Recent Mold Remediation Posts
Preventing Mold in your HVAC System
One of the best places to start in preventing mold in your home is your HVAC system. If it is not cared for properly mold can buildup and spread throughout your home. The following are some tips to help prevent mold in your HVAC system.
- First and foremost, make sure your HVAC system is sized properly. If it is too small it will run constantly which in turn elevates costs. On the other hand, if it is too big, it will constantly start and stop, which also wastes energy.
- Replace your air filters regularly- It is advised to change them at least once a month. If they become wet and dirty they become inefficient at trapping mold spores and other contaminants.
- Apply an HVAC mold inhibitor- Important: You need to apply an EPA-approved disinfectant that is labeled for us in HVAC systems before applying the inhibitor. A mold inhibitor will help to prevent mold and mildew growth in your HVAC system.
- Check your air intakes- Keep the areas below air intakes clean by removing standing water and anything else that can contaminate your air.
- Eliminate clutter- Keep furniture and other items away from vents as this can block airflow. On humid, still days, run a couple fans to keep the air moving.
- Monitor humidity- Use an indoor humidity monitor, which can be purchased at most hardware stores, and make sure your humidity level falls between 35-50%, which is an ideal level. If you reach 60% relative humidity, you should start looking for the source of the added moisture because if it continues to rise and gets above 70% certain species of mold can begin growing.
Should you want your HVAC system cleaned, SERVPRO of Burlington can help out. Give us a call to set up an appointment.
Common Types of Mold
While not all mold is dangerous some can affect your health. I've gone over how to spot mold in your home and the steps we take to remedy your mold problem. Below I will list the three most common types of mold found in homes and where they are typically located.
- Aspergillus is most commonly found indoors growing on dust and powdery building materials, such as drywall.
- Cladosporium can grow in cool areas as well as warm ones. It is most commonly found on fabrics and wood surfaces.
- Stachybotrys chartarum, also known as black mold, requires very high moisture content in order to grow. Due to it needing moisture it can sometimes be found in air conditioning pipes and ducts. You may also notice this kind of mold in water-damaged buildings.
Should you come across any of these types of mold in your home call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington. We have the advanced techniques and equipment to restore your home back to a safe environment.
Not only can the water you see after a water emergency be an issue but so can the water that you can't see. Water can absorb into flooring, drywall, and ceilings, as well as wooden support beams and sheetrock. If these areas aren't also taken care of mold can start to grow and that can not only cause more damage but it can also affect your health. The following are signs of hidden water leaks which can lead to mold.
- Excess water or moisture can create a musty smell when it gets absorbed into building materials.
- If you notice mold on walls or baseboards that is a good sign there is a hidden water leak somewhere.
- If you have visible stains on your walls and they continue to get bigger that is something that needs addressed.
- Check for separation in the wallpaper along the seams or even flaking paint.
- Last but not least stained or buckled ceilings and floors are another good indicator of hidden water damage. If you see this also check the nearby walls for signs of water damage.
Addressing these issues yourself can be pretty extensive and difficult to do. This is why it is smart to call SERVPRO of Burlington. We have the highly trained professionals who will respond to your home quickly with advanced mold remediation techniques and equipment
SERVPRO of Burlington
Myths vs Facts about Mold
This is what we found in the duct system/vents in the IT room of a business who complained of a "moldy" odor.
1. Myth: ALL mold is bad.
Fact: While some mold is bad not all is. Mold is used in the making of blue cheese and penicillin.
2. Myth: ALL mold causes health problems.
Fact: While mold can certainly cause health problems it is not true that all molds cause health problems in people. Molds produce allergens and not everyone is allergic to these.
3. Myth: There should be no mold inside.
Fact: In reality mold is all around us and is very natural. The problem comes when the concentration of mold indoors is high.
4. Myth: Bleach kills mold.
Fact: Bleach may kill certain kinds on non-porous surfaces, however, it is not clear that bleach can kill all kinds of mold nor kill mold on porous surfaces such as wood.
5. Myth: Killing mold is enough. There is no need to remove it
Fact: Killing mold is NOT enough. Killing mold does not remove the health effects as the allergens are still present even in dead mold.
6. Myth: Mold is natural. There is no need to worry about it.
Fact: While mold may be natural, consistent exposure to mold can have negative effects on one's health.
7. Myth: If you only see a little mold it's probably nothing to worry about.
Fact: If you see a little bit of mold you most likely have more growing under the surface out of site.
8. Myth: Cleaning up mold isn't hard. You should do it yourself.
Fact: While you may be able to clean up certain kinds of mold in small quantities most people are not equipped to do proper mold remediation. Simply wiping it down is not good enough. This is why you should call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington if you have a mold problem so we can properly clean it and keep it from spreading.
Mold Removal Process
Mold can be ugly and also hazardous to your health. We here at SERVPRO of Burlington have the training and professional equipment to help remedy your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is a little different the process remains the same. Below are the "typical" mold removal steps for this process:
- Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington at 319-754-8050Since mold can spread so quickly in such a short amount of time it is important that you call us as soon as you see any signs of mold so we can respond and remedy your problem in a timely and efficient manner.
- Inspection and Mold Damage AssessmentWe will thoroughly inspect your home for any signs of mold. Some mold can be hidden from plain view so we use different technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources.
- Mold ContainmentOne of our containment procedures involve using negative air chambers to isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading.
- Air FiltrationOur professionals will use "air scrubbers" and HEPA vacuums to help prevent the spread of mold spores while they are dealing with the remediation of the mold.
