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Mildew odor means mold is growing in your house. Eliminate the mold and mildew with this report.

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Mildew Odor

Mildew odor is easily beaten but is it a sign of mold in your house?


Mildew is the form of mold that you find Eating your fabric. . .

I am often asked what is the difference between mold and mildew and the answer is simple. Mildew is mold that is growing on cloth. Whether your textile is a shirt or a sofa in the basement, any mold on any fabric is known as mildew.

One of the most cited reports of the root cause of mildew is wet laundry. Just leaving your wet laundry in a pile for over 24 hours is a way to cause mildew odor. Leave it for 48 hours and the chances are 98.9%!

Another area to look out for is the side loading washing machines. They have a tendency to grow mold around the door and that means even a greater chance of mildew odor. 

What most people don't think about is whether there is a larger mold problem in their home. If you have soft furniture in the basement, then make sure to keep the humidity as low as possible. If rugs or furniture have become wet from water in the basement, then you'll have to do more than just let it dry. That once wet cloth will begin growing in about 2 days. It will continue to grow if it is still wet.

If you do manage to dry out the rug or sofa, but it was wet for longer than a couple of days, then every time the humidity gets too high, or someone spills something, you'll notice that musty mildew odor again. Mildew odor is almost synanonmous with damp spaces.

Mold and mildew are just like grass. If grass doesn't get enough water or sunlight, it turns brown and doesn't grow until it does get water and sunlight. Mold and mildew are the same. They are going to need moisture though, not sunlight. Mold and mildew hate direct sunlight so it is possible with rugs to place them outside on a sunny deck for the day and the sun's rays will eliminate the mold.

Mildew odor that keeps returning to your basement is a sign that the basement needs to be more dry. It could also mean a weekend project to throw away all cardboard boxes and store those items in plastic containers. Wet cardboard not only keeps mildew odor alive (that means mold is growing in your home) it also is a favored home for vermin.

Anything that can hold a small moisture content can create a mildew odor. Old clothes hanging in the basement should be thrown out or given away as soon as possible. That goes for furniture too. These things tend to trap mold spores that float naturally along the smallest of air currents in our homes. When these spores settle, all they need is the slightest moisture (high humidity) to begin to grow and feed on the fabric to which they are attached.

Mildew Odor - has a job?

Mildew's job is to break down organic matter. Mold spores are designed to find a food source and moisture, then start growing and digesting. So the less paper based and textile items that you have in the basement the better. You can find some answers in "Top 10 mold/mildew solutions" which is free and at the top-left of this page. It may spark an idea within you on how to rid yourself of your mildew odor problems.

Another thing to be concerned about is not so much the occassional mildew smell from the laundry area, but a continual mildew odor somewhere in the house. Always suspect the wet areas under sinks, bathrooms, basements, crawl spaces and anywhere that stays wet. 

For instance I was searching for a mildew odor in one of our bathrooms that is rarely used. I bleached everything, cleaned the toilet, ran water down the drain of the bath to make sure it wasn't coming from the drain, took everything out from under the sink and I still couldn't find it.

Then we had one of those very humid days but the temperature wasn't too hot outside. I noticed that the toilet water tank was sweating. That's when it hit me, that the humidity was causing my problem. So I got my cleaning gear together and began cleaning the OUTSIDE of the toilet. Especially the tank area and where the tank meets the lower portion. My rags were coming out black and green. 

Even though this form of mold is not mildew, there is a good chance that the mold growing on the toilet could have fouled the smell of our towels more quickly in that bathroom. Now if mold is there, where else is it? That's the question you'll have to ask yourself. Also, as brought out by the "Top 10" report above, there are health risks to think about. Mildew odor won't cause health issues, but the mold spores will.

It is very wise to clear up as many mildew odor problems as possible within your home. The mildew odor can be thought of as the symptom of a mold problem. Just as blood running down your arm is an indication that you probably have a scratch that needs attention.

Understanding mildew odor will not only make your life pleasant but it will certainly make your life more healthy.


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