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How We Replaced and Repaired a mold-infested Small Wine Cellar in California

Are you also having a mold problem with your wine cellar? If so, you’re probably seeing groups of green spores developing across your entire wine collection. Aside from that, you start smelling a bad odor that wasn’t there at first. Make no mistake about it — your wine cellar is infested with molds, and it could get even worse from there.

This is exactly what was happening when Custom Wine Cellar Los Angeles (CWC LA) received a complaint from a client in California. They had a wine cellar, but it had been built without the proper cooling unit and insulation system.

The Custom Wine Cellar Los Angeles team, a member of the Custom Wine Cellar Designers Group (CWCDG) was tasked to repair the mold-infested small wine cellar. The task included replacing the wine cellar cooling unit and rebuilding the entire wine cellar itself. The team, led by Steve Pantalemon, had to demolish the small wine cellar and rebuild the entire thing from the ground up.

If you’ve spotted signs of mold in your wine cellar, there’s a good chance that there’s something wrong with either your insulation system or cooling unit. In a humid place like California, mold is a common problem for residential and commercial wine cellar owners, and you, too, should be aware of it.

Read the rest of the article or watch the video on how we repaired this previously-mold infested wine cellar.
Read the rest of the article or watch the video on how we repaired this previously-mold infested wine cellar.

Why and How Do Mold Occur in a California Wine Cellar?

Got the same problem? Let us help you repair your wine cellar!
Got the same problem? Let us help you repair your wine cellar!

Mold isn’t just present in a humid place like California. In fact, molds exist anywhere there’s air. However, they travel in particles so tiny that human eyes can’t see. In small amounts, they are harmful and don’t impose a problem. But when they gather on a damp spot, whether it’s your kitchen table or wine cellar, then molds become an issue. They thrive on moisture and grow faster than you think, so that’s why it’s important to call a wine cellar cooling expert like Custom Wine Cellar LA to remedy the situation as soon as possible. It’s hard to tell from a glance how bad a mold issue is, as it tends to grow in dark places where it’s difficult to see.

In California, residents there typically experience dry summers and wet winters. During the summer season, the temperature can really affect the humidity level of a wine cellar from the excess moisture in the air. As a result, mold infestation starts to brew in improperly insulated and cooled wine cellars.

Does Mold Only Happen in Small Wine Cellars?

The short answer to that question is — no. Again, mold travels through the air and lands on damp spots to reproduce as many as possible. A small wine cellar is just prone to mold infestation due to the fact that mold easily infests cramped spaces. So long there’s too much moisture in the air, mold will continue to grow.

How Can You Prevent Mold from Growing in Your Wine Cellar?

For this newly rebuilt wine cellar in a lovely California home, there are a lot of factors involved to prevent mold from happening. This includes the temperature inside and outside the wine cellar, insulation of the walls, gaps in the door, and even the changing seasons. All of this contributes to one thing wine cellar builders and owners should always strive to achieve — proper humidity.  

To give you an insight into how Custom Wine Cellar LA repaired this small wine cellar to achieve the right humidity level, let’s look at the importance of a proper cooling unit and the insulation system to keep mold from coming back.

How CWC LA and WCDG worked together to solve and repair the mold issue?

Upon inspection, Steve found out that many wine bottles and surfaces in the small wine cellar were already infested with mold. Many parts were covered in green spores and reeked with an unpleasant odor that could easily spoil the quality of wines. From that sight alone, using an epoxy mold spray or wiping the molds with a cloth wouldn’t be enough to get rid of the problem.

There were several problems as well that contributed to the problem, such as air gaps from the door and the wall on the back of the cellar absorbing heat from the sun. Furthermore, the previous builders used a very large cooling unit that’s not suited for a small wine cellar.

Taking everything into account, what needed to be done was to demolish the entire thing, install proper insulation, replace the oversized cooling unit with one that was properly sized for the requirements of the space, and then to rebuild the rest of the wine cellar.

Wine Cellar Designers Group and Custom Wine Cellar Los Angeles teamed up to keep mold from developing again in this glass wine cellar.
Wine Cellar Designers Group and Custom Wine Cellar Los Angeles teamed up to keep mold from developing again in this glass wine cellar.
Demolishing and Rebuilding the Wine Cellar with a Proper Insulation System

Building a wine cellar is a costly endeavor that can require a significant investment. That’s why you want to make sure you get it done right the first time. But when major problems like wine cellar mold arise, it’s good to know that experts like Steve and his team can help.

The Custom Wine Cellar team works with the best people in the field of wine cellar building and cooling, as well as wine cellar repair. We always make sure to construct our wine cellars in a way that protects the client’s long-term investment.

To protect a wine owner’s investment, in this case, the wine cellar needs a proper insulation system.

Originally, the previous builders applied fiberglass insulation; however, such insulation is only made for regular walls, not for the enclosed environment of a wine cellar.

We applied foam insulation and greenboard as the first layer against condensation for keeping the humidity level of the wine cellar consistent. Then, the crevices were filled to prevent air from passing through. We also used mold-resilient spray solution on the racks and wood to ensure that every single part of the cellar is mold-free. And lastly, varying sizes of gaskets were used to solve the problems with air gaps.

What’s left is installing a new cooling unit.

Replacing the wine cellar cooling unit with the proper size to attain the ideal humidity level

A common misconception about cooling units is that bigger is always better. Again, as a wine owner, you want a controlled humidity level for preserving wine quality. Having a big cooling unit inside a small wine cellar means pushing the humidity higher than needed, thus creating more moisture in the air that leads to molds.

So, we replaced the big cooling unit with a smaller that’s made to operate silently and efficiently. It allowed us to get the right humidity without spending extra for a big cooler.

What’s even great about a small cooling unit is the fact that it doesn’t protrude for an aesthetically pleasing wine display.

After going through all that process, the small wine cellar is no longer infested with mold. It also now operates efficiently and looks better than ever.

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Repairing a Mold-Infested Wine Cellar in California
Repairing a Mold-Infested Wine Cellar in California

Mold is a common issue in wine cellars and should never be overlooked by the owners and builders. Whether it’s tiny groups of spores that can be easily wiped off or an infested area such as this small wine cellar in California, it’s best to have your expensive investment be maintained by the best in the industry. It may not look like it, but your infested wine cellar probably needs extensive repair, as finding and solving the root cause of molds is not easy.

That’s why if you’re looking for the right group for wine cellar repair, look no further than the Custom Wine Cellar Los Angeles team. We design, build and repair beautiful and functional wine cellars. We always take the necessary steps to keep the clients satisfied with our service and build a wine cellar that they can proudly show to their friends and families. If you’re looking to get in touch with us, you can call us TODAY at +1(702) 475-5399. We’re always waiting for you!