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Tag Archives: Mold

Mold in walls, floors, under sinks, and in crawl spaces can be a health hazard. RCS provides full mold removal and prevention services for commercial and residential properties.

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Reducing Summer Mold Exposure

Summer is a favorite season for just about everyone. However, one of the things to watch out for is an increase in mold and exposure to it.

Because mold grows so quickly and poses significant health risks, here’s what you can do to reduce your exposure to mold this season.

Why is there More Mold in Summer?

If you know anything about mold, you know it thrives in warm, moist, and humid conditions. In summer, the hot weather is a strong contributor to mold growth.

Although plenty of direct sunlight helps kill mold, there are always airborne mold spores spreading throughout your yard, landing on your lawn, in your garden and on your house.

Anywhere there is excess moisture, high humidity, or damp shady areas in the yard, you’re sure to find mold.

Humidity and Moisture

With hot temperatures, humidity levels rise. When it’s hot outside and cool indoors, condensation forms around doors, windows, and the insulation around them.

Poorly draining AC units are another spot for mold because of clogged pipes, drainage issues, or undetected leaks creating moisture around the home foundation or in crawlspaces.

If you haven’t cleaned out those gutters or compost bins, these are two places where decomposing organic matter like leaves attract mold very easily. Where there is a constant source of moisture, mold will find it and grow.

Food Sources

Like any active living organism, it needs food to live and grow.

Mold isn’t picky about food sources, attacking anything from spoiled food to paper to cardboard and wood. If there are available food sources, warmth and moisture, mold grows, spreads, and releases airborne spores continuously.

Poor Ventilation

If there are areas in your home that aren’t properly ventilated, the lack of airflow leaves the air stagnant, and allows for the buildup of condensation and dampness. Unchecked moisture sources allow mold to thrive.

The key areas to check are in attics, basements, and crawlspaces.

Reducing the Risks of Summer Mold Exposure

To reduce your risk of mold exposure, it’s important to eliminate the conditions mold needs to grow.

  • Check for leaks in and around drainage to the AC unit
  • Repair a leaky roof
  • Check and repair plumbing under cabinets for drips and leaks
  • Dry condensation around doors and windows
  • Replace wet insulation
  • Clean gutters and compost bins
  • Remove piles of decomposing yard waste
  • Keep the house and yard clean
  • Throw away spoiled food like fruits and vegetables
  • Keep an eye on shady, damp areas in and around the home


To ensure the health and safety of you and your home, keeping on top of sources of humidity, dampness and moisture is your best line of defense.

Making sure there’s good ventilation and removing food sources will drastically reduce mold growing in and around your home this summer.

If struggling with mold in and around your home, call the remediation team at RCS for professional mold removal and prevention.


Why Mold Attracts Bugs

If you’ve ever wondered why where there is mold there are bugs, you’re not imagining things. There are a few reasons why mold and bugs seem to go hand-in-hand.

Learn why if you have mold, you’ll attract several types of unwelcome bugs.


Both mold and bugs are attracted to and invade spaces with warm, humid, moist conditions. When outside temperatures heat up, humidity levels rise, as does moisture and condensation. Damp, dark conditions are excellent breeding grounds for thriving colonies of both mold and bugs.

Food Supply

Both bugs and mold need food to live.

Bugs love to eat decaying organic matter, everything from spoiled food to over-ripened fruit. To make things worse, there are even bugs that eat mold, such as fungus gnats and mold mites.

Mold is equally easy to feed. Much like bugs, mold thrives on rotting organic matter or spoiled food. However, mold takes it a step further and can find a food source in drywall, newspaper, even wet laundry.

Anywhere there are dark and damp conditions mold can sink its roots into will enable it to thrive.

Types of Mold and Bugs


There are several different types of mold you may find lurking in your home. The most commonly identified is black mold, but the colors can range from brown to green to orange.

