Causes of Mold in Your Home

Understanding common causes of mold in the home allows you to take steps to prevent the development of a potentially serious household mold problem. Knowing what causes mold also allows you to prevent a mold problem from recurring if you’ve already dealt with the effort and expense of cleaning up household mold. If you don’t address the cause of the problem, it will likely return and you’ll be faced with cleaning up mold all over again.

Potential Mold Causes

Many different things can cause a household mold problem. Typically things that cause mold growth involve too much moisture in the home, since all types of mold require moisture in order to grow and spread.

Conditions that are often causes of mold in a household include:

  • Flooding (See picture below)
  • A leaky roof
  • Leaky window frames
  • Leaving windows open when it rains
  • Leaky or broken pipes
  • Leaky sinks, tubs or toilets
  • Leaky washing machines or dishwashers
  • Poorly ventilated bathrooms (simply turning on the exhaust fan or opening a window a bit when showering can help with this)
  • Poorly ventilated laundry rooms
  • Damp basements
  • High levels of relative humidity in the home (greater than 50 percent)
  • House fires (mold is actually caused by the water used to put out the fire, not by the fire itself)
  • Any type of significant water damage in the home
Basement Mold From Flood

To prevent mold from developing in the home, correct any of these conditions as soon as possible. That means repairing any leaks promptly. Clean up any water spills promptly, as well. If you have high levels of relative humidity in your home, or if your basement is damp, you can purchase a dehumidifier to reduce the amount of moisture in the air.

The above things aren’t the only possible causes of mold and sometime even the best preventative steps don’t keep household mold from developing. If you notice signs of a mold problem in your home, take steps to address it immediately. Most types of mold grow and spread rapidly, so every day you delay just allows the problem to get worse. We suggest a Mold Assessment from a licensed professional, such as Colyer Services

Testing for Mold

If you aren’t sure if you have mold in your home or not, you can have a professional come in and test for mold. This is a good idea after a flood, fire or other event involving significant water damage to the home. If you smell a musty odor in your home, you probably have mold somewhere even if you can’t see it, and you should also have a professional come in and test for mold. By catching mold early, you can prevent a problem from getting much worse. Contact Colyer Services, below, to address your Mold Issues.

For Help Finding out What Causes Mold in Your Home

If you’ve got a mold problem in your home and aren’t sure what caused it or how to prevent a problem from recurring in the future, we recommend consulting with a mold remediation professional. A trained and experienced professional will visit your home, inspect the areas affected by mold, explain the conditions that led to the development of the mold problem, and let you know what you can do to prevent future problems. Even if you want to take care of cleaning up a mold problem yourself, you can benefit from some professional advice about how to prevent future problems.

Colyer Services

Tampa – 813-734-2552

Sarasota – 941-210-8520

Orlando – 407-388-8800

Pictures of Black Mold

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so we’d like to show you some pictures of black mold. You might think household mold is not such a big deal, but when you see a picture of toxic black mold covering a wall, well, you might think again. Black mold spreads rapidly, so what starts out as a little bit of mold in a corner can quickly grow to nightmarish proportions.

Black Mold Pictures

Black mold, officially known as stachybotrys chartarum and sometimes referred to as toxic mold, is typically black and slimy in appearance. Its appearance may vary somewhat depending on what type of surface it’s found growing on, though. It is typically found in areas that stay damp, whether from a leak in the roof, leaky pipes, leaky toilets, or leaky windows. It can also begin to grow after a home has been flooded. We’ll show you some examples of what black mold may look like.

Here is a picture of toxic black mold growing on a wall. When you see a lot of black mold on a wall like this, there is often mold growing inside the wall, as well. It’s usually impossible to clean walls like this. In such cases, it’s usually necessary to remove the drywall and insulation and replace them with new, mold-free materials.

Mold in corner of walls

Here is a picture of black mold growing on a ceiling, which often happens after a roof has been leaking for a while. If you see mold on your ceiling, there is a good chance you have mold in your attic, as well.

