Campus News

Control mold and mildew at home with dehumidifier or moisture barrier

Mildew and musty odors sometimes develop during periods of damp weather. Controlling them can be as easy as buying a dehumidifier or placing a moisture barrier under the home.

Mildew usually begins to grow when relative humidity remains at 60 percent and the temperature is 60 degrees or higher. Typically, mildew appears on the surfaces of bathroom tile or on leather or plastic goods stored in closets. Musty odors often are associated with clothes, chests, closets, upholstered furniture and carpets.

The type of solution recommended to remove mildew completely depends on the particular surface.

Removal of accessible surface deposits of mildew may clear up the odor. Some deodorizers assist in reducing musty odors in furniture and carpet material. Solutions containing household bleach also can clear mold and mildew, though they should be used with extreme caution. Spillage or spatter could result in bleached spots on carpet or upholstery.

If a moisture barrier was not placed under the home during construction, homeowners can add one simply by rolling out plastic on the ground beneath the home. Continued problems with excess moisture can lead to structural damage.

To combat mildew in the home, follow the advice at