Recent Mold Remediation Posts
When it comes to mold there is a love hate relationship between mold and humans. Some examples of the good that comes from mold are it makes penicillin and brie. It also is what causes the decomposition of organic matter in nature. However mold can be harmful to us, and those harmful molds can grow undetected in your home or business. Controlling moisture in your home of business is the main factor in preventing mold growth. Here are some ways to try and control moisture indoors.
Find The Problem Area's and Fix Them
Mold spores are always in the air both inside and outside your home. It is impossible to completely mold proof a home or business, but you can make it mold resistant. Be aware of the home, and take notice of anything that can cause moisture or has moisture. Check windows for frequent condensation or leaks. Check ceilings or walls for water leaks, or making sure the basement does not flood during storms or rain fall. Whatever the problem is always make sure you address it right away and fix the issue.
Tackle Wet Areas Right Away
If you experience any type of leak, flooding, or even a spill never let it go unnoticed thinking it'll dry on its own in time. Anything wet should be dried right away within 24 hours. Even wet clothes left in a washing machine can start to grow mold quickly. Take the extra time to dry anything wet the right way.
Always make sure you have the proper ventilation for your home or business. Kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms are examples of high moisture area's that need ventilation. Also make sure the ventilation is going to the outside of the home, and not into an attic. Opening a window, or running an exhaust fan while cooking, or showering can help vent out moisture.
Use Mold Resistant Products
Using mold resistant products like mold resistant drywall or sheetrock can be a big help in preventing mold. They also have mold inhibitors you can mix into paint. Mold resistant drywall is covered in fiberglass making it water resistant. This is especially usefully in area's with high moisture such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, and basements.
Indoor humidity should always stay between 30-60 percent. To find out the humidity in your home you can purchase a moisture meter from local hardware stores that will monitor the humidity. High humidity can also be detected in your home from signs like condensation on windows, walls, or even piping. Also dry any condensation you notice, and address the problem immediately.
Checking Exterior of Home
Checking the interior of the home is a must in mold prevention, and so is checking the exterior. Make sure there are no loose of moved shingles on the roof. Inspect gutters to make sure nothing is damaged, full, or leaking. Having gutters cleaned regularly, and repairing any problems right away is a must. Also keep an eye out for wet stains inside the home after rainfall or storms.
Create Good Airflow in Home
When temperatures drop the air holds less moisture. If good air circulation isn't present excess moisture can appear on walls, floors, and windows. You can increase circulation by opening doors between rooms, opening windows, or using air movers/fans. Letting fresh air in reduces moisture and keeps mold at bay.
Keeping House Plants Mold Free
Moist soil in indoor house plants is the perfect growing spot for mold. Adding a bit of Taheebo tea to the water while watering your plants can help stop mold in the soil. This tea can be found in most natural food stores
Types of Mold
Mold is a type of fungus that can grow anywhere on earth. Some molds are not dangerous to humans, while other molds can lead to severe health conditions. If you find mold in your home it is important to know what kind of mold your dealing with. Here is some of the different types of molds that are commonly found in homes or commercial buildings. First lets start with the 3 classifications of mold.
- Allergenic- Produces allergies and allergic reaction
- Pathogenic- Causes health issues in those who have an acute illness
- Toxigenic- Produces toxic substances that can lead to dangerous/deadly health issues
- Toxigenic mold
- Grows in humidifiers, cooling coils,drain pans, and window sealants
- Small moist mold that turns powdery, can be pink, grey, orange, or white in color
- Common allergenic mold
- Grows wherever dampness occurs like showers, tubs, leaking sinks
- Velvet-textured mold with dark green or brown hairs
- Allergenic mold however it can turn into toxic mold
- Commonly found in American households
- Over 185 species of Aspergillus exist, it can appear in many different colors
- Allergenic mold
- Found growing behind wall paper or painted wood surfaces
- Develops first in a pink, brown, or black color, and ages into a dark color
- Pathogenic Mold
- Found in water damaged homes or buildings
- Cotton like texture that usually changes from white to grey to brown, and eventually going black
- Allergenic mold
- Can grow in cold and warm conditions, and is olive green, or brown with a suede like texture
- Found in indoor materials like fabrics, upholstery, carpets, floorboards, and cupboards
- Allergenic and Toxigenic type of mold
- Grows in homes with water damage. Will grow in carpets, wallpaper, fabrics, and naturally grows on food
- If often pink, white, or reddish in color
- Allergenic mold that grows in patches
- Grows near air conditioning filters, HVAC systems, and ducting
- Often white or grayish and grows quickly
- Toxigenic mold that can also cause allergic reactions
- Known as black mold, can also be greenish in color, and slimy in texture
- Grows in damp, wet areas with high humidity
- Allergenic mold
- Grows on wet surfaces like wallpaper, carpet, and damp fabrics, and can be found in air conditioning filters
- White in color with green patches
- Allergenic and Pathogenic mold
- Grows in wetness and water, usually associated with extreme water damage
- Usually black in color
If you ever experience mold in your home or commercial building you should call a professional mold remediation company. SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale has the knowledge and experience to safely get rid of mold in your home or business.
