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Earlier this spring, we published a blog post about pollen and mold. But now that the weather is warming up, it’s time to focus on some summer mold mythbusting. Heat is a good way to kill germs, especially when it comes to soap and hot water. So heat, it stands to reason, could be a good way to kill mold too- couldn’t it? Can summer heat really solve your mold problems for good?

Growing mold

Mold, mildew, and mold spores like environments or conditions to grow and expand. The basics are warmth, moisture, and darkness- and not too much of the warmth. This is why mold tends to thrive in places like basements, underneath kitchen or bathroom cabinets, and in the corners of bathrooms. Other places could be saunas, pools, jacuzzis, laundry rooms, or any poorly ventilated space.

Mold can grow in places with light, of course, but direct sunlight can discourage it since it often goes hand in hand with proper ventilation, light exposure, and cleanliness. This is why you may hear more about mold issues in the winter. But is summer the magical season?

Killing mold with heat

Mold can, in fact, be killed by heat. Many studies on killing mold focus on the pasteurization process, which is used for things like commercial dairy. Mold tends to die off at temperatures of around 130 degrees Fahrenheit, and more stubborn strains at 140. This is also when they are exposed to these temperatures for at least 30 minutes.

If you’re paying attention to these numbers, you may be starting to see a problem. Yes, you can kill mold by exposing it to heat- but it’s extreme heat. And it has to stay exposed for a long time. So the blazing heat of summer may be enough to keep mold off of, say, a car hood in Arizona. But simply using heat and sunlight can’t solve all your mold problems for you.

Best practices

So, if it’s not that simple, what are some ways to make summertime work in your favor? Try implementing the following to prevent mold in the summer and all year round:

  • Let the sunlight and fresh air in by opening windows or screen doors
  • Install a dehumidifier
  • Use the refrigerator properly to prevent food mold- keep it closed
  • Do not place warm foods in the refrigerator or freezer- they should be lukewarm or cool
  • Keep your refrigerator, freezer, and washer and drier clean
  • Make sure summer rainstorms don’t get water inside- check for leaks and bad seals on doors or windows
  • Leave shoes outdoors to prevent bringing in mold spores

If you have any questions about mold in the summertime or all year round, please call the Flood Medix! Our expert teams can perform a thorough mold inspection for you, and quickly and efficiently deal with any mold that is found. Have a safe and healthy summer!