Mold Remediation as A Solution to The Growing Mold Problems

Molds are types of fungi that usually grows on surfaces inside one’s property due to water interaction or excessive moisture. 

However, although some types of mold are normally harmless, there are some types that can cause severe health issues in anyone. According to the EPA, one of the most common causes of molds are allergies and can be a top reason for asthma symptoms. Furthermore, molds in one’s property might also lead to irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat and, worst can also cause serious lung issues even if the person involved is not allergic. In line with this, mold growth in the house or property should be treated as a serious issue and should not be, in any way, ignored.

As for the fact that molds can be found everywhere, the problem of its growth arises, most especially when the growth begins inside the house. This is usually caused by the moisture that the mold spores found to begin to grow. The extremely common reasons for mold growth inside one’s property are roof leaks, pipe leaks, high humidity levels, and floods.

Mold requires spores (serves as their ‘seeds’), favorable temperatures, nutrient supply, and moisture. Molds, like plants, grow by spreading and releasing its mold spores. However, if the conditions for the molds are unfavorable, mold will be dominant and release spores into the air to find a suitable environment for their growth and survival.

Moreover, these conditions can lead to mold growth subjected to water damages within the span of 24 to 48 hours. The affected materials or appliances should be dried as quickly as possible to prevent germination and subsequent mold growth. This mold growth can result from inadequate design, installation, and operation of materials and appliances used, maintenance of the structure and lack of adequate ventilation in the building. Among the conditions mentioned, moisture is the only condition a homeowner can really control.

Mold Remediation: The Basics and Process

Molds should be removed by a trained professional accredited by organizations such as RIA, IAQA, and IICRC. However, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) any area subjected to mold growth less than ten (10) square feet (or about 3 feet by 3 feet) can be remediated by the homeowner. If the affected area succeeded the 10 square feet policy, the homeowner or the building administrator must contact a mold remediation contractor.

On the off chance that the mold growth occurs inside a homeowner’s property that requires larger immediate removal or mold remediation, it is important for the homeowner to know the basics of mold remediation.

Basic Mold Remediation Directions:

  1. Determine the size of the area that will need to be contained. Set up your containment using zip walls and 6-mil poly sheeting.
  2. Determine the size of air scrubber needed (4-6 air exchanges per hour).
  3. Install air scrubber into containment, duct clean air from the scrubber out of the containment area to keep the containment under negative pressure.
  4. Vacuum all surfaces in the containment area using a HEPA vacuum.
  5. Remove all porous surfaces (drywall, carpet, etc.) with mold contamination. The material that is being removed should be placed in contractor bags and disposed of in normal garbage receptacles (e.g., dumpsters). Bags should be sealed before leaving the containment area.
  6. Vacuum all surfaces in the containment area using a HEPA vacuum.
  7. Physical mold removal:
  1. Using a cleaner, all surfaces with visible mold should be scrubbed or sanded to remove some of the mold stainings. Without heavy sanding, some of these stains might not be removed. Staining is not an indication of active mold growth.
  2. Using a disinfectant, wipe or spray all surfaces to ensure any remaining (hidden) mold is dead. This will not preclude any health problems from the mold, but it will keep it from further growth.
  1. Again, vacuum all surfaces in the containment area using a HEPA vacuum.
  2. A mold-preventative coating can/may be applied to further ensure no future mold growth.
  3. For larger jobs (over 32 sq ft of contamination) it may be required to:
  • Have a controlled egress area.
  • Have an independent hygienist write a protocol.
  • Have an independent hygienist do post clearance testing.

With regards to the increase of mold growth in the house, EPA provided the necessary simple steps or process of mold removal or mold remediation.

Process: Steps to Mold Remediation

  1. Containment and Ventilation. This is the first step, and probably the most important step in the process of mold remediation. The installation and use of adequate ventilation and air filtration devices (AFDs) including air scrubbers are required to keep and ensure that the existing mold spores that are disturbed and become airborne will not be spreading to any uninfected area through the air.
  2. Cleaning and Disinfection. Next is the stage that includes the actual remediation, removal, and disposal of materials subjected to molds—the cleaning and disinfection stage. Where the trained professional or technicians will apply biocide, fungicide or moldicide solutions to the infected areas.
  3. Fixing the Source of the Mold. This is where the technicians will address any moisture or humidity concerns that cause the growth of molds within the property or area. This includes a loose bathroom fan duct that is running into an attic, in this case, the broken fan duct may be fixed. For cases with more involved repairs, the mold remediation company could hire a sub-contractor to recommend to the homeowner.
  4. Encapsulate the Unremoved Molds. Molds that are not removed through the process of mold remediation should be encapsulated by paint or a similar material. The encapsulation process is an approved method for dealing with mold in a house.

