Recent Mold Remediation Posts
SERVPRO Mold Remediation
When approaching mold clean up a lot of people wonder which method is best, “Dry Blast” vs “Sand Blast”, The answer is neither , the reality in today’s world is this is unnecessary because; dry ice is costly, it only removes surface mold, and porous materials require a deep cleaning. SERVPRO technicians use anti-fungal and anti-microbial treatments that kill mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming
When tackling mold we make it a priority to set up containment. All remediation companies will set up containment, but when and how is the issue. We set up containment prior to applying the “eyeball test”. Which is as follows
- The “Eyeball Test” – Assessing the Environment
- Has there been a previous water damage
- Do you smell musty odors of mold
- Do you see areas of mold contamination
- Our competitors cut 4 x 8 holes in the wall from the ground up
- We cut a 2 x 4 in the center of the wall
Hmmm....is that Mold?
Suspicion of hidden mold
You may suspect hidden mold if a building smells moldy, but you cannot see the source, or know there has been water damage. Mold may be hidden in places such as the
- back side of dry wall,
- 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
- 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, please reach out to SERVPRO Newton/Wellesley and we’ll take a look right away.
8 Most Common Places for Mold Growth
Household mold primarily thrives in damp, humid areas, such as basements, showers and areas around heating and cooling appliances. Mold in homes can also occur in carpets, ventilation ducts and crawlspaces. The best way to guard against mold in your house is to ensure there are no active leaks or areas where moisture is collecting regularly. The most common places where mold is found are:
- Basements or cellars that have been flooded
- Underneath kitchen and bathroom sinks
- Underneath or behind refrigerators
- Behind walls that also house plumbing
- Stacks of damp or wet newspaper or cardboard boxes
- Around air-conditioning units
- Wallboard or around windows that leak
- Under carpeting that may have become wet
By regularly inspecting common areas for mold in your home to ensure there are no leaks or other sources of moisture that could contribute to mold growth, you should be able to steer clear of the expensive and unhealthy problems mold in houses can cause.
"The Key to Mold Control, is Moisture Control"
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urband Development, while you may not be able to eliminate all mold spores from a home, but you can take the following steps to prevent and get rid of mold. Prevent: keep your house clean and dry following steps to prevent and get rid of mold.
¦ Fix water problems such as roof leaks, wet basements, and leaking pipes or faucets.
¦ Make sure your home is well ventilated and always use ventilation fans in bathrooms and kitchens.
¦ If possible, keep humidity in your house below 50% by using an air conditioner or dehumidifier.
¦ Avoid carpeting in kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. Dry floor mats regularly. Identify: find mold that might be growing in your home.
¦ Search for areas that have a damp or moldy smell, especially in basements, kitchens, and bathrooms.
¦ Look for water stains or colored, fuzzy growth on and around ceilings, walls, floors, window sills and pipes.
¦ Search behind and underneath materials such as carpeting, furniture, or stored items.
¦ Inspect kitchens, bathrooms, and basements for standing water, water stains, and patches of out-of-place color.
Respond: fix any water problems immediately and clean or remove wet materials, furnishings, or mold. ¦ Clean up spills or floods within one day.
¦ Dry all surfaces and fix the problem or leak to prevent further damage.
¦ Install a dehumidifier where there is high humidity.
¦ Replace contaminated components, such as drywall and insulation.
¦ Clean mold off non-porous surfaces with a weak solution of bleach and water.
¦ Throw away moldy materials that cannot be cleaned, such as carpet, upholstered furniture, drywall, and floorboards.
¦ To clean mold, contact us today at 617-332-9000 SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley understands mold and mold growth and has the training and expertise to remediate the mold in your home or business.
Is Mold Covered By Insurance Companies?
Insurance companies may not cover all mold damages which is why it is a good idea to contact your provider. Whether mold is covered under your insurer is something that varies from policy to policy. Occasionally it will specifically state whether they do or don't cover removal of mold. Others will only pay for removal but not testing despite the fact that tests may be necessary to discover if there is mold in the first place. In many cases they will only cover part of the removal process or you can pay extra to add mold to your policy.