Black mold on ceiling

Mold can also grow on floors, of course. Here’s a picture of toxic black mold growing on carpet. If you see mold on carpet, there’s probably mold under the carpet, as well. It’s usually impossible to remove mold from carpet; in most cases, the carpet must be removed and replaced.

Black mold on carpet

Black mold can be found in any part of the home. Here are some pictures of black mold in different areas.

Mold on basement wall
Black mold in a basement
Black mold in attic

Black mold in an attic

Black mold in bathroom behind tiles
Black mold in a bathroom
Black mold in air ducts
Black mold in heating ducts

What If You Have Mold That Looks Like This in Your Home?

So what if you have mold that looks like these pictures of black mold in your home? Well, your health, and the health of your entire family, is at risk. Black mold is sometimes referred to as toxic mold because it produces mycotoxins that can cause numerous health problems, including breathing problems, asthma attacks, respiratory infections such as pneumonia, coughing, sneezing, headaches, sore throats, exhaustion, and depression. It can even make your pets sick; some families have lost pets due to serious infections and other health problems related to exposure to black mold.

If you have mold like this in your home, you need to get it cleaned up as soon as possible in order to prevent health problems from beginning or worsening. If you have black mold covering a large area (greater than three square feet) or mold growing in your heating and ventilation ducts, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends having a professional handle the cleanup. If you have and mold-related health problem, or health issues such as asthma that might be worsened by exposure to mold, it’s also best to have a professional handle the job. If you need to hire a mold removal professional, or if you’d just like some expert advice about the mold in your home, you can schedule a consultation with Colyer Services. Fill out our contact form below, or call!

Orlando – 407-388-8800

Tampa/Sarasota – 813-734-2552

Protecting Your Home From Summer Storms

Summer is a season characterized by beautiful sunshine and blue skies. While this is often the case, we Floridians also receive a perilous pounding of summer storms. Beyond the inconvenience of cancelled soccer tournaments and finding your umbrella, these storms can also wreak havoc on your home. Here are a few tips to protect your home:

Clean gutters.

Even a bit of rain can have a negative impact on your property if gutters aren’t properly cleaned. If you don’t want to hire a professional to clean them out, be sure to take the proper safety precautions when cleaning them yourself. A pressure washer with the proper extension can prove quite useful.

Prepare your family for emergencies.

If severe weather strikes, your family needs to be on the same page. Establish a set meeting place, collect the necessary emergency supplies, and have a plan to communicate with loved ones. Consider purchasing a backup generator to minimize the inconvenience and stay safe. Get more details here.

Check your insurance policy.

Review your property insurance policy and become familiar with what coverages you have. For example, some policies pay the full replacement costs of a new roof, some pay lesser amounts, and some policies depreciate the useful life of the roof. Colyer Services has a seasoned Insurance Adjuster on-hand to help identify your coverage, in case of storm damage

Trim foliage.

Regularly trim your trees and remove large, dead branches. These branches can become hazardous during a storm, as they are easily ripped off by the wind and can become projectiles.

Look for roof damage afterward.

Even if your roof does not appear damaged, you should contact your insurance company and have it inspected. Chances are the roof has been damaged. Hail damage is not always readily apparent to untrained eyes looking at the roof from the ground. You should have an inspection performed on the roof itself.

Inspect the full exterior.

Make sure you look at the roofs, siding, windows, etc…. the full exterior envelope you your home. Siding can easily be damaged by hail, as can roofs. If you have a skylight even though it may not appear broken, the seals on the glass can be damaged. Again, careful inspection of all areas is needed.

Hire the right professionals.

If you contract with a firm to make repairs to your home, make sure the firm is licensed and insured. You should have a signed contract that clearly spells out what is going to be done, when it is going to be done, and how much it will cost.

