Recent Mold Remediation Posts
Preventing Moisture and Mold in the Home
While the current weather outside does not reflect it, warmer weather is on the way. It won’t be long, and we will be complaining that it is too hot and be running for the thermostat to crank the AC unit on and try to find a comfortable temperature.
This can create a perfect environment for mold growth in your home if there becomes enough moisture in the area. There are four requirements for mold growth:
- Mold spores
- Temperatures of 70° or more
- Food source - Not a steak and potatoes kind of food, but the mold spores generally feed on wood, drywall, and insulation.
To help in the prevention of mold growth there are some steps you can take:
- Maintain the moisture level- anything above 50% is favorable for mold growth and anything below 30% can have negative effects on your health. You want to keep it between 30-50%.
- Fix any leaks as soon as you find them
- Clean up any water spills as soon as you notice it. It doesn’t take a large amount to create a huge, moldy mess.
- If your AC unit is inside, make sure you empty the drip pan regularly to prevent any overflow and avoid a damp environment.
Ridding A Home Of Mold
One of our crew members is using a HEPA vac to rid the ceiling of mold spores.
Getting rid of mold in a home is not always as simple as it sounds. Did you know the mold spores can generally be found on even the silliest of contents in your home? That's right. The crayons in the kiddos room or the flip flops in your closet. When we go in to do a mold clean, we make it a point to HEPA vac the walls, ceilings, windows and all contents to make sure we tackle all of the mold spores. A HEPA vac is a special filtered vacuum that will filter out the mold spores instead of putting them back in to the air like a regular vacuum would do. Once we have vacuumed, we are able to go through and clean things with a cleaning agent ensuring the items in your home and the air you and your family breathe in is clean!
Mold In The Winter
Extensive mold growth in bathroom
Did you know mold is actually a year-round problem? Most people think it is more of an issue in the spring, but it can rear its ugly head even in the winter.
Around 60° is the perfect temperature for mold to start growing, and that can be bad news for the elderly, people with chronic illnesses, small children and after a while can even have adverse effects on someone that is healthy. When the heat is on indoors and the weather is ridiculously cold outside, that creates the perfect environment for condensation and moisture, especially if the insulation is not the greatest around windows or doors.
While the threat for mold growth is greater following a water loss, you could also be affected by it because of excessive condensation in your bathroom or even behind large appliances. It is recommended to use the exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom frequently. Also, it helps to make sure there is enough space between the wall and the larger appliances in your home so there is better air circulation to help avoid the possibility of excess moisture.
If you suspect you have mold growth or if you have any questions concerning the possibility, we have over 30 years of mold remediation experience and also offer mold testing services. Call SERVPRO of Carthage/Joplin at 417-623-1388 and we can help!
We have had a lot of requests in the last few months for mold testing in homes. That in itself is nothing new. We live in a portion of the country that is prone to high levels of mold because of our elevated humidity. But lately we have been asked to investigate property where mold is suspected but no visible mold has been found. We just wanted to briefly discuss what mold needs to survive and grow.
Mold simply needs three things to thrive. A food source, the right temperature, and water.
Mold eats any kind of organic materials. This is really out of our control since most of the building materials in our home or business is made of organic materials. Wood, sheetrock, ceiling tiles, carpet and pad... all are made of organic materials that mold can consume.
Different molds grow at different temperatures. The range is between 22 and 120 degrees. Safe to say although we all like a different temperature to be comfortable; we like it between the freezing to scorching hot scale of mold growth. With tens of thousands of species of mold you can be confident there are a few species that like the same conditions that you do.
Water is the one element we have some control of. We are talking about moisture in the air, or humidity. Most of us running normal HVAC systems have humidity levels in the 30% to 40% range. When there is a water intrusion (such as a water leak) those levels rise. Any environment above 60% humidity can have mold growth.
You do not always have to suffer an obvious water intrusion to have mold growth. There could be other underlying moisture issues that are aiding mold growth. SERVPRO of Carthage/Joplin offers mold testing. Call today and we will to the bottom of your mold suspicions.
Can Mold Grow in Winter Temperatures?
When we think of mold, many times we are thinking of a spring time problem. Spring time brings warmer weather and higher levels of moisture. But the warmer months are not the only time you can have an issue with mold. Winter presents its own unique challenges in combating mold.
