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Lights Make the Room

Furniture, flooring and window dressings are important parts of interior decorating. However, there is one element that is even more important. Lights can be very small or even hidden within the rest of a room, but they remain absolutely essential to getting the look you want. I've spent my career helping people decorate their homes, and I can tell you that lighting is the most important decision you will make for any room. From track lighting on the ceiling to floor lights along the baseboard, this blog will help you choose exactly the right type of lighting to fit your personal style.

Lights Make the Room

The Surprising Link Between Dirty Gutters And Indoor Mold

by Sebastian Warren

Even the most meticulous homeowners can overlook the chore of cleaning the gutters, especially on a two or three story house where reaching the troughs is a major challenge. However, failing to keep the gutters flowing and letting them sit dirty for too long could leave your home infested with mold. Learn how an exterior problem leads to bigger interior troubles by following the flow between dirty gutters and indoor mold.

Slow Draining

The whole chain of events begins with leaves, sticks, and other debris sticking in the gutters. Even the best screens and other systems for keeping trash out can't completely stop the build up of dirt, dust, and tiny particulates. Once there is enough gunk in the gutter, water slows down instead of speeding away to the drain spout. Standing water starts taking hours or even days to completely leave the gutter.

Hidden Leaking

You don't need a leaky roof or a damaged fascia board to let in water when there's moisture standing in your gutter. Regardless of the material, the trough allows lingering moisture to slowly soak into the wood holding up the gutters. This moisture travels quickly into the rest of the home's structure, thanks to the absorbent properties of wood lumber.

It's not a traditional leak stemming from damage, but this seeping effect is a leak nonetheless. Locating this kind of problem is also very hard because the water can soak in on the left side of the house and suddenly create wet marks in the ceiling of a bathroom two floors down. Depending on the route and severity of the leak, you may see no obvious signs of water damage at all until the mold arrives.

Lack of Drying

The enclosed areas under the eaves and along the tops of the walls don't get a lot of air circulation. This means even small amounts of moisture stay trapped in the structure for a long time. The gutters and fascia boards may dry out finally after a storm, but the water that seeped behind them is still lingering where you can't see it.

Mold Developing

Mold needs a little more than just water to start growing inside your home. A winter water problem may not start causing air quality issues until the following spring and summer when temperatures rise again. Aside from moisture, mold needs

  • Relatively warm temperatures - it can grow in refrigerators too, but most indoor mold spreads the fastest above 50 degrees F
  • A food source - this includes dust, wood, drywall, and the paper backing on fiberglass insulation
  • Some protection from direct sunlight - it's not required, but dark environments like attics and basements tend to grow more mold than sunny spots

Of course, the attic spaces behind your gutters offer all these conditions. Just add water from the dirty and clogged gutters, and you have the perfect recipe for a mold infestation that triggers allergy symptoms and serious asthma attacks.

Problem Preventing

Unlike many other mold causing problems, this chain of events is very easy to prevent. Check your gutters every three or months or so throughout the year, and weekly during the fall if you live under large deciduous shade trees. Hire a professional to handle your gutter cleaning on a regular basis if you can't reach your gutters or want to avoid the mess and hassle.

Don't skip a gutter cleaning appointment or you could end up spending thousands of dollars on mold remediation instead. Why go through the trouble of tearing out drywall and replacing most of the insulation in the attic when you can prevent the problem in the first place?