Recent Mold Remediation Posts
Mold, Mold prevention, Mold remediation
HOW TO STOP MOLD GROWTH IN YOUR HOUSE
- Control moisture. Keep the humidity level under 60 percent.
- Dry up wet materials quickly. It only takes mold two days to grow.
- Clean, disinfect, and dry surfaces prone to mold growth. A vapor steam cleaner may help.
- Repair leaks. Replace dilapidated old pipes. Fix leaks on the roof, walls, and foundation of the house. Unclog HVAC units drain regularly.
- Dry items thoroughly before storing them.
- Improve airflow at home. Start with opening closet doors more frequently and moving furniture far from walls to providing better ventilation to confined spaces. The more windows you can open, the better.
- Monitor your basement’s ventilation. Set up a foundation drain, put in a dehumidifier, insulate walls, set up a thermal plane, and let the entire room dry.
HOW TO PREVENT MOLD GROWTH IN BATHROOM
- Invest in an effective fan for every bathroom at home. Vents can suck out the moisture in your bathroom and send it outside. Depending on the size of your bathroom, find a fan with the right cubic feet per minute (cfm).
- Use the fan properly. Turn the vent on during a bath or shower and leave it on for 30 minutes more after leaving the bathroom. Find a fan with a timer for your convenience.
- Use your squeegee. Make it a habit to dry up the shower walls or tub with a squeegee.
- Repair leaks. Once you notice leaks, fix them right away. Delaying repairs will only encourage mold to grow and take hold.
- Dry out everything in the bathroom. After using your sponges, loofahs, and product bottles, remove them from the shower and let them dry.
- Wash towels, rugs, and mat regularly.
Walls are a very common area for mold to grow, especially in damp environments such as basements, washrooms and laundry rooms. These are only tips if you decide to remediate the issue yourself but we recommend calling the professionals at SERVPRO of Pleasanton/Dublin at 925-426-2302.
Water Damage Diagnosis - Microbial Growth Identification
Three previous blogs were devoted to different elements of water damage diagnosis. Information collection, moisture meters, and infrared camera technology were discussed, including the importance of each in the diagnostic process.
One of the most critical initial determinations in any water loss is microbial growth or the likelihood of it. If mold is present it poses potential health hazards not only to building occupants but also to remediation technicians. The presence of mold also changes the scope of work and the strategies to be undertaken in the water mitigation process.
Mold spores, which are everywhere in the environment, have 3 requirements vital to their development. They are moisture, food and time. When responding to water damage the first two items already exist since water is moisture and structures and contents are food. We do not always know how much time has elapsed since the water began infiltrating but the more time which has passed the more time mold spores have been given to become active and multiply.
The presence of mold is most easily identified by sight and/or smell. Most mold spores are between 3 and 100 microns in size and thus not visible to the naked eye. However, when mold begins to multiply, hundreds of thousands to millions of spores become grouped together to form a colony, which eventually becomes visible. Mold colonies will also begin to release toxins, which protect the colonies from other molds, and these toxins produce an odor commonly described as musty.
It is also important to understand which materials and areas provide the most ideal environments for mold growth. Mold tends to grow the fastest in these areas so knowing where to check for the first (earliest) growth is very important. Since mold thrives in damp stagnant spaces as well as in more porous materials (carpet, pad, drywall, etc), removing baseboards, removing toe skins from cabinet toe kicks, and lifting the carpet to examine the backing and pad are all common areas for initial visible growth. These areas are easy trapping points for moisture because water easily soaks in (porous) and they lack airflow (stagnant).
In summary, mold can create health hazards to occupants and technicians. It also dictates different strategies for mitigation so it’s initial identification is very important. Knowing where to look, what to look for, where to most likely uncover it, and what it looks and smells like, are all very important informational tools to keep in your water mitigation toolbox!
Barry Rutherford, Owner
IICRC WRT, ASD, AMRT
SERVPRO of Pleasanton/Dublin
A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture and Your Home
What to do
- When water leaks or spills occur indoors - act quickly. If wet or damp materials or areas are dried 24-48 hours after a leak or spill happens, in most cases mold will not grow.
- Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.
- Make sure the ground slopes away from the building foundation, so that water does not enter or collect around the foundation.
- Keep air conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly.
- Keep indoor humidity low. If possible, keep indoor humidity below 60 percent (ideally between 30 and 50 percent) relative humidity. Relative humidity can be measured with a moisture or humidity meter, a small, inexpensive ($10-$50) instrument available at many hardware stores.
- If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes act quickly to dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture/water source. Condensation can be a sign of high humidity.
Actions that will help to reduce humidity
- Vent appliances that produce moisture, such as clothes dryers, stoves, and kerosene heaters to the outside where possible. (Combustion appliances such as stoves and kerosene heaters produce water vapor and will increase the humidity unless vented to the outside.)
