You might be surprised to learn that mold and mildew are a year-round threat. As long as temperatures are above 41º mold and mildew can begin to grow within 24 hours of finding the right conditions. Keeping an eye out for any sign of moisture is necessary to ensure that your home doesn’t become a habitat for these stinky and destructive organisms.
Check For Leaks Regularly
One of the first steps to preventing any mold growth in your home during winter is to always keep an eye out for leaks and moisture. Many places within a home can be a source of damp, including steamy windows and under the sink pipes. Checking and drying all of these areas regularly can help prevent long term problems. If you do find any leaks, make sure to have them repaired promptly. Not only can this save you money and mold damage, but it can also help cut your water bill.
Limit Mold Food
Mold and mildew need several things to thrive; namely moisture, moderate temperatures, and a food source. While mold is more than willing to grow on even the least palatable surfaces, there are several household items it considers to be a delicacy. Anything that can decompose quickly is the perfect meal for mold and mildew, this includes paper products like books and old documents as well as clothing and other fabric. If you are storing these items its best to consider adding moisture removers as well.
Keep Everything Dry
Winter can quickly bring in moisture in areas you might not expect. Often, due to the lower temperatures, you’re less likely to open windows or use fans in the kitchen and bathrooms. This can lead to a buildup of moisture and steam. Additionally, if you’re bringing in snow and water on shoes and coats, it may benefit you to have a plan for removing water from your entryway. If your entryway is carpeted, you may want to consider adding waterproof mats as well as vacuuming and regularly inspecting to watch for mold growth.
Decrease Humidity and Increase Air Circulation
As we mentioned earlier, winter is often when we forget to practice proper ventilation. Making sure to run your exhaust fans and oven hood can help reduce the risk of mold exponentially. While winter can cause extremely dry air in some places, it’s important to note that running a humidifier too often can lead to mold growth. Make sure your home frequently gets fresh and circulated air with the help of occasionally opening windows and running fans to help compensate for any added moisture.
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