Congratulations! You’ve just picked up a shiny, new, high-quality dehumidifier! You’ve done your research, figured out your square and cubic footage, and selected the appropriate dehumidifier for your space. That mold is as good as dead now! Right? While that might be technically true, it’s not the whole picture.
Ding Dong the Mold is Dead!
As we’ve talked about before, mold needs only two things to grow: A food source, and water. The food source you can’t do anything about, because it’s the materials your house is made out of. But the water can, and must be controlled to prevent mold growth. Mold will only survive when the humidity is above 60%. So it stands to reason that if it can’t survive below 60%, and your humidity is kept under 60% by your dehumidifier, then you’re all good! The moisture it needs to survive is gone. Therefore, it can’t survive. Margaritas for everyone!
That’s Not The Whole Story
Unfortunately, it’s not quite as simple as that. Yes, you are technically correct, the mold is dead. Although, the more accurate phrase might be “in hibernation”. You see, when mold dries, it dehydrates, and stops growing. However, if you re-introduce moisture back into that environment, it will spring back to life, and flourishes in it’s new, moisture-rich environment. The other issue is that, while the mold may be dormant, it is still a powerful allergen. Mycotoxins (the stuff produced by mold that makes you sick) are still present even in dead colonies. So even if you do “kill” the mold, it can still cause damage to your respiratory health. And it can still have negative effects on your indoor air quality.
No Silver Bullets
So what do we do then? Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet for dealing with mold. There’s no “set it and forget it” piece of hardware. There’s no secret recipe mold cleaner that you just spray and walk away. I wish there was, my job would be a lot easier! But properly dealing with mold requires work. It requires environmental controls like dehumidification, yes. But without source removal (getting rid of the spores and affected materials), you’re applying a band-aid. So don’t let a slick salesman or website tell you that you can kill mold with your dehumidifier. Like so many other things in this world, there’s no substitute for hard work.