The winter months here in Cleveland are damp. Making matters worse is that our homes and businesses tend to be closed up tight during the winter, limiting ventilation and giving mold and mildew a perfect environment in which to thrive.
That’s bad for your home and bad for your health.
But there are ways you can minimize the danger and help keep mold from setting up shop in your home or office. Try these tips to ensure you remain mold-free during those long, damp Cleveland winters:
1) Keep Damp Areas Clean
Dampness is mold’s best friend. Any place that gets damp and sees little air circulation is a haven for mold growth. That spot where everyone throws their snowy boots? That leaky second shower that rarely gets used? The old window seal that gets damp? Keep them clean and keep them dry to minimize mold risk.
2) Have Good Ventilation
One of the reasons mold takes root and grows is due to lack of ventilation. This can especially be a problem in the winter, when our windows are always closed and we’re opening our doors as infrequently as possible.
To address this, ensure your home or office’s ventilation system is in good shape and is blowing good air. Have clean air filters, and replace them regularly. And if there are parts of your building that get little airflow, such as an enclosed laundry room or damp utility closet, consider periodically running a small fan there to help increase airflow.
3) Watch For and Repair Leaks
Leaky or drafty windows, and any appliances or piping that leak, can contribute to the risk of mold growth. This is true any time of year, even during cold winters. Watch for spots such as this and make repairs as soon as possible. If immediate repairs aren’t possible, monitor the area to keep it clean and dry.
4) Minimize Humidifier Use
Many homes or offices use humidifiers for comfort or health reasons. We won’t go so far as to say not to use them, especially if you’re using them for health reasons, but do keep a close eye on your usage.
When you begin to exceed 50% relative humidity in the winter, you can create light layers of condensation on windows, walls, and other areas – and that is prime real estate for mold.
5) Use Moisture Barriers
In areas like crawl spaces, use moisture barriers to help minimize spots where mold can thrive. Made of plastics and other materials, these barriers are spread on the ground and help prevent mold from getting a foothold underneath your home or business. They are affordable, too!
The good news about all the above tips is that they are EASY and affordable. In fact, most are free.
And if you do find that mold has found its way into your home or business, call in the experts. We always offer a completely free home assessment - just shoot us a note below to get in touch: