Recent Posts

What Is Water Mitigation In The Saint Croix Valley?

7/31/2018 (Permalink)

The simple answer is that, it is the prevention of further water damage by taking strict actions. Actions such as removal of unsalvageable contents and structures (dry wall, flooring, etc.), cleaning of the affected areas, application of disinfecting agents, deodorizing and drying the structure.

The actual water mitigation time of your property and valuables will be determined by the amount of the water damage endured. Our advanced equipment such as drying equipment and the use of testing equipment will ensure your property is being dried out. They will be removed only when the temperature, humidity and moisture testing confirm that the affected areas have been dried to approved standards. With that said, the equipment can be considered noisy and somewhat intrusive but, when you consider that every minute that the equipment is running is one more minute that you are closer to having the entire situation rectified, you will understand that it is a necessary process. Also, the timing of the process can be measured in 24 hour increments for insurance standards, not in minutes.

For the property that has been affected by mold spores it needs to be thoroughly cleaned, and any moisture must be removed completely from that area. This makes sure that the mold will not continue to grow further or return to the area to grow again.

WATER DAMAGE CAUSES AT HOME AND HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM

We all know we're surrounded by water. The ocean, lakes, rivers, ponds, and other natural water reserves. But we are also surrounded by human-made waterways - sewers, water mains and pipes, and gutters also fill up with water when it rains. All this water is great, but can also cause a lot of damage.

TYPES OF WATER DAMAGE CAUSES AT HOME

There are several types of water damage at home. Some can be prevented with simple maintenance, and some of them are just forces of nature doing their thing. Here are some of the water damages we helped people deal with over the years:

  • Pipes leaks / bursts (or toilets) - Common reason for water damage at home. Pipes are usually hidden. Either in the floors, walls or just running on the outer walls of your home, they're far out of sight. If they start leaking it may take a few days (or even weeks) before you notice anything is wrong. These leaks create more damage as time goes by, so if you have any suspicion you've got a leaky pipe - call a plumber or water damage experts and have it checked.
  • Broken appliances at home - some of our appliances are connected to water mains, use water, and when they break down - we are the ones who suffer. The usual suspects are dishwashers & washing machines, but refrigerators, freezers and aquariums can also be counted here. These causes usually cause less damage than pipe leaks, since they are usually visible almost instantly as they happen, and are not hidden in the walls. The most important thing to do when suffering such water damage is to extract the water as quickly as possible, before it gets absorbed in carpets or floors, and before the water damage becomes a health hazard and a mold growth bed which will be a lot harder (and way more expensive) to repair.
  • Sump pump failure and toilet clogs - These are less common, but they do happen. When your sump pump fails in your basement, it creates an overflow of the toilets or sump basin in your basement, which is also harder to get rid of without professional equipment and water damage professionals.
  • Sewage backup, or rising water from other water sources (seawater, lakes, rivers) - These reasons for water damage are in "Class 3" water damage, meaning the water contains lots of contaminants and unsanitary agents, causing a serious health hazard. These causes are usually accompanied by bad odors, and can cause discomfort and even sickness.
  • Floods - these are really rare in most areas, and more common in some areas. Floods are considered as substantially large amounts of water reaching places they don't usually reach, such as places which are usually dry land like town centers, bridges and of course - your home. Floods are the hardest to deal with when it comes to water damage, because floods create a lot more damage to homes, and affect also access roads and facilities. Moreover, floods usually affect more than one home, and can flow over a whole town and even a city.

WATER DAMAGE AT HOME

Imagine you're at home. Sitting on your sofa, enjoying a good movie on the TV, having some popcorn, when you suddenly look up and see a discoloration on the ceiling. Nothing much, just some bubbles in the paint and a brownish stain of what looks like humidity. Nothing to really worry about, but where is it coming from?

You head up to the attic, only to realize your roof just gave in a little, and water is dripping in from your skylight. A drop every few seconds on days of constant rain can accumulate to large amounts of water that really have nowhere to go. So they get absorbed in your carpet or hardwood floors. And that's a problem. A big problem.

