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Category Archive: mold

  1. The Importance of Crawl Space Encapsulation

    50% of the air in your home comes from your crawl space.

    It’s true, half of the air you’re breathing in your home is rising from the crawl space beneath your house. Most people are unaware of just how significant it is to the rest of their home, but as it turns out, a moist, moldy crawl space that is left unsealed can bring allergens, radon, mold and more into your home.

    Not convinced that your crawl space can be a danger?

    Let’s pose it as a question. Of the images below, which would you prefer to have under your house? Consider maybe kids or pets running around on the floor, or playing near vents.

    crawl space 1

    crawl space 2

    It’s likely that you preferred the sealed crawl space to the unsealed one. Even if you’re not quite convinced that an unsealed crawl space is harmful, you wouldn’t risk your family’s health for certainty. And that is precisely the point. Encapsulating your crawl space should not come after your kids develop allergies or you yourself develop a cold. It’s a prevention method to ensure that your family stays healthy for years to come.

    When a homeowner finds signs of mold in their home and an inspection shows mold in their crawl space, it makes sense to remove that mold.

    But how do you ensure that the mold does not return?

    You eliminate areas of moisture. The most certain way of eliminating moisture is by separating the crawl space from the earth and keeping out the weather…encapsulation. This will protect your crawl space and ultimately, protect your home.

    More benefits of encapsulating your crawl space.

  2. Mold Mania! 10 Crazy Facts You Never Knew About Mold

    mold facts, black mold, what to know about mold, dangerous mold, mold spores, toxic mold, mold cleanup, mold removal, mold removal raleigh, width=

    1. Black mold, (scientific name stachybotrys), is only one species of over 10,000 different species of mold

    2. Bleach does not work on mold. It may kill mold growth, but not airborne mold spores.

    If you use bleach, do not assume the mold has been entirely removed from your home.

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    3. Dead mold spores are just as harmful to humans (manifesting in the lungs) as live mold spores

    4. The archaeologists that discovered King Tut’s tomb in Egypt likely died from dead aspergillus mold spores that sat dormant for centuries. One death was believed to be part of the tomb’s “curse” because it occurred within months of exposure to the tomb.

    5. Mold will not decompose a happy meal.

    mold on food, mold growth, what to know about mold, black mold, mold removal, mold removal raleigh, toxic mold, dangerous moldmold on food, toxic mold, black mold, what to know about mold, mold removal, mold removal raleigh

    6. The T-2 mycotoxin is composed of three different species of mold, (including black mold), which combined are so toxic it has been used as a biological war agent. In its aerosol form it is known as “yellow rain,” which was used heavily during the Vietnam war.

    7. The largest settlement to any individual claiming property or health damage involving mold was awarded to actor and Johnny Carson sidekick on the Tonight Show, Ed McMahon for $7.2 million.

    8. Everything is bigger in Texas. Turns out the number one city in the U.S. for mold allergies is Dallas, Texas.

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    9. Texas is also the home to the most publicized mold case on record. Melinda Ballard sued her home insurance company over mold damages and was initially awarded $32 million! (Later this amount was reduced to $4 million).

    10. The states you are least likely to find mold are Wisconsin, West Virginia, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Alabama. It is not that these states are less humid or experience less rain, but rather their home construction is built tight, improving energy efficiency which protects against mold growth.

    Climate actually has little to do with indoor mold growth; it usually comes down to building practices and construction

    If you want to know more about mold and the removal process, check out


  3. Post Rainfall and the Mold Aftermath

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    Despite the night and day transformation in North Carolina weather over the past week, the rainfall was pretty intense. Incredible amounts of rain collected and created dangerous flooding throughout central NC. Flood stages in areas around Raleigh were cresting at 20 feet, and businesses that had several feet of water are now foraging what’s left of their inventory.

    The storm may be scary, but the aftermath is the hard part. One post-rain issue people often forget is mold. When it rains this much, it is a pretty good idea to check spaces around your home or business that are likely to develop mold.

    Your Crawl Space

    If you’re brave enough to perform this check-up yourself, when the rain stops, grab a flashlight and look inside your crawl space for standing water or lingering moisture. Standing water is usually in the lowest places under your home, but be sure to check thoroughly regardless. If large amounts of water or any moisture for that matter are found in your crawl space, it is worth calling a professional for further examination.

    Drainage Around Foundation

    Rain runoff should drain away from your home – unfortunately, this is not always the case. If standing water is found near your foundation after heavy rainfall, especially if it lingers for several days, it can lead to condensation in your crawlspace or basement, which can ultimately lead to mold buildup.

    Attic, Roof, Soffit, and Gutters

    In your attic, look for signs of moisture or water damage in the corners of the space and especially around vents.

