Shut Out Mould Growth: How to Help Prevent Fungus from Growing Behind Your Window Treatments

Swirling around in the air about you are microscopic fungal spores. They’re invisible to the naked eye and relatively harmless until they land in a hospitable place and multiply. Once this happens, you have mould growth that can be very difficult to control. Condensation behind window treatments during the winter creates a mould-friendly environment. Apart from hiring a local tradesman with experience in mould removal (which may be a necessity depending on the severity of the problem), fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce mould growth:

Why Does Mould Grow Behind Window Treatments?

Mould spores need three things to grow and multiply: Moisture, nutrients, and temperature make up the recipe for mould to thrive. During the winter months, cold windows and warm indoor temperatures lead to condensation.

When window treatments such as shutters, blinds, and draperies are left closed, the moisture stays trapped. And that moisture, along with the nutrients of household dust, leads to mould growth.

What Steps Can You Take to Prevent Mould Growth?

To deter mould growth, you should take steps to reduce the ingredients that lead to mould spores multiplying.  Some of the specific prevention methods are:

  • Control Moisture: Condensation is a natural occurrence during the winter. The problem is more pronounced during the early morning and evening hours before the sun rises and after it sets. By raising blinds, and opening shutters and draperies a few inches, air can circulate more effectively. Keeping a ceiling fan running in rooms where condensation is a problem will help air circulate, too. If these methods don’t work and condensation continues to be a problem, frequently wiping the condensation from the windows will help.
  • Control Nutrients: Porous materials and normal household dust are the “food” that mould spores feed on to grow. By taking away the food source, you reduce its ability to multiply and spread. Painting window sills and shutters with a high gloss paint protects the wood and makes cleaning easier. Regular cleaning removes the household dust that naturally occurs.
  • Control Temperature: Condensation occurs because of the cold temperatures outside the window and the warm temperatures inside the home. You can’t change the outdoor temperature and don’t want to be cold inside. Therefore, increasing air circulation and reducing humidity indoors are the best methods of reducing moisture caused by temperature.

Once mould growth occurs, it needs to be removed promptly. Scrubbing the mould from the household surface with a nylon brush and soapy water is the best method for cleaning. Harsh chemicals are no more effective on normal mould and can be damaging to the surfaces of the windows, shutters, and blinds. Draperies should be laundered according to the specific manufacturer instructions.