How to Avoid Mold Growth After Snow Melt

January 7, 2021

Preventing mold growth in your home is a year-round task—which might surprise you, if you’re new to the snow or have always assumed that the cold will prevent mold from forming. Unfortunately, as long as your home is warmer indoors than out, that additional moisture from the snow can foster mold, too. Mold survives at much lower temperatures than you might expect. Here’s how it happens, and how to prevent mold growth in the winter in Erie County.

How mold grows in the winter

Mold needs moisture and a food source to grow. When your home’s warm indoor air meets the cold outdoor temperatures, condensation can occur. This, or the post-winter snow melt, provides enough moisture for mold to begin growing. The condensation can develop in your roof and along your exterior walls, especially if your home’s insulation is poor. The heat transfer encourages more condensation.

As the snow melts, it often occurs against the sides of the roof or on top of the home. As it penetrates the roof and exterior walls, mold will develop.

What you can do to prevent it

Here are some tips to prevent mold growth in Erie County even when it’s freezing cold outside:

  • Run your ceiling fans in reverse: If moisture is coming in your home from the attic, running your ceiling fans in reverse will help dry it out. Reversing your fan pushes warm air upward, helping dry the condensation in the ceiling and attic. It can also push the warm air down the walls and windows, drying the surfaces and getting rid of any condensation that has formed.
  • Dry the wet surfaces in your home: If you notice moisture on your windows, walls, ceilings, pipes or vent covers, grab a dry towel and wipe them down. Use weatherstripping to seal leaks, and keep your thermostat on the lower side to reduce the contrast in temperature with the outdoor air.
  • Replace your insulation: If your insulation is outdated, consider having it replaced as soon as possible. Over time, your insulation’s efficacy declines, and depending on the type, it may actually foster mold growth. To make sure you don’t have mold growing between your walls and in your attic, you should consider replacing it right away. Not only will it keep mold away, but you’ll see less heat transfer—and less condensation inside your home.
  • Don’t use your humidifier unless you have to: Winter air can be terribly dry, which leads homeowners to run humidifiers indoors. Only do this if you absolutely must—and make sure you keep the levels as low as possible.
  • Look for condensation in your attic: Finally, once the snow melts, look for condensation in your attic. Check boards, vents, between joists and other places where moisture may be hidden.

Keeping your home mold-free is a year-round battle that requires constant vigilance. Keep an eye out around your home’s interior. The faster you spot condensation, the more likely you’ll keep the mold at bay.

If you have winter mold growth in Erie County, call Ahold of Mold Environmental today.

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