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Is All Mold Dangerous?

Mold and Your Mental Health

For years, there’s been evidence to suggest that mold worsens allergy and asthma conditions in patients suffering from these respiratory conditions. While there are different types of mold, which ones are the most dangerous for someone suffering from respiratory issues or weakened immune systems?

Different Categories of Mold

While there are different types of mold, the most common types of household mold typically fall into one of three categories.

Allergenic

Mold that falls into this category is not toxic but can cause an allergic reaction or trigger the onset of an asthma attack.

Pathogenic

These molds are dangerous to patients who suffer from already compromised respiratory systems. Pathogenic molds can also cause illness in people with pre-existing health conditions.

Toxigenic

These mold types are able to self-produce toxins triggering very serious health issues, especially for those with vulnerable immune systems.

Common Mold Found in the Household

Here are some of the more common types of mold found in homes, especially homes with water or excessive moisture problems. Alternaria (Allergenic) Alternaria is the most common of the allergenic molds. It triggers allergic reactions, including asthma attacks, especially in those with weakened immune systems. This common mold is found primarily in wet bathrooms and around poorly sealed windows which tend to accumulate condensation. Chaetomium (Allergenic) Most commonly found in houses with serious water problems such as flooding or on-going, unresolved wet conditions. This mold starts out white but over time can turn very dark. It’s often confused with and can grow alongside toxic black mold. Ulocladium (Allergenic) This allergenic mold is also often mistaken for toxic black mold. Fortunately, it’s not nearly as dangerous. Much like other mold types, a great deal of moisture is needed for Ulocladium to thrive. Most common spots for this mold to show up are in wet bathrooms, leaky appliance hoses and poorly sealed windows. It can also be found growing on carpet and drywall. Aspergillus (Pathogenic) Some types of mold in this category, although non-toxic, trigger the same respiratory problems as the others. These respiratory issues include asthma, allergies, and lung irritation and infections. Aspergillus is found in the air we breathe and nests in HVAC systems. The presence of this mold is more pronounced in buildings that have sustained significant water damage. Stachybotrys (Toxigenic) Stachybotrys is more commonly known as toxic black mold, found anywhere it’s damp throughout homes. Ventilation systems are a breeding ground for toxic black mold. Two of the most common types of toxic black mold are stachybotrys chartarum and stachybotrys chlorohalonata, which are both a result of excessive moisture in the home along with poor air quality and ventilation. Toxic black mold triggers asthma attacks and other respiratory distress. This is a dangerous mold which needs immediate professional remediation and elimination of conditions which promote its growth and spread in the home.

Professional Mold Remediation

Although not all mold is dangerous, there are a lot of mold types that can be confused for the more dangerous types. Rather than guess or mistake the identity of a non-toxic mold for a more dangerous one, call the mold remediation professionals at RCS, proudly serving the Santa Rosa, Sonoma County and surrounding North Bay areas. The licensed mold remediation specialists at RCS can safely remove mold and put together a treatment plan to prevent it from returning to your home.

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Getting Rid of Mold in Your Home

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Aside from the unsightly appearance, mold does more than signal a water or moisture problem in your home. Mold negatively affects overall air quality and in some people, triggers serious health issues. Find out how to check for mold and what to do if you find it in your home.

What is Mold?

Mold, sometimes called mildew, grows in your home due to excessive moisture or water. It could be caused by a leak, flooding or improper ventilation. Mold is a fungus that doesn’t need a host to grow. It’s capable of growing on its own. In most cases, mold is black or gray, but can also be white, orange or green.

Where does Mold Come From?

Mold can grow in any damp area or on moist surfaces. You will find it growing on anything from wood, caulk around windows, ceilings, walls, floors, under carpeting, crawl spaces and even on appliances and your clothes. If there’s a musty smell in your home, odds are there is mold growing somewhere in the house. Homes near water or high humidity are more susceptible to a mold problem.

Health Issues Related to Mold

Health issues are not caused by the mold, but by the microscopic particles (or mold spores) which are released into the air. As you breathe the air in your home, you inhale mold spores which settle into the lungs. While there is more to learn about the negative health effects of mold, what is known is that it can trigger serious health problems for many people. Those with pre-existing respiratory conditions are primary candidates for mold-related health issues. Breathing in mold spores can cause wheezing, sneezing, headaches, fatigue, stuffy or runny noses and asthma attacks. Long-term exposure to mold increases the odds of developing an allergy to mold.

