How to Prevent Mold and Mildew In Your Cabinets

How to Prevent Mold and Mildew In Your Cabinets
crawfordmech February 3, 2017

Mold and mildew can wreak havoc in your home, causing damage to your property and a host of health issues too. These aggressive fungi can often go unnoticed in the cabinets beneath your sink until they have caused a major issue. The secret to controlling them is creating an environment that prevents their growth.

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What is the ideal environment for mold and mildew growth?

Mold and mildew are both fungi that thrive in warm, moist environments. Because they do not need sunlight to grow and reproduce, these tiny organisms can grow under your sink, in your walls or on nearly any surface that is consistently damp.

How can you tell if you have mold or mildew?

Many people automatically think of toxic black mold when they hear about a mold or mildew problem. Not all mold is black and not all black mold is toxic, but it does have the potential of turning into toxic black mold. Mold is usually black or green, but can even be yellow or pink when it is behind some materials, like shelf liners or wallpaper. Mold typically looks fuzzy. Mildew is usually gray or white and is sometimes mottled. You may notice some discoloration in damp areas in the cabinets under your sink and may smell the telltale “mildew” odor. This is the same odor that occurs in wet clothes in the hamper during hot, humid spells.

Common types of mold include:

  • Stachybotrys: This is commonly known as “black” mold that can be toxic and cause allergic reactions in some individuals.
  • Trichoderma: Also an allergenic mold, this one usually appears with green patches throughout. This mold typically have a wooly texture.
  • Chaetomium : Commonly found in water-damaged homes and buildings, this mold typically shows up in white, grey, brown, or even black colors.

How do you prevent mold and mildew under your sink?

The best way to prevent problems with these fungi is to keep the area dry. That means regularly checking for leaks around your pipes and sealing them as soon as they are discovered. It also means wiping up any spills or leaks to remove the moisture. Beware of storing damp sponges or other wet materials under the sink as this can raise the humidity in the cabinets and give mold and mildew an open invitation.

What should you do if you discover mold or mildew in the cabinets?

Washing the cabinets and drying out the area may take care of the problem if you catch it in the early stages. Mildew can be washed with an all-purpose cleaner, but you will need a solution of one part water to nine parts bleach to kill the mold spores. If you aren’t sure if you are dealing with mold or mildew, err on the side of cleaning the area with the bleach solution. Allow the area to dry completely. You can either open the windows to the room or use a fan to further increase air circulation. If your cabinets have a serious mold and mildew problem, replacing them may be the best solution.

If you need your cabinets replaced or are considering a remodel of your kitchen or bath, the professionals at Crawford Mechanical can take care of the plumbing for you to avoid issues with mold and mildew in the future. Contact us today.

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