Many people think that mold issues disappear in the winter, but mold is actually a year-round problem. It flourishes in environments between 60 and 80 degrees and grows wherever moisture or humidity is present. It’s a problem in the winter because it can grow in your walls and attic, places where it’s hard to detect. 

What is Mold?

Mold is a fungus. It’s role in nature is to decompose organic material. It’s difficult to find an environment where mold or its spores are not present. It appears in hot, dry deserts and has even been found on structures in the Antarctic. Mold reproduces through spores that drift through the air and colonize and grow when conditions are favorable. 

Why is it a Problem?

While mold plays an important role in nature, its presence in your home is not welcome. Mold will decompose wood, rot carpeting and furniture and some kinds of insulation. Some people have allergic reactions to mold and mold spores, and if black mold is present in your home, it can have serious effects on all your family members.

Black mold causes a variety of reactions in people, from irritating to serious. The only way to learn if you have black mold issues is by having it tested by a laboratory or use a reputable testing kit available at some retail centers. If the results are positive, they should be verified by another laboratory to be sure. 

Where Does it Occur?

In the warmer months, mold can occur anywhere, including your home’s ductwork, but in the winter, when the air indoors is drier, it’s most likely to occur inside walls, in basements and in the attic. If your home has air leaks between the ceiling and the attic, the humidity can rise and stay in the attic. It will start condensing into water when it hits the cold surfaces of your roof and fall on your insulation and wooden rafters.

Insulation that’s wet isn’t nearly as effective as dry, and mold will further reduce its effectiveness. Most attics are difficult to move around inside, so it’s easy to miss any mold growing on the wood that forms its structure. Ice dams on the roof in the winter indicate that your attic could be vulnerable for mold issues. The heat from your home is seeping through the roof, causing the snow to melt and then freeze as temperatures fall. 

If you have plumbing pipes running through poorly insulated walls, the humidity from your home can condense on the cold pipes, creating the perfect environment for undetectable mold growth. Eventually, the wood, insulation and drywall can rot. 

Mold can also grow around window frames on exceptionally cold days if there’s enough humidity in your home. Water will condense on cold glass and feed mold growth, especially on wood windows.

How to Stop It

These tips can help you stop mold from infiltrating your home:

  • Clean up mold when it’s visible with diluted bleach or vinegar, which both will kill the growth already in place. 
  • Check beneath kitchen, bathroom and laundry sinks periodically and fix any leaks promptly. Dry the surfaces thoroughly. If you have to wait for professional help, place a towel below the leak, and launder the towel after the leak is fixed.
  • Install UV lights in your home’s ductwork or in the blower cabinet. Mold spores that pass over UV lights lose their ability to reproduce, which will stop mold from spreading. These lights also reduce other organic contaminant populations, including bacteria and viruses. 
  • Ventilate the attic better and seal any air leaks between it and your ceilings. If your attic is nearly the same temperature as the outdoor air, humidity can’t condense. Adequate insulation will keep the heat inside your home, as well. 
  • When cold weather is predicted, try to reduce the amount of humidity in your home to prevent some mold issues. As temperatures fall outdoors, the windows, attic and exterior walls will become colder, prompting condensation. Some whole-house humidification systems use outdoor thermostats to vary the indoor humidity based on outside temperatures, reducing the level as temperatures fall. 

If you have concerns about mold issues in your home in the Baltimore area, contact the experts at Griffith Energy Services today. 

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Dear Customers,

At this time, when the news is dominated by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) health emergency around the world, we wanted to personally reach out and let you know that we are vigilantly implementing enhanced protocols to ensure your safety and the safety of our team.

We are closely monitoring the guidance of the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control regarding the spread of the virus. This is an evolving situation and we will continue to develop and take necessary measures as needed. Our focus is to ensure that we meet customer needs while doing our part to keep you, our employees, and our communities safe.

Here’s what we’re doing:

  • Everyone on our team has received enhanced training and protocol briefings. We will continue to evolve and adjust these protocols as needed.
  • We are implementing telecommuting options for positions where applicable.
  • Non-essential work travel is currently on hold for all employees.
  • We are conducting enhanced cleaning practices at our locations and are instructing employees to continually sanitize their work stations and vehicles.
  • We are also urging all employees to be vigilant about frequent hand washing.

Information for you:
If you have an existing service appointment, we look forward to seeing you and want to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to promote a safe and secure service experience.

During this challenging time, if you are experiencing symptoms related to the COVID-19 virus or have been exposed to it, in order to protect our team and all the customers we serve, we encourage you to please reschedule your service appointment, by calling us at 888-474-3391.

Your safety is our highest priority and we truly appreciate the trust that you place in our team and our company.

Best regards,
Griffith Energy Services
888-474-3391

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