Diverting water away from the home can prevent a number of problems in your house. Foundation erosion, basement flooding, and soil and grass deterioration to name a few. As your home foundation wears down water can seep into the walls and cause mold and dampness.
Paying attention to water around your home is critical and drawing water away from the structure is one of the most important steps you can take. Here is a list of ways to direct water away from your home:
Lawn Grading and Swales
When a home is constructed, the land around it is chosen or shaped to allow for a natural diversion of rainwater. The hills and slopes of your lawn are natural drainage areas called swales. If your lawn isn’t graded properly—changes in construction, changes in neighboring drainage, increased rainfall, etc— and water pools and flows where it should not. Left unattended, poor grading can lead to areas washing out, ruining your lawn, worsening your drainage problem, and possibly damaging the structural integrity of your home.
It’s not enough to simply have downspouts installed to control the flow of water from your roof—you want to manage where that water is heading once it reaches the ground, too. A downspout in the wrong place can overcome whatever natural protection against drainage problems your lawn grading may have.
Grass Barriers and Rain Gardens
Lawn grading isn’t the only aspect of landscaping that can help divert water away from your home. The plants and grass present in your lawn can do much of the heavy lifting when it comes to water management. Install the right grass or plants in your yard, and water will be diverted away or blocked accordingly. Install a rain garden in a problem area, and suddenly water pooling in that area becomes a bed for thirsty plants you couldn’t easily maintain otherwise.
Gravel Drains, Stone Driveways, and Artificial Streams
Gravel allows water to pass through it more easily than dirt without washing it away easily or creating unsightly drainage paths or ditches of mud and bare ground. A ditch full of gravel will guide water naturally wherever you want it to go, and it can look great if you plan it right. Similarly, you can turn a driveway or footpath into a similar drainage system by using looser stone construction instead of less permeable materials.
If the water falling into your lawn can’t be guided to better areas of your yard naturally, then it may be time to consider installing full drainage lines to carry away the excess water. Experts will be able to look at your lawn and determine the best combination of drainage systems—lawn grading, drains, pipes, culverts, the options are endless.
If you’re building a new garage it’s important to use materials that mold will find unattractive. Constructing a garage with metal studs instead of wood is a great idea.
Choosing materials other than wood for your new garage will not only eliminate the possibility of mold growth but you’re also preventing wood-eating pests that can damage your new garage. Pre-coated aluminum and vinyl siding is the best idea for garage walls.
How to Prevent Mold in Your Existing Garage
Your highest priority should be reducing the moisture content of the air as much as possible. Start with getting a good air dehumidifier. Ensure that your garage is well ventilated, this is a good step to take to prevent mold.
Water entering through the roof of the garage is a sure way to grow mold. Keep your garage roots in good shape. Fresh, circulating air and a well-maintained garage should be enough to prevent garage mold. Sunlight will also help mold from growing. Try keeping your garage door open for a few hours a day to prevent mold in your garage.
Removing Mold in the Garage
Removing mold in the garage is a generally less complicated issue than in other areas of the home. The biggest issue with mold removal besides proper precautions and disposal methods is ensuring that the mold is removed. Mold can hide behind garage walls, so it’s important to locate and remove the mold. Getting professional help to remove the mold in your garage is advised.
It’s a smart decision for any homeowner to take a good look at the conditions in your garage. You can assess the potential threat of mold growth. Not doing this could result in a costly cleanup process. Maintenance, regular cleaning, and controlling humidity in your garage are key to putting an end to mold in the garage. All of these small steps can help with solid mold prevention in your garage.
Humidity in Florida. Always a perfect recipe for mold problems. Mold in the house and on the furniture. Is there any possible way to avoid mold in my house. There is a culprit lucking in the home that can contribute to mold. It’s important to focus on the temperature setting of the A/C.
A/C Temperature Settings Matter!
