5 Ways To Prevent Mold & Mildew

by Editor on May 6, 2013

Little Theater city park, February, 2004

Picture this. Your baby is graduating college and moving into the “real world” and an adult job.  You are feeling quite sentimental, which is understandable, so you head to the attic to pull out the boxes you’ve kept for years.

You expect to spend a few hours in the attic reminiscing, about the accomplishments, the utter failures and just plain life experiences you’ve shared.  These memories may even trigger childhood memories of your own and you will probably move to even older pictures, scrapbooks and silly memorabilia.

You wouldn’t want these pieces of your life and memories to be destroyed by mold and mildew, so you need to figure out how to store and preserve these things in your life that mean the most to you.  Let’s take a look at some ideas and see what options are out there for keeping your memoirs safe.

1.     Control Humidity

This may seem impossible because, after all, you can’t control the weather no matter how hard you try.  However, in a small space, especially in your home interior, there are things you can do to help like turning on a dehumidifier.  A dehumidifier usually employs one of two methods to clean and clear the air.

Refrigeration is the method that is most often employed.  It works by cooling flat pipes, causing them to be cooler than the air, which then helps to cool and remove moisture from the room.

This may work for a small space, or a short amount of time. I would suggest finding something else for a permanent solution.

2.     Use Bins or Boxes

Purchasing picture boxes or bins may seem like a silly use of money when first purchased. However, you may thank yourself in the future when you pull out these boxes or other home storage and everything is well preserved and without mold or mildew stains.  Photo boxes or bins are generally a good way to keep everything safe and protected from the elements.

Of course, you should probably keep things you save to a minimum and choose only those items that mean the most.  This may be harder for some than others.  If you are a packrat, ask for someone you trust to help you.

3.     Keep Everything Clean

Just throwing them in a box won’t ensure their safety.  You should give them a check-up every few years to ensure that they are still safe and clean.  Especially in the attic, many creatures, including your kids or spouse can find their way into the boxes; so, to ensure their safety, keep them clean.

You should also keep antiques or collections in pristine condition if you are planning to sell them yourself or are holding them for someone else to benefit from in the future.

4.     Prop Things Up

Whether you are packing and keeping pictures in their frames or have things in boxes on the ground, it is a good idea to keep everything on a pallet or some other structure that will keep air flowing around them.

The more air flow these keepsakes receive, the better condition they will be in when it comes time to pull them out again.  The mold and mildew may still be tempted to start growing, but it will not be as prevent or quick as something on the potentially damp floor/ground.

5.     Go Digital

It seems a little silly. Sometimes sentimentalists and the older generation have a hard time switching to digital copies.

Regardless of your age or values in life, it is a good idea to scan or copy items digitally so that you have an extra copy for your records.  Storing them in a private drive on the internet will ensure you have them forever in a spot that you can control.

Regardless if you are old school or new school, there are many new methods for keeping your items clean and mold free.  It is up to you to choose how you do it.

About the Author

Heidi Rothert writes content for Team Rapid, a full service disaster cleanup and restoration company that can help you clean up your keepsakes if the unexpected happens.  Team Rapid can also help you with mold prevention services for the future.  Heidi works in the beauty, health, plumbing, HVAC and pest control industries as well and is constantly expanding her portfolio.

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