Mold and Windows: What Homeowners Need to Know
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- What's growing on your windows? If you have wood windows, or even dirty window sills, the answer could be mold.
"As long as it has an organic food source such as wood, cardboard or paper, mold can grow in any location," says John Stark, marketing manager for Simonton Windows. "The key is the organic food source. When products in the home, such as wood window frames or wood window sills, come in contact with moisture for an extended period of time, then mold can grow."
According to The Mold Services Group, a division of GHH Engineering, Inc., vinyl is not an organic food source, so mold cannot grow on vinyl window frames.
However, if even tiny particles of organic debris are found on or around the surfaces of a vinyl window in a moisture-rich area, homeowners can potentially find mold growth. What makes up this debris? It can be anything from microscopic fragments of pollen to animal dander to insect pieces to normal household dust.
"Routinely cleaning vinyl window sills and surfaces helps eliminate the remote possibility of mold growing on vinyl windows," says Stark. "By removing organic debris, such as dust and dirt, you will help keep your vinyl windows free of mold spores."
Stark reports that, in order to keep areas around windows moisture-free to prevent potential mold growth, homeowners should watch for --- and take steps to minimize --- condensation.
"People sometimes see their windows 'sweat' during the winter or summer months because of varying humidity levels in the home," says Stark. "Without proper ventilation, moisture can accumulate on windows and walls from daily household activities such as hot showers, boiling water and opening dishwashers after a cleaning cycle."
This minor accumulation of moisture or steam generally isn't a cause for concern, and using ventilation fans and dehumidifiers can help reduce humidity in the home.
"Windows are a major component in a home that impact other things around them," says Stark. "They eventually need to be replaced. If windows have major air leaks, don't close properly, or are failing to act as a solid barrier to the environment, then it's time to consider replacing them with new energy-efficient vinyl windows."
Reducing the Chance of Mold
The Florida Solar Energy Center reports that moisture levels in the home are one of the easiest elements to alter so that mold will not grow in a house. Since people prefer humidity levels that are generally below the critical relative humidity for mold growth to occur, the simple acts of using ceiling fans, reducing the number of house plants in a home and leaving interior room (and closet) doors open can all help reduce moisture levels throughout the home.
Stark advises that homeowners with plantation style blinds or heavy window coverings that are closed all the time should change their habits. Condensation can get "trapped" in between the window treatments and the windows creating a damp environment that may encourage mold growth.
"By routinely opening window coverings to increase ventilation near windows homeowners will help reduce both condensation and potential mold growth," says Stark. "Another smart tip is to make sure that air vent deflectors are placed on floor vents to reroute air into the room rather than straight up against a window.
"Vinyl windows are a smart, durable choice for the home. However homeowners have to do their part too. Keeping the home well ventilated and clean during all seasons of the year makes it easy for vinyl windows to remain the most effortless and reliable windows imaginable in the home."
About Simonton Windows
Simonton Windows has been ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Windows and Doors, Four Years in a Row. Tied in 2013." by J.D. Power and Associates. Simonton produces ENERGY STAR® qualified vinyl replacement and new construction windows and doors, including a line of impact-resistant products.
Simonton was also ranked #1 in quality in the 2013, 2009, 2007, 2002 and 1998 Brand Use Studies sponsored by Builder magazine and has won three Best In Class Awards administered by LBM Journal Research Institute.
Founded in 1946, Simonton's hallmark has been to deliver the industry's shortest, most dependable lead-times. Part of Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc. (NYSE: FBHS), Simonton delivers award-recognized products to key markets throughout the 48 continental United States and North America. Simonton is a Founding Sponsor of The Weather Museum, a Lifetime Founding Sponsor of the Lead Safe America Foundation, and a supporter of Homes for Our Troops. For information, call (800) SIMONTON (1-800-746-6686) or visit www.simonton.com.
Simonton Windows received the highest numerical score among window and door manufacturers in a tie in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2010-2013 Windows and Patio Doors Satisfaction StudiesSM. (Tied in 2013). 2013 study based on responses from more than 2,554 consumers measuring 11 brands and measures opinions of consumers who purchased new windows or patio doors in the previous 12 months. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed in January – February 2013. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.
ENERGY STAR is a government program that helps consumers protect the environment through superior energy efficiency and is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
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SOURCE Simonton Windows