Garage door maintenance – spores

One thing you DON’T need in or near your garage door is mold! Here in Roswell, GA we often have damp, humid weather that can result in mold growth. Spores can grow and thrive in dark, moist and unventilated environments and garages fit that description to a tee! Even the most conscientious home or business owner can find themselves entrenched in a mold spore problem. Garages are often the last place people suspect mold to grow in as they usually look for it in bathrooms, outdoor sheds or in kitchens.

Mold proofing your new garage

You’ve got a real head start if you are just now building your garage! You can generally avoid mold spore growth by using building materials that mold finds inhospitable like metal studs in place of wood. In addition, avoid wood for your garage walls as much as possible and use vinyl siding or aluminum instead. By making these adjustments you can drastically cut down on garage mold AND wood eating pests that also can become a problem in humid and damp areas like Roswell, GA.

Mold proofing your existing garage

If your garage is already built and NOT made of metal, it’s best to mold proof your garage now before any mold can form and grow! One of the best ways to do this is to keep the air inside your garage as moisture proof as possible. You can do this by ensuring that your garage is well ventilated and not airtight. Be sure to make use of dehumidifiers to extract excess moisture from the air. Your goal is to inhibit mold spores from forming and growing in a wet, damp or dark environment which they thrive in.

Check your roof

The roof of your garage is all-important when it comes to mold prevention as rain tends to leak through roof cracks and collect in the garage where they add to the moisture and humidity inside. Even the smallest leak or drip can wreak havoc during humid times so be sure to keep your garage roof in good working order and fix any leaks as soon as possible! Concentrate your efforts on eliminating any moisture and keeping your garage interior as well ventilated as possible.

Mold removal

It is imperative that mold is removed quickly, and if possible, in its entirety. Leaving just a little bit of it will soon have it spreading rapidly and with as much (or more) vigor as before. If you notice mold growth on your garage door itself or on the walls or corners of your garage it’s best to eradicate the microorganisms with bleach. Mold loves porous material like concrete and drywall and since a good portion of home and business construction is made of these materials it’s good to know how to treat them to remove the mold spores as effectively as possible.

Roswell Garage Door Repair recommends one part bleach to four parts water as a solution to clean garage doors and walls. Are your garage walls unfinished drywall? Just spray the bleach/water solution directly on it and let it soak in. If your garage door walls are wood, concrete or vinyl then be sure and wear gloves and scrub the surface with a sponge or scrub brush. The same goes for the actual garage door itself. Don’t do this with the garage door closed! Your work area needs proper ventilation so the door should be open and you really should wear a respirator.

Bleach alternatives

If you don’t want to use bleach to clean your mold you can work with other ingredients that are also effective. You can use vinegar but change the portions and use one part vinegar with one part water. Be sure to use the white vinegar as opposed to the apple cider one. Add a tablespoon of dishwashing detergent for every quart of solution that you make. Denatured alcohol is another useful treatment. Use full strength for maximum benefit. You can spray this on or wipe with a sponge. Don’t forget to ventilate your work area! Not only do you NOT want to breathe any of the fumes but your garage doors and walls need to dry out completely. Keep a door or window open if possible or if doing this in colder weather, run a space heater or dehumidifier to remove the moisture.

Other tips

Your garage is especially vulnerable to attracting moisture which mold needs to grow and thrive in. Garage doors and interiors are exposed to the elements and tight seals between the bottom of the garage door and the floor are rare. Be sure to clean up any pools of water that leak in after a rain or snowfall. Tires also track in water, snow and dirt as can snow shoes, bicycles and even skateboards.

Do you have a lot of cardboard in your garage? Mold spores love cardboard boxes, books, rags, fabric and other items of porous make up. A trip to Lowes, The Container Store or Home Depot for plastic containers might be a smart idea if you want to cut down on mold growth in your garage. Insects of all kinds also like these materials so putting your stored items into air-tight plastic containers really makes sense.

Be careful!

Be extra careful to NOT mix your bleach mixture with ammonia or other cleansers; toxic fumes can result! Also, do not mix white vinegar with hydrogen peroxide! Stick to the mixtures and proportions mentioned above and you should be just fine!

Let’s summarize

Here’s the gist of our post here. Follow these tips and be mold free in your garage!

Keep your garage door walls and interior as moisture free as possible!

Get rid of rags, cardboard and other porous and flammable substances and replace with plastic totes and boxes with lids

Keep your garage well ventilated and dehumidified as much as possible.

If you paint, use waterproof or mildew resistant paint on the walls or concrete.

If you find mold spores clean them using the above solutions and proportions!