If you suffered from any type of water damage, it's important to remember 3 things:

  1. Get your belongings far from water ASAP - the longer they are in water, the less chances you have of saving them.
  2. Get the water extracted - water standing in your home is a bad idea for so many reasons. Get water extraction services and dry your property.
  3. Make sure the water didn't go any deeper - have water damage experts visit your property, inspect it thoroughly and verify there is no hidden water or wetness that can evolve into something worse.

For many this can be one of the most frustration times of their lives. If nothing else know that there are people out there, like SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley, trained in getting you the help that you need to tackle these problems, backed with years of experience.

Why Hiring a Water Damage Restoration Company is the Best Option

7/16/2018 (Permalink)

Although it’s tempting to fix water damage yourself, it’s not a wise choice.  Here’s Why:

Safety & Health

If a massive flood flows through your home, two things happen. First, the structural integrity of your home is instantly compromised. Second, the water is filled with harmful bacteria, chemicals, and other toxic material that can affect your health or cause injury. If the water is still standing after several hours or days, there’s no way of knowing what’s in it. Water removal specialists have the skill and equipment necessary to remove the water safely without injury or exposure to whatever is in the water. There’s no need to put yourself or anyone else at risk when you can seek the aid of experienced water removal professionals.

Fast, Efficient Work

Water removal is a time-sensitive task that must be executed without delay. The condition of your home grows progressively worse in a short period once the flood strikes. The water must be removed before it permanently damages the internal structure. Plumbing and electrical systems must be inspected. The wood frame and flooring have to be treated, and everything must be dried fast.

This requires the experience of a certified, reputable water removal company that can complete the job in a fraction of the time it takes for a homeowner to do it. A response team can arrive on-site with all the tools and equipment necessary to go to work right away. They know the proper procedure for extracting the water and restoring the home. An entire team can complete the project within hours to save the property from further damage.

The Right Tools

While shop vacs, bathroom towels, Clorox, and open windows may seem like an effective method for flood cleanup, they neither treat the wood below the surface nor create an arid room that allows moisture to evaporate. In the end, the homeowner wastes time and energy only to get less than satisfactory results.

All equipment and tools used to remove water are specially designed to meet or exceed the highest industry standards when restoring a home after a flood. This includes the time it takes to complete the project. For example, air-moving machines can push 100 cubic feet of air around you home in just 60 seconds. By circulating the air, the machine speeds up evaporation time. An industrial grade dehumidifier does the same thing with water. It can extract 50+ gallons of water out of any building. Large-scale equipment likes the above mentioned can do the work of 10 people but at a faster rate.

Manpower

While this may not seem like a compelling reason to hire a professional water removal company, the alternative is, well, doing it yourself. Nothing is more encouraging, however than seeing an entire staff piling out of work vehicles for the purpose of saving your home. By working in teams, water removal companies have the capacity to take on the most challenging jobs and finish them in record time. If the 48-hour window presents a monumental challenge for a solo cleanup effort, additional help is the way to go if you want your house to survive that initial period before the onslaught mold, spores, and fungi take over your home.

Don’t Let Water & Storm Damage Sink Your Finances

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

Featured Article from IICRC Archives (www.IICRC.org)

In a Nutshell: Water damage can strike unexpectedly, causing costly damage to homes and businesses. Many people don’t face water damage in time, nor do they use proper equipment to get rid of the water or the subsequent mold that develops. The best course of action to ensure your family avoids health problems following water damage to your home is turning to an IICRC-certified professional. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) sets global standards and provides 27 certifications for people in the cleaning and restoration business. With a presence in more than 25 countries, the IICRC also provides consumers with educational resources on restoration — so they can repair water-related damage themselves — without breaking the bank, but also doing it the safest way possible.