You can check the status of a business license in Florida by going to sunbiz.org

You can also check the license status of an individual by clicking here

Contractors also should provide you with evidence of current liability insurance and Workers Compensation insurance. Without proper insurance, you could be exposed to various claims from workers.

For all of our services, contact our offices!

Orlando – 407-388-8800

Tampa/Sarasota – 813-734-2552

 

Emergency Commercial Services

Commercial Services

When it comes to your commercial property, we mean business. You need a company that can minimize the disruption to your clients while delivering superior results. Whether you need professional cleaning to make your business shine, or emergency water restoration services, Colyer Services has the training and expertise to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

  • Small Office Buildings
  • Large Office/High-Rise Office Buildings
  • Apartment Buildings
  • Restaurants
  • Hotel/Motels
  • Small Retail Stores
  • High-Rise Residential
  • Government/Military

Have Questions? Call Today – (813) 734-2552

Commercial Building Restoration Services

We are available 24 hours a day to get your Stuart business back up and running. Our expertise includes restoration services for fire and water damage, including electronics restoration and document drying. We are also your business’s best resource for mold remediation. These are just a few of our Commercial Services:

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Mold Remediation
  • Commercial Storm Damage Cleanup
  • Disaster Recovery Team

 

Emergency Commercial Services

Commercial Services

When it comes to your commercial property, we mean business. You need a company that can minimize the disruption to your clients while delivering superior results. Whether you need professional cleaning to make your business shine, or emergency water restoration services, Colyer Services has the training and expertise to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

  • Small Office Buildings
  • Large Office/High-Rise Office Buildings
  • Apartment Buildings
  • Restaurants
  • Hotel/Motels
  • Small Retail Stores
  • High-Rise Residential
  • Government/Military

Have Questions? Call Today – (813) 734-2552

Commercial Building Restoration Services

We are available 24 hours a day to get your Stuart business back up and running. Our expertise includes restoration services for fire and water damage, including electronics restoration and document drying. We are also your business’s best resource for mold remediation. These are just a few of our Commercial Services:

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Mold Remediation
  • Commercial Storm Damage Cleanup
  • Disaster Recovery Team

 

Home Selling and Mold

We are often asked about home selling and mold and how to make sure you aren’t buying a house with mold that might cause health problems in yourself or family members down the road. We definitely recommend checking a home for mold before buying it. You should also be aware of laws that offer you some protection against buying a home with mold.

What Laws Apply to Selling Homes With Mold?

It’s important to understand that laws vary from state to state and that laws change over time. Also, there are sometimes exceptions to laws that apply only in specific circumstances. We can give you some general information here but for specific advice about your situation, we recommend talking to a licensed attorney in your state.

In many states, laws about home selling and mold require the seller to disclose information about a past or present mold problem in the home. However, if the seller is not aware of a mold problem, and could not be reasonably expected to know, then he doesn’t have to disclose it. Basically, that means that if there is mold growing all over a wall, he has to tell you about it but he does not have to crawl into a crawlspace or look inside the walls to see if there is mold there. If he knows about mold in the crawlspace or walls, though, he must tell you about it. If the seller doesn’t tell you about a mold problem, he may be liable for any mold-related costs you end up incurring.

In some states, the real estate agent and/or appraiser is also required to disclose information about mold to potential buyers.

If you want to put an offer on a home but are concerned about the possibility of mold, you can put a contingency clause in the offer saying the offer is contingent upon the home testing negative for the presence of mold. Colyer Services can then perform a thorough Mold Assessment on the home.

How Do You Know if You Are Buying a House With Mold?

When you walk through a house, look for signs of mold or water damage. Check under sinks, behind toilets, in basements and attics and crawl spaces. Look for standing water, water stains on walls or ceilings, visible mold or a musty odor.

If you have your home inspected, ask the inspector to tell you about any signs of mold or water damage he or she notices. Better yet, hire an inspector that is also certified in mold testing.

