There are many reasons for mold growth around your windows. The presence of mold on windows and frames is a problem commonly found in warm, humid areas like southern California. Luckily this problem can be taken care of with regular cleaning and won’t cause adverse health effects unless the growth is extensive and left untouched. The sooner you catch the problem, the easier it will be to eliminate.
What Causes Mold to Start Growing?
Mold can be found in areas like bathrooms, kitchens, and near HVAC systems. The growth starts when a food source comes in contact with moisture for an extended period of time. Luckily, toxic black mold is rarely found on windows, as they don’t have the most suitable environment for it to grow. Although the mold growing on your window may not be considered as dangerous, it’s still a good idea to clean it regularly. The best way to limit the development of mold is by controlling the food and moisture source.
Controlling the Moisture
Moisture getting trapped in your home can result from many things. For example, it can be from showers, washers/dryers, humidifiers, or cooking. When there is a temporary humidity increase in the room, remember to open a window or have a fan running. To minimize indoor mold growth, you want to keep your home under 50% humidity.
Controlling the Food Source
Even though the growth happens on the window, the frames and glass are not the food sources for the mold. The food source is the organic debris that accumulates on the surface. This includes dust mites, pet dander, skin cells, pollen, insects, etc. Regularly cleaning surfaces that collect dust will help control mold growth. Dusting with a damp or electrostatic cloth will help remove the dust instead of making it airborne again. An HVAC system with a high-efficiency filter will help reduce the organic particles from the air. Just make sure to change the filter often. Regular ventilation with outdoor air will also help reduce the amount of dust particles that land on surfaces.
How to Reduce Moisture in the Air
There are many ways to reduce the moisture present in the air. You can use exhaust fans, dehumidifiers, or open windows to help ventilate the area. Purchasing a hygrometer can help you monitor humidity levels and will alert you to when you should open a window or start a fan.
How to Clean Existing Mold Growth Around Windows
Fortunately, cleaning existing mold is a relatively simple process. All you need is a liquid detergent solution with and a sponge or brush. Using harsh chemicals like bleach is not necessary, as liquid detergents are just as effective. Harsh chemicals can also damage the window or the carpet below. Homeowners will only need to clean their windows once every 3-4 months during the winter and can do it even less regularly during the warm summer months. Typically, if you won’t need to clean during the warm months from spring until winter, as long as you clean the windows in spring. If mold from the winter is not cleaned before summer, it can become dry and becomes more challenging to clean.