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winter home snow

5 Easy Ways to Prepare Your Crawl Space for Winter

A crawl space is designed to protect your home from mold and improve its air circulation. Despite not being a regularly used area, it plays a crucial role in your residence’s durability. Because of this, it’s important to make sure it’s ready to handle tough conditions, especially in the winter. This article will explore why you need to protect your crawl space during this season and a few ways you can winterize it.

Common Crawl Space Issues in the Winter

The chilly months can cause a few unique issues in your crawl space. Because of the temperature fluctuations, it can result in high levels of humidity in the crawl space. This could cause mildew or encourage certain pests to live in it. Besides this, improper insulation could cause your heating bill to increase because cold air is escaping into your home.

5 Ways to Winterize Your Crawl Space

Add Insulation: A great way to protect your home from cold air is to insulate your crawl space. This works to conserve energy while improving your air circulation. The insulation will also protect delicate pipes that could freeze and eventually burst.

Shut Your Air Vents: You’ll want to make sure to close the crawl space’s air vents. Cold air can sneak into their slots and make its way into your home. It will also deter small pests from creeping into the crawl space to stay warm.

Install a Vapor Barrier: A vapor barrier is a tool you can install in your crawl space to stop moisture which can prevent mold growth. This will also work to regulate air temperatures so that cold air doesn’t blow into your home.

Inspect it for Leaks: To protect your home from water damage, consistently check your crawl space for leaks. During the winter, these leaks could cause hidden water damage that will end up being pricey to fix. In addition to this, do periodic inspections to ensure that there aren’t frozen pipes.

Ensure the Entrance is Sealed: Sealing the crawl space entrance is also crucial. If there are crevices around it, cold air will flow into the crawl space. This will also make it easier for pests, especially rodents, to sneak inside. If you notice areas of concern, fill them in with caulking. You might also want to apply weather stripping around the edges of the entrance which will block water from seeping into the crawl space.

Preparing your crawl space for the winter is important if you want to prevent potential water damage and cold air from blowing into your home. If you’d like to winterize your crawl space for this chilly time, RCS can help. Our crawl space clean-up service will ensure that any signs of dampness or small crevices are removed and sealed. This way, you can be confident your crawl space is prepared for the season.

rain winter time

Can Mold Grow in the Winter?

Mold is a common issue in most homes. However, many often think they’re safe from it once winter strikes. The bad news is, you’re not. Mold can grow at any time and in any place. This article will touch on mold growth in the winter and a few ways you can prevent it.

What is Mold?

Mold is a fungus that grows both indoors and outdoors. Its prime living condition is dark, humid places. Because of this, it’s often found in homes, especially in basements and attics. There are numerous types of home molds you need to watch out for:

  • Acremonium
  • Aspergillus
  • Chaetomium
  • Fusarium

Is Mold Dangerous?

This fungus can be very dangerous depending on the type that grows. Minor molds, like Cladosporium, rarely cause negative effects in people. However, stronger molds, like Aspergillus, could result in fevers, coughing, and shortness of breath.

Can Mold Grow in the Winter?

Mold unfortunately doesn’t stop growing no matter what season it is. While it might not be visible in certain areas during the winter, mold can grow behind walls, in windows, and within your ductwork. This is because there tends to be a lot of dry air and humidity in these spaces.

3 Ways to Prevent Mold Growth in Your Home

Lower Your Home’s Humidity: Mold loves humidity. During the winter, certain activities, like showering or cooking, can encourage your home to be more humid than normal. This can invite mold to grow in crevices and areas where there is hidden water damage.

You can do a few things to keep your home’s humidity low during the winter. These include:

  • Adding insulation around your windows
  • Blowing fans in rooms
  • Using a dehumidifier

Watch for Leaks: Leaks are common in the winter. They can be caused by various things, including frozen pipes or a crack around your windows. While they might seem harmless, they can cause mold growth. The condensation will have no place to escape meaning that puddles of water will sit. Over time, this will encourage dangerous bacteria to grow.

Open Windows: It might sound strange to recommend opening your windows during cold weather, but it can be very helpful. By doing so, it will increase air circulation in your home. This will lower humidity and provide your residence with fresh air.

Mold isn’t only unsightly but can lead to serious health issues. If you’re concerned your home might have hidden mold growth, RCS can help. We offer a mold removal and remediation service that ensures any traces of this fungus is eradicated.

winter rain

How To Prevent Mold Growth During Winter

It’s winter. You’re safe from mold…

Or so you think!

Mold growth doesn’t only happen during hot and humid months. Winter is also a time of year in which mildew and mold can flourish, especially when you crank up that heater. There are a few different causes of winter mold growth and some easy as pie ways to keep your home free of the unhealthy and pesky fungi. One key thing to remember is that preventing a moldy situation is much less time-consuming and cost-effective than dealing with an already moldy situation.

The following are common sources of mold that can grow during the colder months.

  • The trapped heat
  • Condensation on window sills and on walls and fog on windows
  • Dead and decaying matter from outside (leaves, plants, dirt)
  • Wetness coming from the outside in (rain, snow, sleet, mud)
  • Winter storms
  • Frozen pipes that burst and cause water damage

Now that you are aware of some of the ways your home can be a host for mildew and mold during winter, be prepared to become proactive and take the necessary steps to winterize your home.

The EPA recommends the following:

Ventilation and dehumidifying are key! Run the exhaust fan in your bathroom and kitchen when those rooms are in use, keep the ceiling fan on low, and when it is wet outside, turn a dehumidifier on in rooms with windows to the outside. Condensation and dampness are much more likely to happen in rooms that have windows and even though they may be sealed, moisture can still creep in.

Inspect for leaks and cracks which will allow moisture to enter into your home and obviously dry and repair these immediately if dampness and damage are found.

Examine all areas that have potential access to outside air such as a basement, attic, or crawlspace. Even if these areas have been professionally sealed off or insulated, it is beneficial to do an all-over check at least twice a year. You can also run a dehumidifier in these areas as well.

Inspect these areas for damage after a winter storm: roof, gutters, downspouts, siding, windows, and doors.

Cover water pipes with insulation. It’ll be like being wrapped up in a cozy, warm blanket.

If the weather isn’t too cold, open doors or windows to add in extra air circulation.

Just because the winter months are among us, does not mean that we are safe from mildew and mold. These fungi flourish on warmth and moisture and are on the hunt for somewhere to thrive. Don’t let that place be your home!

If you end up having a winter mold situation and are in need of a cleanup and restoration specialist, don’t worry—Restoration Certified Specialists, Inc. will take care of you! They have been proudly serving the Santa Rosa and North Bay areas since 1975.