Mold is a type of fungus that loves the moist, wet areas of your house. There are about 50 kinds of mold that are toxic to humans, plus it can cause serious damage to your house that is very expensive to repair ($10,000 or more). The best way to avoid a mold problem is to do mold detection in your house thoroughly at least once a year.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
HOW TO DO Mold Detection:
What does mold look like? It varies, but mold is generally white, black or yellow in color and has a cottony or leathery texture. Mold also carries a pungent odor that’s similar to a dirty, wet sock.
Note: Always wear a mask and gloves on your mold search to prevent unnecessary contact with or inhalation of the spores.
Check your bathrooms. Mold can crop up anywhere there’s moisture, so bathrooms are common culprits. Check the area around your bathtub, shower stalls and shower pan very carefully – mold usually rears its head in the grout above and around the tub and shower because water can seep behind the tiles, where it gets trapped. Also check the area where your toilet meets the floor to make sure it’s not leaking and providing a breeding ground for mold.
Check your sinks. Every sink in your house is vulnerable to mold, so it’s important to check all of them. Pay special attention to the areas near water pipes and valves underneath your sinks, which may have leaks. Use a flashlight to check dark areas so you don’t miss anything!
Check your basement. Start by inspecting the corners of your basement, looking for mold or water leaks. Also check all closets and window wells. If your basement has carpet, touch all areas with your bare foot or hand to test for moisture. If you find any water, identify the source of the water immediately, fix the problem, and check those areas very carefully for signs of mold. Note: If you have a finished basement, mold will be more difficult to detect because your walls and carpet may cover it up. Be extra vigilant with the smell test of your walls (step #5), and run a dehumidifier regularly to remove excess moisture.
Read more about mold detection at brightnest.com
Mildew is a growing fungus that thrives in damp places such as bathrooms. Moisture-laden air condenses on cooler surfaces, including walls and ceilings. If that moisture isn’t cleaned away or doesn’t evaporate, it encourages the growth of tiny spores that become visible mildew and mold. This occasionally collects noticeably on shower doors and in corners of the shower.
Regular cleaning with commercial shower cleaners usually prevents this. Or, to keep mildew off of the shower door spots, you can simply squeegee the door after showering.
If mildew is more widespread in the bathroom, consider the room’s ventilation. Warm areas, even when frequently wet like shower stalls, seldom grow mildew and mold if properly ventilated. If the bathroom does not have a bath fan, strongly consider installing one.
If the rubber that seals the glass door is mildewed, you can try cleaning it with a 6-to-1 mixture of water and household bleach (6 water, 1 bleach).
If the seal is damaged beyond repair, you may be able to have it replaced by a glass company or a shower-door installation specialist. Do-it-yourselfers may be able to buy replacement weatherstripping from the door’s manufacturer (if you can determine who that is). Or, in some cases, automotive weatherstripping can be modified to fit.
Shower Door Spots : Clean Water Spots From Shower Door
Does your glass shower door have milky white spots all over it? Those spots are caused by residue from minerals in the water that has splattered on the door. It indicates that your household water has a high mineral content. Those mineral deposits are left behind when the water evaporates.
You can eliminate this problem at the source by installing a water softener, or you can find ways to reduce water-spotting–or at least clean them away–without buying equipment.
Read more about Shower Door Spots at hometips.com
The removal of harmful mold from a home or other structure is carried out by mold remediation specialists who may use several processes. One of them is disinfecting and cleaning the infected area and keeping it dry. Molds are microscopic fungi that grow on damp and decaying organic material. They are found anywhere, may it be indoors or outdoors throughout the year. Some molds are helpful while others affect our health dangerously. There are molds that help in fertilizing our soil by breaking down leaves and tumbled trees. But when these molds are those that grow inside our home, we should remove it.
Exposure to molds can affect our health. This happens when one is staying in a place where molds are extensively growing. The effect of molds in a person depends on his immune system. Molds trigger and creates allergies at different levels. The most common ailment that molds can give us is respiratory ailments and some skin diseases. The worst case that molds can cause you is poisoned by toxic molds. Everyone can be affected by molds especially those that have a week immune system.
When we detect that there is mold growth in our homes, we should act upon it to avoid worst cases. Molds grow anywhere and our house is one of its targets. It grows and reproduces rapidly on areas where there is moisture. Moistened areas are molds sweet homes. Molds grow on wood, carpet, paper and any surface where there is ample moisture to support their growth.It is important that we detect mold growth in our homes. Molds can be easily detected through discoloration and smell. The discoloration that is caused by mold may be of any color, but remember that not all discoloration is mold growth. It may be spoiled or soot. Check it and determine if there is moisture on the discolored parts. The odor that mold growth emits is a musty basement smell or an earthy odor.
