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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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Can Mold Grow in the Winter?

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.

leaking water pipe

The Dangers of Water Damage

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.

living space

3 Ways to Spot Mold in Your 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.

water damage home

3 Signs Your Walls Have Water Damage

Water damage is a serious concern that can cause significant damage if not fixed. However, sometimes it can be difficult to tell if your home might have this problem, especially if it’s behind your walls. Below you’ll find a few ways on how to tell if your residence might have water damage.

What Causes Water Damage?

There are a variety of things that can cause water damage. One of the most common is because of a burst pipe. A broken pipe can result because of old age or extreme temperature changes.
Other causes of water damage include clogged sewer lines, a broken garbage disposal, or a frozen fire sprinkler.

Dangers of Water Damage

Water damage can cause quite a few serious issues that range from structural damage to health concerns. Some of the most common problems and dangers caused by it include:

  • Wall cracks
  • An uneven home foundation
  • Asthma
  • Electrical damage
  • High water bills

3 Signs Your Walls Have Water Damage

There are Musty Odors in Your Home: The most obvious sign that you might have water damage hidden behind your walls is a lingering musty odor in your home. This smell is because of mold growth. Because there is a wet surface for the spores to grow on, they will start to break down the wall’s structure creating chemical compounds that form this nasty aroma.
The Walls are Peeling or Bubbling: Another sign that your walls have water damage is that they are peeling or bubbling. Paint or wallpaper tends to absorb water, especially if they are on drywall. If there are leaks, they will soak in the water causing them to shrink. This can result in your wall having a peeling or bubbling effect.

There are Mold Splotches: If you have brown or gray spots on your wall, it indicates you have a mold problem. Damp walls invite mold spores to grow and spread. This can cause unsightly splotches to appear. If the water isn’t removed, the mold will only continue to spread until your entire wall is covered in it. Most of the time mold starts growing at the bottom of a wall and will work its way up.

Water damage can cause serious problems if not caught early and fixed. In Sonoma County, RCS offers numerous services that can help with this. We also have mold remediation which works to quickly treat and remove mold caused by water damage.

blk-white photo of interior

5 Common Types of Home Molds

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.

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.