Recent Mold Remediation Posts
The Science Behind Mold
Not all molds are actually toxic. That’s the good news. Unfortunately, there are plenty of other molds that are toxic -- but they’re not black.
If you’re concerned about mold in your home or business, here are the basics you need to know in order to keep safe:
What Kinds of Mold Are Toxic
If you follow the news, you’ve probably heard the scientific term Stachybotrys used to categorize black mold that produces toxins. (Specifically, the toxins that are produced are mycotoxins, which is the scientific term for any toxic substance produced by a fungus).
However, mycotoxins are not always produced when mold is present. Scientists have identified specific strains of Stachybotrys, such as Stachybotrys chartarum and Stachybotrys atra, which have been shown to cause many health issues for humans. But as there are literally hundreds of thousands of mold species that we currently know of in existence, it’s not necessarily likely that you will have these particular kinds.
What’s more, dangerous mycotoxins can be produced by other kinds of mold besides Stachybotrys. And these molds don’t have to be black.
The bottom line is that your best protection against a mold problem is to prevent mold in the first place. And if you do see some mold, you need to know when it’s okay to try to clean it on your own (hint: only if it’s small in area, less than 10 square feet). In most situations, however, if you think you have a mold problem, you should call in professional services to be sure. Remember: safety first.
What You Can do to Reduce Your Exposure to Mold
So what can you do to reduce your exposure to mold? Attack mold first by prevention:
Get your house tested for mold. SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch has a list of local environmental testing companies.
Fix leaky plumbing or other sources of water. If you have mold in your crawl space or basement, locate the source and stop the water from coming in.
Dry water-damaged areas and items (like carpeting) within 24 to 48 hours of flooding. Don't install carpeting in areas where there is a moisture problem.
Reduce indoor humidity by venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources. If you don’t have exhaust fans, crack a window.
Use air conditioners and dehumidifiers inside your home. Change filters regularly. Use a dehumidifier to get rid of dampness in basements.
Add insulation to windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors where there is potential for condensation on cold surfaces.
If you follow these tips, mold growth should be kept at bay. But if you DO find mold, call SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch, and we will be out right away.
Things Remember to Keep Mold at Bay
Mold is a problem that can affect every home, and may be present even before it becomes visible. Mold likes to grow in dark and damp environments, so sometimes you'll notice a damp, moldy smell in the air long before you ever see signs of a mold problem. Here are three tips to stop it before it even gets started.
Warmer weather can instigate mold growth. Areas in your home that are allowed to surpass the 80-degree mark are the most susceptible. I
In the winter, check places where condensation collects, such as windows and doors. The heat from your home reacting to the cold outside will create moisture, especially if the area is not well insulated. If you have an older home, consider adding weather strips around drafty openings.
Mold thrives in environments where there is little or no air movement.
Vent fans, ceiling fans and strategically placed floor fans are excellent additions to bathrooms, or other places in your home where air can become stagnate.
The last problem you need to be concerned about is probably the most important. Mold needs moisture to grow. Without moisture in some form, mold will dry up and turn to dust.
Leaks & Drips
Always fix water leaks and drips immediately though.
Gutters & Eaves
Clogged rain gutter can drip back under the eaves and begin to slowly seep behind your exterior walls.
Dirt can also attract moisture as well as be a food source for mold. Vacuum at least once a week. If you have pets that shed, it would be well advised to vacuum a little more frequently.
Mold is everywhere, and once it starts to spread in your home it can become an expensive problem to remediate. Make sure you keep on top of issues when they arise to keep mold from affecting you!
A Wet Spring May Mean Mold Growth in your Home
Mold can be found hidden anywhere.
Springtime at the Jersey Shore is usually a month of wet, rainy weather followed by hot and humid temperatures. So it is important to be aware of the potential of mold growth in your home. Mold spores exist everywhere. Mold growth depends on certain conditions such as poor ventilation, moisture and air temperature. Every home has areas that have the potential for mold growth, so it is important to know where to look and what to look for. Places to look in your home that are susceptible to mold growth are areas that are constantly wet or humid such as:
What you need to look for:
- Crawl spaces
Our technicians are IICRC certified and undergo weekly training. We screen all our employees with background checks so you can feel safe having us in your home. We follow EPA standards and our products are child/pet safe. If you find ANY mold in your home, it is always best to call a professional to take care of the issue. If you find you need our services, we are always open.
