Mold in the Cold – Tips for Winter Mold Prevention
Do you have or fear you have mold in your home? The problem of mold is one that plagues many homeowners, even those in dry climates. Homes today are often so draft free that the ventilation errs on the side of being inadequate. The result is problem areas that seem to stay perpetually damp – leading to the growth of mold.
The winter air can add to the mold problem by adding dampness via condensation. Additionally, when it’s cold, ventilation may drop even more as homeowners seek to prevent warm air from escaping. How can you balance proper ventilation practices with prevention of mold growth? The answer is dealing with moisture on a case by case basis, and revamping your approach as needed.
All areas of your home are not the same! Cellars and basements tend to be damp by nature. Upper floors often have dryer air, but this can change when bathrooms are in use. Areas with appliances such as refrigerators, freezers, washers and dryers all have an impact on the moisture levels of your home. Dealing with these issues can help reduce the chance of mold – and can help you find existing mold in the process!
First, do a run-through of your house and find the problem spots. Check for leaks, whether in your roof, your basement wall, or from a rusted pipe. Look at heating and cooling systems to see if you have a condensation issue.
Second, fix what you can find. Pipes can be replaced, dripping from an HVAC unit can be routed out of doors, and damp basements can be dried out with a dehumidifier.
Third, work on air circulation. Ideally, fresh air from outside can be used most of the time; however, if it is rainy and cold you can recirculate air from inside the house. Dehumidifiers and fans can be used to help keep air moving through the rooms, and small heaters can be added if a room feels damp. The goal is to keep warm air circulated along walls, so move your furniture out from the baseboards a few inches.
Fourth, seal up any obvious problem areas with caulk. Inspect bathrooms for missing caulk around tubs, sinks and toilets; check windows and doors; and if you have an attic, ensure that ventilation fans are installed and cracks are tightly sealed.
If you do find mold while working your way through your home, call “the dry guys” and we’ll send in a mold remediation team to help. We can get rid of mold, and help you with a game plan to keep mold from returning! Soon your home will be winter proof, and mold will be one thing you don’t have to worry about.