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Mold on Houseplants. Can Houseplants have Mold?

Mold on Houseplants. Can Houseplants have Mold?

If you have environmental allergies, you know that reducing exposure to any and all irritants is a key step in controlling your symptoms. Mold is also a common irritant, but there may be sources of mold in your home that you are not aware of, such as your houseplants.

Mold on Houseplants. Can Houseplants have Mold?

How houseplants grow mold

Houseplants kept at home or at work are actually a common source of mold. The plants themselves are not a problem, but the moist soil and even some containers can harbor mold. Most potted plants are kept very moist, and that moist soil is a breeding ground for mold and if the soil is ever disturbed in any way, the mold spores are released into the air.

Preventing Mold in Houseplants

Allergy doctors often advise patients who are allergic to mold to remove houseplants. However, if you just can’t live without having green plants in your home, there are some steps you can take to reduce or prevent mold in houseplants.

  • First, start with sterile soil. The dirt it is planted in may already have mold in the store or plant nursery, so be sure to repot every plant with new soil, removing as much of the old dirt as you can from the root ball.
  • You can always sterilize your soil by heating it in the oven if you want to be very sure it is mold-free.
  • Water your plants only when they are dry; don’t overwater. Mold in houseplants usually occurs when the plant is constantly moist. Instead of watering on a daily schedule, only water your plants when they are dry to the touch.
  • Making sure your plants get plenty of sunlight directly on the potted soil will help too.
  • If the houseplant has good air circulation around it, mold is less likely to grow. Perhaps add a small fan near your plants to improve air flow.
  • Trimming dead leaves and keeping the houseplants neat and maintained will also help.

If you address your potentially moldy houseplant and still smell mold or have symptoms of mold exposure, check your home. This post covers the most likely places to find mold, but if those don’t pan out, be mindful that any spot in the home could become a breeding ground in the presence of a leak or collection of humidity. If you find mold or suspect mold and don’t want to or can’t check the home yourself, the next step is to have a mold inspection. Call us if you discover you do have mold to remove it and repair the damage.

Don’t Let Your Air Conditioner Be A Breeding Ground for Mold

Don’t Let Your Air Conditioner Be A Breeding Ground for Mold

As the summer draws to an end, you probably feel like your A/C unit has been running non-stop in this sweltering heat. Whether you have a central air system or a window or air unit, humidity builds up and that can become the perfect breeding ground for mold.

Don’t Let Your Air Conditioner Be A Breeding Ground for Mold

Dangers of Mold In Your Air Conditioner

A small mold problem in your air conditioner can quickly become a bigger problem. Most people don’t even know they have an A/C mold problem, so it continues to grow unnoticed and circulates through your home every time you turn on the unit. Some people have no reaction, but others have mild allergic reactions or could even suffer fairly severe respiratory disorders.

How to Prevent Mold in Your Air Conditioner

There are ways to keep the unit clean. The first line of defense is a clean air filter, so make sure you clean it regularly. Set a reminder every month to ensure that the buildup gets washed off. Organic matter from your kitchen and home build up on the filter to literally create food for mold, so regular washing is key.

Air conditioners do require regular maintenance, so review your owner’s manual and follow the manufacturer recommendations to avoid any moisture buildup in the unit. Coils should be kept clear of dirt; also make sure they are functioning properly. Drains should be kept clear of clogs, and don’t forget to check for leaks.

Moisture can also build up in ducts, so make sure you don’t have any standing water where your ducts are concerned. Moisture usually builds up on ducts because the drain channels are not properly maintained, thus they clog. If you’ve never had your ducts cleaned, it is probably time, so hire a professional company to do it.

If you need to buy a window unit, be sure to buy one that features indoor humidity control. Today’s modern window units will automatically control the air’s moisture level to keep mold under control.

Going away on vacation?  Contrary to popular belief, it is not a good idea to turn your a/c off if you’re leaving. An airtight house with no air circulation is a big breeding ground for mold. Instead, keep your unit running. You can certainly crank the temperature up a few notches, so that the unit is not constantly running, but make sure the unit is circulating air while you’re gone.

Remember, mold doesn’t need much moisture to grow out of control, and summertime is prime time for mold.

