Wall of a house in florida infsted with black mold

5 Things That Causes Mold in Homes

Mold can be one of the biggest nuisances for homeowners. Once diagnosed, removing mold can be a difficult task and the possibility of mold reappearance will be always on the cards if you do not keep certain things under check.

Mold growth is supported by a mixture of the following factors:

• Moisture
• Warmth
• Food source (wood, drywall etc)

Poor ventilation is one of the major reasons for mold growth. You might have observed the areas like bathroom, basements and crawl spaces are more vulnerable to mold growth. This is due to poor ventilation and when you do an inspection for mold growth, these areas should be the priority.

Make sure that venting systems in these areas are functioning properly. Check for clogging due to dust or any other particles. Cracking open a window in your bathroom after the shower will help you to alleviate the concern of moisture formation.

Investing in an air purifier is another strategy to capture mold spores and to inhibit mold growth.

Humidity

Keep an eye out for the weather, especially when it’s humid for a few days. You can also observe that mold growth is common during the rainy season. Living by the coast or near a large water body can directly impact mold growth. These conditions can second mold growth and make it a recurring concern.

Drying clothes indoors can raise the humidity levels in your house and keep it prolonged for a long time. The HVAC system in your house can also raise humidity while it heats and cools the air artificially.

Water leaks

Water leaks can feed mold growth. Keep an eye out for water stains on flooring and ceiling to identify water leaks, in fact, these signs can even give away the age of the water leak.

Overlooking a water leak can turn out to be bigger concern as it produces mold spores that can eventually spread and flourish in other areas within your house.

On some occasions, water leaks can be hard to identify, especially in areas like basements and other crawl spaces. The only option to keep this under check is to do regular inspections.

Flooding

Hurricanes and flood-prone areas are vulnerable to mold growth. When your house is flooded, everything will be wet for days and it will take weeks until everything is dry again. Since mold requires 24 hours to thrive on damp surfaces, the risk for mold growth is huge.

Mold growth due to flooding can be serious as it can produce toxic mold types like Stachybotrys chartarum which requires the surface to be wet for several days to thrive.

Damp basement

A damp basement can be a haven for mold to grow. The lack of ventilation and appropriate humidity level makes them the perfect place. Additionally, a water leak in any area within the house can end up in the basement.

Removing mold from your house as soon as possible is very important as prolonged exposure to mold can cause health concerns like asthma and other respiratory issues. If you feel that the situation is beyond control, consider hiring a mold removal specialist.

Kitchen fire in a house in Florida

Residential Fire: 5 Preventive Tips

How can I prevent a house fire? A question that can haunt most of the homeowners. Basic home fire safety requires careful planning and efficient implementation.

As per the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the U.S. Fire department has responded to an average of 355,400 home structure fires per year between 2012 and 2016.

Losing your house to a fire is scary enough, think about an injury to your family members due to a residential fire. There are several fire preventive tips that you can consider to avoid such any potential havoc that can be caused via fire.

This post highlights some tips to prevent house fire. You can use this as a home fire safety checklist to ensure the safety of your home and family.

Kitchen mishaps

Did you know that kitchen mishaps are the most common cause of home fires and related injuries? Always act smart and cautious around your kitchen. Keep an eye out for the following aspects to alleviate any possibility of a fire breakout.

·        Do not keep flammable substances near stove or oven

·        Do not leave hot cooking surface unattended

·        Do not leave the kitchen while cooking, in case of emergencies; ensure that you turn the stove before leaving the kitchen

·        Do not place cookbook or towels near the stove

·        Ensure that no curtains or rug are hanging over the stove

Heating equipments

As per NFPA, heating equipment mishaps are the second most leading cause of fire fatalities. While using heaters during the night make sure that you keep them away from other objects.

It is safe to ensure that an area of 3 foot around the clear of any objects or obstacles. Trying to dry clothes or obstructing the heater with substances like paper or clothes is dangerous.  

Electrical cords

Electrical equipment and system inspection should be performed at least once a year. Watch those electrical outlets in the bathroom and attics closely.

Keep an eye out for frayed wires, and repair them immediately. Avoid bypassing the electrical codes through furniture or under the carpets as these codes can generate heat.

Stick with quality electrical equipments ranging from extension cords and surge protector. Even if the initial cost might be on the high end, it will be worth it in the long run.

Store wisely

Did you know that most of the cosmetic products that you use are flammable? That shaving cream and hair spray can go up in flames in minutes. Store such products wisely; for instance, do not keep them close to an electrical hair straightener or dryer.

Try and store materials like gasoline and paint away from the house, possibly an outdoor garage or store room. It is ideal store them in their original containers and to ensure that they are sealed tight.

Be equipment ready

Inspect your smoke alarms at least once every two months. Ensure that the batteries are replaced and they are operational.

Installing fire sprinkler system is the best way to deal with house fires. An alternative or add-on to this strategy would be to have a fire extinguisher stored in your home.  

