Looking For Mold In Winter

Why It’s Important To Look For Mold In Winter

Now that summer has officially ended, the seasons are changing and that means that the temperatures are dropping. When it comes to mold growth, we often hear the misconception that “mold only grows in warm climates, so it won’t be a problem in winter”. The truth of the matter is that there is no perfect temperature to prevent mold growth. Many homeowners come to us this time of year because they are noticing mold in winter and that’s because even though it is getting colder outside, it is still nice and warm in your home.

 

What is Mold?

Mold is a type of fungus that feeds off of decaying organic material and while many types of mold are harmless, there are some that can cause health issues. Mold likes to grow in warm moist areas and can survive on all different types of surfaces. In addition to causing mold allergy symptoms like respiratory distress, this fungus can also cause damage to the areas of your home where it occurs. If you notice mold growing in your carpet or wood floors, it can cause serious damage to the structure of your home.

How to Spot Mold in Winter

Mold can come in a variety of colors and growth patterns. Mold in winter can appear black, white, yellow, green, brown, or gray. It typically appears to be fuzzy or soft and can grow in spots near and around each other. In order to stop mold in house fixtures, it is important to identify and safely remove the mold as soon as possible. If you are able to take precautionary steps to prevent mold in winter, you can save yourself the time and hassle of removal.

How to prevent mold growth

Increase air circulation

Using fans during the colder months may sound strange, but keeping the air flow moving can keep cold air from condensing in corners and closets. You should also take care to use exhaust fans when you are cooking in the kitchen or creating steam in the bathroom. These exhaust fans will help minimize condensation and moisture.

Watch for leaks

Leaks from the outside elements around doors and windows can let in excessive moisture and cause mold around windows in winter. Also keep an eye out for pipe leaks that could lead to hidden mold growth under your sinks.

Reduce humidity

Investing in a dehumidifier can help you prevent the growth of mold in winter by reducing the overall moisture inside of your home. You can combine this with an increase in you home’s temperature to prevent mold growth.

Keep your flooring dry

Entryways are one of the best places for mold to grow due to the amount of moisture that is tracked in, especially on wet or snowy days. In order to stop mold in house flooring, we recommend that you use a washer friendly floor mat and use a vacuum on the area regularly.

When mold growth starts, cleanup costs increase significantly. Mold grows quickly! If you have moisture in your home or office call Pride Cleaning & Restoration ASAP.

 

Call Pride Cleaning & Restoration at (910) 507-2060!

Trusted Mold Removal Wilmington, NC

Hidden Water Damage Wilmington NC

Do You Have HIDDEN Water Damage and/or Mold Problem?

How Do You Know for Sure You Don’t Have a Hidden Water Damage and/or Mold Problem?

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families that have been greatly impacted by hurricane Florence. Our team has been involved in helping to move people out of their homes that have been even moderately damaged. In some cases, the initial inspection revealed only minor damage. We have been doing our due diligence and our years of experience in looking and finding hidden moisture behind baseboards, window and door casings, and insulation. We are discovering microbial growth due to wind-driven rain.

The longer you wait to inspect your home or property after you have received water damage to the exposed surfaces of the drywall, it will often dry out. Does this mean the insulation and the wood is also dry? Absolutely not! The inside of the wall cavities are not exposed to air. The moist conditions are perfect breeding grounds for mold development and wood rot.

What if this is not discovered at the time of your inspection with your insurance adjuster? You only claim the obvious damage that you and the adjuster can see. Remember, the adjusters are expecting YOU to point out any damage. They are not going to open up walls, remove baseboards, crown moldings, hardwood flooring, etc. Why is this? For one, your adjuster already has an overloaded schedule due to all the claims being handled. This is the reason you need to have a restoration company with expertise to know how to look for and find hidden damage working on your behalf now.

I often advise my clients that water damage plays hide and seek. Another example is there is always dumb water and smart water after storm damage. You will clearly see the dumb water. Where is the smart water? It’s hiding behind cabinets, under flooring, behind baseboards, in the insulation, etc. How much effort did you and your adjuster make to find and identify hidden damage? I advise my clients to be proactive and submit your concerns to your insurance company and adjuster,

There are many experienced and knowledgeable insurance adjusters who do a great job and want to go above and beyond to help their insureds. They are seasoned veterans and often have experience in construction. They understand there may be hidden damage and want to make sure the restoration company that has been hired by the insured can properly document the damage. We have seen a large number of claims that have been denied by FEMA due to the property owner failing to act to prevent further damage such as putting a tarp on the roof.

If you already had a restoration company out to your property, does this mean they discovered all the damage? That depends on how much experience the company and technician have. I have been called to inspect homes and businesses that were already dried out by other restoration contractors. The property owners were having health issues, had musty odors, and elevated humidity. Obviously, more work needed to be done. Don’t risk your family’s health or additional property damage by not getting your inspection by experienced, professional experts!

