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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.

x-ray lungs

How Undetected Mold Affects Your Health

If you’ve noticed an increase in asthma attacks or are experiencing unexplained breathing or respiratory problems, there may be mold lurking in your home.

According to the November 2021 issue of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, exposure to mold can make asthma worse, trigger allergic reactions and infants living in moldy homes were 3x more likely to develop asthma by the age of 7.

Learn more about how mold can affect your health and how to get rid of it.

What is Mold and Where it Comes From

Mold is part of the fungus family. A microorganism presenting in the form of spores, it is found everywhere whether indoors or outside.

In order to grow, mold needs moisture and oxygen. Wet leaves and soil or dead/decaying organic matter are prime spots for mold. Outdoors, mold plays its part in the eco-cycle by breaking down this dead/decaying organic matter.

Inside your home, however, mold causes damage and triggers allergic reactions and other health issues.

With the right damp conditions, mold can grow on virtually anything from walls, windows, carpet, clothing, and food. Mold reproduces and spreads by releasing spores into the air. Once the spores are released into the air, they “feed” on whatever they land on and ultimately, whatever the mold lands on is destroyed.

Health Risks Due to Mold

Mold primarily affects the respiratory system. Those with pre-existing breathing conditions such as allergies as asthma are at high risk for increased health risks.

Mold exposure is also dangerous for infants and the elderly.

Health indicators that mold may be present in your home include:

  • An increase in allergy symptoms such as a rash, runny nose, watery eyes and sneezing
  • An increase in the onset or severity of asthma attacks
  • Headache
  • Dizziness

Eliminating Mold

  • Proper ventilation is a key factor to prevent the growth and spread of mold. A dehumidifier, fans and sump pumps all help circulate air and dry out damp areas throughout the home.
  • Repair all leaks and sources of standing water or damp conditions in the home. Mold needs moisture to thrive.
  • Clean mold with a solution of water and bleach to kill and prevent mold from spreading and causing damage to its host, which can be anything from food to fabrics to walls.
  • Odor is also a key indicator that there may be a moisture problem in your home. Spray wet surfaces and musty-smelling spaces with an anti-fungal spray to sanitize and deodorize the areas prior to drying.

While mold is not a health issue for everyone, living in a home with active, growing mold and breathing in the spores on a daily basis is not healthy.

In Sonoma County, count on the professional mold remediation team at RCS for help, recommendations and an action plan to eliminate and prevent mold in your home.

water leak kitchen

What to Look for to Prevent Water Damage in Your Home

Homeownership is a source of pride despite the never ending to-do lists. The list of home repair projects seems to grow by the day.

While you do your best to keep on top of problems, sometimes they simply get away from you.

Water Problems are the Biggest Headache for Homeowners

One of the most common problems for homeowners in the North Bay area is related to water.

Water damage causes expensive damage, affects air quality and promotes the growth of mold.
It pays to consistently check pipes, hoses and watch for leaks in the home. Items you may not think to check include dishwasher hoses, secured laundry tub hoses, broken seals around tubs or plumbing fixtures, water heater leaks and roof leaks.

If the house smells musty, you might have mold somewhere, which strongly indicates a moisture or water problem.

A professional restoration company has the equipment to detect water problems, measure moisture levels and begin remediation or repair work sooner than later.


Although still learning about health issues caused by mold, research has proven the connection between mold and allergies, asthma and respiratory issues.

Keeping moisture-prone areas dry is the first step in getting rid of mold. Once found, scrub the mold away with a bleach and water cleaner. The bleach kills bacteria and cleans mold away, disinfecting the affected areas at the same time.

If moisture and mold is a recurring issue in your home, contact a mold remediation company to resolve the problem for good.

Sewer Backups

While water and mold problems are common, sewer backups are dangerous and damaging to your home.

Pay attention to slow drains, a gurgling noise from sinks/toilets, rising water levels in the floor drain or a very unpleasant sewer smell. If you notice these things, call a plumber specializing in sewer backups to check things out.

If you miss the warning signs and experience a sewer backup, don’t try cleanup on your own. There is too much disease-infested bacteria floating around the damaged areas.

It takes a restoration company to manage the mess, restore damaged items and properly disinfect/sanitize your home.

When you’ve done your best to prevent problems, but they get worse or just don’t seem to go away, contact the certified professionals at RCS, serving Santa Rosa and Sonoma County. We are experts in home remediation and repair of even your worst home problems. Call us today for a free consultation.

women frustrated on computer

How to Bounce Back Fast from Water or Sewer Damage

One of the worst things that can happen in your home is water or sewer damage. It’s not only a complete mess, but if not treated immediately, is dangerous, expensive, and destructive.

