How Heavy Snow Can Lead to Mold
Updated: Apr 27
Just because it’s winter, it doesn’t mean your home is safe from mold. Water damage from snow can cause mold infestations, even though it’s cold outside. In a city like Spokane that's known for its heavy snowfalls, it’s important to be aware of the damage that snow can cause, and how mold from water damage can affect your health.
Water Damage from Snow
Snow is actually one of the worst culprits when it comes to water damage in your home. Heavy snow and ice can damage everything from your roof to your foundation. Winter storms and cold weather can cause roof leaks, damage gutters and downspouts, burst pipes, crack foundations, and make condensation build up indoors.
Melting snow triggers another whole range of problems. If your gutters are full of ice, melting snow from the roof can be forced up under the roof or into the exterior walls. And water from melting snowbanks or drifts next to your house can seep into your foundations and into your basement or crawlspace.
Do Freezing Temperatures Kill Mold?
Although mold goes dormant at temperatures below freezing (32º F), cold will not kill mold. Its spores will survive the winter, and when it gets warm enough outside for snow to start melting, it’s also warm enough for mold to start growing.
Mold can also grow in any unheated areas of your house, like the attic, basement, or garage. Mold can feed on any organic matter—even dust—and it will grow wherever it finds enough moisture. If there’s a leak in your roof, or if your basement is prone to condensation, you could end up dealing with a mold infestation despite the cold.
Can Mold Grow in Winter?
Because mold can’t grow and spread its spores when it’s below freezing, you might think that mold can’t grow in winter. But even though freezing temperatures may make mold dormant outside, indoor mold can grow all winter long.
Mold grows best at temperatures between 60º F and 80º F, the same temperatures that humans find most comfortable. If any water damage goes unnoticed or unrepaired, mold can start to grow. The warm interior temperatures, together with the lingering moisture from water damage will create the perfect conditions for a mold infestation.
Mold from Water Damage Poses Health Risks
Because of its harmful effects on the respiratory system, the EPA classifies mold as an indoor air pollutant. Prolonged exposure to mold can cause allergic reactions, asthma attacks, depression, and many other serious health problems.
Water damage is the #1 cause of indoor mold. If your home has suffered any water damage from snow or ice, you should schedule a mold inspection as soon as you make repairs. Mold often grows hidden inside exterior walls, attic insulation, and HVAC ducts, and sometimes it takes a professional inspection to detect it.
Mold Remediation in Spokane, Washington
Water damage from snow is enough to deal with—don’t let mold put your property at further risk. Protect your health and your home with the power of dry fog mold remediation. Call My Pure Environment today at 509-213-1915 to schedule a FREE inspection.
Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash used with permission under the Creative Commons license for commercial use 1/3/2023.