Lifestyle

Mold in the Winter: 6 Essential Things to Know

Many people assume that the emergence of mold within their homes is strictly a summer issue, but the truth is that there is no season in which your home is completely safe from this potentially catastrophic problem.

Though the summertime’s heat and humidity makes mold easier to grow, it doesn’t mean mold can’t find its way into your home even during the latter half of the year. With that being said, to protect your home from mold growth all year round, take a look at these six tips for preventing, identifying, and removing it.

1. Mold Can Easily Grow in the Winter

It may go against many of the presumptions you had about mold, but wintertime is actually a common time for mold growth to take hold of your home, partially because homeowners are less cautious about mold when it’s not hot and humid out. Regardless, moisture can easily find its way into a home, even during the winter, and with all of your windows being closed tight and the heater going, the perfect mold breeding ground is created.

2. Reducing Humidity Is Crucial

Mold loves moisture, which is why it’s so commonly known to pop up on humid summer days, but there are other sources of moisture aside from humidity that can help cause mold growth regardless of the time of year.

On a snowy day, for instance, you may come inside with soaking wet clothes and toss them into your hamper without thinking much of them. Meanwhile, you’re essentially installing a welcome sign for a mold takeover, given the excess moisture and the heated nature of your home during such cold days.

If you want to reduce the moisture in your home during the winter, keep those wet clothes from sitting in your hamper too long, take shorter and colder showers, ventilate your bathrooms, and use a dehumidifier when both possible and necessary.

3. Regular Home Maintenance Prevents Leaks

Another simple way to accumulate moisture in your home alarmingly fast is through an unchecked leak. Even the smallest leaks can quickly create the ideal conditions for mold to grow if you don’t tend to them proactively, so your best bet is to stop the leaks before they even occur.

To do this, you’ll want to keep a watchful eye on the state of your drains and gutters and any exposed pipes inside and outside your home, and repair any damage to them as soon as possible. The most common place for a leak to occur in a home is in the basement, so always check up on yours to ensure it’s not letting any moisture in while you’re not looking.

4. Know How to Recognize Mold

Sometimes, mold can appear in your home despite your best efforts to prevent it. When that happens, the best thing you can do is identify it quickly, take action to remove it safely, and prevent it from returning. Identifying mold is something you can do with both your eyes and your nose. It has a distinctively musty smell and can often be seen as spores growing in patches in the areas where moisture has collected.

5. Understand How Mold Affects People

Even if you do not see or smell much mold in your home, it can still be there and still significantly affect your health. Suppose you’re having recurring respiratory issues, headaches, nosebleeds, itchiness, watery eyes, instances of a stuffy or runny nose, postnasal drip, or any other allergy symptoms. In that case, they may result from an ongoing mold problem.

There are some treatments a doctor may suggest if you visit them regarding these symptoms, but the fact is that you’re unlikely to rid yourself of them entirely until you rid yourself of the mold in your home.

6. Mold Does Not Typically Go Away on Its Own

If you’ve got a serious enough mold problem in your home, odds are you will need to call in mold removal professionals to help you deal with it. Mold removal experts can assess the state of your home to determine how widespread and significant the mold issue is, then use special equipment to permanently remove it so you can return to your normal life.

Do Not Delay in Removing the Mold

The longer you wait to get rid of the mold in your home, the bigger the problem will likely become. Once you find any evidence of mold growth, make sure to take appropriate action with the help of this list.

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