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Environment Flooding & Water Damage Healthy Home Indoor Air Quality & Radon Mold Mold Testing

Summer Mold Hotspots: What to Look For

Summer Mold Hotspots: What to Look For

As summer rolls in, so does the potential for mold growth in our homes and workplaces. Mold thrives in warm, humid conditions, making the hot, sticky months of summer a prime time for it to flourish. Whether you’re heading to your summer home or just trying to keep your primary residence mold-free, it’s essential to know the common hotspots for mold and the signs to watch out for.

Top Summer Mold Hotspots

Kitchens and Bathrooms

These areas are constantly exposed to moisture from cooking, washing dishes, and taking showers. Common mold-prone spots include behind sinks, under dishwashers, around toilets, and in shower stalls. Don’t forget to check less obvious places like behind the refrigerator and under the microwave where condensation can build up.

Basements and Crawl Spaces

Basements and crawl spaces are notorious for dampness. Moisture seepage, flooding, or poor ventilation can create ideal conditions for mold growth. Look for signs of mold on walls, floors, and insulation materials.

Attics and Roofs

Poor ventilation and roof leaks can lead to mold growth in attics. Inspect the insulation and wood beams for any signs of mold, especially if there have been roof leaks or ventilation issues.

Air Conditioners

While air conditioners help keep your home cool, they can also harbor mold if not properly maintained. Check the condensate drain and evaporator coils regularly to ensure they are clean and free of mold.

Laundry Rooms

Laundry rooms often have high humidity levels due to washing machines and dryers. Mold can grow inside washing machines, particularly front loaders, if they are not regularly cleaned and dried. Also, inspect the area around the machines and under any laundry sinks.

Flooring and Carpeting

Moisture can get trapped under carpeting and wood floors, especially in basements. Check for any musty odors or discoloration in these areas, as they can indicate hidden mold.

Signs of Mold

  • Visible Mold

The most obvious sign is seeing mold itself. Mold can appear in various colors, including black, green, white, yellow – even pink. It often grows in clusters and can have a fuzzy texture.

  • Musty Odors

A persistent musty smell is a strong indicator of mold, even if you can’t see it. This smell is caused by microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs) released by mold.

  • Health Symptoms

Unexplained health issues like itchy eyes, coughing, sneezing, or respiratory problems that improve when you leave the house can indicate mold. Mold exposure can exacerbate allergies and asthma.

Keeping an eye on these hot spots and recognizing the signs of mold early can help you maintain a healthy, mold-free home this summer. If you suspect a mold problem, it’s best to have a professional inspection to identify and address the issue promptly.

For more information on mold testing and remediation, visit RTK Environmental Group.

 

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Flooding & Water Damage Mold Mold Testing

Combatting Water Leaks and Preventing Mold in NYC Apartments

Combatting Water Leaks and Preventing Mold in NYC Apartments

New York City living comes with its charm and challenges, with water leaks topping the list of potential issues that can lead to costly repairs and health risks. From terraces leaking to malfunctioning washing machines, these issues, if unaddressed, are a leading cause of mold growth. RTK Environmental reports that approximately 30% of all residential structures have some form of moisture problem, which can escalate into mold.

“The main issue in apartment buildings is that water travels downward but also laterally,” says Robert Weitz, founder of RTK Environmental. “It will travel through floors and walls to ceilings and walls below, as well as from one dwelling to another on the same floor. When that happens, you are at risk of developing a mold problem,” he explains.

Common Sources of Leaks in NYC Apartments

Terraces:

Leaves and all kinds of debris clog drains. When that happens, water has nowhere to go but into a nearby apartment. Water will travel to the weakest point of entry, which could be just about anywhere. If you have a terrace, be sure to keep your drains clean. Over 50% of terrace-related claims are due to clogged and inadequate drainage systems.

