Does Cold Winter Weather Prevent Mold Growth ?
Cold temperatures common during the winter months can inhibit the spread of mold, to an extent. However, the idea that cold winter weather completely prevents the growth of mold is a misconception. There are three main ingredients necessary for mold to grow: moisture, a “food” source, and the right temperature. Depending on the type of mold, however, colder temperatures could still provide the adequate environment for mold to grow. In addition, central air and heating systems may heat mold-prone areas of a home to an adequate temperature for the spread of mold, regardless of cold outdoor temperatures. When combined with moist areas that may suffer from a lack of proper ventilation, mold can and will continue to spread during the winter months. Some varieties of mold may be deterred by the cold temperatures, but it is unwise to assume that mold growth won’t continue during the colder months.
Where are Common Areas for Mold Growth in Winter?
One of the most common areas for mold growth in the winter is around window sills. Because condensation collects along the inside windows during colder months, the combination of warmer inside temperatures and added moisture creates the perfect climate for mold to grow. Because moisture and temperature are two of the most critical factors to mold growth, areas like the bathroom or kitchen can also be especially problematic. Areas of these rooms that are poorly ventilated and likely to accumulate moisture are worrisome and should be consistently checked for mold growth. In addition, other areas like basements and attics are also prone to mold growth, because poor ventilation, dripping moisture from pipes, and a host of other factors can lead to unseen mold growth during the winter months.
What is the Source of Mold Allergens in the Home?
There are any number of potential sources for mold allergens in the home. As stated previously, there are several conditions that help facilitate the growth of mold: temperature, a “food” source, and moisture. Mold spores, which travel through the air regardless of the time of year, are constantly waiting to find the proper conditions to spread and grow. When these conditions are right, and the mold spores find their way into the home, they will latch onto a surface and spread. This could be a moist, rotting piece of wood, a damp patch of carpet, a poorly ventilated bathroom corner, or even a windowsill. As the mold grows, it will continue to produce mold spores, increasing the intensity of a potential mold allergy.
How can Homeowners Prevent Winter Mold Growth?
Controlling mold growth can be difficult, especially during the warmer times of the year. However, winter temperatures do not necessarily mean that mold is not still spreading throughout your home. Here are some tips for homeowners to make sure that mold does not become a problem during the winter months or beyond:
- Upgrade or add insulation: Moisture and mold spores remain as airborne as ever during the winter, and can enter your home through various openings. Make sure to insulate as much of your home as possible.
- Keep the internal humidity below 40%: Moisture feeds mold growth, so try to keep any extra moisture from accumulating as a result of your heating or central air systems.
- Areas prone to moisture should be free of area rugs or carpeting; these only serve to capture mold spores and additional moisture.
- Use ventilation: Most bathrooms, kitchens, and even laundry areas could benefit from ceiling fans and ventilation aimed at preventing excess moisture buildup. Make sure to turn these on when using these areas.
- Consider sealing crawl spaces and other rarely accessed areas, or even adding dehumidifiers to areas that may be at risk for extra moisture.
- Insulate pipes and other at-risk surfaces.
Why is it important to get on top of Mold problems before Spring?
The main reason behind tackling mold growth problems before spring is the increase in temperatures and the likelihood of increased moisture inside, both of which provide a more ideal environment for mold to grow. Although mold can grow in any temperature, many mold types thrive in warmer temperatures, which are much more likely in the spring. This also means that mold spores are more commonplace, increasing the likelihood of mold to enter the home. Because mold tends to be slower-growing in the winter months, this can be an ideal time to handle treating or removing mold, as it will be less likely that the mold will return during treatment.
Call MSR Restoration for Wintertime Mold Remediation Solutions!
If you are experiencing mold growth during the winter months, or simply just trying to prevent the spread of mold in your property, MSR Restoration has you covered. With a team of experienced professionals well-versed in both mold remediation and removal, MSR Restoration can help you to both treat any mold problems you may have and advise you on mold prevention tips for the future to make sure the mold doesn’t return! Call MSR Restoration for a quote today.