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How to Prevent Mold & Mildew In Your Home This Winter

preventing winter mold

Why Does Mold Survive In The Winter?

Increased indoor moisture causes mold to grow even during the winter months, especially in wet and rainy Oregon. Although heating systems can make indoor air dryer in the winter, certain areas of the home may actually have increased levels of humidity during this time due to poor ventilation.

Easy Ways To Prevent Mold & Mildew Growth

According to the EPA, “The best way to control mold growth is to control moisture.” Taking these simple precautions can help prevent mold growth during cold and wet winter months.

  1. Increase Air Circulation and Reduce Humidity: A simple way to increase air circulation and reduce moisture in your home is to use fans and keep windows open. Since particularly cold winters aren’t always the most ideal time to open the windows, another easy way to reduce humidity during colder months is to use a dehumidifier.
  2. Watch out for leaks: Areas of the house that leak more often are windows, doorways and areas surrounding swamp coolers and skylights. Areas with indoor plumbing—such as under bathroom and kitchen sinks—are another common spot for leaks to occur.
  3. Repair leaks immediately: If you do find a leak, it’s important to fix it ASAP so that mold and increased damage don’t occur.
  4. Limit the possible areas where mold and mildew can grow: Take caution when storing boxes of clothing, loose papers, books, or other quick-to-decompose items since fungi thrives on these items. For long-term storage, you’ll want to stay away from areas that welcome condensation—like external walls and windows. That’s why it’s best to store items in well circulated areas.
  5. Clean Bathrooms Regularly

Bathrooms are a hot-spot for mold growth since they tend to carry the most moisture in the home. Cleaning bathroom surfaces regularly and watching out for moisture levels are the best ways to prevent mold growth in your bathroom.

How To Check For Mold & Mildew

Mildew—which appears as a thin white coating—is generally easier to spot than mold because it has a tendency to show up in more obvious places, such as windowsills and bathroom caulking. Mold, on the other hand, can be far more difficult to spot. This is because it doesn’t need light to survive, so it can grow within walls, behind molding and in odd corners throughout the house. If you smell a strong, musty odor in a particular area of your home, it could be due to mold—especially if the area is prone to water damage or condensation.

What Should I Do If I Find Mold In My Home?

Since DIY cleaning solutions—including bleach—are considered too weak to get rid of mold and merely cover-up the smell of mold temporarily while it continues to grow, calling a professional is the best move if you have spotted or suspect mold in your home. At Alpha Environmental, we offer professional mold inspection, mold testing, and mold removal and remediation services. Our experts have experience with various types of mold and mold growth. To learn more, give us a call at 503-406-6686.