Mold Growing On Walls

5 Things You Need to Know About Mold

Mold, The Smelly Killer

There’s a musty smell in your basement bathroom.  It’s not strong enough to make you nauseous, but it’s unpleasant.  You can’t ignore it.  It’s mold, and it’s a hazard to your health and home.  Here’s what you need to know about mold.

Hazard Classes

mold removalMold falls into three hazard classes: A, B, and C.

Class A molds are the most hazardous. Exposure to Class A mold will result in headaches, fever, coughing, severe allergic reactions, and some are even known to cause cancer.

Class B molds are potentially dangerous because they produce allergic reactions in some people.  The reactions become stronger the more you are exposed to them.  They can worsen asthma and cause serious breathing problems.

Class C molds are not known to be hazardous to health and are not known to cause allergic reactions.  They’re still a problem, however, because they destroy paint, drywall, and wood.  An infestation of Class C mold will ruin the value of your home.

Most molds in your home will fall into Class B, but regardless of their class, you should take care of them as soon as you find them.

How Does Mold Grow?

Mold reproduces by spores, which are spread through the air.  They begin to grow as soon as they land on a material that provides them with what they need.

First, they need a food source, like wood, drywall, or cotton.  Secondly, they need moisture and oxygen.  It also can’t grow under ultraviolet light, so they colonize dark places.  Finally, they need warmth, as the cold makes spores go dormant.  When these conditions are met, it can start to grow in 24-48 hours.

Where Does It Grow?

Mold can grow just about anywhere when the conditions are right.  They prefer to grow on porous, organic surfaces.  The most vulnerable materials are wood, drywall, and paper.  If mold takes root in them, it’s impossible to remove it.  Once it infects these materials, you must remove and replace them.

It can also grow on tiles and concrete, though since these are not organic materials, they aren’t growing on them directly.  Usually, they have some organic material on them, such as dust, or dead skin.  Since it isn’t growing on these materials, it’s fairly easy to clean them off.  You can often wipe it off with a damp cloth.  You can also find mold killing products at home and garden stores that help.

Your Basement is the Most Vulnerable Place

Given the conditions required for mold to grow, the most vulnerable place in your house will be the basement.  It’s underground, so it rarely gets direct sunlight.  Basements tend to be poorly ventilated, so you get pockets of stale, moist air.  As the lowest point in your home, water will always flow towards it when you have a leak or a flood.  All of these conditions combine to make basements the perfect breeding ground.  You should regularly check your basement if you want to keep your house healthy.

5 Signs of Mold Infestation

  1. Odd Smells: Unexplained musty smells are a good indicator of an infestation.
  2. Peeling Wallpaper: Wallpaper is a good source of food for mold. If it takes root, it will cause it to peel, crack, or bubble.
  3. Dark Colored Spots: Mold comes in a variety of colors. If you see any dark, discolored spots on any surface, that’s probably mold growing on it.
  4. Recent Water Damage: With the wet spring we’ve had this year, this is going to be a problem. Water damage creates excellent places for spores to grow, so if you’ve recently experienced flooding or leaks, have your home inspected for mold.
  5. Health Issues: The health effects include worsening asthma, cold symptoms that won’t go away, or allergic reactions. If you suffer from these symptoms, you might want to have your home checked.

 

Be Safe

Alpine Cleaning and Restoration SpecialistsHere at Alpine Cleaning and Restoration, we’re mold experts.  If you’ve noticed signs of mold in your home or office, get in touch with us right away.  Alpine can do testing in your home to find it.  Don’t delay, since the longer it goes untreated, the more difficult and costly it becomes to remove it.

We can take care of the problem from start to finish.  We’ll identify, contain, and remove the mold, and then treat the area afterwards to help prevent further breakouts.  We’ll also help you find the source of the mold, fixing leaky pipes, condensation, and anything else that might be contributing to the infestation.  We do it all.

mold removal

Mold Removal

Mold removal

 

Fuzzy, dark spots dot your shower tile.  Large, black patches coat sections of your basement walls.  You’ve got a serious mold problem.  Mold removal can be expensive to remove, but it’s even more expensive not to.  It causes the value of your home to plummet.  More importantly, it’s a health risk.  The spores cause allergic reactions, leading to rashes, coughing, wheezing, and eye irritation.  Prolonged exposure can have serious health complications, including weakening your immune system and potentially causing brain damage.

Here are a few things to do about mold removal.

Mold Removal: What You Need To Do

1. Keep Things Dry

Prevention is the key.  The most important thing is to keep things dry. Mold spreads in warm, wet areas. In areas where the humidity can get as high as 70%, prevention is a constant struggle.  One suggestion is to invest in a high quality dehumidifier. Even in places like here in Utah or Idaho, mold can still take root, so don’t assume you’re safe.  Make sure your dryer has an anti-humidity vent.  Your goal is to keep the humidity level at 54% or lower. Check your home for leaks.  If you find any, clean them up with a dry towel, then call a professional plumber to fix the leak if you can’t do it yourself.

