How to prevent mold buildup in my house

Asked October 6, 2015, 4:42 AM EDT

Location: Lahore, Pakistan.

I moved into a newly constructed house December 2015. The house is all cement and red brick. This is a farmhouse, and is surrounded by cultivated fields.

As soon as we moved on, we had a massive mold attack. There was furry gray mold growing behind every painting, on our shoes, clothes, wood cabinets. Anything that was near a wall, and was not completely exposed to open air. Even under the furniture.

There were black round spots on the walls and ceiling as well.

It was a very wet and cold winter. This area also has a lot of fog.

Now we've gone through a very dry summer, but winter is just around the corner, and we're afraid that we will again get a mold attack.

Is there anything we can do to prevent this? Any safe chemicals, sprays?

Unfortunately I don't have a picture of the mold, but in dark places, it was furry, and gray. Length of fur in some places was as much as 1 inch.

On clothes it was just light gray mold. Dry cleaning removed the mold completely. However, in some clothes, the black dots never went away. Probably cotton.

I hope this information helps.

Outside United States

2 Responses

Controlling mold and mildew is more about moisture control and ventilation than it is about spraying something for mold.

Mold and mildew need 4 things to be a problem, fungal spores, moderate temperatures, a food source, and moisture.

mold (fungal) spores are present in nearly any environment in large enough numbers to seed any living space.

The acceptable temperature range for mold growth is much wider than what we deem comfortable. so our living environment, or homes, provide a good home for mold.

The food source for mold is anything organic and many dusts. So much of our building materials, fabrics and the furnishings in our home are potential food for mold and mildew. Much of the dust and dander in our homes is a good food source, too.

The only element that we have much of a chance in controlling is the moisture or humidity level in the home. You mention 2 things that point to a moisture problem last winter. The first is the new construction. The masonry materials that built your house have lots of moisture when new. The mortar between the blocks and brick have lots of moisture during the construction that will gradually cure and dry. Then you had the wet winter with lots of fog to add to your moisture load. After your dry summer those moisture sources should not be as much of a problem.

You should look around your home for other moisture sources to control. Cooking and bathing areas are big sources of moisture in the home. Ventilation is the key to getting that moisture completely out of the home. Do what you can to lower the humidity in your home. Relative humidity level of 50 to 55% are a good compromise between personal comfort and controlling mold and mildew. If the relative humidity gets above 55% or higher mold will be a big problem. Air circulation in closets and behind heavy furniture is needed to prevent trapping moisture and growing mold in those areas.

Hope this helps.

You will need to use a good household cleaning solution to scrub the mold from walls and other hard surfaces. Then allow the areas to dry well, with lots of ventilation, before cold weather.