Can Mold Be a Problem in the Winter?

November 4, 2013
Ross and Witmer

When temperatures fall near the freezing point in the winter, mold growth slows outdoors. However, inside the climate-controlled environment of your home, the fungi easily find ideal conditions for growth and can flourish. Detecting and removing mold is important if you want to maintain good indoor air quality.

Common Home Areas for Mold Growth

While some molds prefer temperatures above 60 degrees, other types can grow in areas that humans would find chilly, such as cold windowsills and uninsulated walls and closets. Check these areas in addition to checking the more obvious regions listed below.

  • Attic: Without temperature and humidity control, attics can quickly become a breeding ground for mold.
  • Bathroom: Mold and mildew on caulk and tile will be easy to spot. Do not forget to check in less visible areas, such as beneath the vanity and tub.
  • Basement: Even if mold is not immediately visible, a musty smell is a giveaway that mold growth is a problem here.
  • Crawl spaces: Like the basement, crawl spaces often have just the right amount of moisture to entice mold
  • Kitchen: Check behind refrigerators and other appliances in addition to checking cabinets, pantries and baseboards.
  • Laundry room: Fabrics, starches and high humidity in a laundry room provide an ideal home for mold.

Controlling Mold

Mold requires moisture and food in order to proliferate. Controlling humidity is one of the most effective ways to prevent mold in the home. This is a three-step process.

  • Maintain good ventilation to keep things drier. Stagnant air allows moisture to build. Even simple additions, such as adding ceiling fans, can help. These also cut your heating bill as they may be set to circulate in reverse to push warm air downward.
  • Balance home humidity levels by installing a whole-house dehumidifier or by using portable ones in problem areas.
  • Repair leaks promptly.

In addition to controlling humidity, keep the home clean to reduce potential food sources for mold. Mold feasts on any organic matter, including particles invisible to the eye.

For more information about controlling mold in the winter, please contact us at Ross & Witmer.

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