When active mold is disturbed, it releases microscopic spores, which become airborne and further spread mold. You’re then in a rinse and repeat cycle and before you know it, you could be facing a mold infestation.


You’ll find bugs chasing after crumbs or sticky spills left behind on countertops. Bugs like to hang out in sink drains, under sinks, in the pantry, and in garbage pails.

The musty smell of some types of mold, which is produced by released gas, signals a food source to bugs in search of something to eat. This is especially true of termites in search of wood since mold also feeds on wood.

In addition to termites, mold attracts a variety of other bugs, including slugs, booklice, millipedes, and cockroaches.

If left untreated, mold destroys the very structural components of your home. In many cases, bugs add to the destruction by tunneling into wood or feasting on moldy paper materials.


While it’s true that where there is mold there will be bugs, the most important thing is to keep humidity levels low and eliminate sources of extra moisture inside your home.

If you are dealing with mold and bug infestations, it’s time to call in the professionals. For safe mold removal and expert advice, contact RCS in Santa Rosa.

vinyl exterior santa rosa

Removing Mold From Vinyl Siding

Nothing makes a home appear more neglected than mold growing all over the vinyl siding. No matter whether it’s black, green, or some other shade, it definitely takes away the curb appeal.

Active mold growing on your vinyl siding not only looks terrible, but it’s an unhealthy situation, as well.

Here are some reasons why mold grows on your vinyl siding, how to clean it, and most importantly, how to prevent it.

Why Mold Grows on Vinyl Siding

Because your vinyl siding is exposed to all kinds of weather and factors that encourage mold growth, it’s a very common problem.

Mold has the ability to feed on practically any surface, including those that are used to build and protect your home. All that’s needed is a moist or humid environment, airborne mold spores landing on your siding and mold will take root, spread, and thrive.

Here are some factors that contribute to mold growing on your vinyl siding:

  • Dirty gutters (piles of rotting organic matter like leaves and moist dirt trapped inside)
  • Dirty siding (tree sap, leaves, and common dirt)
  • Wet, moist, or humid conditions (leaving condensation on siding)
  • Leaking pipes or drains (leaving pooling water or puddles near the home)
  • Shady areas

How to Clean Mold from Vinyl Siding

Pressure Washing

Pressure washing is one option to remove mold from siding. Pressure washing should be done with care, especially if you have holes or cracks in the siding. If you do, water may get inside these holes or cracks and if not dried quickly, can actually cause more mold to grow.

Commercial Mold Cleaners

Commercial mold cleaners made specifically for cleaning mold off siding work well, as long as you follow manufacturers’ directions carefully. It’s also important to wear protective gear such as gloves and a mask when using strong commercial cleaners.


Bleach is a popular “go to” solution for cleaning black, ugly mold off the siding. However, unless properly diluted, it’s possible to bleach the color from your siding. If not rinsed thoroughly and if left in direct sunlight, the odds of your siding becoming faded or discolored increase.

A good rule of thumb is to use one part bleach to four parts water for an effective, nicely diluted solution.

Avoid splashing bleach on plants, bushes, or flowers which may cause harm or permanent damage to your landscaping.

Oxygen-based Bleach

A safer alternative to the common chlorine household bleach is to dilute one cup of oxygen bleach in a gallon of water. Oxygen bleach is less harsh than its chlorine-based counterpart, preventing discoloration of the siding or harm to plants.

Vinegar Solution

Finally, what seems to be a bit of a miracle worker for dozens of household cleaning jobs – this one included – is to use a mixture of 30% white vinegar diluted in 70% water. Spray the vinegar solution on the affected areas, let sit for about five minutes, and hose off completely.

No matter which solution you choose to clean your vinyl siding, using a long-handled cleaning brush for gentle scrubbing helps loosen those stubborn spots and gets your siding sparkling clean.

