Can Mold Grow in the Winter?
As the temperatures start to drop and our windows start to frost over at night mold may be the last thing on your mind, but the colder weather during these winter months can, in fact, increase the growth of mold in your home. Often without our knowledge, the steps we take to prepare for the winter can create the ideal conditions for mold to not only grow but thrive as well.
Turning up the Heat
To keep our homes warm during the colder months, we tend to crank up the heat to stay warm. With the advancements in technology and construction, that usually means our homes are sealed up tight to keep the warm air in. When the warm air is unable to leave your home, the trapped moisture and condensation from the increased humidity creates an inviting atmosphere for mold growth. Differences in relative humidity throughout the house can also increase the chances of mold growth. Professional mold remediation technicians will have to do a thorough mold test to determine if mold has invaded your home.
If you have a yard full of trees that shed during the autumn months, you may want to keep up on raking and removing those fallen leaves. Fallen leaves can start to pile up and capture moisture, creating warm pockets of air that encourage mold growth. The mold that grows on these decaying leaves can become airborne when the leaves are disturbed.
Here are some other steps you can take to prevent mold growth during the winter:
- Make sure the indoor humidity level in your home is below 40 percent.
- Dry off your shoes, boots, and winter clothing when entering your home. The excess moisture from these items can cause mold growth if they are allowed to sit for too long.
- Regularly vacuuming and clean your floors to remove possible sources of mold growth.
- Have you ever left a cardboard box against the wall in your attic or basement only to find a musty odor or mold growth when you move it? Avoid storing cardboard boxes, paper, books and clothing in areas of your home that see excess moisture during the winter. Investing in plastic storage bins can go a long way in preventing mold growth.
- Leaks in your roof or windows need to be repaired as soon as possible.
- Keep your gutters and downspouts clean and in working order to reduce mold growth. Not only do clogged or damaged gutters and downspouts cause mold damage, but they can cause water damage as well.
- Consider installing an exhaust fan or opening the windows in your bathroom or kitchen when producing moisture, such as running hot water or taking a hot bath. Make sure exhaust fans are vented to the outdoors and not into your attic or crawlspace.
So, what do you do if you discover mold growing in your home?
First of all, you should contact a professional, such as Ally1, who specializes in mold detection and mold removal. Professionals can track down the source of the excess moisture that is causing the mold growth. Once the source is determined they can assess the extent of the damage and determine what needs to be done to completely, and safely remove the mold.