Our Mold Remediation Process
SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale has the training and expertise to re-mediate your home or business if a mold issue arises. Every scenario for mold damage is different and requires different solutions. However the general mold remediation process stays the same. Here are steps illustrating our typical process for mold remediation.
Step One: Contact Us 248-246-0790
The mold clean up starts when you call us to help. WE will ask a series of questions to help determine the right equipment, resources, and personnel for the job.
Step Two: Inspection and Damage Assessment
We carefully inspect the property for any visible signs of mold. Mold feeds on water and cellulose and can hide from plain view. We use different technologies to detect mold and any hidden water sources.
Step Three: Mold Containment
Here at SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale we professionally use various containment procedures to prevent the spread of mold. We use advanced containment procedures like negative air chambers to isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep mold spores from spreading while cleaning the mold. We make sure to turn off all heating and cooling systems to prevent the spread of mold.
Step Four: Air Filtration
Specialized filtration equipment allows our professionals to capture microscopic mold spores out of the air. We utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spreading of mold spores while the mold remediation is in process.
Step Five: Removing Mold & Mold Infested Materials
Mold remediation depends on the amount of mold growth, and the type of surface it is growing on. We use antimicrobial treatments and anti-fungal to eliminate mold colonies, and to help stop any new colonies from forming. If need be we also will remove mold infested materials like drywall and carpeting to re-mediate heavy mold growth.
Step Six: Cleaning Contents and Belongings
We use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and disinfect your belongings. We will clean furniture, decorative items, curtains, clothing, and other restorable items affected by mold. We are also trained to remove odors and deodorize using fogging equipment.
Step Seven: Restoration
The restoration step gets your home or business back to normal. Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, sub-floors, and other building materials may need to be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, or it may entail major repairs such as reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.
Contact us today and let us help you with your mold remediation: 248-246-0790
Mold: Recognizing, Causes, and Solutions
Mold is a problem that everyone comes encountered with. Anywhere from finding moldy food that has been sitting to long in the fridge. To fuzzy black growth you find on shower tiles, and wet window sills. Mold is found in our environment outside, along with inside of our home. Mold spores are always floating in the air around us. The spores are typically inactive normally not causing problems. However with the right temperatures, dampness, and food these spores can attach and start to grow into the mold we see.
Mold when active can vary in different colors such as black, green, orange, and even purple. Mold is slimy and fuzzy in most cases, but some can have different textures such as being fine and powdery, resembling cotton, or leather etc. One of the most common ways of spotting a mold issue before seeing mold is by the smell. Mold odor has a distinct smell of being damp/musty. More than often the moldy smell is the only lead you have on a mold issue. Even if you don't see any mold do not ignore the odor. Sometimes the issue could be hidden turning into a bigger issue of a mold colony growing.
Oxygen, food source, and optimal growing conditions are 3 of the 4 things mold needs to grow. The 4th key ingredient mold needs in order to start forming is a moisture source. Dampness, wet spots, or water damage are a few examples of a moisture problem, and when these problems occur mold most likely will follow. Surface abnormalities such as bubbling, cracking, peeling of paint or wallpaper, walls bulging/warped, or walls feeling damp are all signs of a moisture problem. Before assessing and removing mold you have to make sure the source of the problem is located and fixed. Otherwise it will be a constant battle of mold regrowth, and costing you a pretty penny along the way.
The removal of mold is something that needs to be done correctly. If not the mold will come back, and in some instances worse than before. If the mold is 10 square feet or less you maybe able to clean it yourself. Anything larger than that you should seek a mold remediation professional. Bleach is okay to use when getting rid of mold when it comes to tiles. Bleach should not be used on wood, drywall, paint, wallpaper, etc. These type of materials should be completely removed when mold has been detected. When cleaning/removing mold you should always wear the correct personal protection equipment(gloves, respirator/mask, goggles, ect). Make sure the area you clean is dried thoroughly, after all moisture is the reason the mold began to grow in the first place.
Mold is an issue that shouldn't be taken lightly. It can cause health issues, and make existing health issues worse. Mold is a manageable problem if addressed properly. Don't ever try to take the cheap or easy way out when it comes to removing mold. In most cases this just makes the issue worse, and your home is a sacred investment that should be taken of properly.