- Use air conditioners and/or de-humidifiers when needed.
- Run the bathroom fan or open the window when showering. Use exhaust fans or open windows whenever cooking, running the dishwasher or dishwashing, etc.
Actions that will help prevent condensation:
When in doubt it is better to be safe than sorry.Call your local SERVPRO office for free advice and/or help. Mold can cause serious illness!A simple phone call could be the difference between life or death.
- Reduce the humidity (see preceeding page)
- Increase ventilation or air movement by opening doors and/or windows, when practical. Use fans as needed.
- Cover cold surfaces, such as cold water pipes, with insulation.
- Increase air temperature.
Suspicion of Hidden Mold
You may suspect hidden mold if a building smells moldy, but you cannot see the source, or if you know there has been water damage and residents are reporting health problems. Mold may be hidden in places such as the back side of dry wall, wallpaper, or paneling, the top side of ceiling tiles, the underside of carpets and pads, etc. Other possible locations of hidden mold include areas inside walls around pipes (with leaking or condensing pipes), the surface of walls behind furniture (where condensation forms), inside ductwork, and in roof materials above ceiling tiles (due to roof leaks or insufficient insulation).
Investigating hidden mold problems
Investigating hidden mold problems may be difficult and will require caution when the investigation involves disturbing potential sites of mold growth. For example, removal of wallpaper can lead to a massive release of spores if there is mold growing on the underside of the paper. If you believe that you may have a hidden mold problem, consider hiring an experienced professional.
Dangerous Mold In Walls
For Help with Mold Removal
If you have mold in your home that looks like the pictures of mold shown here, you need help with mold removal. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends against trying to remove mold yourself if you have mold covering a surface area greater than ten square feet or if you have mold in your heating and air conditioning ducts. You should also avoid attempting mold removal yourself if you have symptoms of mold-related health problems, since handling moldy materials can make symptoms much worse.
You can schedule a consultation with a SERVPRO, a mold removal professional that will visit your home, assess the problem, and advise you about the mold removal process. You’ll benefit from some free expert advice.
Step-By-Step To Mold Remediation
We’d like to offer you a brief mold remediation step-by-step guide, but please keep in mind, that removing mold can be an incredibly complex task. If you have mold that covers a surface areas greater than ten square feet, or if you have mold in your HVAC system, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends hiring a mold removal professional to handle the job. If you have any health problems, especially respiratory problems, it’s also best to hire a professional so you don’t expose yourself to greater health risks.
Step One: Locate All Mold
There’s really no point only removing some of the mold in a home. If you miss even a little bit, it will simply grow and spread and soon you’ll have a full-blown mold problem on your hands again. We recommend having a professional test your home for mold, but there are also tests you can purchase and conduct yourself. (Professional tests are more accurate and detailed). Check for mold in every room of your house, paying particular attention to any damp areas and any areas that have a musty odor. Keep in mind that mold can be found growing under carpet or other floor coverings, above ceiling tiles, inside walls, and inside heating and air conditioning ducts.
Step Two: Assemble Your Supplies
While some people use bleach to clean up mold, we recommend calling a professional such as SERVPRO to assist in the removal.
You’ll need sheets of heavy plastic and tape to seal off your work area, heavy plastic bags for removing moldy materials, an N-95 face mask, gloves and other protective clothing, a spray bottle of water, and a scrub brush or rag for cleaning moldy surfaces. You may also need disposable paint brushes and a product for encapsulating mold. We also recommend a vacuum with a HEPA filter, especially if you’re performing mold remediation over a large area. In addition, you’ll need whatever tools and materials are necessary for removing and replacing moldy materials that cannot be cleaned, such as new drywall or new carpeting and the tools to install it.
Step Three: Prepare the Work Area
Remove any personal items from the area, or if items cannot be removed, cover them completely with sheets of heavy plastic so they do not become contaminated with mold.
To prevent the spread of mold spores from your work area to other areas of the home, seal off the area in which you will be working with sheets of heavy plastic and duct tape. Tape plastic over any heating or air conditioning vents, as well.
A negative air machine is located inside, and an air tester can be seen outside to make sure no mold spores get into the rest of the house. All furniture are to be removed outside of the work area.
Step Four: Set Up Negative Pressure in The Work Area
Negative pressure in the work area causes air to flow into the area but not out, thereby preventing mold spores from spreading out of that area. You don’t have to set up negative pressure in the work area but it’s a good idea, especially if you’re dealing with a large amount of mold. You can create negative pressure with a high performance shop vac. After using sheets of heavy plastic to create barriers around your work area, put the shop vac with intake and exhaust hoses attached in the work area. Make a small hole in one of the plastic sheet barrier walls and extend the exhaust hose through the hole and out the nearest window. Use duct tape to seal the opening around the hole in the plastic sheet barrier wall and around the window.
