Recent Mold Remediation Posts
Common Causes of Mold
Mold growing on floor structure in a basement is one of the most common places we see mold growing.
Green, black, brown, and potentially furry, mold can be just as unsightly as it is smelly—compromising your home’s safety and aesthetics. Fortunately, by understanding the causes of indoor mold, you can take steps to prevent it from forming in the first place. Here are three common causes of mold and how a mold remediation team can help.
Reasons Mold Forms
1. Plumbing Problems
Over time, pipes and plumbing fixtures can develop small leaks or pinhole fissures, allowing water to drip underneath floors or behind walls. As a result, the area can become hopelessly saturated with water, allowing mold to form.
Since mold feeds on moisture and organic material, flooding usually causes problems with mold growth. FEMA reports that mold can start to grow 24 to 48 hours after water saturation, which means that even a swift removal of water could result in mold damage.
To keep your home safe, work with mold remediation teams as quickly as possible after your home has been damaged by a flood. Keep in mind that depending on where the flood originated, it may be covered by standard homeowner’s insurance policies.
3. Improper Ventilation
Poor indoor ventilation can also create problems with mold growth, since it can allow humidity inside your home to gather in areas where mold can start to colonize. Bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and crawlspaces are especially prone to mold damage, since these spots can be difficult to ventilate.
If you suspect that mold is growing in your home, turn to the professionals at SERVPRO of Lincoln & Warren Counties. With 24/7 emergency service for everything from floods to fires, this locally owned and operated company can help you to mitigate damage from disasters. Learn more about mold remediation by visiting our website or by giving our office a call at (636) 456-3422.
When there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, your SERVPRO professionals have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a “typical” mold removal process. Call the Team in Green The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO of Lincoln and Warren Counties TODAY. A representative will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed. Inspection and Damage Assessment Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view. Mold Containment Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process. Air Filtration Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO® technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress. Removing Mold The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Anti-fungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth. Contents and Belongings SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. They are also trained to remove odors and deodorize using fogging equipment. Restoration Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, sub-floors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home.
Hoarding And Mold Damage
Many people with hoarding disorder do not find their habits to be a problem. Hoarded items are often things others would throw away or look at as junk or garbage such as old newspapers, junk mail or packaging. Hoarding can lead to homes filled with extreme clutter to full capacity from years of accumulation, making living conditions unsanitary and crowded. Bugs, fleas, rats and other vermin may be present, at which point an exterminator would need to be called. At times, hoarding may spread to outside the home as well, to storage facilities, or even the garage or yard. Unfortunately small water leaks or lack of air flow can easily cause mold damage in the home of a hoarder. This also makes it extremely difficult to be able to see mold damage until it is at a severe level. SERVPRO encounters hoarding situations several different ways. Often, SERVPRO is called for a fire or water loss and find the hoarding situation when they arrive on-site. SERVPRO will communicate with the insurance company regarding their contents coverage, and after approval, contents can be packed out and possibly cleaned, dried, and stored by the SERVPRO Franchise, or relocated to a storage facility so work on the fire or water loss can begin. Another way SERVPRO encounters hoarding jobs is through calls from landlords, case workers, real estate agents, or family members, often after the death of a loved one. In these situations, the crew will see if they should look for any items of importance while they clean the job. Sometimes, family members will come and try to help the hoarder sort through their contents as well. Each case is very different, and hoarding jobs are often sensitive situations, but SERVPRO is here to help make it “Like it never even happened.” If you encounter a hoarding situation at one of your properties, or with your insureds, call your local SERVPRO.
Does Your Home Have A Mold Problem?
Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
- Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
- Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
- Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
- Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today 636-456-3422
Is Your Home The Perfect Condition For Mold Growth?
It’s estimated that more than 1 million types of mold exist, yet less than 10 percent have actually been named. This means mold is very common in both indoor and outdoor environments. While mold and humans can sometimes co-exist without issue, there are certain species of mold that can cause health effects for some people.
If the right conditions exist, mold will grow. Those conditions include:
- Water - Different mold types require varying amounts of liquid before growth begins.
- Temperature - Normal indoor temperatures will promote mold growth.
- Time - Initial mold colonizers can take hold within one day after being exposed to an adequate water supply.
Mold growth can occur in any home, so it’s important to keep an eye out for situations that might promote mold activity. Roof/chimney leaks, wet basements, or condensation from ducts that dampen surrounding insulation are just a few examples of issues that make a house a prime target for mold growth.
If you suspect mold in your home, call SERVPRO of Lincoln and Warren Counties to assess the situation. We have the knowledge, tools and track record to effectively remediate mold in your home or business.
If you suspect mold, call us today at 636-456-3422
What to Do:
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
- Contact SERVPRO of Lincoln and Warren Counties for mold remediation services.
Is There Such Thing As Good Mold?
There will always be somedegree of airborne mold spores through the air in your home.It comes through gaps in doors, open windows, even on our clothes from us being outside. There is also normal mold in a home that can be taken care of with general cleaning such as mildew in the shower and that weird black stuff that stains the insides of our window tracks. These are "normal" because they are growing on non-porous surfaces and do not have a sustainable food source.
