Can Mold Grow in Winter?

Many homeowners think that mold grows only in warm and humid weather. But, mold is an issue that occurs all year round. The changes in temperature and activity in winter can actually increase the possibility of mold growth. Both outdoor and indoor conditions can cause mold growth in winter.

 

How Does Mold Grow Indoor

You have probably heard this many times. But let us have a recap of how mold grows. Mold grows in places where there are moisture, food, and warmth. These are the three important components that can allow mold to grow in your home.

The organic materials found in homes like wood or cotton rug can be a “food” that can give mold energy to grow. Warmth condition of your home can also cause mold to grow. Moisture that travels around your home from basements, kitchens or bathrooms can cause condensation when it touches a cold wall. Depriving mold with these three components can stop it from growing. Taking preventive steps against mold growth can save you from a lot of headaches in winter.

 

What Causes Mold Growth in Winter

During this cold season, we keep our homes warm by turning up the heat. Using the advanced technology and construction, our homes become tightly sealed causing the warm air to stay inside your home. When the air cannot leave your home, moisture can develop and increase your home’s humidity level. This condition allows mold to grow uncontrollably. Changes in relative humidity inside the house can also cause mold growth.

Moreover, fallen leaves that are wet and damp, when piled up can create mold. As much as you want to rake and remove those decaying leaves, doing so can disturb them and they can become airborne.

To know if mold has infested your home, a proper mold remediation procedure has to be taken place.

 

How To Prevent Mold Growth in Winter

With the right condition, mold can grow in homes. However, molds are not always apparent. You will just know that mold has already invaded your home when it has affected the structural condition of your home. That is why preventing mold to grow in the first place is crucial.

  • Keep the humidity level low in this cold season. Make sure that it doesn’t go above 40 percent.
  • Instead of wall to wall carpeting, use rugs or washable floor surfaces in areas with moisture problems.
  • Repair leaks in your roof or windows as soon as possible.
  • Clean and vacuum regularly to eliminate sources of mold growth.
  • Clothing, books or paper can be a good source of food for mold. Avoid storing these materials in areas prone to moisture such as your basement.
  • Open windows or use exhaust fans when your bathroom and kitchen are producing moisture, for instance taking a hot shower or cooking. Make sure to vent out the exhaust fans outside of your home and not to your attic.
  • Vent out your dryer outdoor as well.
  • Make sure that your gutter and downspouts are working properly to make sure of the proper flow of water.
  • Keep your attic well ventilated and insulated.
  • Basements are prone to mold growth. In winter, your basement floor and walls can be very cold, causing moisture buildup. Setting a dehumidifier can help in controlling the humidity level of your basement.
  • If you notice water problems in your crawlspace or basement, make sure to address it immediately.
  • Dry off your footwear and other winter clothing before entering your home. Moisture left in these items can cause mold to grow when sits for a long time.

 

What To Do If Mold Grows in Your Home

When the growth has affected a large portion of your home, it is best to hire a professional mold remediation company.

Experts say that removing mold on your own can be useless. Regular house cleaners and bleach are too weak to remove mold. Using fungicidal’s spray can be effective in eradicating mold, but it can be hazardous to your health.

If mold has already spread in your home, into your HVAC system to multiple areas of your wall, or if unexplainable health issues occur, then it’s time to talk to a professional mold remediation experts.

Seeking professional help can keep you from any possible health issues and damage.

 

Mold Remediation Experts From Superior Restoration

There can be a lot of sources of mold growth in homes. If you should be facing this kind of problem, don’t hesitate to call Superior Restoration. We are experts in dealing with mold removal and even water damage. Our procedures start from finding the source of the damage and fixing it. We won’t waste time and make sure that your home is free from mold growth and other related issues.

black mold on the ceiling

Why Is There Black Mold on My Bathroom Ceiling

Molds, in general, can be very disgusting. They can appear anywhere and can present themselves in different colors. There are green, orange, white and black. However, black mold is considered to be the most toxic mold. That is because black mold can produce mycotoxins that can cause health hazards to humans.

Because many people do not take immediate action when they see mold started to develop, it becomes the cause of different illnesses.

Let us help you understand why you can see black mold on your bathroom ceiling.

