Most homeowners don’t think of the garage as dark and humid. It often serves as a main entrance into the house, but it doesn’t get much sunlight when the doors are down. Dampness builds up and musty odors fill the air. Sooner or later, you’re dealing with mold in the garage.
We’ve work in hundreds of Chicago homes impacted by mold growing in the garage. As the city’s leading mold removal company, we offer these tips for getting rid of it before it spreads through your house.
What Causes Mold to Grow in the Garage?
In order to grow, mold needs three things: humidity, darkness and poor air circulation. The way you use a space also contributes to its spread. These are the most common causes of mold in the garage.
- Bad door seals allow damp weather to seep inside.
- Wet car tires and undercarriages drip water on the garage floor.
- Leaky plumbing or burst pipes flood the garage.
- Summer heat combined with rainy weather increases humidity.
- Cardboard and paper items stored in the garage feed mold growth.
How to Get Rid of Mold in Your Garage
Mold in the garage is a nuisance that easily develops into serious problems. It can impact your health, and it can cause structural damage to the house. Stay safe by following these four steps for cleaning up mold in the garage.
1. Wear PPE Gear
Mold cleanup releases spores and harmful mycotoxins into the air. It’s very important to protect yourself. Suit up in the following PPE gear before you start working.
- OSHA-recommended respiratory face mask
- Disposable gloves and shoe coverings
- Disposable coveralls or work clothes
- Snug-fit wrap-around eye goggles
2. Prep the Area
Minimize the spread of mold spores by spraying down affected areas. Start with a mist of warm water. Allow it to set, and then follow up with a cleaning solution. Mix 1 cup of bleach with 1 gallon of water for use on non-porous surfaces. Spray porous surfaces with an anti-fungal product.
3. Scrub and Rinse
Scrub non-porous surfaces with a stiff brush. Rinse the brush often in a separate bucket filled with bleach and water. Clean non-porous surfaces with a different set of brushes and cloths. Repeat as needed to remove any remaining mold and residue. Finally, rinse all surfaces with water.
4. Dry and Dispose
Place box fans in opposite corners of the garage, and run them for several days. If outdoor humidity isn’t a problem, leave doors open to speed up the drying process. Safely dispose of work clothes in tightly sealed plastic bags.
It’s important to understand that not every mold cleanup job is a DIY project. If you’re looking at any of the following factors, don’t take chances. Contact an industry-certified mold remediation company.
- Moldy areas in the garage measure more than 3 square feet.
- Affected surfaces are hard to reach or don’t clean easily.
- Mold has already grown deep into drywall and wood framing.
- You suspect black mold in the garage is dangerous Stachybotrys chartarum.
- Cleaning up the mold could impact a family member who deals with health issues.
How to Remove Mold From the Garage Ceiling
If you need to take care of mold on the garage ceiling, cover everything with plastic sheets before getting started. Spray the ceiling with an anti-fungal cleaner, let it set, and then spray a second time. Carefully clean away mold growth. Finish with a final anti-fungal spray. Keep the garage well ventilated for several days until the ceiling dries.
How to Get Rid of Mold on Concrete Floors
Before cleaning mold off the garage floor, clear out everything so that you have plenty of room to work. Apply your bleach and water solution to the concrete, scrub the affected area, and let it set before rinsing. Repeat if necessary. A power washer makes the job easier.
If you see white mold in the garage, it may be efflorescence. The substance is a type of mineral deposit that feels hard to the touch. Unlike mold, efflorescence usually dissolves with an application of detergent and water.
How to Prevent Mold in the Garage
Once it’s cleaned up, you want to do all you can to stop things from getting moldy in the garage again. These tips and tricks make a big difference.
- Weather-sealing doors reduces the risk of mold on the inside of the garage.
- Leaving the doors up during nice weather is a simple solution for a damp garage.
- Always move standing water outside with a floor squeegee.
- Use box fans to dry out the garage after any type of flooding.
- Control moisture levels by running a dehumidifier in the garage.
- Keep stored items off the floor and up on shelving.
- Replace cardboard boxes with plastic tubs and stackable milk crates.
- Routinely check garage walls and floors for potential dampness problems.
When it’s time to think about a garage remodel, keep in mind ideas that help the space stay dry and mold-free. For example, new garage doors with windows let in much-needed sunlight.
Consider using metal framing instead of wood. Install mold-resistant materials instead of traditional drywall. Finally, finish the job with mold-resistant paint on the garage walls and ceiling.
Dealing With Garage Mold in Chicago IL or the Suburbs? We’re Here to Help!
It’s not unusual for mold in the garage to spread through stored items and penetrate the walls. Clothes and belongings can often be salvaged, but moldy drywall needs to be torn out and replaced.
When you’re facing a big mold cleanup project in the garage or anywhere around the house, we can help. We provide expert mold removal and remediation services, and we take care of commercial properties too. You want industry-certified professionals on the job.
Call ServiceMaster by Zaba, Chicago’s most trusted mold specialists: 773-647-1985