Does a Dehumidifier Help With Mold?

Do you live in a really humid environment or home? If so, you may have mold issues, or at least be at risk of having mold develop and grow in your home.

If the air you live in has more than 60% humidity, chances are that mold will grow. This is of course something to avoid due to the health implications, not to mention that it can also destroy wood and other surfaces.

Many people wonder whether or not a dehumidifier can help with mold, which is a fair question. So, does a dehumidifier help with mold? 

The Dangers of Mold In Your Home

Many people might think that mold is just mold, and there is no big problem with having some of it in your home. However, this is simply not true. Mold can be very dangerous to your health, and this is true in many different ways. So, why is it dangerous to have mold in your home?

It really does depend on the type of mold in your home, but they can all be quite dangerous. The fact of the matter is that you want to avoid having mold in your home at all costs, or anywhere else for that matter. There are a variety of health effects related to exposure to mold, and these include the following.

  • Red, itchy, and irritated eyes
  • Issues breathing, congestion, and stuffy and runny noses
  • Sinusitis and other sinus related issues
  • Lung pain, shortness of breath, coughing, and general difficult with breathing
  • Wheezing and throat irritation
  • Allergic skin reactions like hives, rashes, redness, and itchiness
  • SneezingIf you have asthma, it can cause the effects to worsen and trigger attacks

Those symptoms are caused by your average household mold, but it can get even worse. In worst-case scenarios, black mold might grow in your home. Black mold is very dangerous and can be deadly.

Exposure to black mold over a prolonged period of time can cause your organs to literally shut down, it can cause mesothelioma, and in the long run, it can kill you. Therefore, whether the symptoms and the effects are severe or not, you want to do everything in your power to ensure that you do not live somewhere with mold.

Using a Dehumidifier to Deal With Mold

It is true that using a dehumidifier can help with mold problems in your home, but there are some things that you need to know. For one, mold needs about 60% humidity in the air to grow and flourish.

This is important to note because many people have problems with breathing and skin irritation when the air is too dry. Therefore, you can use a dehumidifier to deal with mold issues, but just don’t let the humidity level go below 30% or so.

As long as the dehumidifier keeps the humidity level below 60%, or preferably 50%, just to be safe, it should be able to deal with mold, all without causing you issues due to dry air.

Using a dehumidifier on a regular basis can prevent mold from occurring in your home, especially if you keep the humidity below a certain level. However, what you do need to keep in mind is that drying the air will not kill old mold that is already there. Yes, mold will dry up and die when the air is too dry, but this is not a permanent solution. If that dead mold is not removed after having been dried, if it is once again exposed to water, or if the humidity increases again, the mold spores can actually come to life and start growing again.

Therefore, while a dehumidifier can indeed render existing mold inert, you do have to remove it to stop it from coming back to life in the event that humidity levels rise.

Now, in order to totally kill and remove mold so it never comes back, you can use vinegar, for the most part. Basic vinegar will kill around 80% of generic molds found in homes. Whatever mold cannot be killed by vinegar can be killed by bleach. Whatever mold cannot be killed with bleach can be taken care of with specialized mold-killing solutions.

However, if the situation is dire and there is mold everywhere, you may need to hire a specialist to take care of the problem. In worst-case scenarios, the mold may be so imbedded that it is impossible to remove, thus forcing you to remove entire sections of flooring, walls, ceilings, and whatever else is infested.

Keep in mind that a dehumidifier can stop mold from occurring and growing in the first place, and it can indeed render current mold inert for the time being, but it will not totally take care of an existing mold problem.

Moldy Dehumidifiers

One thing that you need to know is that dehumidifiers themselves can suffer from mold issues. After all, they pull water out of the air and store it in a collection bucket. That collection bucket, if left dirty and full of water for prolonged periods of time, can become a home to mold.

Therefore, if you want to ensure that your dehumidifier takes care of your mold issue, you also need to clean it on a regular basis, making sure to keep it relatively dry and clean so that mold cannot form within the parts and the collection tank. Once again, use bleach or vinegar to clean the collection tank, and it should take care of this issue.

Mold and Dehumidifiers – Conclusion

The bottom line is that a good dehumidifier can help to prevent mold from invading and growing in your home. It can even take care of an existing problem, somewhat. Yes, you do still need to clean out existing mold, but at least a dehumidifier will render existing mold inert for the time being. Just remember to clean the dehumidifier itself so it also does not get moldy.

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