Step Five: Wear Protective Gear
Wear your protective gear before beginning mold remediation, including a face mask, gloves, hair and shoe covers, and clothing you will either dispose of or launder in hot water as soon as you’re done working. In some cases a Tyvek Suit is necessary.
Step Six: Remove Moldy Materials That Cannot Be Adequately Cleaned
Spray moldy materials like drywall or carpeting lightly with a spray bottle of water before removing them in order to minimize the risk of mold spores being dispersed into the air. Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter while cutting into moldy drywall or similar materials will also help prevent mold spores from being dispersed during the process. Seal them in heavy plastic trash bags before carrying them through the house for disposal.
Step Seven: Apply Fungicide to Materials That Can Be Adequately Cleaned
Apply a fungicide to non-porous materials, like metal, tile, bathtubs, sinks, and countertops, either using a spray bottle or with a rag. Use a scrub brush or rag to remove mold. For porous materials that cannot be removed, like wooden studs in the wall, remove as much mold as possible. Sometimes sanding the wood is necessary to remove mold, but this should only be done by a trained professional because it tends to disperse large amounts of mold spores
Step Eight: Encapsulate Any Areas of Mold on Materials That Cannot Be Adequately Cleaned or Removed
Sometimes mold is found on porous surfaces that cannot be fully cleaned but that also cannot be removed, such as the wooden studs inside a wall. After removing as much mold as possible and cleaning the surface as well as you can with a fungicide, use a disposable paint brush to apply an encapsulating product. This goes on like paint, but unlike regular paint, it seals in any remaining mold so that it cannot continue to spread. It also contains antimicrobial ingredients that help kill and repel mold.
Step Nine: Complete Any Repairs
Complete any repairs, such as replacing carpeting or drywall that had to be removed.
For More Information Email/Call
Mold and what can cause it
Microbial growth or mold can begin to grow roughly 72 hours after a water loss and will continue to grow until it is remediated. There can be a slow leak inside the walls where plumbing is and mold can grow without being seen for a long time. IT is always good practice to check your ice maker lines, supply lines to all toilets and sinks along with making sure there are no clogs in any drains. Accidents happen and a backed up line can cause much chaos. If you notice mold in your home do not put air movement on it. The first thing to do is call SERVPRO of Pleasanton/Dublin and your insurance. We have the tools, experience, and attitude to come in and ensure mold is treated and will not grow back.
If you or anyone you know has mold damage, call us today at 925-426-2302. We are open 24/7!
Mold in your home
Mold on a hallway wall
No one wants to come home to find a water leak or damage, even more scary can be the sign of mold growth. If you notice a musty odor it may be time to call in the professionals. Mold can be a messy and dangerous thing if left untreated for too long, which is why we believe in making sure there is none left behind when we are working.
Our expert technicians perform their duties according to the nationwide regulations and take pride in their work, especially when it is in your home or office building. If there is mold present it is best to leave it undisturbed so that it does not become airborne. SERVPRO's technicians can and will successfully remove and clean any mold that is present.
For more information on mold growth call us at 925-426-2302.
Mold behind your cabinet?
Mold behind a kitchen cabinet
Having mold in your kitchen is actually pretty common. Because of the kitchen sink there is a good chance that there is a small microbial growth. Most people do not check behind their refrigerator or dishwasher and you could have a problem on your hands.
When there is a slow leak in a wall it can create mold growth inside the wall, the aftermath of this can be as large as the whole wall having mold growing. When this is the case, there may not be a distinct odor because it is trapped but once you open up the wall there is no denying its presence.
SERVPRO of Pleasanton/Dublin is your go to remediation professionals in the residential and commercial buildings. If there is ever a need we are available day and night to assist you. Call us at 925-426-2302.
Pleasanton/Dublin residents: Smelling a musty odor but can't see anything?
Mold growth between drywall and sheer wall.
If you ever come home and there is a musty odor you can do a visual inspection of the room it is coming from. If you notice any black marks that were not there before it may be time to call in a professional. If you are positive it is not common dirt, do not agitate it as it can become airborne and if it is mold, can spread to other areas.
What to Do:
- Avoid going in that affected area for the time being.
- Ensure there is no air being blown around from fans, windows, or vents.
- Call SERVPRO of Pleasanton/Dublin at 925-426-2302
Mold can grow in places you may not see or cannot get to. If you have ever had a water leak of any kind it is always good to get a professional opinion to determine whether there is mold growth or not. If you are ever unsure of what to look for or have any concerns about mold growth call SERVPRO of Pleasanton/Dublin day or night at 925-426-2302.
