As colder temperatures appear and winter starts to settle in for those of us in the north, many people believe that mold issues disappear. To the contrary, mold is a year round fungus and loves temperatures between 60-80 degrees. Moisture and organic material also need to be present for the fungi to grow. In homes and businesses these requirements exist and we must be vigilant to make sure we do not allow mold growth. Today we discuss preventing mold growth in the winter.
Common Areas for Mold Growth in the Winter:
Some of the most common areas for mold growth to take place in the winter months is in uninsulated or poorly insulated areas. For example, a closet that is on the exterior wall of a home or business. If this closet is not properly insulated you have the heat from inside the home hitting against the wall that is also being hit from the outside with cold temperatures. When the heat from the interior and the cold from the exterior meet, it creates condensation or moisture on that closet wall. Now we have a perfect growing condition for mold (warmth, moisture, and organic material (drywall, plaster, wood, clothing, etc.)). This is also why we see condensation on windows (the heat hitting the cold).
Another common area for mold growth in the winter is in our attics. Again, if your attic is not properly insulated, the heat rising from the warm house or business property into the cold attic can cause condensation. The condensation and the wood or insulation in the attic are perfect breeding grounds for mold to grow. Because we don’t necessarily check our attics too often, mold growth can get out of hand very easily.
Crawl Spaces are also areas where mold growth can take place. You should check this area periodically to see if there are any leaks from plumbing fixtures or outside leaks causing a moisture issue in your home or business.
Preventing Mold Growth in the Winter:
➤Keep the humidity level in your home or business consistent. If you notice condensation on walls or windows check your humidity level in the home or business and look for ways to bring this level down.
➤Keep areas of your home or business clean and free of excess materials that mold loves to grow on.
➤Adequate air circulation is a must to keep mold from growing. Proper air circulation helps dry out excess moisture from showers and cooking. Exhaust fans are good for helping with air circulation. Make sure they are in proper working condition.
➤Make sure windows and doors have proper seals and function correctly. Look for any cracks where water may seep in and fix those areas.
➤If you are finding condensation on windows or doors, wipe them down to dry them off. Look for ways to help reduce the condensation and fix the issue as soon as you can.
➤When cooking if there is a lot of steam causing condensation, use your cooking vents. If this is not enough to carry the excess steam out of the home or business try cracking open a window to allow the steam to escape.
➤Clothes dryers should vent to the outdoors. If not, this can be a huge source of extra moisture in the building.
➤If you have any water issues with pipes breaking, leaking or appliances leaking, clean up the water immediately. Run fans to help dry the area and depending on how bad the water issue is, call in an expert to clean and disinfect the area. If it is a small water leak you should be able to handle this on your own.
Removing Mold from Home or Business:
If you find yourself in the situation where mold has already started to grow, call in the experts. Mold removal and remediation should be taken seriously as mold can cause health issues if left to keep growing. Because mold are spores, it’s easy to disrupt the mold spores and send them into the air. Once in the air the fungi is looking for it’s new breeding ground.
Preventing mold growth in the winter can be done. You can prevent mold from growing and building in your home by taking necessary steps to reduce the ideal growing environment. Take the time to look in areas of your home that you do not frequent everyday. Watch for condensation and find ways to fix what is causing that condensation.
If you do find mold, we are only a phone call away. With over 20 years of mold removal expertise, we’ll help you take back your home or business. We always offer a FREE MOLD ASSESSMENT so call today at 920.435.2288.