5 min read

Prevent Winter Mold Growth

Mold thrives when there is sufficient warmth, moisture, and food available. It can grow exceptionally well in the summer when temperatures can easily go beyond 70° F, which is the minimum temperature mold can grow.

While mold loves the humidity and warm temperatures of summer, this doesn’t mean it stops growing in the winter. In fact, it often grows unnoticed during the winter months, which is why winter mold removal and prevention are necessary processes to implement in your home.

What Causes Mold During Winter?

The winter months bring cold temperatures and tons of moisture in the form of snow. Around this time, the mold begins to lie dormant because extremely low temperatures hinder spores from being active.

However, in some cases, mold may still be able to grow. For instance, moist, heated air can travel to other areas around your home and condense when coming in contact with a cold wall. Over time, the formation of condensation and the heat coming from your home’s heating system can lead to microbial growth.

How to Prevent Mold Growth in the Winter

Generally, mold doesn’t grow in the winter when temperatures are freezing. However, this shouldn’t exempt anyone from keeping their guard up against the potential risks of mold.

Prevention is always a better and less expensive option than relying on mold removal to keep your home mold-free. Here are some tips to keep in mind to prevent mold in winter:

Maintain Humidity Levels Below 45%

Humidity refers to the amount of moisture present in the air in the form of water vapor. While humidity is often low during the winter, indoor humidity, where temperatures are kept at warmer levels, is a different story.

According to recommendations from the Environmental Protection Agency, the best way to control microbial growth at home is by monitoring indoor humidity levels and keeping them below 45%. Use dehumidifiers in areas with high humidity, such as in your basement and kitchen.

If, at some point, the humidity levels spike, check your home for possible water leaks or other sources of moisture or steam.

Inspect Your Home For Possible Water Infiltration

Some of the worst places mold can grow often are those that are difficult to access or detect. These include places inside wall cavities, under following, between the ceiling and the room, and crawl spaces, among many others.

Since the winter brings plenty of water in the form of melted snow, checking your home for possible intrusion areas is critical to prevent mold growth. Make sure to inspect the following areas thoroughly:

  • Roof
  • Gutters and downspouts
  • Window and door siding
  • Basement
  • Crawl spaces
  • Entire plumbing system

Maintain Sufficient Airflow Throughout the Home

Mold loves stagnant air. In environments where the air is kept stagnant, mold spores can settle on any surface they come in contact with and grow under the right conditions.

Keep air flowing inside your home to prevent microbial growth. Generally, a ceiling fan in the middle of the room can sufficiently provide sufficient movement to prevent spores from settling, condensation from forming, and humidity levels from rising.

One helpful tip when using a ceiling fan in winter is to shift its rotation counterclockwise. Fans set that way pulls up cold air that stays in the lower levels of the room while pushing warm air outward and back to the ground. In doing so, you will not only improve indoor air circulation but also save on heating costs.

In areas where ceiling fans are not applicable, exhaust fans can provide the needed circulation. This is vital in areas like kitchens and bathrooms where steam is frequently given off, contributing to rising indoor humidity levels.

Keep Your Home Insulated

As mentioned above, some of the most common spaces where mold frequently grows during the winter are crawlspaces, attics, windows, closets, and other surfaces that are typically colder than the rest of your home. One reason for this common occurrence is that they are usually uninsulated.

Insulation keeps your surfaces from losing too much heat during cold temperatures. This prevents water vapor from condensing on these surfaces, keeping them dry.

Wipe Down Condensation and Moisture On Any Surface

In the winter, it’s not uncommon to find condensation on cold surfaces such as windows, walls, and countertops. In these areas, mold is more prevalent since it is a good source of moisture. When you spot condensation on these surfaces, wipe them down immediately to protect the surface from water damage and avoid microbial growth.

Your Go-To Partner For Professional Mold Remediation

During the winter months, many issues commonly go unnoticed until they cause significant damage to your home. In many cases, these hidden issues can lead to water damage and microbial growth. This is why vigilance is always important to protect your property and family from minor issues that can lead to major problems down the road.

Even with our best efforts, some problems may still occur. During those instances, you can turn to our professional mold remediation experts to help you solve your most pressing issues. Get in touch with Restoration 1 of Austin today for a free consultation!