Recent Mold Remediation Posts

Crawl Space Mold

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

Black Mold

If your crawl space is a cold zone, that means it shouldn’t be pulling heat from the warm air in your home. If you’re having issues with mold and moisture, you space my not be properly vented. Two vents on either side of your crawl space should be sufficient. You will also need to place insulation under the floors in your home so the hot and cold air don’t meet in the middle and create moisture. While you’re making repairs in the crawl space – double check that any piping in there is properly insulated so they don’t freeze during the winter.

If your crawl space is part of the warm section of your home, that means your space better be properly insulated so you aren’t losing heat to the outside. If it’s not properly insulated, make sure to take care of that first. I like using a closed cell, two pound spray foam because it will keep the heat in, as well as act like a vapor barrier to fight against that moisture. If you’re filling your space with batt insulation instead, make sure you also install a vapor barrier – and it needs to be on the warm side of the house.

You may think that mold and moisture in your crawl space are just a given, but the truth is, it’s not. If you understand how to prevent moisture buildup in the space, you can keep the water out and that will keep the mold at bay. If you would to have a Mold Remediation estimate contact SERVPRO of McMinn, Monroe and Polk Counties.

8 Ways to Mildew-Proof Your Bathroom

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

Bathroom Mold and Mildew Photo Credit: Chastity Cortijo

Plagued by excess moisture and lack of ventilation, bathrooms are especially susceptible to mildew. The fungus typically appears on walls, tile, or grout, and it can trigger a slew of health problems, including allergies and other respiratory issues. The best method for combating mildew is preventing it from growing in the first place. To stop this scourge in its tracks, check out these 8 ways to mildew-proof your bathroom.

Choose Mildew-Resistant Paint

After you enjoy a steamy shower, your bathroom walls absorb the lingering moisture, which can spur the growth of mildew. Choose a paint that resists mildew, or one that has a mildew-resistant additive mixed into it, to give your walls an extra measure of protection.

Keep It Well Ventilated

Mildew thrives in damp places, which makes the notoriously wet bathroom a prime breeding ground. To eliminate excess moisture, turn on the exhaust fan while you're showering and let it run for 30 minutes after you shut off the water. This ensures that the walls and ceilings will dry properly. If you have a window in the bathroom, open it a crack to air out the room as well.

Let In Light

Mildew loves darkness, so homeowners should think twice before shutting off the bathroom lights directly after showering. Leave curtains open whenever possible or even put the lights on a timer to ward off the pesky fungus.

Mop Up Water

Nip mildew in the bud by getting rid of excess water as soon as possible. After a bath or shower, grab the squeegee to take care of drips on the tub or tiles, and mop up puddles with a towel.

Fix Leaks

You may be great about cleaning up the obvious pools of water by the sink and shower, but don't forget to deal with smaller drips as well. Take care of leaks under the sink or by the toilet as soon as you notice them. Putting off repairs lets more moisture into the room and can over time turn a small mildew problem into an even bigger headache. 

Seal Grout Lines

Constantly exposed to water and porous to boot, grout is extremely hospitable to mildew. Scrub your grout every few weeks to keep mildew at bay, and reseal it annually to help it stand up to water. 

Clean Items Around the Shower

It's not enough to just mop the floor and scrub the tiles. You also need to pay attention to items that are kept around the shower. Clean underneath shampoo bottles, regularly toss the shower curtain and hand towels into the wash, and replace your loofah often. Mildew loves to hide in these neglected places.

Keep It Clean

The best way to prevent mildew is to clean your bathroom regularly. If you don't clean often enough, you're encouraging mildew to grow and creating more work for yourself down the road. 

Pass It On

Put these methods into practice to prevent mildew from growing, so then you don’t have to go through the icky job of cleaning it up. And be sure to share these tips with your friends and family to save them from the task, as well.

