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Flooding & Water Damage Mold Mold Testing

An Alternative to Expensive Basement Waterproofing? Yessss!

If you suffer from a wet basement, you are not alone. Approximately 60 percent of U.S. Water damaged and moldy basement wallhomes are plagued by wet basements, and 38 percent run the risk of serious basement mold, according to the American Society of Home Inspectors.

Moisture in the basement is more than a nuisance – it can create the environment for mold to grow and mold spores to spread throughout your home. This can present health problems. So what can you do?

basement waterMany people think that their only option is an expensive French or perimeter drain (a trench filled with gravel containing a perforated pipe that redirects groundwater away from an area), or a costly basement makeover with waterproof building materials. Thankfully, there is a way to determine what you really need, before incurring expense: Take an RTK Basement Waterproofing Survey.

The survey will answer important questions that will lead to a solution, such as: Where is basement mildew mold the water coming from? Why and how is it entering your home? What kind of water is it: condensation, runoff, or from subsurface sources? Once the survey is complete, RTK will suggest options so you can make an informed decision. It might be as simple as waterproofing the exterior foundation or adjusting the slope of the soil near the foundation to direct water away from your home.

waterproof basementEvery situation is different as water intrusion comes from a variety of sources and enters your home in various ways. RTK Environmental will help you determine what type of water problem you have, and what the best and most cost-effective engineering solution is for you. Call us today at (800) 392-6468 to find out how we can help.

Flooding & Water Damage Mold

Before Preparing Your Turkey, Prepare Your Home for Winter Storm Boreas

Wild weather is ripping across the nation, and the massive winter storm Boreas will be arriving in the tri-state area on the busiest travel day of the year – the day before Thanksgiving. In addition to 40-mph wind gusts, heavy, driving rains will soak the area at a rapid rate, according to The Weather Channel.


thanksgiving-storm-traffic-floodingWhat does that mean for Turkey Day? Hopefully no flooding. Our parched yards (the soil is hard due to lack of rain and freezing temperatures) are going to meet some wet weather, and that can lead to flooding, and flooding, to mold growth. Here’s how…


When a large amount of rain falls in a short amount of time on very dry soil, water cannot be absorbed at the same rate that the rain is falling. So it travels, as it needs to go somewhere. That ‘somewhere’ might be your basement. And if your basement floods, mold is not far behind.


Here are some tips to prepare your home for winter storm Boreas:


Tip 1: Be sure your gutters and downspouts are free from leaves and debris.mold-testing-connecticut

Hopefully, you have already cleaned out your gutters. If not, now is the time to do it. With the abundant amounts of leaves that just fell, gutters can become clogged when heavy rains occur. When that happens, the water cannot be channeled away from your house. A flooded basement can result. So, make sure your gutters, downspouts, and outside drains are clear of debris.


prevent-flooding-new-jerseyTip 2: Prepare your basement.

If you think you’re vulnerable to flooding, check your basement floor drains to be sure they are not blocked. Remove anything from the floor or next to windows that you do not want to get wet. If there are boxes or any other cellulose materials on the floor, place them on tables or crates to alleviate direct contact with water. Once wet, they can rot or turn moldy.


Tip 3: Anticipate leaks in advance, if you can.prepare-for-flooding-ny

Some of us already know where there are trouble spots in our homes. Place towels and buckets on the floor in the affected areas. If you know a window leaks, secure towels in that area before the rain begins. In heavy rains, you may need to change the towels and empty the buckets several times. Luckily, this should occur the day before Thanksgiving, leaving the holiday free for family, friends, feasting, and football. Most importantly, once the rain and leaks have stopped, remove the wet towels and buckets from the area immediately, or you risk mold growth, which can start in as little as 24 hours.


If you have concerns about mold growth in your home, have a certified mold inspector in to test and assess the damage and give you options as to how to fix it. Mold can cause serious health problems, including asthma, coughs and wheezing in otherwise healthy people. Let’s hope the only flooding this Thanksgiving is from an overabundance of gravy!




What You Need to Know BEFORE You Refinish Your Basement


Connecticut Basement MoldThe American Society of Home Inspectors
estimates that 60 percent of U.S. homes have wet basements, and 38 percent run the risk of serious basement mold. So whether you are finishing your basement for the first time or repairing it after a flood, play it safe. You may not be able to completely eliminate the risk of moisture from floods, seeping groundwater, runoff, condensation, and leaks. But you can discourage mold and mildew growth by choosing the right building materials that will not be damaged by moisture or support mold growth.

Here’s some advice to make sure your cave stays cozy and comfortable.


1. Determine the level of moisture in your basement and its source. 

westchester county mold testing

Find out if you have a moisture problem before you renovate the basement. You may be able to see water draining from your walls or find damp spots, but often moisture is hidden. You need expert advice. Have an independent environmental testing company like RTK Environmental come in to help you determine where the water is coming from, and how much it is affecting the area. Often times, the problem can be fixed quite easily. Sometimes extending downspouts and angling them away from the home will prevent water from pooling around the foundation. Other times it is a matter of re-grading your yard to drain water away from the house.


2. Don’t use traditional building materials.

mold proof flooringWhen wet, organic materials, such as drywall, wood, and paper, quickly become fertile breeding grounds for mold — a mold colony can sprout within 24-48 hours. RTK Environmental suggests using moisture-tolerant materials, such as green board and non-porous tile, especially in areas that come in direct contact with concrete, stone, or brick. If you have cracks in these masonry surfaces, patch them with hydraulic cement, which expands as it sets.


3. Install moisture-tolerant insulation on walls and floors.

Thermometer hotMoisture-tolerant insulation protects the inside of your house from wide fluctuations in outside temperature, which often results in indoor condensation. A vapor barrier or rigid-foam insulation can be laid over foundation walls, followed by a metal stud framing and a non-cellulose wall finish. Many professionals recommend extruded polystyrene (XPS). If you choose XPS, please note that it is flammable, and needs to be covered with a thermal barrier, such as USG’s Sheetrock Brand Mold Tough Gypsum Panels.


4. Choose the right floor.

mold proof basementBefore you lay down wall-to-wall carpeting to warm up your basement, consider that can trap moisture and cause mold to grow. Opt instead for breathable materials. Ceramic tile is the best, but can be costly. You can also try vinyl plank flooring, which has a wood-like appearance and can be clicked together, just like laminate. It makes installation easy, and repair equally easy. To make the room cozy, add an area rug rather than wall-to-wall. That way, if the rug gets wet, you can remove it to dry it out.