6 Ways To Prevent Winter Mold and Mildew Growth

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • November 28, 2018

What Are Mold and Mildew?

While mold and mildew often go hand in hand, they differ from each other in ways that are important to know when taking steps to prevent them.

Mold is a fungus that can appear as green, yellow, brown, gray or white and is typically fuzzy in appearance. Mold often grows under surfaces which makes it harder to identify and thus, much more detrimental in effect. This fungus can grow undetected for weeks or months and if not treated in time, mold can rot the surface or material that it grows on.

Mildew, on the other hand, is a specific type of fungi. It starts out as a white, powdery slime which soon turns a black or brownish color. Mildew likes to live on the top of surfaces, making it easier to identify. While mold can require remediation or the disposing of materials that it has clung to, mildew is much easier to clean up and get rid of.

Mold and mildew do share some similarities when it comes to what they need to thrive. Both require food, warmth and moisture in order to grow, and with all of these ingredients, mold and mildew will grow within 24 to 48 hours. Though there are measures you can take to get rid of mold and mildew, the best treatment is to prevent them in the first place. Follow these six tips to keep mold and mildew from growing in your home.

We’ll walk through how you can prevent mold and mildew by:

1 . Decreasing your home’s humidity

2 . Keeping an eye out for leaks that can let in moisture

3 . Drying wet areas right away

4 . Maintaining your gutters

5 . Setting your ceiling fans to turn clockwise

6 . Improving your home’s air flow

Prevent Winter Mold and Mildew With These Six Tips

1 . Decrease Humidity

After taking a nice hot shower, you probably notice a lot of condensation on your bathroom mirror or steam in the air. The same thing goes for using your stove to boil water.

This heat and moisture create the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. Opening a window or turning on an exhaust fan for about 20-30 minutes after creating this moisture is a great way to prevent mold or mildew from growing in these places.

2 . Keep an Eye Out For Leaks That Can Let In Moisture

Leaks are the root of all evil when it comes to mold. Make sure that areas like windows and doors are properly maintained so that they aren’t allowing unwanted water or moisture into your home.

Bathroom and kitchen sinks are also popular places for mold to grow. Be sure to check under your sinks to make sure nothing is leaking. If you notice any leaks, repair them as soon as possible. As we know, mold grows at a rapid pace and while repairs can cost money, mold remediation is much more expensive than prevention.

3 . Dry Wet Areas Right Away

A good rule of thumb for mold prevention is to keep things dry. This includes removing water-damaged carpets from your home, moving your wet clothes from the washer to the dryer as soon as they’re ready, even drying the floors after you take a shower.

In addition, make sure to wipe down any condensation on windows. If moisture sets on your windows for too long it can seep into the window-frame or windowsill where mold will likely begin to grow.

4 . Maintain Your Gutters

Gutters probably aren’t the first thing that come to mind when you think of potential mold in your home. But gutters, especially in the winter, collect moisture and debris that create the perfect breeding ground for fungi, or mold.

Water from gutters should flow away from the foundation of your home. If you notice that water is pooling close to your home or that your gutters aren’t draining properly, give them a quick look to see if they need repairing. Gutter guards are often a good investment if you feel that your gutters usually collect lots of debris.

5 . Set Your Ceiling Fans To Turn Clockwise

Clockwise-rotating ceiling fans will pull the cold air up and push the warm air downward. This will keep your house warm without having to rely so heavily on your heating system, which is more likely to create a humid atmosphere.

Ceiling fans are also good for keeping the aeration up in your home. With lots of air moving around, your windows and walls will be less likely to collect condensation and thus, less likely to grow mold.

6 . Improve your Home’s Air Flow

As temperatures begin to drop, air isn’t able to hold as much moisture. All of that excess moisture goes directly onto your walls, floors, furniture, etc. In addition, the heat that you probably have on in your home during the winter doesn’t help much either.

Because moisture and heat are the perfect recipe for mold, preventing these two things is the best way to keep mold away. Air out your home regularly by opening windows or by keeping the doors inside of your home open when you can for good air flow from room to room. Not only will this improve your home’s aeration, it can also improve your home’s air quality too!

Signs of Mold

You might have mold or mildew growing in your home if you’re experience things like

  • A musty smell
  • Visible mold growth
  • Water problems (stains or discoloration)
  • Water leaks
  • Condensation

If you’re noticing any of these signs, you could have mold growing in your home–and there’s no time like the present to get the issue inspected. There are lots of common household molds out there, so make sure you identify which one you have in order to seek the proper treatment.

Unfortunately, getting rid of mold isn’t as easy as cleaning it up. Mold remediation may be required if you do have some mold hanging out in your home. Call one of our experienced mold remediation professionals to get your mold and mildew problem taken care of today.

 

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