How To Prevent Mold from Growing on your Windowsills
Making sure that you prevent mold growth on window sills can be a tricky job - as a meeting place between the air conditioned inside of your home and the outside weather, temperature differences can make for ongoing condensation trouble. While it’s important to prevent mold growth on window sills, it’s more important to remove it promptly and safely due to the health risks that mold growth can pose to you and your family.
What is Black Mold?
Reports on the internet and in the media have created a lot of sensational stories about black mold, and much of the hype has been around a type of mold called Stachybotrys chartarum. But there are many types of mold that look black, and not all black mold are as toxic as Stachybotrys.
Mold can grow in many places in your home, and it’s as important to prevent mold growth on window sills as it is to prevent it growing in your attic or basement. Mold likes to grow in damp or humid environments and it needs an organic material, like paper, wood, or dust, to grow on.
There are tens of different varieties of household molds that come in a variety of colours and textures, and while you don’t want any of them growing in your home, some types of mold (including black mold) are toxigenic, which means they release airborne toxins that can be irritating and harmful to people and pets. High concentrations of these mycotoxins can seriously affect the health and wellness of healthy people, let alone folks with chronic conditions, the young, and our elders.
What does Black Mold Look Like?
Mold comes in a wide array of colours, sizes, and textures. Black molds may lean more towards green or grey, and can appear as either a sooty mark or slimy stain on the wall. The only way to confirm the presence of a toxin strain of black mold is through laboratory testing, but any time there is visible mold growth on your walls, it must be safely and thoroughly removed to prevent illness or colony growth.
What Causes Mold Growth Around Windows?
To prevent mold growth on window sills, we first need to understand the cause: because moisture and water are the primary ingredient in mold growth, there are a number of ways that moisture can collect around a window sill.
- Condensation: Water can form around your window sills when airborne water condenses on a colder surface. Two ways that moisture can become airborne in your home are cooking and bathing - that water vapour can then reform as water when it touches a cold surface, such as your window sill.
- Improper installation or damage: Leaks can form around a window after a faulty installation, through age-related deterioration, or from damage.
While mold can’t eat glass, all it needs is a thin layer or dust or dirt to form a colony. To prevent mold growth on window sills, regular cleaning is a great first step, but if you have a persistent mold problem, it might be time to have a professional assess your home to rule out any hidden growth and to help you find a lasting solution.
How Do You Stop Condensation on the Inside of Your Windows?
The biggest cause of mold growth on window sills is water from condensation, so making adjustments that help reduce its formation will go a long way in preventing mold. Our top tips for reducing indoor condensation to prevent mold growth on window sills are:
- Add fans: Reducing condensation on window sills starts with reducing indoor humidity. One way to do this is to install exhaust fans in key locations that excess moisture is created, such as the kitchen and bathroom. These exhaust fans should lead outside of your home (not just blow air around, and they should never end in the attic), and can be highly effective at reducing indoor humidity.
- Turn down your humidifier: During the dryer winter months, many people find it much more comfortable to run a humidifier in their homes. Whether you have a stand alone unit or one on your furnace, try turning it down - it’s likely producing a lot more moisture than you need to be comfortable and can be contributing to mold problems.
- Air circulation: Using a fan to get the air moving in your home can help reduce moisture and keep condensation from forming in your home. An open window works just as well!
- Installing storm windows: The reason condensation forms on your window sills is because of temperature - warm indoor air hits the cooler glass and vaporized moisture turns into water. Installing storm windows during the winter months can help insulate your interior window from the colder, exterior temperature.
- Use a dehumidifier: Some homes suffer from persistent humidity and moisture problems because of their building methods, shape, size, or location. Running a dehumidifier in your home will help to reduce some of that moisture.
Is Black Mold on Windows Dangerous?
Any indoor mold growth in your home is a bad sign - regardless of its toxicity, mold growth damages and weakens the surface it grows on, can be tricky to remove, and can cause a homeowner thousand’s of dollars’ worth of property damage. But what mold is most likely to damage is your health, making it both a dangerous and unsightly problem.
Black mold growth can cause a number of different health problems in even the most robust person. Because mold reproduces by sending tiny spores up into the air, it’s very easy to breathe in these spores, where they can become lodged in your airway or mucous membranes and cause irritation or inflammation. People suffering from chronic lung conditions or diseases are especially effected by mold spores, which can also trigger asthma attacks.
What are the Symptoms of Black Mold?
The window sill may not be the most obvious place for mold to grow, so it often escapes the notice of many homeowners. But if you have mold growing in your home, it’s likely that you’re feeling the effects of its growth even if you don’t see it. The symptoms of a mold allergy or reaction closely mimic those of the common cold and flu which can make diagnosis confusing. Some of the symptoms of mold growth are:
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Congested or running nose
- Dizziness or nausea
The easiest way to tell if you symptoms are caused by mold growth or the flu are situational - when you leave your home or a specific room, do your symptoms disappear? If you are magically better every time you leave the house and then feel ill when you return, this might be because of mold growth, and it’s important to have a professional assess your home or take air samples.
It’s not fully understood what long term mold exposure does to a body, but it can certainly make some chronic illnesses worse and contribute to ongoing attacks and relapses, and for small children or the elderly, effects may be experienced more severely or have a greater impact.
How can MoldTech Help you Remove Mold?
Mold removal is a job for a professional and not a DIY project because of the health risks, contamination dangers, and difficulty in effectively removing the entire colony. If you spot mold growth on your window sills, it may be related to ongoing water infiltration behind the walls - where you can’t see it. Cleaning the sill may only be one part of a much larger infestation behind the scenes, and the most important part of mold removal is to catch it quickly before it spreads to other areas of your home.
Our professional teams are trained according to third party industry wide standards that guarantee thorough, effective, and safe mold remediation. Our teams will assess your home and walk you through our entire removal process and clean up, and are happy to answer any questions you may have about our process. One of the most important parts of mold removal is finding - and eliminating - the source of the problem, so that once we’re finished cleaning your home remains mold free.
Whether your property is your home, a rental, commercial or industrial, the MoldTech team is happy to work with you to find a solution that fits your needs. If you want to prevent mold growth on window sills or anywhere in your home, get in touch with us today for more information