Coloma is one of the prettiest communities I visit on my service calls. It’s a small place, right on the edge of the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, along the banks of the South Fork American River. If you’re a nature lover, Coloma has it all, from towering trees to rushing waters. But it’s also one of the spots in Northern California most susceptible to black mold, thanks to high levels of moisture and moderate temperatures during the winter season. And, as you’ve no doubt heard, black mold is a danger to your family and your home.
You don’t have to give up the lush forests of Coloma to get rid of black mold. Windows are the easiest entry point into your house for moisture, which makes the walls around them ripe for mold growth. By investing in new, insulated windows, you do more than give your house an aesthetic upgrade and boosted curb appeal—you lessen the odds of black mold growth. In a moist, forested place like Coloma, this is a crucial protective measure for your home.
Black Mold Basics
Coloma’s higher than average rainfall, geographical location near a river, and temps that stay above freezing year round make it an ideal place for black mold to grow. Humid, outdoor air means walls in close proximity to windows are especially susceptible—any area of your home that stays damp for days or weeks at a time is a hotbed for mold. Not surprisingly, flooding and plumbing leaks that go unchecked are both also culprits. And, once moisture births black mold spores, it’s heat that fuels its growth.
To grow indoors, black mold needs materials high in cellulose and low in nitrogen, both of which are common in many home building materials, like drywall regularly exposed to moisture, such as near a window or in a bathroom. It’s also fueled by your furnace—keeping your kids cozy also means encouraging those baby mold spores to bloom and multiply.
Black mold is not something you want in your house. As with any major threat, it’s important to know the dangers. Coloma residents are already more susceptible to respiratory problems because of all the trees irritating their sinuses, so you’ll want to avoid making your allergies worse with chronic symptoms caused by black mold, like:
- Coughing, wheezing, sneezing
- Irritated eyes
- Inflamed mucous membranes in the nose and throat
- Rashes on the skin
- Fatigue and headaches
Preventing the Conditions Behind Black Mold
How, then, do you prevent the nasty business of black mold growth? Simple. Keep your home dry. I know it’s much easier said than done in Coloma where the community cropped up so near to a river and humid, forested state park. But, you can’t fixate on these geographical factors outside of your control.
Instead, you have to focus on guarding your home against the constant dampness that tries to penetrate your walls. Installing new double or triple paned windows, and retrofitting insulation to fill every odd nook and cranny of your house, will create a strong barrier against the outdoor air and all your winter water woes. It requires an investment but, keep in mind, so does having black mold removed. New insulation and windows are a safeguard against potential health hazards to your family, will add value to your home, and may even lower those monthly utility fees.
Windows and Insulation, Together, Knock out Mold
Let’s talk about why the one-two punch of double paned windows and new insulation is the single best preventative measure for Coloma homeowners when it comes to stopping black mold before it starts.
- Windows: The drywall around your windows is one of the likeliest places for mold to begin to crop up because poorly-sealed windows are no match for moisture. The solution is fairly simple: install new, high-quality windows. We’ve talked a lot in the past about the advantages of double-paned, or even triple-paned, windows, which add to your home’s curb appeal, protect the quality of the air inside, and stop condensation and energy leaks. These better-insulated windows, however, also reverse the typical Coloma climate conditions ideal for growing black mold. A local window installation professional can give you the advice you need to decide which windows will best protect your home from anything winter (or spring or summer or fall) weather can throw at them.
- Insulation: You should also invest in retrofitting your walls with better insulation. The black mold we’re worried about roots itself into your walls in the winter when the outdoor conditions in Coloma are cool and wet, picking up speed as it warms throughout spring and summer. But, if you have top-tier insulation, your walls won’t get all that colder and wetter over winter in the first place. No, they’ll stay dry despite what’s happening outside, well insulated from the damp air. Then, it won’t matter how hot it gets come summer because mold spores weren’t allowed to start growing in the first place. Blow-in insulation is ideal for retrofitting, because it’s especially suited for clogging up any hard to reach leaks in walls or near windows. But, cellulose insulation is also a good way to go—its dense fibers fill cavities and flow into spots partially obstructed by things like wiring to create a solid seal for your house. Since there are many factors at play, as with windows, an insulation professional is a great resource for choosing just the right fit.
Black mold is a common complaint—and a serious problem—in the beautiful, wooded towns we serve, like Coloma. It can cause health problems, no doubt about that, but you don’t have to move away from this charming little locale to keep your family safe. Instead, consider making an investment in new windows and insulation. These two simple home improvements can make a world of difference when it comes to stopping the growth of black mold before it can even begin. Unlike the nearby riverbanks, your walls and home will stay dry—and free from toxic mold.
Worried about cold and damp winter conditions causing black mold to grow inside your home? Call the professionals at Bell Brothers today to get more information about windows and insulation that can keep your interior dry.