Recent Mold Remediation Posts
Respiratory Protection from Mold
The human body can be exposed to contamination in three ways: by dermal (skin contact), inhalation (respiratory) and ingestion (consumed). The most common way of providing protection is the use of personal protection equipment. One such piece of equipment is a respirator. Respirators come in a variety of styles, with different levels of protection, and are rated according to their protection factor.
Before using a respirator, all of our technicians will receive effective training on respirator usage. According to OSHA's "General Duty Clause," an employer is required to provide a safe work place for employees. Thus any company doing microbial remediation would have to provide a respirator-training program that would include medical evaluations. In this training our technicians are trained how to put on and take of a respirator, how to care for their respirator, what a respirator will and will not protect against. There are additional requirements for wearing a respirator that include a medical evaluation of the technician's lung capacity and a fit test to assure protection.
For microbial remediation work that is performed by technicians, the cartridge almost always used is a HEPA filter. A HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) fliter removes 99.97% of particulates down to 0.3 micrometers. With this level of protection, virtually 100% of mold spores will be filtered out and not enter the lungs.
What is Microbial Contamination?
What is Microbial Contamination? Where does mold come from? Is microbial contamination a health concern issue? How do you properly get rid of a microbial contamination?
Microbial contamination refers to a variety of microorganisms, including mold, bacteria, viruses and protozoa; and fungi, which includes molds, yeasts, and their by products and toxins. All of these can affect the health of a building and its occupants.
As a starting point the proper job sequencing for a typical microbial-remediation project includes but it not limited to: identifying and stopping the source of moisture; setting up containment; establishing negative air; removing contaminated building materials; cleaning surfaces; drying the affected areas; conducting a post remediation evaluation.
Mold spores are a major concern for our project managers. Because of their very small size, mold spores can be anywhere there is air, including under carpet, inside wall cavities, under kitchen cabinets, virtually everywhere. Molds are usually not a problem unless mold spores land on a damp spot and begin growing. They digest whatever organic material they grow on in order to survive. Some molds grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods and insulation, while other molds feast on the everyday dust and dirt that gather in the moist regions of a building. Generally mold spores are hydrophobic. This means that spores do not like water itself. While mold spores need water to colonize (germinate and grow), they like wet organic substances, not a puddle of standing water.
Never use a DIY mold test, Heres why!
If you look on the internet, there are scores of DIY mold test kits. Before you invest in one of these kits, here are things you ought to know about mold:
- Mold is everywhere and every single house has some form of “mold.”
- Most self-test mold kits only tell you if your home has mold, but often provides false negatives and positives. It also does not tell you what kind of mold or how to kill it.
A true mold test can only be conducted by a Professional Environmental testing company; they determine the type of mold, the source of the moisture, and how to kill the mold at the core. They create a protocol, which can be read by an IICRC professional (like us!). It’s best to use a testing company that does not do cleaning themselves because their assessment will be unbiased.
- Mold is more often hidden, sometimes under the floor or in the walls, or in your air ducts
Where the mold is located, often dictates where the moisture is affecting the building
- Untreated water damage may result in mold growth within 24-48 hours of the event
Wood, insulation, fiberglass, carpet and other organic substances become a thriving environment for mold once there is moisture present for more than 24 hours. After a week, it is almost guaranteed.
Free estimates or removing mold yourself cost homeowners more in the long run
Be wary of companies who advertise free mold testing. Free mold tests are often offered by people who are uncertified or inexperienced and if they do the mold testing themselves, they are using these kits mentioned above. Unless they are a certified Environmental Hygienist and have a PhD in microbiology, they do not have the knowledge or resources to truly diagnose the mold condition in your home.
- The source of the mold is never addressed, so the problem is reoccurring.
- They use the “self-test” kits mentioned above instead of environmental testing with diagnostics
- Remove only topical mold instead of killing it at the source
- They often remove more walls and floors than needed which increases the price to rebuild.
- They do not remove enough, or don’t use the right materials which brings the mold back.
This means you have to pay to have it removed again, and have more sanitation and demolition performed, which increases the price to rebuild and replace tremendously.
What you should do instead
Having mold can be scary, especially if anyone in your home is prone to getting sick (people with asthma, low immune systems, allergies, babies and the elderly). We recommend the following course of action if you need to have mold removed from your home.
- Measure the area affected and check for moisture.
- Call your insurance company, ask:
- If you are covered for mold
- What is your deductible
- What is your coverage
- Ask for a company that they approve of for mold mitigation (Chances are, it’s us.)
If your insurance company says you can use anyone – or if you are not going through insurance then look for someone who is certified in
- IICRC, Water Restoration Technician
- IICRC, Mold restoration
- IICRC, Applied Structural Drying
- Now that you’re armed with knowledge, it’s time to start making some calls.
Now that you know your coverage, how much visible mold there is in your home, and whom your insurance company approves as mold remediation specialists. It’s time to start making some calls.
The four W's of Mold
Protecting your home from the ravages of mold can be a daunting task if you don't know what to look for or don't know you have it. However, it's a process that every homeowner should consider in order to protect the structural integrity of their home as well as the health and wellness of their family.
The Four W's of Mold...
The process of determining if you have mold, and if so, what type begins with 5 questions that cover a number of considerations. It's a given that mold only grows in damp conditions. As a result, you must ask yourself if you or a neighbor has a water leak? Mold only takes a few days to form in moist situations. Even if you don't have a leak, your neighbor's leak could become a true bone of contention for you if you live in an apartment or duplex.
What Where and When...
Obviously, if you can visibly see mold you know you have a problem that needs resolving. Determining what type of mold you have becomes the obvious next step. Additionally, if you have water that pools against the exterior of your house when it rains, the moisture will affect not only exterior walls but the interior walls as well. It's just a question of "when."
In addition to visibly seeing mold, a musty moldy smell is a good indication that your dwelling has a mold issue. If the atmosphere in your home is humid, and your windows sweat revealing condensation, these are conditions that are ripe for developing a problem with mold if you don't already have one. Flair ups with allergies and illness in your pets are also strong indicators of a mold problem. Mold is a serious issue that can impact not only the infrastructure of your house but the health of you and your family members. Even if you plan on moving it's a good idea to have your new home tested for the presence of mold as a safety measure.
Having your home tested for mold is a good investment to protect the health and the integrity of both your family and your homes structure. After all, an ounce of prevention is always worth a ton of cure.Our crews here at SERVPRO Fenton and South Ballwin have all the necessary equipment to treat and make sure that everything is taken care of, "Like it never even happened." Give us a call at 636-527-5990!
You Could Be Spreading Mold Through Your Fenton/South Ballwin Home
If you see visible mold in Fenton/ South Ballwin home or business, 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 Fenton and South Ballwin 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 Service Server Fenton and South Ballwin 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. Our crews will make your home or business "Like it never even happened." so give us a call at 636-527-5990.
For more information about mold visit: http://www.SERVPROfentonsouthballwin.com/mold-remediation
Areas In Your Home That Mold Can Hide From You.
Mold can occur anywhere in your Fenton and Ballwin 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 area in the house include anywhere moisture and dirt may form such as window corners.
If you think your Fenton or South Ballwin home or business has mold damage give SERVPRO of Fenton and South Ballwin a call at 636-527-5990 and we'll make it "Like it never even happened."