- Discoloration on walls, carpets and floors
- Visible mold growth – black, white, red, orange, yellow, blue, violet, etc.
- Noticeable muster and/or dirt odor
Where to Look For Moisture & Mold
Hidden mold like this which was found when a bathroom sink was removed can spread and become a health problem.
Mold growth depends on certain conditions for growth such as poor ventilation, moisture and air temperature. Every home has areas that have the potential for mold growth, so it is important to know where to look and what to look for.
The following is a list of places in your home that are susceptible to mold growth:
- Under sinks
- Behind washing equipment
- Under and behind refrigeration units
- Under dishwashers
- Behind toilets
- Behind and below water heaters
- Around tubs and showers
- Around doors and windows
- Around basement perimeters
- In crawl spaces
- Above ceiling tiles
- Around the outside hose bib
- Inside access panels to whirlpool tubs
What you need to look for:
- Discoloration on walls, carpets and floors
- Visible mild growth – black, white, red, orange, yellow, blue, violet, etc.
- Noticeable muster and/or dirt odor
If you do find any mold in your home, it is always best to call a professional to take care and remediate the issue. Mold spores are easily dispersed if incorrectly disturbed and most household cleaners won’t sufficiently take care of the problem.
SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is available 24/7/365 to help home and business owners take care of water, mold and fire disasters quickly and thoroughly.
Controlling Moisture Deters Mold Growth
Mold growth in attics can be due to lack of moisture control and poor ventilation.
Water leaks, showers, cooking, all these things can add moisture to the air in your home. The amount of moisture the air in your home can hold depends upon the temperature. The warmer the air, the more moisture stays in the air. The lower the temperature, the less moisture is in the air.
At any temperature level, moisture can encourage biological pollutants to grow, which becomes the perfect habitat for mold growth.
So how do you begin to control moisture in your home? According to the EPA, the following steps can be taken to keep moisture – and subsequently mold – at bay:
Fix leaks and seepage. If water is entering the house from the outside, your options range from simple landscaping to extensive excavation and waterproofing.
Place a plastic cover over dirt in crawlspaces to prevent moisture from coming in from the ground. Be sure crawlspaces are well ventilated.
Use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens. Make sure fans are vented to the outside, and not the attic.
Turn off certain appliances (such as humidifiers or kerosene heaters) if you notice moisture on windows and other surfaces.
Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners, especially in hot, humid climates.
Raise the temperature of cold surfaces where moisture condenses. Insulate storm windows and open doors between rooms to circulate warm air. Using fans and moving furniture away from wall corners can help increase air circulation.
Be careful of carpet on concrete floors. Carpet can absorb moisture and serve as a place for biological pollutants to grow. Use area rugs which can be taken up and washed often. In some climates it may be necessary to use a vapor barrier over the concrete.
While these tips may help control moisture in your home, it may not guarantee the complete prevention of mold growth. If you do suspect mold, have your home tested, and make sure a professional takes care of remediation safely and properly.
Why Bleach Isn’t an Effective Mold Remover
Mold can grow anywhere, but is most prevalent where there is leaking water, moisture and poor ventilation.
Most households have a bottle of chlorine bleach on hand that is designated for a host of uses such as cleaning, laundry or a disinfectant. This bleach is a combination of hypochlorite, chlorine and water.
As a disinfectant, chlorine bleach will kill many household molds, but not all of them. This is the reason that bleach is not recommended in removing mold from walls According to the Harvard School of Public Health, bleach will only kill 50% of mold growth on surfaces such as wallboard (sheet rock, plaster, etc.).
It can also be considered a dangerous substance if not used correctly.
This is why it is so important to leave mold remediation to professionals, who have the proper tools and products to remove mold. Attempting to remove mold yourself may result in mold spores being released and finding a foothold elsewhere in the home. Also cleaning agents will not effectively remove all the mold. In most cases anything affected such as the sheet rock, insulation, carpeting or carpet padding must be cut out and/or removed.
SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch has certified and trained technicians who know how to properly clean and remove mold from your home safely and effectively. If you suspect you have a mold problem give us a call at 732-578-9888.
