Mold (mould) growth is often more prevalent in the winter months due to the cooler, damp conditions. The Canadian winters can be particularly harsh, with prolonged cold temperatures and high humidity periods. This combination of factors creates the perfect environment for mold to grow and spread.
This post briefly discusses what mold is, how winter causes mold growth on your property, and how to prevent it.
What Is Mold?
It is a fungus type that thrives in damp, dark environments. They come in different colors, such as black, green, white, and pink. Mold produces spores – tiny airborne particles that can cause respiratory problems in humans.
Mold spores are found in the air around us and can enter our homes through open doors, windows, or ventilation systems. When these come into contact with a damp surface, they start to grow. Mold can grow on any surface, including wood, carpet, drywall, and insulation.
Mold needs four things to grow:
- Moisture: Mold needs moisture to grow and reproduce. High humidity or standing water are perfect conditions for mold growth.
- Oxygen: Mold needs oxygen to survive.
- A food source: Mold feeds on organic materials, such as wood, paper, or lint.
- Darkness: Mold grows best in dark environments with little or no light exposure.
Aside from being unsightly, mold can cause serious health problems. The WHO (World Health Organization) reported in 2002 that exposure to mold in an indoor environment could lead to infection, allergy, mucus membrane and sensory irritation and toxicity alone, or both.
That’s why it’s so important to address mold growth in your home as soon as you see it. If the problem becomes severe, you need to call professionals to address it immediately. See here for more detail on how it works.
How Do You Know There’s Mold In Your Home?
Mold can be tricky to spot because it often grows in hidden places, such as behind wallpaper or under carpets. The best way to see if mold is present is to observe for signs of water damage, such as peeling paint, discolored walls, or musty odors.
You should also watch out for any health problems from exposure to mold, such as difficulty breathing, coughing, sneezing, or eye irritation. See a doctor and have them test for mold exposure if you notice these symptoms.
How Does Mold Grow In The Winter?
Mold can grow in the winter when the temperature drops and moisture condenses on walls, ceilings, and floors. This is because mold needs four things to grow:
- Moisture: As we mentioned before, mold thrives in damp environments. When the temperature outside drops, the moisture in the air can condense on surfaces inside your home.
- A food source: Mold also needs a food source to grow. This can be anything from wood to paper to insulation.
- Warmth: Mold loves warm temperatures, which often grows in areas like attics and basements.
- Darkness: Mold doesn’t need much light to grow, so it often grows in dark places like closets and under furniture.
How To Prevent Mold Growth In Your Home
The best way to prevent mold growth in your home is to control the moisture. Here are some tips to help you do that:
- Keep the humidity in your home below 50%. Consider using a humidifier or dehumidifier to help with this.
- Make sure your home is well-ventilated. Open doors and windows when weather permits and use fans to circulate the air.
- Repair any leaks in your roof, walls, or pipes as soon as possible.
- Use an exhaust fan when cooking, doing laundry, or taking a shower.
- Use a dehumidifier in damp rooms like the basement or laundry room.
- Ensure your gutters are clean and draining properly.
- Regularly clean areas where mold is likely to grow, such as the bathroom, kitchen, and basement.
- If you find minor mold in your home, scrub it with a solution of bleach and water (1 cup of bleach for every gallon of water). Afterward, make sure the area is well-ventilated until it’s completely dry. You may also need to throw away any porous materials that have been affected, such as carpets, drywall, or insulation.
- Prevent condensation from forming on surfaces by maintaining a comfortable temperature inside your home to prevent condensation from forming on surfaces.
Mold can be a severe problem in your home if it’s not addressed quickly. Be sure to keep an eye out for signs of water damage and mold growth, and take steps to control the moisture in your home. If you find mold, be sure to clean it up immediately and throw away any porous materials that have been affected.
If the problem is serious, look for a reputable restoration company to eliminate the mold professionally. Ask for referrals or look online by searching ” mould removal near me” to find one in your area.