Water Damage

Due to unforeseen circumstances like burst pipes, undetected leaks or flooding, water damage causes a lot of damage unless the water is removed quickly.

Potential Problems from Water Damage

It’s important that all of the water be removed quickly and completely. If not, damage escalates. Some of the damage and loss comes in the form of saturated drywall, swelling or rotted wood, rusted metal and the onset of mold and bacteria.

A professional water damage restoration company has the equipment to remove a lot of water very quickly. After that, industrial strength drying equipment is brought in to thoroughly dry all affected areas while moisture levels are monitored. They will clean and sanitize your home to prevent mold, bacteria growth and odors.

A professional service will also remove unsalvageable items and throughout the process, works directly with your insurance company.

Sewer Damage

There aren’t too many things worse than a sewer backup.

Sewer backups can be caused by long tree roots, old or damaged sewer lines and clogged drains. Older homes with older sewer lines are at greater risk to experience sewer backups.

There are usually warning signs that a sewer backup is coming.

  • Slow drains, always start in fixtures at the lowest level (first floor, basement)
  • Clogs in multiple drains; wastewater is not able to pass
  • Leaking or sewage coming from the cleanout pipe (located outside, in the basement)
  • Bubbling sinks, toilets
  • A foul, sewer smell coming from drains
  • Sewage coming up through floor drains or showers
  • High water levels in floor drain

Potential Problems from Sewer Damage

Because of the dangers associated with sewer water backups, you should always call in a professional to manage the cleanup.

To say sewer water is contaminated is an understatement. It may contain any type of human or industrial waste.

Sewer water is dangerous because it has high levels of bacteria which exposes homeowners to diseases of the worst kind. Even breathing in sewer water vapors can make you very sick.

Sewer water puts you at risk for E. coli and Hepatitis A. Airborne contaminants and pathogens can trigger asthma attacks and respiratory distress.

A certified restoration company will clean up the wastewater, in addition to your furniture, carpet and other items affected by the damage. They have the products to safely restore your home by disinfecting and deodorizing to kill and stop the spread of fungus and bacteria throughout.

The experts at RCS are only a phone call away, 24 hours a day. RCS has been proudly serving Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, and the North Bay area since 1975. We have the knowledge, equipment, and experience to manage the entire restoration of your home after water or sewer damage.

woamn cleaning

Getting Rid of Mold in Your Home

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.

Humidifier front panel

Do Dehumidifers Work in Crawl Spaces?

A dehumidifier is designed to monitor and remove humidity from the air. This not only prevents the space from getting stuffy but can improve the air quality. Because of this, the tool is often recommended to place in crawl spaces. Below you’ll discover more about this important gadget and how to use it in a crawl space.

Does a Dehumidifier Improve Crawl Spaces?

Dehumidifiers are a great tool to use to combat common crawl space problems. Crawl spaces are situated beneath homes and often closed off. This makes them a very dark and damp place and susceptible to mold, water damage, and pest issues.

You might also be surprised to find that air from the crawl space rises. As it moves upward and into vents, the contaminated air will eventually get sent into your home.

By simply absorbing moisture, dehumidifiers keep the space clean and dry. This prevents frequent crawl space problems and keeps its structure in good condition. It also stops you from breathing in toxins.

How to Use a Dehumidifier in a Crawl Space

A simple way to utilize a dehumidifier in your home’s crawl space is by running a small one in it. This simple choice is ideal for small-scale crawl spaces. Keep in mind though that you need to monitor this device as it runs. This will prevent it from overheating and gives you time to empty its canister if necessary.

You could also opt for an industrial one to be professionally installed. While a bit pricier, this selection tends to be more powerful and has more unique features, such as an auto pump and programmable settings.

Should I Clean the Dehumidifier?

Because this device often removes tainted air, it’s ideal to wash its tank out at least once a month. This will remove any mold spores or bacteria lingering within it that could get sent back into the air.

To clean the tank, simply take some warm water and disinfectant soap and scrub it around. After rinsing it off, dry it, and place it back in the device.

If there’s a filter, make sure to remove and rinse it off as well. This will get rid of dangerous particles and encourage the device to work better.

Dehumidifiers are a helpful gadget to store in your crawl space. If you’d like to learn more about this useful tool or are concerned about some other crawl space issues, contact RCS in Santa Rosa, CA. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and fix any crawl spaces problems your home has.

fall leaves bridge

Types of Fall Allergies

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.