It is not only embarrassing to find mildew growing on supposedly neat clothes or furniture. It could also be unwholesome for one’s health or pose potential damage to property. The rainy season creates favourable conditions which encourage fungal growth on surfaces like cloth, leather, and wood and on damp places.Extra care is required in keeping surfaces free of mould because of an increase in moisture content in the air.Something you wouldn’t normally have to bother with if the weather were dry.
Identifying and dealing with causative factors are key. A surface would have one or more of the attributes of being damp, poorly ventilated, or dark for mildew to grow. Since it is unlikely to have a moisture less atmosphere, one way to decrease its humidity is by using desiccants. They are compounds that absorb moisture from the air.
A notable desiccant is silica gel. Silica gel is found as tiny beads sealed in a paper sachet. It is placed in newly packaged items like boxes of electronics, shoes or bags to prevent moisture. They are very absorbent and can hold up to 40% of water in its weight. If you do not already have a saved collection of silica gel sachet, you can buy from stores (Konga has it). Wrap them properly in paper or cloth so that the beads do not leak out. Place in areas where you want dry (preferably, an enclosed area). An enclosed area would need less quantity and the more open an area, the more quantity of silica gel you would need. To restore soaked beads of silica gel for reuse, remove them from paper or cloth wrap and place them in the oven for them to dry.
Mixtures made from bleach and water can be used to clean infested surfaces like tiles, or vinegar and water for wooden surfaces. Some household products are also formulated to specifically eliminate mould. They usually come in spray cans or as chemically treated wipes with instructions on how to apply them. These products, however, might be limited to use in bathrooms and kitchens because their content can damage fabric and paper.
Alternatively, to dry out enclosed places like bookshelves and wardrobes, an incandescent light bulb can be used to heat the space. I asked someone who ran a photocopying centre why he put on a yellow light bulb in a shelf of white paper. He said it was to avoid them from getting damp. This, though, might not be a practical option for some.
Other methods include periodic airing, dusting, wiping, and drying to cut the proliferation of both fungal heads and spores. Critical areas include surfaces of walls and wood especially those that border cold spaces like bathrooms. If a wall divides your room’s wardrobe and bathroom, take out time to remove your clothes and dust the wall. Your clothes would have to be as dry as possible. Since the sun might be scarcely available to make this happen, you might have to iron them or place them under the fan. You should create time to dust and air your books, documents, bags, baskets, shoes, and furniture.
Your extra effort would take some time, but the damage could cost a lifetime.
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