How to Prevent Moisture Build up and Mold Growth During the Cold Weather?

Moisture and Mold Prevention

Homeowners deal with a myriad of problems when it comes to keeping their home in the best quality and resilient against disasters. An additional problem that enters the equation is mold, which is hard to predict but possible to prevent. So, the question for this article is: how to prevent mold growth?

Before that, it is important to establish knowledge about the problem being dealt with.

What is a Mold?

Mold is a form of fungus that displays a discolored and fuzzy appearance. Inside one’s home, it can grow on anything, from walls, furniture, and food. As a matter of fact, all mold needs to develop is moisture, a food source, and warmth. If the criteria is met, mold can grow on anything.

Moisture and mold problems are harmful in many ways.

Beginning with how it harms your house and lot, mold growing inside your home not only distorts the overall aesthetic of your home interior, it also damages the quality if left unattended for a long time.

Additionally, mold harms the home’s inhabitants by excreting mold spores that are invisibly floating through the air. Too much spores in the air can lead to allergic attacks, asthma attacks, and other respiratory problems.

Point being, mold is problematic and must be addressed the moment they begin to show up. Even better, a homeowner must take the necessary precautions as early as possible to prevent them from developing in the first place.

What can You do to Prevent Mold Growth at Home?

Below is a list of precautions to take which are ways to prevent mold especially during the cold or rainy season in the Philippines of if you live in a cool, humid area.

1. Reduce the humidity at home

Sometimes, all mold needs to grow is moisture. Hence, there are certain activities around the house that you either have to do sparingly or do differently to avoid moisture build-up.

Moisture build-up can occurs after cooking or taking a hot bath. This is because the heat coming from a cooking pot or the steam from the hot shower goes into the air. When that mixes with the air around the house, it begins to get humid, potentially leading to mold growth.

To add to this, cold air is usually dry. Dryness can cause irritation to the skin, nose, and throat. To counter this, people would use humidifiers because they are effective in treating the dryness caused by the cold air. Moreover, they can ease flu-like symptoms like a common cold.

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Unfortunately, the risk of using a humidifier is over-humidifying. Over-humidifying can lead to a moist interior leading to mold growth. Just like the above mentioned respiratory problems of mold around the house, over-humidifying on its own can cause respiratory problems itself.

To avoid this, keep the doors open and crack a window open to allow the moist air to go out and replace it with the cool wind from outside. Never forget to do this after doing the aforementioned activities.

Lastly, if you plan on using a humidifier, regulate the humidity around the house. Keep it at 60 percent or below. This way, condensation will not occur, effectively eliminating the threat of growing mold around your house and lot.

2. Invest in fans

Fans become your best friend when preventing mold growth in your house and lot. If you have not already, consider installing ventilation fans in your kitchen and bathroom If you want, you can also install one in your bedroom.

Going back to the example above, the kitchen can get hot from all the cooking and the bathroom can get hot from the hot shower steam. During the cold weather, the outside climate can influence how moist in can get indoors. For this reason, it is necessary to install a ventilation fan in the kitchen and bathroom, respectively.

Part of the investment in fans is regularly maintaining them. Over time, the fans will get dusty and greasy. To maintain its effectiveness and keep it from breaking, clean them regularly or have a mechanic do maintenance check-ups.

To add further, give your fans the proper outlet. If the vents that are supposed to bring out the moist air are either blocked or obstructed, the moist air supposed to come out is trapped and the fresh air supposed to come in is trapped as well. This will leave your house susceptible to mold growth and damage.

All in all, having ventilation fans are essential to keeping mold out of your home by maintaining a balance at home that is not too dry and not too humid. If this is coupled with keeping your doors and windows open, then circulation around the house is maximized, making more unlikely for molds to grow.

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3. Essential oils

The mistake people make when employing the use of essential oils is thinking that it is a quick solution to killing mold. Not only does using essential oils against mold take time, it also does not kill mold. Hence, if mold has already grown around your house, it will take time to remove it using essential oils.

Different molds come in different colors which mean an essential oil used for a one color of mold will not work on a different color of mold.

Going back to fighting mold, there are cases where using essential oils are ineffective. Essential oils must only be used against visible mold. They cannot permeate through walls and floors nor are useful against invisible mold. Lastly, if it has not been stressed enough yet, essential oils cannot kill molds.

On the other hand, essential oils work best as a prevention measure—used to prevent mold from growing in the first place. Essential oils like cinnamon, thyme, clove, and oregano are considered the best at removing some current molds and mold growth prevention.

Many stores sell these oils in a small spray bottle. If you discern that a certain area in your house is susceptible to mold growth—perhaps the kitchen or the bathroom—then spray some essential oils around these areas to protect it from molds.

One might resort to using chemicals by default but sometimes, going natural might be a better course of action when dealing with moisture and mold problems.

4. Prevention over repair

The statements mentioned above show how to prevent mold growth around your home, especially during cold weather months when the cool and dry air mixes with the air around your house that lead to moist and humid air, a recipe for mold growth.

However, in certain situations, the mold problems get out of hand and they still end up growing. In this case, the first thing to do is try and see how much mold you can remove currently. After this, it is best to call professionals to assist in killing the main mold source completely to impede the mold growth. If there are damages such us discolored walls or a leak in your appliances, have them repaired immediately as they are detrimental to your health and may cause new mold to grow, respectively.

But, by doing all of that, it takes more effort and money compared to doing prevention measures as early as now. By controlling your home’s humidity, investing in ventilation fans, and using essential oils, you are making sure that mold does not grow in the first place, maintaining your house and lot’s quality and keeping your home’s inhabitants safe.

Written by Cholo Hermoso