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Head Off Mold Problems in Your Home This Winter

  • November 30, 2013

Mold spores require a perfect storm before they can flourish: a warm temperature, moisture, and nutrients in the form of virtually any organic matter. All of these are readily available in your Whispering Pines home if you don’t take adequate precautions this winter. In addition to causing rot, structural damage, and unsightly patches on your ceilings and walls, mold problems are also a health issue. Mold can cause respiratory issues ranging from mild allergies to more serious complications.

Two of the most common sources of excess moisture in the home are leaks and condensation, both of which can occur in the winter months. If you notice a leak resulting from storm or plumbing damage, repair it immediately and make sure the area has been completely dried before it is closed back up.

The following recommendations can help you to ward off mold problems in your home this winter.

Adequate attic insulation. Don’t make the mistake of heating your attic to produce a “heat buffer” for your home. In addition to wasting energy, the warm air can produce condensation when it meets the cold surface of the underside of the roof. Instead, insulate your attic adequately to prevent heat transfer from your home to the attic space. This will prevent moisture problems and boost energy efficiency.

Ventilation. Make sure your home has the right combination of natural and mechanical ventilation. It’s especially important that bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms have working mechanical vents to move moist air out of the home.

Upgrade your air cleaning system. Changing your filters regularly is a critical step in maintaining healthy indoor air quality. However, air cleaning upgrades like MERV or HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters and ultraviolet lights will go significantly further in removing airborne mold spores and other harmful particulates from your circulating air.

Whole-house dehumidification. While your furnace and A/C will work to reduce humidity, they aren’t the best line of defense. Whole-house dehumidifiers pick up where your HVAC system leaves off to more accurately control indoor humidity levels.

Contact Comfort Services to learn more about moisture control options to prevent mold problems in your Whispering Pines home this winter.