Sliding glass doors and accordion glass panel doors get a ton of use in the summertime as they help to add living space to your home when the weather is warm. When they’re wide open you invite the great outdoors inside. But if you’re not careful, you could also be inviting mold to grow in your home.
When indoor air meets outdoor air
Mold may become a problem if you leave open any doors that lead outside while running your air conditioning. It may seem harmless and convenient to leave them open as it lets fresh air in, but by doing so you’re also allowing heat and humidity into your chilled home. And whenever there’s a big temperature contrast, excess moisture can build up.
Mold is a living organism that requires only two things to mushroom (figuratively and literally). A food source (wood, wallpaper, upholstery, even plants, and soil) and water. The water source could be from a leaky pipe or faucet, a spill, or any area with humidity levels above 60%. Old non-energy efficient windows and doors where condensation has formed provide both.
Furthermore, when damp outside air circulates throughout your home for a good while, it, too, can increase the likelihood of mold growth. Mold reproduces by spores, and once those spores are plentiful in your home, they’ll begin to grow into new colonies when they find fresh sources of food and water.
While it’s doubtful that leaving doors or large windows wide open a couple of times will lead to mold growth, it could increase the growth of molds that cause allergies, generally identified as aspergillus or cladosporium, which can still be irritants and dangerous in great amounts.
How to prevent issues
If you do throw open your doors or windows this summer, do so with the air conditioning off and the fans on so as not to mix cool and hot air. This will keep the big temperature differentials caused by heat outside and cold inside air mingling (while saving you money on the electricity bill!). Just be sure to close all the windows and doors when you turn the AC back on.
Air conditioners do more than cool the air. They also help to dehumidify your home because the refrigeration process inherently removes some of the moisture in the air. That’s why you may see them dripping while running.
Signs of mold in your South Carolina home
Mold many times grows in hidden areas, but it often gives clues of its presence. Look for these signs:
- Musty smells around your window and doors or anywhere else in your home.
- The existence of coffee-colored stains on your walls or ceilings indicating water damage. Where there’s water damage, mold is likely to grow.
- Check under the cover of your toilet tank. If there’s mold growing there, it may mean mold somewhere else in the house is providing the spores needed that’s spurring growth in your toilet tank.
Change your habits
If you’ve been in the habit of leaving your windows and doors open while the air conditioner’s running, make a firm decision not to do so anymore. It’ll help you save energy costs, ease the stress on your AC, and stop the creation of mold when hot air and cold air clash.
If you do end up with a mold problem, Kingsley Water Damage Restoration offers mold removal and remediation services. We’re licensed by the State of South Carolina as a General Contractor and provide a FREE mold inspection, property loss evaluation, and detailed estimation for our services.