Recent Mold Remediation Posts
Tips to Keep Mold Out of Your Bathroom
Moisture control is the key to mold control.
Let’s face it, when it comes to parts of our homes we wish we didn’t have to think much about, the bathroom would probably top that list. For most of us, the bathroom is the one part of the house that we want to get away from, just as quickly as we entered. And as a cleaning and restoration company who often finds ourselves entering into some pretty serious bathroom maintenance concerns, we’ve found that mold damage is one of the worst issues to face. That’s why we wanted to share some worthwhile information with you so that the next time you’re cleaning your home or doing various housekeeping chores, you can have some helpful pointers in mind for keeping mold growth at bay in your bathroom.
"Bathrooms are common places to find mold because heat and moisture accumulate on a regular basis, and this happens to be the perfect environment that mold needs to grow." Some common reasons why mold growth is found especially in the bathroom are due to:
- Lack of air circulation and ventilation that traps moisture after bathing
- Leaky toilets, sinks or pipes
- Improper installation of bathtub pan or shower building materials
- Other damp organic materials such as rugs, paper products, wood, wallpaper, drywall, etc…
There are several different methods you can follow to prevent mold growth.
- Make sure you have a bathroom fan that works and is the right size in relation to the size of your bathroom
- If you don’t have a bathroom fan or window, take some time to dry the wet surfaces (walls, mirror, and ceiling) with a towel after your shower. Squeegee your shower walls to get rid of extra moisture.
- Seal the grout in your tile annually to ensure its water proof. Repair or replace damaged grout and caulk.
- Leave bathroom windows and doors open after your shower to let all the steam out. We recommend doing this for at least a half hour after bathing.
- Clean the bathroom with eco-friendly mold-preventing cleaners like Concrobium or Sporicidin. Also, general household cleaning solutions with bleach can be a great way to lessen the likelihood for mold to growth on dust, dirt and buildup on surfaces.
- If you’re going out of town, don’t just turn your thermostat off. Keep it at 74 or below to prevent a mold fest.
- Check your sinks for leaks.
- Spread the shower curtain back out after your shower to prevent mold from growing in the folds.
- Clean the bathroom regularly, at least once a week. Don’t forget easy-to-miss places like the shower walls. Wash your cloth shower curtain and rug too!
- Call SERVPRO of Lee's Summit for additional tips and tricks for what to do (and NOT DO) if you have found mold growing in your bathroom.
Common Types of Mold Found in Homes
You need to know what type of mold you're dealing with for health issues.
Mold comes in many types and forms. In fact, there are more than 100,000 types of mold including about 150 types of mold found in homes--each of which can have several subtypes. The good news is that most people tolerate exposure to moderate levels of many different molds without any apparent adverse health effects. The bad news? Some molds may cause health effects.
In this post you’ll learn about identifying some common types of mold in your home.
The HGTV website provides some good mold information. The most common types of mold you may find in your home include aspergillus, cladosporium, and stachybotrys atra (black mold).
Aspergillus is a fairly allergenic mold that is commonly found on foods and in home air conditioning systems. Cladosporium is typically a black or green "pepper like" substance that grows on the back of toilets, painted surfaces and fiberglass air ducts.
Black Mold (Stachybotrys Atra)
Black mold is most likely to appear in your home in places that are particularly warm, humid, and damp—like basements or crawlspaces that may have leaks or other sources of moisture. You can identify black mold by its black color. Most other molds are green or gray in color.
Removing black mold is a step-by-step process that requires patience, an investment in protective gear, black mold removal products, and the courage to brave dark, cramped spaces inhabited by fungus. These are among the reasons why many homeowners hire SERVPRO of Lee's Summit to remove black mold.
Mold or Mildew: What’s the Difference?
Mold and mildew are types of fungi. Typically, mold is black or green, and mildew is gray or white. Mold tends to grows on food, while mildew grows on damp surfaces, like bathroom walls, basement walls, or fabrics. Mold grows in the form of multicellular filaments or hyphae, while mildew has flat growth. Mildew is often referred to as a kind of mold.
