Every winter, we often get an increase of calls related to mold around windows, particularly on the sills and casings/trim. And, alarmingly, many of the calls are from young mothers who have mold growing around the windows of their newborn baby’s room! Since mold allergies can be more severe for the young and old, mold in a baby room is not a good combo.
Why does mold often appear around windows during the winter months?
The answer is humidity and condensation. The warm, indoor air can condense around cold, drafty windows, making them “sweat” with moisture. That, in turn, causes the window sills and casings/trim to become damp and grow mold. The problem is often made worse when shades are drawn because sunlight can’t help warm up and dry the windows, which is often the case in a baby’s room because it’s kept dark for lots of napping.
Next Steps and Prevention
The mold growth around windows on the sills & casings/trim can often appear to be rather heavy but the reality is that it’s usually “surface mold” that can be effectively cleaned off with most over-the-counter mold removal products. Unfortunately, cleaning the windows is only a temporary solution. Unless the moisture situation changes, they will keep sweating and the mold will keep coming back.
The keys for keeping the mold away for good are:
- Install high-quality, insulated windows
- Fill any gaps/drafts around the windows with caulk or insulation
- Keep the shades open as much as possible to let in sunlight
- If the windows continue to sweat, dry them off every day
So if you experience winter window mold, don’t panic. Just clean it off with an inexpensive mold removal product and focus the rest of your time and money on fixing the underlying temperature differential and condensation issue. Good luck!