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Types of Winter Molds

winter sunset home

Mold is surprisingly very common during the winter because of the stuffy, humid conditions in homes. Sometimes condensation could also form around windows creating standing water that encourages mold growth. If you’re interested in learning more about common winter molds and how you can prevent them, keep reading.

Signs Your Home Has Mold

There are a few signs to watch out for that indicate you might have a mold problem.
  • Buckling ceilings or walls
  • A musty odor
  • Excessive condensation
  • You find yourself coughing or sneezing a lot

4 Common Winter Molds

Aspergillus: Aspergillus frequently grows in homes and creates black spots around affected surfaces. While non-toxic, too much could cause side effects such as headaches and coughing. Alternaria: Alternaria grows on carpets, houseplants, and showers. This mold is sometimes visible, but usually grows behind surfaces making it difficult to catch. Cladosporium: This type tends to form green and brown spots on areas like carpets, wallpaper, and cabinets. Cladosporium loves damp conditions and is commonly found in bathrooms. Penicillium: Penicillium usually grows on old or damp objects. Because of this, it’s mainly located in attics and basements. This mold can be a little concerning as it could result in you suffering from chronic sinusitis.

How to Prevent Mold During the Winter

Use Low Humidity: Humidity is a prime condition for mold growth. It’s common for molds to grow indoors because many homes use high humidity to stay warm. If you want to avert mold growth during the winter, make sure the indoor humidity isn’t higher than 60%. Ensure There’s Good Ventilation: Besides humidity, stuffiness can encourage mold spores to spread throughout your home. To stop this, check that there is good ventilation throughout your residence. You can do this by adding a dehumidifier, opening your windows, or switching your ceiling fan to twirl in reverse. Clean Wet Areas Immediately: If you notice wet or damp areas, quickly clean them. This will prevent mold from growing on and around them. If mold has started to develop, use a vinegar or bleach solution to wash off the area. This will kill bacteria and dissolve the mold so that the space is completely free of it. Winter might bring cold weather, but that doesn’t stop mold growth. By keeping these tips in mind, you can easily safeguard your home from this nasty fungus. If you’re concerned you might already have mold growth in your home, RCS can help. We offer a mold removal and remediation service that will eliminate it from your living space.

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Can Mold Grow in the Winter?

rain winter time

Mold is a common issue in most homes. However, many often think they’re safe from it once winter strikes. The bad news is, you’re not. Mold can grow at any time and in any place. This article will touch on mold growth in the winter and a few ways you can prevent it.

What is Mold?

Mold is a fungus that grows both indoors and outdoors. Its prime living condition is dark, humid places. Because of this, it’s often found in homes, especially in basements and attics. There are numerous types of home molds you need to watch out for:
  • Acremonium
  • Aspergillus
  • Chaetomium
  • Fusarium

Is Mold Dangerous?

This fungus can be very dangerous depending on the type that grows. Minor molds, like Cladosporium, rarely cause negative effects in people. However, stronger molds, like Aspergillus, could result in fevers, coughing, and shortness of breath.

Can Mold Grow in the Winter?

Mold unfortunately doesn’t stop growing no matter what season it is. While it might not be visible in certain areas during the winter, mold can grow behind walls, in windows, and within your ductwork. This is because there tends to be a lot of dry air and humidity in these spaces.

3 Ways to Prevent Mold Growth in Your Home

Lower Your Home’s Humidity: Mold loves humidity. During the winter, certain activities, like showering or cooking, can encourage your home to be more humid than normal. This can invite mold to grow in crevices and areas where there is hidden water damage. You can do a few things to keep your home’s humidity low during the winter. These include:
  • Adding insulation around your windows
  • Blowing fans in rooms
  • Using a dehumidifier
Watch for Leaks: Leaks are common in the winter. They can be caused by various things, including frozen pipes or a crack around your windows. While they might seem harmless, they can cause mold growth. The condensation will have no place to escape meaning that puddles of water will sit. Over time, this will encourage dangerous bacteria to grow. Open Windows: It might sound strange to recommend opening your windows during cold weather, but it can be very helpful. By doing so, it will increase air circulation in your home. This will lower humidity and provide your residence with fresh air. Mold isn’t only unsightly but can lead to serious health issues. If you’re concerned your home might have hidden mold growth, RCS can help. We offer a mold removal and remediation service that ensures any traces of this fungus is eradicated.

