When it comes time to take out your holiday decorations next year, the last thing you want to find is a mold outbreak. Most people store their decorations in an out-of-the-way place such as an attic or crawl space. These locations are notorious for mold growth, because they don’t get much sunlight or fresh air which helps to keep humidity down. Here are some tips on how to store your holiday decorations to prevent mold build-up during the rest of the year.
Cloth and linens are the most likely candidates for developing mold when it comes to stored Christmas decorations, so we’ll primarily focus on those. These include table cloths and napkins, the stockings that you hang over the fireplace and other festive holiday decorations made of cloth.
Check Your Storage Space for Mold
The first step to take before storing anything away is to check your storage space for mold. Bring a flashlight if needed. Do you see any signs of mold growth in the attic or crawl space? Are there signs of water damage or discoloration on the walls or flooring? You’ll also want to check to see if you smell mold, which presents itself as a musty, earthy odor. If you think you already have a mold problem in your storage location, it’s time to call in a specialist to deal with it.
Preparing & Storing Holiday Linens
Clean your linens and other cloth decorations as you normally would, and then make sure they are thoroughly dried. Even a little bit of moisture left in linens can lead to mildew or possibly a mold outbreak if the conditions are right. It can be tempting after a hectic holiday season to just throw everything back in a box and tuck it away until next year, but a hidden stain that you missed on something can harden and discolor the item.
Speaking of which, a cardboard box might be the cheapest option for storing Christmas decorations, but it’s not a good long-term storage option. If moisture does get into your storage space, it will go right through the cardboard and into your linens. Cardboard also contains acids which transfer to cloth easily, causing discoloration and staining. Pests are fond of the glue in cardboard and after they eat through that, they’re likely to make your linens their next meal!
Invest in some plastic storage bins with lids, instead of cardboard. Fold the linens and cloth decorations (if needed), and tuck them away in storage bins. Another good idea is to purchase some packaged dehumidifying granules and place them in the bins with your decorations. You can also put some fabric softener sheets in the bins, so the linens will smell fresh and new when you take them out next year.
Storing Other Decorations
The rest of your decorations don’t require quite as much care. Glass ornaments, figurines and other items can usually be stored in cardboard or plastic containers. One final step you might want to take is to purchase some floor spacers or pallets. Place them on the floor in your storage space and then stack the decorations on top of those, to keep everything “high and dry!”
If you think you might have a mold problem, RDS Environmental can provide mold testing and removal services for residential and commercial properties. Contact us today at 303-444-5253. We’re here to help!