Mold is commonly thought of as a seasonal problem, and many homeowners think mold issues disappear when the weather is cold. But while temperature does affect the way mold grows, it’s a year-round problem.Mold growing on indoor surfaces can damage your home and negatively impact your health. It’s important to be aware of how and where mold can grow in your home, even during the winter months.
Mold can grow in cold temperatures
Mold requires three things to grow: enough moisture, an adequate food source, and the right temperature. But contrary to what many people think, mold doesn’t only grow in warm environments.
Different types of molds thrive under different conditions, and some molds are more likely to grow in the winter months than others. Each type of mold has a minimum and maximum temperature ranges for growth, with many varieties of fungi thriving in environments between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, the right temperature conditions for mold growth are also ideal for our comfort, and we tend to heat or cool our homes to stay within those
Mold doesn’t die in the winter
Cold weather will not kill mold. Mold spores are opportunistic in the sense that they wait for the right conditions and then begin to spread.
Extreme temperatures do not kill mold, but they can deactivate them. Even when temperatures drop below freezing, mold spores don’t die; they simply become dormant and will begin to multiply and grow again as soon as the temperature rises.
That’s why controlling the temperature alone will not solve your mold problems. The key to removing mold from your home and keeping it from popping back up is to control humidity levels and prevent the buildup of moisture.
Mold allergies during the winter
Mold allergies are common and can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms, including sneezing and runny nose, coughing, itchy eyes, nose, throat, or skin, and watery eyes. Mold can also trigger asthma attacks in asthma sufferers who are allergic to mold.
Many people notice their allergy symptoms decrease when the temperature drops. Unfortunately, people with mold allergies often actually experience more symptoms during the winter when they’re more likely to be indoors for long periods of time. Mold allergies can be worsened by indoor heat, which can send mold spores that have collected in your ducts and other places into the air.
Mold growth on windows
The fall and winter months bring precipitation and dew, and surfaces in our homes that collect moisture, like window panes, are ideal places for mold to expand and grow.
Moisture collects on and around windows in the winter due to condensation, which happens when warm air hits a cold surface. When the temperature drops during the winter, the warm air in your home comes into contact with the cool glass of your window panes, depositing water vapor and leading to moisture buildup around your windows. That’s why moisture, and sometimes mold, tends to collect around windows during the colder months.