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Archive: Jan 2017

  1. In-Home Humidity And Condensation Contribute To Mold

    If you ask us whether mold is most likely to develop during summer or winter, we answer, “Yes.” It surprises some homeowners to hear that weather conditions are conducive to mold growth during the winter months.

    However, as we have already experienced this month, rain and snow can keep homes and foundations moist throughout the cold months. Moisture are the necessary ingredients for the development and growth of harmful mold. In this article, we will discuss likely causes for winter mold and how to prevent it.

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    In-Home Humidity and Condensation Contribute to Mold

    Humidity and condensation contribute to mold growth during the winter. Airflow can be reduced when homes are sealed tight. Without proper airflow and ventilation, moisture can collect and create an environment conducive for mold development. Places where humidity and condensation are most likely include:

    • Around windows and window sills
    • Bathrooms, showers, and toilets
    • Beneath kitchen and bathroom sinks
    • Underneath and behind kitchen appliances: refrigerator, washing machine, dishwasher, etc.
    • Around exposed water pipes (also watch for leaks)
    • In basements and crawlspaces

    To prevent heat loss, we keep our windows and doors closed, wrap pipes and water heaters in insulation, and do whatever we can to leave the cold air outdoors. However, if areas of your home are not properly ventilated and dehumidified, moisture can become trapped inside. If you see or smell mold, contact a professional mold remediation company right away.

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    How to Control Humidity, Moisture, and Mold

    Homeowners are not helpless in the battle against mold. The key to reducing the occurrence of mold development is eliminating excess moisture. This may prove more difficult than it sounds, but following these principles will help:

    1. Address Moisture Around Windows: Window sills are a common culprit for mold. Whenever condensation appears on your window sills, dry it with a rag. If there is condensation inside your windows, it is important to have them replaced.
    2. Take Shorter Showers: Long, hot showers produce excess moisture and humidity. Consider taking cooler, shorter showers. Additionally, run your bathroom fan during and after showers and baths to help dehumidify the room.
    3. Perform Routine HVAC Maintenance: Dehumidification is a key function of your heating and air conditioning system. Regular, proper maintenance will help make sure it is running at full capacity and efficiently removing moisture from your home.
    4. Make Sure Vents are Open and Unobstructed: Improper airflow will reduce your home’s energy efficiency and create an environment conducive for excess moisture. Make sure all supply and return vents are open and unobstructed.
    5. Look for Leaks and Moisture: Even small leaks can produce more than enough moisture for mold to grow and thrive. Keep an eye out for leaking appliances and pipes. Have any leaks repaired immediately.
    6. Dehumidify High Humidity Areas: In rooms and areas of your home that are especially prone to moisture and mold development, single-room dehumidification systems help reduce moisture and the probability of mold.
    7. Seal and Condition Crawlspaces: It is not enough to seal your home’s crawlspace, it should be properly and effectively conditioned by your HVAC system. However, a properly sealed and conditioned crawlspace is an effective tool in the battle against winter mold development.

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    If you have further questions about reducing winter mold, or you suspect that you already have it in your home, contact Remtech. We are happy to help you through the process of remediating mold and correcting the source of the moisture problem.

  2. Winter Mold Prevention

    In our previous post, we discussed the importance of checking for signs of water damage, excess moisture and mold development after winter storms. Mold is not merely a spring and summer issue. Snow and ice challenge your home’s drainage systems and can lead to unexpected flooding and mold issues. Rain and humidity do not disappear during the winter months. In Raleigh, winter often brings excessive amounts of rain and even notable severe weather events.

    Winter weather in Raleigh is unpredictable from one year to the next. Homeowners must be vigilant against the development of harmful mold in every season.

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    Common Winter Mold Issues in Raleigh

    Though winter is not necessarily as humid as spring and summer, in Raleigh, we often experience heavy rain, wind and snow. With our houses sealed tight, mold may develop in the spaces in our homes prone to excess moisture. Areas in your home especially prone to moisture and mold development include:

    • Basements and crawlspaces, due to poor airflow and persistent groundwater.
    • Under sinks and around kitchen appliances such as dishwashers and ovens.
    • Around showers, sinks, and toilets in bathrooms.
    • Near windows and pipes where condensation develops.
    • Outside around gutters and areas where water does not drain properly.

