How to Prevent Moldy Appliances

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Mold growth in your home is more than merely an unpleasant sight, and it is a health hazard to your family, especially to those who are sensitive to it. Learning how to prevent moldy appliances can prevent mold exposure symptoms from mild irritations to severe respiratory and other health problems.

Mold thrives in damp conditions and can grow in the tiniest places within the recesses of the major appliances in your home. It is attracted to moisture and can grow inside your refrigerator, dishwasher, or washing machine without realizing it.

While it may seem counterintuitive to clean the machines that clean other items in your home, regular inspection and thorough cleaning of those appliances can prevent the spread of dangerous mold spores.

Washing Machine

Your laundry room presents ideal conditions for mold growth if it is not adequately ventilated or left unattended. Moisture and dirt create breeding grounds for mold. Dirty piles of laundry in a warm, damp environment are the perfect home for mold to grow and prosper.

Mold growth on washing machines is easy to identify. Front-loading washers may see mold forming in the door creases or the detergent dispenser, while top-loading washing machines are more likely to grow mold in the drum or interior walls.

Some common-sense ways to prevent mold from forming in your washing machine include:

Run Loads Regularly

Dirty, damp clothes left in the laundry room, in hampers, or strewn across a teenager’s bedroom floor will provide the perfect conditions for mold to grow and give residual moisture in the washing machine a chance to create mold growth.

Dry Clothes After Washing

Wet clothes left in the washing machine can grow mold in no time. If you cannot get back to the washer for an extended period, it is better to wait until you return to run the load rather than let the clean clothes sit wet in the washer.

Leave Lid Open After Use

Closing the washing machine lid after running a load will slow down the drying process and increase the chances of mold growth appearing before subsequent use.

Clean Regularly

Perform monthly inspections on the door creases, drum, and detergent dispensers, and clean out the grime build-up that can be attractive to mold growth. Check the manufacturer’s manual for tips on keeping your washing machine clean.

Dishwasher

Your dishwasher is another appliance that can become a natural breeding ground for mold. Food particles left behind in warm, damp conditions will attract mildew and mold, and left unattended, can create significant problems for the dishwasher and your family.

Dishwashers have many folds, creases, compartments, and corners where moisture and food gather to form ideal moldy areas. Some ways to prevent mold growth in your dishwasher include:

Rinse Dishes Before Loading Dishwasher

It may be tempting to place dirty dishes in the dishwasher and let the appliance do all the work. The problem comes when food chunks get lodged in hidden areas throughout the dishwasher. Food particles will remain in the machine and lead to mold growth over time.

Open the Door

When the cycle is complete and after you put the dishes away, leaving the door open for a while will help dry out problem areas quicker. This eliminates excess moisture that can result in mold growth.

Heat Dry Run

Running your dishwasher on the heat-dry cycle will serve to kill bacteria growth on the inside. Leave the door open to dry out all interior areas.

Dry Removable Baskets

Take out, clean, and dry the silverware baskets and other removable compartments with creases and folds that hide food particles.

Refrigerator

Refrigerators generate a lot of heat to keep your food and beverages cold. The inside of your refrigerator may be the most dangerous and pervasive area for mold growth in your home. Leftover food and the moisture that gathers in your fridge present ideal conditions for mold to grow and prosper.

Keeping your refrigerator clean and clearing out old food before it has a chance to become moldy are the best ways to prevent mold growth. Still, it takes more than wiping down the shelves periodically to keep your refrigerator healthy and mold-free.

Clean Up Spills Thoroughly

You should not cry over spilled milk, but you should clean it up quickly and thoroughly if spilled in your fridge. Allowing spilled liquids to become stiff and crusty will invite moldy conditions.

Clean Trays, Drawers

The most effective way to prevent mold growth in your fridge is to periodically remove all trays, drawers, and compartments and give them all a thorough cleaning and scrubbing. Use hydrogen peroxide or vinegar to ward off future mold growth.  

Keep It Dry

Make sure trays and shelves are kept as dry as possible. Wipe down areas of moisture before closing the fridge door.

Move Fridge Yearly

Condensation build-up underneath your refrigerator can lead to mold problems you cannot see. Moving out your refrigerator and cleaning underneath and behind it will work to prevent mold growth over time.

Mold Removal Professionals

Mold growth in your home is inevitable on some level. While it is impossible to completely eliminate mold in your home, following these simple, common-sense tips will work to prevent mold from growing in the major appliances throughout your home.

Sometimes, mold can get out of hand despite your best efforts to contain and prevent it. Leaky pipes and moldy water lines can lead to significant mold growth that can only be remediated by professional mold removal experts.

Get Started With Us

Contact us today for complete information on our mold removal and water damage services.

Chris MorenoHow to Prevent Moldy Appliances
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Case Study IX | Behind this Normal Looking Kitchen

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Case Study Information

We received a call from the homeowner in a panic as she had just seen the damage to her rental property. The tenants moved out a few weeks prior. Then, the homeowner went back and noticed the musty odor throughout the home and some visible growth on the back of the kitchen wall. She was surprised to see how bad this microbial growth had been growing behind the cabinets. As it turns out, she discovered the water source to be a leak in the supply line to the sink.

The Solution

We contained the affected area to prevent cross-contamination into other rooms of the home. Next, we began with our mold remediation process. All of the affected drywall and cabinets had to be discarded. The remaining wood framing was sanded, the entire area was detail cleaned with HEPA Vacuums, and we put the room under negative air pressure to capture the mold and mold spores. Finally, we achieved favorable air quality and reconstruction could begin.

Chris MorenoCase Study IX | Behind this Normal Looking Kitchen
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Mold Threatens Rare Book Vault

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The Damages:

  • An HVAC leak caused water damage to a rare book vault
  • 1500 square feet containing 5000 volumes of rare books
  • Mold-inundated commercial carpeting and drywall
  • Microbial growth visible on the surfaces of the books

All Nation’s Response:

  • By placing the work area under containment, negative pressure-protected the rest of the property from cross-contamination
  • Book stacks wrapped during demolition to prevent further contamination
  • Carpeting was removed and flooring was treated with an antimicrobial agent
  • Contaminated drywall removed, sub-surfaces cleaned, disinfected, and encapsulated
  • All surfaces HEPA vacuumed, wiped, and HEPA vacuumed again to remove mold spores
  • Worked with UT’s Book conservator to tailor a cleaning process for the rare books that would be effective and cause the least amount of damage
  • HEPA air filtration used both inside and outside containment areas
  • Commercial dehumidification units are employed to control the humidity level and return the room to a functioning, safe level

Rare books at the prestigious University of Texas at Austin were threatened by a severe case of mold contamination. All Nation Restoration was called, and with our immediate response and sensitivity to the situation, we were able to restore the space and the irreplaceable books it housed.

Chris MorenoMold Threatens Rare Book Vault
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