Recent Mold Remediation Posts

How to Identify a Mold Problem in Your Colorado Springs Home

3/7/2024 (Permalink)

Man identifying a mold problem on the wall and using a brush to clean. Mold problem in North Central Colorado Spring, UT.

Nestled at the foot of the majestic Rocky Mountains, Colorado Springs is renowned for its stunning landscapes and outdoor adventures. However, beneath the scenic beauty lies a potential threat that can quietly invade your home – mold. Mold growth is a common issue in many households, and Colorado Springs is no exception. The semi-arid climate, occasional heavy rains, and fluctuating temperatures create an environment conducive to mold development. In this blog, we'll explore the signs of a mold problem in your Colorado Springs home and discuss the importance of timely identification and remediation.

Understanding the Colorado Springs Climate

Colorado Springs experiences a unique climate that can contribute to mold growth. With low humidity levels and significant temperature variations, especially between day and night, the conditions are ripe for mold to flourish. The occasional heavy rains during the summer months can also elevate moisture levels, creating an ideal breeding ground for mold spores.

Identifying Common Mold Species

Mold comes in various shapes and forms, with some species posing potential health risks. In Colorado Springs, you may encounter molds like Stachybotrys chartarum (black mold), Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and Penicillium. Each mold species has distinct characteristics, colors, and potential health effects. Recognizing these differences can be crucial in identifying a mold problem in your home.

Visible Signs of Mold

One of the most apparent indicators of a mold issue is visible mold growth. Mold can appear as fuzzy patches, discoloration, or even black spots on walls, ceilings, and other surfaces. Pay close attention to damp or humid areas such as bathrooms, basements, and kitchens, as these are common hotspots for mold growth. If you notice any unusual spots or discoloration, it's essential to investigate further to determine if mold is the culprit.

Musty Odors

Mold often produces a distinct musty odor that can permeate your living spaces. If you catch a whiff of an unpleasant, earthy smell, it could be a sign of hidden mold growth. Pay attention to areas with poor ventilation or high humidity levels, as these are prime locations for mold to thrive. Investigate the source of the odor to identify and address any potential mold problems.

Allergic Reactions

Mold spores can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. If you or your family members experience unexplained allergic symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, or respiratory issues, it might be indicative of a mold problem in your home. Consider consulting with a healthcare professional to rule out other causes and take steps to investigate and address any potential mold sources.

Water Leaks and Moisture Issues

Colorado Springs residents are no strangers to occasional heavy rains and snow. These weather events can lead to water leaks, which, if left unattended, create favorable conditions for mold growth. Inspect your home for signs of water damage, such as stained ceilings, peeling paint, or warped walls. Addressing water leaks promptly is crucial in preventing mold proliferation.

Humidity Levels

Low humidity levels are a defining characteristic of Colorado Springs' climate. However, there are instances, especially during the summer months, when humidity levels can rise. Keep an eye on indoor humidity using a hygrometer, aiming to maintain levels between 30-50%. Excessive humidity can create a hospitable environment for mold, making it essential to implement proper ventilation and moisture control measures.

Condensation on Windows

Condensation on windows is a common occurrence in homes, especially during the colder months. However, persistent condensation can indicate elevated humidity levels and poor ventilation, potentially leading to mold issues. Regularly inspect and wipe down windows to prevent moisture buildup and consider implementing measures such as improved ventilation and dehumidification to mitigate mold risks.

Hidden Mold in HVAC Systems

The HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system in your home plays a crucial role in regulating indoor air quality. Unfortunately, HVAC systems can also harbor hidden mold if not properly maintained. Inspect your HVAC system for signs of mold growth, such as foul odors or visible mold in ducts and vents. Regular professional maintenance can help prevent and address mold issues in your home's ventilation system.