Water damage from flooding and storms can wreak havoc on a family’s home and finances. The average cost of water removal alone is $2,700. Cleanup and restoration add thousands more to the bill, and a foot of flood damage repair can cost nearly $20,000. While the average water damage insurance claim is $7,500, uninsured people are looking at more staggering out-of-pocket costs.

So, people try to cut corners. One of the first mistakes they make is not facing the scope of the problem. When they procrastinate, the water damage can actually worsen, penetrating building materials, and ultimately also driving up the cost of restoration. When people do seek help, they don’t look for certified experts.

Instead, people should reach out to and rely on certified experts right away. The IICRC is an organization dedicated to setting industry standards — and training experts — in inspection, cleaning, and restoration of damaged properties. Its Clean Trust logo has become a symbol of confidence between certified technicians and customers.

For over 45 years, the organization has been helping people to train and certify experts to do the hands-on hard work that goes into cleaning up the mess left by water damage.

Jeff Bishop, a Director of IICRC, is a second-generation restoration expert. He sums up the genesis of the problem that the nonprofit IICRC helps resolve. “It happens frequently when there is wholesale flooding … people have hardly anywhere to turn but to rely on themselves, which can jeopardize the health and safety of their families,” Jeff said.

Although there are a few other organizations similar to IICRC, such as the Restoration Industry Association (RIA), IICRC sets the standard for the training and certification of experts.

“In the industry, there is no specific regulation that governs how restoration can be performed except ANSI/IICRC S500,” also known as the Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration, Jeff said.

Cleaning Air Ducts In The Saint Croix Valley.

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

In addition to normal accumulations of dust and dirt found in all homes with air ducts, there are several other factors that can increase the need for regular HVAC system cleaning:

  • pets
  • occupants with allergies or asthma
  • cigarette or cigar smoke
  • water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system
  • home renovation or remodeling projects

Some occupants are more sensitive to these contaminants than others. Allergy and asthma sufferers, as well as young children and the elderly tend to be more susceptible to the types of poor indoor air quality that air duct cleaning can help address.

The rule of thumb for consumers is that “if your air ducts look dirty, they probably are,” and that dirty HVAC systems should be inspected by a reputable, certified HVAC professional. Below are some other reasons homeowners choose to have their air ducts cleaned.

Indoor air quality is one concern that homeowners have when they decide to investigate air duct cleaning. Your heating and cooling system is the lungs of your home. The system takes air in and breathes air out.

Through normal occupation in a home, we generate a great deal of contaminants and air pollutants, such as dander, dust, and chemicals. These contaminants are pulled into the HVAC system and re-circulated 5 to 7 times per day, on average. Over time, this re-circulation causes a build-up of contaminants in the duct work.

While dirty ducts don’t necessarily mean unhealthy air in your home, school or workplace, they may be contributing to larger health issues or harboring contaminants that could cause serious problems for people with respiratory health conditions, autoimmune disorders or some environmental allergies.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 to 40 percent of the energy used for heating or cooling a home is wasted. Contaminants in the heating and cooling system cause it to work harder and shorten the life of your system. Although filters are used, the heating and cooling system still gets dirty through normal use.

When an HVAC system is clean, it doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain the temperature you desire. As a result, less energy is used, leading to improved cost-effectiveness.

Cigarette Smoke Cleaning

6/5/2018 (Permalink)

While not as many people smoke now days we get this call from time to time. After years of smoking in a home, walls and contents become blemished and develop bad odors. And when the time comes to remove the smoke residue and odors, it will be very difficult to successfully complete the task. Professional cleanup is often necessary. This can be one of the toughest jobs a we come across.   Learn more about smoke removal below.

"How does smoke affect properties?"

Tobacco smoke is a complex mixture of over 4,000 compounds. Smoke sticks to every surface of the smoking area, such as walls, windows, furniture, and in every nook and cranny. It leaves a yellowish-brown sticky substance that you can see, smell, and feel. Cigarette smoke residue can permanently alter the appearance of every surface it sticks to. What’s worse, the HVAC system in the building will carry the smoke residue and odor throughout the structure. This residue is extremely hard to remove, much harder than the soot left over from a fire.

