Mold is inevitable. Most homes have mold spores, and it’s almost impossible to completely eradicate them.
A little bit of mold is usually harmless. But if your home becomes a breeding ground for mold spores, they’ll start growing and colonizing areas you might never have thought possible.
Cleaning up mold spots immediately is a safe way to take care of the problem. But mold can squeeze into and survive in places that go unnoticed until it’s too late.
If you notice any suspicious smells, stains, or signs that suggest mold has taken residence in your home, our mitigation and remediation company is here to take care of your mold infestation.
But mold can be clever at hiding itself. How can you notice it if you don’t even know it’s there? Let’s take a look at the most unexpected places it can grow, to ensure your home is safe and clean.
What Does Mold Need to Thrive?
Mold needs five things to thrive: mold spores, oxygen, warmth, moisture, and a dark environment. If these conditions exist, mold will start expanding and settling in various areas of your home, often hidden.
Kitchens, Bathrooms, and Mold Go Hand-in-Hand
Kitchens and bathrooms are particularly susceptible to mold, as they are often damp and warm: two prerequisites that favor mold survival and growth.
Dark and Damp Spaces
Kitchens and bathrooms have several dark spaces where mold can hide, including under the sink, in closets, in cupboards, and behind counters.
If there is even the slightest pipe leak under your sink, water will stagnate. Combined with residual heat, this will create a perfect breeding ground for mold.
Showerheads and curtains stay wet for long periods of time, which favors the buildup of mold. A bathroom mat stays humid and wet after every shower. Even a toothbrush holder stays damp and can attract mold.
Refrigerator and Washing Machine
Refrigerator drip pans can attract mold if water, dirt, and bacteria stay stagnant. Mold can also grow on a washing machine’s door seal, as it stays damp and humid between washings.
If you put away your towels before they dry thoroughly, you might be asking for trouble: mold could grow between your towels, with the potential to spread into the rest of your linens.
To avoid the buildup of mold, the best thing you can do is dry your kitchen and bathroom as much as possible:
- If you have a window, open it up to ventilate the room and let out the humidity.
- Clean your refrigerator’s drip tray regularly and open your washing machine’s door to let it ventilate and dry between washings.
- Check under the sink for pipe leaks and fix them immediately.
- The most effective advice is to try and keep your belongings dry and clean to stop the development of mold.
If your carpet smells musty or has stains and discoloration, you probably have a mold problem. Mold spore growth is helped along by dust, dirt, and skin cells found in carpets, which act as a source of nutrition for them. Also, carpets lock in humidity thanks to their fuzzy composition.
Carpets need to be vacuumed regularly to suck away bacteria, dirt, dust, and pet dander. This will leave behind less food for mold to feed on.
Cleaning your carpets with an appropriate carpet detergent can be helpful, as long as you dry it thoroughly: any residual humidity will help the mold growth cycle. Likewise, if there is a water spill, dry it immediately to stop mold from growing.
Walls, Drywall, Wallpaper, and Floors
Close-up Of A Shocked Woman Looking At Mold On Wall
Walls, drywall, and wallpaper can hide mold.
If your wall is displaying discoloration and swelling, it probably means you have humidity and mold behind.
Likewise, wallpaper can hide mold. Mold feeds on the cellulose found in wallpaper. If your wallpaper is peeling, you probably have a mold growth problem.
Be careful when you remove the wallpaper! You may be releasing mold spores into the air. It’s best to leave it to experts, who will clean the area first and disinfect it.
Any water leak can go undetected under your floorboards. As water accumulates, mold does too. It’s difficult to check under your floor for any leaks. By the time you notice a problem, the damage has been done, and you’ll need a mitigation and restoration company to take care of your water and mold problem.
Attic: Be Careful What You Store
Our attics are filled with items we haven’t touched in years. Toys, important papers, and furniture can all become infested with mold.
Paper—just like wallpaper—is made of cellulose which mold feeds on. If your attic is too humid, mold spores will develop and will find cellulose to feast on. Books are particularly susceptible to this. Similarly, toys and furniture can become overrun with mold if they aren’t cleaned regularly.
Make sure your attic is cleaned frequently and well ventilated. Ensure it is properly insulated, and that there are no roof leaks or other humidity issues.