DIY Mold Testing Kits

If you suspect a mold problem but can't identify the source, DIY mold testing kits are available. These kits typically include sampling materials and instructions for collecting mold samples from your home. Keep in mind that while these kits can provide initial insights, they may not be as accurate as professional mold testing conducted by certified inspectors. If the DIY test indicates the presence of mold, it's advisable to consult with professionals for a comprehensive assessment.

Professional Mold Inspection

For a thorough and accurate assessment of mold in your Colorado Springs home, consider hiring a certified mold inspector. These professionals have the expertise and equipment to identify hidden mold, assess the extent of the problem, and provide recommendations for remediation. A professional inspection is particularly crucial if you suspect extensive mold growth or if there are underlying structural issues contributing to the problem.

Identifying a mold problem in your Colorado Springs home requires vigilance, especially in a climate prone to temperature fluctuations and occasional heavy rains. By staying alert to visible signs, monitoring indoor humidity, addressing water leaks promptly, and conducting periodic inspections, you can safeguard your home and family from the potential health risks associated with mold. If you suspect a mold issue, don't hesitate to seek professional assistance for a comprehensive assessment and effective remediation. With proactive measures, you can enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Colorado Springs without the silent threat of mold lurking within your home.

What Is the Difference Between Mold and Mildew?

9/11/2023 (Permalink)

Mold growth in a residential home. Mold growth in residential home in Colorado Springs, CO.

Mold damage in your home in Colorado Springs, CO can be costly to remove, but many people don’t know the differences between mold and mildew growth. Understanding the differences between mold and mildew can help you know how to react if either is growing in your home.

Diference Between Mold and Mildew

1. Mildew Causes Less Damage

One of the primary differences between mold and mildew is the amount of damage they cause. Though mildew can cause damage to a home, the damage is generally cosmetic and does not require an extensive restoration process. However, mold can cause significantly more damage, like structural damage, to homes because it can grow on a variety of surfaces.

2. Visual Differences

One way to identify whether it is mold or mildew growing in your home is to examine the appearance of the growth. Mildew often is described as a flat layer since it tends to grow on flat surfaces and is generally gray or white in color. Alternatively, mold is often fuzzy in appearance and can be a variety of colors depending on the type of mold damage.

3. Mold Is Invasive

Certain environments make it easier for both mold and mildew to grow, but mold is generally able to grow in more places than mildew. While mildew may grow on shower curtains or on damp clothing, mold is far more invasive and can grow on drywall, ceilings and other areas in the home. Though both mold and mildew thrive in warm, humid environments, some types of mold are capable of growing in cold areas, too, and may grow in refrigerators and other cool places.

Knowing the difference between mildew growth and mold growth can help you know how to react if your home is affected by mold damage. If you need assistance with restoring your home after it has been damaged by mold, it could be helpful to work with mold remediation experts.

Understanding Black Mold and How It Grows

3/23/2022 (Permalink)

Homeowner finds Mold in her House. Avoid the appearance of Black Mold in your Home by Following These Tips.

No matter how old or new your home in Colorado Springs, CO is, it has the potential for black mold to grow. Since mold spores are everywhere, it often comes down to paying attention to factors and conditions that create the right environment to grow. First, it's important to understand what type of mold it is and how it grows.

What Is It?

Known as Stachybotrys, this mold isn’t always black. Although almost always dark in color, it is known to take on orange, green or brown hues. In some cases, it may have white specks. This particular fungus tends to appear fuzzy and grow to form what appears like a dark stain. This type varies from many common molds in that it produces mycotoxins that attach to airborne spores. Regardless of the type of mold it is, this fungi has a four-phase life cycle.

The process begins with thread-like cells, called hyphae, that absorb the nutrients from organic materials, including dust and wood. As they grow, they being to form into the visible mold body, the mycelium.

Once there is a mycelium, the ends of the hyphae cells start to form spores. This only happens if the right nutrients, warmth, oxygen and light create the ideal environment.

After spores are formed, they become airborne and spread to new areas to begin the process over. Even if they don’t find the ideal environment, they will no longer be dormant if the right conditions present themselves.

