Fresh Air or Mold Risk with Windows Open?

Fresh air or mold risk with windows open?

It doesn’t matter where you live in the U.S., there are going to be some days when you wish you could open the windows. That’s because there’s nothing like fresh air, but when you open the windows, you let in everything that comes with it. That’s why you may have a mold risk with your windows open. 

What Does Mold Need to Take Hold? 

In order for a decent mold infestation to take hold, it needs three things: 

  • Moisture
  • Stagnation
  • Food

That is why outside conditions and the manner in which you open your windows matters. 

First of all, if the relative humidity outside is over 60%, you’re letting that moisture in with mold spores from outside. If possible, humidity in the home should be kept under 50% in order to avoid mold problems. 

Secondly, if you don’t have proper ventilation, opening one window simply allows mold spores to have a safe place to grow. They come in, and they settle in for the long haul. 

Lastly, food supplies are rich within most homes. Mold typically chooses porous surfaces, such as drywall, wood, or carpet, and these surfaces contain plenty of edible nutrients. 

How to Safely Open the Windows? 

If you are going to open the windows, the two best ways to do it are to ensure ventilation and decrease humidity. Open two windows to create a cross-draft, and only open windows when humidity is low. 

Sad about losing those rainy day smells? Many people like to open their windows when it rains, and you can do this safely by increasing ventilation and investing in a dehumidifier

Check for Mold Regularly

Mold can infiltrate the home and go unnoticed until the problem requires professional removal. The EPA recommends hiring professional mold removal services if your mold situation extends beyond 10 square feet. 

That is why it is important to check for mold regularly, so you can remedy the start of a mold problem before it gets to the point of needing a professional. This means monthly checks of window sills, beneath sinks, and any other areas where mold may grow. It also means being aware of smells and other signs of mold such as respiratory issues. 

Mold can be very harmful to a person’s health, but it doesn’t mean you cannot open your windows. You should be aware that on some days with increased humidity, there is also an increased risk for mold.