Call: (707) 570-0555 | Email: info@cleancrawlspace.com

restoration clean up

Tag Archives: Moisture

mold issues home

How Mold Spreads in Your Home

Mold is a common problem in most homes, especially during winter months in Sonoma County. While it can create serious health effects, it can also damage your home’s structure. This post will explore more about how mold enters the home and a few ways you can prevent it.

How Does Mold Enter the Home?

There are many ways that mold can enter your home. One of the most common is through doorways and windows. If there are cracks around these objects, it will encourage air flow between the outdoors and your home. Because there is no filter, mold spores will spread in your residence.

Another way mold enters the home is through your heating or cooling systems. These appliances suck air into them. If this air isn’t filtered, any air they emit will contain mold particles.

You’ll also find that you might track mold through your home with your clothes and shoes. When you go outside, these spores could cling to their fibers. As you enter your living space, they will get released.

Common Home Molds

There are many different types of home molds you’ll need to watch out for. Some include:

  • Acremonium
  • Aspergillus
  • Chaetomium
  • Mucor

These will spread in various areas, but especially in dark humid spaces. Because of this, you’ll want to keep an eye out for strange colored wall or ceiling patches or a musty smell lingering throughout your living space.

3 Ways to Prevent Mold

Watch Moisture Levels: Mold loves moist environments. In your home, you create moisture when you do things like laundry or cooking. If not removed, moisture will seep into your walls which can encourage mold growth. Because of this, try to limit moisture by using a dehumidifier. You might also want to run fans and vents.

Clean Wet Messes: It’s crucial to clean wet messes if you want to prevent mold. Mold populates much faster on a wet surface. If you let the water sit, it will create a damp area that will encourage mold growth. If you notice wet messes, make sure to clean them immediately.

Empty Your Gutters: Clogged gutters can encourage water to sneak into any cracks situated around your home. You’ll need to be diligent about emptying your gutters at least twice a year to prevent this.

Mold isn’t only destructive but could be detrimental to your health. If you’re concerned your home might have a mold problem, give RCS a call. Our team will meticulously inspect your residence to ensure that any traces of it are eradicated.

dry rot termite damage

Can Termite Damage Be Reversed?

Many homeowners around Sonoma County don’t realize that they have termite damage until it’s too late. While termite destruction can usually be fixed, this sometimes isn’t the case. Below you’ll find more information about their destructive habits and how you can prevent them.

What are Termites?

Termites are small insects that are often mistaken for ants. Unlike ants, termites are white and enjoy munching on wood while hiding in dark environments.

How Destructive are Termites?

Despite their small size, termites can be very harmful. Once they begin eating wooden structures, they won’t stop. This will cause small holes to form and could create a structural imbalance.

At first, you might only have a handful of termites. Over time though, they will create nests which will significantly boost their population.

Can You Reverse Termite Damage?

In many cases, termite damage can be reversed, but it depends on how badly the structure is affected.

The first thing to do is call a professional who will quickly remove the termites. Once these insects are gone, they will inspect the area and see what they have destroyed. This will give them a better idea of the problem and how they can fix it.

Keep in mind that this can be expensive. To prevent a pricey problem, it’s important to contact a termite professional as soon as you notice issues.

3 Ways to Prevent Termites

Remove Wood Piles Around Your Home: Termites love wood. If you have wood piles resting near your home, this can become a haven for them. Once they eat this, they will spread into your home’s foundation to find its wooden structure. This is why it’s important to keep wood piles well away from your living space.

Prevent Moisture: Moisture helps termites chew through wood easier. Without it, they will have a tougher time doing so. Because of this, remove as much moisture as you can around your home. Make sure there aren’t leaks and that your sprinklers are pointed away from your foundation.

Inspect Your Home and Seal Gaps: It’s also a good idea to do an inspection of your home and seal any cracks, especially in your crawl space. This won’t only block termites but prevent moisture.

Termites are pesky insects that can cause incredible damage if not stopped. If you suspect you might have a termite problem, contact RCS. We can help reger you to a qualified termite specialist and offer tips as to how to prevent these creatures from returning.

moisture barrier

What is a Moisture Barrier?

