As we say good-bye to summer and usher in the cooler breezes of the fall, we need to take the time to check for mold and mildew around your home. But mold doesn’t grow well in the cold, so you might ask why? While mold is inactive in temperatures under 41 degrees, in many parts of the country, fall temperatures can hover in the 40s or 50s with moist air and little sun. This makes a perfect breeding ground—especially on patio furniture, fallen leaves and other decaying debris. What makes matters worse is that mold doesn’t die in the winter. If not adequately dealt with, it can start spreading, causing more significant problems when the temperatures start warming up.
Below are a few helpful tips to keep mold and mildew away from your home.
- Move fallen leaves and other debris away from the outside walls of your house. Mold spores feed off of warm, moist organic materials. Piles of decomposing leaves can generate their own heat. Mold loves this environment. The spores travel by air, so they can spread indoors through windows, doors, and ventilation systems where they make their home in the warmer temperature of your home.
- Clean your gutters and check your downspouts. Gutters that are clogged with falling leaves are a prime location for mold growth. Ensure that water flows and drains away from your home.
- Clean your patio furniture before storing it for the winter. CLR® Outdoor Furniture Cleaner is specially formulated to remove outdoor dirt and grime quickly and easily from a wide variety of surfaces. From cushions, awnings, children’s play equipment, and more.
- Check the plumbing. The cold weather can compromise the integrity of your pipes. Cracked or leaky pipes can create moist areas that can keep colonies of mold and mildew thriving for years without detection.
- Keep an eye on the humidity levels in your home. Winter usually brings dry air, but if you live in an area where humanity levels are above 65%, get yourself a dehumidifier. This will make it harder for pesky mold spores to spread.
- Clean up any spills or standing water because mold and mildew love moist areas. Areas around sinks, showers, and tubs are especially vulnerable to mold and mildew growth. Make sure you keep these areas dry.
- Keep the air circulating. Use an exhaust fan or crack a window when showering in the bathroom or washing dishes or cooking in the kitchen.
- Create a moisture barrier in your basement or crawlspace. There are several options, from plastic sheathing to moisture-resistant paint. Check your local hardware stores.
Taking these precautions will go a long way to preventing mold and mildew. However, if you already have mold and mildew, it is highly recommended to clean it as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to avoid the mold and mildew from returning.
When choosing your cleaning supplies, it is better to avoid using products with bleach as it can create a breathing hazard. Choose a bleach-free cleaning product that is specially formulated to eliminate Mold and Mildew stains, such as CLR® Mold and Mildew Stain Remover. It quickly removes tough surface mold and mildew stains on a wide variety of surfaces throughout the home. This bleach-free stain remover has a foam sprayer that allows for a more direct application, preventing splashback and spores from spreading in the air. It is also part of the EPA’s Safer Choice Program, recognizing the product as a safer alternative to chemicals. Now you and your family can breathe easier.
Enjoy the fall season and stay warm!