Spore germination happens when those spores find the right environment to begin the process over again. Once there are signs of Stachybotrys growth, extra precautions need to be taken during the mold cleanup process.

It is recommended to contact a professional mold remediation company to ensure proper cleanup and eliminate the mold’s lifecycle from continuously repeating itself.

Why Does It Grow in Homes?

Every home potentially has the right nutrients and temperature for black mold to grow. When moisture is introduced into the equation, it elevates the chances of mold forming. Within 48 hours of a water leak, the fungi may already be in the third stage of their lifecycle. If it feels like you are constantly dealing with poor ventilation, high humidity or other water issues, there is a greater chance of a mold problem.

Although it is not possible to eradicate all mold spores, there are ways to minimize the chances of them growing and spreading.

  • Maintain a humidity level below 60% inside the home.
  • Use air conditioners and dehumidifiers to reduce humidity levels.
  • Ensure drip pans are dry and drain lines are properly flowing.
  • Insulate windows, walls and floors to minimize condensation.
  • Clean up any excess moisture immediately.
  • Ensure leaks are quickly addressed.
  • Run fans and keep interior doors open to enhance air circulation.
  • If planning to repaint, mold inhibitors can be added to the paint.

Finding black mold in your home is never pleasant and may make people wonder how it even began to form. Understanding that mold is everywhere and the conditions it thrives in makes it easier to avoid it from spreading.

Tips for Preventing Mold in Humid Climates

11/12/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold Prevent mold and humidity to avoid your building getting vulnerable in Colorado Springs, CO.

There are a lot of places for mold to hide in your commercial building. When high humidity in Colorado Springs, CO, creates an atmosphere that leaves your building vulnerable to mold, it can be a challenge for even the best mold mitigation experts to get rid of the problem for good. It's better to prevent fungus from growing in the first place.

Tips to keep a mold problem at bay.

Use Mold-Resistant Materials

Some items are more prone to mold growth than others. Anything fibrous, such as wood or carpet, can easily become a breeding ground for spores. You can discourage growth by choosing materials that resist mold:

  • Plastic
  • Steel or other metals
  • Glass
  • Drywall with fiberglass coating
  • Fungus-resistant paint

Control Indoor Humidity

You can't do much about how humid it gets outside, but you can control humidity levels inside your building. Mold thrives in a damp, warm environment, so anything you can do to prevent these two factors also discourages growth. Keep your air conditioner running properly at 70 degrees (even overnight) to perpetuate airflow and keep the building cool. Use a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air. Clean up spills quickly so that they don't attract spores. The better you curb high humidity levels, the less likely you are to have a mold problem.

Watch for Condensation

Even if the air in your building is regulated carefully, mold damage can still occur if there is a leak or condensation. To prevent moisture buildup on your AC unit, set the thermostat to automatic rather than just leaving the fan running. This gives condensation a chance to dissipate. Make sure that you have enough units to adequately service the size of your building so that they don't get overworked. Maintain all equipment that uses water so that leaks don't become an issue.

Set a Reliable Cleaning Schedule

It's easy to let any space that doesn't get daily use get dusty. However, failure to ensure that your whole building is cleaned regularly can lead to a mold problem. In addition to moisture and warmth, dust and other organic matter also contribute to mold growth by feeding the spores that settle on dirty surfaces. A clean environment helps prevent growth.

Conduct Regular Inspections

There are many reasons to stay current on your inspection schedule. If you live in a humid area, preventing the need for mold clean-up is a key concern. Check the perimeter of your building to ensure that water isn't getting in from the outside. Have your roof inspected, particularly before and after storm season. Walk the building at least once a month and look for signs of water damage, which can easily lead to a mold problem. The more vigilant you are about prevention, the less you have to worry about costly, time-consuming repairs.