Source: https://www.bobvila.com/slideshow/8-ways-to-mildew-proof-your-bathroom-51901#pass-it-on

8 Ways to Mildew-Proof Your Bathroom

4/21/2018 (Permalink)

Bathroom Mold and Mildew Photo Credit: Chastity Cortijo

Plagued by excess moisture and lack of ventilation, bathrooms are especially susceptible to mildew. The fungus typically appears on walls, tile, or grout, and it can trigger a slew of health problems, including allergies and other respiratory issues. The best method for combating mildew is preventing it from growing in the first place. To stop this scourge in its tracks, check out these 8 ways to mildew-proof your bathroom.

Choose Mildew-Resistant Paint

After you enjoy a steamy shower, your bathroom walls absorb the lingering moisture, which can spur the growth of mildew. Choose a paint that resists mildew, or one that has a mildew-resistant additive mixed into it, to give your walls an extra measure of protection.

Keep It Well Ventilated

Mildew thrives in damp places, which makes the notoriously wet bathroom a prime breeding ground. To eliminate excess moisture, turn on the exhaust fan while you're showering and let it run for 30 minutes after you shut off the water. This ensures that the walls and ceilings will dry properly. If you have a window in the bathroom, open it a crack to air out the room as well.

Let In Light

Mildew loves darkness, so homeowners should think twice before shutting off the bathroom lights directly after showering. Leave curtains open whenever possible or even put the lights on a timer to ward off the pesky fungus.

Mop Up Water

Nip mildew in the bud by getting rid of excess water as soon as possible. After a bath or shower, grab the squeegee to take care of drips on the tub or tiles, and mop up puddles with a towel.

Fix Leaks

You may be great about cleaning up the obvious pools of water by the sink and shower, but don't forget to deal with smaller drips as well. Take care of leaks under the sink or by the toilet as soon as you notice them. Putting off repairs lets more moisture into the room and can over time turn a small mildew problem into an even bigger headache. 

Seal Grout Lines

Constantly exposed to water and porous to boot, grout is extremely hospitable to mildew. Scrub your grout every few weeks to keep mildew at bay, and reseal it annually to help it stand up to water. 

Clean Items Around the Shower

It's not enough to just mop the floor and scrub the tiles. You also need to pay attention to items that are kept around the shower. Clean underneath shampoo bottles, regularly toss the shower curtain and hand towels into the wash, and replace your loofah often. Mildew loves to hide in these neglected places.

Keep It Clean

The best way to prevent mildew is to clean your bathroom regularly. If you don't clean often enough, you're encouraging mildew to grow and creating more work for yourself down the road. 

Pass It On

Put these methods into practice to prevent mildew from growing, so then you don’t have to go through the icky job of cleaning it up. And be sure to share these tips with your friends and family to save them from the task, as well.

Source: https://www.bobvila.com/slideshow/8-ways-to-mildew-proof-your-bathroom-51901#pass-it-on

How To Prevent Mold and Mildew In Your Home

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

How To Prevent Mold and Mildew In Your Shower

Mold and mildew (mold in its early stage) are fungi that happily and quickly grow anywhere there is moisture. They serve an important purpose in our environment by helping to destroy organic materials such as leaves, thereby enriching the soil. But that same attribute can cause a serious health issue for people living in a moldy home: respiratory problems; sinus congestion; eye, nose, or throat irritation; and headaches. Infants, children, pregnant women, elderly individuals, and people with existing respiratory conditions are at a higher risk for these problems.

Check for areas in your home where there could be high humidity or water damage, such as a damp basement or crawl space. Mildew and mold can grow on wood products, ceiling tiles, cardboard, wallpaper, carpets, drywall, fabric, plants, foods, and insulation. These growths can begin to develop on a damp surface within 24 and 48 hours and produce spores that travel through the air. They will break down and destroy whatever they're growing on and can cause mild to severe health problems for you and your family.

The problem won't go away on its own. Learn how to remove -- and prevent -- mold and mildew with these simple tips.

Arm Yourself with the Right Tools

Planning on doing battle with mold and mildew? Make sure you have these cleaning tools on hand.

