Is mold an issue in the winter or only during the summer months in Wisconsin? In our line of business, we see mold year-round. Winter mold is caused by the same elements that cause mold other times of the year (moisture, warmth, and food source). However, people with sensitivities to mold can find that it bothers them much more during the winter months. This is because homes are typically closed much tighter.
Mold spores are naturally found in the air we breathe both indoors and outdoors. The best way to prevent mold growth is to deprive mold spores of moisture, warmth and finding a food source. Living in Wisconsin, we need to heat our homes so the warmth factor is present for winter mold to grow. However, we can work on keeping the moisture in check and keeping mold spores from finding food sources.
Keeping Moisture Down to Prevent Winter Mold
Outside walls and windows is where moisture tends to build up. The outside walls in our homes are typically cold and the air in our homes is warm, especially when cooking or showering. This warm air to the cold surface causes condensation to form which brings in more moisture.
Some of the easiest ways to prevent this moisture are to use vent hoods when cooking and exhaust fans in bathrooms. It is ideal to leave the hoods and vents on for up to 20 minutes to a half an hour after cooking or showering. Keep a watchful eye on these areas in your home throughout the winter and if the exhaust fans are not doing enough, wipe down walls and other surfaces where the moisture is collecting. You may need to also add a dehumidifier if you find the moisture level is too high in your home. Opening windows a crack is also a way to allow moisture to escape your home during or after cooking or showering. By opening the windows, this will allow more air circulation in the affected areas.
Always be on the lookout for leaks in your home from appliances or pipes. These little leaks are just enough to allow extra moisture into your home and allow mold spores to grow. Be sure to check those hidden places like underneath the bathroom or kitchen sinks. Repair any leaks that you may find immediately.
Food Sources Mold Like
Mold is fungi and fungi love quick-to-decompose items such as books, paper, and clothing, to name a few. When looking to store these types of items, look for storage areas that are away from external walls or windows where moisture is more prevalent. Look to store these items in an area that has good air circulation. Declutter and only store what you really need.
Winter mold is a reality for those of us who live in Wisconsin but taking precautionary steps, you can prevent mold from growing and building in your home. For more tips on preventing mold, please visit our other blogs. As always, if you have a mold issue in your home, call us at 920.435.2288. Our team of experts is ready to remove and remediate any mold in your home.