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The Dangers of Water Damage

leaking water pipe

Water damage is a common problem in many structures. However, many don’t realize that it can be very dangerous. Below you’ll find more information about what causes it and how you can prevent it.

What Causes Water Damage?

Water damage is caused by numerous things. Some of the most usual sources include:
  • Broken pipes
  • Old appliances
  • Clogged gutters
  • Leaking HVAC units

5 Common Signs of Water Damage

Water damage can be visible, but sometimes it’s not. If you notice these signs, you probably have water damage.
  1. Cracking or bubbling floors and walls
  2. Increased water bills
  3. A frequent musty smell
  4. Mold spots
  5. Your home feels damp or humid

Why Water Damage Can Be Harmful

For many, water damage is mainly a headache because it causes hideous stains. However, water damage is much more harmful. If not fixed, water damage can slowly damage a structure’s foundation. Over time, this could cause it to slightly shift or tilt resulting in cracks. In addition to this, water damage can harbor toxins, including bacteria. Dampness can invite mold to travel through your home which can result in serious respiratory problems, like asthma and itchy eyes. If the pipe is rusted or comes from an outdoor area, it might contain chemicals in it which could travel throughout your home, including in your drinking water.

3 Ways to Prevent Water Damage

  1. Clean Your Gutters: One way to stop water damage is to make sure to clean your gutters. If leaves, twigs, and other debris clog them, they will be unable to do their job. Because of this, it will send water over the sides and could cause it to leak into the roof.
  2. Regularly Check Appliances: You should also make sure to constantly check your appliances, especially those that use water often, like dishwashers and washing machines. By doing so, you’ll be able to spot any problems before they start to spread. Some signs to watch out for include water dripping out of them, low water pressure, and strange noises when the appliance runs.
  3. Monitor the Water Pressure: Monitoring the water pressure can be a great way to stop potential leaks. To help with this, you could invest in a pressure gauge. After turning the water off, tighten the gauge on a faucet and turn the faucet on. The gauge will then measure and display the current pressure. If it’s between 45-55 psi, you have good water pressure. If it’s lower or higher than this, you might need to call in a professional.
Water damage might not seem like a serious issue at first, but it can be. If you’re concerned you might have water damage or want to avert it, contact RCS in Santa Rosa today.. We’ll send out a team to inspect a problematic area or give you tips as to how to prevent leaks.

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3 Ways to Spot Mold in Your Living Space

living space

Mold is a common problem in many homes. While it might seem harmless at first, it’s not. Mold can cause everything from foundational damage to respiratory problems.

What Causes Mold to Grow in the Home?

There are many things that can cause mold to grow in the home. These include:
  • Poor ventilation
  • Water leaks
  • Humidity
  • Constant darkness

3 Ways to Tell if Mold is in Your Home

Test Walls With Bleach: One way to see if there might be mold in your home is to test a small wall patch with bleach. To do this, simply mix one part bleach with 16 parts water. After doing so, take a q-tip, dip it into the mixture, and then dab it on the wall. If you see that the wall starts to lighten after you do so, you have a mold problem. There are Discolorations on Your Walls, Ceilings, or Floors: Another way to tell if mold is in your living space is by looking to see if there are discolorations on your walls, ceilings, or floors. This is usually a sign of water damage that invites mold spores to grow and spread. There’s a Musty Smell Lingering Around: If you smell a strong musty odor in your home it’s a sign of mold. This smell is caused by mold emitting certain compounds as it breaks down walls or other objects.

How to Get Rid of Mold

Spray Vinegar on the Spots: Vinegar is very helpful at destroying mold thanks to its strong acidity. You can put some into a spray bottle and then squirt it on the mold. Let it rest for an hour and then wipe the area off with a towel. Use a Dehumidifier: A dehumidifier is a device designed to pull humidity out the air - something which can form mold. Because it removes moisture, a dehumidifier can also help remove odors left behind by mold. While it won’t kill mold spores, it will eliminate them from the air. Apply Tea Tree Oil: This essential oil is antibacterial which not only removes mold, but prevents it from growing. To make a tea tree oil spray, mix two teaspoons of this essential oil with two cups of water. Pour this mixture into a spray bottle and then apply it to the area of concern. Let it sit for about an hour and then use a brush to scrub the mold off. Mold is a serious issue that not only causes structural damage, but health concerns. If you’re worried that you might have mold in your Sonoma County home, RCS can help. Our professionals will meticulously inspect your living space and remove any mold that might present.