Doors and Windows
Condensation can build on window sills and around doors, especially in winter. This condensation offers a perfect humid environment for mold to build up.
The best you can do is clean the condensation. If you can afford it, invest in good insulation, which will prevent condensation and help keep humidity and cold from entering your home. If you see mold developing on your window sill, clean it immediately.
If you see the problem persists and expands, it’s time to call in the experts.
Stopping Mold from Building up
The only way to stop mold is to give it as little space as possible to grow. For homeowners, this means keeping your house clean and dry.
A dehumidifier will not solve your mold problem, but will take away the humidity that mold spores love. By having relatively dry ambient air, mold will find it harder to develop and expand. Dehumidifiers don’t kill mold, but they do prevent its growth.
When you are cleaning, make sure to dust and vacuum so you don’t offer mold any breeding and feasting grounds.
If, however, you see serious mold damage, it’s best to call an experienced mitigation and remediation company, which will sterilize and disinfect the area, fix the problem, and provide you with a clean and healthy home environment.
Have you noticed any suspicious mold stains? Call 970-964-4437 or contact us online and we’ll be there in a flash to decontaminate and remediate your mold problem. We are here to assist you, 24/7!
Winterize Your Home
Winter in Colorado can be spectacular: the Rocky Mountains and the forests spreading throughout Montrose, Ouray, Gunnison, Telluride, Ridgway, and Delta become a magical wonderland of snow, ice, and clear blue skies.
But winter also comes with ice. And ice damage can be significant—and expensive. It’s better to be prepared than face flooding in your house or a broken roof. Here are some basic precautions you can take to protect your home from ice damage and winter-related disasters.
Ice Dams: a Reality in Colorado
Have you ever seen hanging icicles from rooftops? This very image of winter may look lovely and picturesque but icicles, or ice dams, are often a sign of ice damage underneath.
Ice dams build up at the edge of the roof, usually along the gutters.
While innocent-looking, these icicles are called ice dams because they stop water from flowing and draining from the roof to the gutters and eventually to the ground. In doing so, they act as dams.
How Are Ice Dams Formed?
Ice dams form when the temperature hovers around freezing point and while there is snow on the roof. Water freezes, melts, and freezes again. This can be the result of ventilation or heated air in the attic causing snow to melt and then immediately freeze. That results in ice dams forming along the edge of the rooftop.
Why Should I Be Concerned about Ice Dams?
Small ice dams will probably not cause any damage, but bigger ones will prevent water from draining from your roof to the ground. This ultimately leads to water buildup as snow slowly melts and can’t find any way out. This water can seep through your insulation and cause flooding or roof damage.
Also, icicles hanging from your roof can damage your roof and gutters: ice is heavy and may pull down parts of the roof such as shingles or even the gutters with its weight.
What Can I Do to Prevent Ice Dams?
The best way to protect your home from ice dams is to ensure that you have good and effective insulation. This is the most efficient way to secure your home and protect it not only from ice damage but also from high heating bills and humidity buildup.
Make sure that your attic, in particular, is well insulated and that no air is leaking out. That way, no warm air can melt the snow. Ideally, your attic should be cooler than the rest of the house to prevent the heat from melting the snow on the roof.
You should also ensure that your gutters are clean of any branches, dirt, leaves, and other debris. Having clean gutters ensures that the water flows freely toward the ground and down the drain.
Finally, check that your gutters are securely attached to the roof and walls. That way, even if ice dams form, they will not take down any parts of the gutter with them.
Pipes can freeze if not properly insulated: your home will have no water and you risk facing broken or burst pipes.
Insulating your exposed pipes is the best way to protect your home from frost. If parts of the pipes are indoors, make sure these areas are relatively heated so that water flows freely and no ice forms inside the pipes.
If you leave your home for several days in a row, don’t turn off the heating. Lower the temperature but leave the heating on, so that your home maintains a relatively stable and warm temperature and the pipes stay above freezing level at all times.
Cracks and Holes
If you see small cracks and holes in your home, fix them right away. If water seeps through and freezes, it will expand. Small cracks and holes will fast become bigger and damage your home, walls, and ceiling.
Cracks are particularly dangerous when the snow melts. Imagine having a crack in your basement while large quantities of snow are sitting on your roof. You risk flooding your basement the moment snow starts melting!