Mold Prevention is Your Best Defense
Hidden moister or water behind a wall can be detected by our infrared sensors.
Mold thrives in dark, damp, warm environments. If you have (or have had) water damage, water leaks, a leaky roof, a washing machine that overflows frequently or a basement that takes on water, even occasionally, the resulting moisture can give mold a toehold for growth.
In some instances, it can be hard to see the water damage. SERVPRO professionals can use a moisture meter and infrared cameras and find moisture or water behind walls.
So what can you do to reduce your exposure to mold? Attack mold on two fronts – prevention and removal.
- Fix leaky plumbing or other sources of water. If you have mold in your crawl space or basement, locate the source and stop the water from coming in.
- Check inside drywall for mold inside the wall. You can usually smell mold even if you can't see it. Moldy drywall must be cut out and replaced. Moldy insulation also must be removed and replaced.
- Use fans and heaters to dry water-damaged areasand items (like carpeting) within 24 to 48 hours of flooding.
- Replace ceiling tiles or carpet that have become moldy (or smell like mold).
- Reduce indoor humidity by venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources. Exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens can help. If you don’t have exhaust fans, crack a window in the kitchen when you're cooking or in the bathroom when you're bathing.
- Use air conditioners and dehumidifiers inside your home. Change filters regularly. Use a dehumidifier to get rid of dampness in basements.
- Add insulationto windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors where there is potential for condensation on cold surfaces. Mold can grow even in winter months.
- Get your house tested for mold. A moisture meter test will help. Check with your state health department or find a local environmental testing company.
- If you find or smell mold anywhere in your home, DO NOT try removing mold yourself. Instead, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch to put a remediation plan in place.
Mold Growth in Winter
Most people think that you need humid, moist air in order for mold to take hold and grow. While this is true, many other factors need to be present for mold growth.
During cold winter months, when there seems to be little moisture in the air, mold will still grow in places where there is a sufficient source of food (dead organic matter) and the right temperature. This usually occurs in cold, uninsulated exterior windows and walls, including uninsulated closets along exterior walls, where building surfaces are generally cold relative to the indoor air temperature. Cold surfaces next to warm oftentimes results in condensation (moisture), which is necessary for mold growth. And while extreme cold, freezing, and heat can deactivate spores, it does not kill them.
In order to keep winter mold growth at bay, try to control humidity in crawl spaces, basements and uninsulated closets, insulate exterior doors and windows and remove any material that mold will grow on, such as paper, cardboard, wood and fabrics.
If you do suspect mold growth, make sure you call professionals such as SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch to take care of the removal and mitigation.
Winter Mold Growth: What You Need To Know
The wet season in the winter months is one of the best times of year for molds to grow and expand. Often mold is contained near sources of water where it can easily grow and reproduce. As it grows, mold can breakdown and compromise the integrity and strength of the source in which it lives.
Mold spores are microscopic and are naturally found in the air we breathe indoors and outdoors. When large amounts of spores grow, one’s health may be compromised. Mold can be killed, but if it is not removed properly, it can remain in the area just cleaned and the dry spores can be released into the air. Mold remediation services can help eliminate the mold in your home and personal items affected by water damage.
Prevention, however, is what will help keep your lungs healthy and homes and buildings strong. We’ve put together a few tips on how you can help thwart mold from infesting your home that are efficient and realistic:
General Home and Building Maintenance:
- Keep all areas clean.
- Make sure there is good air circulation. Use an exhaust fan or open a window when showering, cooking, and washing the dishes.
- Prevent mold and water damage by turning off the water flow to broken appliances and pipes.
- Replace cracked or defective mortar in basements. If you find your basement is wet or has water leaking into it, inspect the outside drainage systems.
- Spread moisture-barrier materials in crawl spaces over the soil. Heavy roofing paper or plastic film made of polyethylene can be used for this. Make sure there is good ventilation in the crawl space and, if possible, do not enclose it. One may need to use a fan to blow out humid air from under the building.
- One can get rid of humidity or dampness within a building by heating it for a short time. After heating, open up the doors and windows, or use an exhaust fan, to let out the air that is moist.