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5 Common Types of Home Molds

blk-white photo of interior

Mold in homes is a common problem. This fungus can develop on almost anything and can leave behind dark splotches on your walls and furniture. It also could cause serious health problems. This article will explain some of the most common types of home molds and a few ways you can prevent them. 5 Common Home Molds

  1. Acremonium: Acremonium grows slowly, but it’s often found in air filtering systems that can spread its spores easily. While most people won’t experience symptoms from it, those with compromised immune systems could end up suffering from respiratory problems and even eye infections.
  2. Aspergillus: This type of mold is commonly found in living spaces during the fall and winter. Because it’s so common, most people’s bodies are already adjusted to deal with it. However, in some, it can lead to severe allergies. Aspergillus has a spotty black look and usually grows on wet surfaces and drywall.
  3. Chaetomium: Chaetomium grows in spaces that have water damage. It tends to spread around faucets, wet houseplant soil, and damp roofing. Because it has high amounts of cellulase in it, Chaetomium will end up causing the objects it grows around to disintegrate if not removed.
  4. Alternaria: There are over 40 different types of Alternaria and it usually grows during the spring and summer due to the high humidity. Alternaria can cause asthma symptoms and skin irritation. While it spreads mainly outdoors, this mold can grow on wallpaper, bricks, and tiles.
  5. Fusarium: Fusarium is yet another common home mold and will develop on almost anything, including food. Most of the time it can be found on carpets and wood flooring and has a pinkish or yellow color. Fusarium can cause allergic reactions and sinus congestion.

3 Tips to Prevent Mold

Watch Humidity Levels: Mold thrives in humid conditions. To help keep your home’s humidity levels in check, consider using a dehumidifier. You should also make sure you have plenty of ventilation to encourage air circulation. Dry Wet Areas Immediately: Wet areas can invite many different types of mold to develop. If you notice puddles of water on the floor or around faucets quickly dry them. Check Your Gutters: If your gutters are clogged it can lead to a backup of water. This can cause it to spill over the sides or sneak into small cracks around your home. To prevent this, make sure to always clean the gutters out and ensure the downspout is pointed away from your home. Mold is a serious problem that needs to be removed immediately. If you’re concerned that you might have it spreading through your home in Sonoma County, RCS can help. We offer mold removal services that work to quickly destroy mold spores to ensure your living space is safe.

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How Professionals Remove Mold

protective covering

Many homes will encounter mold problems at some point, especially if they are older or have experienced flooding. While you can remove small mold portions, most of the time you need to use professional services to ensure it’s fully eradicated. Below you’ll discover more about what causes mold to develop and how experts can remove it.

What Causes Mold Growth in the Home?

There are numerous things that cause mold to grow in one’s home. The most common include:
  • High humidity
  • Water leaks
  • Lack of sunlight
  • Excessive mold spores

How Do I Know if I Have Mold?

Mold comes with many side effects. For instance, if you find yourself constantly coughing or sneezing, it could be because of mold spores. Other common signs your home might have a mold problem include musty odors, black patches on walls, and water leaks.

Can I Remove Mold Myself?

If you have a small section that has a few mold splotches, you probably can remove that area yourself. However, if you have a vast area that has mold quickly spreading on it, you’ll more than likely need a professional to properly remove it.

How Professional Remove Mold in Your Living Space

They Inspect the Area: The first step they will do is inspect the area. This will help them to understand the scope of the problem and identify the type of mold they need to remove. They Quickly Contain the Mold and Install Air Filtration: After inspection, expert mold removers will quickly contain the fungus. They will usually do this by closing off the area to prevent further spread of the mold spores. Once they do so, air filtration will be installed to help quickly remove humidity and improve air flow. Scrape Away the Mold and Clean the Space: The last step is to remove the mold. Professionals will usually have large bags where they will put the mold they scrape off into. These bags are designed to contain the mold and prevent the spores from spreading through your house. Once the mold has been fully removed, they will then clean the space. Special solutions will be sprayed on the area to help kill any invisible spores and to prevent future growth. Depending on the situation, a follow up mold test may occur. Mold is a serious problem that can result in significant health issues and structural damage. If you’re concerned that your dwelling space might have it, RCS can help. We offer mold removal and remediation services that ensure your home is completely free from this fungus.

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