Keeping your crawl space free from moisture is crucial if you want to prevent potential home damage. One way to do this is with the help of a moisture barrier. This article will explore more behind what this tool is and the benefits it offers. 

How Does a Moisture Barrier Work?

A moisture barrier is a plastic or foil sheet designed to hold water vapor. This prevents condensation from escaping into the ground or nearby walls where it could cause mildew or structural damage. 

The Moisture Barrier Installation Process

Installing a moisture barrier can be a little tricky. The easiest way to do so is by measuring the crawl space and then cutting out the moisture barrier fabric to fit those dimensions. It’s important to also add an extra inch or two to the measurements so the moisture barrier covers the ground edges. After doing so, you can install the barrier by securing it to the ground with stakes or gluing it to the crawl space’s wall. 

4 Benefits of a Moisture Barrier

  • It Prevents Mildew: One of the main benefits of a moisture barrier is that it prevents mildew. When condensation forms, it makes surfaces wet. Most of the time, these surfaces are unable to dry which leads to the mildew spreading and eventually forming odors. A moisture barrier collects water vapor and helps it to naturally evaporate rather than soak into surrounding areas. 
  • It Eliminates Odors: You’ll also find that a moisture barrier eliminates odors. This is because it prevents mildew and mold from forming which can result in a strong musty smell throughout your home. These smells aren’t only unpleasant, but can also cause severe allergies. 
  • It Protects Your Pipes: Many different types of pipes are located in your crawl space. If they aren’t protected from water, they could corrode. A moisture barrier prevents this because it stops water from seeping into the ground and walls where the pipes are located. 
  • It Deters Pests: You might be surprised to learn that moisture barriers can deter pests. By sealing your crawl space with a moisture barrier, it will keep them from crawling into the area where they might build nests or chew through your pipes and wires. 

A moisture barrier is a helpful tool to install in your crawl space. Not only does it protect your home’s structure, but prevents the spread of mold. If you’re interested in learning more about them or would like one installed, consider contacting RCS. 

women cleaning

3 Ways to Naturally Remove Mold In Your Home

Mold is commonly found in most homes because they contain dark and moist places. This fungus not only develops on walls and in humid areas, but can be found in wallpaper, carpets, and even books. Because of this, it’s important to remove it as soon as possible. Thankfully, there are a handful of natural ways you can do so, some of which are listed below.

What Causes Mold?

Numerous things cause mold to develop in homes. This includes moisture, foundation leaks, old wood panels, and allergens.

Common Home Molds

Home molds come in many different forms.

  • Aspergillus: As one of the most common forms of home mold, aspergillus has a bluish-gray tint. While not toxic, it can lead to allergic reactions. Aspergillus enjoys growing on drywall, wood, and fabrics.[1]
  • Alternaria: Alternaria has a velvet-like texture and grows almost anywhere in the home, including in showers, houseplants, and furniture. [2]
  • Cladosporium: This type of mold has black and green specks and spreads in carpets and around leaking pipes.[3]
  • Penicillium: Penicillium can be somewhat dangerous and leaves behind blue, green, or yellow spots. It likes damp areas and usually grows in cardboard boxes and books.[4]
  • Stachybotrys Chartarum: Also known as black mold, Stachybotrys chartarum can be very toxic if not removed. It tends to grow in places that have severe water damage.[5]

3 Ways to Naturally Eradicate Mold

  • Use a Vinegar Spray: Vinegar is one of the best ways to kill mold thanks to its acidity. It can also prevent mold from growing again and remove odors caused by it.

To make a vinegar spray, pour some into a spray bottle and mist it over the problematic area. Then, let it sit for a few minutes so the vinegar can absorb the mold. Afterward, wipe the area clean.

  • Make a Tea Tree Oil Solution: This essential oil is a natural fungicide that stops the spread of mold spores. To make a tea tree oil solution, mix about two teaspoons of it with two cups of water. You can then spray this solution on the mold. However, do not wipe it off. The tea tree oil needs to stay on the mold for best results.
  • Use Baking Soda: Baking soda will dissolve mold and remove odors caused by it. You can mix some baking soda with water or vinegar and then spray the mixture on the mold. After it sits for a bit, wipe it up.

