Preventing Mold Growth in Winter Months
We are frequently asked if we find "more mold" in warmer months as opposed to colder months. In order to answer that question we need to be a little more specific. If we are talking about outdoors, then yes, molds are more active in the warmer months as opposed to the colder months. If we are talking indoors the answer is no. The temperature outside will not directly affect mold growth indoors, in a controlled temperature environment.
Bottom line: if you have a mold issue in your home, it's not going to matter if its June or January. If there is a food source and a moisture source mold can grow. Something that outdoor temperatures can affect though is the moisture source that could cause mold growth in your home.
In the colder months, homeowners can be faced with different challenges that could potentially create mold issues in their homes. These challenges include: frozen pipes, improper insulation, pipe bursts, ice damming and more. Here are tips to help prevent these winter-related issues that may result in mold growth:
- Make sure all gutters are cleaned out to help prevent ice damming
- To help prevent mold in attics, make sure the attic is properly insulated to help prevent condensation. (Remember there is such thing as too much insulation!)
- To help prevent mold in crawl spaces, make sure any pipes running through the crawl spaces are insulated to help prevent pipe bursts. Also, if there are vents to the outside, close those vents during winter months.
- To help prevent mold in basements, continue to run dehumidifiers in the basement, even during the winter. They may not run nearly as much, but anytime the relative humidity exceeds 50-55%, there is enough moisture in the air for mold to grow.
- Make sure bathroom exhaust fans are working properly when you are taking your hot, steamy showers. Also, make sure those exhaust fans are vented to the outside of the home and not into your attic.