Everyone knows heat rises. As we try to heat our homes, we lose heat up into the attic area. That warm air is many times moist air. Normal daily activities such as laundry, the dishes, and bathing put moisture in the air. In this winter this can present a challenge if it comes into contact with a cooler surface and condensates. Many times, this warm moist air escapes into the cooler attic area and then you have a moisture problem. If that moisture reaches more than sixty percent humidity levels, mold could start to grow no matter how cold it is up there.
During the winter months it is especially important to exhaust moist air, especially from the bathroom directly out of the property to prevent any issues.
Have a mold issue? SERVPRO of Carthage/Joplin can help. We have over three decades of experience in mold remediation. We also offer mold testing services. Call 417-623-1388 for more information.
Using Air Filtration in Mold Remediation
SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin has offered mold remediation for over three decades. While we are working in Joplin, Missouri area homes and businesses, containment is a primary concern. The mold problem must be contained as not to spread to other parts of the home or business. Containment is reached by building temporary barriers, typically of plastic sheets to restrict mold spores from the contaminated area from drifting to other areas and settling.
A second line of defense used in containing mold spores during remediation is the use of air filtration. According to *IICRC standards the air in the contaminated area must be recirculated every four hours. The air is filtered through multiple stages of filters in the Air Filtration Devices (AFD). These units contain HEPA filtration which captures 99.97% of particles as small as .3 microns. Mold spores’ range in size from 3 to 12 microns. In comparison human hair is about 75 microns in diameter.
When the AFD is placed in the contaminated area it captures mold spores already airborne. As the remediation process is executed mold spores will more than likely be disturbed and get air borne no matter how much care is taken in the process. The AFD combined with the constructed containment barriers makes sure all airborne mold spores are contained and properly filtrated and run no risk to the rest of your property.
When you have mold in your home or business you not only want it gone; you want the piece of mind it was taken care of properly and you no longer need to think about it anymore. You want it “Like it never even happened.” SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin can deliver that piece of mind.
*Institute of Inspection Cleaning & Restoration Certification. SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin is an IICRC Certified Firm.
Bathroom Mold A Problem in Your Carthage MO Home?
If there is one place in your home that is susceptible to mold growth it is your bathroom. The bathroom generally has high levels of moisture as a result of constant use and there are many potential plumbing issues as well. In fact, as I go out and talk with people I get a lot of questions regarding mold in the bathroom. Here are a few reminders to help prevent any potential microbial growth.
- Fix leaks immediately. There are a lot of potential plumbing issues in the bathroom. The toilet, sinks, and showers all have water supply connections and drains that could malfunction and leak. Taking care of these leaks and having the area professionally dried is critical to preventing mold.
- Shower maintenance. It is recommended you wipe down with either a cloth or a squeegee your shower after every use. This eliminates moisture on the shower walls that could result in mold.
- Proper ventilation. Mold grows in high level of moisture. Since most everything you do in the bathroom requires water there is typically high level of moisture. Proper ventilation is a necessity! Run an exhaust fan or crack a window during use.
- Porous Materials. Items like towels and wash clothes stored out in the open can be a breeding ground for mold. These items should be stored in a separate closet or washed regularly. This includes decorative towels. Rugs should also be laundered regularly as well.
- Clean, clean, clean. Proper and regular cleaning will prevent mold growth. Proper= using the correct cleaners. Many household cleaners disinfect and include a antimicrobial agent. Read the label and directions. Regular= multiple time a week if not daily.
If you have questions or concerns call SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin at 417-623-1388.
Mold in Your Joplin MO Home? 3 Things You Can Do After Calling SERVPRO
Not only is mold remediation a dirty job, improper care can have serious consequences.
Let’s say you find what appears to be mold in your home? What should you do? The obvious decision is to call a professional immediately. SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin is always ready to leap into action. Now that you have made the call to the pros, what do you do now?
Mold can be destructive to your home or property not to mention it can pose adverse health effects to humans and pets. It needs to be handled with care. That’s why you called a professional in the first place. But after that call has been placed there are some things you can do to keep yourself and your home safe.
- If the mold is a result of a water intrusion, and the intrusion has not yet been resolved, do so. The reduction in moisture will slow the microbial growth.
- Reduce air flow in the affected area. Turn off fans and if all possible close vents to the HVAC system in the room. Air flow can get the mold spores air borne. Once air borne the mold spores can migrate to other parts of the home and could be a problem down the road. We call this cross-contamination.
