Archived Mold Remediation Blog Posts
Mold is Everywhere
Mold is Everywhere
Mold is everywhere among us. “The Fungus Among Us” is a saying we use here at SERVPRO of Hockessin / Elsmere. There are certain types of mold outside in the air we breathe. Indoor Air Quality differs from outdoor air quality. There is no way to eliminate all mold spores in the environment but controlling the growth is pertinent. During a flood cleanup it is important to properly dry the area in order to prevent further problems. Failure to properly mitigate the loss can cause secondary issues and present health risks associated with mold. SERVPRO of Hockessin / Elsmere is properly trained and can help rid your home or business with these microorganisms. SERVPRO uses proper techniques and products to do the job correctly. Call SERVPRO of Hockessin / Elsmere for an individualized mold estimate.
Mold can sneaky and hidden until it gets noticed. In this case, there was a dishwasher that had a small leak for a period of time. The small leak went undetected as it was a slow drip. The floor under the dishwasher was getting destroyed by mold. It was only when the kids playing in the basement saw an area on the ceiling that looked “funny”. The homeowner went to check it out and saw what appeared to “leopard spots” on the ceiling. She touched the ceiling and it felt dry to the touch. Thankfully this homeowner did not cut the ceiling or tamper with the area much. When SERVPRO of Hockessin / Elsmere arrived, we were able to determine that the spot was below the dishwasher. When we pulled the dishwasher out this is what we found.
Mold on Wall
Mold on Wall
Mold can be hidden for some time until it gets noticed. Sometimes a person is unaware that water infiltrated their home at one point. Sometimes people try to dry the water damage themselves. Later, an odor can be detected and that should be a telltale sign that something is happening. If the area is left untreated a more serious problem may come to fruition. SERVPRO of Hockessin / Elsmere gets calls frequently from homeowners that they thought they previously had a small water damage that they corrected themselves. Now that time has gone by there is an odor present and they are worried about microbial growth. This is very common for homeowners to experience. In this photo you can see mold growing through the drywall after the homeowner experienced a small amount of water a few months back and never did anything about it.
Things to Know About Mold
Mold under steps
Mold: Things Know About Mold
-People can develop different types of symptoms when they are exposed to mold, such as: allergic reactions, asthmas and other respiratory issues.
-There is truly no way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in an indoor environment, best thing to do is to control moisture.
-If you do notice mold or begin to develop symptoms you think may be related to mold it is always good to call a professional and eliminate any sources of moisture.
-Always fix the source of any water problem or leak to prevent any mold from growing.
-Reduce the humidity levels indoors (30-60%) to decrease growth—always make sure bathrooms, dryers and other moisture generating sources have clear access to the outside. Try using air conditioners and de-humidifiers whenever possible. Try increasing ventilation. Using exhaust fans when cooking and cleaning can make a big difference.
-Keep clean and dry any damp or wet materials or furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent growth.
-To clean off mold on hard surfaces use water and detergent and dry completely. Materials that may absorb moisture, like ceiling tiles, that are moldy, should be replaced.
-Reduce condensation on cold surfaces by adding insulation (windows, pipes, exterior walls).
-If you have areas where moisture is always a problem, do not install carpeting.
-Mold can be found almost anywhere. They grow on virtually any substance, preventing moisture to the best of your ability is always best.
September is National Preparedness Month
September is National Preparedness Month. This annual event, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), provides families and businesses with the information and resources they need to plan for, react to, survive, and recover from an emergency, before the emergency happens. (https://www.ready.gov/september) For National Preparedness Month 2018, themed “Disasters happen, prepare now, learn how,” FEMA has prepared a week-by-week calendar of recommended actions property owners can take to be ready if disaster does strike: Week 1. Create an emergency plan that includes signing up for emergency alerts and making contingency plans for shelter, evacuation, and family communication. Week 2. Learn life-saving skills. CPR is a good place to start, but also be certain you know how to turn off the utilities in your home and ensure your smoke and CO detectors are properly installed and working. Week 3. Check your insurance coverage. Once the emergency is over, appropriate and sufficient insurance will be key to getting your life back to normal, or at least on track. Week 4. Plan financially for the possibility of a disaster. This goes beyond having a “rainy day fund” for immediate needs. Gather and organize important home, business, insurance, financial, and personal documents and keep them up-to-date and stored in a secure, water-and-fire proof location. “There’s a difference between surviving a disaster and recovering from a disaster.” “Families and businesses who take the time to create both a short- and long-term plan to deal with the unexpected are better able to respond quickly if the unexpected happens, which can improve their chances of survival. Having key information at their fingertips in the aftermath of the emergency can set them on the path to recovery more quickly and with less stress.” Because SERVPRO recognizes a fast response is critical in any emergency, reminds -area commercial and residential property owners they can download the SERVPRO READY app for free at https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileapp. The app allows users to store essential contact and property information electronically, where it can be accessed with a mobile device in seconds, right from the scene, if disaster strikes. For local business owners who designate SERVPRO of Hockessin/Elsmere as their disaster mitigation and restoration provider, SERVPRO professionals will conduct a no-cost assessment of their facility, help the owner complete a comprehensive Emergency READY Profile® (ERP), and store that profile in the READY app. “SERVPRO disaster cleanup and restoration specialists are ready to respond to emergencies big and small.” From SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team, a group of elite large-loss specialists, prequalified and strategically positioned throughout the United States to handle any size disaster, to local SERVPRO professionals like SERVPRO of Hockessin/Elsmere, we specialize in disaster restoration, cleanup and repair services, helping make it ‘Like it never even happened.’ for both commercial and residential customers.”
