The dehumidifier does not kill mold. We use dehumidifiers as one tool to eliminate moisture and combat mold. Mold, like all other things on Earth, needs water to thrive and survive.
Dehumidifiers reduce moisture by lowering humidity levels in homes or specific areas of homes. There are many things that go into removing mold infestations than simply turning on a humidifier.
What is Mold? And Why Should It be Removed from Homes?
Mold is simply a microorganism. The naked eye cannot see mold. They are between 1-30 microns in size. This is how you can wrap your mind around it: the diameter of one human hair ranges from 40 to 120 microns (0.1 millimeters equals 0.00004 inches).
Molds (fungi), absorb their food. Molds don’t require as much light as other animals and plants. Mold is more common in darkened areas of a house. Mold will not grow if there isn’t any moisture. Any type of water intrusion can lead to microbial growth. After a water loss, extensive drying is necessary.
Overall, mold exposure in both homes and workplaces should be avoided. Mold spores and mold exposure are not good for anything (except cheese).
Dehumidifiers: What Do They Do?
A dehumidifier is basically an electrical appliance that reduces or maintains humidity in the atmosphere, usually for comfort or health reasons or to remove musty smell and prevent the growth mold and mildew by extracting moisture from the air.
The dehumidifier is a bit like a vacuum cleaner. The dehumidifier pulls in air, but it doesn’t remove dirt. Instead, it reduces water content by evaporation, and then returns dry air to the room. The dehumidifier doesn’t remove all the water in one cycle. Otherwise, it could run for at least an hour before its job is done. Studies show that physically extracting water is 500x more efficient than evaporating it (dehumidification, evaporation). The dehumidifier will continue to evaporate water until the humidity level reaches the specified limit. The water evaporated from the air condenses and is collected in an enclosed tray. The tray should be empty when it is full. Some dehumidifiers may automatically pump out the water.
A water restoration company will extract as much water from a building as they can to repair the water damage. A dehumidifier is responsible for evaporating the remaining water (moisture). Commercial-grade dehumidifiers can remove more humidity than the ones you will find in big-box stores. They are more powerful and can take out more moisture. The restoration company will use commercial air movers (high-output fans) to aid in the process of dehumidification. The air movement on a wet surface can lift the moisture and transfer it to the air. The dehumidifiers will take control once the moisture has dried out.
Mold growth can be discouraged by reducing or limiting the moisture content in the air. Mold needs moisture and food to survive. Dehumidifiers don’t actually kill mold but they can help to prevent it from growing.
Habitually, homes or areas below-grade in homes are subject to higher than average humidity. This is because the earth around below-grade rooms retains much more moisture than the air. This causes higher humidity levels. This will result in higher humidity levels.
Laundry rooms are the same. The dryer removes water from wet clothes. The dryer can be vented outdoors, but the temperature will rise. Warmer air can retain more moisture than cooler air. It is sticky during the summer months because of this. More moisture is retained in warmer air.