Mold isn’t only unsightly but can be very dangerous if not removed. Homeowners who are concerned about mold growth in their home should consider contacting RCS in Sonoma County. Our team of experts know how to quickly identify, test for and remove mold before it spreads.

What’s A Crawl Space Moisture Barrier?

Crawl spaces are often an overlooked area of the home. While they might be the lowest level of it, they play a major role in your entire living space’s air quality, heating, and cooling. Because of this, it’s important to keep it well maintained, especially when it comes to stopping moisture. To assist with this you can have a moisture barrier installed. Below is more about this helpful device.

What Causes Moisture in Crawl Spaces?

Moisture in crawl spaces is usually the result of poor ventilation. When indoor air mixes with outdoor air it creates the perfect environment for moisture due to the humidity.

Dangers of a Moist Crawl Space

If your crawl space is wet, it can lead to quite a few issues. One of the biggest concerns is mold growth. Moist conditions invite various types of fungi, like aspergillus, to grow which not only can cause foundational issues, but health ones as well. In addition to this, a handful of harmful pests enjoy this environment, like rats and termites.

What’s a Crawl Space Moisture Barrier?

As its name suggests, this device works to trap and prevent moisture in your crawl space.[1] A crawl space moisture barrier is usually designed out of plastic or foil and is laid on the crawl space’s floor. Ideally, it should be around 10-20 millimeters thick to help prevent it from wearing out.

How Does it Work?

When the barrier is placed on the ground it will prevent moisture from the soil evaporating into the air. It also keeps any leaking pipes or debris from getting into your home’s foundation, something which could lead to dangerous cracks.

The Installation Process

Installing a moisture barrier is much easier than one might think. First, you need to measure the crawl space. Make sure that the measurements also include at least six inches up the wall. This can help to better protect the lower part of the home’s foundation.

Once you have accurate measurements, cut the moisture barrier to fit it. Then, use stakes to secure it in place. For some barriers, you might need to caulk it to the structure.

Keeping moisture out of your crawl space is important if you want to prevent dangerous moisture, pests, and allergens from destroying your home. If you’re interested in learning more about this unique device or want to have it installed in your crawl space consider giving RCS a call in Santa Rosa, CA.

[1]

mold on baseboard

Testing For Mold In Your Home

Mold comes in many different forms. While in some cases its presence might be obvious, most of the time mold in the home is hidden. Because of this, you might not be aware of the many dangerous side effects it can bring. Below is more about what causes mold in the home and a few ways you can test for it.

What Causes Mold?

Mold develops due to humid and moist conditions. Because of this, it tends to grow in dark and wet areas, like beneath boxes, under sinks, behind appliances, and in your living space ventilation. Sometimes mold will also cling to and grow in your home due to pollen, dust, and other microscopic particles floating around in the air.

Signs Mold Might Be in Your Home

There are a few signs to keep an eye out for if you fear you might have mold growing in your home.

  • Dry eyes
  • Wheezing
  • Your home has a musty smell
  • You see bubbling walls or peeling paint

Tests to Find Mold

Homeowners concerned that they might have mold spreading through their home can use these simple tests to determine if this is the case.

  • Probe the Area with a Utensil: Mold will usually cause whatever it’s around to deteriorate. You can see if there is mold damage by probing the suspected area with a utensil, like a screwdriver. If the area starts crumbling to the ground, it’s probably being eaten away by mold.
  • Test it with Bleach: Another way to find mold is to test the area with bleach. After diluting 1 part bleach for every 16 parts water in a clean container, dip a paintbrush or q-tip into the liquid and dab it on the area. If you find that the spot where you put the bleach mixture on suddenly lightens you more than likely have a mold problem.
  • Get a Test Kit: Another way to find mold in your home is to invest in a mold test kit. This kit takes spores from the air and indicates a color change if mold is evident. However, keep in mind that these kits don’t usually do in-depth analysis into the specific type of mold in your home.

If you’re worried that your home might be overtaken by mold, definitely consider trying these tests out. You could also contact RCS in Santa Rosa, CA. We offer professional mold testing services and will be able to determine if there is a problem and the best way to fix it.