Sneaky Places that Mold Can Grow in Your Home

Sneaky Places that Mold Can Grow in Your Home

When it comes to mold growing in your home, it’s important to take precautions. Mold can be dangerous and make us sick. There are the obvious places to look for mold such as basements, crawl spaces and behind drywall after a flood, but there are other places that it can pop up that you would never think of.

Sneaky Places that Mold can Grow in Your Home

Window sills

Windows sills are prime locations for mold to grow even though we may not realize it. This is because they are often exposed to moisture, infrequently get substantial air flow, and the dirt that collects in the grooves is great food for spores. In order to prevent mold in your window sills, wipe down your windows when you see a good amount of condensation and also make sure to clean the dirt out of the window tracks once in a while.

Air conditioners

Condensation and dirt sucked in from the outside help the mold to grow. In order to prevent this, run the air conditioner daily even if only for 10 minutes and make sure to remove it and store it when you’re not using it.


Rain and snow can get into a chimney if it isn’t capped off well. In addition, other materials, such as leaves, enter the space and provide a great environment for mold to grow. To prevent this, make sure the top of the chimney is covered correctly.

Washing machines

Front-load washing machines can cause problems with mold. There is a gasket around the door that is constantly wet when the washer is running and never dries out because the door is usually closed when not in use as well. This causes an ideal environment for mold to grow. To prevent this, make sure to either leave the door open when the washer isn’t in use or wipe down the gasket with a cloth in between washings.

Refrigerator drip pans

These pans are easy to forget about, but grow mold due to the lack of air circulation under the fridge. The condensation and spilled food create a great place for mold to grow. To prevent this, clean out the drip pan yearly using white vinegar and water.

Mold can sometimes make people sick, so it’s best to avoid it when at all possible. Repair leaks and water damage right away, contact a professional for water damage that is extensive or contains grey or black water, and routinely check areas in the home that are prone to grow mold. Issues like the ones listed here are pretty easy for the homeowner to address themselves, but don’t hesitate to call a mold remediation specialist for molds that are difficult to clean, if you are allergic to mold, or simply don’t want to mess with it.

How to Maintain Safe Humidity to Reduce Mold in Your Home

How to Maintain Safe Humidity to Reduce Mold in Your Home

Maintaining humidity in your home is a careful balance. Low humidity can be uncomfortable, while too much humidity can lead to mold and result in damage to your home and a host of health problems for you and your family.

How to Maintain Safe Humidity to Reduce Mold in Your Home

Problems Caused by Humidity

High levels of moisture in the air cause a variety of problems in your home. Increased dampness can cause paint and wallpaper to bubble and peel. High humidity can create a hospitable environment for insects, like cockroaches and termites, as well as mold. When mold grows in a home it can result in unsightly staining on walls and other surfaces as well as health issues.

Health Concerns Over Mold

Mold is a fungus that thrives in damp conditions. Mold can cause health problems, like nasal congestion and a scratchy throat, as well as difficulty breathing. In some cases mold exposure can lead to respiratory infections and life-threatening conditions.

Causes of High Humidity

Certain rooms in a home, like bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms and basements, are prone to mold growth. Steamy showers, boiling water and unfinished concrete walls can contribute to high humidity. Newer energy-efficient homes create ideal conditions for mold growth. Homes which are sealed up to conserve energy and keep cooling or heating inside, also work to prevent excess moisture from escaping. This moisture buildup can lead to mold. Unheated and uncooled rooms easily grow mold as well.

How to Measure Humidity

When you see mold growing, it is evident you have a problem, but it also is possible for mold to grow and remain unseen. In this instance, you or your family may experience symptoms of mold exposure without realizing the cause. The ideal humidity level in your home should around 45 percent. You can determine the humidity using a hygrometer, which is a device that measures the amount of moisture in the air. Many hardware and home-good stores sell hygrometers. By identifying the amount of moisture in your home you can create a plan to adjust it accordingly.

How to Lower Humidity

One of the most effective ways to lower the humidity in your home is through exhaust fans. Placing exhaust fans in key areas, like bathrooms and above a range or cooktop in the kitchen can whisk excess moisture out of the home. In new homes automatic exhaust fans or ventilation systems can decrease humidity. In basements and other damp areas, a dehumidifier can bring the humidity levels down to a safe and comfortable level. When making renovations or building new construction, opt for mold-resistant drywall and paint in rooms that are likely to experience high levels of humidity.