- Hire a professional roofing contractor to cover a damaged roof with a tarp or tent. This will help protect the building from the elements.
- If there are freezing temperatures, take measures to insulate pipes inside and out to ensure they will not crack and/or burst.
- Make sure all the seals on the windows and doors are not compromised and in good-working condition.
- Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.
- Make sure the ground around your building slopes away from the foundation so water does not collect around or enter in to it.
- Act quickly if you see condensation on windows, pipes, or walls inside a building. Dry out the area and determine if the source of the condensation is from a leak or the result of high humidity.
After a Flood or Heavy Rains:
- Work fast. Call in SERVPRO, which will help in the cleaning and disinfecting of your home from toxins and spores mold can release.
- Lower the humidity and temperature in the building: molds do not like these conditions. Open up windows if the air outside is less humid than the air inside. Otherwise, turn on an air conditioner and a dehumidifier.
- Dispose of moldy items in a sealed bag. Objects that can be saved should be frozen (which deactivates mold) or dried out. Mold remediation services can assist with restoring many of your items, including documents, pictures, and books.
- Make sure there is good ventilation within the building affected. Use a fan, if necessary, to promote good air circulation.
- Remove as much standing water in a building as quickly and safely as possible after disconnecting all electronic equipment inside the building.
- The two key things to remember in mold prevention are: 1. Keep everything clean, and 2. Keep everything dry. Many simple steps can be taken to prevent mold damage as well as water damage during the winter months. However, keep the number SERVPRO handy should you require their services. These professionals can efficiently and quickly ensure your home is safe, dry, and mold-free.
Best Defense Against Mold
The SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch Management Team meets with Bruce Wolf of Garden State Environmental Consultants to discuss mold remediation
The first thing you should be aware of is that mold spores are absolutely everywhere. Fungal spores use air currents and water to spread, which is how they get inside homes and other buildings to begin with. The key to prevention is to ensure the atmosphere required for mold spores to mature and spread cannot be found in your home.
The following steps are the best defense against mold becoming a problem in your home.
- Clean and dry wet spots immediately
- Promptly remove any affected materials that cannot be thoroughly cleaned or dried
- Maintain indoor humidity levels below 60%
- Maintain plumbing and utilities to prevent leaks
- Run the bathroom exhaust fan a minimum of 20 minutes after a shower or bath
- Operate a dehumidifier in basement during hot and humid weather
- Ensure attic vents are open and clear of insulation for outside air flow
Should you feel that you have mold issues in your home or business, call SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch at 732-578-9888.
Monmouth County: Do You Have Mold?
Older homes are prime habitats for mold, which thrives in a dark, damp, warm environment. If you have water damage, water leaks, a leaky roof, a washing machine that overflows frequently, that moisture can give mold a toehold.
In some instances, it can be hard to see the water damage. SERVPRO professionals can use a moisture meter and infrared cameras see if anything is leaking.
So what can you do to reduce your exposure to mold? Attack mold on two fronts -- removal and prevention:
· Get your house tested for mold. A moisture meter test will help. Also, a dust sample from your carpet can show whether mold spores are in your home. Check with your state health department or find a local environmental testing company.
· Fix leaky plumbing or other sources of water. If you have mold in your crawl space or basement, locate the source and stop the water from coming in.
· If your crawl space has mold, call SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch to put a remediation plan in place to get rid of it.
· Check inside drywall for mold inside the wall. You can usually smell mold even if you can't see it. Moldy drywall must be cut out and replaced. Moldy insulation also must be removed and replaced.
· Dry water-damaged areas and items (like carpeting) within 24 to 48 hours of flooding. Don't install carpeting in areas where there is a moisture problem.
· If ceiling tiles or carpet have become moldy, they must be replaced. Throw out all wet, moldy tiles and carpeting.
· Reduce indoor humidity by venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources. Exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens can help. If you don’t have exhaust fans, crack a window in the kitchen when you're cooking or in the bathroom when you're bathing.
· Use air conditioners and dehumidifiers inside your home. Change filters regularly. Use a dehumidifier to get rid of dampness in basements.
· Add insulation to windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors where there is potential for condensation on cold surfaces.
Find out more: http://www.SERVPROeatontownlongbranch.com/mold-removal-remediation