Does the Cause Affect the Coverage?
Yes, in many cases the coverage will depend on the cause of the mold. If the mold is caused by something covered by your policy such as a pipe burst, which is covered by insurance, they are more likely to cover removal than if it is caused by neglect of home maintenance.
Water Damage From Flooding
After a flood, it is very common for mold to appear. If your insurance does not cover flooding then there is a good chance that the mold wont be covered either. If you live in a flood prone location it may be a good idea to purchase flood insurance and check if that would cover mold due to a flood as well.
Generally, roof leaks are not covered in insurance policies, therefore you will most likely get no coverage for mold as a result. If the roof leak, however, is caused by a falling tree which causes a leak, there is a good chance you will be covered.
Homeowners insurance does not typically cover leaky pipes, but often will cover a burst pipe. Again, if they cover the cause it is more likely that they would cover the mold as a result.
Water Damage Following a Fire
Homeowners insurance almost always covers fires. The thing that many people neglect to think about is the water used to put out that fire. This can lead to mold damages which most likely will be covered.
Here at SERVPRO, we have trained crew members to help efficiently and completely remove the mold from your house and help work with you to solve the cause of your problems.
Leave Mold To the Pros
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.
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
- Contact SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley for mold remediation services.
- 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.
SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley specializes in mold cleanup and restoration. It is the 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.
Pink Mold? What is Pink Mold?
In the mold world, pink mold is known as Aureobasidium and can be found indoors and outdoors.
Anyone can be affected by pink mold, but infants, pets and the elderly are more likely to experience more severe symptoms. It is important to locate the problem quickly, and have it taken care of in a timely manner.
Preventing Pink Mold
In order to keep the pink mold from reappearing, there are some helpful tips you can use to prevent its return. You can leave the door or window open for at least 15 minutes to let the moisture out. Also, use your bathroom’s fan or purchase one to help dry out any liquid. This will prevent the moisture from accumulating on other surfaces.
Also, wipe down your shower since pink mold thrives on leftover soap and shampoo. They act as food for the bacteria. One thing you should always do is be diligent about checking for broken leaking pipes or any accumulating water. This goes for any location in your house. Keeping the air moving and getting rid of stagnant water is the best way to prevent pink mold.
Mold in the Environment - Basic Facts from SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley
Contact the experts of SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley for your remediation needs.
Molds are fungi than can be found virtually everywhere whether it be indoors or 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.
Molds are found in virtually every environment and can be detected, both indoors and outdoors, year round. Mold growth is encouraged by warm and humid conditions. Outdoors they can be found in shady, damp areas or places where leaves or other vegetation is decomposing. Indoors they can be found where humidity levels are high, such as basements or showers.
Specific recommendations for your home:
- Keep humidity levels as low as you can—no higher than 50%--all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. Bear in mind that humidity levels change over the course of a day with changes in the moisture in the air and the air temperature, so you will need to check the humidity levels more than once a day.
- Use an air conditioner or a dehumidifier during humid months.
- Be sure the home has adequate ventilation, including exhaust fans.
- Add mold inhibitors to paints before application.
- Clean bathrooms with mold killing products.
- Do not carpet bathrooms and basements.
- Remove or replace previously soaked carpets and upholstery.
If you have any questions regarding mold or have mold present in your home or business, call the experts at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley for your remediation needs at (617) 332-9000.
For more information on mold visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at: http://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm
Our Four Legged Best Friends Can Also Help Detect Mold In Our Homes
Many professional home inspectors use specialized tools such as water pressure gauges, infrared thermometers, devices to detect moisture and some even use mold detecting dogs!
That’s right, dogs.
These highly trained dogs are qualified to detect at least 18 kinds of mold that are deemed harmful to humans. Their training is similar to bomb-sniffing dogs and drug-sniffing dogs.
