Recent Mold Remediation Posts
What is Microbial Contamination?
What is Microbial Contamination? Where does mold come from? Is microbial contamination a health concern issue? How do you properly get rid of a microbial contamination?
Microbial contamination refers to a variety of microorganisms, including mold, bacteria, viruses and protozoa; and fungi, which includes molds, yeasts, and their by products and toxins. All of these can affect the health of a building and its occupants.
As a starting point the proper job sequencing for a typical microbial-remediation project includes but it not limited to: identifying and stopping the source of moisture; setting up containment; establishing negative air; removing contaminated building materials; cleaning surfaces; drying the affected areas; conducting a post remediation evaluation.
Mold spores are a major concern for our project managers. Because of their very small size, mold spores can be anywhere there is air, including under carpet, inside wall cavities, under kitchen cabinets, virtually everywhere. Molds are usually not a problem unless mold spores land on a damp spot and begin growing. They digest whatever organic material they grow on in order to survive. Some molds grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods and insulation, while other molds feast on the everyday dust and dirt that gather in the moist regions of a building. Generally mold spores are hydrophobic. This means that spores do not like water itself. While mold spores need water to colonize (germinate and grow), they like wet organic substances, not a puddle of standing water.
Never use a DIY mold test, Heres why!
If you look on the internet, there are scores of DIY mold test kits. Before you invest in one of these kits, here are things you ought to know about mold:
- Mold is everywhere and every single house has some form of “mold.”
- Most self-test mold kits only tell you if your home has mold, but often provides false negatives and positives. It also does not tell you what kind of mold or how to kill it.
A true mold test can only be conducted by a Professional Environmental testing company; they determine the type of mold, the source of the moisture, and how to kill the mold at the core. They create a protocol, which can be read by an IICRC professional (like us!). It’s best to use a testing company that does not do cleaning themselves because their assessment will be unbiased.
- Mold is more often hidden, sometimes under the floor or in the walls, or in your air ducts
Where the mold is located, often dictates where the moisture is affecting the building
- Untreated water damage may result in mold growth within 24-48 hours of the event
Wood, insulation, fiberglass, carpet and other organic substances become a thriving environment for mold once there is moisture present for more than 24 hours. After a week, it is almost guaranteed.
Free estimates or removing mold yourself cost homeowners more in the long run
Be wary of companies who advertise free mold testing. Free mold tests are often offered by people who are uncertified or inexperienced and if they do the mold testing themselves, they are using these kits mentioned above. Unless they are a certified Environmental Hygienist and have a PhD in microbiology, they do not have the knowledge or resources to truly diagnose the mold condition in your home.
- The source of the mold is never addressed, so the problem is reoccurring.
- They use the “self-test” kits mentioned above instead of environmental testing with diagnostics
- Remove only topical mold instead of killing it at the source
- They often remove more walls and floors than needed which increases the price to rebuild.
- They do not remove enough, or don’t use the right materials which brings the mold back.
This means you have to pay to have it removed again, and have more sanitation and demolition performed, which increases the price to rebuild and replace tremendously.
What you should do instead
Having mold can be scary, especially if anyone in your home is prone to getting sick (people with asthma, low immune systems, allergies, babies and the elderly). We recommend the following course of action if you need to have mold removed from your home.
- Measure the area affected and check for moisture.
- Call your insurance company, ask:
- If you are covered for mold
- What is your deductible
- What is your coverage
- Ask for a company that they approve of for mold mitigation (Chances are, it’s us.)
If your insurance company says you can use anyone – or if you are not going through insurance then look for someone who is certified in
- IICRC, Water Restoration Technician
- IICRC, Mold restoration
- IICRC, Applied Structural Drying
- Now that you’re armed with knowledge, it’s time to start making some calls.
Now that you know your coverage, how much visible mold there is in your home, and whom your insurance company approves as mold remediation specialists. It’s time to start making some calls.
Remediation does Not address ongoing moisture issues!
We can all agree that the physical removal of mold under controlled conditions is the proper way to address remediation. Seasoned owners and technicians are often quick to remind people that, “as long as you remediate properly and keep the area dry once remediated, you wont have future problems”.