Hurricane Florence Mold

What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You and Your Home

When Hurricane Florence hit our area with record rainfall, 100+ mph winds, and spurned tornadoes, most of you had left the area. When you returned home you may have noticed a few shingles missing, maybe a piece of siding gone, etc., and you thought you had escaped serious damage. You possibly even filed a claim with your insurance company just to be sure. The adjuster came out to inspect your home and or business and maybe your insurance company has even sent you a check along with a breakdown of how much they determined you have in damage. All is good, right?  I’m sorry to say, not necessarily.

My wife and I just returned to the area on the first of November and rented the top half of a local beach house for a week. Before we booked, we asked the property manager if there was damage to the home. He said there were a few shingles missing, but the house was basically unharmed. He had actually found the shingles and had them put back on, and the place was in great shape. All was good.  

We walked in ready for a nice stay on the beach in a very cozy cottage and immediately knew this house had some serious issues. At first glance it looked great, but we are trained to notice the damage. I looked up, and there was separation above the windows, traces of mold around the air vent, and areas where the tape was separating from the drywall on the ceiling. These are all signs of hidden damage. These symptoms may not show up right away, but they start occurring after the water sits inside the walls and ceiling for a period of time. Unfortunately, it will only get worse.  

This house already has mold that is taking hold. There was only a tiny bit of mold showing on the ceiling next to this air vent. Twelve hours later, it was appearing on the front of the cover. I took out our thermo imaging camera and verified that there is hidden water throughout the house. The areas in blue indicate wet areas. The room looked normal, but there was definitely water sitting in the insulation. I took similar pictures in almost every room of this house. Did the property manager do anything wrong? No, but you don’t know what you don’t know.  

Unfortunately, this house is typical of what we are seeing in houses in the area. The wind driven rain came in at an angle, and water got into the structure of the homes. The problem is it can’t be seen by the naked eye, and you most likely aren’t trained to find the damage or have the tools to do so. Think of hidden water as a cancer in your home. It may look fine on the outside, but it is sick. NOW is the time to get it treated.    

Now is when you can file an insurance claim because the damage was caused by the storm. If you wait for months, the insurance company may question when the damage occurred, and that can seriously affect how you are covered. Insurance policies cover storm damage differently than they cover mold damage. Now is when we can bring your adjuster back out to see that the damage was more extensive than it first appeared. Now is when you can start the mitigation so the repairs can be started more quickly.    

If you suspect you may have hidden damage get it checked out by a qualified restoration professional with the tools and the experience to give you an accurate analysis of your home or building. Hopefully, they will tell you it is fine, but if not, they can help your home get on the road to recovery.

Prevent Mold In Home Pride Cleaning & Restoration

4 Actions To Prevent Mold In Your House After Water Damage

Stop Mold In Your House After Water Damage

Water damage events can arise from natural floods, plumbing emergency situations or they can be the outcome of putting out a fire. Even little fires might trigger some water damage to occur. The earlier you take action to make sure the damage is decreased the less of an opportunity there will be for mold to grow. Use these 4 Actions To Prevent Mold In Your House After Water Damage.

When mold is left to grow it can cause damage to your walls, floors, tiles, carpets and the structure itself. Black mold is specifically harmful because it can not just harm your home, it can trigger severe diseases. Here are four essential steps to take after experiencing water damage so that mold will not grow in your house.

1. Extract all standing water

If the water damage has occurred from a plumbing problem or a leaking appliance, shut off the supply of water. If there is a flood due to a storm or some other cause, you want to remove or extract all that you can but do this carefully. Do not go near any electrical wires or outlets.

You should call a water damage remediation expert and have them do the water extraction using wet and dry vacuums and other expert equipment.

2. Clean and dry impacted areas

Move furniture and, if possible, move the home furnishings outdoors to air dry. Remove drapes, carpets and any personal belongings that have been impacted. Anything that can be taken easily enough from the flooded locations ought to be removed. If they have been harmed beyond repair, products ought to be discarded. Your water damage remediation expert will let you know what can repaired, cleaned or discarded.

3. Dry and aerate all locations immediately

Mold starts growing in between 24 and 2 days after a flood. Dry any locations that have been cleared of most of the flood. Open windows and aerate the location. Run fans and dehumidifiers to dry any afflicted areas. If you sense any moldy smells, double check these locations and clear away any wetness. Then dry and aerate as needed. Water removal experts have professional strength fans and machines to quickly dry wet area.

4. Repair work and change drywall

This action might be something you can do yourself if the damage is a small, localized location of the house. The majority of circumstances call for a certified water remediation specialist’s help. If there is any soaked fiberglass insulation, they can remove it and replace it with an item that is resistant to mold development.

When you take these 4 steps after a flood, you can be sure that mold will not grow. Flooring, carpets, artwork, rugs, carpets, or files and books can be saved. Experts understand how to restore and sanitize these products.

Act fast after a flood. The majority of the removal must be done professionally. The more you can do yourself in the first 24 hr, the higher the opportunities are that your home will be mold-free which you will be able to restore all your home furnishings, carpets and possessions to their initial condition.