  • Latex or rubber gloves
  • Buckets and brushes
  • Vacuum with brush attachment
  • Mop and sponges
  • Nonammonia detergent, soap, or commercial cleaner
  • Disinfectant chlorine bleach
  • Furniture polish

Keep Your Bathroom Fresh

Few rooms in the home see as much moisture and humidity as the bathroom. Be sure your bathroom stays well-ventilated. An exhaust fan will help circulate the air and remove moisture more quickly. These additional actions will help keep your bathroom fresh and mold-free.

  • Spread towels out after use so that they dry more quickly.
  • Minimize containers left in the shower for cleaning ease and better circulation.
  • Wipe down the shower with a clean towel or squeegee after its last daily use.
  • Choose shower curtains that dry and clean easily to help avoid soap residue, which fosters mold.

If you're dealing with a mildewed shower curtain made of durable fabric, follow these steps for cleaning it.

Wash using a solution of 1/2 cup liquid disinfectant to 1 gallon of hot water.

Rinse with a mixture of one cup lemon juice and one cup salt to a gallon of hot water.

Wash with detergent and bleach (using color-safe bleach on color fabrics).

Rinse in clear water.

Freshen Fabric and Upholstery

Avoid sending mold spores into the air and throughout the house by first taking fabric and upholstery that's mobile outside. Brush off as much of the mildew as possible. Then treat these pieces individually as follows.

  • Fabric should be laundered in chlorine bleach and hot water. If chlorine bleach is not a safe option for the material, soak it in oxygen bleach and hot water for a half hour, then wash as directed. Take it outside to dry in the sun if possible.
  • Upholstery that you can't take outside should be vacuumed first. Replace the vacuum bag or take the canister outside to clean. Then mix 1 cup of ammonia with 1 cup of cool water. (Chlorine bleach and ammonia should never be combined due to the resulting toxic fumes.) Using a clean white cloth, sponge the stains with the ammonia solution. Blot until all the liquid is absorbed. Repeat the process until the stain disappears. To remove the resulting ammonia solution, sponge the area with cold water and blot. Dry thoroughly with a fan or hair dryer set on cool.

Clean Mildew-Stained Carpets

Start by thoroughly vacuuming the affected carpet to remove as much of the mildew as you can. After you are done, either throw away the bag or clean the canister outside. Then proceed as follows.

Briskly mix 1 tablespoon of liquid laundry soap and 2 cups of cool water.

Apply the suds to the stained area with a damp cloth, sponging lightly.

Repeat until the stain is gone, then rinse.

Dry the area completely.

Revive Stored Wooden Furniture

  • Vacuum mildewed wood furniture with a soft brush to remove any loose spores. After you are done, either throw away the bag or clean the canister outside.
  • Quickly wipe off any stains using a light touch.
  • Rinse the area with a damp cloth, let dry, then polish.

Prevent Spores from Getting a Stronghold

Help keep your home free of mold and mildew with a few preventive measures.

  • Use dehumidifiers, fans, and open windows to help reduce the moisture in your home. Be especially vigilant during hot, humid months.
  • Fix plumbing leaks as soon as possible.
  • Do what you can to prevent rain water from seeping into your home. Check potential problem areas regularly.
  • Clean the fabrics in your home routinely and keep them dry.
  • Store items in dry, well-ventilated areas.

If It's Too Late, Don't Hesitate to Toss

If the mold and mildew on your fabric, upholstery, carpet, or furniture is beyond cleaning and drying, throw it out or call a professional cleaning service. Don't take a chance with the potential health risks that mold and mildew can cause you and your family.

Source: https://www.bhg.com/homekeeping/house-cleaning/tips/how-to-prevent-mold-and-mildew/

6 Unexpected Places Mold Can Hide In Your Home

2/26/2018 (Permalink)

6 Unexpected Places Mold Can Hide In Your Home

It’s not a shock when mold shows up behind drywall after a flood or covers baseboards in damp basements. But mold can surprise you and hide in unexpected places, making it harder to detect and wipe out.

To get rid of mold, think like a fungus and search out these six moist places where mold likes to grow.

1. Chimneys

Why mold grows there: Brick crevices collect water, dirt, and other organic debris. Rusted chimney caps and faulty flashing lets in rain and snow, encouraging mold to grow.

