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Prevent Mold in the Laundry Room
By Jim Brown
Preventing mold in the laundry room is not complicated if you follow the basic rules of keeping the laundry room dry. As with all rooms in the house, it is important to perform periodic inspections to detect any signs of leaks and to prevent water damage in the laundry room.
Control Relative Humidity (RH) Levels.
Use a humidity meter (hygrometer) to detect any unusual humidity readings. It is recommended to keep humidity levels lower than 45%. Be sure to inspect humidity levels both when the washer or dryer are on and off.
Another "humidity generator" in the laundry room is wet or damp laundry. Dry all moist laundry before placing it in the laundry hamper. In addition, remove wet laundry from the washer immediately and dry it thoroughly. Don't hang-dry laundry indoors.
Ventilate the laundry room as much as possible. Open the door and windows to increase air circulation especially when the washer or dryer are running as these appliances generate heat and increase humidity levels while running.
Inspect your clothes dryer to make sure the ventilation hose exhausts outside of your home. If you suspect that it doesn't, hire a professional to inspect the ductwork and the exhaust system. Keep your ducts clean and lint-free.
Drying and Storing Textiles
Completely dry damp or wet laundry before storing it in the closet. Keep your closets as dry as possible. You can use desiccants such as silica gel in your closets and clothes storage areas to reduce moisture.
Do not store clothes, fabrics, and textiles in plastic bags for long periods of time because condensation may occur in the bag. Cloth bags or fabric, such as sheets, are better for textiles storage as they allow ventilation, provide protection from light and soil and prevent condensation.