Winter is in full swing, and with it comes dark, damp and dreary weather. In the colder months, your home could become a breeding ground for mold and mildew, which can pose all sorts of health risks – with respiratory problems, sinus infections, headaches, and eye irritation being the most common complaints.
Mold can be dangerous for anyone, but if you live with infants, the elderly, or people with respiratory issues, it’s especially problematic. Apart from the health implications, mold can ruin your furniture and even compromise the structural integrity of your home.
But what exactly is it? Mold you find in your home is an airborne spore that thrives in warm, damp conditions. It can form on virtually any surface, from textiles to wooden furniture, tiles, painted concrete walls, and plastics. Winter is prime time for mold infestations, as we tend to keep windows and doors closed to keep out the elements.
In doing so, your home lacks proper ventilation, which causes the build-up of humid air. As days and weeks tick on, condensation gathers making for perfect damp conditions for mold to form.
Luckily, there are plenty of precautions you can take to make sure your house is mold-free this winter.
- Open Windows While it’s tempting to batten down the hatches until spring, try to ventilate your house as much as possible. Kitchens and bathrooms are at the highest risk of developing mold, so when cooking or having a shower, open a window or two for a short time to help the moisture flow out of the house instead of building up. Alternatively, have air vents retro-fitted into your windows if you’re concerned about letting the heat out.
- Keep Doors Shut Since kitchens and bathrooms are the most common sites for mold, try to confine excess moisture to those rooms when in use. For instance, don’t leave the bathroom door open while having a shower or bath. If you do, the steam will travel around the house more freely, potentially causing mold problems in other rooms. Over time, condensation can build up on walls in your hallway or landing, leading to mold growth.
- Clean Carpets If you notice a musty, unpleasant odor in carpeted rooms, it’s important to take action. While invisible to the naked eye, mold could be spreading right under your feet. Better call for professional carpet cleaners such as Steamates does give your carpets and mats a deep clean.
Prevention is the best cure, so invest in high-quality carpet padding with anti-microbial properties. While this can be a little more expensive, it will save you money and hassle in the long run if you are unfortunate enough to have a mold breakout.