How to wipe it out: First, replace rusted caps and fix flashing. Then, call a chimney sweep to give your chimney a thorough cleaning. A $200-$300 annual visit from a chimney sweep not only removes mold, but also keeps your chimney free of dangerous creosote and helps it operate at peak efficiency.

2. Refrigerator Drip Pans

Why mold grows there: It’s a rarely noticed place under your fridge that collects moisture and food spills, a perfect environment for mold to grow.

How to wipe it out: Cleaning drips pans should be part of your annual deep cleaning ritual. Spray the pan with a hydrogen peroxide solution (1 teaspoon hydrogen peroxide in 1 cup water). Wipe clean with a rag soaked in white vinegar. Also, clean the floor beneath the pan.

3. Front-Loading Washing Machines

Why mold grows there: The gasket around the door on front-loading washing machines often stays wet because the door is usually closed when not in use. Add some lint to the moisture, and mold happily munches and multiplies.

How to wipe it out: Wipe the gasket and glass dry before you shut the door. If you spot mold, run a hot water wash with some chlorine bleach (no clothes), which will kill the fungi.

4. Window Sashes and Seals

Why mold grows there: Condensation provides the moisture mold loves; dirt and dust supply food. 

How to wipe it out: After heavy rains, open windows and wipe moisture from the bottoms of sashes and window sills. If seals between panes are failing, you’ll have to repair or replace window sashes to prevent condensation. Regularly clean windows to deprive mold of food.

5. Dishes

Why mold grows there: When you stack dishes that are a little wet and a little cruddy, mold has the perfect environment to grow — especially if you don’t use those dishes every day.

How to wipe it out: Run moldy dishes through the dishwasher, and wipe cabinets with a vinegar-soaked rag. Completely dry dishes before you store them.

6. Air Conditioners

Why mold grows there: Air conditioning units trap dust and pollen (a good meal for mold) and grab moisture from the air. If you don’t run your AC unit at least every 24 hours in warm weather, humidity in your house climbs and mold may grow in AC ducts and drain pans, and on coils.

How to wipe it out: If mold grows in your central air conditioning unit, you’ll have to hire a mold remediation pro to clean out the system ($400-$1,000). If mold shows up in a window AC unit, remove the front plate, clean the blower with a HEPA filter vacuum, and flush out the coils and clean the drain pan with a 1:1 solution of bleach and water.

Of course, prevention is the best remedy. Run your AC for at least 10 minutes every day to keep air circulating when it’s hot and humid outside, and keep the humidity in your home below 55%.

Source: https://www.houselogic.com/organize-maintain/home-maintenance-tips/unexpected-places-mold-can-hide/

MOLD: Do vs. Don't

9/18/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation

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:

  • DO stay out of affected areas.
  • DO turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • DO contact SERVPRO of McMinn, Monroe, and Polk Counties for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Do NOT touch or disturb the mold.
  • Do NOT blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Do NOT attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Do NOT spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

We are prepared to help you face this issue when it arises.  Our team is prepared to deal with microbial growth and will help you take care of this issue quickly.  If you have any questions about microbial growth or have any concerns about your home or business, let SERVPRO of McMinn, Monroe, and Polk Counties put your mind at ease.  Call us today at (423) 745-4165 for any mold or mildew issues you are dealing with in your home or business! 

Source: SERVPRO of Jackson

Mold Growth, Assessment, and Remediation

9/21/2016 (Permalink)

Hidden mold

Mold is detectable by smell and signs of water damage on walls or ceiling, and can grow in places invisible to the human eye. It may be found behind wallpaper or paneling, on the inside of ceiling tiles, the back of drywall, or the underside of carpets or carpet padding. Piping in walls may also be a source of mold, since they may leak (causing moisture and condensation).[8]

Spores need three things to grow into mold:

  • Nutrients: Cellulose (the cell wall of green plants) is a common food for indoor spores.
  • Moisture: To begin the decaying process caused by mold
  • Time: Mold growth begins from 24 hours to 10 days after the provision of growing conditions.