Incorrect air conditioner fan settings can contribute or help prevent mold. Such a simple little setting can cause a big problem! How can this problem be avoided. Make sure you’re a/c fan is set to “Auto.” The “auto” setting allows the thermostat to turn on the a/c when it reaches the set temperature. So, if your thermostat is set to 75ºF, when the inside air temperature reaches 75ºF the a/c will kick on, cool the house and pull moisture out of the air. The moisture is funneled out of the house via the drain line. The Auto setting also uses less energy because the fan only runs during the heating or cooling cycle.
If the fan is set to the “on” position, the fan runs constantly, circulating warm dry air. In Florida, it circulates warm moist air, which can spawn mold growth. When the temperature reaches 75ºF, the a/c will still kick on and cool and reduce the humidity. But until it does, the fan is blowing humid air throughout the house. The moving air holds a temperature longer, even though it's higher in humidity, so the cooling/drying cycle rarely kicks on. You may begin to notice a stuffy” smell in the house. The constant air movement can clog the air filter faster, making the air handler work harder when it does cool.
In Florida, it’s recommended to use the Auto setting and leave a ceiling fan or two running on low. This combination provides the best airflow and humidity control to prevent mold in your Florida home.
Keep The A/C Unit Running
Run Your AC. Mold prospers in wet, moist spaces. Many homeowners don't realize this but the ac unit was developed to dehumidify spaces. So, while Florida rain showers may bring cool winds, don't allow that to entice you into leaving your home windows open. This allows the moisture and an opportunity for leaks to escalate.
Check the condensate drain pipeline of your AC unit to ensure it’s trickling regularly. If it isn’t, the pipeline is blocked and water may be building up inside the unit– or on your flooring. To stop clog and mold accumulation, pour a mug of bleach blended with water down the drain each year.
Monitor Indoor Climate and Humidity
Keep your home temperature at around 80 degrees when you are away from home. Many times we bump the thermostat up to 85 degrees, or turn off the AC when we’re away. This raises temperature and humidity, which creates the ideal home for mold. Certain species of mold can begin growing when it is above 70% humidity, so you also need to monitor the indoor humidity.
The EPA suggests keeping your indoor humidity levels between 30% and 50% to prevent mold growth and discourage dust mites from reproducing
A recurring chore in keeping your home clean is vacuuming the floors, but few homeowners ever enjoy this task. Hauling the vacuum from room to room and moving furniture can be quite irritating. Not to mention having to change the vacuum attachments in order to reach the hard-to-reach places.
A central vacuum system can make it much simpler to clean your floors. But it does have a few drawbacks as well.
A central vacuum cleaner keeps a canister receptacle and the motor in a single location and usually, it’s in the basement or garage.
Some systems are designed to spin air in a canister and exhaust it outside the home. While other systems will collect dust and debris in a canister or a bag that needs to be emptied from time to time.
Pros of a central vacuum system:
The cons of a central vacuum system:
So as with most things, there are the ups and downs to a central vac, but is the system worth the money for your household?
There are several reasons why you should consider a central vac system.
So basically, most people either love or hate central vac systems. About 50% of homeowners say they would never build without a central vac system while the other 50% say they don’t care for the system.
Stay well informed do your research and then you can make an informed decision on whether the central vacuum system is right for your family.
Can I Keep Mold Out of My Home?
The state of Florida can present a huge problem because of the humidity in this region. That humidity can cause mold to grow in the home. Mold in the home can destroy your home and your health. And if mold grows for any length of time it will cost a lot of money to remove it from your home. The good news is that you can effectively work to keep mold out of your home even in a very humid area like Florida.
Pay Attention to High Moisture Areas
The bathroom and kitchen are areas where moisture content is high. Mold will thrive in an area where there is excessive moisture. So when you’re taking a shower remember to open a window or turn on a vent. Every bathroom should have a fan installed in Florida. And wipe up any spilled water immediately don’t allow it to sit.
