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Dealing With Mold In Winter.

Mold can grow at any time of the year. Although, it you might think it can grow more during summer days mold can still grow in the winter.

The climate and activity changes during colder months can actually increase the likelihood for mold growth in winter. Our indoor and outdoor environments can create conditions that foster increased spore activity. We tend to close up our homes once it starts getting colder; and with all of the latest energy efficiencies we have today, our homes become too tightly sealed. This can trap moisture and raise humidity levels. Mold growth in winter and fall seasons can be commonly found on the exterior of drywall, sheet rock and other surfaces of rooms located in ceilings and corners of the home. Due to corner rooms being exposed to significantly colder air than their adjoining rooms, they have higher relative humidity levels.

Turning up our thermostats creates warmer air that is often unable to escape; and if your home’s indoor environment is too tightly insulated, the likelihood of mold or mildew growth in winter months dramatically climbs. Additionally, warm condensation and trapped moisture from humidity levels tends to dwell in homes for longer periods of time.

The fall and winter outdoor environment provides the ability for mold spore activity to be higher. Mold’s job in nature is to break down dead plant matter. When leaves fall and plants die, the decaying plant matter releases mold spores in the air.

The easiest way to prevent mold growth is to reduce or eliminate moisture that may accumulate in your home. Here are some solutions to common moisture problems.

Here are some helpful tips on what you can do to prevent mold growth and damage in the winter months:

  • If you notice a musty odor when you first turn on the heat in the winter, you might have mold in your heating ducts. If you smell that musty odor, we recommend having a certified mold tester come out to check your home for mold as soon as possible, since mold in heating ducts can quickly spread to other areas of the home, especially when the heat is turned on. The warm air blowing through the heating ducts blows mold spores into all the rooms in your home.
  • If you have a crawl space under your house, cover the ground in the crawl space with a waterproof tarp. This helps keep out excessive moisture.
  • Make sure windows close securely and do not leak. Watch for condensation around windows, which can lead to the development of mold.
  • Cold air outside and warm air inside often lead to condensation on walls, especially in attics and basements. Good insulation helps prevent this, but you can also install a dehumidifier to help reduce the amount of moisture in the air.
  • Placing a dehumidifier in the room can lower moisture enough to prevent mold growth. Keep the humidity of your home below 60%. It should be between 35-45% if possible.
  • Set ceiling fans in reverse. Running them at night will help increase air circulation near windows. This helps to prevent moist air from becoming stagnant and condensing on your windows.
  • Make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear of debris, so rainwater will flow away from your foundation and your roof. Extend your downspouts if necessary. Make sure the ground slopes away from your home.

 

“Winter Tips to Prevent Mold in the Home” Web Blog Post. Black mold Guide. 

 

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