Molds are fungal microorganisms that flourish in the presence of moisture and decay. Mold fungi feed on dead organic matter and sometimes living organisms. Mold reproduces through spores which are dispersed by air currents. Although we know how mold comes about, do we know anything about how to get rid of it? Like does mold die in freezing temperatures? Freezing temperatures can cause mold spores to hibernate, but it doesn’t kill them. Immediately when temperatures rise after a winter spell, the spores will reactivate and grow into mold.
Even when the indoor and outdoor temperatures drop, the availability of food and moisture can sustain the dormant spores through to the next warm season. There might not be germination under freezing conditions, but the spores will weather the stormy winter and thrive and reproduce when the sun shines.
Does Mold Die in Freezing Temperatures? - Prevention Tips from Pros
Requirements of Mold Growth
Temperature is just one of the requirements for mold growth. The other two include starch from organic materials and dampness. The only way mold can die is when all these three factors are controlled.
Mold species grow at room temperatures. For that reason, you will always find these fungal intruders thriving in basements, kitchens, and bathrooms. When temperatures drop down to freezing levels, these microorganisms press pause on life, to be resuscitated again when temperatures get warmer. Molds even grow faster when the temperatures levels rise beyond room temperatures. It is therefore not possible to destroy molds by controlling your room temperature.
Like warm temperatures, humidity is required for the growth and survival of molds. When there is the right amount of moisture and dampness, dormant molds can spring back to life and start producing more spores. This is especially prevalent when there has been water damage to your floors such as laminate, hardwood, carpet. Mold grows well at relative humidity levels of about 70% percent. It is therefore essential to maintain these levels at below 65% in your home.
Mold depends on organic materials for nutrients. Paper, wood and cotton lines are high-risk candidates for mold growth. But leather, adhesives, and hair are not immune either. Mold can also exist in unlikely surfaces such as plastic and metal. It is not feasible to remove mold by eliminating these materials.
Stop Mold Growth the Right Way
The most effective way to stop mold growth is to take moisture out of the equation. By doing this, you deny the spores a chance at germination, eradicating the menace at the roots. Ensure that the humidity levels are kept low, and avoid organic materials in damp areas in the attics, sinks, and basements. Quickly spot and rectify leaky roofs, leaky pipes, and poor drainage.
You can also stop mold growth by increasing ventilation in your home. Open the windows and doors and let the fans run. Optimal ventilation helps to keep the interiors dry, reducing the chance of spores dispersal and germination.
Also, note that mold is not necessarily white - it could be brown like dirt or assume the color of paper surfaces. In the early stages, mold resembles filaments in cobwebs, which then grow into a fluffy white appearance as it matures. It is soft, slimy and damp. Dormant mold appears in the form of dry and powdery deposit on materials. Both active and inactive molds have a musty smell. It can also come in a black form that is highly toxic to humans.
So, does mold die in freezing temperatures? Mold does not die in freezing temperatures. Instead, it becomes dormant to spring back to life when temperatures rise again. You can only destroy mold growth by maintaining a dry surface.