Take Note Of Indoor Humidity
The humidity level in Florida can reach very high levels outside. But that doesn’t have to be the case inside the house. An effective way to control mold in the home is making sure the humidity levels in your house are only between 30 and 60%. New model HVAC systems will help regulate the humidity level in the house. It might also help to use a portable home dehumidifier in those high moisture areas of the home. You can also use a digital hygrometer to check humidity levels in the rooms in areas of your home.
Check Indoor Plants Often
Who doesn’t love the look and the beauty that indoor plants add to your home? While they do provide a beautiful look and improve the quality of the air inside, you still need to look out for mold growth in your house because of the plants. Plants do help with air pollution but the moistness in the soil can lead to the growth of spores. Healthy houseplants will definitely improve the air quality in your home.
Clean and Maintain the HVAC System
Keeping your HVAC system updated and clean will keep the moisture level down in your home as well. This is another effective way to prevent mold from spreading in the home. Clean window air conditioners and central air conditioning equipment often. Clean air purifiers and dehumidifiers every three months. This is essential maintenance to get rid of accumulated dust and dirt which will feed mold growth. Installing new filters in the air supply duct registers will provide a fresh air supply. It’s also good to use portable HEPA filter air cleaners to remove airborne mold spores.
Use Your Nose
Your nose is a great way to help you detect mold problems. If you smell mold it’s there even though it’s not visible to the eye. If you smell mold it very well may be in the walls, ceilings, attic and air-conditioning equipment. So if you smell mold start to make an inspection immediately.Inspect all areas of the house the roof, attic, ceiling, walls, wood furniture. Mold causes discoloration of wood and other building material so it will be easy to spot at times.
It is possible to keep mold out of your home even in Florida. You just have to know what habits and practices to implement and when
Symptoms of Black Mold at Home
Black mold in my home? The thought of black mold growing in our homes is very alarming. What’s even more unsettling is when you see something you suspect is black mold growing in your home. Knowledge about black mold is power. Knowledge has the power to calm our fears and to help us deal with the current or potential problem of black mold. It’s important to know the health problems that black mold can cause, and how to handle the mold if you think you have it in your home.
What is Black Mold?
Black mold is a mold that is often a black color, although it can be greenish or gray as well. The mold can grow in homes in damp and humid areas. It feeds on organic materials and common household materials like drywall, carpet, insulation, or subflooring that has been exposed to moisture. As the mold grows it can release toxic substances. These substances can cause health problems.
How to Identify Black Mold?
Black mold that’s growing in a visible area is easily seen. There are times when you’re not able to see a mold problem that’s actually happening behind your walls or maybe in your installation. If this is the case, you would smell a mold problem. Immediately investigate the source of the moisture that’s causing the smell. The smell would be most likely a musty, earthy smell like dirt or leaves that are rotting. If mold is present the smell is especially strong.
Testing for Black Mold
You can actually test for black mold in your home yourself. There are mold testing kits that are available at the hardware store or even on Amazon. The pricing can vary in range for the do-it-yourself project usually around $30-$50. When you do it yourself you can take samples from a suspected affected area, and then send them off to a lab to be tested.
Symptoms of Exposure to Black Mold?
Common symptoms of black mold exposure include itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing, an irritated throat, and irritated nasal passages. It has also been reported that black mole can be the cause of headaches, dizziness, vomiting, and chronic fatigue. For individuals with allergies, they are more likely to be affected by black mold exposure. Children and the elderly along with those with a weakened immune system are definitely at risk of bad reactions to mold.
Cleaning and Removing Black Mold
Evidence of black mold should be cleaned immediately. The EPA explains that the key to mold control is moisture control. Mold on hard surfaces can be cleaned with a bleach solution, commercial cleaning products, or soap and water. Be sure to wear proper gloves, eyewear, and a mask when cleaning the mold. Proper ventilation is a must. Open doors and windows for air circulation. Ceiling tiles, drywall, carpet, and any other porous material that has become moldy should be thrown away.