It only takes a small water leak, or excess humidity, for mold to form. Mold, can spread quickly through the property in as little as 72 hours. Mold can produce allergens and irritants, and it has the potential to cause other health effects.
Consider these facts:
Mold is present in a lot of places, almost everywhere, both indoor and outdoor
Mold spores start microscopically before they reproduce into colonies
Spores enter your home through shoes, pets, open doors & windows and your clothing etc.
Mold can produce a musty strong odor that causes irritants
Mold thrives in dark, damp environments
Mold is something we here at SERVPRO of Hockessin / Elsmere are trained and qualified to help remediate. If you need us we are here to help. (302) 992-0104
SERVPRO Gearing Up for Wrestling Season
Mold Growth Under Wrestling Mats
This year, one of our local school was gearing up for the wrestling season when they came across a problem. When pulling up their wrestling mats for cleaning before they would be put in place for the season, they found some mold growth in various spots and a lot of moisture. When our SERVPRO technicians assessed the mats and the conditions of the floors below them, they found many patches of moisture and mold growth. The mats had to be taken up and cleaned separately while they removed the mold. We mitigated the mold and dried the floor and the mats before they were put back in their place. Now that SERVPRO has taken care of it, the school is ready to start their wrestling season training.
Time to Clean Your Refrigerator
When was the last time that you found something in your fridge that was expired or needed to be thrown out? It is fairly common to find some perishable and/or questionable items in the back of your fridge that have been hidden behind some condiments or left overs for too long.
Once a week, your refrigerator should be tidied up by wiping spills and surfaces. Any sticky spots on containers should be wiped up as well. To prevent bacteria growth, the fridge should be cleared out, thoroughly cleaned, and organized. Products should be checked for expiration dates and mold before going back in the refrigerator.
It is important to keep your fridge clean and organized so that your items can remain bacteria and mold free!
Inspection for Mold
Because mold can be hidden in walls, floors, ductwork, it can be hard to detect until it has already affected your home. Janet bought her first home and was so excited to move in. It took months of enduring a musky odor before she discovered her mold problem. Janet was so surprised that an inspector came across mold growth in her home because she kept the entire house spotless. Sometimes prevention is the strongest fight against mold growth. Dehumidifiers and air conditioners help keep homes dry and strengthen the ventilation throughout the area and should be used when humidity is high or living conditions are damp. Air ducts should be checked every once in a while as well. Ducts go unchecked in many homes for very long periods of time, which sometimes allows undetected buildup and mold growth.
Mold & Deodorization
When SERVPRO is inspecting a home or building for mold, there is a variety of key indicators we look for. Visible mold growth or the smell of mold or musty smells are the most apparent signs of mold SERVPRO looks for. In different situations, SERVPRO of Hockessin/Elsmere technicians will check for dampness and mold growth on carpet pads, carpets, we conduct inspections throughout the flooring, walls, and sub-floors. Moisture in the air and temperature within the home/building are monitored and measured by our technicians in certain scenarios as well. If we have found that mold growth is present within the facility, our mitigation process of the mold growth is the next step in our process. If there is no mold growth detected but there is a musty odor in the room which caused for the question and inspection of mold, SERVPRO is able to proceed with their deodorization services instead.
Along with checking for mold and making sure you are aware of the signs that could indicate mold in your home, you should make sure you are keeping your home a healthy environment in as many other ways you can. You should ask yourself a few questions in regard to your environment:
- Do you smoke inside your home?
- Is the ventilation and exhaust fans between your laundry room, kitchen, and bathroom adequate?
- When was the last time you changed your air filters?
- When was the last time you changed the filter or bag to your vacuum?
- Is your laundry done with bleach or ammonia?
- Is your gas stove and fire place checked every year for emissions?
- Was your home build before 1977? If so, has it been checked for led based paint?
- Do your bathrooms have carpet?
Finding the Source of Water/Mold
Water Damaged Area
Mold can grow on many materials especially after a water damage.
Some Examples of Possible Materials of Mold Growth:
- Paper Products
The byproduct of mold is the musty smell that grows more and more apparent as the mold spreads. Environments with a lot of moisture are the most common cause of mold growth, which includes environments that have encountered a water damage. After mold remediation/water remediation has been conducted, the job is not finished. The source of water and moisture that creates the perfect feeding ground for mold must be addressed to prevent future mold growth.
Here is a water damage in a local school that our SERVPRO restored. This school is a perfect example of the importance of finding the source of water damage and moisture. There was a large leak in the plumbing system that caused the water damage but later it was discovered that the old plumbing system had started to fail and water was unable to easily flow through the pipes and had been slowly affecting the lower level bathrooms for some time. If the school had not investigated the source of the water damage and moisture build up over time, they would have encountered this situation again, and a great possibility of mold later on.
Mold and Your Health
SERVPRO Beginning During Remediation Process.
Whether its a storm, plumbing malfunctions, or equipment mishaps, when water affects your home, the risk of encountering mold growth in the near future runs much higher. If the level of humidity is not controlled in the damaged area, moisture is absorbed into the environment and mold spores will begin to multiply. SERVPRO works in a timely manner because we are well trained in the importance of mold prevention and water extraction. Whether it be after a water damage or simply for your awareness, be alert for:
- Visible Mold
- Strong Musty Odors
- Evidence of Current Moisture Problems
- Evidence of Previous Moisture Problems
- Excessive Humidity
SERVPRO technicians are highly trained and knowledgeable about water damage, moisture in an environment, and mold and are able to bring your home back to the condition it was in before any damage occurred.