One reason why we install a dehumidifier in our homes is to control mold growth. When the moisture level in the air is too high, your home can experience water damage, with mold growth being the aftermath. Installing the unit can help reduce the excess humidity and help prevent mold growth. But can a dehumidifier kill mold?
Not really. A dehumidifier work is to reduce the amount of moisture in the air. When the unit reduces the humidity, mold stops growing. However, it doesn’t die – it stays dormant, waiting for the situation to get better. You have to find another way of getting rid of the mold spores before they can cause problems to your health.
For most people, running a dehumidifier is enough, which is not. A dehumidifier’s primary purpose is to deal with the moisture menace in the air. When you leave it there, the mold spores will stay dormant, waiting for things to get their way and start growing again. Continue reading to find out what you can do to kill and eliminate mold after dehumidifying your home.
What’s the Best Way to Kill Mold after Dehumidification?
I cannot blame you if you installed a dehumidifier and thought everything is all sorted. It’s a perception most dehumidifier users go with after installing the unit. As I mentioned earlier, the appliance will only reduce the humidity in the air drier to the right level.
The molds in the room won’t die – you have to find a way to get rid of them. Leaving them floating in the air can become a health hazard for you. It’d be best to make sure your room is clear of these microorganisms. So what can you do? You have few options:
- Get an air conditioner and use it together with the dehumidifier
- Invest in an air purifier and run it together with your dehumidifier
- Call a professional to help with the mold problem
Using an Air Conditioner
If you live in those hot climate areas with highly humid air, you’re in luck. You can invest in an air conditioner and a dehumidifier to help cool the air and clean it simultaneously.
When you turn on the dehumidifier, it will dry out the excess humidity in the air. If mold spores were floating in it, they would remain dormant, and that’s where the air conditioner comes in.
An air conditioner with HEPA filters can clean the air before cooling it down. And the best part is, it can help lower the moisture more in the air during the cooling process.
When an AC draws air in, it passes through a filter that cleans the allergens, cooled down, and then released it to the room.
When you clean the mold-affected surfaces, the mold spores will be spread in the air. Running the AC as you clean can ensure all the spores are filtered out.
And the best part is, there is an air conditioner – dehumidifier combo that you can buy and run as a single appliance. It’s a more effective and cost-effective solution for the problem at hand.
Installing an Air Purifier
An air conditioner is only applicable in areas that need room cooling. If you live in an area with a comfortably warm temperature, you don’t need an AC but an air purifier.
An air purifier is designed to clean the air of allergens such as dust, dust mites, mold, dandruff, and more. It won’t help remove the dampness in the air, though.
So when you install the air purifier and run it alongside a dehumidifier, you will reduce the air relative humidity and clean the same air for mold.
And like an air conditioner-dehumidifier combo, there is also an air purifier with a built-in dehumidifier. Such a model makes everything easy and seamless. Now all you need is to power on the unit, clean the surfaces and leave it to remove the mold spores.
Call a Mold-Removal Professional
After removing the condition allowing the mold spores to grow, you need to eliminate them from your home completely. The above options can help, but it might not be a practical approach.
The best way to get rid of the mold spores is to hire a professional with expertise in mold remediation. An expert will eliminate these molds, clean the infected surfaces, and eliminate all the conditions allowing them to grow.
Mold-removal professionals have the ideal experience and equipment needed to get rid of these bacteria-causing organisms safely.
What Products Can You Use to Kill Mold
Before you can run your air conditioner or air puffier, it’ll be best to clean all the molds from the surfaces in your home.
Why? During the cleaning, mold spores will be dispersed to the air, and that would mean doing this later might not be as effective as doing it before cleaning the air.
Here is a list of products you can use to clean the surfaces:
a) Chlorine bleach
You can use regular household bleach or sodium hypochlorite to kill the mold and eliminate mold stains and discoloration. Chlorine bleach is harsh – it’d be best to dilute it before you use it.
Warning: take caution when using it. It’s highly toxic and produces dangerous fumes. What’s more, you must never mix it with other chemicals, especially ammonia.
b) Hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen Peroxide is another product that can kill mold and help lighten stains off the surfaces. Even though it has some bleaching properties, it’s more slowly than chlorine bleach. However, it’s less harsh, and it doesn’t produce any fumes or residue.
Distilled Vinegar (White)
The acidic nature of vinegar allows it to break down the mold structure and kill it. It’s non-toxic, but it doesn’t work too well in removing stains. You have to scrub the surfaces with a household cleaner to try and remove the stains.
Borax and Baking soda
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and borax high pH inhibits mold growth and survival. These two products are readily available at affordable prices. They are also non-toxic and easy to use.
All you need is to mix it with water and use a spray bottle to apply the solution on the surface. Borax can help remove the lingering stains, but it doesn’t do an excellent job.
Mold and Mildew Remover
When dealing with mold, you might want to use a product specifically designed for killing and removing it from the surfaces in your home, a mold and mildew remover. It comes formulated to break down the mold structure and the stains left when you remove it.
What humidity level kills mold?
Around 35%. At 50%, the mold becomes inactive and waits for the conditions to get better. A dehumidifier can also take the moisture level to something ideal for humans, around 50%. Below that, it will not be comfortable for you.
Can dehumidifiers make you sick?
Yes, if it malfunctions. If the dehumidifier hydrostat was to malfunction such that the unit removes too much humidity, you might start to feel some irritation in your throat and nose. Low humidity in the air can also make colds worse and complicate asthma.
Final Thoughts – Dehumidifier Cannot Kill Mold
You cannot rely on a dehumidifier to kill mold. The appliance takes away any excess moisture in the air to leave the mold spore dormant, patiently waiting for conditions to get better. If you want to kill and get rid of mold in your home after dehumidifier, you will want to get one of the products I listed above and an air conditioner or an air purifier. A professional model remover expert can be the best option if the problem is more significant and spread. An expert can help get rid of the mold, remove the musty smell, and eliminate the mold’s conditions.