Preventing high humidity in your building may be more of a challenge when it's humid outside, but it's not impossible. By following these tips and taking the necessary precautions, you can create an indoor environment where mold is unlikely to thrive.

Mold Prevention and Rental Property Upkeep

9/14/2021 (Permalink)

A person cleaning black mold. Water damage can lead to mold if it is not repaired by a professional team.

As a landlord, it is your job to keep your rental properties clean and functional. Mold prevention is one of the most important maintenance tasks for any property owner. Unfortunately, prevention tips are not always clear. According to mold remediation companies in Colorado Springs, CO, there are several ways to prevent mold growth, including:

  • Making any necessary plumbing and leak repairs
  • Ensuring proper ventilation to prevent moisture
  • Performing routine roof maintenance
  • Improving airflow
  • Ensuring Proper Landscape Grading

Is DIY Mold Prevention a Good Idea?

Renters do not have access or the expertise to handle mold growth alone, and they shouldn't. Neither should the property owner.

Mold is technically a hazardous material and should only be handled by those trained in best removal practices. Additionally, mold is rarely the only problem. It is likely a secondary issue caused by moisture or water damage. Therefore, instead of focusing on DIY methods, find a qualified mold remediation specialist to correct the problem and restore the property.

Hiring the Right Professionals

The best way to prevent mold growth in a rental property is to ensure that any work being done is done properly. Do not hire anyone who offers a great deal but seems shady. Hiring a professional like a licensed mold remediation company is the best way to make sure your property will remain habitable.

A professional will work from the inside out and from the cause to the damage. In most buildings, the cause of mold growth is ongoing water damage. Sometimes, a water leak is so minor, it is nearly imperceptible. A little drip from a pipe or condensation on an HVAC unit is enough for mold to thrive.

A professional understands the causes of mold and the fundamentals of mold prevention, and they will inspect the entire property for the underlying problem if necessary. In most cases, the cause of the mold is close to the growth, meaning the professionals will likely expose the issue as they remove the mold damage.

Correcting Humidity and Ventilation Issues

If your property does not have any apparent leaks, the mold issue might stem from a ventilation or humidity problem. With excess moisture, you can install dehumidifiers and exhaust fans in areas prone to high humidity, like basements, attics, kitchens, laundry rooms, etc. The humidity level in a home should never be above 50%.

Additionally, you can help limit excess moisture and humidity by keeping the air moving on your property. You can install ceiling fans, window fans, or box fans to help keep air circulating and your house dry.

From simple issues to more complex mold removal, any landlord knows that mold prevention can be quite time-consuming and costly. Fortunately, there are a number of best practices that can prevent a property from developing mold. With the right knowledge, any property owner can reduce mold issues and keep their rental properties in the best condition possible. However, for the best results, a landlord should focus on hiring qualified professionals. Mold is a hazardous material and requires certain precautions during its removal from a property.

How To Test for Mold in Your Home

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

Image of mold damage under a sink Mold damage in Colorado Springs, CO.

A musty smell when you walk in the door of your home in Colorado Springs, CO, probably means that you have a mold growth somewhere. You search throughout the house but can't see any patches on the wall, in the bathroom or near windows. There are many other places mold can hide, though. A certified environmental hygienist can conduct a mold assessment that reveals the information you need for proper mitigation.

Advantages of Professional Assessment

You can get a test kit for black mold at your local hardware store, but it won't tell you what you need to know. It will simply reveal that there is mold in your house, which is true even when you don't need mitigation. A professional assessment, however, reveals several factors about the problem:

  • Concentration of spores
  • Location of growth
  • Type of mold

This is the information that mold mitigation experts need when they arrive at your home. The results of a professional test allow them to concentrate their efforts on the affected area so that they can take care of the problem before it gets out of hand.

