It is extremely important to prevent mildew growth in your sunroom, as it may lead to a musty odor and the discoloring of fabric, in addition to eating up of different surfaces. Molds generally grow on anything on which they can get enough food and cause mildew to flourish. Mildew typically develops in humid summer weather. Special care should be taken to prevent it by:
1. Keeping Things Clean
To prevent mildew, it is essential to keep any sofas or drawers present in the sunroom as clean as possible. Soil on dirty surfaces can supply adequate food to allow mildew growth in the presence of moisture and a hot temperature. Clean fabric is relatively much less likely to mildew than any type of soiled or dirty fabric. Since most synthetic fibers, including acetate, acrylic, polyester and nylon are generally resistant to mildew, clean fabrics made of these materials would reduce the chances of mildew growth considerably. Hence, start by cleaning all dirty fabrics properly, regardless of the material type, to prevent mildew.
2. Getting Rid of Dampness
Mold spores are generally present in the air and will settle onto surfaces in the presence of sufficient moisture. If the sunroom’s windows are left open, the condensation of moisture from humid air onto cooler surfaces may take place, leading to mildew growth. It would be wise to close all windows in the evening to prevent any water getting inside the sunroom overnight. Moreover, ensure that the windows are properly sealed when closed and do not leave room for any water to enter. In case dampness is present, open the windows and the door when the sun is bright and shining. The sun’s heat would dry out any moisture present and hence prevent mildew from growing.
3. Using Chemicals that Absorb Moisture
Chemicals such as activated alumina, silica gel, molecular sieves and anhydrous calcium sulphate may be used to absorb and control the moisture content in the air. Although these chemicals are not widely available in department stores, you may be able to purchase them by looking up the numbers of scientific supply houses in the yellow pages. Generally, these chemicals do not harm the fabrics in any way and feel largely dry when they saturate the cloth. It is a good idea to make cloth bags of these chemicals and put them under the cushions of the sofas present in the sunroom or sprinkle some of the chemicals over the carpet. You may even place an open container on a shelf or on the floor of the sunroom.
4. Getting Rid of Musty Odors
To prevent any further growth of mold, it essential to get rid of musty odors that indicate mold growth. Musty odors are generally non-existent if the area is well heated and dried, but if the odors remain you may have to use chlorinated lime or bleaching powder to remove them. This chemical may simply be sprinkled over the floor for several hours before sweeping it up.