2. Circulate the Air and Regulate the Temperature

Mold thrives is places of low light, stale air, warm temperatures.  If the temperature is above 75° F, then you’re at risk.   Try to keep the temperature between 69-73°F for a perfect middle ground. Keep fresh air moving in your home and find ways to let in natural sunlight. Change the filters in your heating and air conditioning vents regularly.  For the best results, invest in a quality air purification system that includes a HEPA filter.  When you take a shower, open a window and turn on a fan, if you have one available. This will help lower humidity as well as circulate the air.

3. Know Where To Look

Closets are mold’s favorite place to grow.  Check them regularly and amek sure there is no growth. Never place damp clothing in your closets.  Basements, are also a good place to cultivate spores because of the lower light levels and occasional plumbing leaks.  Watch for signs of dampness.  Plants also are a mold.  Avoid putting too many inside your home and space them out.  Plastic plants are better for decorations because they don’t require water.

4. Clean It Up

Despite your best efforts, mold may still take root.  When mold starts to grow, it’s important that you get rid of it quickly.  The longer it sits, the deeper it seeds itself, and the harder it is to remove.  Remember that mold spores are often toxic, so you need protection.  Wear a mask, eye protection, and protective gloves.  Keep in mind that not all masks can filter mold spores, so check the packaging before you buy them.

For small patches on bathroom tiles, a good spray of bleach can kill it, but be sure to leave a window open so toxic fumes don’t build up. Sometimes, it’s better to dampen the mold before cleaning, since it can lessen the amount of spores in the air while you clean.  Soak a washcloth in warm water and dab the infested area a few times before wiping it off.

5. Know What You Can’t Clean

For certain surfaces, mold removal is impossible.  Porous surfaces have too many spaces for spores to sink into to ever be cleaned once mold takes root.  Carpeting, drywall, wallpaper, and fabric are all on that list. If you find mold taking root in them, then you have to remove those surfaces and replace them

Give Us A Call

If you have any questions, or would like some professional help, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.  Alpine Cleaning and Restoration has specialists in mold removal.  If you live in Utah or Southern Idaho, our experts are on call 24/7 to help you with all your cleaning needs.

Sweating

Stop House Windows from Sweating

sweating

What Is Sweating?

Sweating is when warm moist air meets a smooth, cool surface. This is also known as condensation. It is the same process that causes the outside of your glass of Diet Coke to become moist.

If you have a problem with the windows in your home sweating, you may think the problem is with the windows. However, that may not be the case.

A simple wall hygrometer can tell you the humidity level inside your home. Humidity levels in your home should be between 30 to 50 percent (lower when the temperature outside is colder). When humidity levels exceed this, you will start to see condensation or sweating on your windows.

Alpine Cleaning & Restoration has a few simple suggestions below to keep humidity levels in your home lower and to prevent your windows from building up condensation.

Immediate Solutions to Stopping Condensation on Windows

1. Open the windows and doors to let your house breathe when the temperature allows it. Poor air circulation and lack of ventilation causes high humidity.  When you open a window or door, it equalizes air in your home with the outside.

2. Check that your clothes dryer exhaust hose is free of debris and that it is properly vented to the outside and not the attic. Ensure that vent ducts as short as possible and seal them with foil/duct tape or caulk to ensure that the moisture exits your home.

3. Always turn on a fan when cooking. Also try to minimize cooking times.

4. When showering turn on the exhaust fan and take shorter showers with cooler water.

5. Place a fan blowing onto the window to evaporate the liquid and put it back into the air. Of course, this will only work as long as the fan is turned on. You can also wipe the windows to remove the moisture. This will help prevent mildew or mold from growing.

6. Cover windows with plastic film or interior storm windows. Doing so will provide a layer between the moist warm air and the cold surface.

7. Setting your thermostat lower will reduce the temperature difference between the air and the glass. Temperatures between 66 to 68 degrees are most effective.

Ways to eliminate the problem indefinitely

1. Install exhaust fans in your bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry room. If possible, install a timer that will keep the fan running for 15 to 20 minutes after you shower to remove any excess moisture. A timer can also be used in the laundry room as well.

2. Invest in double paned windows and/or storm windows. If condensation is still prevalent despite new storm windows, then you need to caulk or weather strip around the two windows.

3. Seal the areas around your window using caulk, then spray foam or weather stripping to close any gaps.

4. Reduce the number of aquariums and plants in your house–both add moisture to the air, increasing humidity levels. If possible, water the plants in your home less often.

5. Invest in a dehumidifier with a humidistat to keep the humidity in your home between 30-50%. Dehumidifiers are great for bathrooms and basements where humidity levels are highest.

For problems with wall condensation or mold growth contact us at 1-855-4ALPINE to get a free estimate.