You might think that the winter months offer a break from the challenge of controlling mold — but you would be wrong. While mold growth does typically slow when it’s cold (according to JSE Labs) it can still cause problems in your home.
It is extremely important that you take steps to prevent mold growth and get rid of it as soon as you notice signs that it might be spreading. Mold can grow very quickly, leading to unpleasant earthy odors, potential damage to drywall and insulation, and unhealthy living conditions.
Mold in the Cold
Moisture, nutrients, and a favorable temperature range create ideal conditions that support mold growth. And since that temperature range for most species is 60–80 degrees Fahrenheit (according to the NC Department of Health & Human Services), it’s easy for mold to feel comfortable in the same type of environment where people feel comfortable year-round. That means mold and fungi will almost always be able to find the right conditions to spread in your home.
Despite the availability of comfortable temperatures, what’s even more valuable to mold (according to the US Environmental Protection Agency) is moisture. The rainy season — and its accompanying high humidity — typically sticks to the warmer months, keeping the soil around your house damp and moisture in the air. In winter, however, moisture is prone to plaguing certain areas. Windows are especially worrisome, as the mixing of warm inside air and cold outside air causes condensation to form. This makes your windows a prime location for mold growth during the winter months.
How to Prevent Mold in the Winter
It’s not realistic to expect families to keep their homes cooled below livable temperatures for mold, so the best way to keep it in check is to target moisture. Be diligent about cleaning up moisture wherever you find it, whether it’s a window, a leaky pipe, or a spill on the carpet.
Other ways to mitigate mold include:
- Running a dehumidifier to keep humidity levels below 50%
- Use ventilation fans in the bathrooms while in use
- Get rid of old materials that might absorb moisture (cardboard, newspapers, etc.)
- Use cleaning products that are designed to deal with mold
- Regularly clean your gutters
With a little diligence, you can keep moisture levels down throughout your home and prevent the spread of mold in the winter months. But if you suspect there might be a problem, contact East Coast Mold Remediation to take care of the issue immediately.