Molds are complex. It may start from a small area but can form larger colonies indoors under appropriate conditions. It is important to not ignore the significance of a proper building or house maintenance at all times.

Places in Your Home for Mold Growth

UNDERSTANDING MOLD

Molds are beneficial to the environment as they rotten dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, however, mold in your home should be prevented. Molds travel by air and can get into your home through windows, open doors, vent, and can stick to people and pets. Any areas of your home are not restricted to mold growth as long as it has enough moisture or the humidity of the area is perfect for molds to grow.   When molds land to a damp spot, they begin to grow – as easily and quickly as they can.

Aside from being unsightly, it can be a wrecker to your home as it can damage your walls and floor, can cause unpleasant odor and can even lead to health issues such as nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, or, in some cases, skin irritation. In addition, it is most sensitive to people who have allergies or respiratory illnesses.  As a homeowner you want to keep your home healthy for the whole family, so knowing the common areas where mold grows is vital. Let’s talk about the most common places where mold usually lurks.

Bathrooms

Bathrooms are one of the greatest areas where mold can easily grow because it is normally wet and humid. Bathrooms that have poor ventilation can attract mold colonization. Shower tiles, sink, toilet, shower, bathtub, in the walls and on the floors are the areas in the bathroom where mold can grow. It is essential that you keep your bathroom well-ventilated during and after showering to prevent mold to grow. It is also important to keep the area clean and dry.

Kitchens

There are plenty of surfaces for mold to grow in your kitchen from walls, windows, left-over foods and even dishes that pile up in the sink or clean food storage. Kitchens are generally hot and humid, thus it attracts mold to grow easily and quickly. Generally cleaning the area and providing proper ventilation while cooking or cleaning the dishes can prevent mold to thrive in your kitchen.

Attic, Basement, and Crawlspaces

These are the areas in the home that are not frequently visited or checked. Yet, these are also the areas of the home that are prone to mold growth due to their poor ventilation, which can generate moisture. Leaky foundations (such as roof or pipes) or condensation from appliances are the main sources of moisture. You can prevent mold to grow in these areas by making sure they are well ventilated. Keeping these areas clean and dry prohibit mold to thrive.  

Doing a regular inspection of the common areas where mold can thrive is the best preventive measure a homeowner can do.  Making sure all the areas of your home are well ventilated and dry prevent mold to begin.

If you can see any signs of mold in your homes, do not ignore. Seek professional help if needed. Square One is just around the corner to help with your concerns. Contact Superior Restoration today.

Detect mold due to water damage in 6 easy steps

Mold is a tenacious Fungus. Given a chance it will find a place to grow in your home. Mold prefers dark moist places such as under the sinks and underneath showers. The trouble with mold though it sometimes it grows in unexpected places. Here are some tips to help you detect if mold is present in your home.

  1. seek out the mold
    Check for visible signs of mold growth. Molds may appear in colors such as gray, white, black, or green. Black mold, stachybotris, is especially dangerous. On no account touched the mold barehanded.
  1. Smell the mold
    A mildewy or moldy smell is a strong indication that mold is present. This will give you a general idea of whether mold is to be found.
  1. Flooding or Leaks
    If you experienced flooding or found a leak that has been there for some time, there is a strong possibility that you will have mold growth because mold thrives in moisture. If you discover slowly leaking pipe take steps to stop the leak.
  1. Humidity
    Generally when it’s cold, there is an excess of moisture. Excess humidity in the environment can cause mold growth.
  1. DIY Kit
    Use a Do It Yourself Kit to test for mold only after you have done a thorough visual investigation. If you do not fell comfortable doing this it is best to seek the advice of a professional.
  1. Hidden Mold
    Hidden molds are particularly hard to find. However, if you smell a stale mildewy odor or have allergic symptoms when close to a source with no visual mold, this may be a clue that there is a hidden mold source.
  1. Call For Assistance
    We strongly recommend that you hire a mold remediation company to determine if you have a mold issue. A simple air quality test can determine if you have mold by measuring the number of spores in your air.

If you are aware that you have a mold problem, then we recommend that you take steps to remediate your mold issue to avoid future health issues and further mold growth.