Moldy Holiday Decorations Putting A Damper On The Season
The winter holidays are sneaking up on us once again. No matter what holidays you will be celebrating, it’s likely you will be bringing those holiday decorations out of their hiding place. Many people see decorating for the holidays as a cheerful, fun activity to do as a family. Who doesn’t love holiday decorations, right? However, moldy holiday decorations can put festivities on hold. Many people store their decorations in either their basement, crawl space, or attic. This means that there is a potential that these decorations are at risk of developing mold or mildew on them. Basements, attics, and crawl spaces are notorious for their dank, musty environments. These areas of the home are often prone to mold and mildew, so why would the contents of these areas be any different?
Most of us don’t simply leave our holiday decorations laying around the home. They may be stored in basements or attics in containers and boxes. These containers are generally airtight, which can cause any potential moisture to become trapped inside the container. This moisture can seep inside the materials of your decorations, breaking down their structural integrity. Wood, glue and fabric can easily be diminished or rotted by this moisture. Moldy holiday decorations are generally caused by a combination of this lack of ventilation and moisture within the containers.
Protecting Holiday Decorations From Mold & Moisture
As previously stated, most of us usually store our holiday decorations in areas that tend to experience excess moisture. Basements, attics, and crawl spaces are known for their stuffy atmosphere. One way to prevent moldy holiday decorations is to employ the use of proper ventilation tactics. A vent fan and dehumidifier in these areas can make a huge difference when it comes to minimizing excess moisture. Ideally, moisture and humidity levels in any area of the home should stay between 35% and 50%. If you want to go the extra mile to protect your holiday decorations from mold, you can even place a small dehumidifier in the container with them to ensure their safety. You will just have to keep a closer eye on them than usual to make sure the dehumidifier is in good working order.
Salvaging Moldy Holiday Decorations
For the majority of the year, these holiday decorations go untouched. You can only imagine how musty they can potentially get after sitting there all that time. For the most part, decorations were not designed to be cleaned. It falls on us to protect them from dirt, dust, and excess moisture throughout the year. Regardless of where you store your decorations, there is a potential for damage to be done. You may have noticed some visible damage, or even an odor emanating from the area or the decorations themselves. However, there are some steps you can take to reverse minimal damage.
While there are some occasions where holiday decorations are able to be cleaned, some items may have too much damage to be able to be salvaged. If moisture damage and mold go unnoticed for an extended period of time, the structural integrity of your decorations could be too far gone to repair. Signs of mold and moisture damage can include white chalky substances settled on decorations, dark staining on wood or other porous materials, and suspicious, musty odors emanating from the area.
Can My Moldy Decorations Be Cleaned?
Many decorations were not designed with cleanliness in mind, however there are some that are able to be sanitized. Anything that is made of glass, metal, ceramic, plastic or any non-porous material should be relatively easy to clean, as long as mold or mildew is minimal. This could include ornaments, candle holders, and light-up outdoor decorations. Proceed with caution when cleaning these items, however, as some items may be fragile. When attempting to clean your moldy holiday decorations, it is important that you take precautions. This may be an outdoor job, if the weather permits it. Doing this outdoors will help to prevent any mold spores from becoming airborne within your home. We recommend wearing gloves and a mask to protect yourself as well. If you fear that the damage is too much for you to handle on your own, trust your instincts. Contact a professional mold inspection company in your area to assess whether there is any further damage to your home. For the safety of your home and your family, air on the side of caution and let the professionals help. Don’t let moldy holiday decorations ruin your holiday cheer!