Preventative Tips

Mold growing on your siding is certainly unsightly, but also dangerous when active mold releases tiny spores, or mycotoxins, into the air. When mycotoxins are released, they can be dangerous if inhaled. Also, airborne spores settle on even more areas of your home’s exterior to form new active mold colonies.

Here are some things you can do to minimize the chances of mold returning to grow on your vinyl siding.

  • Keep gutters clear and clean.
  • Repair leaks from pipes or other places where excessive moisture or puddling is a problem.
  • Trim back trees and bushes to provide more sunlight to damp, shady areas.
  • Clean more often to lower the risk of dirt and debris from sticking and building up on the siding.


While cleaning your vinyl siding may not be at the top of your bucket list, it’s important to remove the unappealing, unhealthy mold from growing and spreading to other areas of your home’s exterior.

For professional mold remediation and removal, be sure to contact the experts at RCS in Santa Rosa.

clean and tidy crawl space

Crawlspace Cleaning and Maintenance

You can definitely tell it’s spring by the sight of all the yard debris left behind during all those wet, chilly months spent indoors.

While making a plan for yard cleanup this spring in Sonoma County, don’t forget the importance of cleaning your crawlspace under your home.

Here’s what to check and include on your crawlspace cleaning and maintenance list.


After enduring the cold, wet, rainy season, your crawlspace needs a thorough inspection for areas of cleanup.

Here’s what to check for:

  • Dirt, yard debris
  • Garbage
  • Leaks
  • Pooling water
  • Excessive dampness, humidity
  • Evidence of rodents and pests (droppings, nests, piles of food)
  • Mold
  • Damaged or missing insulation, vapor barrier
  • Wood rot or damage
  • Plumbing, electrical supply damage

Basic Cleaning

It’s important to clean up your crawlspace because the presence of toxic rodent droppings, excessive dampness, and mold contaminates the air that filtrates directly into your home.

Once inside, the contaminated air flows throughout your home where you and everyone living there breathes it in. This is dangerous for anyone suffering from allergies, asthma, or other upper respiratory health issues.

One of the worst dampness-driven health concerns is the development of active mold. Mold causes all sorts of serious health problems for anyone allergic or sensitive to the effects of breathing in mold or airborne mold spores.

For basic cleaning, remove all garbage and yard debris, in addition to noting all signs of damage or rodent infestation.

Schedule a Professional Inspection and Cleaning

Because thorough cleaning of a crawlspace involves cleaning mold, toxic rodent droppings, and other potentially hazardous issues, it’s best to call in a professional crawlspace cleanup and mold removal service.

This professional once-a-year cleaning ensures your crawlspace will be thoroughly cleaned for safe air quality and improved energy efficiency in your home.

The pros can take care of identifying and repairing moisture and water sources causing excessive humidity and dampness. They will also remove the unhealthy elements that accumulated over the past few months including rodent infestation droppings and mold.

The next step is for them to completely dry out the area before installing or repairing insulation or vapor barriers to keep the crawlspace dry and watertight.


Because the air circulating in your crawlspace ultimately makes its way into your home, cleaning it has got to be at the top of the list for home maintenance this spring.

For thorough inspection, cleaning, and restoration of your crawlspace, schedule your appointment today with RCS in Santa Rosa.

wood rot under home

Dry Solutions for a Wet Crawl Space

If you have standing water or a consistently wet crawl space, it spells trouble and headaches for you both now and in the future.

Learn what you can do to dry up the crawl space and enjoy a safer, healthier home.

Causes of a Wet Crawl Space

There are a number of reasons for a wet crawl space. Some of them include:

  • Heavy rains
  • High humidity
  • Sewer backup or clogged sewer lines
  • Leaking pipes
  • Poor air circulation and/or ventilation
  • Poor drainage
  • Broken sump pump

Wet Crawl Space Damage

The longer you wait to remedy the wet conditions in your crawl space, the higher the risk of expensive damage to your home.

