GARAGE DOOR MAINTENANCE – SPORES
Spores are dangerous! No one can dispute that. Mold exposure can lead to sickness, disability and even death. You certainly don’t want that in your garage or home. Unfortunately, our hot and humid Griffin, GA weather does nothing to help the situation; mold loves moisture and dark places and the insides of our garages provide these attributes in droves. Does this mean that you are at the mercy of mold spores? No way! Griffin Garage Door Repair offers these tips so that you can prevent mold from growing in your garage and if it already is, remove it easily and quickly.
Mold can grow anywhere!
What if you don’t live in the local area and are reading this? We don’t want to scare you but mold spores can grow anywhere in the world, not just here in our area.
Typically though, mold thrives in dark, moist areas and that’s why you often see it in basements, bathrooms and under kitchen sinks. The garage is often associated with outdoor areas but it is actually an ideal place for spores to grow and thrive.
For those adding new construction
If you are adding a garage or shed, you’ll want to start from scratch so that you can prevent mold from ever starting. While no method is 100% foolproof, you can greatly reduce the incidence of mold spores by avoiding construction materials that foster it. Whether you are acting as your own contractor or using someone else, you can start by avoiding wood and drywall. Use metal studs, aluminum siding and vinyl whenever appropriate. If you are using a builder, speak to him about your concerns and encourage him to use always use non-mold inducing material in your construction process.
If your garage is already constructed
No worries; you can still control mold growth if your garage is already constructed or even quite old. There are several things you can start doing; even today. Start by keeping the insides of your garage as dry as possible. This goes for air quality as well as moisture. As stated earlier, this is sometimes hard to do in our humid Georgia weather and summers are usually the worst time for mold growth.
If you detect moisture in your garage, remove it by leaving your garage door open, utilizing fans or even a space heater. Please don’t mistake dry air with air-tight! These are two separate things and your garage needs to be well ventilated at all times.
Fix leaks as soon as possible!
If you have a leaky roof or water heater, get it fixed! It does no good to mop up spills and ventilate your garage if the source of your leaked water is not plugged. Obviously the best time to notice a leaky roof is right after a rain or snow storm. Water heaters leak as do water softeners and garage sinks.
Aim for all!
Mold spores are a lot like cancer cells. You don’t want to remove most of them; you want them ALL gone! Keep this in mind when you spot mold and don’t just try for a mostly good job of removal. Be thorough and get as much as possible with your cleaning. Mold loves to grow and thrive in porous material. In your garage, this is usually found on floors, in walls or on doors. Wood, drywall, concrete and plaster are all porous so be on the look-out for mold there. Bleach is best used for cleanup. It kills mold fast and prevents further growth. A good ratio for a bleach mixture is one part bleach to four parts water.
If your drywall is still in the unfinished state, simply spray your bleach mixture directly on it and let it soak into the surface. For finished drywall as well as wood and concrete you can lightly scrub the surface with a brush or sponge. Be sure to use gloves as bleach can be corrosive on your hands. Clean all surfaces with the garage door open if possible. Go over floors, walls and the garage door itself. If you like, you can use a respirator and try to not breathe any of the fumes, if possible.
You can substitute bleach with white vinegar. Just change the portions so that you now have one part water to one part vinegar. For added strength you can include one tablespoon dishwashing detergent for every quart of solution that you make. Denatured alcohol is also another good bleach alternative. If you use this, go with full strength and don’t dilute at all. Just apply with a sponge or spray on directly. As always remember to do this in a well ventilated garage. If you are doing mold spore removal in the midst of our cold season, be double sure to use a space heater to keep moisture to minimum.
More sources of moisture
Leaky roofs and water heaters are not the only sources of moisture in your garage. Your car is another! Cars, bicycles, motorcycles, lawn mowers and even skateboards can all bring water into your garage by simply having it on their tires. Radiators can leak or give off condensation and simply driving over a puddle of water or patch of snow can cause this moisture to cling to your tires and then onto your garage floor.
Get rid of cardboard
Do you store old books, newspapers and magazines in your garage? Mold loves those items and also the cardboard boxes used to store them in. If possible replace your open or loosely sealed cardboard boxes with sealed plastic containers. You can find these online, at yard sales, or at container supply stores and other retail outlets. Keeping items in sealed containers not only helps keep mold out of your storage items, it also prevents bugs and spiders from getting into your boxes and other belongings and multiplying.
Don’t wait too long!
Mold spores are bad news! Professional mold remediation is time consuming and very expensive. Take the time to eliminate it from your garage and your life now while you can do it easily and inexpensively.