During the wintertime, you and your family and friends are going to spend a lot of time in your home. With the windows closed tight and the heating system going at full speed, your home is a great comfort. However, these same conditions can also lead to mold growth in the hidden parts of your home. Today we’re going to talk about temperature, humidity, and ventilation, and how all three can come together in a perfect storm for mold growth in your home.
Temperature, Humidity, and Condensation
The temperature of your home, it’s humidity, and the ventilation of its rooms all play a role in mold growth. As we mentioned in our first blog on mold, How to Tell If You Have a Mold Problem, mold really needs one thing: moisture. These three elements come together to create moisture by increasing the humidity in the air due to poor ventilation of the home, and a temperature difference that causes water to form in a process known as the dew point.
Checking for Mold Growth in Winter
There are several places that mold can crop up during the winter due to these conditions. Note that other wintertime hazards like ice dams or burst pipes can also cause problems.
- Attics: Especially when they are unfinished, attics with poor insulation and ventilation can cause condensate due to rising hot air meeting a cool roof.
- Basements: Again, especially when unfinished the walls of basements are cooled by the surrounding earth to cause areas for condensation.
- Exterior-Adjacent Rooms: Areas near the exterior of a home, including window areas, mudrooms, and other places with poor insulation and heating are more likely to cause the dew point effect.
Managing Mold Growth in Winter
Below are several ways to help reduce temperature, humidity, ventilation issues, as well as general mold prevention tips:
- Insulation: Make sure your rooms are well insulated, especially your attic as this will also solve ice dam issues.
- Ventilation: Make sure your roof vents and other exterior vents are working properly.
- Humidity: Along with ventilation, employ a humidifier in your basement to reduce humidity to below 40%.
- Remove Food Source for Mold: Don’t store paper or clothing in problem areas. Think about replacing carpeting with removable area rugs to avoid mold growth there.
- Manage Crawl Spaces: Crawl spaces are a great place for mold. Manage them by making sure they are well-ventilated and cover any exposed places with waterproof plastics.
Molds can be a hazard in your home. Learn more about the dangers of mold growth in our blog, Five Molds to Look Out For in Your Home, and then contact Fiber Control, Inc. We’re mold remediation experts and can also investigate older homes for signs of asbestos and lead.