What is Black Mold?

Black mold, known as Stachybotrys Chartarum, is a common type of indoor mold. By its name alone, it can be seen as black or dark green. Not only black mold can be easily seen, but it has also a distinct smell, a musty smell.

Just like other types of mold, it releases spores that can enter your house through the air and spread quickly in your entire home. These spores outside of the house can also attach to people’s clothing, shoes, bags and even to animals. They can be a good vehicle for mold to enter your home. When they start to drop in damp areas or areas that have excessive moisture, like where leakage may happen in walls or bathroom ceiling, they will start to grow and digest whatever nutrients are present to survive. 

Then, molds will start to destroy things.

What Causes Black Mold

Bathrooms are one of the most common places where you can easily see mold. It can have all the factors that are needed for mold to start growing. This includes;

  • Excessive humidity
  • Poor insulation
  • Dampness
  • Darkness
  • Water leak
  • Food source
  • Warm temperature

In most cases, the bathroom ceiling becomes an ideal place for black mold to grow due to condensation. When moisture that is produced inside your bathroom comes in contact with the ceiling and becomes its resting place, condensation begins. That is the reason why condensation is very common in cold surfaces. 

Dangers of Black Mold

People who are exposed to molds can have different symptoms, such as stuffy nose, sneezing, wheezing, and itchy skin or eyes. Some could even have an intense reaction such as fever or difficulty breathing, especially if they have allergies to molds. Some people can develop asthma. People who have respiratory problems or weakened immune system or those who are undergoing cancer treatment, had organ or stem cell transplant can be at risk with mold infections.  

According to the CDC, the molds themselves are not toxic or poisonous. Moreover, the hazards that are carried out by molds may produce mycotoxins that could be dangerous to people. There are reports, rare but possible, that these toxigenic molds can cause serious illnesses such as pulmonary hemorrhage or memory loss.

If you see any signs of black mold in your toilet, it is best to call in professionals. Other surfaces of your bathroom might also be affected, such as tile grout and ceiling drywall. Removing and replacing the affected area can be the best long-term solution.

How To Prevent Black Mold On Your Bathroom Ceiling

Since mold can cause severe reactions to people, it is best to prevent and control mold growth.

  • Keep humidity level as long as you can (preferably not higher than 50%)
  • Use an air conditioner or a humidifier during the warm season
  • Keep the area well-ventilated. You may use exhaust fans.
  • Paint your ceiling with mold-resistant paint.
  • Cleaning the bathroom regularly with mold-killing products.
  • Do not use a carpet in your bathroom.
  • Remove and replace any water damaged carpets.
  • Dry wet surfaces in the bathroom.

Proper maintenance can be the best way of preventing mold growth. If any type of water damage happens in your bathroom, it is best to resolve it right away and inspect for any visible mold. 

When treating black mold, it is important to wear protective gear to prevent any allergic reactions.

Mold Remediation

In cases that black mold becomes severe and causing health problems to you and your family, mold remediation can be your best resort. Hire a local mold remediation company to properly remove mold. Professionals will make sure that your home is livable and free from any danger black mold can bring, These are the steps you can expect during the process.

  1. Determine the size of the area that needs to be contained.
  2. Evaluate the number of air scrubbers needed during the process.
  3. Install air scrubber in the affected area.
  4. Vacuum all areas included in the containment process
  5. Removing all porous materials such as drywall.
  6. Cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces.
  7. Fixing the source of mold growth.

Black mold or any type of mold should be treated promptly, though reactions could happen rarely. A removal specialist can help you with this issue. At Superior Restoration, we offer the best deal when it comes to mold removal. Call us today!

Mold Remediation as A Solution to The Growing Mold Problems

Molds are types of fungi that usually grows on surfaces inside one’s property due to water interaction or excessive moisture. 

However, although some types of mold are normally harmless, there are some types that can cause severe health issues in anyone. According to the EPA, one of the most common causes of molds are allergies and can be a top reason for asthma symptoms. Furthermore, molds in one’s property might also lead to irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat and, worst can also cause serious lung issues even if the person involved is not allergic. In line with this, mold growth in the house or property should be treated as a serious issue and should not be, in any way, ignored.