Mold Remediation

Preventative measures can stop the problem before it sets in, but if your home already has mold it is pivotal to quickly and thoroughly remove the fungus to prevent further exposure. Learn how to undo mold damage in your home and keep your family safe.

Maintaining a Crawl Space: Unseen but Important

Maintaining a Crawl Space: Unseen but Important

When is the last time you looked around in the crawlspace under your house? Crawl spaces are notoriously damp, uncomfortable places so most homeowners tend to avoid them. The main people that venture into crawl spaces are home service specialists like HVAC technicians, plumbers and electricians who may or may not tell the homeowner about any issues they see under there. Unfortunately, there are actually a lot of home issues that can be prevented by properly maintaining your crawlspace. At Restoration Certification Services, we want to help you prevent the damage to your home and your family’s health that can come from a poorly maintained crawl space.

Maintaining a Crawl Space: Unseen but Important

Here are the problems you face if your home has a crawlspace:

Moisture In Your Crawl Space

Moisture is the most common issue in crawl spaces and leads to mold and wood rot. If you haven’t made any improvements to address moisture (like a moisture barrier, dehumidifier or sump pump), then you are probably going to have a moisture issue. The nature of a crawlspace being dark with little ventilation almost guarantees that you will have to do something to combat moisture. If left unchecked, moisture will rot your floor joists and supports and eventually your floor will have to be replaced. Moisture and mold can also rise up through your floor and into your living areas triggering allergies and breathing problems.

Pests in Your Crawl Space

Rats, insects and larger animals can get into your crawl space and leave droppings and/or damage duct work. It is really important to thoroughly check all possible entrance points to keep pests out of your crawlspace. As mentioned before, since most homeowners don’t go in their crawlspace often, it is possible for pests to do a lot of damage before they are noticed.

Your Crawl Space’s Insulation

Poor or no insulation in your crawl space means that you will spend more money on heating and cooling your home. It also means that mold can easily travel through the floor and into your living space. Getting your crawl space insulated will lower your power bills and extend the life of your floors.

You need to get your crawl space checked out. Our team at Restoration Certified Specialists is experienced, and we are dedicated to both making your home safe and saving you money. We offer full crawl space services from cleaning to installing protective measures. Contact us for more information.

Green Mold What You Need To Know

Green Mold: What You Need To Know

Often when we discover mold in our homes we hit our internal panic button. By its very nature mold can be off putting, and most everyone knows the dangers that mold can bring into your home. Green mold is not only visually off putting, but, as with any mold infestation, it can be very hard to get rid of. To make matters worse, if left unchecked, it can overwhelm your property and send your home’s resale value into the basement. So here are a few things to keep in mind when you discover green mold in your home.

Green Mold: What You Need To Know

There Isn’t One Green Mold

Green mold could be any number of molds, with over one hundred thousand know types of mold and thousands of those molds being green, the color of mold sadly does not tell you much.

Green Mold Probably Isn’t Safe

Because there are so many kinds of molds, even green ones, the only way to know if the mold you have discovered is hazardous is to have it tested.

A safe rule of thumb is that generally all molds possess some level of potential hazard to your health, and the danger increases with prolonged exposure. Even if you know what kind of mold you are dealing with, you are going to have to get rid of it.

Get Rid Of Green Mold Sooner Rather Than Later

Don’t waste valuable removal time trying to identify the mold you have in your home. This wasted time will only allow the mold to spread further into your home. As we said above, the longer mold stays in your home, the more dangerous its effects become. It also does more damage to your home.

You Don’t Have Tackle Green Mold Alone

In some instances, you can remove green mold yourself. If it’s a small patch in an open area with no crevices, meaning you can be sure you can completely eliminate the mold, it’s probably safe to clean it yourself. Many mold problems don’t fit that category, or you may simply want to stay clear of the mold. Thankfully there are mold remediation specialists like us at Restoration Certified Specialists, RCS, who are happy to remove the mold and do any repairs that are required. Call us about your mold problem.