Pleasanton/Dublin Residents: Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold
Be careful! Without proper training, you could be spreading mold throughout your home.
If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.
What to Do:
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
- Contact SERVPRO of Pleasanton/Dublin 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.
About Our Mold Remediation Services
SERVPRO of Pleasanton/Dublin specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business. Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 925-426-2302
Does Your Pleasanton or Dublin Home Have A Mold Problem?
In Pleasanton or Dublin, mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.
Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. 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.
If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 925-426-2302
Mold takes over Hayward home office
Mold in Home Office
Mold, what is it?
Mold (or mould) is a term used to refer to fungi that grow's in the form of multicellular thread-like structures called hyphae. Fungi that exist as single cells are called yeasts. Some molds and yeasts cause disease or food spoilage, others play an important role in biodegradation or in the production of various foods, beverages, antibiotics, and enzymes.
In our business, we deal with structure mold. Which is found in damp buildings and materials where it often appears like stains and comes in a variety of colors. A musty smell is an indication of microbial growth even when there is no visible growth. If mold is allowed to grow in homes or offices it can contribute to poor indoor air quality. Some molds such as the Dry Rot is highly destructive.
Common reasons for microbial growth.
Mold's best friend is moisture. We often see people who run humidifiers in their homes and leave their windows closed. Other common reasons we see are roof and pipe leaks that have been leaking for a long period of time.
Mold hides behind walls, baseboards, and drywall. Not till there is a musty smell or a reason for materials to be removed from a property, do we see the Mold, what is it, and where does it come from?
How to get rid of it?
“Only hire trained, qualified and certified professionals. Affected areas should be contained and appropriate air filtration equipment should be set to protect occupants and property. Non-restorable materials should be removed and all remaining structures should be appropriately dried and properly sanitized to eliminate mold issues”.
Don't Let Mold Block Your View, Call SERVPRO
SERVPRO Is the Answer for Your Pleasanton Home Mold Remediation
Many residential homeowners in Pleasanton find that their home has water damage caused by an unnoticed leak. Once this happens, your home becomes susceptible to mold invasion and growth. If you do not address a mold infestation immediately and effectively, you can find yourself dealing with a host of irritating problems that entail emotional upset and economic expense. Mold remediation is the solution. Avoid these unwanted consequences of mold incursion by learning more about the issue and how you can effectively handle it with the help of SERVPRO.
Mold: A Brief Overview
Mold are fungi that grow in the natural environment, a part of nature that has its place. But not in your house. Mold come in a variety of colors, including but not limited to brown, blue, black, and white. Mold are the stringed colonies produced by air-borne spores when moisture and a growth medium converge. Spores exist in all environments; your home is no exception. Most are innocuous and pose no health threat.
Signs Of Mold
There are several signs that can indicate that mold are present in your residential property in Pleasanton. Some of the signs include a musty odor, stains on the wall, and frequent accumulations of slick moisture on your floors. It's also important to note that health issues can be an indication of a mold invasion. Some of the health problems that people tend to experience when mold are present include respiratory issues, asthma attacks, rashes, sinus infections and skin infections. Additionally, mold can induce cold-like symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and irritation of the throat and nose. The elderly and very young are more sensitive to mold.
Why You Should Avoid DIY Projects
Although many residential owners are inclined to attempt to remove mold themselves, this is not a prudent course of action. Unfortunately, the general public typically does not possess the knowledge necessary to complete a mold remediation project effectively. Additionally, homeowners generally lack the specialized equipment and safety gear necessary to expedite and optimize the restoration process. To successfully seek out the source of the mold bloom requires technical skill and tools. The source of the moisture must also be found and repaired. There is no point to remediate a room containing unwanted mold if the means for further mold proliferation still exist. It is in your best interest for several reasons to hire a mold remediation company like SERVPRO. We have an arsenal of specialized tools for finding, containing the mold in a given area, and then utilizing chemicals and other products for their destruction. We can also clean your belongs and household items and disinfect them. We have foggers --ULV--for odor removal, and SERVPRO can also discard non-salvageable porous materials and repair your home. The most important factor is your safety. Why put yourself in harms way?
If you require help with a mold infestation in Pleasanton, it's time to call SERVPRO. Our technicians have been trained in Applied Microbial Remediation certification from the IICRC, and they also possess advanced knowledge in the drying processes involved with such work. We will work for you to make your home safe again.
Locally Owned, with National Resources
We live and work in Pleasanton too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Pleasanton/Dublin is close by and ready to respond to your mold damage emergency. We are proud to be an active member of the Pleasanton and Dublin communities. Call us, we respond quickly. (925) 426-2302