Toilets and Plumbing Pipes:

Pipe breaks are an apartment building’s nightmare. Hundreds, or even thousands of gallons of water can cascade through the halls and stairwells, not to mention walls, floors, and ceilings. One pipe break or plumbing leak can affect dozens of apartments and common areas. Fast action is needed to remove drywall and dry structure and remaining floors as quickly as possible. It’s recommended to treat water like a fire – quick action helps prevent further damage.

Washing Machines:

An estimated 10% of water damage claims are linked to washing machine hose leaks, which are often preventable with routine checks and timely replacements. In many buildings, there is a common laundry room in the basement–all well and good. But, what’s also common, are storage areas in the basement that contain boxes and other items comprised of cellulose, which mold loves to grow on. The humidity and any leaks created from the laundry can cause mold growth in any basement.

HVAC Systems:

HVAC systems often cause mold outbreaks in buildings, especially during the summer months, when the air conditioning systems create condensation. Where there’s moisture, there’s mold. And since mold spores can travel throughout the building through the HVAC system, you can expect that mold colonies are sure to develop.

Steam Pipes:

In older buildings especially, steam pipes and old radiators typically leak inside the walls or ceilings, which go unnoticed. The steam leaks are usually hidden, so damage and mold growth can go unnoticed for weeks or even months. But a musty odor signals that there is mold in the vicinity.

 

The Mold Menace

Mold thrives in moist environments, and even a minor leak can lead to a significant mold issue within 24-48 hours. If you suspect you have mold in your apartment, the smart thing to do is have it tested. If you do notice an odor or staining, call in an independent professional who has the technology to detect water behind walls, in ceilings and under floorboards. They can ascertain where the mold is and what needs to be done to remove it.

Conflict of Interest

It is important to get two different companies to do the testing and remediation. Why? When the same company does both, it is a clear conflict of interest, and could cost you extra for repairs that are unnecessary. A competent, independent testing company will tell you exactly where the problem is and provide you with a blueprint for remediation. The remediation company will then do only the necessary work, minimizing disruption and cost. In New York State, it is illegal for the same company to do both testing and remediation on the same job.

Who Covers the Cost?

Insurance often covers the cost for mold testing and remediation, especially as it relates to issues with an apartment building. If you rent and are concerned about possible mold, speak with your landlord or the building management. Apartment owners must be more diligent and fast when it comes to identifying mold growth.  The most important thing is to take care of the potential problem quickly. Live well! Be healthy!

Leaks and moisture issues are a significant concern for NYC apartment dwellers, but with the right approach, they can be managed effectively. Taking proactive steps to monitor and address these issues will help maintain a healthy and safe living environment.  Don’t let a small leak lead to a big problem. Contact RTK Environmental today for an expert assessment and state-of-the-art solutions to protect your apartment from leaks and mold.

 

 

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Asbestos Flooding & Water Damage Healthy Home Indoor Air Quality & Radon Lead Mold Soil and Water

Protecting Your Home from Silent Killers

RTK’s very own Robert Weitz was recently interviewed by Connecticut for Sale. He shares great advice on Protecting Your Home From Silent Killers, including mold, lead, asbestos, and radon. CLICK HERE to read the article.

Connecticut Homes is the one of the top sites for Connecticut Homes For Sale, including Hartford CT Homes For Sale, condos, multi families, and townhouses for sale. Connecticut Homes also services Long Island NY Real Estate and New Hampshire Homes For Sale.

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Healthy Home Video

Home Maintenance Tips from RTK’s Robert Weitz

By taking a few preventative steps on home maintenance, you can save big money in the end. Robert offers some “Weitz Advice” on ABC in Baltimore. For more information on how we can help you, please call us at (800) 392-6468.

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Healthy Home Mold Video

Top Money Drains On Your Home

Robert Weitz of RTK Environmental Group shows Philadelphia’s 3 On Your Side how to maintain your home now so that you don’t get hit with a big bill down the road.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE SEGMENT!

 

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Healthy Home Video

The Danger of Cutting Costs on Home Maintenance

The Danger of Cutting Costs on Home Maintenance