As for the fact that molds can be found everywhere, the problem of its growth arises, most especially when the growth begins inside the house. This is usually caused by the moisture that the mold spores found to begin to grow. The extremely common reasons for mold growth inside one’s property are roof leaks, pipe leaks, high humidity levels, and floods.

Mold requires spores (serves as their ‘seeds’), favorable temperatures, nutrient supply, and moisture. Molds, like plants, grow by spreading and releasing its mold spores. However, if the conditions for the molds are unfavorable, mold will be dominant and release spores into the air to find a suitable environment for their growth and survival.

Moreover, these conditions can lead to mold growth subjected to water damages within the span of 24 to 48 hours. The affected materials or appliances should be dried as quickly as possible to prevent germination and subsequent mold growth. This mold growth can result from inadequate design, installation, and operation of materials and appliances used, maintenance of the structure and lack of adequate ventilation in the building. Among the conditions mentioned, moisture is the only condition a homeowner can really control.

Mold Remediation: The Basics and Process

Molds should be removed by a trained professional accredited by organizations such as RIA, IAQA, and IICRC. However, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) any area subjected to mold growth less than ten (10) square feet (or about 3 feet by 3 feet) can be remediated by the homeowner. If the affected area succeeded the 10 square feet policy, the homeowner or the building administrator must contact a mold remediation contractor.

On the off chance that the mold growth occurs inside a homeowner’s property that requires larger immediate removal or mold remediation, it is important for the homeowner to know the basics of mold remediation.

Basic Mold Remediation Directions:

  1. Determine the size of the area that will need to be contained. Set up your containment using zip walls and 6-mil poly sheeting.
  2. Determine the size of air scrubber needed (4-6 air exchanges per hour).
  3. Install air scrubber into containment, duct clean air from the scrubber out of the containment area to keep the containment under negative pressure.
  4. Vacuum all surfaces in the containment area using a HEPA vacuum.
  5. Remove all porous surfaces (drywall, carpet, etc.) with mold contamination. The material that is being removed should be placed in contractor bags and disposed of in normal garbage receptacles (e.g., dumpsters). Bags should be sealed before leaving the containment area.
  6. Vacuum all surfaces in the containment area using a HEPA vacuum.
  7. Physical mold removal:
  1. Using a cleaner, all surfaces with visible mold should be scrubbed or sanded to remove some of the mold stainings. Without heavy sanding, some of these stains might not be removed. Staining is not an indication of active mold growth.
  2. Using a disinfectant, wipe or spray all surfaces to ensure any remaining (hidden) mold is dead. This will not preclude any health problems from the mold, but it will keep it from further growth.
  1. Again, vacuum all surfaces in the containment area using a HEPA vacuum.
  2. A mold-preventative coating can/may be applied to further ensure no future mold growth.
  3. For larger jobs (over 32 sq ft of contamination) it may be required to:
  • Have a controlled egress area.
  • Have an independent hygienist write a protocol.
  • Have an independent hygienist do post clearance testing.

With regards to the increase of mold growth in the house, EPA provided the necessary simple steps or process of mold removal or mold remediation.

Process: Steps to Mold Remediation

  1. Containment and Ventilation. This is the first step, and probably the most important step in the process of mold remediation. The installation and use of adequate ventilation and air filtration devices (AFDs) including air scrubbers are required to keep and ensure that the existing mold spores that are disturbed and become airborne will not be spreading to any uninfected area through the air.
  2. Cleaning and Disinfection. Next is the stage that includes the actual remediation, removal, and disposal of materials subjected to molds—the cleaning and disinfection stage. Where the trained professional or technicians will apply biocide, fungicide or moldicide solutions to the infected areas.
  3. Fixing the Source of the Mold. This is where the technicians will address any moisture or humidity concerns that cause the growth of molds within the property or area. This includes a loose bathroom fan duct that is running into an attic, in this case, the broken fan duct may be fixed. For cases with more involved repairs, the mold remediation company could hire a sub-contractor to recommend to the homeowner.
  4. Encapsulate the Unremoved Molds. Molds that are not removed through the process of mold remediation should be encapsulated by paint or a similar material. The encapsulation process is an approved method for dealing with mold in a house.

