Mould tends to grow in homes with moisture problems and poor ventilation. When homes are insulated to keep the cold air out, moisture is also trapped, creating an environment that favors mould growth. This is why proper home ventilation is important to mould prevention. Here are some essential tips to prevent mould growth in homes and properties during cold weather:
1. Indoor humidityshould be kept below 60%, preferably between 35% and 45%. Using a dehumidifier can be useful if the moisture in the air is too high.
2. The property should be vacuumed and cleaned regularly to reduce the number of food sources for mould. Emphasis should be put on areas that are prone to moisture, such as the bathroom and basement.
3. The property should be properly ventilated by opening windows or using an exhaust fan when cooking, showering or washing the dishes. Vents should not blow air in enclosed spaces, such as the attic or crawl space.
4. Washable rugs should be usedin areas that are prone to moisture. Wall-to-wall carpeting in areas such as the entryway must be avoided, as the moisture absorbed in the carpet will be difficult to dry.
5. Books, paper or clothing should not be stored in humid areas of the property, such as the basement or kitchen. These items are possible food sources for mould and should be stored in the driest areas of the home.
6. The roof, downspouts, and gutters must be inspectedand maintained regularly. Roof leaks should be repaired immediately and the downspouts and gutters must be kept free of debris to provide proper drainage.
7. If the basement has elevated levels of moisture, the walls and floor should be checked for leaks. In addition, the outside drainage system must be inspected. Since the basement is prone to moisture due to condensation forming on the cool walls and floor, using a dehumidifier can help reduce moisture.
8. The soil in the crawl space should be covered with moisture-barrier materials, such as waterproof polyethylene plastic. Proper ventilation in the crawl space is also important (such as keeping the vents open in the winter).
9. The ground around the home should slope away from the home’s foundation. This ensures that water can’t easily collect around the basement, causing leaks and water damage.
10. Pipes should be insulated to prevent them from freezing or bursting. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to the cold, such as water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like the attic, crawl space, and garage.
When the outside weather is cold, the number of allergens in homes and properties also increases. Tips to keep indoor air fresh can be found here. The PuroClean team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.
PuroClean is a leading commercial and residential restoration franchising company. Founded in 2001, the company offers fire and water cleanup and restoration services, mould mitigation and remediation, and biohazard cleanup and removal throughout North America, through its franchise network of 240 offices.