When you have detected mold growth in your homes, act on it before it is too late. You can remove small molds with the use of detergent and water. Use a mask and gloves while cleaning it and if ever there are those who can be easily affected by molds, clean the infected area when they are away from it.If the mold growth in your homes is great, but you think that you can still remove and make a remedy for it without the aid of mold remediation specialists, here is a tip on how to do it.
Moisture Causes Mold Growth
Since molds love to grow on moistened place, remove the remaining water. To effectively remove mold, we should remove the cause of it, moisture. Air circulation can help a lot in eliminating moisture. This can be made possible through the opening of windows and turning on electric fans or air conditioners. Space heater can aid too.You can apply appropriate disinfectants on infested area to remove and remedy mold growth. There are many home improvement products and even baking ingredients that can be used as a disinfectant as well. For carpets, you can use baking soda. A mixture of chlorine bleach and water can be used for wood furniture, tiles and grout. Laundry detergent with ammonia can be sprayed on textile furniture to disinfect it.
Clothes can be infested with mold growth too. This can be removed and make an easy remedy with oxygen bleach for colored clothing and chlorine bleach for white clothing. Detergent with ammonia removed and can be a remedy to mold infested clothing too. After cleaning the clothes infested with molds, you should keep and seal it inside plastic bags so that it will not be affected again. Rinse the cleaning solution that you have applied. Carpets do not need rinsing. All you need to do is to vacuum it.
Other surfaces can be rinsed by spraying warm water then wipe it to dry. The sun helps a lot in removing and in being a remedy to molds after the cleansing. The sun will help remove residual moisture during the cleaning process. Get rid of molds now and be mold free. A home becomes much more a home when there are no molds.
When to call in Mold Remediation Specialists
The problem with mold and with D-I-Y fixes is that mold is often hidden and not easy to find. Mold remediation specialists have the knowledge and expertise to find the mold and remove it in the most effective and least destructive ways. Mold can hide behind cabinets, wall paper, under carpets, in the air conditioning system, in attics and basements and many more places. If you have a mold problem or suspect one, call mold remediation specialists at Gold Coast Flood Restorations to come out and assess your mold problem. Call (888) 373-9243
Carpet mold can produce unpleasant odors, degrade your carpet, and cause wheezing in asthma sufferers. Check underneath furniture regularly, in order to catch mold at the surface of the carpet. If the mold has reached the carpet’s backing, it will be significantly harder to treat, but there are still several remedies to try. Professional carpet cleaners have access to additional treatments and machines, but some of these are available to rent from tool rental services, without having to hire a professional.
Method One of Three:
Removing Carpet Mold with Home Supplies
2. Ventilate the room. Open all windows and doors in the room with the moldy carpet. Air flow will reduce the humidity that encourages mold, and lessen associated odors. If you plan to use a chemical cleaning product, ventilation will reduce the chance of irritating your lungs and eyes.If there are no windows to the room, turn on a fan pointing toward a doorway.
3. Sun the carpet if possible. If your carpet is removable, move it outside and hang it over a sturdy clothesline. 24–48 hours of direct sunlight will help kill mold spores, and remove moisture that encourages mold growth.If the carpet is soaked through to the backing, not just the upper fibers, it may take much longer to dry. Leave it in direct sun in an area with good ventilation for several days.
4. Remove moisture with baking soda. This step will absorb moisture and reduce odors, but further efforts will be required for all but the lightest mold problem. Sprinkle the affected area generously with baking soda, leave on overnight, then vacuum it up.Talc-free baby powder may be used instead. Avoid baby powder that contains talc, since this can cause serious harm if inhaled.
Read more at wikihow.com
There are five general principles of mold cleanup – or remediating – mold. These guidelines will help you deal effectively with small areas of mold contamination (e.g., less than 10 square feet). Leave larger areas (e.g., more than 10 square feet) to professionals with special training and who will apply these same principles in performing their work.
#1 Be Safe with Mold Cleanup San Diego CA
Moldy houses and contents are a health hazard. Mold has been associated with allergic rhinitis, asthma, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and infections such as histoplasmosis and cryptococcosis. Mold mycotoxins can also produce toxin-related illnesses.
Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as an N-95 respirator (available from home improvement stores), gloves, and goggles, to reduce your exposure to mold spores and fragments.
Major contamination – best handled by professionals – requires special steps. These may include extra-protective garments and respirators, “full containment” such as sealing off the mold zones with polyethylene sheeting, running HEPA filtered fans to create negative pressure and airflow so no contaminated air escapes from the moldy area or affects clean areas, and sealing off HVAC ductto prevent spreading mold spores throughout your home.
#2 Document Details
An effective mold cleanup starts with knowing the extent of contamination. This means inspecting the area thoroughly, and knowing your home and the materials involved. In addition to a visual and “sniff” inspection (mold often has a distinct accompanying odor), questions to answer include: What materials are contaminated? How large an area – visible or hidden – is affected? Have all the sources of moisture been identified and corrected?