When mold damage is very extensive, a professional mold remediation specialist should be called on to do the job. Finding the source of any dampness and moisture and addressing this source is very important so that the mold does not regrow.
At the end of the day responsible and safety-conscious homeowners will address mold issues immediately. Any mold growth in the home can be potentially dangerous and should be addressed thoroughly and swiftly.
Why are crawl spaces a breeding ground for mold issues? Because of the high moisture and humidity in crawl spaces. Think about the location of the crawl space. It sits underneath your home right on top of the earth. The dirt and soil from the earth contain moisture. And this moisture forms very easily in confined areas. Homes in Southeastern states report having this issue more often. The EPA says, “The best way to control mold growth is to control moisture.” www.epa.gov/mold So what are some ways to control moisture in the crawl space?
Crawl Space Moisture Control Tips
Crawl Space Maintenance
First off it’s essential to inspect the crawlspace for damage and quickly repair it. Check your crawl space for holes or cracks that small critters, cockroaches, and mice use to enter this space. ensure there are no entry or exit points within the crawl space. Seal holes using foam insulation, caulking, or wood. Similarly, check out any leaks that may be sending drips of water into your crawl space. Be sure to fix any issues quickly. Cleaning the crawl space regularly will help.
Do I need a Dehumidifier? - Yes
Moisture can go through the roof and cause problems during hot and humid months. Don’t let it build up. Get a dehumidifier to collect the excess moisture in the air and leave your space nice and dry. A dehumidifier will regulate humidity levels in your crawl space. The energy-efficient, self-draining models are the best and widely recommended.
Vapor Barriers A Must
Sealing your crawl space is important if it has exposed dirt floors. Exposed dirt floors cause ground moisture to seep into your home, which increases humidity levels. Vapor barriers will be an effective solution and prevent moisture from entering your crawl space. When done properly, encapsulation can reduce moisture levels in your crawl space by 50% and keep it dry for many years.
Insulate your crawl space
You will need to insulate the crawl space after the vapor barrier is installed. Rigid panels made of expanded polystyrene foam are highly recommended. This type of insulation is more reliable and won’t fail or harbor mold or pests when wet. Insulation creates a tight seal that keeps air out while protecting the crawl space from moisture and mold growth. Proper insulation can affect conditions inside your home, and will nicely, lower your energy costs. Crawl space insulation helps to enhance your home’s energy efficiency.
Vents need to be Covered
Make sure any vents are concealed with airtight covers to keep nuisances out. Uncovered vents allow outside air, water, and pests to easily access your home, which leads to problems like flooding, moisture, damage to your structural supports, and more. Vents to the crawl space need to be covered.
Install a sump pump
As part of your flood prevention initiative, have a sump pump installed at the lowest section of the crawl space. You never know when it could flood. In the unlikely event that large amounts of water get in, like after a heavy downpour or a burst pipe, the sump pump will remove the water before it collects and causes damage.
By giving regular time and attention to the prevention of moisture in the crawl space you will be able to avoid Unnecessary expenses to this part of your home.
Mold and Mold Remediation in the home is a very important part of homeownership. There are a couple of things to keep in mind when it comes to mold:
1.) Do things right the first time to prevent mold.
2.) Take care of mold issues immediately.
The following, are basic adaptable steps that can be used to quickly remove remediate mold properly.
The following are basic adaptable steps that can be used to quickly remediate mold properly.
Step 1: Educate yourself about moisture
Evaluating moisture www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm and mold growth is more than just what you can see growing on the walls or in the corners. Mold can also be invisible, growing behind what you can see. So you have to think and ask yourself, could there be mold in this area?
First off, mold grows because of water or moisture. So the next thing to do is become a master of moisture. Understand where it’s coming from and how it’s getting in the house. Mold can spread and grow anywhere in the home as long as moisture and oxygen are present. It particularly likes to grow on drywall, tiles, wood, insulation, and fabrics.