    Check to make sure your gutters are clean and free of debris. If gutters are backed up they can cause water damage around the roof and lead to ponding around the foundation.

    Make sure your roof  isn’t missing any shingles, or have any discolored spots, soft spots, and any other visible damage.

    If your home has a soffit (the underside of a balcony or archway), look for signs of water damage or rot, these will usually lead to mold.


    Indoor Moisture/Humidity

    When your HVAC system is not running, neither is your dehumidifier, which means your home is allowing moisture to collect. Areas prone to moisture buildup are bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. Check for signs of excess water, and in response, run your air conditioning while it is still mild.


  4. Mold Monsters: Identifying “Scary” Household Mold

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    “People fear what they don’t understand and hate what they can’t conquer…”  Andrew Smith

    Most people do not know the different species of mold in homes, let alone which ones are dangerous. We’re here to change that.

    Breaking Down the Mold

    There are two common forms of indoor mold, airborne spores which are invisible to the eye, and physical mold growth – the blue, white, even black spotting seen on food, drywall, wood framing, subflooring, debris, etc. Most airborne mold spores are harmless, but those emitted from dangerous molds may be toxic, causing breathing problems or worse. Let’s identify the stuff you’ve been afraid of.

    The “Monsters” in Your Home:


    cladosporium, mold in my home, identifying mold, mold removal, mold removal companies, mold removal raleigh, mold on drywall, mold on ceiling, black mold

    (microscopic view)

    Mostly found outside of the house on porous, damp areas such as textiles and wood. This type of mold will travel through your HVAC system or through other means of airflow. May cause allergic reactions if left untreated.


    plant spot, alternaria, moldy plants, mold in my home, identifying mold, mold removal, mold removal raleigh, mold removal companies, black mold

    Most commonly known as the plant spot, it is found in plant soils, carpets, textiles, dust, and damp areas. May lead to possible asthma and upper respiratory tract infections.


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    Mostly found on wallpaper and decaying fabrics in areas with water damage, but also the blue-ish mold that grows on food. May cause allergies, hay fever and asthma. On a positive note, it is used in the antibiotic penicillin to fight certain bacteria inside the body.


    mold in my home, indoor mold, where to find mold, mold removal, identifying mold, harmful mold, black mold, mold removal companies, mold removal raleigh

    (enlarged fiber view)

    Found in warmer climates where water damage might exist, as well as in house dust. 16 of its total 160 species produce airborne toxins called mycotoxins that are associated with certain human diseases.


    black mold, harmful mold, indoor mold, identifying mold, mold on walls, mold removal, mold removal services, mold removal companies raleigh

    Nicknamed black mold; Stachybotrys is slimy in texture and found in areas of excessive moisture. Highly toxic, it produces mycotoxins that can cause breathing difficulties, memory loss, eye irritation, dizziness, flu-like symptoms, aches and pains, and possible bleeding in the lungs. Certain species of this mold are considered deadly, fortunately, those species are rarely found in households.

    Better Safe Than Sorry

    It’s important to know the different species of mold in your household and to take precaution when necessary. Contact a professional to identify and test the mold colonies found within your home rather than self-assessing, especially if any household members have preexisting allergies. A professional can direct you in the steps to take to secure your home from mold outbreaks and prevent the possibility of toxic airborne mold.

  5. Is Mold Hiding In Your Home? Learn How To Find It

    As winter draws to an end, flowers will unfold, bushes will blossom, and tree spores will spew pollen throughout the Triangle area. Spring is the season for tissues and Benadryl. If you and your children are sniffling and sneezing, it can be difficult to determine whether the irritating allergens are from outdoors, or from within your home.


  6. Can Window Condensation Lead To Mold?

    Issues related to indoor humidity and excess moisture are not limited to the summer months. Whether the weather is cold or warm, moisture in your home can lead to the development of mold. One place you might not expect mold to develop is around your windows and on your window sills. Window moisture and condensation is one of the most common contributors to mold development.


    What Causes Window Moisture And Condensation?

    Window condensation will often manifest during cold and/or foggy evenings or mornings. There are several common causes of window condensation:

    1. High Indoor Humidity: Ideal indoor relative humidity is around 40%. Higher humidity can lead to window moisture and condensation.
    2. Malfunctioning HVAC System: Your HVAC system regulates humidity as well as temperature. A failing heating and air conditioning system will contribute to excess moisture inside your home.
    3. Drafty or Failing Windows: Besides releasing as much as 25% of your home’s heating and air conditioning energy, drafty windows can allow moisture to invade your home. Signs your windows require repair or replacement:  Difficulty regulating indoor temperature, cracked or damaged window panes, worn out weather seals and glazing, peeling caulking around windows, or moisture inside windows.
    4. Humidifiers: If you notice condensation collecting around windows and window sills where humidifiers are in use, it is important to dry excess moisture and occasionally turn off the humidifier itself.