However, while this is true, the thing that this industry seems to be missing is the relationship with between temperature and humidity, otherwise known as dew point. It doesn’t matter how dry and area is today. If the dew point rises and condensation occurs, moisture content in structural substrate rises, producing conditions conducive to mold growth. We see examples of this daily in attics, basements, crawlspaces and exterior wall cavities. There was no water intrusion or no leaky pipes, but there was the condensation caused by temperature changes that resulted in hitting the dew point over enough cycles that moisture content increased and the resulting conducive condition lead to mold growth. So while, yes, keeping an area dry is an absolute must, it takes specific engineering controls to prevent condensation from leading to moisture content increases and therefore mold growth. Our crews here at SERVPRO west Kirkwood and Sunset Hills have all the necessary equipment to treat and make sure that everything is taken care of. Give us a call at 314-858-1688.
Three Helpful Tips For A Mold Free Home While Your Away!
Vacation time is just around the corner so, you want to make sure you're West Kirkwood/ Sunset Hills home is the best condition so no tragic situations occur. In order to get the most out of your vacation, you probably want to make sure that your house is in the right condition to leave it. No matter where you live, mold can spread while you aren’t there. It’s important to make sure that you don’t have to come home only to start a cleanup effort. These three easy tips on mold prevention while on vacation should help ease your mind.
1. Check Home in Advance
As the date of your vacation comes closer, the checklist of things you need to do before you can leave gets longer and longer. The one thing that you don’t want to skip out on is ensuring that there isn’t any mold in your home. The first tip in mold prevention is to make sure that there isn’t any fungus that can spread. If you want extra reassurance, you can have a specialist perform a mold test.
2. Keep Heat Low
What to do with your thermostat when you leave has everything to do with what time of year you vacation. Heat helps create the perfect environment for mold growth. If you’re leaving in the winter, then it’s a good idea to turn off your thermostat entirely. However, if you’re leaving in the summer, you may want to set it cooler. While you don’t want to waste energy on your air conditioning, you can keep your home at a temperature about five degrees higher than what you find comfortable.
3. Turn Off Water
Together, moisture and heat can derail your efforts against mold. If you’re leaving for a significant period of time, it’s smart to turn off your water entirely. After all, if there are any leaks while you’re gone, you won’t be able to catch them in time to prevent water damage.
If you’re on vacation, you deserve to relax without worrying about what might go wrong in West Kirkwood/ Sunset Hills while you’re not there. Simple mold prevention can help reduce the risk of mold. Visit http://www.SERVPROwestkirkwoodsunsethills.com/mold-remediation for more information on mold.
Mold Growth From Water Leaks
A leaky faucet in your home can be very annoying, but it has the potential to be much more than an annoyance. The moisture caused by leaks can make your home into the perfect environment for spring mold growth. Mold spores may cause health effects and can grow rapidly if you fail to notice a leak shortly after it starts, especially in humid climates. Knowing the risks that mold presents and quickly fixing your water leaks can help to protect your home from mold growth.
If you see black and white spots in the area of the leak, this is a sign that you have mold. Kitchens and basements are some of the areas in your home where there is a high risk of mold growth as these areas are prone to leaks. It is therefore important that you properly maintain your plumbing fixtures.
If you spot any types of mold growth or smell a funny smells give SERVPRO West Kirkwood and Sunset Hills a call at 314-858-1688 and we'll make it "Like it never even happened."
You Could Be Spreading Mold Through Your Sunset Hills Home
If you see visible mold in your Sunset Hills/West Kirkwood home, or business, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can then release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.
What to Do:
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
- Contact SERVPRO of West Kirkwood and Sunset Hills 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.
About Our Mold Remediation Service SERVPRO West Kirkwood and Sunset Hills specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business! Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely. Our crews will make your home or business "Like it never even happened." Give us a call at 314-858-1688.
For more mold information visit: http://www.SERVPROwestkirkwoodsunsethills.com/mold-remediation
Areas In Your Home That Mold Can Hide From You.
