Mold is often associated with humid and hot temperatures. That would imply that you wouldn’t have to worry about it as much in the winter, but that is just not true. Mold can develop and grow in the right circumstances in winter as well. Not only that, but you probably spend more time indoors in winter, which means that bad air quality can affect you even more. The most important thing to do to prevent mold during the winter is to prevent moisture from building up and keeping your home at a low level of humidity. Here are some tips.
Cold winter air is dry, which is why you can get chapped lips if you spend time outdoors. Many people will run a humidifier in the winter to keep the air from getting too dry indoors. However, if a room gets over-humidified, then it can encourage mold growth. If you need to run a humidifier, try one with a setting to maintain at a certain level. Ideally, your indoor humidity level should be below 60%. If you have naturally high humidity levels in your home, then a dehumidifier can help reduce those levels.
It turns out that some homes with mold issues have insulation problems that are the culprit. If you do not have insulation inside your exterior walls, then condensation may start to build up. This in turn leads to mold that you may not even be able to see. The insulation in your walls should meet current health standards so that you will not be the victim of mold from not having enough insulation.
Towel-Dry Wet Spots
There are a few spots in your home that are susceptible to moisture and wetness during the winter. These include window sills, pipes, and other places that are affected by the outside cold. Preventing mold may be a simple case of towelling off these spots on a regular basis. Do a tour of your home to see where there may be an issue, and keep towels handy in those locations so that you can do a regular wipe. Make sure that the towels don’t just sit around, though. Keep them dry as well.
Run Your Fans Backwards
A ceiling fan that runs clockwise can be a big part of keeping your home mold free. If you run it this way, it will pull up warm air and distribute it along the ceiling and walls. This will help dry out any condensation. Fans will also keep air circulating, which can make it harder for mold to take hold.
The attic is a hotspot for mold in the winter. During the summer, the shingles on your roof are very effective at deflecting the fast moving water down to your gutters. However, in the winter, ice and snow build up on your roof, and then can slowly melt from either the sun or even the heat from your home. This slow-melting moisture it difficult to stop, and it can seep into your attic, where it will help feed mold buildup. Make sure to inspect your attic and either repair trouble spots or dry up water that leaks through.
Exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen will help remove moisture from your home so that it can’t build up. They are especially important after you have taken a shower and after boiling water or cooking something on the stovetop. They will also prevent the air from getting stagnant.
Mold should be something you worry about all year round. Use these tips to keep your home mold free in the winter.