Orange or Red Mold
Mold that appears to be orange or red in color is usually found outdoors. It thrives on decaying plants and moist wood. This type of mold, which can appear slimy, is harmless. The main reason to remove it (should you decide to) is for appearances.
Often referred to as “bathroom mold,” aureobasidium is found on caulk, windows, bathtubs, and showers. It’s a black mildew.
This type of mildew is relatively harmless and grows in dust in homes. Wallemia does not need moisture to grow.
This toxic mildew is very common after a flood. Exposure to fusarium may cause some negative health symptoms.
The Importance of Testing
Unfortunately, you can’t identify most types of mold in your home with a photograph or with your naked eye. Most molds look similar. What you can do is send a sample for testing to a qualified mold laboratory.
We know mold. Call SERVPRO Lee's Summit at (816) 246-5566
Remember that it’s critical to know the types of mold and the amounts you inhale. If you’re concerned, consider testing the air in your home or call SERVPRO of Lee's Summit.
What Can You Do to Fix Moldy Clothes?
Your dryer is your friend.
The reason clothing is so susceptible to mold growth is not just because of the mold-inviting circumstances within the laundry room. Generally, when it is worn, clothing collects sweat and skin cells, as well as dirt and other forms of moisture and organic material that mold loves to feast on. Then, it is placed in the laundry hamper and usually sits for days before it it is finally washed. This scenario is typical and may not result in a noticeable mold infestation, but should the soiled laundry be allowed to fester long enough, a mildew smell may be present, as well as visible signs of green, blue, gray, black, or sometimes even white mold on clothes.
Another scenario is becoming more common due to busy lifestyles and poor habits. The quick development of mold on clothes after washing may be surprising to some, but it is quite an ordinary occurrence for those with overwhelmed schedules or those who are vulnerable to procrastination because they often forget to remove clothing from the washing machine once the cycle is finished. As time passes, this leads to the rapid proliferation of mildew and mold on clothes after washing, due to the remaining moisture. Neglecting to put the wet clothes in the dryer for a few hours is not what makes mold grow. Neglecting the clothes in the washer for 6 hours or longer–sometimes a day or even a few days–is the problem. Before too long, a mildew smell will be detected in the washer and clothing. Some assume this is the residue of soap, and while that may be true to some extent, the fact of the matter is that most soaps contains lard and other organic (even synthetic) materials that mold can thrive off of. The smell is not necessarily the residue of soap, but an indication that mold is producing a secondary metabolite–the mildew smell–from consuming that soap.
What is a natural detergent to kill mold? Here is what you will need.
- Two 5 oz. organic castile soap bars (naturally-scented with lavender or peppermint is great but non-scented works just the same)
- 3 cups of washing soda (no, it’s not the same as baking soda)
- 2 cups of borax
- 30 drops of certified-pure lavender essential oil (optional but highly advisable for a mold killing laundry detergent)
Once you have all the materials, this is what to do.
- Cut the castile soap bars into small pieces or chunks. (This is crucial to avoid damaging the food processor.)
- Place the cut castile soap pieces or chunks in the food processor bowl. Pulse the soap on high until what remains are large crumbs.
- Add the washing soda to the food processor and pulse for 1 minute. (After pulsing, all the ingredients should be in powder form and well-combined. If not, try running the food processor again and then mixing with a spoon.)
- Empty the washing soda and castile soap into the storage container. Add the borax and blend well with a spoon.
- Add the essential oils of choice (optional but beneficial) and be sure to mix well.
Do not place this mixture into the drawer or dispenser, place it directly in with the laundry.
Common Mold Issues
Any home or commercial business can quickly become infested with mold with the introduction of a water source, like a roof or plumbing leak. Mold can spread throughout a property in as little as 48-72 hours and can produce allergens and irritants that have the potential to cause other health effects.
If you suspect that your home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO Professionals can inspect and assess your property. If mold is found, they have the training, equipment, and expertise to handle the situation.
SERVPRO of The Attleboros:
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 on a pet.
- Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water.
- 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.
Common Mold Misconceptions
With sensational news stories and misleading advertising, you can easily understand why so many people are misinformed about indoor mold. Learn the facts about mold and the mold remediation process.
