Mold and mildew can be a serious problem, especially in humid parts of the country, and can even lead to water damage and window repairs or replacements. But if you're wondering how to keep your windows attractively mildew-free, you're probably not thinking about bathroom cleaning strategies--but maybe you should be. Many of the same conditions that exist in the bathroom, such as high humidity and lots of condensation, also tend to happen on and around the inside of a drafty window (or when it's very cold outside). Ideally you should minimize drafts so you won't have to deal with this problem as much, but in the meantime, here are three strategies that can work just as well to prevent mold on your window as they can in the bathroom.
1. Increase air circulation
Mildew tends to build up faster in areas where humid air can collect or where there just isn't enough air movement to prevent condensation from creating a moist environment. Whether you use cross-ventilation, space heaters that blow warm, absorbent air, or simply electric fans, the increased air movement will help keep your glass shower door, toilet bowl, or window from collecting enough moisture to support a colony of mold or mildew.
2. Use a mold prevention coating
Some areas of the country are more humid than others, and especially if you live in a cold, damp climate where the inside of the window is almost always warmer than the outside, fighting condensation can really be a bear. In these circumstances, you might want to add insurance against mold by applying a mold inhibitor regularly to make it harder for mold to sink its roots into your window frames and for mildew to collect on the panes. In this case, you shouldn't choose just any mold prevention product; you'll need one that works in wet situations rather than being disrupted by water droplets or just running off with rivulets of condensation on an especially damp day. Coatings designed to prevent mold and mildew growth in showers are ideal for this, because it's understood that a product used in a shower needs to work in both wet and dry situations.
3. Dehumidify your air
Condensation comes from the air, so the wetter the air is, the more of a condensation problem you'll have. You can see this in any bathroom; after you've taken a shower, the mirror will most likely be fogged up with condensation (unless you have a really great ventilation system). And if everyone in the household showers consecutively in the same bathroom, even the walls may start to feel damp. So controlling the humidity can be important if you're worried about mold growth. Dehumidifiers can reduce the overall amount of water in your air, minimizing the possibility of a cold window making a haven for mildew.
These three strategies can be equally effective in the bathroom or in your house at large as a mold prevention tactic. And if you have any other spots in your home that are prone to mold growth (such as a laundry room or unfinished basement), try these tips in those areas too!