Now for the bad mold. Food sources within a home are pretty numerous. It can be anything from drywall to wood frames, debris and storage boxes. With a porous surface mold has something to eat. The removal of bad mold becomes hard for a homeowner to do on their own because not only does the source of the mold need to be treated, the mold itself removed properly, but the air needs to be treated for purity and a potential water source needs to be found. SERVPRO highly recommends using a professional such as ourselves for mold cleanup.
Looking Out For Loved Ones
Mold can grow just about everywhere, however with a keen eye and sense of smell one could probably identify mold upon coming into contact with it. Most of us know someone who is of limited mobility. A good amount of our mold remediation jobs are from homes occupied with someone who has limited mobility and have not been able to inspect around the home or in a basement or crawl space. The homeowner only knows something is wrong because a smell has presented itself. It is extremely important to check on the elderly and mobility impaired homeowners. Another thing to keep in mind is the elderly tend to keep the heat up in their homes a lot higher than a younger person which means if they were to have a slow water leak or something of that kind, it could potentially produce mold faster than average.
Is Mold A Problem In Your Home?
In as little as 48 hours, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business when there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. SERVPRO Professionals have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem.
Have a Mold Problem?
If you have a mold problem in your home or business, your primary focus should be safety:
- Significant mold growth can occur in 48-72 hours.
- Mold may present a greater risk to children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems.
- A strong, musty odor may indicate hidden mold behind drywall or under carpeting.
What to Do:
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
- Contact a SERVPRO Franchise Professional for mold remediation services.
What NOT to Do:
- Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
- Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
- Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
- Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.
The Mold Mitigation and Restoration Process
When there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can affect your health and can also cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different, requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a “typical” mold removal process. Call Your SERVPRO Professionals! The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO’s Call Center or your local Franchise Professional. A representative will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed. Inspection & Damage Assessment Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water which can be hidden from plain view. Mold Containment Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process. Air Filtration Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. Our SERVPRO technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress. Removing Mold & Mold-Infested Materials The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth. Cleaning Contents & Belongings SERVPRO Professionals clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. They are also trained to remove odors and deodorize using fogging equipment. Restoration Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet, or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business. SERVPRO Professionals understand mold and mold growth and have the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business.
9 Ways to Curb Moisture Indoors
1. Identify problem areas in your home and correct them. You can't mold-proof your home, but you can make it mold-resistant. Do an audit of your home: where are the problem areas? Does the basement flood? Do you notice frequent condensation on an upstairs window? Is there a water stain on the ceiling from a persistent leak? Preventing mold from growing or spreading might be as simple as ripping up carpet in a damp basement, installing mold-resistant products, or repairing damaged gutters. Or it may be a matter of major excavation and waterproofing. Whatever the case, address the problem now. It might cost some money up front, but it will surely be more costly down the road if mold continues to grow unchecked.
2. Dry wet areas immediately. Mold can't grow without moisture, so tackle wet areas right away. Seepage into the basement after a heavy rainfall, accumulation from a leaky pipe, even a spill on the carpet should be dried within 24 to 48 hours. If you've experienced a flood, remove water-damaged carpets, bedding, and furniture if they can't be completely dried. Even everyday occurrences need attention: don't leave wet items lying around the house, and make sure to dry the floor and walls after a shower. Don't leave wet clothes in the washing machine, where mold can spread quickly. Hang them to dry — preferably outside or in areas with good air circulation.
3. Prevent moisture with proper ventilation. It may be that your routine domestic activities are encouraging the growth of mold in your home. Make sure an activity as simple as cooking dinner, taking a shower, or doing a load of laundry doesn't invite mold by providing proper ventilation in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and any other high-moisture area. Vent appliances that produce moisture — clothes dryers, stoves — to the outside (not the attic). Use AC units and dehumidifiers (especially in humid climates), but make sure they don’t produce moisture themselves by checking them periodically and cleaning them as directed by the manufacturer. Your energy-efficient home may be holding moisture inside, so open a window when cooking or washing dishes or showering, or run an exhaust fan.
4. Equip your home with mold-resistant products. Building a new home or renovating an old one? Use mold-resistant products like mold-resistant drywall or mold-resistant Sheetrock, and mold inhibitors for paints. Traditional drywall is composed of a gypsum plaster core pressed between plies of paper. Mold-resistant drywall is paperless — the gypsum core is covered in fiberglass, making the surface highly water-resistant. Moisture-resistant drywall is especially valuable in areas prone to wetness, such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements, and kitchens. Not only is traditional drywall more susceptible to mold than the paperless kind, but it is also difficult to rid of mold, and removal and replacement can be expensive. Mold-resistant gypsum board is also available; the core of the drywall is developed in such a way to prevent moisture absorption, and thus prevent mold growth.
