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Will A Dehumidifier Help With Mold?

Mold is never good to have around the house. It ruins our food, it looks gross, and smells horrible.

It can also cause some serious respiratory problems if left alone for too long.

To help combat the problem, you consider buying a dehumidifier.

However, will it help get rid of the mold?

Yes, a dehumidifier will help with mold.

In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of using these kinds of devices, how they work, and some alternative methods for getting rid of mold around your home.

What You Should Know About Household Mold

First, we need to understand how mold forms and what helps it grow.

As long as organic materials are present, the potential for mold growth will always be there.

These materials include, but are not limited to:

  • Cotton
  • Wool
  • Paper
  • Wood
  • Linen

Another key element all mold needs is moisture, such as water on surfaces or even in the air.

Once a certain temperature is reached, anywhere between 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and if all the conditions are met, mold will inevitably grow.

It can get into the most obscure of places, such as ceilings, basement corners, even carpets.

The chances of mold growth increase if the humidity levels become high enough.

Anything above 50% humidity in the air can cause problems.

This is where a dehumidifier comes in.

Using Dehumidifiers For Mold

Its name is fairly self-explanatory.

This machine is designed to make the surrounding air less humid overall, therefore, reducing the chances of mold growth.

There are three types of dehumidifier:

  • Absorption
  • Mechanical
  • Electronic

Electronic models make use of a heat pump that will remove warmth from just about any surface.

Once condensation forms on said surface, water from the air is then removed.

They tend to use quite a bit of energy to do this, and may be the most expensive type of the three.

However, electronic dehumidifiers are highly recommended for large amounts of mold. They’re also quiet to use!

The second type, mechanical (a.k.a. “refrigerative” dehumidifiers), works by drawing in moist air onto a cold coil, which creates condensation.

Any water collected drips off either directly into a drain via hose, or accumulates in a reservoir inside the device itself.

When shopping around, you’ll find that these kinds of dehumidifiers are the most common.

Another kind you may come across is the absorption model.

They use what’s called a “desiccant,” a chemical component that has strong water absorption properties.

The most commonly used desiccant is silica gel, something you can find in certain foods that need to be kept dry at all times.

Dehumidifier Alternatives For Mold

In the case you can’t afford a dehumidifier at the moment, or think your mold problem isn’t big enough to warrant buying one, you can try several alternative ways in place of it.

One effective example is using high amounts of heat. If you have a portable heater or even a hairdryer, you can use either to heat up damp and/or moldy spots to kill off any harmful organisms.

The drier a surface, the less chance mold has a chance to grow.

You can even apply a more systemic solution by cranking up your central heating system a bit.

It may not get rid of certain problem areas, but it will help by reducing the amounts of moisture in the air, preventing future mold growth.

Colder temperatures can also help.

However, it can only work by placing individual objects in the freezer, halting the mold from growing, but will still need removal.

Check out this website for more details.

Mold spores will always have a difficult time reproducing in well-ventilated areas.

The less chance air has to settle in one area, the less chance that moisture (and therefore, mold) will have a chance to accumulate.

Open up your windows, crank up the air flow with your HVAC system, and help keep your house free of moldy surfaces.

You can increase this effect if you have a whole-house fan, a system that pushes air throughout the entire house, keeping stagnant air and moisture out.

If you feel that increasing the airflow isn’t enough, worry not, for there are several other things you can do to effectively reduce the humidity levels inside your home.

Should you have large amounts of houseplants, you’d do well in decreasing moisture levels by moving them outside, or at least a well-ventilated room.

Another cause of mold growth could be leaky pipes and faucets.

Search your home for any water stains on the walls, ceilings, and floors.

Should you notice any, or discover that your water bill is higher than normal, have the leak fixed, and you should notice a reduction in mold growth.

Exposed pipes, ones that aren’t behind walls, can be wrapped in insulators to prevent any condensation from forming on them.

Similar to using heat, you can also lower the overall temperature of your home to keep humidity levels down.

This can be done in a myriad of ways, like opening your windows as mentioned earlier, using an air conditioner if you have one, and taking cooler showers (as humid air forms with hotter temperatures).

You don’t have to endure ice-cold waters, simply turning down your usual shower temperature by a couple of degrees should do the trick.

Keeping your home clean means mold will have a much harder time gaining a foothold.

Should a spill occur, take care of it right away.

Another place that most might not think of cleaning as well is the gutters.

Clogged or failing gutters can cause leaks that seep into your home, facilitating mold growth as a result.

Also, make sure the downspout is directed away from the house.

You should place it at least six feet from your home to prevent the water from getting into the basement.

Final Word

No one wants mold growing in their house, and getting rid of it can be a chore.

However, by following the tips presented in this article, using devices such as dehumidifiers, and putting in effort on your part, you’ll keep the mold away for years to come.

Image: Air-interieur, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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