"How do you remove tobacco smoke from homes?"

As tobacco residue is present throughout the entire affected area, removing it is often very time- consuming. There is no magic formula that just whisks away residues and smells. The only effective way to remove tobacco residue and smell is through very thorough cleaning and then sealing all structural surfaces. Restoration specialists start tobacco smoke removal by cleaning all surfaces, which always includes deodorizing agents to help eliminate the very tiny particles of tobacco smoke. The residue is also filled with nicotine which during the cleaning process can be absorbed through the skin and give a person nicotine poisoning. Proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is a must!

Once the technicians finish cleaning the visible surfaces, using specialized equipment is often necessary to remove the very last of the odors that are not accessible (such as inside walls or joints). This will often involve Chlorine dioxide gas or ozone generators – professional equipment that effectively destroys the smelly particles that penetrated hard-to-reach areas.

The next step consists of sealing the surfaces with a sealant. A product designed to seal smoke residues is required – these can lock in the very last of the stains and odors. Finally, the surfaces will be ready to paint, refinish, or to apply new coverings.

"What about the soft items?"

The soft things in a home such as upholstery, bedding, draperies, and clothes absorb odors so well and are often easily damaged. Because of this, they are very difficult to successfully restore and may require outside specialists. In many cases though, the decision is made to simply replace these materials and items.

If you find yourself dealing with a cigarette smoke odor we’d love to help, call us at 715-381-2266

Don't Let Water And Storm Damage Sink Your Finances

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

Featured Article from IICRC Archives (www.IICRC.org)

In a Nutshell: Water damage can strike unexpectedly, causing costly damage to homes and businesses. Many people don’t face water damage in time, nor do they use proper equipment to get rid of the water or the subsequent mold that develops. The best course of action to ensure your family avoids health problems following water damage to your home is turning to an IICRC-certified professional. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) sets global standards and provides 27 certifications for people in the cleaning and restoration business. With a presence in more than 25 countries, the IICRC also provides consumers with educational resources on restoration — so they can repair water-related damage themselves — without breaking the bank, but also doing it the safest way possible.

Water damage from flooding and storms can wreak havoc on a family’s home and finances. The average cost of water removal alone is $2,700. Cleanup and restoration add thousands more to the bill, and a foot of flood damage repair can cost nearly $20,000. While the average water damage insurance claim is $7,500, uninsured people are looking at more staggering out-of-pocket costs.

So, people try to cut corners. One of the first mistakes they make is not facing the scope of the problem. When they procrastinate, the water damage can actually worsen, penetrating building materials, and ultimately also driving up the cost of restoration. When people do seek help, they don’t look for certified experts.

Instead, people should reach out to and rely on certified experts right away. The IICRC is an organization dedicated to setting industry standards — and training experts — in inspection, cleaning, and restoration of damaged properties. Its Clean Trust logo has become a symbol of confidence between certified technicians and customers.

For over 45 years, the organization has been helping people to train and certify experts to do the hands-on hard work that goes into cleaning up the mess left by water damage.

Jeff Bishop, a Director of IICRC, is a second-generation restoration expert. He sums up the genesis of the problem that the nonprofit IICRC helps resolve. “It happens frequently when there is wholesale flooding … people have hardly anywhere to turn but to rely on themselves, which can jeopardize the health and safety of their families,” Jeff said.

Although there are a few other organizations similar to IICRC, such as the Restoration Industry Association (RIA), IICRC sets the standard for the training and certification of experts.

“In the industry, there is no specific regulation that governs how restoration can be performed except ANSI/IICRC S500,” also known as the Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration, Jeff said.

