Mold Can Still Occur In Winter
As temperatures drop and new seasons come upon the New England area, the idea that Fall and Winter are “safer” seasons in some regards can take hold. This may be especially true for people that believe that with the winter months come dry and the cold conditions that mold can’t survive in, so the natural inclination is to think that mold is just not going to be a problem in winter.
This is not strictly true.
It is a fact that mold prefers humid air and warmer temperatures, so the formation of mold outside does stop when winter arrives. However, depending the level of insulation in your home and the way the air flows and interacts with the outside, it’s possible that mold can still grow within a home during the winter season, even after all the mold on the outside has stopped for the year.
The culprit here is something called “relative humidity,” and it simply means that a combination of heat in the home and higher levels of humidity are interacting with cooler parts of the home to create moisture that condenses. This usually happens in corner rooms of a residence or in bends in the house where air flow can be disrupted. In corner rooms, what’s happening is that the air in this portion of the home is cooler than other areas, because it’s at the most extreme edge of the house. That cooler temperature from parts of the room can cool down the immediate air around it, creating a relative humidity level that is higher than the rest of the home. Should that happen, moisture will then condense on the surface, something that can put drywall or sheetrock surfaces at risk.
If you are seeing condensation in your home during the winter months, this probably means that certain areas of your home have a relative humidity of 70% or more, and this can encourage mold growth. If you have a humidifier unit in your home, you may need to turn it down to get your home’s levels at around 35%-45%. If a home humidifier is not causing the condensation, you may need to invest in a room dehumidifier for the areas where you see this condensation forming.
Mold can be a potentially serious health hazard, but with a few careful measures taken during the winter months, you can ensure that mold’s chances of survival in your home are about as low as they are outside at the same time of year.