17 Jan Mold in Winter – 3 Surprising Things You May Not Know!
Ah, winter – this season is a time of great beauty as snow begins to fall. But for homeowners, this change in the weather can be a dangerous one for the home. It’s more likely than you might realize that harmful fungus will enter your home this season.
Most people think mold only grows in summer when it’s humid. For those who don’t know, mold can grow anytime when the proper conditions present themselves. Oddly enough, the winter is an opportune time for growth. States with long winters like New York are at the highest risk of developing harmful mold and mildew. See below for three things you may not know about this dangerous growth.
1: It Can Be Found Anywhere
Despite popular belief, mold can be found both outside and indoors. From crawl spaces to heating ducts, mold can grow anywhere that moisture and oxygen reside. There are many places that it can flourish in the winter including:
- Humid and warm rooms
- Corners and bends in sheetrock or drywall
- Heating ducts
- Insulation around leaking pipes
- Broken appliances
- Broken pipes
- Clothes washer and dryer
- Roof holes
- Condensation covered windows
- Areas surrounding decaying plants
In the winter when we begin to turn on our heat, an initial musty fragrance from the air may be an indicator of mold in your airducts. If this is the case, the air blowing through your vents then picks up spores of fungi and blows them into every room in your home.
This is one of the ways mold can spread it an instant. That is why it is so important to have your vents checked even with the slightest suspicion of mold. These precautions can save your health and your home from major damage.
2: It Grows Very Fast
Did you know that mold can begin to grow in moist areas in as few as twenty-four to forty-eight hours? Don’t feel bad, most don’t know just how quickly this annoyance grows.
Along with ease of the spread of mold, freezing pipes tend to be a leading cost of mold in the colder months of the year. When our pipes freeze and burst in freezing temperatures, the moisture released from these pipes can quickly begin to grow fungus on all surrounding surfaces if not addressed immediately.
This common winter problem alone makes mold a cold weather menace. The importance of regular cleaning and immediate action if mold is found cannot be understated.
3: Your Home Is Its Food
What most don’t know about mold is that it only requires three things to grow:
- Food sources
While moisture is the most well known ingredient, the most obscure and important factor in mold growth is an ample food source. What is this source in your case? Your home!
Yes, your home is the ideal source of sustenance for this household menace.
Mold grows because it has found a natural occurring material to erode and feast on. This growth will easily chow down on any of the following:
- Insulating materials
- Ceiling tiles
- Paper or paper product
- Painted walls
- Plaster or dry wall
It can wreak havoc on any surface or substance in your home on any of these substances. With so many opportunities for mold to latch onto any of these surfaces, it is wise to have our homes occasionally checked for symptoms of this invading substance.
How to Treat Harmful Mold
Although this fuzzy little growth may seem harmless, the outbreak of mold in your home will automatically decrease the value of your home. Along with the reduction of profit, the growth and damage it can create is a huge eyesore if you choose to remain in that particular residence.
Not to mention it can slowly kill you. Yes, you read that right. According to Dr. Richie Shoemaker, author of Surviving Mold, about a quarter of the entire human population is genetically more susceptible to a fungus related illness. It’s a huge problem, but not everyone wants to face it.
Don’t panic! Even if you feel like mold is out to get you this winter, it’s never too late to bring in fungi specialists. They can diagnose your home, rid existing fungus, and teach you treatment methods that you can use for many winters to come.