As we say welcome the cooler breezes of fall, it’s the ideal time to check your home for the presence of mold and mildew. You might wonder why mold is still a concern in the colder months. While it’s true that mold remains dormant at temperatures below 41 degrees Fahrenheit, fall temperatures can hover in the 40s and 50s, accompanied by moisture and reduced sunlight. These conditions create the perfect breeding ground, especially on patio furniture, amidst fallen leaves, and other decaying debris. To make matters worse, mold doesn’t perish during the winter; instead, it can spread, leading to more significant problems as temperatures rise.
Here are some essential tips to keep mold and mildew at bay in your home:
Clear Debris Away from Exterior Walls
Mold spores thrive in warm, moist organic materials, making piles of decomposing leaves a perfect environment for mold growth. As spores can travel through the air, they might find their way indoors through windows, doors, and ventilation systems. Ensure that debris is cleared away from the outside walls of your home to prevent mold from infiltrating your living spaces.
Maintain Clean Gutters and Downspouts
Clogged gutters filled with fallen leaves are prime locations for mold growth. Ensure that water can flow freely and drain away from your home, preventing moisture buildup.
Clean Patio Furniture
Before storing your outdoor furniture for the winter, give it a thorough cleaning to remove outdoor dirt and grime quickly and effectively, safeguarding your furniture from mold and mildew.
Cold weather can compromise the integrity of your pipes, potentially leading to leaks or cracks. These moist areas can serve as breeding grounds for mold and mildew. Regularly check your plumbing to prevent colonies from thriving undetected.
Monitor Humidity Levels
Winter often brings dry air, but in areas with humidity levels above 65%, consider using a dehumidifier. Lower humidity makes it more challenging for mold spores to spread and proliferate.
Address Moist Areas Promptly
Clean up any spills or standing water, as mold and mildew flourish in damp environments. Pay extra attention to areas around sinks, showers, and tubs, ensuring they remain dry.
Promote Air Circulation
Use exhaust fans or crack the windows when showering, washing dishes, or cooking. Proper ventilation helps prevent the buildup of moisture, deterring mold and mildew growth.
Create a Moisture Barrier
In basements or crawlspaces, establish a moisture barrier using options like plastic sheathing or moisture-resistant paint. Local hardware stores offer various solutions for creating these barriers.
Taking these precautions is a vital step in preventing mold and mildew. However, if you already have a mold problem, it’s essential to address it promptly. The longer you wait, the more challenging it becomes to keep mold and mildew from returning.
Embrace the fall season and keep your home warm and mold-free! Take our 2-minute self-assessment to learn more about your mold needs.