Mold colonies can grow inside buildings, and the chief hazard is the inhalation of mycotoxins. After a flood or major leak, mycotoxin levels are higher even after a building has dried out.[7]

Food sources for mold in buildings include cellulose-based materials such as wood, cardboard and the paper facing on drywall and organic matter such as soap, fabrics and dust-containing skin cells. If a house has mold, the moisture may originate in the basement or crawl space, a leaking roof or a leak in plumbing pipes. Insufficient ventilation may accelerate moisture buildup. Visible mold colonies may form where ventilation is poorest and on perimeter walls (because they are nearest the dew point).

If there are mold problems in a house only during certain times of the year, the house is probably too airtight or too drafty. Mold problems occur in airtight homes more frequently in the warmer months (when humidity is high inside the house, and moisture is trapped), and occur in drafty homes more frequently in the colder months (when warm air escapes from the living area and condenses). If a house is artificially humidified during the winter, this can create conditions favorable to mold. Moving air may prevent mold from growing, since it has the same desiccating effect as low humidity. Molds grow best in warm temperatures, 77 to 86 °F (25 to 30 °C), although growth may occur between 32 and 95 °F (0 and 35 °C).[9]

Removing one of the three requirements for mold reduces (or eliminates) new mold growth:

  • Moisture
  • Food for the mold spores (for example, dust or dander)
  • Warmth; mold generally does not grow in cold environments.

HVAC systems can produce all three requirements for mold growth. The air conditioning system creates a difference in temperature, encouraging condensation. The high rate of dusty air movement through an HVAC system may furnish ample food for mold. Since the air-conditioning system is not always running, warm conditions are the final component for mold growth.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mold_growth,_assessment,_and_remediation

    Jump up ^ Indoor Environmental Quality Dampness and Mold in Buildings. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. August 1, 2008.Jump up ^ Minnesota Department of Health. "Mold and Moisture in Homes". Minnesota North Star. Retrieved 22 November 2011. Jump up ^ Gent, Janneane. "Levels of Household Mold Associated with Respiratory Symptoms in the First Year of Life in a Cohort at Risk for Asthma" (PDF). Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University. Retrieved 18 November 2011. Jump up ^ Cohen, Aaron. "WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mould" (PDF). World Health Organization. Retrieved 18 November 2011. Jump up ^ "Warm Air is a Moisture Conduit". by Robert Wewer. FSI Restorations. Retrieved 1 January 2014. Jump up ^ "The Doormat Test". by Robert Wewer. FSI Restorations. Retrieved 1 January 2014. ^ Jump up to: a b Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation^ Jump up to: a b c d e "A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home. EPA 402-K-02-003". U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. September 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2013. Jump up ^ "Controlling Mold Growth in the Home" (PDF). Kansas State University. Jump up ^ Niemeier, R. Todd, Sivasubramani, Satheesh K., Reponen, Tiina and Grinshpun, Sergey A., (2006) "Assessment of Fungal Contamination in Moldy Homes: Comparison of Different Methods", Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 3:5, 262-273 [1]Jump up ^ "Mold Resources". United States Environmental Agency. Archived from the original on February 18, 2004. Retrieved July 12, 2015. Jump up ^ "List A: Antimicrobial Products Registered with the EPA as Sterilizers" (PDF). US Environmental Protection Agency Office of Pesticide Programs. February 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2015.  |archive-url= is malformed: flag (help)Jump up ^ "Mold Cleanup & Abatement, Removal Service Company - Victoria, BC". Retrieved 2016-07-06. ^ Jump up to: a b "Guidelines on Assessment and Remediation of Fungi in Indoor Environments" (PDF). New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. November 2008. Retrieved 10 May 2013. Jump up ^ NIOSH. "Recommendations for the cleaning and remediation of flood-contaminated hvac system: A guide for building ovwners and managers". Center For Disease Control. Retrieved 18 November 2011. Jump up ^ "Chapter 6 - Containment and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)". EPA. Retrieved 29 June 2014. Jump up ^ "Mold Removal Protection Levels". Environmental Protective Solutions. Retrieved 29 June 2014.