    What Results From Window Condensation?

    Moisture and condensation may not seem like an immediate threat to your home’s integrity; however, it can lead to peeling paint and plaster, wood rot and water damage, and the development of harmful mold.

    If the condensation is the result of failing windows, it could result in other issues including:

    • Poor energy efficiency and higher energy bills
    • Repair or replacement of your HVAC system
    • Excess dust and dander in your home
    • Allergies and poor health for your family


    What Should Homeowners Do About Window Moisture And Mold?

    If moisture is collecting on window sills, make sure you dry it thoroughly as soon as it develops. Once mold develops on your window sill, it can be difficult to remove. If you do see mold development, follow these steps:

    Step 1: Assess the extent of the situation. If the mold is less than one square yard, you may be able to remove it yourself. For more about mold removal, read this (note: it is always best to call a professional to remove mold, as it can hide in places the untrained eye cannot see.)

    Step 2: If it is possible, remove mold according to the steps laid out in the link above.

    Step 3: If there is too much mold to remove yourself, contact a professional mold remediation company.

    Step 4: Correct the source of the issue by repairing or replacing windows, HVAC system, or whatever is causing the excess moisture and condensation.

    Step 5: Consider installing a whole-house dehumidification system to help further control humidity and moisture in your home.

    Whenever moisture and mold develop in your home, we are here to help. For more information about mold remediation and removal, contact us.

  7. 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.


    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.


    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.


    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.

  8. 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.


    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.


    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.


    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.

  9. 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.


    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.


    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.


    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.

  10. Stay Off Santa’s Homeowner Naughty List: Avoid Frozen Pipes This Winter


    Extreme cold can cause pipes to freeze and burst, leading to water damage and mold development. If you want to avoid Santa’s Homeowner Naughty-list, make sure you are prepared to take the necessary steps to avoid frozen water pipes this winter.

    Why Do Water Pipes Freeze and Burst?

    In Raleigh, temperatures dip below freezing about 70 times per year. When temperatures drop below 32 degrees, water in your pipes can freeze. When water freezes, it expands and can cause your pipes to burst. Frozen pipes are much more common along exterior walls and underneath your home, where there is little insulation to prevent freezing.

    In our state, we experience all four seasons. Rather than long, snowy winters, Raleigh’s cold snaps come with freezing temperatures. Most homeowners in North Carolina don’t insulate their pipes, making them more susceptible to freezing when temperatures do dip low.

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    How Do I Prevent My Pipes from Freezing?

    Homeowners can be vigilant against freezing pipes. Pay careful attention to the weather forecast, and perform these simple tasks:

    • Insulate Exposed Pipes: Use pipe-insulation to insulate exposed pipes under your home.
    • Let Water Drip from Faucets: On especially cold evenings, allow warm water to drip from your kitchen faucet.
    • Fix Active Leaks: If water is already leaking from your pipes, freezing temperatures may exasperate the issue. Make sure all leaks are repaired before the cold sets in.
    • Open Cabinets: Especially for pipes against exterior walls and in cold areas of your home (basements), open cabinets to expose pipes to heat.
    • Close Garage Doors: If water pipes run through your garage, keep the doors closed during the winter.

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    My Pipes Froze, Now What?

    During winter, if you turn your kitchen faucet on only to discover there is no water, you probably have a frozen pipe. Time is of the essence. Mold can develop within 48 hours of the occurrence of water damage. If you have a frozen pipe, follow these steps:

    1. Find the frozen pipe. Determine if it is leaking or has burst. The culprit will likely be along an exterior wall or under your home.
    2. If the frozen pipe has not burst, you may be able to thaw it with a hair dryer. Do not try to thaw pipe with an open flame or torch.
    3. If the pipe has burst, turn off the main water supply. If the leak is near electrical appliances, turn off the main power to those appliances.
    4. Assess the extent of the damage. Leaking water can be pervasive. Depending on the size and location of the leak, water damage may extend to carpets, walls, and the sub-floor. Determine whether you should call a professional. Err on the side of caution.
    5. Remove wet furniture, carpet, etc. Use towels to soak up the all of the water.
    6. Contact a professional, especially if there is evidence water soaked your walls or sub-flooring. A professional water damage expert will dry the area with wet-vacs and dehumidifiers. If the water is not properly dried, mold will likely develop.

    You may choose to skip all of these steps and contact a professional immediately. Remtech has decades of experience repairing water damage. Furthermore, we can help determine if mold is present and whether remediation will be required. Don’t let the cold ruin Christmas. Be vigilant against the rising flood of frozen pipes.