Mold Prevention Tips
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Mold is a common household problem, developing in warm, damp environments. Mold can be colored green, purple, white, and orange. While mold plays an important role outside in the environment, breaking down dead plants, mold is unwelcome in homes.
Showers and bathrooms are a common location for mold to grow, but it is possible for mold to grow anywhere in a home. Mold can come inside a home from an outside growth through inadequately sealed windows or doors. Mold spores cannot be eliminated entirely, but they will not grow if the environment is dry and well ventilated. Mold growth can be prevented by ensuring if water damage occurs, clean up occurs quickly. Using air conditioners during humid seasons and exhaust fans in kitchen can help prevent mold from growing.
Other areas to monitor moisture to prevent mold growth: exterior walls and surfaces in need of insulation where condensation can build, air conditioner drip pans, check for leaks around refrigerator, ensure crawl spaces are well ventilated, and check for leaks around a tub.
These are a few simple tips for making sure mold is not growing in your home. If you do discover a mold growth, SERVPRO of Lee's Summit provides mold remediation services for all types of residential and commercial properties.
Is Mold Covered by your Homeowners Insurance?
Call us today with any questions about mold - 816-246-5566
Most owners insurance comes down to the source of the moisture to where the mold damage started. If you are unsure if your homeowners insurance covers mold, go over your policy. Make sure you look for mold exclusions or limitations and call your agent if it still unclear.
If mold results from a sudden and accidental damage, like a pipe bursting, the cost of mold remediation would be covered. Now, if it mold shows up because of neglecting home maintenance then most claims would be rejected.
Here is sample of damage done by an inch of flood water:
- Replace carpet, flooring: $2,700
- New baseboard molding: $2,250
- Replace drywall $1,350
- Cleanup, materials: $1,000
- Bookshelves, lamps: $500
- Total: $7,800
Source: National Flood Insurance Program - https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program
You could also buy a mold rider as an add-on to your existing policy for extra coverage. If your insurance carrier doesn’t provide a rider, specialty companies might sell you a stand alone mold policy. Just to warn you, there will be a big price tag for that route.
If your insurance does not cover mold at all, moisture prevention is the key.
To help prevent mold growth, take the following steps:
- Lower indoor humidity with air conditioners, de-humidifiers, and exhaust fans
- Inspect hoses and fittings on appliances, sinks, and toilets
- Use household cleaners with mold-killing ingredients like bleach
- Opt for paints and primes that contain mold inhibitors
- Clean gutters to avoid overflow and check roof for leaks
- Avoid carpet in wet areas like basements and bathrooms
- Remove and dry carpet, padding, and upholstery within 48 hours of flooding
Source: House logic https://www.houselogic.com/finances-taxes/home-insurance/homeowners-insurance-mold-covered/
How to Keep Mold and Moisture Out of Your HVAC System
Contact us to remediate your Lee's Summit home free of mold!
Tips and Tricks From SERVPRO to Keeping Mold and Moisture Out Of Your HVAC System
In the warm summer heat, it's easy to build up moisture; especially when it gets sticky, muggy and humid. When this happens, you naturally crank the A.C., reach for something cold, and kick back in your lazy chair. The problem is, when you're relaxing and enjoying the nice cold breeze, mold is spreading through your ducts, vents, and HVAC system, leaving a nasty haze of mold that you can smell all over the house. If you're running a business, your customers could smell it too- which is why you should always call our service professionals to deal with the problem as soon as possible.
How Does Mold Get in The HVAC System?
Mold damage in Lee's Summit is no laughing matter. Mold, fungus, and other bacteria are in their perfect environment when they're trapped in your HVAC system. It's dark, warm, moist, closed in, and humid, meaning that spores can grow practically unabated. You'll notice more and more scent as heat and humidity is generated from outside and pulled through your ducts.
When this moist air gets in your air system, it collects within and above your HVAC units. At this point, the spores of mold and other fungi easily rise through the air, setting up colonies as your condenser forces them up through the duct system. These aren't the only cases of mold that we've seen at SERVPRO; we've seen mold stick to people's clothes or shoes, and it's all brought inside by excess humidity caused by rainfall.
