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How to Prevent Mold and Mildew in the Home During Winter

by Kimberley Graham

 

As the weather gets colder, it is natural to want to shut the windows and turn the heater on. However, winter is also the the time of year when mold and mildew may be more likely to build up. With a little care and vigilance, preventing mold and mildew in the home can be easy with these simple steps. But first, what is mold and how can it damage your home?

 

Mold and Mold Damage

Mold is a fungus that plays an important role in decomposition in nature. However, when mold gets indoors, it can cause real problems. Mold can slowly destroy wood, carpets, and furnishings, not to mention leave unpleasant black marks on walls, windows and ceilings. Mold grows where it is moist and emits microscopic spores that are airborne. These microscopic spores can be inhaled and can be harmful to human health, particularly for people with respiratory conditions or pre-existing allergies. That’s why it is important to prevent mold, especially during winter when we are usually spinning more time indoors.

Ventilate

Opening the windows at regular intervals is one of the best ways to reduce the particle load (which may contain fungi, bacteria, or viruses) of indoor air and help to regulate the moisture content. This is especially important after cooking, showering and first thing in the morning after sleeping. Also pay attention to the condensation and moisture as it collects on windows, walls, or pipes. It is important to dry any wet surface immediately in order to reduce the build up of water and air moisture content.

Use Fans

Make sure all of your indoor fans are working and use them. Particularly the fans in the bathroom, kitchen and laundry room as these areas are where moisture and humidity are most likely to build up. It is also a good idea to get the filters inside the fans checked, cleaned or changed at least once a quarter.

Dry Clothes Outside

Although this may be difficult during winter, it is best to avoid drying clothes indoors, particularly if your house already suffers from high humidity. Hanging wet towels and clothes on heaters or drying racks is a common practice, but it creates humidity in the air as the moisture evaporates. This increases the risk of mold and mildew build up and damage to the home.

Other Recommendations

The Environmental Protection Agency also recommends that each household:

  • Cleans and repair roof gutters regularly to reduce the decomposing leaf litter.
  • Cover cold surfaces, such as cold-water pipes, with insulation to reduce condensation.

 

Mold Prevention and Mold Removal Servcies

We provide mold prevention, mold removal, fan-filter cleaning and mold remediation services, particularly in the New Canaan and wider Connecticut area. Feel free to contact us if you would like to know how much a mold remediation costs or what is involved in mold removal. We look forward to helping you keep your home, dray safe and mold free this winter.