How to Deal with Black Mold on Windows
Windows are one of the most important features of your home. Not only do they add to the visual aesthetics of your house, but they allow you to see the outside world around you while protecting the inside of your home from those outside elements at the same time. High quality windows provide the perfect line of defense from rain, cold, snow, other unpleasant weather systems, and unwanted intruders from entering your home. However, because window take the brunt of rain, snow, humidity, and other moisture causing sources, they are also more vulnerable to the formation of black mold around your windows.
Black mold on windows can be a serious issue if ignored. It can cause serious damage your home if it spreads beyond your windows and can also result in serious health issues to you and your family. Mold on windows is a serious health concern because mold spores are toxins that can cause mold allergies, poisoning, infections, or respiratory issues. Signs and symptoms of mold toxicity can be mild or severe and can include:
- Shortness of breath
- Red, itchy, watery eyes
- Skin rash or discolouration
- Persistent wheezing or coughing
- Prolonged sinusitis
- Runny nose
- Other respiratory issues
- Mold can aggravate asthma and trigger asthma attacks
As a homeowner, it is important to check for black mold around your windows regularly so you can catch it early and stop it from spreading. If mold spreads to the rest of your home, your will likely need a more specialized mold remediation specialist to come in a clean your home.
How Does Black Mold Grow on Windows?
Window mold grows in moist, warm, and dark environments. Window panes are vulnerable to mold growth because they act as a barrier between you and the outside elements. Humid and warm environments inside or outside the home creates the perfect incubator for mold to form around your windows.
Mold can form on the glass panes or on the frames of your windows. The most common frames that develop black window mold are made of wood or aluminum, but mold can also grow on PVC or fiberglass frames as well. Organic matter like dust on your windows acts as a harvesting ground on your windows. Dust is made up of dead skin cells, dead bug bits, hair, dust mites, clothing fibers, pollen, soil particles, bacteria, microscopic specks of plastic, and other debris. Once moist and warm, it creates the perfect place for mold to form around your windows.
Window mold grows extremely quickly so chances are that by the time you start noticing black mold on your windows, it has already latched itself into the crevices of your window frames. Therefore, the sooner it is found and removed, the less likely it will spread beyond your windows to other areas of your house. However, keep in mind that it is important to completely remove all of the mold from around your windows. Leaving even the smallest amount of black mold on your windows could cause it to regrow and spread to other areas of your home very quickly.
How to Remove Mold from Windows
When cleaning mold from your windows, always wear heavy duty rubber cleaning gloves, protective eyewear, and a respiratory mask to protect yourself from inhaling or contacting the mold spores. N95 respirator masks are recommended so you do not breathe in the mold spore while cleaning.
Cleaning mold from windows can be done by using dishwashing detergent mixed with water. However, before you start wiping the black mold away, you will need to prepare your area and yourself to make sure both are protected. Mold spores can become air born and latch onto to other surfaces so it is important to prevent this from happening.
Before you start removing the black mold on your windows, move all drapes, pictures, furniture, and fixtures away from the affected area first. Cover the are with old newspaper, paper towel, or disposable rags. To avoid contamination and spread, always use disposable paper towels or other throw-away, textured rags when cleaning mold. Never put moldy rags in your laundry or reuse them.
Cleaning Mold from Your Windows
Once you have prepared your area, lightly spray the black mold on your windows with water. While this may sound odd, considering mold forms because of moisture, spraying the existing black mold will prevent it from becoming air born when cleaning it and will minimize the risk of the spores traveling onto yourself or other areas of your home.
Once the area is damp, clean it thoroughly using a mixture of half dish detergent and half warm water. It is important to check the area while you are cleaning the mold around your windows because, when wet, the mold colour can fade and look like it has disappeared. If the mold discolouration reappears, you will know it has not been completely removed. Wipe the area again thoroughly with the dish detergent and water mixture until all the black mold has been washed off your windows. Clean all areas where the mold on your windows is growing. Make sure there is no mold left after you have finished cleaning. Even the smallest speck of mold can regrow rapidly to a full blown mold infestation.
If the mold cannot be washed off with a rag, use a scraper tool to remove the mold from your windows. Once all the mold is removed, dry your windows thoroughly, then spray the area with a mixture of half warm water and half bleach. This solution will get into all the cracks and crevices that you cannot reach to ensure all the mold spores are completely destroyed. Wipe off the excess bleach/water solution so it does not drip onto your sill, walls, or floor.
Once you are finished, roll all the newspaper and rags together then throw them into a garbage bag. Tie the bag securely and remove it from your home immediately. Any tools that were used that cannot be discarded should be left to soak in the bleach/water mixture.
If there is a lot of mold on your windows, you can also vacuum or dry-clean the affected area to remove the spores. Wipe any residue with a vinegar and water solution to remove all spores completely. Empty your vacuum container in a garbage bag and remove from the home immediately.
Cleaning Mold off Wooden Window Frames
If you have wooden window frames, the black mold around your windows will require more work than washing and bleaching because the mold spores get into the grain of the wood and can permanently discolour the surface. To clean mold from your wooden windows, sand the paint off until only the bare wood is showing. Wash the affected area with the dish detergent and water solution first, then use a Q-tip or old toothbrush to clean the surface with oxalic acid. Oxalic acid is an organic, non-toxic compound that is used to help neutralize the mold growth and remove discolorations caused by the mold on your windows so the wood will be restored to its natural colour. Once the wooden frame is completely cleaned and dried, you can repaint or restain the surface.
Windows and Mold Prevention
The best way to stop the growth of black mold on your windows is to prevent it from forming before it even starts. Window mold is a common problem but there are steps you can take to prevent it from developing. Some easy steps you can take to prevent mold spores from forming around your windows include:
Keep Your Windows and Home Dry
Window mold thrives in damp areas so it is important to wipe all moisture off your windows. Whenever moisture builds up on the inside or outside of your window frames, take a dry cloth to clean and remove all water from your panes.
Use a dehumidifier in areas of your home where the humidity is high to prevent moisture getting into those dark, warm areas of your windows.
Clean and Inspect Regularly
Dust is a fertilizer for mold spores so cleaning your windows regularly will not only remove any moisture from forming, but it will also remove any dirt that can incubate mold on your windows. While cleaning your windows, inspect them for any damages or signs of mold growth. By regularly checking your windows, you will be able to spot the first signs of window mold so you can remove it before it spreads.
Maintain Your HVAC
A clean, well maintained HVAC system will go a long way to prevent black mold around your windows because it will improve the air quality in your home.
Knowing how to get rid of mold on your windows before it grows and spreads will save your home from a serious infestation. CanPro Windows and Doors offers high-quality windows and doors that are mold resistant that are meant to withstand Canadian climate. To learn more about our selection or maintenance, give us a call.
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