Here Are a Few Tips on How to Remove Mold From Your HVAC System
1. Continue to clean and maintain your HVAC system, even when you aren't using it. Check the ducts for wet spots, and regularly check and maintain your HVAC filter.
2. Double check the drainage systems on your HVAC for mold. Allow for "dry-out" areas where the drainage comes out to prevent excess moisture.
3. Get dehumidifiers for your home. They are ideal for collecting excess humidity, and they help with the temperature inside your house, too.
4. Always insulate your pipes, walls, and ceilings. Use caulking for cracks to control cracks and leaks.
5. Contrary to common beliefs, keep your windows closed when it's hot outside. Humidity, dust, and dampness easily travel inside.
3 Warning Signs of Mold
Be on the lookout for these signs of mold!
Nothing sends shivers through a homeowner's spine like mentioning the word "mold." Not only can it cause damage to your home and make it hard to sell, it also can be a health hazard to you and your family. Here are three warning signs of this insidious fungus that you don't want to ignore:
1) Water spots
Any wet spot in your home can be a potential sign of fungus growth. This can include water spots on your ceilings or walls, or on floors in your basement or crawlspace. If you find evidence of water spots, you need to find the potential moisture source and get it taken care of promptly. Using a highly-recommended remediation company like SERVPRO of Lee's Summit is the best option.
If you find a spot on a wall or floor that's discolored, it is a potential sign of mold. Discoloration that is green or black is a definite warning sign of fungus growth. However, any discoloration can mean growth is present, even if it isn't of the tell-tale colors.
3) Bad smell
If you have fungus growth in your home, it can cause a bad smell. Depending on the type of growth and how much of it you have, you could have a very strong smell or one that is faint. It can smell musty or earthy, or it can produce a smell that is more pungent. Any bad smell needs to be investigated.
Mold can be harmful and is not something to be ignored. If you experience any of these warning signs, call SERVPRO of Lee's Summit to investigate. Our staff receives extensive training on how to effectively deal with mold infestations. We also have the equipment and start of the art techniques to carry out remediation tasks and keep your home safe and clean.
What to do if you Find Mold in Your Home
If you have any questions about Mold, do not hesitate to contact Lee's Summit SERVPRO directly at (816) 246-5566.
In as little as 48 hours, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business when there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. SERVPRO of Lee's Summit has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem.
If you have a mold problem in your home or business, consider the following facts:
- Significant mold growth can occur in 48-72 hours.
- Mold may present a greater risk to children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems.
- A strong, musty odor may indicate hidden mold behind drywall or under carpeting.
What to Do:
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
- Contact SERVPRO of Lee's Summit 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.
Mold Damaged Documents
Call SERVPRO of Lee's Summit today.
If your home or business has important documents that are affected by Mold, we can HELP!
We use a specialized process called Gamma Irradiation. This is used for cleaning/ disinfection and decontaminating documents or other consumer goods. In gamma irradiation, high-energy photons are emitted from an isotope source (Colbalt 60) producing ionization(electron disruptions) throughout a product. In a CAT 3 situation (sewage or flood water), documents are not only deteriorating but are also infected with all types of bacteria. In most storm situations you are dealing with CAT 3 water: therefore, most of the affected documents that you will encounter will be contaminated. If this is the case then decontamination is always a must. In Living cells, these disruptions result in damage to the DNA and other cellular structures. These photon-induced changes at the molecular level cause death to the organism or render the organism incapable of reproduction. The gamma process does not create residuals or impart radioactivity in processed products.
For additional information or questions on processes involving fire, water, or mold damaged documents please call our office - 816-246-5566, and we would be happy to further discuss and provide a free estimate for services.
Samples of different types of mold
Mold is a problem that homeowners have been dealing with for centuries. In fact, every house and environment has mold spores; they are a normal part of the air we breathe. When there is a greater concentration of mold spores is when mold becomes a problem.