Step 2: Write down your findings of the mold problem and create a plan of remediation
Be sure to document the mold situation with photos and videos and even write down details. This documentation will be used to develop a remediation plan. This documentation can be of great assistance to whatever company manages the remediation.
Step 3: Figure out how much of a mold problem you have to deal with.
How much contamination are you really looking at? Knowing the extent of damage will impact the approach to mold removal and clean up. The goal of mold removal is to remove all the mold growing within the home.
Step 4: Remediate mold contamination
The cleanup process for mold remediation will look a little like this:
Step 5: Determine if cleanup has been successful.
There are some final things that need to be done even after the mold is gone. Lastly, determine if your clean-up efforts have been successful. Here are some options and guidelines to follow.
When it comes to mold, the key is to implement a comprehensive moisture management strategy. Health issues from mold can be prevented and decreased by doing it right the first time. Following an immediate and thorough remediation plan is essential for getting rid of the mold.
When it comes to mold, moisture is one of the most important things to consider. Moisture is what all life needs to exist - and mold is no different. So that makes moisture control very important - whether you are having a mold remediation job performed or not.
A good example of this is a large condo job that us here at HERO Remediation are working on as we speak. The condo remediation project all comes down to moisture. Many of the residents are concerned when they don't see any issue on the surface, but our moisture meters, thermal cameras, and other tools indicate a different matter, and we recommend removing sheetrock to get to the actual issue. But once we open the walls and show them the damage and mold behind it, they understand why the moisture readings we found showed that we needed to remove the sheetrock.
Moisture - Good & Evil
Moisture control is very important, as we can see. In fact, the EPA provides a very helpful Moisture Control Guide that you can use. But without going into an entire EPA document, here are some basics that can help you keep moisture under control:
Stay In Control
We call it "moisture control" because it requires us to control the moisture in our home. Keeping relative humidity below 60%, keeping leaks and water issues at bay, and calling a professional like HERO Remediation whenever there is an issue - and doing it early enough that the issue doesn't become worse.
We find mold in all sorts of places here in Winter Garden and surrounding areas. We find it under sinks, in walls, in sub-flooring - and anywhere else you can think of. But one of the most common places where we find mold is in the attic.
Why is mold so often found in attics? How should it be remediated? Let's discuss:
What Causes Mold In Attics?
Mold occurs in attics for many reasons - below are just a few of the causes:
1) Lack of ventilation. This is by far probably the most common reason we find mold in someone's attic. Without proper ventilation, mold spores get the humidity and temperature levels they need to grow and populate.
2) Moisture. This is an obvious one, but still needs to be mentioned. If you had a roof leak or other issue that allowed moisture to get into your attic area for a period of time, then mold only needs about 48 hours in that environment to start to get a foot hold.
3) Too much ventilation. That's right - too much ventilation. An example of this is someone who has ridge and soffit vent which creates an upward flow of air and works properly. But then they also add gable vents thinking that more air equals better ventilation. But gable vents in that situation are like poking holes in a vacuum hose - and losing suction. Having ventilation that conflicts is often almost as bad as having too little ventilation.
How Should The Mold Remediation Be Done?
Every remediation job is different, but there are some basic parameters that we follow. First of all, we keep everything possible contained. We do not want any of the spores to leave the attic and enter your home. Having proper PPE is important - for you and our crew.
We also want to make sure that the visible mold is properly cleaned. We always use EPA approved products and methods to ensure that the mold is taken care of.
Then you will want measures taken to make sure that the mold does not return. Many products leave a film on surfaces to help prevent this, but you will also want to stop the conditions that caused the mold issue in the first place.
Winter Garden Mold Remediation Services
HERO Remediation provides Winter Garden Mold Remediation services and provides this service to the Greater Orlando area. So contact us today! (407) 608-9478
HERO Remediation is Central Florida's premier flood and water damage restoration company. Fully licensed and experienced.