In winter, the windows are the coldest parts of the home. Turning on the heating system introduces moisture, which forms as warm, heated air meets the cold surfaces of glass. In turn, the condensation turns to ice during subfreezing temperatures or—even worse—an unwanted mold problem.
How does condensation develop?
A heating system releases warm, humid air into the home environment. When it’s necessary to turn on the heat, it usually means the outside temperatures are frigid. Windows will be cold, too. Water droplets, aka condensation, form when the cold window surfaces meet the humid air.
What does mold need to survive?
Condensation, which consists of pure moisture, is just one of a handful of nutrients that mold spores need to thrive. Mold also requires an organic food source, such as the wood along a windowsill, for nourishment. Darkness creates an ideal environment for mold growth.
Darkness is key for stimulating a mold infestation. When sunlight is lacking, the windowsills do not dry out. As a result, the mold spores will continue to receive an abundant supply of moisture. Homeowners who keep the curtains drawn, for instance, may notice a lingering mold problem in winter.
Are mold removal products effective?
The mold colonies that develop as a result of the accumulation of condensation on windows are usually surface mold. A variety of over-the-counter mold removal products will effectively clean up the mold. However, cleaning with mold removal products is a temporary solution.
In order for homeowners to stop the mold growth each winter, the moisture problem must be fixed. By leaving the causes of the winter condensation unaddressed, the moisture issue will continue. Where there is abundant moisture and a food source, there will be copious amounts of mold.
What damage does condensation and mold cause?
Homeowners are strongly advised to stop the mold growth as soon as possible. Allowing the infestation to linger can lead to the rapid spread of mold. The spores will start to cling to surrounding walls, making a small mold problem a massive ordeal to clean up.
Plus, rot can set in. Mold spores will start to feed on the wooden windowsills and surrounding drywall. Even windows that are built with metal or plastic frames will undergo damage to the caulk, which can trigger a cycle of further moisture intrusions and mold growth.
How do homeowners prevent condensation and mold?
1. Decrease Moisture
Homeowners who make an effort to decrease indoor moisture reduce the chances of condensation and subsequent mold growth forming along the windows. Opening the curtains regularly promotes air flow closer to the window glass, keeps windows warmer, and prevents condensation.
Any condensation that appears during the winter season should be immediately wiped down with a clean towel. Use a bleach solution to wipe the windows, windowsills, and nearby walls to disinfect the areas. Applying the bleach solution is a precautionary step that reduces the chances of mold growth.
2. Increase Air Circulation
Increase air circulation as a strategy to prevent window condensation and mold growth. Control the moisture by running a small fan aimed at the window. The fan will blow warm air across the glass, increase the temperature, and eliminate any formations of condensation or ice.
3. Run Exhaust Fans
Moisture can be similarly limited by turning on the exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens. Exhaust fans are normally built into the kitchens and bathrooms in order to remove moisture. Prevent humid air from gathering near the windows by turning on the exhaust fans while cooking or showering.
4. Lower Humidity Levels
Lowering the indoor humidity is another tactic to prevent mold growth along the windows in winter. A lower humidity level will rapidly dry out the condensation and prevent the chances of nourishing the mold spores. If humidity is only on the windows, wipe down the windows frequently.
A healthy indoor humidity level during the winter season ranges from 30 to 50 percent. This recommended range introduces enough moisture to prevent dry skin and dry furniture yet does not feed mold spores. A humidity monitor may be used to ensure safe humidity levels.
5. Insulate Windows
Insulate the windows to prevent condensation and mold colonies. Windows tend to get colder in the winter when seals are poor, large spaces exist between the panes, and there is a lack of adequate insulation. Use weather stripping or window insulation film to seal drafty windows.
Using any of the abovementioned tactics will prevent the formation of condensation and a resulting mold infestation. However, homeowners who notice that mold colonies have penetrated a wood surface or continued for prolonged periods of time must consult a mold remediation professional.
Mold Remediation Professional in Fort Wayne, IN
ServiceMaster by Restoration Contractors is a leader in restoration services, from mold remediation to water damage cleanup. We offer homeowners comprehensive restoration services that allow them to work with a single company to handle all aspects of the property damage.
Our mold cleanup services are top-notch. We use proven processes to eliminate all traces of mold, starting from an assessment of the mold infestation and testing, then containing the mold and finally eliminating the spores from the property. Your insurance company will receive our report.
Mold will only stop once the moisture source is repaired. ServiceMaster by Restoration Contractors provides efficient water damage cleanup services. Included are an initial inspection, water extraction, drying the area, cleaning upholstery and carpets, and applying anti-microbials to sanitize the home.
Both mold damage and water damage must be immediately repaired. Delaying the restoration allows the mold and water damage to spread and further destroy the home or business. We understand the urgent nature of mold and water damage, which is why our technicians are available 24 hours a day.
Calling a Mold Remediation Company
Fort Wayne, Indiana homeowners and commercial business owners are advised to contact ServiceMaster by Restoration Contractors immediately upon noticing mold or water damage. We are a reliable one-stop service for all mold and water damage emergencies. Call us at (260) 420-1502 when damage strikes.