Cold weather has arrived for most of the Northern Hemisphere. While cold weather alone is not an open invite for mold to take over, it certainly can open some doors to an invasion of spores.
Weatherproofing any home is important, especially in part of the country where rainfall and snowfall is heavy and frequent. However, Autumn is a great time to make sure that your home is mold proof for winter.
How does one go about mold proofing the house for winter? It isn’t as difficult as you think and likely will only take half a day of your time. There are things to be done both on the exterior of your home as well as the interior so you might want to break it up into a two day process concentrating on one area each day.
These mold proofing ideas are in addition to year-round mold proofing and mold prevention efforts. Please don’t think that Autumn is the only time to look at potential issues that might invite mold into your home.
Also, please know that no home will ever be fully “mold proof” but by taking these steps you can prevent water intrusion and discourage mold growth.
Mold Proofing The Exterior Of Your House
1. Rake away leaves and rotting vegetation from your house foundation. Mold thrives in these areas and you don’t want them right up against your home.
2. Clean out all roof gutters.
3. Look for gaps and holes in the exterior house wall, especially around pipes and wire. This is an open door to water intrusion. If you find a gap or hole, fill it with expanding foam insulation or caulk. Just make sure that the area is dry. You don’t want to trap moisture inside.
4. If you have a basement with windows, check all the window wells. Remove debris and ensure the window is sealed properly so that no moisture can leach in and condensation cannot build up.
5. If you use fire wood for anything keep it separated from the house by at least 20 or 30 feet and covered with a plastic tarp or other moisture barrier. Mold will grow in these wood piles and if the wood is right up against the house, it certainly will try to find a way in.
6. Inspect outbuildings and areas such as sheds and cellars or crawlspaces. Look for areas where water intrusion is possible. If you store personal belongings in these areas, make sure they are in plastic storage containers or steel/metal boxes. While not full proof, they do offer a decent level of protection against invasive mold spore. You would not want to bring these into your home.
7. Drain garden hoses and insulate exposed water pipes as applicable.
8. Blow out or drain sprinkler systems.
9. Cover central air units with heavy protective material to block snow and ice. Have a professional open the unit cover and turn off the disconnect switch first to prevent accidental use in winter. Clean the outside of the unit, removing dirt and leaves, and allow it to dry before covering. This is also a good time to inspect and clean the AC unit drip pans and drainage lines.
10. Remove window air conditioner units or cover permanently installed units.
Mold Proofing The Inside Of Your Home
1. Inspect windows to ensure the glass is in good condition and secure in the window frame. Look for signs of condensation or even mildew and mold growth around the frame or on windowsills.
2. Look for air gaps around window and exterior doorframes. You want to fill these gaps as they are a pathway to water intrusion, however small.
3. Replace or install weather stripping under entry doors and around windows.
4. Take down summer window screens and screen doors. Replace with storm windows and storm doors.
5. Feel the wall around electrical outlets, pipes or wires leading to the outside. Seal any gaps or holes you may find.
6.Raise the air temperature in your home so moisture doesn’t end up on surfaces as condensation.
Hopefully these tips will have you well on your way to a mold free winter. Do you do any mold proofing or weatherizing? Have any tips to share? Please do so in the comments.