Valley Restoration and Construction Are Here
Sometimes, no matter how well-prepared you are, ice, snow, and cold weather can still damage your home. Extreme weather cannot be predicted and strong snowfall can cause damage despite your best preparations.
Valley Restoration and Construction are here to mitigate any disaster. We will repair your home from ice, water, and snow damage.
We have expert knowledge, experience, and dedicated personnel who will answer your phone call 24/7 and be with you as soon as possible.
If you find yourself facing ice damage or any other emergency, call 970-964-4437 or contact us online. We are here to assist you, 24/7!
Everyone knows how important it is to maintain our homes. Maintenance will save us from future restoration bills as a well-maintained home will require little restoration or repairs.
However, there comes a time when the difference between maintenance and restoration blurs and you need to make a decision: should you repair the damages or restore your home? Although restoration might appear more expensive at first glance, perhaps it will actually be cheaper… and more efficient!
What Is Maintenance?
You maintain your house to prevent deterioration.
For example, you maintain your water heater by servicing it once a year to make sure it works properly. Likewise, you mow the yard to keep your grass green and healthy. You clean your house to keep away dust mites and other harmful substances. You clean your gutters to ensure water flows freely when it rains, etc.
All these are regular maintenance activities that make your home work better, look nice, and feel safer. If something needs repairing, you do that as part of the maintenance schedule.
What Are Repairs and Restoration?
Repairs and restoration are done when something is broken and needs fixing.
While you often come across such items during your regular maintenance, a broken roof or chipped gutters cannot be maintained: they need to be repaired, otherwise they will let water seep in and damage your indoors.
Not all items can be repaired. To fix a broken window, you need a window repairman to come and bring a new one.
Similarly, water stains on walls, floors, or ceilings are tell-tale signs of water problems. Maintenance will not solve this. If you attempt to ignore them, you will just be pushing the problem—often literally—under the carpet. This issue requires proper attention and repair to ward off possible flooding.
When Maintenance and Restoration Get Mixed up
There is gray area where maintenance and restoration meet. There are a lot of issues that can be solved with proper and frequent maintenance. However, there comes a point where a restoration expert needs to be called in.
Appliances and House Areas That Require Maintenance
Certain appliances and house areas need regular maintenance:
- Hot water heaters, roofs, windows, chimneys, and faucets need to be maintained to avoid flooding, fire, and mold.
- Gutters need to be cleaned to avoid potential flooding and erosion of your foundation.
- Trees must be pruned to make sure no branches are dangling over the house, or they may break during strong winds and crash on your roof.
- You need to maintain and clean your HVAC units because replacing them can be quite expensive.
Besides these, you need to organize a thorough check-up of your property and go through cracks to make sure your foundation is sturdy. Pay particular attention to signs of mold and dampness to ensure you do not have a leakage. If you discover any leakage, then restoration and repair are necessary.
When Maintenance Is Not Enough
A broken roof tile or lost shingle can be easily replaced as part of your annual maintenance.
However, roof damage from a broken branch may be too extensive to fix on your own. No matter how much you clean your gutters and make sure no tree branches touch your roof, accidents, and extreme weather can cause roof damage that is beyond maintenance: in this case, you need restoration.
Likewise, a clogged sewer may be past maintenance. Tree roots can cause backups, lead to unsightly puddles on your lawn, and even break underground pipes. To avoid flooding, you need to repair your sewer lines as soon as possible.
As for mold, small patches can be cleaned with a little bit of bleach. But mold is often a sign of a deeper problem, such as a leaking or burst pipe within a wall. If that’s the case, then it’s time to call mold restoration experts.
Finally, after an emergency like a fire or a flood, there is very little maintenance that can be done. You require a professional restoration company to take care of all the rebuilding to restore your house to its previous condition.
Emergencies Require Restoration
There are several emergencies that can be prevented with maintenance and careful home upkeep.
Other emergencies, however, cannot be prevented, predicted, or stopped. Wildfires, heavy rains, snowstorms, and accidents require professional and expert restoration to bring back your home to its previous condition. In these cases, maintenance can do very little to mitigate the problem.
If you find yourself facing a mold, fire, or water emergency, call 970-964-4437 or contact us online and we will be there to assist you, 24/7.