Duct Cleaning in The Saint Croix Valley

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

Indoor air quality has become a huge topic in recent years. As a result, we’re seeing more and more services and products tuned to improving the overall quality of the air we breathe in our homes and businesses—from air filters, to HVAC filtration improvements, and even to the service of duct cleaning itself.   We get asked about the importance of our service pretty often. Is duct cleaning necessary? Is it worth it? As to whether or not the service is worth it, we can give a resounding yes! But is it necessary? That answer can depend on a number of variables, which we’re going to talk about today!

Should I Invest In Duct Cleaning?

Organizations like the NADCA (National Air Duct Cleaners Association) have put tons of study into the importance of duct cleaning in recent years.   Duct cleaning often can have a noticeable impact on the cleanliness of your home or business, and in many situations can reduce many of the airborne risks in your structure.

It’s the question of when you need it most that is important. Due to the nature of air filtration and the habit of home and business owners to keep spaces relatively clean, duct cleaning isn’t needed super often. It’s not, say, a monthly service or anything. But having the service performed every few years by trained specialists that carry the tools and experience needed to do the job right can be a huge boon!

When Do I Need Professional Duct Cleaning?

Aside from time, there are some situations where duct cleaning might become necessary, or have demonstrable benefits to your structure. These situations include:

Routine cleaning. It’s a good idea to have your system handled by pros every three to five years, depending on the traffic of your structure, its size, and the overall cleanliness of the occupants. This ensures you don’t end up with a buildup of pollen, dust, and mold spore that can begin to pile up and reduce air quality and HVAC efficiency. Routine care also helps keep your space cleaner overall, reducing the necessity of other cleaning activities and services.

Risks of mold. Hands down one of the biggest benefits of duct cleaning is eradicating a major risk of mold. Mold takes root in ductwork fairly commonly. And because ducts tend to be dark, moist, and fairly spacious, mold spores can become a serious threat to your home. If you suspect a presence of mold in your home, duct cleaning is an excellent service to pursue.

Vermin and infestations. Many common pests like mice, rats, other vermin, and insects can make a pretty prosperous home out of your ductwork. If you notice signs of these (droppings, odd sounds, a presence of insects, etc.), duct cleaning by professionals can solve your problem very effectively.

Construction and renovation. Home additions, remodeling, and construction can all generate huge amounts of dust and small particles that can get jammed in your ductwork. This can result in poor air quality and lower HVAC efficiency. Duct cleaning is a great service to follow up with after construction!

If you would like to set up an appointment to have your ducts cleaned, call SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley – 715-381-2266

Carpets and Pets

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

When you own pets and have carpet in your home, it can be difficult to keep the carpet looking clean all of the time. Cats are generally cleaner than dogs since most cats are indoor animals. They do still shed and spread pet dander, so vacuuming twice per week is suggested. It is also ideal to have a carpet with a medium tone and that has a few colors woven in to help hide some pet dirt from showing. Regardless of which pet you have, it's never easy getting the pet smell out of your carpet. Let's explore a few tips that just might help.

Purchase Stain Resistant Carpet

If you are able, stain-resistant carpet is always the way to go. Consider this option if you are replacing the carpeting or wish to carpet a wood or tile floor. This type of carpet is often more costly but also lasts for an extended period of time. Stain-resistant carpet already has a protective layer applied to the fibers. There is no need for scotch guarding practices as it can withstand being steam-cleaned, vacuumed and spills without losing too much of its integrity.

Scotch Guard Non-Stain Resistant Options

If you have carpet that is a few years old it is best to scotch-guard the carpets. This will put a protective guard on the carpet. It will need to be repeated after a period of time to help the fibers maintain their structure and help protect additional stains from being possible. You should have this done professionally to ensure that every fiber is treated. Missing a spot by doing it yourself can cause stains to get under fibers that are treated. This can cause stains that do get past the scotch guarding to be harder to get out.

