Mold is a problem many homeowners associate with warm weather, but that doesn’t mean you can let your guard down just because winter is upon us. While it’s true that most molds thrive in environments more than 70° F, some types of mold do fine in cold weather. In fact, there are some settings in your winter home that create an ideal environment for mold. Here are 11 steps you can take to prevent it from taking hold.
1.Some of the places you may notice mold during the winter is in uninsulated closets, crawlspaces, attics, windows, and any other place that that temperature is colder than in the rest of the home. Ensure that spots like this are kept free from moisture.
2.Mold loves moisture. Aim to keep the humidity level below 40% in all parts of the home. When it gets higher than that, it creates a mold-friendly environment.
3.If you have spaces in your home that tend to be more humid, swap out wall-to-wall carpets for hard-surface floors or area rugs. Also, do not store books or stacks of paper in such areas.
4.As mentioned above, mold loves moisture, so it’s extremely important to fix any leaks in your roof and around doors and windows. Any spot that retains moisture is very likely to invite mold. If you can’t get the roof repaired or replaced, have a roofing contractor cover the damaged areas with a tarp to prevent leaks.
5.Be sure that all gutters and downspouts are clean and that the water flows away from your house. If it doesn’t, add inexpensive extenders to the ends of the downspout to direct water further away.
6.When taking a shower or cooking, always use fans to vent that moisture out of house.
7.Make sure that all vents in the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry vent to the outside rather than to crawlspace or attic. If not, the moisture will collect in those areas and provide a cozy spot for a mold infestation.
8.If you have a crawlspace, consider sealing it with waterproof plastic. If your crawlspace has vents, you should close them in the summer and make sure they open during the winter to prevent moisture buildup.
9.Insulate pipes and other cold surfaces in your home.
10.If you have moisture problems in your basement, talk to a company about what it would take to correct those issues. At the very least, add quality dehumidifiers.
11.Perform routine checks of your pipes, windows, and basement walls. Take immediate action if you notice condensation. Find the source of the moisture, or call in a pro to find it for you.
Many of the items on this list are regular maintenance items that should be taken care of throughout the year, but it’s always a good idea to have a winter checklist that you go through just before the start of the season. A little prevention can go a long way in warding off the hassle of a mold infestation, so take steps today to maintain maximum air quality in your home.
Should you suspect a mold problem, call the professionals at Green Home Solutions. We offer fast, affordable mold testing and remediation services that don’t use harsh chemicals or require messy demolition. Give us a call or fill out our online form to learn more.