Mold found under carpeting

 

 

 

 

 

Also ask the seller. In addition to asking if there has ever been a mold problem in the home, ask about things that are likely to lead to a mold problem, like if the home has ever flooded or if any pipes have ever burst. In many states, but not all, the seller is legally required to disclose information about a present or past mold problem in the home.

To know for sure whether or not there is mold in a home, you need to have the home tested for mold. If you suspect a mold problem, or if the seller tells you there used to be a mold problem but it’s gone now, we recommend having the home tested before you buy it. Colyer Services are State of Florida licensed Mold Assessors that can perform a full house inspection for you.

For More Information About Home Selling and Mold

For more information about the rights and responsibilities of either a home seller or buyer, you can talk to your licensed real estate agent. To learn about the specific laws in your state, though, we recommend consulting an attorney; while licensed real estate agents should be knowledgeable about the laws in the state in which they are licensed, they aren’t attorneys and may not always give correct legal information or advice. You can also try contacting your local department of health for more information.

Hidden Water leaks Lead to Mold

SOME SIGNS OF A HIDDEN LEAK INCLUDE:

The Presence of Mold

Mold must have moisture in order to grow. If you see mold growing under your sink, for example, there’s a very good chance you have a leaky pipe under there.

Discoloration of Walls

A discolored area on a wall usually means the wall is getting wet. If you can’t see where the water is coming from, it may be a leak inside the wall.

Paint or Wallpaper That Peels or Blisters

If the paint or wallpaper on a wall begins to peel or looks like it has developed blisters, that usually indicates water inside the wall. Unfortunately, when there is a water leak inside a wall, you may not see any signs until that leak has been there for quite a while. Therefore, when you do see signs of a hidden leak, it’s important to address it as soon as possible, before any additional damage can be done.

Discoloration of Ceiling

A dark spot or other discoloration on the ceiling is a sign of water, just like it is on a wall. It often indicates a leak in the roof, but if you have a bathroom upstairs and a discolored spot on the ceiling in the room below the bathroom, there may be something leaking in the bathroom. And again, you often don’t see any signs of a leak on the ceiling until the leak has been there a while, so you need to address it as soon as possible to prevent even greater damage.

Sagging Ceiling

A ceiling that sags is another indication of a leak. Often you’ll see discoloration along with a sagging ceiling. A sagging ceiling needs to be addressed right away before it collapses, which can be dangerous as well as extremely messy and costly to repair.

Floors That Buckle or Sag

Floors that buckle or sag are yet another indication of a hidden water leak. Depending on the type of flooring you have, repairs can be quite costly. It’s important to fix the leak as soon as possible, though, in order to prevent further damage. It’s also important to fix the leak as soon as possible in order to prevent the growth of mold beneath your floor.

Musty Odor

You know how basements sometimes smell musty? That’s the odor of mold. More precisely, it’s the microbial volatile organic compounds produced by mold that have a musty odor. If you notice a musty odor in your home, you almost certainly have mold growing. Of course, the presence of mold doesn’t always indicate a hidden water leak, but it often does.

IF YOU SEE SIGNS OF A HIDDEN WATER LEAK

If you see signs of a water leak, you need to investigate as soon as possible. If you don’t have the skills to do that yourself, contact Colyer Services. Our Emergency Response Team handles plumbing issues, roof leaks, and mold prevention/remediation.

Before doing those repairs, though, you should check for mold. Even if you don’t initially see any mold and even if you don’t smell the characteristic musty odor of mold, a hidden leak often leads to the development of mold, so you need to check for that before fixing the walls, floor or ceiling. Mold grows well in dark, damp places, so places where hidden water leaks spring up are excellent environments for mold.

We recommend performing a mold test if you see or smell any of the above mentioned symptoms. Colyer Services is a State of Florida licensed Mold Assessor, and the Central Florida experts in mold prevention and remediation.

Visit us at http://www.colyerservices.com

or Contact us below!