- Removing Mold and Mold-Infested MaterialsWe use antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies and to help prevent new ones from forming. If there is heavy mold growth we may have to remove mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and carpeting, to help remedy the problem.
- Cleaning Contents and BelongingsWe can not only bring your house back to normal but we are also trained to clean furniture, decorative items, curtains, clothing, and other restorable items affected by mold. We can also remove odors from these items as well.
- RestorationThe last and final step may entail minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet or major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.
Let us help you remedy your mold problem and make it "Like it never even happened."
Mold in your Bathroom
Due to the amount of moisture that comes from showering, taking a bath, using the sink, etc. your bathroom can become a breeding ground for mold. Not only does mold not look good on your walls, tub, and shower it can also be a hazard to you and your family's health. Even though there is constant moisture in a bathroom there are a few things you can do to help prevent mold from appearing on your bathroom surfaces.
- You should wipe down your shower walls and sinks after each use. Using a dry towel to wipe down wet surfaces can minimize the moisture left on those surfaces.
- Make sure to fix leaks if there are any. Don't forget to check under your sink and around bathroom windows. Fixing these leaks can help keep the moisture level at a minimum.
- Good circulation is also key. One of the biggest reasons moisture stays trapped in bathrooms is due to poor air circulation. Using an exhaust fan or even opening a window can help to circulate the air. Dehumidifiers and portable air conditioners are also other great options to help with air circulation.
If your mold has gotten out of hand or is something you think would be better left to the professionals, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Burlington. Our trained professionals will respond quickly to your place of residence and will remediate your mold problem in a timely and efficient manner.
The Steps We Take To Remedy Your Mold Problem
The following is the steps our professionals will take to remedy your mold problem and restore your home back to normal.
Once you contact us one of our professionals will come and do an inspection and mold damage assessment to determine what plan of action to take to remedy your mold problem. Once that is done they will then contain the mold by using different containment procedures such as negative air chambers which isolate the area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep mold spores from spreading. Once the mold is contained we use specialized filtration equipment to capture the mold spores out of the air. We will then remove mold and mold-infested materials. We use antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies and to help prevent new ones from forming. Not only can we remedy your mold problem but we can also clean your furniture, decorative items, clothing, and other restorable items affected by the mold. Depending on the level of damage restoration may entail minor repairs such as replacing carpet to major repairs such as reconstruction of various areas.
Signs of Mold in Your Home
1. Strange Odor: Due to the possibility of the mold being hidden sometimes the only way you can tell it is there is by a moldy smell. Don't ignore these odors even if you can't see any mold.
2. Appearance of Mold: Many people may not notice small amounts of mold growth or may think it's just soot or dirt. No matter how big it is you should take action immediately as a small problem can turn into a much bigger problem if not taken care of right away.
3. Moisture Problems: Signs of a moisture problem include water stains or discoloration on walls, floors or ceilings, in your house. These problems are usually created by leaks and if you already knew that you have had a water leak in the past then there is a good chance that you might have mold growing where the leak was.
4. Health Symptoms: Common allergic reactions to mold include sneezing, sore eyes and a runny nose or nasal congestion.
When you have a mold issue in your home call SERVPRO of Burlington and we will respond quickly so the problem doesn't continue to get worse. Our technicians have the experience and specialized equipment to quickly restore your property. Let SERVPRO make your mold problem "Like it never even happened."
What You Can Do to Prevent Mold In Your Home
1. Check your home for problem areas
- Find out where your problem areas are such as; does your basement flood? Do you notice frequent condensation on windows? Etc. Fixing these problems may cost some money upfront but can help in preventing future mold problems.
2. Prevent Moisture with Proper Ventilation
-Vent appliances such as your clothes dryer and stove to the outside instead of the attic or crawl space. Also use AC units and dehumidifiers but make sure that you clean and inspect them regularly
3. Monitor Humidity Indoors
-The EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent. You can use a moisture meter to check the humidity. Also pay attention to condensation on windows, pipes, and walls.
4. Direct Water Away From Your Home
-Water can collect at your foundation and seep into your basement if it isn't properly sloped away from the house
5. Keep Mold Off Household Plants
-Adding Taheebo tea to the water you give your houseplants can help hinder mold growth. This can be found at natural food stores.
6. Check Your Crawl Space
-Wall to wall vapor barriers should be installed over the ground and up sidewalls to 6 inches below floor joists. By doing this you can trap the moisture in the ground.
7. Call a Professional
If you suspect you have a mold issue and the job is too big for you to handle call SERVPRO. They can remediate the problem and give you peace of mind that your family's health won't be affected by allergens and irritants.
Mold: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly
This is an air vent that was attached to a faulty HVAC system. This photo shows the mold growth result.
Mold is a natural occurrence in our world, however not all types of mold are dangerous. Most of us have probably seen mold presence on bread or cheese in our home. In fact, penicillin is present in most antibiotics, which are aimed help us.
Mold growth is typically a result of a water presence in the home. Even a leak or high humidity creates an environment likely to create growth. It is important to be alert for visible mold or musty odors, especially if your home has experienced moisture problems in the past.
Some types of mold can be hazardous to our health. Infants, children, elderly, pregnant, and people with respiratory concerns are more likely to experience health effects of mold, and it should not be ignored.
Call the professionals to properly asses your home and discuss a mold remediation plan. Mold is a scary word, but let the SERVPRO of Burlington specialists take care of it for you!