Mold needs three things in order to thrive: a source of food, an ideal temperature, and moisture. Mold will feed on dirt and dust which is present in every home. And most houses are kept at temperatures that are almost always ideal for mold growth. As for moisture? Moisture can come in more than one form. Most people believe that you need to have experienced some kind of water damage (i.e. flooding, burst pipe, malfunctioning appliance) to encourage mold growth. While that can be true, especially if remediation isn't done within 24-48 hours, this is not always the case. If your home has a relative humidity of 60% or greater, mold can grow in your home, regardless of if you experienced water damage or not. A musty smell is usually the first sign that you have a mold problem in your Lee's Summit home.
Finding mold in your home or business can be panic-inducing, but that is what we are here for. SERVPRO of Lee's Summit is here to help. We have a great, professional team of highly-trained technicians that will make your mold problem "Like it never even happened."
Is There Mold Hidden in YOUR Home?
Call Lee's Summit SERVPRO for any mold problems. (816) 246-5566
Mold can occur anywhere in a home but mainly is concentrated to areas where moisture is present. These moisture areas are common to the bathroom and basements. Mold can cause respiratory problems and should be removed, if found, as soon as possible. Most restoration companies only do mold inspections if the mold is visible, an industrial hygienist would come in and search for traces of mold that are not visible.
One of the first places mold can collect and you may not think to check is under the refrigerator. Under the fridge tends to collect moisture and dirt which can cause a breeding ground for bacteria and mold.
Another place is the AC unit. AC units are known to collect debris, dust and moisture from the air, which can lead to mold spores.
Mold can even grow in or around a washing machine or its parts. Moisture and lint can cause a presence of mold spores.
Other areas in the house include anywhere moisture and dirt may form such as window corners.
Mold Remediation Process
Call Lee's Summit SERVPRO today if you have any mold issues. (816) 246-5566
Mold Remediation Process
Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate the “typical” process:
• The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO of Lee’s Summit (816) 246—5566. Our representative will ask a series of questions to help us determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel.
•SERVPRO Franchise Professionals will carefully inspect your property for visible signs of mold. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view. They use various technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources.
•They use various containment procedures to prevent the spread of mold. They may use advanced containment procedures like negative air chambers to isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process. All fans and heating and cooling systems will be turned off to prevent the spread of mold.
• Their specialized filtration equipment allows their Professionals to capture microscopic mold spores out of the air. They utilize powerful “air scrubbers” and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in process.
• The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. SERVPRO of Lee’s Summit uses anti-fungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies and to help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and carpeting, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.
•SERVPRO of Lee’s Summit will clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, clothing, and other restorable items affected by mold. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. They’re also trained to remove odors and deodorization using fogging equipment.
•Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.
How did I get mold in my house and how can I get rid of it?
Mold commonly grows in places you can't see.
Have you ever heard that silly phrase, "There's a fungus among us?" Well, when it's actually true it's really not silly. Most of us don't realize it but mold is around us all of the time. It's common and travels easily so it really isn't possible to completely eliminate it from our environment. There are many different varieties of mold and typically it isn't harmful to your health. However, sometimes it DOES become a problem and something needs to be done about it. Most health issues occur when there are high concentrations of mold in the house. Unfortunately mold spores are invisible and can be transported in various ways: through heating and air ducts, open doors and windows, on pets and even on our shoes.
· Where does mold lurk?
Mold thrives in warm, damp, humid places like bathrooms, basements, roofs, pipes, windows and anywhere flooding has occurred. And those potted plants? Yup, they add oxygen to our air but also, you guessed it, mold. The "yuck factor" is mold can grow in all kinds of environments: wood, wood products, paper, wallpaper, ceiling tiles, drywall, cardboard, carpets, upholstery, paint, insulation and even dust! Yeah, pretty much everything in your home!
· How do you find it? Usually mold can be found by either smelling its musty odor or finding spots of any color. We've even seen mushrooms growing on drywall! Once mold can be identified by sight or smell, its concentration may be high enough to present a health hazard. That's when something needs to be done. It's called mold remediation and it's something SERVPRO of Lee's Summit and SERVPRO of Raytown/East Kansas City specializes in.
To prevent mold from showing up uninvited to your house, make sure you properly ventilate those warm, damp, and humid environments.