Remediation Process for Mold Growth

A professional mold assessment guides the whole cleanup process. Once the mold or mildew has been identified, technicians know which techniques to use and the equipment needed to clean your home. For example, if the air quality test reveals a high concentration of spores around HVAC vents, the mold growth is likely inside the ducts. Technicians use this information to contain the affected area so that the growth doesn't spread throughout the house. After the cleanup is complete, a final test assures you that the problem is gone.

If you suspect that you have a fungus problem in your home, you need a professional mold assessment. It's only after specialists have the right information that they can make an action plan for getting rid of the growth.

5 Interesting Facts About Mold

3/26/2021 (Permalink)

Image of mold spores Mold spores can be found nearly everywhere.

Few people get excited about discovering mold growth in their homes. Mold is typically just considered a nuisance, but it can potentially cause real problems. Either way, mold is actually an interesting, simple, yet very hardy little organism.

Interesting Facts about Mold

You might find it interesting that mold:

1. Has Many Types

More than 10,000 species of mold exist, and each type is unique. Surprisingly, only five of these species grow indoors. Stachybotrys Chartarum (aka black mold) is the most dangerous type of mold. Aspergillus is the most common mold in warmer climates, while Cladosporium is the most common in colder climates.

2. Can Be Useful

Contrary to popular belief, all mold isn't harmful. Some types can be extremely beneficial. Mold is a significant contributor to the pharmaceutical industry, used to develop some antibiotics. Mold is used in the fermentation process of specific wines. Some cheese wouldn't be possible without mold. In fact, commercially sold bleu cheese actually contains active spores. Mold gives the cheese its unique flavor.

3. Is Sometimes Invisible

When you think of mold, you may think of the greenish spots you find on foods, such as bread. Mold growth begins virtually invisible, though. It will first look like whitish spots, and these spores will travel throughout the food. Even if the food doesn't look moldy, it could be just the beginning.

4. Can't Grow on Glass, Concrete or Rocks

Mold can't grow on glass, concrete or rocks because they don't contain enough moisture to support mold. Even in high humidity, these surfaces don't provide anything for the mold to grow into.

5. Exists Virtually Everywhere

Mold spores can be found nearly everywhere, outdoors and indoors. Indoor mold can come from outdoor spores coming in through doors on shoes or clothing, or your dog or cat.

If you discover mold growth in your Colorado Springs, CO, home, it could result from water damage or high humidity. Either way, you can count on mold cleanup professionals to return your property to its preloss condition.

What You Need To Know Before Hiring a Mold Remediation Company

1/26/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a professional with proper equipment and protection cleaning up mold Professionals use proper equipment and protection for mold remediation

You've probably heard about the dangers of toxic mold contamination in your home. You might not know what makes a good mold remediation company. There are, however, a few questions that you can ask that can help you make this determination.

Questions You Can Ask to a Mold Remediation Company

What Containment Do You Use?

Mold containment is an essential part of mold remediation. If mold is not properly contained, it might continue to grow even after the initial cleaning. A good restoration company will:

  • Seal off the area
  • Use an encapsulation chemical
  • Protect themselves using suits and masks
  • Use proper disposal techniques

Each of these things is essential to mold restoration work.

How Do You Dispose of Mold Contaminated Waste?

Disposal is just as important as containment. When you have mold contamination, the waste can be considerable. Disposing of wet, moldy substances is not only messy, but it is also considered hazardous waste. The mold remediation company you hire should know the disposal requirements in Colorado Springs, CO.

How Do You Test for Mold?

There are quite a few things that look like mold but are not. Before beginning restoration, you should have a positive mold test. Not only is mold testing vital, but it can also save you a lot of money if it does not turn out to be mold. Some mildew types can closely resemble mold, and if you have mildew, the procedure to get rid of it is very different.

Are You Licensed and Insured?

If they are not licensed and insured, do not hire them. They should not only know the requirements for their area; they should have all of the proper licenses and insurance to protect themselves. Any company that doesn't should not be in the business.

When you have mold contamination, you need to know the company that you hire is capable of doing the job. If not, you can risk more than simple remediation.