Common Causes of Mold on Windows

Understanding common causes of mold in your home may allow you to prevent serious problems. Mold will grow in pretty much any place with a lot of moisture. Some of the most common places to find it are around windows and window sills, leaks in roofs, pipes, or anywhere there has been water damage or flooding. It can grow on almost any warm, damp surface. Once it’s in your home, the mold spores can cause or irritate infections, allergies, asthma and other breathing problems as well. Many species of mold can also leave stains and cause musty odors. If you don’t have mold removed as soon as you find it, it will spread quickly. That damage will then lead to additional mold remediation expenses as well. You definitely want to catch it before that happens!

Many home owners first spot mold on windows when they open them up for spring weather after having them shut during Fall and Winter. Mold that is visible on windows is commonly referred to as black mold, (which, contrary to common belief, is not more toxic than other molds). However multiple types of mold can exist in the same house. One of the best ways to prevent these potential problems is to prevent the growth of mold in your windows in the first place.

Preventing Mold on Windows

Preventing mold growth on your windows is a surprisingly simple process. While each part of your window grows mold for different reasons or in different situations. Here are some of the best ways to prevent mold on different parts of your windows.

Preventing Mold in the Window Sill

Window sills in most houses are either made of wood or aluminum. While mold requires the presence of organic matter and humidity to grow, it can be found on both wood and aluminum window sills. The mold uses the organic matter present in household dust for sustenance. On aluminum sills, the mold grows when dust settles and combines with moisture, creating the perfect environment for mold. On wooden sills, the mold can grow on the wood substrate as well. In order to prevent this, you can paint wooden sills using a high gloss paint that protects the wood. Make sure you regularly dust your window sills as well, particularly when it’s been damp.

Preventing Mold on Glass Window Panes

The glass panes of windows are not organic and should not cause the formation of mold. However, if the glass panes have not been dusted regularly, it can lead to mold growth. Additionally, if moisture is trapped between the double panes of a window, this can cause mold growth. Moisture often collects between the glass panes of a double paned window or on the indoor side of a window pane. The warm air indoors is cooled when it comes into contact with the cooler window panes, causing condensation.

You can prevent the formation of mold on window panes by keeping the glass panes dry and dust free. Additionally, you can reduce the condensation on window panes by reducing the humidity indoors by using a humidifier. Another tangible benefit to keeping your windows clean is security. If your windows are dirty you will have trouble seeing outside if someone is trying to sneak up on your home or a neighbor’s house. Protecting your neighbor’s home is no different than protecting your own. With clean windows, you can see your family or whoever is outside better and you can keep a closer eye on your pets.

Preventing Mold in the Window Frame

Window frames, like the sills, are typically either made of aluminum or wood. Both these frames can develop mold when the conditions are right. On aluminum frames, dust that is rich in organic matter can accumulate in the joint where the glass meets the frame. This joint can trap the condensation that exists near the windows, ensuring optimum conditions for the growth of mold.
 On wood frames, the moisture trapped near the joints of the wood and glass is enough to encourage the growth of mold. Damp wood is a very common food for mold. To prevent the growth of mold, make sure that the joint between the wood and glass is free of dust and moisture. Scheduling weekly cleaning of these parts of the window will help you stay ahead of it.

Preventing Mold in Aluminum Window Tracks

Modern window systems frequently have aluminum tracks that help the glass panes of windows to slide open and shut. However, these tracks can also accumulate dust and moisture more easily and can be difficult to clean manually. The accumulated dust and moisture leads to the growth of mold.

To make sure that the tracks of the window are dust free, they should be cleaned weekly. Dislodge the dust with a brush, then vacuum the dust up. Many window tracks have small holes to enable the water to drain out of them. However, these holes can become blocked with dust unless the tracks are cleaned regularly. If you find mold in the window tracks, you need to first remove the mold before cleaning the holes and dust off the tracks.

What to Do About Mold on Windows

In many cases, mold on windows doesn’t become a major problem and home owners can remove it using a mild detergent before scrubbing and wiping the windows clean.

Don’t take any risks and make sure that you wear protective gear to prevent any mold from coming into contact with your skin. In fact, it’s a good idea to wear rubber gloves and goggles too. As you finish, open them for ventilation to get some fresh air moving through. To prevent a recurrence however, you need to include weekly window dusting as part of the regular housekeeping routine. Reducing the humidity levels inside your home with a humidifier and moving indoor plants out can also help.

When mold in the windows spreads to the sheetrock under the windowsill, that’s a bit more serious. In this situation, you need to hire a mold remediation expert who can safely and completely remove all traces of mold from the entire structure including the wall and the window. If mold in the sheetrock causes extensive damage, it might have to be replaced completely to ensure the safety of your home.

The presence of mold in your windows can cause health problems, lead to bigger structural problems in your home, and just be a complete eye sore! If you see signs of mold, contact the mold removal and remediation experts at Jenkins Environmental Services anytime 24/7 for professional mold remediation and we will help restore your home to normal and make it safe again for everyone.

If you have mold in your home, Jenkins Environmental Services can help.

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  • Zoe Campos
    Reply

    Thank you for reminding me to dust my glass windows on a regular basis and keep them dry to avoid mold growth. My neighbor once told me that he once had his windows repaired just because he didn’t pay attention to the mold accumulating around the frames. I’ll try to schedule this task regularly to prevent any costly repair.

  • Toby Ryan
    Reply

    I didn’t know that mold can grow between the panes of your window if condensation accumulates in between them. My wife and I have noticed that our living room window has started to smell like mildew ever since our son accidentally cracked it with his baseball. Maybe we should consider finding a repair service so that our windows do not become moldy.

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