Mold in your home, school, or workplace is a serious concern for your health, since up to 40 percent of American Schools and 25 percent of homes have mod infestations. Mold can cause several serious health problems that you may not realize are related to mold exposure. SERVPRO wants you to be able recognize a mold problem as well as the symptoms of systemic mycotoxicosis (debilitating symptoms caused by mycotoxins.) Mycotoxicins are chemical toxins present within or on the surface of the mold spore, which you then unwittingly inhale, ingest, or touch. These mold toxins are extremely potent and can cause adverse health effects.
Mold’s Favorite Places in Your Home
Fungi grow by releasing reproductive cells (spores) into the air, just like plants reproduce by spreading seeds. These airborne spores are invisible to the naked eye; it is not uncommon to find hundreds or even thousands of mold spores per cubic foot of indoor airspace. Spore are extremely small. 20 million would fit on a single postage stamp. Spores can survive harsh environmental conditions. In fact, they can lie dormant for decades until favorable conditions all them to spring back to life.
Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, provided moisture and oxygen are present. The most common indoor places for mold to take hold are damp areas, such as:
- Bathrooms and kitchens, especially under sinks – particularly leaking ones
- Behind or under appliances that hide sloe plumbing leaks (refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, etc.)
- Roof leaks
- Around windows where condensation collects
- High humidity areas for your home, such as basements
Often, the first sign of a mold problem is a “musty” odor. You are probably familiar with the smell of mildew-mildew is simply a variety of mold.
Know Your Molds
Mold is a type of fungus, like mushrooms and yeast. There are 100,000 to 400,000 types of fungi, with more than 1,000 types of mold that grow inside houses across America.
The five most common indoor mold varieties are:
- Alternaria: Commonly found in your nose, mouth, and upper respiratory tract;
- Aspergillus: Usually found in warm, extremely damp climates, and a common occupant house dust; produces mycotoxins;
- Cladosporium: This very common outdoor fungus can find its way indoors to grow on textiles. Wood, and other damp, porous materials;
- Penicillium: Very common species found on wallpaper, decaying fabrics, carpet, and fiberglass duct insulation; some species produce mycotoxins, one being the common antibiotic penicillin.
- Chaetomium: Chaetomium is a dangerous mold that little about which is known. This species of mold is characterized by a strong musty odor while thriving in water damaged drywall. Exposure to chaetomium results in classic mold related symptoms
- Stachybotrys: Extremely toxic “black Mold’ that produces mycotoxins that can cause serious health problems; thankfully, less common in homes that the other four, but not rare; found on wood or paper (cellulose products), but NOT on concrete, linoleum or tile.
Established That Mold Is a Problem
Mold spores are very difficult to destroy, even with cleaning agents, such as hot water or bleach (which is itself toxic). First and foremost, you want to get away from the problematic area – which means move if you have to. But come on, moving just isn’t an option for most. If you can’t move, there are some remedial steps you need to take to address the mold problem:
- Get a high-quality air purifier to control mold toxins. In addition to the mold itself, you need to make sure you get rid of any mold toxins. When a mold breaks down, it disintegrates, and every little particle may contain mycotoxins that have the capability of making you very sick. One option is a photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) unit. These unit can cover the whole house (up to 3000SF), they require little maintenance, and are relatively inexpensive. Please understand, no air filter in the world will take care of a mold issue until you have the humidity under control and the mold has been properly cleaned from your home.
- Get professional Mold Remediation. If your mold problem is sizable, or if you have black mold, your best bet is to hire a professional mold remediation company, like us here at SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale. Mold remediation is treaty and complicated and should always be done by a professional. Unless proper precautions are make, trying to remove black mold on your own is just as hazardous as doing nothing at all. Once mold is disturbed, spores are then stirred up and become airborne, affecting other areas that may not have been affected before. Professional mold remediation may not be cheap, but it is better than the alternative, and when it comes to your health, and the heath of your family, you can’t put a price on that.
When it comes to choosing a mold remediation company, it is always best to choose a contractor that is certified. SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale is an IICRC (Institution of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification) Certified firm. Our technicians are trained in the proper techniques to successfully remove mold from a home. We are also preferred contractors with several insurance companies, if the mold remediation is covered by your insurance.
The Process of Mold Remediation
Once an indoor air quality hygienist (IAQH) has completed the mold testing and verified the mold types, the severity of the infestation and what areas are affected, remediation can begin. It is important, depending on the severity of the mold, to consider relocating. When remediation begins, the removal of drywall, carpet, wallpaper, etc. can release massive amounts of mold spores. While containment is set to contain the work area from the unaffected spaces, if that containment is breached, those spores will be released and will affected the remaining spaces. Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) should always be worn while in the affected work area. This results in an exposure to a massive amount of spores all at once. This is especially dangerous when handling Stachybotrys or Chaetomium. Frequently, visible mold only accounts for a fraction of the actual mold infestation. Many species can penetrate beneath the surface, therefore making it nearly impossible to remediate without full removal and replacement. A dehumidifier is important to stabilize the environment and keeping the moisture level of the air at a minimum during the remediation. All affected materials should be removed; the remaining areas should be scrubbed clean with an antimicrobial solution and then sealed to prevent any re-infestations. Special equipment is placed in the affected areas to further remove any remain mold spores from the air. The area is to remain closed and contained until the IAQH has performed the post-test and the results confirm the area is clean and safe. Testing should always be performed by a third party to ensure the integrity of the results.
