Did you know that mold can be a problem during the winter months, too?
When you deprive mold of moisture, warmth, and food, you will stop it from growing, but you won’t kill the mold that is already there. Mold spores can stay dormant and start growing again if they get moisture, warmth, and food. So, it’s important to keep spores from growing in the first place.
Our team offers the following tips for keeping the risk of mold growth minimal during the winter months:
- If you live in a climate where you need to heat your home frequently, mold can start growing in the winter on your home’s inside walls, especially on the surfaces closest to the outside of your home. Moisture that travels through the air from your basement, bathrooms, or kitchen may condense when it comes in contact with a cold wall. One thing you can do to prevent spore growth is makesure your walls are well-insulated. Well-insulated walls can prevent condensation and mold, as well as cut down on your heating and cooling bills.
- Make sure your windows are properly sealed; moisture from the warm air condenses on cool glass, if there are cracks or spaces around your windows, mold can form in those cracks.
- Make sure that your gutters and downspouts are clean and that the area under your downspouts is graded so that water from the roof flows away from your foundation. If water pools around your home think about extending your downspouts.
Turning on the heat makes the air in your home very dry. Many people combat the dryness by using a humidifier. If you do use a humidifier make sure that your indoor humidity level is below 40 percent. If you use a humidifier, as many of us do in the winter, make sure it does not produce an excessive amount of humidity.
- Remove possible sources of growth by regularly vacuuming and cleaning. Pay close attention to bathrooms and other areas of your home that are likely to generate a lot of moisture.
- Use area rugs or washable floor surfaces rather than wall-to-wall carpeting in areas or rooms that have a moisture issue. It’s not usually a good idea to have carpeting in your entryway. Snowy, wet boots can soak into carpeting creating a perfect breeding ground for mold.
- Paper, books, and clothing are sources of food for spores; so don’t store them in humid parts of your home, such as your basement—especially close to the floor or walls.
- In the bathroom and kitchen use exhaust fans or open windows when producing moisture, such as taking a hot shower. Exhaust fans should be vented to the outdoors and not to an attic or crawl space.
- Make sure your clothes dryer is vented to the outdoors.
- Consider getting a dehumidifier for your basement. The cool basement floor and walls can be a source of moisture build-up, and a dehumidifier will control the humidity level and make it harder for spores to begin growing.
Mold prevention is very important for maintaining good indoor air quality. If you see or suspect mold in your home, contact the team at Thompson Building Associates to learn about mold clean-up and mitigation services to keep you, your family and your home safe.
For more information on keeping your home safe, please visit the following links:
Following a Flood
Ohio Healthy Homes Network
Thompson Building Associates
3333 Refugee Road, Columbus, OH 43232