How to Care for Your Carpet if You Have Pets at Home

Cleaning Pet Urine

Pet urine is one of the toughest things to battle when it comes to carpet care. In order to get accidental urine spots out of the carpet, you need to catch it rather quickly. Get several paper towels first and step on them, a few at a time, with shoes on. This will help you to pull up the urine without spreading it. Continue to do this until the paper towels come up nearly dry. Make a mixture of 1-teaspoon of ammonia and 1-cup of water. Spray this on the area and let it sit for 5-minutes. Use a stiff brush and make small circular motions from the inside of the spot outward. Use a wet/dry vacuum to pull up the rest of the area. This should prevent the urine from staining and should pull all of it up from the carpet.

Keep your Pet’s Nails Trimmed

The length of your pet’s nails can cause damage to a carpet. When a pet gets excited and runs around or scoots across the carpet, it can snag the strands of material. This can cause an unraveling effect that would eventually leave spots that are bare, disheveled looking or less fluffy than the rest of the carpet. When trimming your pet’s nails it is also ideal to use a pet nail file on them. This removes the rigidity left to make the nails feel smooth again. This also helps to protect carpet and hardwood floors as well.

Use a Hardwood or Tile Entrance

After taking the dog for a walk when it has been raining or snowing, a hardwood or tile floor entrance with a rug that they can walk over first is ideal. This prevents wet and muddy feet from making prints on the floor and prevents the mud from getting on the carpet. Some dogs will play in mud or splash a little due to their size. Keep a towel handy, next to the entry door, to wipe them off. Some types of mud can be more difficult to remove from carpet than others.

Vacuum Twice Per Week

Even if your pet does not shed a lot, dander is still created. This can cause a carpet to get weighed down and have a pet odor to it. To prevent this from being an issue, you should vacuum twice per week. One of these times you should move furniture and thoroughly vacuum. Pet dander and hair can travel, causing it to get on carpet that is underneath furniture. If the pet eats on the carpet or plays with toys on carpeted areas, it is also ideal to vacuum their play areas. Drool and particles from toys can get into the carpet as well. Pet saliva can leave an unpleasant odor over time.

If you’ve got problem stains from pets that are too big for you to handle call the professionals at SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley at 715-381-2266.

Sump Pumps In The Saint Croix Valley

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

Since we live in an area where homes typically have basements, it’s smart to have a sump pump in the lower spots in the basement. Most homeowners understand the benefits of having such a system in their basement, and that’s definitely the case when they’ve invested a lot of money refinishing their basement to turn it into livable space their family can enjoy. If you’re going to spend that much money on your home, it’s only smart to protect that investment by installing a relatively inexpensive (at least as it compares to the cost of a typical basement finishing project) water mitigation system. Some homes we’ve seen have the crock for the pump but no pump installed. Only when the basement flooded did the home owner become of aware of it. It is wise to check your home and if you don’t have a pump, install one. If you do have one, it is great to run it at least once a year to ensure proper operation. Like any mechanical system in your home, it’s not fail proof. In fact, all too often when they’re expected to perform to protect your home they fail and the consequences can be disastrous.

What do I do if my sump pump fails?

In most cases sump pumps fail during rain events. When that happens, the water usually seeps in through the foundation or basement walls and begins pooling in the lowest area of the basement, gradually rising as more water comes in. So what do you do at that point? Here are a couple of suggestions we have to help you navigate a difficult situation.

First, you’re going to need to get the sump pump fixed. A plumber is going to be necessary to get the sump pump back up and running. Immediately call a licensed plumber in your area and get on their schedule as quickly as possible. During rain events, it’s not unusual for many homes in the area to suffer the same fate as you, so plumbers will get booked up quickly. Act fast and call for their help!

Second, do the same with a certified water mitigation company. Many times it doesn’t make sense for a water mitigation company to come out immediately, because you’re paying them to pump out water as more water is coming in. It’s just an endless cycle that can cost you a lot of money without doing much in the way of saving your home. You may decide that’s worth the money to you, but in many cases it makes more sense to try and manage things temporarily while you wait for a plumber to fix your sump pump. That said, even if the plumber fixes your sump pump you’re still going to need a restoration company to come in and remove any excess moisture and dry out the affected areas.