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    Tips for Preventing Mold Development During Winter

    Though there is no formula guaranteed to prevent mold development, homeowners can take measures to lower the chances of encountering it. Though this list is not comprehensive, following these tips will help guard against mold for the remainder of the season:

    • Inspect for Leaks: Leaking water pipes and appliances are among the primary culprits contributing to mold development. Have active leaks repaired immediately.
    • Clean Mold-Prone Areas: Mold hides in dark, damp areas of your home. Make sure mold-prone areas are clean and unobstructed so mold has nowhere to hide from you.
    • Dehumidification: Utilize dehumidification systems in areas in your home prone to excess moisture. You may even consider installing whole-house dehumidification.
    • Look for Condensation: Mold will develop on window sills and areas where moisture collects due to condensation. Whenever you see it, soak up condensation with a dry rag. If it occurs frequently, your windows or doors may require inspection or replacement
    • Clean Your Gutters: When gutters become clogged with debris, water drains unevenly from your home, contributing to mold development outside.
    • Outdoor Drainage: Water draining toward or into your crawlspace or basement may cause mold to develop under your home. If there is frequently standing-water collecting in your yard, especially around the foundation or basement of your home, consider having the area inspected.
    • Sealed and Conditioned Crawlspace: Having your crawlspace insulated, sealed, and properly conditioned can significantly reduce the occurrence of mold.

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    What to Do If You Have Mold

    Regularly inspecting for mold is key to protecting your family and property. If you do discover mold, don’t panic! Assess the damage and determine if you can make necessary repairs for more information about DIY mold repairs, read this article. If you can, identify and correct the source of the moisture. Do not hesitate to contact an expert. Remtech has decades of experience identifying and remediating mold in homes and buildings.

  3. Winter Water Damage Is Real – Learn How To Protect Your Home

    The January thaw has melted away Raleigh’s recent winter weather. Though the snowpocalypse did not materialize this time, it is important for homeowners to be prepared for the potential damage their homes can incur during winter storms. For two more months, central North Carolinian’s will have a close eye on the weather.

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    Can Winter Weather Cause Water Damage To Your Home?

    Short answer: Yes. Winter storms bring a variety of precipitation types that can cause damage to your home. We typically worry about water damage when it comes to hurricanes, tropical storms and flooding, however, snow and ice can also result in water damage.

    The most common sources of winter water damage include:

    • Leaking or burst water pipes
    • Water invasion from outside
    • Humidity (even in winter)
    • Poor drainage due to snowmelt and ice damming

    Roof damage could lead to water leaking into your basement. Moisture build up creates an environment favorable for mold development. When ice causes water to flow unevenly from your roof or through your yard, your basement or crawlspace is susceptible to water invasion and damage.

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    Extreme Cold And Homeowner Hazards

    Temperatures in the teens and single digits present numerous hazards for homeowners, including:

    • Frozen and burst pipes
    • Damage to sensitive plants
    • The health of pets and livestock
    • Icicles and icy porch steps

    What Do You Inspect After a Storm?

    Inspect your home’s roofing after a storm. Look for signs of damage: sagging or missing shingles, damaged soffit or fascia, etc. Additionally, check inside your attic for moisture. Ice damming can cause snowmelt to channel into your basement or crawlspace. Mold can develop within 48 hours of the occurrence of water damage and excess moisture; therefore, it is important to look for signs of moisture accumulation after the storm.

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    What Do You Do About Winter Water Damage?

    If you do find water damage or excess moisture in your crawlspace, basement, or attic, it is important to identify the source of the excess moisture.

    Additionally, remove waterlogged carpet and furniture. If allowed to dry properly, these items can be saved. It is vital to act before mold develops. We recommend contacting a professional whenever you find water damage. Remtech is here to help. Contact us if you find water in your home after winter weather.

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