If you are experiences any of these listed health issues or expect that your home or place of business has mold, call us at 248-246-0790. We will walk to through this process and discuss your options. Please remember, never try to removed mold on your own, you’re doing more harm than good. Let SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale take care of this for you, it’s what we do.
Mold Warning Signs: How to Tell if You Have a Mold Problem
Mold visible on the walls of this bathroom that was a recent mold remediation job of SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale.
Mold Warning Signs: How to Tell if You Have a Mold Problem
Find mold before it becomes a major problem
Discovering that you have mold within your home can cause you to feel many things. You might initially feel disgust, frustration or even a sense of being overwhelmed. Placing the home up for sale might be the first thing that pops into your mind, but that should be a last resort. Many people live in a home with mold and never realize it is there. They ignore the warning signs until the problem reaches a point where the mold is taking over and affecting their health.
Warning Signs of Mold:
Therefore, its important to be aware of what the signs are that you may be sharing your home with more than just your family. Signs that you may have mold include:
- A strange odor: Mold has a pungent smell. When it is confined to one area of your home, you may notice an unpleasant odor when you are in that area. Mold can sometimes live within the walls or behind wallpaper, and so you might not immediately associate the smell with mold. If you do notice an unusual persistent odor in your home, the culprit may be mold.
- The appearance of mold: In your shower stall or bathtub, its easy to distinguish normal soap scum from mold. However, in the basement or cellar you may have to investigate a little further to find the mold. Mold will take hold of damp areas, so if you have a wall or floor where dampness collects, mold could very well be there as well.
- Health symptoms: Because mold is not always visible, it can be difficult realizing that you do indeed have a mold problem. If you feel listless, congested and experience watering eyes while in your home, these can all be signs of the presence of mold. It is not uncommon for a person who lives in a home that has mold to feel better while at work or out shopping. Their health problems begin the moment they step through their front door. Mold can often be the cause of this.
Do You Have a Mold Problem?
If you do think that you may have a mold problem, you’ll need to put on your investigator hat and get to work. Check all moist areas of your home first. If that doesn’t turn up any mold, consider calling in a professional.
Contact the Professionals!!
An indoor air quality hygienist (IAQH) is a professional who has been specially trained to detect mold in your home and perform the tests needed to determine they type of mold that are present and where the mold is present. These test results are then used by the mold remediation company. These professionals are trained to properly clean up mold and remove all tracing of it from your home as well as the air and HVAC system, if needed. There are many types of mold, there are toxic and non-toxic, some can be airborne, some areas in the home may have the mold present while others do not. Without this testing performed, you cannot know the type of mold id present or the proper procedures and chemicals to use to clean the mold. The IAQH should perform a posttest after the mold remediation has been completed to confirm that the mold has been removed from your home properly and that the mold levels are back to normal. It is highly recommended that the IAQH and the mold remediation company not be the same company, therefore assuring that you are getting honest results.
It can be difficult to stay in a home where the mold is causing an odor or is visible. You may feel very uncomfortable; however, for most people a small amount of mold will not cause serious health problems.
If you do suffer from allergies and find it is causing breathing problems, it might be wise to find a temporary place to stay until the mold problem is addressed.
Ignoring the warning signs that you may have mold only prolongs the problems you will experience. Be aggressive in locating the source of the mold and addressing it. After all, nothing is more important than your health.
The best way to tackle a mold problem is to call us here at SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale. We can point you in the right direction for testing, (or you can find your own and share the report that is no older than a week old). Once that has been done and report has been received, we will come out and complete a detailed estimate for you. After you approve the estimate or your insurance company does, we will take care of your mold problem in a quick but professional manner. With all the different types of mold, SERVPRO technicians are trained in mold remediation and have all the equipment and cleaning products needed to eliminate any form of mold found, including setting specialty equipment to remove mold from the air.
Call us today at 248-246-0790 to discuss your mold problem. We can recommend some reputable IAQH for testing that we require prior to quoting any mold remediation. We want to ensure that we can get your home back within a normal range, “Like it never even happened.”
Metro Detroit Residents: Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold
In Metro Detroit mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.
If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can 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 Oak Park/Ferndale 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 Services
SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale 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.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 248-246-0790
Does Your Basement or Attic Have A Mold Problem?
Mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.
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 – 248-246-0790