When a home inspector cannot see behind the wall, their dogs are trained to sniff for mold in hidden places. They alert the inspector of where mold was detected by immediately sitting down in front of that area.
The home inspector can then do a more in-depth investigation in that area, pulling back the baseboard, cutting a small hole in the dry wall, or pulling out all of the contents of the bathroom or kitchen cabinets.
This additional investigation may also lead to spore sampling. This is a process where the inspector pulls a sample of the material, seals it in a vial, identifies it, and ships it off to an independent laboratory for analysis.
Luckily for our fury friends, the mold is not harmful to them as they have the special ability to purge odor and contaminments from their noses.
Another reason to love our best friend!
Mold Can Affect Any Homeowner
From the New York Post:
Imagine this — Yoko Ono’s former West Village penthouse is an $8.3 million wreck, with warped beams, toxic mold and a rotted roof deck.
Ono sold the fourth-floor pad at 49-51 Downing St. to developer David Blumenfeld in 2014. She’d purchased the penthouse — part of a converted 19th century horse stable — in 1995 for her son Sean Lennon who lived in it for just a few years.
Now Blumenfeld is suing the co-op board for refusing to make “structural repairs’ that have allegedly made the unit “dangerous” even though his adult son lives there.
Blumenfeld says in court papers that the 10-unit co-op doesn’t want to do $1 million in renovations because the repairs would be “a major disturbance to other tenants.”
He believes the problems stem from a shoddy conversion job including the use of undersized beams that have caused “chronic and significant leaks and mold” making the unit “dangerous, hazardous or detrimental to the life” of the occupants, the suit says.
Portable Classrooms and Mold
It is very common for school districts to be faced with the growing student population and how to keep up with accommodating classroom space for students. Portable classrooms are typically the immediate resolution as they are a low initial cost to the school budget and are temporary fix. Though more often than not, they become part of the schools permanent fixture.
Although portable classrooms are easier for town taxes there are raising concerns about the healthfulness of portable classrooms
The most common problems with portable classrooms include:
- Poorly functioning HVAC systems that provide minimal ventilation with outside air
- Poor acoustics from loud ventilation systems
- Chemical off-gassing from pressed wood and other high-emission materials, which may be of greater concern because of rapid occupancy after construction
- Water entry and mold growth
- Site pollution from nearby parking lots or loading areas
A real concern is exposing students and teachers to mold and mildew. SERVPRO of Newton / Wellesley is here to help. Please call us at 617-332-9000 if you suspect mold in your business, school or home and we will safely remedy the situation.
Classes of Mold
Although mold is everywhere and quite unsightly, thankfully not all molds are harmful to us. Molds are often found in wet, damp places and can vary in color and smell. These classes are similar to risk groups assigned to microorganisms handled in laboratory environments. Mold is put into different categories based on their hazard:
Hazard Class A: includes fungi or their metabolic products that are highly hazardous to health. These fungi or metabolites should not be present in occupied dwellings. Presence of these fungi in occupied buildings requires immediate attention.
Hazard class B: includes those fungi which may cause allergic reactions to occupants if present indoors over a long period. Hazard Class B: These are molds that if endured over long periods of time can cause allergic reactions
Hazard Class C: includes fungi not known to be a hazard to health. Growth of these fungi indoors, however, may cause economic damage and therefore should not be allowed.
If you feel like your home or business might be affected by mold, give SERVPRO of Newton / Wellesley a call at 617-332-9000. While we cannot determine what type of mold it may be – we can remediate it with no worry and restore your home and business back to the way it was.
How Mold Can Affect Your Health
Mold is the number one cause of indoor pollution and unfortunately few of us understand how insidious this is. So here is some information you will find helpful to protect the health of your home. Most of us are aware of the obvious places mold rears its ugly head such as shower stalls, damp basements and leaky roofs. But what about your beautifully decorated Christmas tree? Did you know it can potentially release millions of spores?
Unbeknown to most, if you live in an arid climate, you actually could be more at risk to exposure of a stubborn kind of mold that commonly grows in dessert like, dry regions.
