By HomeAdvisor, CJonline.com
The garage isn’t the first place most homeowners think will present a mold problem, but mold can infest your garage just like any other area of your home — and the basics behind preventing it are essentially the same in every space.
Mold thrives in moist, dark, stale environments, so it’s important to ensure your garage stays dry and well-ventilated. Mold problems are common, and even the most conscientious homeowners can be affected.
Building a Mold-Proof Garage
If you’re building a new garage and are concerned about mold, your best bet is to build your garage out of materials that mold will find inhospitable. A good first step is constructing a garage with metal studs instead of wood. Metal studs require somewhat different skills and tools, but any general contractor with experience using metal studs should be able to build you a quality garage.
Consider using pre-coated aluminum or vinyl siding for the walls of your garage. By choosing materials other than wood, you’ll not only all but eliminate the possibility of mold growth, but you’ll also prevent wood-eating pests and the damage they could do to your new garage.
Preventing Mold in your Existing Garage
If you already have a garage, and it’s not made of metal or other mold-preventing materials, you’re going to need to take a more meticulous route to keep mold from infiltrating your garage. Your highest priority should be reducing the moisture content of the air as much as possible. Air dehumidifiers are a good start. Making sure your garage is well-ventilated is another good step to take.
Naturally, one of the most common places for water to enter your garage is through the roof of the garage, so be sure to keep that in good condition. Fresh, circulating air and a well-maintained garage structure should be enough to prevent garage mold. Sunlight also helps keep mold from growing, but don’t think that opening your garage door for a few hours a day will be enough to prevent mold on its own.
Garage Mold Removal
Garage mold removal is usually a project best left to the professionals. The general presence of mold can cause respiratory problems in people who have a sensitivity to general contaminants. And the process of removing mold will stir mold spores that can be a serious irritant to even the stoutest of constitutions. Some local codes require that mold removal be handled by a licensed professional.
The good news is removing mold from a garage is generally less complicated than removing mold from other areas of the home. The biggest problem with mold removal, other than using proper safety precautions and disposal methods, is ensuring all the mold is removed. In some areas of the home, this can require the costly excavation of surrounding areas and walls. Even in instances in which mold is found hiding behind your garage walls, locating and removing this mold is easier than addressing a mold problem within the interior walls of your home.
Note: Containment is most important when remediating mold from any portion of your home. Mold fragments (broken pieces of mold generally mixed with dust) can float around in the air, making people sick. They are too tiny to be seen. Make sure that your garage is sealed off from the rest of the house during mold removal, so you don’t cross contaminate the inside of your house and your belongings. Also, take you car out of the garage while cleaning, because vehicles are another unsuspecting place for mold to hide. Wash down smooth surfaces of tools and equipment with soapy water, vinegar or alcohol. Be sure to throw the rags away.