Dehumidifiers serve the purpose of reducing the level of relative humidity in the air. High humidity is a leading contributor to mold growth, since mold spores require moisture. A dehumidifier can prevent mold from activating by keeping an area dry, but if mold already has overtaken a particular room, a dehumidifier can aid in the removal process.
A dehumidifier can dry out a room by drawing the moist air inward and trapping the liquid. If a room has active mold, it also must have a presence of moisture. By eliminating the moisture, you eliminate the ability of the mold to produce nutrients, thereby rendering it dormant. Place the dehumidifier near the mold-affected area and select a high power setting. Allow the device to run until the room dries completely.
While a dehumidifier can render mold inactive by drying the air, it cannot remove the mold itself. As the moisture disappears, the mold will remain on surfaces in a dormant state. In other words, the mold will lack the necessary conditions to emit toxins or spread, but it can still reactivate at a later time if moisture should return. Dried mold may appear sandy, crusty or web-like.
Removing Mold Permanently
If you want to completely remove the mold and eliminate the risk of a later recurrence, first apply an anti-mold agent to your dried surface. You can use household bleach or peroxide diluted with 4 parts water, or use undiluted distilled vinegar or lemon juice. Pour your liquid into a spray bottle and mist it over the inactive mold. Wait 10 to 15 minutes, use a second spray bottle to rinse with water, wipe the surface and then dry completely.
Although a dehumidifier cannot completely remove mold on its own, it can prevent new mold spores from activating. On humid days, run your dehumidifier to maintain low relative humidity. Mold risk dramatically increases when relative humidity exceeds 60 percent, and you can measure your exact humidity level by installing a relative humidity sensor. When levels begin inching above 60 percent, just turn on your dehumidifier.