Getting Rid of Mold

The first thing to do is to find the source of moisture that is causing mold to grow. The only way to control and eliminate mold is to get rid of the sources of moisture. To dry problem areas, run a fan or dehumidifier. Properly repair and seal areas in your home where water or moisture are found, such as windows and bathtubs. To clean mold, use a mixture of one cup bleach to one gallon of water. Spray the mixture directly onto areas affected by mold, let soak for a few minutes, wipe/brush off and dry completely. If mold continues to re-surface, call in a professional. Since 1975, the professionals at RCS have provided complete mold/water damage assessments, mold removal and prevention services. Contact us with any mold-related questions or to schedule a free consultation.

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What is Sink Mold?

kitchen sink

As a homeowner, you might sometimes notice a green, brown, or red grime around sinks. This isn’t only unsightly but is a sign of mold growth. Below you’ll discover more about what causes this issue, why it’s a concern, and a few ways to prevent it.

What Causes Sink Mold?

The main culprit behind sink mold is moisture. Because sinks distribute water and often have droplets splashed around them, it encourages spores to grow and spread. The more moisture around the sink, the more severe the mold will be.

Types of Sink Mold

You might be surprised to learn that there are a handful of mold types you’ll need to watch out for.
  • Cladosporium - a brownish mold that can disperse spores into the air.
  • Aspergillus - this often hides in dark, damp sections like drains.
  • Black - a common selection that creates a slimy black film around faucets.
  • Penicillium - a vibrant green type that develops beneath dripping faucets.

Is Sink Mold Dangerous?

In most cases, sink mold isn’t usually fatal. But, it can result in irritating allergic reactions that make you sneeze and cough. Depending on how much mold is present, you also risk it causing major respiratory issues, like asthma and sinusitis.

Preventing Sink Mold

Watch the Humidity: As mentioned above, sink mold primarily thrives in moist areas. Because of this, it’s critical that you monitor the surrounding humidity, especially in bathrooms. To do so, consider investing in a dehumidifier. This will absorb moisture from the air to prevent it from settling around sinks. Clean Mold as Soon as Possible: Another way to keep sink mold from spreading is to wipe it up as soon as you see it. While you can use a clean cloth to do so, also spray some vinegar over the spot. Its antibacterial properties will dissolve spores and sanitize the area. Use Baking Soda and Vinegar: You might also consider pouring a bit of baking soda and vinegar down the drain to destroy any mold growing within the pipes. To do so, mix about ½ cup of each together and put it down the drain. Let it sit for a few minutes and then pour hot water down it to wash it away. Sink mold is a frequent problem that can affect both your health and the durability of your sinks. If you notice your home’s sinks tend to have significant mold growth, call RCS in Santa Rosa, CA. Our team will be happy to inspect the area and clear the space of this serious issue.

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Types of Fall Allergies

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Most look forward to the fall thanks to its vibrant colors and cool temperatures. But, for some, this season can be a huge inconvenience because of its allergens. Below you’ll discover some of the most frequent sources of fall allergies and how you can protect yourself from them.

4 Common Fall Allergies

Ragweed: This plant is one of the most notorious fall allergies. It thrives during this season because of its cool temperatures and heavy rain. It’s particularly bad because just one ragweed plant can produce up to one million pollen spores. With the assistance of chilly winds, these spores can travel long distances leading to you breathing them in. This can result in serious nasal congestion, sneezing, headaches, and a sore throat. Mildew: Mildew forms year-round but it’s particularly evident in the fall. This season can bring a lot of rain and moisture which encourages the growth of mold. You’ll notice that it grows rapidly outdoors in areas near leaves and around windows. Pet Dander: As fall begins, you might find that your pet has started shedding their summer coat. While this might not be a big event for some animals, if you have a very furry one, like a golden retriever, it could fill your home not only with their fur but dander. These could sneak into your ductwork contaminating the air you breathe causing allergic reactions. Cypress: In northern California, cypresses flourish. While beautiful throughout the year, during the fall, they can be a big nuisance. As the season rolls on, cypress spores can irritate your respiratory system.

How to Protect Yourself From Them

Keep Your Windows Closed: It might be tempting to open your windows during this season, but it’s crucial you don’t. If you do, you’ll only invite these allergens into your home. They can get caught in your ductwork, furniture, and clothing making any allergy attacks even worse. Because of these, make sure your windows stay shut. Clean Your Carpets: Pet dander, mildew, and plant spores can get trapped in carpet fibers. As you walk on it, you can spread the spores around your home. To prevent this, make sure to do a deep clean of your carpets at least once during this season. Run an Air Purifier: You might also want to run an air purifier in your home. Most contain a HEPA filter which can collect and trap any airborne allergens. Fall allergies can be annoying, but with these tips, you can better protect yourself from them. If you’re concerned your home might have mold damage caused by these allergens, call RCS in Santa Rosa. We’ll send a team out to investigate the issue and get to work quickly fixing it.

