Recent Mold Remediation Posts
Leave Mold Remediation to Us
A close-up image of microbial growth.
Finding mold in your home can be anywhere from an annoyance to a scary occurrence. People react differently, but one thing is for certain: most everyone wants to get rid of it. We've heard all sorts of do-it-yourself methods, such as painting over it, spraying bleach on it, or even removing the material if possible (ex: drywall or baseboard). The truth is that anytime it comes to dealing with mold remediation, you should always hire a professional and here's why: mold spores. Anytime you disturb any material containing mold, you could be releasing spores into the air. Our technicians are trained with special techniques to contain any spores that may be exposed in the air. They can also make sure that all mold spores are safely removed from the area and not spread to other areas in the home. When it comes to the air quality in your home, don't take any chances. Call the professionals at SERVPRO.
Mold Remediation: Why Can't I Just Use Bleach?
Contrary to popular belief, bleach does not kill mold at the source.
We receive this question many times from a concerned caller: "Can I just spray bleach on it?"
Using bleach to take care of mold was once recommended by agencies such as OSHA and the EPA. However, they have since been revised after research revealed that the "do-all, be-all cure" for killing microbial growth, actually had the opposite effect. First, let us take a look at how mold forms to understand why using bleach is not effective.
Mold needs water, food and typically a warm temperature to grow. This illustrates the first reason to call SERVPRO: If mold is growing, chances are that the materials are wet. There has likely been a water loss of some sort, and until it is properly dried, mold will continue to grow.
The chlorine in bleach, due to its ionic composition, cannot penetrate porous surfaces. Porous surfaces include materials such as drywall, ceilings, wood, carpet and many others. Spraying bleach on the mold will only kill it on the surface. Many people do not know that mold actually has roots called hyphae. These roots will still remain in the porous material and eventually rise to the surface again. Remember that bleach contains both chlorine and water. The chlorine cannot make it below the surface - but the water can. Thus, you are actually replenishing the mold with one of the key things it needs to grow - water! Secondly, it will "bleach" the color, making it appear that the mold is gone. Again, this is only on the surface.
At SERVPRO West Littleton/Sheridan we use specialized products, designed to travel deep into porous surfaces to remove mold at its roots. Sometimes we cannot remove the mold from the material and the material must be completely removed from the home for the safety of you and your family. Our technicians are trained to differentiate between what can be safely cleaned and what cannot. In addition, live mold releases spores into the air. The air in your home may need to be treated with specialty equipment to make sure that all spores are removed.
Keeping Your Home Safe During Holiday Travel
A local home was affected with extensive mold damage while the homeowner was out of town for several months.
At SERVPRO West Littleton/Sheridan, we receive many calls for water damage and mold remediation while a homeowner is traveling out of town. With the holiday season approaching, it is important to always have a family member, friend, neighbor or house-sitter check on your home every day if you are traveling. Many things can happen while a home is unoccupied. Some of the losses we have responded to include:
- Pipe Bursts due to freezing temperatures
- Refrigerator and freezer line breaks
- Ice Maker Malfunctions causing water damage
- Sprinkler line bursts
- Toilets continuously running and causing overflow
- Hot water heater rupture causing extensive mold damage by steaming the home
Some homeowners only have their home checked every few days while they are out of town. We cannot stress the importance of this being a daily task. Even a few hours can make all the difference when restoring a water loss.
Enjoy the holiday season and remember that SERVPRO West Littleton/Sheridan is on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help with the unexpected!
Mold Prevention During the Winter Months
A SERVPRO technician works to safely remove mold at a home in Littleton.
The wet season in the winter months is one of the best times of year for molds to grow and expand. Often mold is contained near sources of water where it can easily grow and reproduce. As it grows, mold can breakdown and compromise the integrity and strength of the source in which it lives.
Mold spores are microscopic and are naturally found in the air we breathe indoors and outdoors. When large amounts of spores grow, one’s health may be compromised. Mold can be killed, but if it is not removed properly, it can remain in the area just cleaned and the dry spores can be released into the air. Mold remediation services can help eliminate the mold in your home and personal items affected by water damage.
Prevention, however, is what will help keep your lungs healthy and homes and buildings strong. We’ve put together a few tips on how you can help thwart mold from infesting your home that are efficient and realistic:
General Home and Building Maintenance:
- Keep all areas clean.
- Make sure there is good air circulation. Use an exhaust fan or open a window when showering, cooking, and washing the dishes.
- Prevent mold and water damage by turning off the water flow to broken appliances and pipes.
- Replace cracked or defective mortar in basements. If you find your basement is wet or has water leaking into it, inspect the outside drainage systems.
- Spread moisture-barrier materials in crawl spaces over the soil. Heavy roofing paper or plastic film made of polyethylene can be used for this. Make sure there is good ventilation in the crawl space and, if possible, do not enclose it. One may need to use a fan to blow out humid air from under the building.
- One can get rid of humidity or dampness within a building by heating it for a short time. After heating, open up the doors and windows, or use an exhaust fan, to let out the air that is moist.
- Hire a professional roofing contractor to cover a damaged roof with a tarp or tent. This will help protect the building from the elements.
- If there are freezing temperatures, take measures to insulate pipes inside and out to ensure they will not crack and/or burst.
- Make sure all the seals on the windows and doors are not compromised and in good-working condition.
- Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.
- Make sure the ground around your building slopes away from the foundation so water does not collect around or enter in to it.
- Act quickly if you see condensation on windows, pipes, or walls inside a building. Dry out the area and determine if the source of the condensation is from a leak or the result of high humidity.
After a Flood or Heavy Rains:
- Work fast. Call in a mold remediation service, which will help in the cleaning and disinfecting of your home from toxins and spores mold can release.
- Lower the humidity and temperature in the building: molds do not like these conditions. Open up windows if the air outside is less humid than the air inside. Otherwise, turn on an air conditioner and a dehumidifier.
- Dispose of moldy items in a sealed bag. Objects that can be saved should be frozen (which deactivates mold) or dried out. Mold remediation services can assist with restoring many of your items, including documents, pictures, and books.
- Make sure there is good ventilation within the building affected. Use a fan, if necessary, to promote good air circulation.
- Remove as much standing water in a building as quickly and safely as possible after disconnecting all electronic equipment inside the building.
- The two key things to remember in mold prevention are: 1. Keep everything clean, and 2. Keep everything dry. Many simple steps can be taken to prevent mold damage as well as water damage during the winter months. However, keep the number for a mold remediation service handy should you require their services. These professionals can efficiently and quickly ensure your home is safe, dry, and mold-free.