Kitchen mold and mildew are unfortunately good at party crashing — wreaking havoc on walls, pipes, and countertops.
Both of these invasive fungi thrive on moist surfaces and places where water is able to accumulate. Kitchen mold and mildew can cause significant damage if they’re left unchecked, and their presence could be a sign that you’re in need of water restoration. Mold repair can be especially costly if the moisture problem is not addressed immediately.
Luckily, keeping an eye out for mold and mildew helps you spot a leak or moisture problem before it’s too late. Here are a list of tips to prevent uninvited mold and mildew from showing up in your Sioux Falls or Brookings-area kitchen.
Kitchen Mold and Mildew: What’s the Difference?
It’s never bad to know how to spot the difference between these pesky fungi, but keep in mind that seeing either likely means you’ve got a moisture problem and you’re looking at the same mold remediation Sioux Falls homes often encounter.
- Mildew is usually white, gray, or a bit of both, and has a powdery looking texture. It has a musty smell that homeowners would do well to memorize.
- Mold is usually (but not always) darker, favoring earthy green and black tones. The texture might look moss-like or hairy, and it’s the bigger troublemaker of the two. Mold is a bit more likely to show up on your food, while either will try to make an appearance in bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.
If you want to know how to prevent the need for mold remediation in Sioux Falls, these tips are a great place to start. Remember, mold and mildew love moisture. The game is all about refusing to leave them any.
1. Maintain Your Kitchen
No Carpet, No Rugs
Right off the bat, and we’re sorry to say it, but you need to get the carpet out of your kitchen. It’s less common to see anything but tile or hardwood anymore, and mold is a huge part of why. There’s simply too much moisture at work in a kitchen to stay ahead of the potential for mildew and mold to set up camp.
You probably need to ditch the rugs and floor mats, too. Unless they’re carefully maintained, these are just inviting fungi to spread throughout the kitchen, especially since they’re often in the sink’s splash zone.
Cleaning Counters, Sinks, and Other Surfaces
Preventing natural moisture buildup isn’t too difficult if you pay attention and take the time to stop standing water.
Be sure to dry off anything that’s getting wet, including the rim of the sink and any drying rack you might use. Furthermore, you’ll want to take some cleansing products to your counters daily, to your sink regularly, and occasionally to your refrigerator.
You should also clean behind the stove from time to time, thoroughly drying everything before pushing it back into place.
Inspect for Leaks
That time you spend cleaning is a great opportunity to check the kitchen for leaks and water buildup. The pipes under your sink and the ones connecting your freezer’s ice maker are important spots to check. If you find a problem, let someone know right away.
If you want to get really serious about protecting the kitchen, be sure you’re using mold resistant paints on the walls. Mold and mildew can be wicked to drywall (and what’s beyond it).
2. Keep Your Kitchen (and Your Food) Tidy
Remember when oranges were on sale and you thought, “Hey, we never have oranges. This’ll be a treat!” Then remember when you forgot that they, some other fruit, or that hunk of cheese have been sitting at the back of a shelf or drawer in your refrigerator for three months?
Fruits are big culprits of inviting kitchen mold, and you need to be strict with your food. Check exposed vegetables and fruits almost every day for mold, and be sure to dry the food that you wash or rinse. Potatoes should probably be even more suspect than fruits.
In addition to cleaning out your fridge, don’t forget to check out that drip tray underneath!
A lot of kitchens we see have large garbage cans that fit several days worth of garbage. While great for preventing lots of trips to the curb or bin, these will bite you when too much of that moist organic material accumulates. Whether it’s in the bag that’s left a few days, or the waste material that seeped to the can’s bottom, it’s the perfect spot for mold to grow.
We recommend getting a small can you have to empty once every day. (We promise, the extra exercise won’t hurt you.)
If you or someone in your household likes to maintain a compost bin, make sure it’s covered as well so that extra water isn’t getting in and any fungi that shows up isn’t spreading to your walls, floors, or cabinets.
Sink disposals are very prone to mold. We recommend giving these a thorough cleaning every other week or so. Some people use cleaning products and some use vinegar. Either way, get the system free of lingering food waste, and check for leaks while you’re at it.
Scrub your cutting boards with vinegar — especially if you use a wooden cutting board (or have an attached one in your drawer) — to prevent kitchen mold from seeping in.
3. Manage Your Water
This is a huge one, and we’ve touched on it a few times, but you just can’t prevent mold and mildew from moving in if you leave water sitting.
When you turn on the sink, easy on the faucet. Blasting water out means increasing the splash zone and sending water out onto your countertops. Wipe down that excess moisture and learn to wash dishes or rinse without much overflow.
And again, dry anything that you’re getting wet.
Moisture building can also occur when you’re cooking, so if you can, open a window or run a fan to keep the air from getting too humid.
Mold Remediation in Sioux Falls
The chances of preventing kitchen mold and mildew entirely are fairly low, but these tips will go a long way towards keeping those infestations at bay. Ending up with some fungi isn’t the mark of bad housekeeping, so don’t feel bad if you see some mold or mildew. It happens — and it could tip you off to a leak or other problems.
If you are having a problem, let us help. We offer free mold and mildew inspections, as well as mold remediation services.
Learn More About Mold Remediation