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Mold Exposure Symptoms – What to Watch For

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Mold - it’s a common problem that affects numerous homes. While it might seem like a minor issue, it’s not. Even the smallest spores can cause troubles not only for your living space but your health. This post will explore common mold exposure side effects, why it’s a health hazard, and a few ways you can prevent it from growing.

Common Mold Exposure Side Effects

Some of the most frequent mold exposure symptoms include:
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Congestion
  • Eye irritation

Is Mold Dangerous?

Mold can be very worrisome, especially if you suffer from certain medical conditions, like asthma. Its spores can irritate your respiratory system causing it to become inflamed. This can end up messing with your sinuses which could make it difficult for some people to breathe and see. Sometimes, it can even lead to rashes if the airborne spores land on your skin.

4 Tips for Preventing Mold

Watch the Humidity: Mold thrives in humid conditions. Because of this, it’s important to check your home’s humidity levels. If it’s too humid, you might notice the air is stuffy or the walls and windows seem damp. If it becomes moist, the condensation will land on the walls and window sills creating wet patches. To prevent this, make sure your home’s humidity isn’t higher than 50%. To monitor it, you can use a hygrometer. By pointing it into the air, it will quickly calculate the current humidity levels. Quickly Fix Leaks: It’s crucial to stop leaks as soon as you notice them. This won’t only prevent water damage but wet spots that could harbor mold spores. Use Good Ventilation: You’ll also want to confirm your home has good ventilation. If not, it will be hard for your duct system to filter through the air leading to lingering mold particles. For ideal ventilation, make sure your air filters are regularly replaced. You might also want to run fans in your home. Utilize Houseplants: Surprisingly, houseplants are a beautiful and unique way to get rid of mold. Many, like peace lilies and snake plants, absorb mold spores from the air. This way, your air stays clean and you don’t have to worry about mold spreading. Mold is a serious issue that can cause many health concerns. If you’re worried your home might have it, contact RCS in Santa Rosa. We’ll quickly send our experts out to investigate the problem and clean up the space so it’s safe to be in.

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Carpet Damaged?

carpet wtih vacuum

Carpet damage is a common yet often overlooked problem in our homes. This post will explain more about it and when you should be worried.

What is Carpet Damage?

Carpet damage comes in a few different types. One is the general wear-and-tear of this material. The longer you have it, the more likely its fibers will start getting worn. Besides this, food and dirt stains could seep into it. Another form of damage is tears and rips. If your carpet is flimsy or more than a few decades old, you might notice its seams starting to fray. This can leave the baseboard beneath it exposed. The last main type of carpet damage is from water. This is usually because of some incident that has leaked the liquid into it. While small accidents, like a glass of water, spilling on it aren’t usually a problem, larger and often hidden ones, like leaks, can be. They can make the carpet soggy and eventually turn black due to mold.

Is it Dangerous?

In most cases, carpet damage just looks unsightly. However, if it’s from a water leak, it can be toxic. This is because the moisture will encourage mold to grow. The longer the moisture stays the more time it will give mold spores to spread. Eventually, you’ll notice not only deep black patches on the carpet but a musty smell that indicates the mold is causing the carpet to decompose. This aroma can be very irritating to your body because it's made up of spores. When you breathe it in, you risk it causing respiratory infections or other allergic reactions. Besides your health, carpet damage from water can also have a negative impact on your home’s structure. Water will wear down beams and other crucial components. This could make the area unstable.

How is Carpet Damage Fixed?

How a carpet is repaired depends on how severe the problem is. If you only have a tear, that patch might be cut out and replaced with a new section. But, if you have water damage, the entire carpet will usually need to be removed. To pull up a carpet, a technician will first inspect the outer layer. This will help them see where severe problems might be. A sharp knife will then be used to cut the carpet away from the wall and floor. As it’s rolled up, a worker can see any underlying problems, such as disintegrating floorboards. If there are any issues, they will need to be addressed before a new carpet is laid. Carpet damage is a concerning problem that’s not only a risk to your home’s foundation but your health. If your residence has carpet damage, give RCS a call in Sonoma County. We can assist with removing it and fixing any other structural problems it might have caused.

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