Mold can occur anywhere in your Kirkwood or Sunset Hills home but mainly is concentrated to areas where moisture is present. These moisture areas are common to the bathroom and basements. Mold can cause respiratory problems and should be removed if found as soon as possible. Most restoration companies only do mold inspections if the mold is visible, an industrial hygienist would come in and search for traces of mold that are not visible.
One of the first places mold can collect and you may not think to check is under the refrigerator. Under the fridge tends to collect moisture and dirt which can cause a breeding ground for bacteria and mold.
Another place is the AC unit. AC units are known to collect debris, dust and moisture from the air, which can lead to mold spores.
Mold can even grow in or around a washing machine or its parts. Moisture and lint can cause a presence of mold spores.
Other area in the house include anywhere moisture and dirt may form such as window corners.
If you think you may have a mold problem die SERVPRO of West Kirkwood and Sunset Hills a call at 314-858-1688 and we will make it Like It Never Even Happened!
Bleach Does NOT Kill Mold!
Most people think that bleach with completely get rid of their mold problem. In fact, bleach will only remove the color or stain of mold and will, in some cases, will allow toxic mold to grow where it was not present before. Read below to see how mold is properly cleaned and the affects that bleach has on mold.
Mold - that scary four letter word that no home or business owner ever wants to hear. If you do end up in the unfortunate situation that mold is growing in your building, what do you do? Many have been told “simply wash down the affected area with a bleach solution”. Yes, bleach is a powerful product that can sanitize surfaces and kill bacteria, however, bleach does not kill mold!
A bleach mixture is a great solution to use when cleaning your non-porous shower stalls or wiping down your hard surface countertops. However, using bleach on a porous surface such as wood or drywall where mold is traditionally found, is a different story.
Mold is a term that refers to fungi that grow in the form of multicellular thread-like structures, which grow into colonies. On a porous surface, the mold colonies grow into the pores of the material, much like a tree’s roots grow deep into the ground. Bleach is only able to kill what lies on the surface of the porous material, leaving what lies below the surface to continue to grow. To the eye, it appears that you’ve killed the mold that is growing, but unfortunately this is not true. The mold will then grow back stronger, deeper, and spread more since it’s embedded into the pores of the material.
If your home or business are affected by mold, call us today at 314-858-1688. SERVPRO of West Kirkwood and Sunset Hills will completely restore your property from mold damage with the correct equipment and solutions.
The four W's of Mold
THE VARIOUS SCENERIOS OF MOLD REMEDIATION
Protecting your home from the ravages of mold can be a daunting task if you don't know what to look for or don't know you have it. However, it's a process that every homeowner should consider in order to protect the structural integrity of their home as well as the health and wellness of their family.
The Four W's of Mold...
The process of determining if you have mold, and if so, what type begins with 5 questions that cover a number of considerations. It's a given that mold only grows in damp conditions. As a result, you must ask yourself if you or a neighbor has a water leak? Mold only takes a few days to form in moist situations. Even if you don't have a leak, your neighbor's leak could become a true bone of contention for you if you live in an apartment or duplex.
What Where and When...
Obviously, if you can visibly see mold you know you have a problem that needs resolving. Determining what type of mold you have becomes the obvious next step. Additionally, if you have water that pools against the exterior of your house when it rains, the moisture will affect not only exterior walls but the interior walls as well. It's just a question of "when."
In addition to visibly seeing mold, a musty moldy smell is a good indication that your dwelling has a mold issue. If the atmosphere in your home is humid, and your windows sweat revealing condensation, these are conditions that are ripe for developing a problem with mold if you don't already have one. Flair ups with allergies and illness in your pets are also strong indicators of a mold problem. Mold is a serious issue that can impact not only the infrastructure of your house but the health of you and your family members. Even if you plan on moving it's a good idea to have your new home tested for the presence of mold as a safety measure.
Having your home tested for mold is a good investment to protect the health and the integrity of both your family and your homes structure. After all, an ounce of prevention is always worth a ton of cure.Our crews here at SERVPRO of West Kirkwood/Sunset Hills have all the necessary equipment to treat and make sure that everything is taken care of. Give us a call at 314-858-1688!