Mold usually thrives in warm, humid climates. So people often wonder if household mold can grow in the wintertime. However, mold can grow in the winter. In fact, it can often get worse during the winter months because most homes run heat all winter. Furthermore, with the snow, sleet, and rain, it’s more likely to experience water damage which can often lead to mold. No matter what the weather is outside, it is always important to stay vigilant about the mold inside.
Why Does Water Damage Cause Mold To Grow In Winter?
There are a number of factors that impact the growth of mold in our homes. During the winter months, there are a lot of things that help mold thrive and grow. First, not only are we heating our homes, we have them sealed. With both heat and a lack of airflow, all you need for mold to thrive is moisture. Furthermore, there are some outside factors that can cause mold to grow. For example, if you have heavy piles of plant matter, there is always mold spores present. These can be released and get into your home if you are not careful. So also use caution when landscaping this time of year. Mold can also grow as the result of water damage from leaks, especially those caused by frozen pipes.
How To Prevent Water Damage And Mold During The Winter
Fortunately, in most cases, winter mold is preventable if you know what to do to protect your home. Here are some tips:
- Insulate and seal your pipes so they don’t leak. Leaks are often the primary source of household mold. If your pipes freeze during the winter, they can cause leaks. Insulating them will protect against water damage that can lead to mold.
- Monitor your household humidity with a humidity measuring tool called a hygrometer. If your household humidity rises above 40%, use a dehumidifier to remove the excess moisture in the air. Without this moisture, mold cannot grow.
- Repair any leaks or cracks in your home. Moisture often enters through cracks, but so too can mold spores. Together they can cause mold to grow inside your home. Closing these cracks and holes will prevent mold.
- Use exhaust fans when you are cooking or taking a shower. This will help vent the excess moisture out of your home. Just make sure these fans vent outside and not into your attic. If they vent to your attic, crack a window instead to let the moisture out.
- Check all your gutters and downspouts. Make sure there are no clogs and that all the water is being directed away from your home.
- Keep attics, basements, garages, and crawl spaces well ventilated. This will help circulate the air so spores do not enter your home. It’s also a good idea to invest in a dehumidifier for these spaces and run them during the winter months.
- Remove shoes, coats, and gloves when entering your home. Make sure to dry them fully before putting them away. This will reduce the chance of spores entering your home and reduce your overall moisture.
These are just some of the strategies to keep mold out of your home.
What Happens If I Have Mold From Water Damage In The Winter
If you experience water damage during the winter, you should contact a water damage and mold removal company. They will do a full inspection of your home and find the source of the issue. They will also inspect for the growth of any mold. Then they will put together a strategy to repair the water damage, remediate the mold, and restore your home to safety and functionality. The team at Dry Patrol can help.