Molds are complex. It may start from a small area but can form larger colonies indoors under appropriate conditions. It is important to not ignore the significance of a proper building or house maintenance at all times.

Places in Your Home for Mold Growth

UNDERSTANDING MOLD

Molds are beneficial to the environment as they rotten dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, however, mold in your home should be prevented. Molds travel by air and can get into your home through windows, open doors, vent, and can stick to people and pets. Any areas of your home are not restricted to mold growth as long as it has enough moisture or the humidity of the area is perfect for molds to grow.   When molds land to a damp spot, they begin to grow – as easily and quickly as they can.

Aside from being unsightly, it can be a wrecker to your home as it can damage your walls and floor, can cause unpleasant odor and can even lead to health issues such as nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, or, in some cases, skin irritation. In addition, it is most sensitive to people who have allergies or respiratory illnesses.  As a homeowner you want to keep your home healthy for the whole family, so knowing the common areas where mold grows is vital. Let’s talk about the most common places where mold usually lurks.

Bathrooms

Bathrooms are one of the greatest areas where mold can easily grow because it is normally wet and humid. Bathrooms that have poor ventilation can attract mold colonization. Shower tiles, sink, toilet, shower, bathtub, in the walls and on the floors are the areas in the bathroom where mold can grow. It is essential that you keep your bathroom well-ventilated during and after showering to prevent mold to grow. It is also important to keep the area clean and dry.

Kitchens

There are plenty of surfaces for mold to grow in your kitchen from walls, windows, left-over foods and even dishes that pile up in the sink or clean food storage. Kitchens are generally hot and humid, thus it attracts mold to grow easily and quickly. Generally cleaning the area and providing proper ventilation while cooking or cleaning the dishes can prevent mold to thrive in your kitchen.

Attic, Basement, and Crawlspaces

These are the areas in the home that are not frequently visited or checked. Yet, these are also the areas of the home that are prone to mold growth due to their poor ventilation, which can generate moisture. Leaky foundations (such as roof or pipes) or condensation from appliances are the main sources of moisture. You can prevent mold to grow in these areas by making sure they are well ventilated. Keeping these areas clean and dry prohibit mold to thrive.  

Doing a regular inspection of the common areas where mold can thrive is the best preventive measure a homeowner can do.  Making sure all the areas of your home are well ventilated and dry prevent mold to begin.

If you can see any signs of mold in your homes, do not ignore. Seek professional help if needed. Square One is just around the corner to help with your concerns. Contact Superior Restoration today.

Detect mold due to water damage in 6 easy steps

Mold is a tenacious Fungus. Given a chance it will find a place to grow in your home. Mold prefers dark moist places such as under the sinks and underneath showers. The trouble with mold though it sometimes it grows in unexpected places. Here are some tips to help you detect if mold is present in your home.

  1. seek out the mold
    Check for visible signs of mold growth. Molds may appear in colors such as gray, white, black, or green. Black mold, stachybotris, is especially dangerous. On no account touched the mold barehanded.
  1. Smell the mold
    A mildewy or moldy smell is a strong indication that mold is present. This will give you a general idea of whether mold is to be found.
  1. Flooding or Leaks
    If you experienced flooding or found a leak that has been there for some time, there is a strong possibility that you will have mold growth because mold thrives in moisture. If you discover slowly leaking pipe take steps to stop the leak.
  1. Humidity
    Generally when it’s cold, there is an excess of moisture. Excess humidity in the environment can cause mold growth.
  1. DIY Kit
    Use a Do It Yourself Kit to test for mold only after you have done a thorough visual investigation. If you do not fell comfortable doing this it is best to seek the advice of a professional.
  1. Hidden Mold
    Hidden molds are particularly hard to find. However, if you smell a stale mildewy odor or have allergic symptoms when close to a source with no visual mold, this may be a clue that there is a hidden mold source.
  1. Call For Assistance
    We strongly recommend that you hire a mold remediation company to determine if you have a mold issue. A simple air quality test can determine if you have mold by measuring the number of spores in your air.

If you are aware that you have a mold problem, then we recommend that you take steps to remediate your mold issue to avoid future health issues and further mold growth.