You’re washing a load of clothes, but something’s not right. The laundry room smells musty. A quick check behind the washing machine reveals mold growing on the wall. You find more dark stains in corners. It doesn’t take long for mold spores to spread through the entire area.
You need to figure out how to get rid of mold in the laundry room right away and prevent future outbreaks. From basements to attics, we eliminate mold problems in homes all across Chicago, IL and the suburbs. We offer these guidelines for cleaning up mold and keeping it out of your laundry room.
Eliminating Mold in the Laundry Room: 5 Must-Do Steps
Washing and drying clothes generates humidity. Heat from appliances keeps the air warm. Your clean laundry room can easily become an ideal environment for unhealthy mold growth.
Once it takes hold, the fungus can quickly spread through the rest of the house. You need to tackle the problem right away.
These five steps for laundry room mold cleanup get the job done.
1. ID the Moisture Source
Take a close look at the affected areas. Check for leaks behind the washing machine, wet spots under appliances and dampness in walls. If you can identify the moisture source, repair it before you start cleanup. If not, call a water damage remediation company like ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba that handles both repairs and mold removal.
2. Suit Up for Safety
Cleaning up mold releases unhealthy spores into the air. It’s very important to protect yourself while you’re working, so suit up with the following gear.
- Disposable work clothes
- Disposable nitrite rubber gloves
- Wrap-around eye goggles
- OSHA-approved face mask
3. Clean and Disinfect Surfaces
Scrub down non-porous surfaces with bleach and water. This simple mixture kills mold as you clean. Repeat with a second scrub to remove any residual fungal growth. Finally, rinse and wipe with clean cloths.
Don’t use bleach on porous surfaces such as drywall or wood cabinets. Instead, clean and disinfect porous materials with an anti-fungal product. Rinse and wipe clean when done.
4. Thoroughly Dry the Area
Set up fans in different corners of the laundry room. This arrangement generates strong crosscurrents of fresh air. You want to thoroughly dry the entire area, so let the fans run for several days.
5. Be Careful With Tear-Outs
Moldy drywall and wood need to be torn out and replaced. If you’re not experienced with this type of reconstruction, call a professional water damage restoration company. If you plan on doing the work yourself, wear your protective gear, and be careful handling contaminated materials.
Mold on the Laundry Room Ceiling
Without proper ventilation, moisture in a laundry room rises to the ceiling. It eventually creates the same damp problems that cause mold to grow on walls and trim. Remove mold from ceilings by following our general cleaning and disinfecting guidelines. Be sure to take these additional precautions.
- Protect floors and surfaces with plastic sheets.
- Use anti-fungal products instead of bleach and water.
- After drying, apply a light layer of anti-fungal spray.
- Repaint the ceiling with a semi-gloss formulated to prevent mold.
Mold in the Washing Machine
A front-loading washer often develops mold around the rubber gasket that seals the door shut. Most homeowners smell a musty odor before spotting mold growing on the dark rubber material.
Spray and clean with an anti-fungal product, thoroughly dry, and leave the door open for several hours. It’s a good idea to always leave the door open when the washing machine isn’t in use.
Black Mold in the Laundry Room
A simple DIY test can determine if you have mold or mildew in the laundry room. However, it can’t identify the difference between ordinary mold and toxic black mold.
Mold that appears slimy and dark green or black may be dangerous Stachybotrys chartarum. If you think you have toxic black mold behind your washing machine or anywhere in the laundry room, don’t risk your personal safety.
Immediately contact a certified mold removal company. Let industry-trained technicians take samples and process them through a licensed testing lab. You’ll quickly learn exactly what you’re dealing with, and you’ll have access to professionals who know how to remove and remediate dangerous mold.
How to Prevent Mold Growth in the Laundry Room
If your basement doubles as the laundry room, think about water-proofing strategies that make it less susceptible to mold growth. Upstairs laundry rooms can also become warm, humid environments that breed mold and mildew.
These simple tips help prevent mold problems upstairs and down.
1. Lower the Humidity
Think about using a dehumidifier in the laundry room. The appliance controls humidity levels, and that reduces the chance of mold growing on walls, appliances and clothes.
2. Keep Laundry Moving
Dirt on clothes serves as a food source for fungal growth, so don’t let the laundry pile up. Mold grows on wet clothes, so keep things moving from washer to dryer as quickly as possible.
Power Tip: Pre-treat moldy laundry before washing so that fabrics don’t transfer spores to the washer and dryer.
3. Keep the Washer Dry
Routinely check the washing machine for signs of leaks. Look for cracks in hoses and leaks around connections. Keep a drip pan under the washer to monitor possible interior drain problems.
Power Tip: Monitor hose connections by wrapping with dry cloths and checking them between cycles.
4. Maintain the Clothes Dryer
Lint buildup keeps the dryer from ventilating properly. It can also cause a dangerous dryer fire, so keep the lint trap clean. Regularly inspect the dryer vent to make sure it isn’t leaking moist air into your laundry room.
Dealing With Laundry Room Mold in Chicago, IL, or the Suburbs? We’re Here to Help!
It grows behind heavy appliances, deep into porous materials and overhead in ceiling tiles. Cleaning up mold in the laundry room isn’t always a DIY job. When you need help with laundry room mold, we’re just around the corner.
We offer industry-certified mold removal and remediation for Chicago homes, and we take care of the suburbs too. Don’t let unhealthy mold ruin your clean laundry room.
Give us a call here at ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba: 773-647-1985