Third, consider making a quick run up to your local hardware store to purchase a basement water pump. These pumps can operate continuously during the water event and suck up the water that is pooling and then transport it by hose into a bathtub or other drain. They can work in very little water and if the water stops it automatically shuts off so it doesn’t burn up. You can get a good water pump for under $100 which is a small price to pay for peace of mind and reduce damage to your basement.

If you have problems that you feel are larger than you can take care of, call the professionals at SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley – 715-386-2266

Mold In The Attic

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

If you’re like most of us, you rarely if ever venture into your home’s attic. Why would you? It’s not usually a place you care to venture and for the most part if you do it’s because something isn’t going well. With warmer temps here for the summer, we start to see an increase in jobs where homeowners have discovered mold damage in their attic. In this blog post, we’ll talk through what we typically see when homes have considerable amounts of attic mold and help you understand ways you can make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

Why mold grows in attics

Mold damage in your attic space occurs for the same reasons it occurs anywhere else in a dwelling. It’s a combination of a few things:

() the right temperature – mold spores like warmer, ambient temps. In fact, it likes about the same temp range as we do, between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

() food – no, not crumbs from discarded food a home service technicians might have left while doing some work up in your attic long ago. Mold likes anything that is high in cellulose. Unfortunately for homeowners, that’s pretty much anything in your attic, like plywood, wood joists, roof decking, etc.

() elevated moisture – many homeowners don’t realize that moisture is found in every surface of their home, as it should be. If those surfaces were completely devoid of moisture they wouldn’t perform their duties properly. But if a surface gets too much moisture in it, that’s the trigger mold needs to start growing. Another thing most homeowners don’t realize is that mold spores are present in most environments, and certainly in every home or other type of dwelling. It exists naturally and in low levels and is completely harmless to humans and pets. But with the right conditions, it can grow quickly and spread, causing wide spread damage to your home and have potentially serious health consequences for the home’s inhabitants.

As you can see from the list above, 2 of those things are normal. It’s the 3rd thing, elevated moisture that is not normal and creates the right environment for a mold problem. So now let’s talk through how moisture gets into attics and what you can do to make sure it doesn’t get into yours.

Causes of attic mold growth

When we are called to a home and discover mold in the attic, the culprits are usually pretty easy to spot. There are only so many ways moisture finds its way into an attic. Here’s what we usually see:

Venting directly into the attic

Many bathrooms are equipped with vents that take the warm, wet air released when a shower is running and remove it from the bathroom. Unfortunately, sometimes a misguided homeowner or shoddy handyman will simply install the vent fan such that the air is pushed into the attic where it has nowhere to escape. Bathroom fans should be vented to the outside of the house. If you have an older home that is equipped with one or multiple of these types of exhaust fans, it’s probably worth you taking a look in the attic space to make sure it’s vented properly.

A leaky roof

One culprit we find when inspecting an attic with mold is a leaky roof. Just one damaged or misplaced shingle can allow rain water to slowly seep into your attic. While most people picture a deluge of water coming through their ceiling, more often than not, a roof leak will just allow a slow amount of rain water to enter the attic, usually soaking the roof deck and eventually dripping down onto the attic floor and/or your exterior walls. We recommend that you (safely) inspect your roof’s exterior each spring and it’s also a good idea to just crawl up into your attic and peer at the interior decking of the roof. If you start to see staining, it’s a sign you have some moisture intrusion that needs to be addressed!

Improper Ventilation

Your attic needs to breathe. When we have extended periods of extremely cold weather like we had this past winter, warm air leaks from the interior of your home into the attic. This warm wet air will condensate on the roof deck and possibly ice over the ventilation.   One it warms up, this frost will thaw causing the roof deck to get wet. One sign to look for is roofing nails that are rusty.   We recommend working with an insulating contractor to make sure your attic vents well so you can avoid this problem.

With a few simple steps and things to be mindful of your attic can remain trouble free. If you suspect you have a problem feel free to give us a call. 715-381-2266