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window molds due to winter

Dangers of Mold and Mildew during the Winter

Unless you live in Florida or some other sunny locale, you’re likely going to be confronted with snow and ice during the winter. Humidity may not be as much of a problem in the winter, but constant snow fall, ice storms, and melting ice and snow can make a slush pile in your yard and driveway and seep into the crevices of your home. It may come in through the windows or doorways, or it may leak into the roof or the foundation. You may even track it in on your shoes.

It is important to understand the places that mold and mildew can form during the winter so you can take the proper preventive measures.

Window Seals and Doorways
Without a proper seal, moisture can leak in through your windows and doors. Mold and mildew can form around the frame, in or on the walls, and in or on the floor. It is important to have your seals checked to ensure there are no leaks. This will also help you to improve your energy efficiency and save on heating costs. Also check to be sure the exterior paint or sealant on the frames and doors are up-to-date. A fresh coat of the right paint or sealant can provide protection against mold.

Front Steps or Stoop
Your front steps and the area around your doorway are likely to collect a lot of standing water. Not only will ice and snow collect there without a place to run off, but people will drag in more water with their shoes. It is important to keep your front walkway clear of ice, snow and standing water. Use a snow shovel, brush and salts or chemical de-icer to keep the area dry and clean. If there is any doubt, a light scrubbing with bleach and water should nip any new mold or mildew growth in the bud.

Inside the Doorway
When cleaning the front step, don’t overlook the area just inside the doorway. Shoes can track in snow and ice, which can accumulate and create moist conditions. Diligence around this area is essential. Not only should you put down a quality absorbent mat, but you should check on the area multiple times a day to wipe up any moisture. Change out the mat as needed to keep the area dry.

Attic, Basement and Crawl Space
Moisture from snow and ice can leak in through cracks you didn’t even know you had in your attic, basement or crawl space. It is important to have the area checked for any signs of leaks, structural deficiencies or cracked seals. Update weather stripping and sealants where necessary, and install ventilation if there is an air-flow problem.

Wet Clothing
Unless you’re wearing your all-weather boots, your pants, socks and leggings are at risk of becoming very wet when walking through the snow or puddles from melting snow and ice. Throwing clothes in a pile for later washing can lead to mold and mildew. If clothes can’t be washed immediately, throw them in a dryer at least or hang them in a well-ventilated area for drying.
Taking simple precautions during the winter can keep you cozy and dry and keep your home free of potentially dangerous mold and mildew. If you are uncertain of the other potential problem zones in your home, consult with a mold removal professional for advice or an inspection.

Trey Conway is the main content writer for . A website that helps people calculate how much home they can afford. He has been interested in mortgages and creating websites since he graduated from Appalachian State University. You can reach him anytime at his Facebook page.

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