Preventing a house fire might demand initial effort and time, however, it will save crucial amount of time and money in the future. What have you done to prevent fire hazards in your home? Let us know.

Water damaged wall in a house florida

How to Tell Water Damage is Old?

Water damage is a nightmare for any property owner. Property related water damage concerns should be addressed at the earliest.

 

A water damage spot can be caused by prolonged condensation or leaks. You often see water spots on the ceiling, if the scenario is left unchecked, it can easily deteriorate the ceiling, which can lead to sags and collapses. This makes it important to foresee and take precautionary steps to repair water damage early.

 

The ability to tell the age of water damage can play a crucial role on many occasions, especially when you are planning to purchase a house. This blog features some tips and tricks that will help you to identify the age of water damage.

 

Touch and tell

You can usually touch and tell the age of the water spot. If the spot seems to be wet, you can assume that the water damage or leak is fairly new or at least a week old.

 

On the flip side, if spot feels mushy to touch, it indicates that the spot or the leak has been around for months. This usually happens when the ceiling or the drywall encounter a leak and is saturated with water over time.

 

Color

Color can be another major giveaway of the age of water damage. If the water damage spot is characterized by a single dark spot with a colorless perimeter, you can presume that the area has been going through a cycle of leaks and dryness.

 

The number of rings on this occasion can be a good indicator of the age, more the number of rings, more would be age.

 

Spot size

Look for the size of the spot while taking into consideration the affected material in question. While considering the material in question, you cannot assume that larger size or more the number of rings, the older will be the damage. This is because the how each material displays water damage signs vary with respect to the density or other physical aspects o the material. 

 

For instance, a material like a tile does not let water pass through easily, therefore even a small spot on the tile might indicate a longstanding buildup of water.

 

Signs of mold

Mold can be the next best indicator for calculating the age of water damage. Look for signs of mold growth. Moisture creates a favorable atmosphere for mold growth. Materials like drywall and carpeting are vulnerable to mold growth.

 

If you observe mold growth, you can assume that the water spot is at least two to three days old. Also, consider the climatic condition while using this sign to calculate the age of water damage. For instance, mold growth can be slow in cold and freezing conditions as opposed to hot and humid areas.

 

Decay

Any decay to the structure is another indicator of repeated water damage or exposure to flooding. Here as well, you need to consider the temperature and humidity of the location while calculating the age of the water damage.

 

Perform an inspection while keeping these factors in mind to identify the age of water damage in your house or property under consideration.

Mold infested roof in house florida

5 Common Types of Molds Found in Homes

Mold infested property, systems or structures can trigger subject deterioration in addition to harming your health. Most people believe that only older homes are vulnerable to mold infestation and this is a misconception.

Identifying whether your house is infested with mold is ideal, but the knowledge of different types of house molds can help you to take the next action, which can be crucial.

This will help you to save valuable time and effort as you can take precautionary steps to contain or prevent further mold growth prior to reviewing the situation and deciding on whether to hire a mold removal specialist.

This post features five mold types that are commonly observed within households along with the consequences of exposure and some steps to prevent any related hazards.

Alternaria

With a high growth rate in temperatures between 20-25 degree Celsius, Alternaria is a rapid growth mold which matures in just five days. The ability of this mold type to thrive in windy and dry conditions gives way to airborne spread.

The mold growth that you see in your sink or shower can be alternaria. They can grow both indoors and outdoors, usually in damp areas. This mold type can cause asthma and allergic reactions.

Aspergillus fumigates

Aspergillus fumigatus is the most common and dangerous mold type belonging to the Aspergillus mold family. They appear with cotton texture and can be in a combination of blue-green or grey color.

Aspergillus fumigatusis an indoor mold type that usually does not trigger any potential health hazards to humans. However, prolonged exposure can trigger health concerns like respiratory infections and lung inflammation.

Aureobasidium

This mold type commonly affects wooden furniture, walls, and surfaces. This mold variant is identified as pink and black spots that you may observe around windows or painted walls. As they are commonly observed in households, people usually develop allergies, which if left untreated are escalated to other severe reactions.

Chaetomium

Is your house suffering from water damage? If yes, you might come across Chaetomium. Keep an eye out for grayish-green colored mold formation on any substance that contains cellulose. This mold type feeds freely and quickly on materials containing cellulose such as paper, drywall, and fabrics.

This mold type is the common trigger for the musty and old odor within your house.

Cladosporium

Cladosporium is commonly found in carpets and wooden floorboards. The fact that this mold type can thrive in both cool and warm conditions make it more dangerous.

This mold type develops as colonies that trigger airborne spores contributing to its wide and quick spread. Allergies and asthma are the main health concerns that Cladosporium can trigger.

There are more than 1000 different types of molds out there. For an individual without much experience about mold and the related hazards, it is impossible to identify each mold type. If left unchecked, mold can easily become a major hazard within your house. Foresee all these factors and consider performing early water damage and mold checkups for your property at least once a year.