There’s no denying that summer is prime time for mold growth. There is definitely a link between the weather and the rate of mold growth. We typically see mold during the summertime because we are out and about, doing home improvement projects and just generally seeing more of our homes.
Doors and windows are open more, and humidity is higher. Mold also loves warmer summer temperatures. Home water usage is also higher in the summer as well, leading to accidents like leaving water on overnight. These are all factors that make mold growth a summertime worry for homeowners.
But mold isn’t limited to a season. Your home can develop mold in the winter in Illinois just as easily as summer. This comes as a surprise to a lot of homeowners who think mold isn’t a problem during cold weather. The truth is, we often turn our homes into the perfect environment for mold without even realizing it until there is a mold inspection.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways this can happen.
Reasons Mold Grows in your Home in Winter
Mold can grow on any surface, in any location. Mold is going to grow best in areas where it won’t be disturbed. It is prone to growth in dark, damp areas. This could just as easily be your bathroom shower as it could be hidden behind the washing machine.
If you think about it, the conditions within your home are fairly consistent throughout the year. Even though the weather varies, most of us maintain consistent, comfortable temperatures throughout the year. Therefore, if you own a home, you need to stay vigilant year-round to prevent mold in your home.
What makes mold prevalent during winter?
So we have established that mold can grow at any time of year, but what causes it to thrive during the winter? Below are a few reasons. Based on these risk factors, you can protect your home from mold during the winter.
Warm, cozy indoor temperatures.
When the weather drops outdoors, it very well may cause mold to become dormant outdoors and in uninsulated indoor areas. But inside, a lot of people combat the cold by turning up the heat. This creates the perfect living environment for mold, even in the dead of winter.
Also, modern homes are sealed much better than older ones. While this does keep your home at a consistent temperature and prevent drafts, it also means that moisture from showers, the dishwasher, and cooking cannot escape.
Heated areas that tend to be more humid.
Humidity can be the cause of a mold problem anywhere in your home. A small mold spore only needs a damp surface to cling to. Once it has a firm hold, that single spore can spread exponentially and cause a very serious problem.
Proper ventilation is the best way to remove unwanted humidity. A dehumidifier is a great investment if you struggle to control the humidity within your home.
Higher humidity can also lead to condensation in the attic and basement.
The most common way homes develop condensation is when warm air in your home rises and comes into contact with the cooler air in the attic, directly under the cold roof. The basement is naturally damp if you don’t take measures to seal it, so it’s no secret that mold is often found there.
Condensation is also found on pipes and ductwork because the air within is warmer that the surrounding air. You don’t often find condensation within ducts, though, since the air is always moving.
New organic matter.
Dead house plants give mold a plentiful food source, and who doesn’t have one or two of those sitting around during the holidays? Most people don’t realize that mold can feed off a neglected house plant, but it’s just another source of organic matter, just like leftovers in the fridge.
Mold also feeds on pet dander, shed skin cells, and hair. Regular home cleaning keeps these particles to a minimum, but in winter, we keep our homes closed up a lot more, giving them no means of escape.
Places Mold Loves to Hide
Mold often grows in areas you can’t see easily. Check these places during the winter for mold growth:
Leaks around the chimney, missing shingles, and damage from storms can let moisture into the attic.
Mold can grow on siding as well as underneath loose pieces.
- Windows and doors
As the only barrier between inside and outdoors, windows and doors are highly susceptible to mold, especially around the frames.
- Basement or crawl space
Leaks are common in the basement and crawl space, but these are also just naturally damp areas that need to be inspected often.
If you see any type of mold, you need to deal with it right away. And make necessary repairs so these issues don’t become recurring problems.
MOLD SERVICES IN CENTRAL ILLINOIS
“Dealing with” mold means removing it. This process has to be done carefully to prevent mold from spreading to other areas. If you remove mold yourself, you’d have no way of knowing if mold spores were being released into the air until you see a new colony pop up somewhere else.
Professional mold inspection and remediation is the safest option, since professionals are extensively trained and have the proper equipment to target large and small mold colonies.
Mold remediation from Pure Maintenance of Central Illinois begins with testing the air. If mold levels within the room air are found to be too high, we can remove the excess and restore normal levels.