- Do Not attempt to clean or disinfect the mold yourself. The proper cleaning agents as well as the proper techniques are necessary to properly clean and sanitize the area. No matter what you have read or been told, the proper cleaning agents are NOT in your arsenal of household cleaners.
Each mold project is unique and requires a unique solution. Your local SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin has the experience, education, and tools necessary to properly remediate your mold issues so your family cab breath easy.
The Key to Preventing Mold Growth
Mitigation and proper drying of any water intrusion is the key to mold prevention.
We are entering the wet rainy season of the year. The old saying it April showers bring May flowers. I guess that would be true if it would stop freezing! And let’s face it, we get fewer calm showers than we do big scary storms these days. No matter how the moisture is delivered there is no deigning there is an increase in moisture this time of year which always brings the potential for microbial growth.
From our blog a few months ago, we understand how mold grows and becomes harmful. http://www.SERVPROcarthagejoplin.com/blog/post/70420/mold-removal-remediation/the-411-on-mold
The question is how do I prevent mold growth in my home of business? IMMEDIATE response to any sort of water intrusion is the answer. As discussed in the blog linked above mold need a food source, the proper temperature, and water to grow. We cannot control the food source or temperature since our homes are made of food sources for mold and most molds thrive in temperatures we enjoy as well. Proper attention to water damage is the key. Most molds require three days to really start growing in prime conditions. If a water intrusion is mitigated and drying begins as quickly as possible the chance for mold growth is minimized.
If you have suffered a water damage of any size call SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin immediately. After a proper and professional mitigation and drying you can be confident you are returning to a safe and healthy environment.
Can Your Basement Be A Hot Spot For Mold Growth?
Your sump-pump well may be prime real estate for mold growth.
As spring rolls around we always see an increase in rainfall. “April showers brings May flowers” the old saying goes, and so we look forward to this time of year with great anticipation. While we all enjoy the flowers blooming and the trees and grass coming back to life; for some the heavy rains brings some anxiety. Property owners with basements and crawlspaces look forward to spring rains with reservation.
Most property owners in this situation rely on sump-pumps to keep moisture out of basements and crawlspaces. This is always a good time to check your pumps to make sure they are operating properly. But this blog is about the potential of mold growth near the sump-pump.
The area around a sump-pump well can be prime conditions for mold growth. Remember, all mold needs to grow is moisture, a food source, and the optimal temperature. Carpet, carpet pad, wood moldings, and drywall are all cellulose materials mold can consume. Keep a close eye on these areas. Run a dehumidifier if needed to keep moisture levels low. If mold is detected call SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin to help remediate the problem properly.
The 411 on Mold
Is mold effecting your indoor air quality? SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin can help.
People ask me all the time if I think they have mold in their home or business. Without asking any questions, or even seeing the property I always respond; “Yes, I guarantee you have mold in your property.” I don’t do this to scare people or drum up business. The fact is mold is all around us all the time.
They say you are not supposed to use big words or industry specific terms when writing a blog to the public but when it comes to describing mold I cannot help myself. Mold is ubiquitous! Ubiquitous simply means present, or found everywhere. (And I believe it is fun to say.) Mold is found everywhere and in many cases not only is it not particularly harmful but down right useful. Without mold we do not have penicillin or cheese to name just a few.
Mold is harmful when there is a high concentration of it. A large concentration typically doesn’t happen by chance. So how does mold colonize and adversely affect your indoor air quality?
Mold spores are microscopic. They are airborne and freely flow in and out of your home through open door and windows and even on our person or jump a ride on our four-legged friends. For mold to colonize and become harmful it needs three things.
- A food source. Mold feeds on any cellules materials. Sheetrock, paper, ceiling tiles, carpet and pad, and even the normal dirt and dust in your home or business.
- The right temperature. Mold needs a specific range of temperature to colonize. Narrowing down the temperature range is challenging as different molds grow at different optimal temperatures. Most grow best at 70 degrees or above but some like penicillin grow best closer to freezing.
- Moisture. This the one element you can control. Your home or business is filled with food sources and most molds thrive at the temperatures we keep our homes; but moisture can be controlled. Mold requires at least 60% relative humidity to grow. Most homes controlled by an HVAC system are kept well below this threshold. If for some reason your property regularly has greater humidity levels than 60% steps need to be taken to lower that. A water intrusion will adversely affect the humidity level in a structure.
The best way to prevent mold following a water intrusion is fast action by a certified mitigation company like SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin. We can quickly remove moisture levels and greatly lower your chances of being affected by mold.