Some of the damage to your home may include:

  • Damage to electrical or plumbing fixtures found in the crawl space
  • Damage to wood and structural components of your home located in the crawl space
  • Foundation damage
  • Wood rot
  • Active, spreading mold
  • Sagging interior floors
  • Permeating, lingering musty or foul odors
  • Pest and/or rodent infestation

Additionally, there are health concerns to consider:

  • Illness, breathing issues or allergic reactions to mold and rodent droppings
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Cold-like, allergy symptoms such as sinus pain, watery eyes, and coughing/sneezing

Drying Up Water in a Crawl Space

The first thing to do is remove as much of the water as soon as possible. The most effective way to remove excess water from a crawl space is either by using a wet/dry vac or water extraction pump.

The next step is to dry the area. Letting the crawl space air dry is not an option because it takes too much time. Concrete pads, dirt floors and wooden support beams absorb and retain water quickly and stay moist for a long time.

After vacuuming up the water, running a dehumidifier or two will help remove the moisture and humidity from the crawl space. Drying the space completely as quickly as possible is very important to prevent mold and mildew.

Identifying and Correcting Wet Conditions

After cleaning and drying the crawl space, your next goal is to find and correct the issue causing the problem.

Whether it’s due to leaking pipes, a broken sump pump, or poor drainage, the problem needs to be repaired as soon as possible. If there are unidentified reasons or several causes for the excess water, you should contact a professional water clean-up service for assistance.


A flooded crawl space is nothing to ignore because the damage to your home and health are far too costly.

For assistance with crawl space clean-up, restoration, and repairs, call the professionals at RCS in Santa Rosa.

water stain ceiling

Do Water Stains Mean Mold?

Water stains are never a welcome sight. They certainly signal a leak, moisture, or excessive humidity issue.

Does a water stain also mean you have mold?

Water Stains

If you spot a water stain, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a mold problem. But, if the issue isn’t corrected, you will eventually have a mold problem.

The good news about a visible water stain is that unlike hidden moisture problems, you can see the stain and fix it right away before it turns into a bigger issue.

Visible Signs of Water Damage

Here’s what to look for and take immediate action to repair:

  • Brown, yellow or rust colored stains on walls and ceilings
  • Peeling or bubbling of drywall tape on walls behind paint or wallpaper
  • Wet, warped, or bubbling floors
  • Damp or wet carpeting (lift up and check floors underneath)

Corrective Action for Water Stains

A water stain on the ceiling can be caused by a leaky roof or skylight, failing gutters overflowing with pooling water or a plumbing issue on the above floor.

By the time water causes a stain on the ceiling, it has already soaked into and saturated the drywall or other ceiling material. Once the water dries up, it leaves behind a discolored area, or water stain.

The discoloration is usually from mineral deposits left behind from the water, not mold. However, if the ceiling continues to stay wet and never dries out, that’s when mold will begin to grow. Mold will begin to form within a couple of days in wet or overly humid conditions.

Mold differs from a water stain due to its black, dark brown or green color and the area will begin to smell musty.

Decide if the staining has been an on-going issue or a new incident. If it’s a single water stain, it’s probably an isolated incident. But if you notice old water stains in addition to a fresh stain or see multiple water rings, it’s an on-going issue and you may already have hidden mold.

Attempt to locate the cause of the water leak.

Make Repairs

To avoid the onset of mold, it’s important to take action as soon as you notice the water stain. In addition to preventing mold, correcting the water issue is crucial to maintaining the structural integrity of your home.

Water that never dries promotes mold and once it sets in, will eat away at wood and drywall.

If the leak is coming from your roof or gutters, either call in a contractor or make the necessary repairs yourself. If it’s due to a faulty appliance or leaking pipe, a plumber can help you make the repairs.


By keeping on top of and repairing the water issues that cause water stains, you can keep your home structurally sound and prevent mold from invading your home.

If you need help finding the source of your water issues or mold has taken over your space, reach out to the water damage and mold remediation specialists at RCS.