Archived Mold Remediation Blog Posts
What You Need to Know About Mold
Mold may be in the air, but you definitely do not want it growing in your walls.
The CDC states molds as:
Molds are fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors. No one knows how many species of fungi exist but estimates range from tens of thousands to perhaps three hundred thousand or more. Molds grow best in warm, damp, and humid conditions, and spread and reproduce by making spores. Mold spores can survive harsh environmental conditions, such as dry conditions, that do not support normal mold growth.
Microscopic mold spores exist almost everywhere, outdoors and indoors, making it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. 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.
How can people decrease mold exposure?
Sensitive individuals should avoid areas that are likely to have mold, such as compost piles, cut grass, and wooded areas. Inside homes, mold growth can be slowed by controlling humidity levels and ventilating showers and cooking areas. If there is mold growth in your home, you should clean up the mold and fix the water problem. Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of household laundry bleach in 1 gallon of water. Follow the manufacturers’ instructions for use (see product label).
Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce dangerous, toxic fumes.
Fix Mold Problems in any Home with Professional Help
It is no fun to find mold within your Home.Visible mold and spores should be removed and reduced to a minimum.
Once any sign of mold is in the home spaces becomes apparent, people should always reach out to a restoration company. After all, unchecked mold growth can ruin a structure. A home can experience:
- substantial dry rot
- mold growth behind walls and other damage.
- the home may need to be vacated for significant repairs
Homeowners must act quickly against mold damage. Mold spores are very opportunistic. They drift into thin cracks and slowly become a huge challenge. Mold behind walls will grow on studs and drywall
For structural integrity, homeowners must not allow mold growth to spread behind walls. Able to grow within cracks can cause dry rot, mold often shows visible signs, but it can also exist in a home without giving obvious evidence of a water damage.
Aside from black mold spots, here are other reasons to suspect that a building has a mold problem:
- Smelly odors
- Discoloration on walls, floors or ceilings
- Water damage
- Damp areas
- Dry rot
Whether people detect just one or many of the above signs, they need to reach out to the mold mitigation professionals. Untrained hands can spread mold.
Mold at your place of Business?
Don't let this set you behind
Mold at your place of business
Besides causing a major business interruption, a mold problem can present a serious health risk for people exposed at your commercial property. Mold infestations can be caused by minor water intrusions, like a slow roof leak or loose plumbing fitting. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. If you suspect your property has a mold problem, call SERVPRO, who will respond quickly and work fast to manage the situation. We offer 24 hour emergency service and have highly trained mold and water damage restoration specialists.
SERVPRO starts working to first contain the infestation to help prevent its spread to other parts of the building. Next, we will begin the remediation process, working safely and effectively to manage the situation. We have the training, experience, and equipment to contain the mold infestation and remediate it to preloss condition.
If you have or suspect you have a mold problem at your commercial business call SERVPRO to clean it up and make it "Like it never even happened."
Mold vs Mildew
Mold or Mildew?
We are often asked about the differences between mold vs. mildew and about the best method for cleaning mold and mildew. Mold and mildew are both types of fungi and are similar in many ways and different in many ways.
Mildew is a specific kind of mold, usually with a flat growth habit.
Mildew could be downy or powdery: Downy mildew starts as yellow spots that first become brighter in appearance and then the color changes to brown. Powdery mildew is whitish in color and that slowly turn yellowish brown and then black.
Structural damage to homes can occur over time. Mold can also cause health effects.
To prevent mildew at home, keep all the areas moisture-free. There are mildew removers available at stores to eliminate mildew. To protect crops from mildew use mildew-resistant seeds, remove infested plants, avoid overhead heating.
Mold is a fungi that contains multiple identical nuclei. It grows in the form of hyphae of filaments.
Mold has a fuzzy appearance and can be an orange, green, black, brown, pink or purple in color. Can be found in several shapes.
Mildew can cause damage to plants and crops. It can also cause health effects.
To prevent mold in your home, you need to keep all the areas dry and moisture-free. Check the humidity levels inside the house and take measures to control it. Finish perishable food within 3-4 days.
How to Prevent Mold
This is an extreme case, but something we see frequently.
You had a house flood and thought you did a pretty good clean up job (pat yourself on the back), until one day you notice a little something over in the corner under the carpet slowly creeping up the wall. Panic sets in and you start pacing thinking to yourself, “How did this happen. What could I have done to prevent this?” Well we have the answers and some simple tips to help you prevent mold.
- Identify problem areas in your home and correct them. You can't mold-proof your home, but you can make it mold-resistant. Check your house for areas of concern and face them head on. It might cost money up front but it will save you money down the road. Pull up that carpet and install mold proofing products, find that water leak and fix it so it doesn’t creep inside the house, or repair that broken rain gutter.
- Dry wet areas immediately. Mold can't grow without moisture, so tackle wet areas right away. Even spills should be cleaned up ASAP. The key is the small daily task that makes the difference. Be sure to dry the floor and walls after a shower. Don't leave wet clothes in the washing machine, where mold can spread quickly. Get them in the dryer and make sure to leave the door open and let your washer dryer out
- Prevent moisture with proper ventilation. It may be that your routine 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. 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.
- 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. This is especially import in moisture prone areas like the bathroom and kitchen.
- Monitor humidity indoors. The EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent. You can measure humidity with a moisture meter purchased from a hardware store or online. You'll also be able to detect high humidity by simply paying attention to problem areas in your home. Signs of excessive humidity include condensation on windows, pipes, and walls. If you notice condensation, dry the surface immediately and address the source of the moisture
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 extra 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.
Is Mold Damage Covered by Homeowners Insurance?
Most people are not aware of what their insurance does and does NOT cover.
Whether or not mold damage is covered by home owners insurance often comes down to the source of the moisture. Take an hour or two to review the language of your policy, especially as it pertains to water damage. Look for mold exclusions or limitations. Call your agent if the wording is unclear.
Most basic home owner’s insurance policies exclude coverage of damage caused by mold, fungi, and bacteria. Yet that doesn’t mean a mold claim will be denied automatically. In most cases, if mold results from a sudden and accidental covered peril, such as a pipe bursting, the cost of remediation could be covered. That’s because technically the pipe burst is the reason for the claim, not the mold itself. Claims are more likely to be rejected if mold is caused by neglected home maintenance: long-term exposure to humidity, or repeated water leaks and seepage.
If you are worried and prone to mold in your home it might be possible to purchase a mold rider as an add-on to your existing home owner’s policy. Ask your agent. A rider will offer additional mold coverage.