paper, wallpaper paste, cotton, linen, leather, wool to name a few.  In addition to food, it will grow best in moist and warm areas with lack of air circulation or light. 

One of the most common areas is the bathroom.  Usually the only thing needed here is the installation of a ventilation fan.  Make sure it is ducted to the outside and not just into the attic.  You should use the fan during and after taking a bath or shower.  If you find your family can’t seem to remember to turn the fan on, you might think about having it wired to the light switch.  If you use the fan regularly, it should remove the moisture and circulate the air.  If you find this isn’t enough to combat moisture then you may have moisture generated from somewhere else.  Hidden moisture problems include, leaking valves or supply pipes, loose and/or leaking drain lines, bad wax rings below the toilet, and water around the tub or shower from excessive splash. 

Other areas inside the home include closets, behind beds & other furniture (especially those placed against an exterior wall, combined with high humidity).  Silica gel can help in closets, as well as making sure your clothes are not densely packed in the closet.  Also, moving furniture away from the wall so air can circulate helps alleviate mildew

Outside the home you may see mildew on the siding and roof shingles.  If you have widespread areas of mildew this may indicate a larger moisture problem, one that can usually be traced back to lack of ventilation.  Cut back trees, shrubbery or other landscaping that is overgrown that can be the cause of some problems, as well as adjusting your sprinklers not to hit the side of the house. 

If you think you have hidden moisture you should contact a contractor who has a moisture meter and specializes in water damage restoration.

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