5. Monitor humidity indoors. The EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent. You can measure humidity with a moisture meter purchased from your local hardware store. You'll also be able to detect high humidity by simply paying attention to potential problem areas in your home. Telltale signs of excessive humidity include condensation on windows, pipes, and walls. If you notice condensation, dry the surface immediately and address the source of moisture (for example, turn off a humidifier if water appears on the inside of nearby windows).
6. Direct water away from your home. If the ground around your home isn't sufficiently sloped away from the foundation, water may collect there and seep into your crawlspace or basement.
7. Clean or repair roof gutters. A mold problem might be a simple matter of a roof that is leaking because of full or damaged gutters. Have your roof gutters cleaned regularly and inspected for damage. Repair them as necessary, and keep an eye out for water stains after storms that may indicate a leak.
8. Improve air flow in your home. According to the EPA, as temperatures drop, the air is able to hold less moisture. Without good air flow in your home, that excess moisture may appear on your walls, windows and floors. To increase circulation, open doors between rooms, move furniture away from walls, and open doors to closets that may be colder than the rooms they’re in. Let fresh air in to reduce moisture and keep mold at bay.
9. Keep mold off household plants. They're beautiful and help keep your indoor air clean — and mold loves them. The moist soil in indoor plants is a perfect breeding ground for mold, which may then spread to other areas of your house. Instead of getting rid of your plants, try adding a bit of Taheebo tea to the water you give to your houseplants. The oil of this tree, which withstands fungi even in rain forests, helps hinder mold growth in plant soil and can be found at natural food stores.
Finally, educate yourself on your region's climate — be it the cold and wet Northeast, the hot and wet South, the hot and dry Southwest, or the cold and dry West — and how it responds to moisture. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to mold prevention. Knowing what works for your climate and your home is an important first step.
Mold-Its a four letter word that makes most people cringe. But contrary to popular belief, not all mold is dangerous; some mold is even quite useful. Fungi and mold naturally occur in our enviornment . More than 100,000 different types of fungi have been identified. Fungi is present in our everyday lives in bread and baked products; the unique flavor of blue cheese is the result of mold. Though some types of mold can be harmful. Excessive amount of mold and mold exposure may present health concerns for some people.
The intrusion of water into your home or business may result in mold growth. Water intrusions can be cause by storm damage, plumbing or equipment failures, long standing leaks and poor humidity control. When these water intrusions are not addressed right away, the resulting damage can be an increased risk of harmful mold growth. Mold spores are normally present in most environments. If the humidity and moisture levels in a water damaged environment are not controlled, mold spores can grow and multiply. Organic materials found inside a building, like wood, drywall, paper and insulation, provide a food source for mold, allowing growth to flourish this can lead to indoor environmental conditions that pose a health threat.
When determining if you have a mold problem, be alert for; the presence of visible mold, strong musty odors, evidence of past moisture problems and excessive humidity.
Indoor Air Quality/Environmental Professionals
Indoor Air Quality/Environmental Professionals evaluate the quality of the air inside a structure. Some specialize and are skilled in testing buildings for the presence of molds. Using various testing devices, these professionals collect air and surface samples to compare the indoor mold spore count to the outdoor environment. If you have concerns about mold, SERVPRO of Lincoln and Warren Counties can assist you in locating a qualified indoor Air Quality/ Environmental Professional.
SERVPRO cares about proper restoration of your structure. In most water damage situations excessive mold growth is not a problem and SERVPRO can safely restore your building to pre-loss condition. The need to address the presence of mold can only be determined by an on-site, indoor environmental inspection. Please keep in mind SERVPRO does not interpret insurance policies or overages; you must consult your insurance company to determine the scope of the policy coverage.
Mold can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper carpet, foods and insulation. Mold reproduces by making spores that usually cannot be seen without magnification. Mold spore waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on. Bacteria can start to grow within hours and mold can start to grow within days. Mold spores can lay dormant for years until an ideal growing condition develops in which they start to flourish. Especially during the summer, the warm humid conditions are a perfect microenvironment for mold growth. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth with often occur- particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. It is impossible to eliminate all molds and mold spores in an indoor environment. However, mold growth can be controlled indoors by controlling the moisture. Many types of mold exist. All molds have the potential to cause serious health effects. Most can produce allergens that can trigger allergic reactions or even asthma attacks in people allergic to it. Others are known to produce potent toxins and/or irritants. Potential health concerns are an important reason to prevent mold growth and to remediate and clean any existing mold growth indoors. The purpose of mold remediation is to remove them old to prevent human exposure and damage to building materials and furnishings. It is necessary to clean up mold contamination, not just kill it. Dead mold is still allergenic, and some dead molds are still potentially toxic! Applying the appropriate restoration procedures within the first few hours of a water loss can save thousands of dollars in secondary damage. Before the growth of mold becomes visible, there will be a faint musty or earthy smell. In time, mold will appear on the outside of the wall as a stain or discoloration. In a standard situation, our SERVPRO team would examine the structure for any visible signs of mold nod remove the mold growth and excess spore returning the area back to normal levels. At SERVPRO we use a third party mold testing company if mold is not visible.