Although mold is a common problem that doesn’t particularly alarm us, the truth is that mold can cause several health effects.
Fungi grows by releasing spores the same way other plants spread seeds. These airborne microscopic spores are not visible to the naked eye; 20 million spores are equivalent to the size of a postage stamp! They can be found almost anywhere and are kept alive by digesting the surface they are inhabiting. There really is no way to rid your home completely of mold but the key to curbing growth is controlling moisture. Just remember the most common indoor places for mold to grow are damp areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, in the sink and under appliances, where the roof leaks, around windows and in the basements.
If you see signs of mold growing in the bathroom around the shower or bathtub, contact SERVPRO FRAMINGHAM or SERVPRO NEWTON/WELLESLEY. We are trained mold damage specialists who will come in and quickly return your home or business back to a safe and healthy environment. We have the specific training and certifications to handle your restoration needs that include an Applied Microbial Remediation Specialist, a Water Damage Restoration Technician, and an Applied Structural Drying Technician.
When you are dealing with this serious issue you want the most highly skilled specialists in the field and that is SERVPRO.
Mold in Children's Bath Toys?
“Rubber ducky you’re the one, you make bath time lots of fun,” Ernie sings in the bathtub on Sesame Street. No, sadly Ernie, rubber ducky is not the one to make bath time fun. Parents you may enjoy singing the song with your little ones but keep the ducky out of the bath water. Pediatricians are warning parents to be more careful in their selection of playtime toys for the tub. Would you hand your child a sandwich made with moldy bread? Of course not. Well, we should be just as prudent when buying toys for bath time. If the bath toy has a hole in it and squirts water, it should remain in the store. Parents have complained that when their child squeezes these toys in the water, the plastic whale isn’t shooting water out of the blowhole but oozing a black liquid. This is not innocent darkly colored water, it is mold. If a child ingests mold, there is risk of illness, maybe an upset stomach or perhaps a more serious problem if the child has a mold allergy. Instead of rubber/plastic toys, give your child cups, buckets and toys with no openings. Completely drying the toys after each use will further ensure safe use. For those things that go into your child’s mouth, sippy cups and teething rings, be aware that they are big culprits too and must be carefully inspected and discarded when necessary.
If you see signs of mold growing in the bathroom around the shower or bathtub, contact SERVPRO FRAMINGHAM or SERVPRO NEWTON/WELLESLEY. We are trained mold damage specialists who will come in and quickly get your home or business back to a safe and healthy environment. We have the specific training and certifications to handle your restoration needs that include an Applied Microbial Remediation Specialist, a Water Damage Restoration Technician, and an Applied Structural Drying Technician.
When you are dealing with this serious issue you want the most highly skilled specialists in the field and that is SERVPRO.
Mold vs. Mildew
How can we tell the difference between mold and mildew? Often times we mistakenly use these terms interchangeable when in fact the only thing they have in common is that they are both a type of fungus. Given the proper light, temperature and most importantly, moisture, mold will feed on something that was once alive, a non-organic material such as wood, paper, leather, cloth, tile to name a few. Mildew only grows on something that is alive. Mildew is mostly found on plant life such as plants in a greenhouse with poor air ventilation and is also known as a "plant parasite."
However there is a noticeable contrast between mold and mildew when you are comparing size, color and texture. Mildew is a patch of gray or white fungi lying on the surface of a moist area. It can easily be remedied with a store bought cleaner and a scrubbing brush. Whereas mold, black or green in color, can be the result of a large infestation. Typically it is fuzzy and slimy in appearance when on food. In a short amount of time mold will spread quickly, produce allergens and irritants, and has the potential to cause serious health hazards.
Why choose SERVPRO Framingham and SERVPRO Newton Wellesley to solve this problem? With our 24-hour emergency services, we are faster in response to any disaster, big or small. Be aware that a minor mold problem can quickly become a major infestation if left untreated. We can start the remediation process immediately when you contact us. A faster response lessens the mold damage, limits additional damage, and reduces the remediation cost.