For larger jobs, an indoor environmental professional (IEP) such as an independent Clean Trust-Certified technician can use this basic information as well as data gathered by moisture, mold and other detection tools to perform an initial assessment, on-going assessment, and to verify afterwards that the cleanup has been thorough and effective.
Thorough documentation will help you when it comes time to file an insurance claim, and should be performed and maintained throughout a major mold cleanup project.
#3 Contain Mold
Mold contamination should be controlled and contained. When mold spores from infestations become airborne they are harder to capture, unhealthy to breathe, and can spread mold to other areas.
Start by covering areas awaiting mold cleanup with polyethylene or clear plastic sheeting to prevent airborne dispersal of spores. Other source containment methods including keeping surfaces wet during initial cleanup to minimize dust, using vacuums equipped with HEPA filtration to capture spores and fragments, and running HEPA air purifiers close to the work areas. If an entire area can be ventilated or continually flushed with fresh air without moving contaminated air into clean areas then this is also appropriate. More elaborate containment for large and complex cleanups is best left to professionals.
Mold is sneaky. It hides in dark places and has a ravenous appetite. It can be harmful to your health and property and can be difficult to remove. While you may be focused on mold prevention in your basement, it’s important to recognize that it can grow in just about any other place in your home.
There are over 100,000 different species of this living organism called fungus. Each has different characterizing features and varying toxicity. All, however, require moisture to grow and organic matter to derive energy. If your skin is crawling thinking about what might be lurking behind your walls or under your carpeting, you should do an inspection. Obviously, mold prevention is preferred, but you’ll want to be sure your home is spore-free first.
Search For Mold Prevention : Upper Levels
Professionals are available to perform a comprehensive mold inspection and identification process, but unless you have already discovered a major mold problem, you can perform the initial investigation yourself. Be sure to protect your eyes, nose and skin from spore exposure by using goggles, a mask/respirator and gloves.
Before you begin, think about any past water leaks or floods your home has experienced. As mold thrives in dark, damp places, it’s important to recall where leaks originated. This is where you should start. Look for visible signs of mold growth or damp, musty odors. Remember what moldy bread smells like, and let your nose guide you.
Next, search rooms where family allergies seem worse. A whopping 10-20% of people worldwide have a sensitivity to mold spores, so it’s possible someone in your family may be experiencing symptoms. Congestion, wheezing, asthma, eye irritation or skin rashes could be exacerbated by exposure.
Carefully check near pipes, sinks and other typical water sources. Kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms, where moisture accumulates with condensation and humidity, can breed mold. While you may not see a big, furry black spot on your wall, look for water damaged materials that are warping or bulging. Cracked or peeling paint, stains, discoloration and even small dots of mold growth can signal a larger colony nearby.
Read more about mold prevention at improvenet.com
What specifically transpires when a mold remediation company removes mold from your home?
A couple of hours prior to the arrival of mold remediation company technicians, you should make it easy for them to access the contaminated area. Relocate your pets in separate rooms or in the backyard, park automobiles on the street instead of the driveway, and remove any clutter or furniture blocking the mold zone.
Day 1: Eliminate Mold with Biocide
The mold remediation technicians will park their vehicle as close to the doorway as possible. Plastic sheeting will then be laid out, and hoses will be extended towards the mold area. If mold can be accessed externally (perhaps from a crawlspace), it will be even better for the technicians. An efficient mold remediation company will keep your household clean during the entire process.
Mold remediation technicians will be wearing white suits that cover up their entire bodies. You’ll see them wearing respirators, pillages, and goggles. This may suggest that the mold in your household is toxic, but the technicians will be wearing such attire whether it is or isn’t – such protection is standard in any hazardous procedure.
They will begin by spraying the mold area with biocide, which is an EPA-approved mold-killing fluid. Be mindful that bleach isn’t approved by the EPA for mold removal. The technicians will leave the area so the biocide can kill airborne mold spores.
Day 2: Spray Mold Area with Encapsulant
24 hours later, the technicians will return to the area and spray it with a mold sealant that encapsulates the lingering mold spores. The mold remediation technicians will spray past they moldy area to prevent further mold growth. For example, if only a small section of the basement shows mold, the technicians will likely spray down the entire floor (after discussing the process with you first, of course).
Crawl spaces tend to be vulnerable to mold accumulation since moisture can easily grow in these areas. The homeowner is usually unaware of such issues brewing within their own confines since those areas aren’t frequently visited. To bypass an expensive crawl space mold removal project in your home keep the following in mind:
Like any area with high levels of humidity and moisture, crawl spaces are susceptible to mold infestation. Research suggests that crawl space mold can be found in approximately 60% of homes!
Why does moisture accumulation happen so frequently in crawl spaces?
Your crawl space is situated beneath your home above dirt and soil, both of which contain moisture. Moisture is one of two elements of mold accumulation, the other being a food source, like wood located in the sub-flooring of a crawl space. Because moisture easily forms in enclosed areas, dirt crawl spaces are typical breeding grounds for mold.
Moisture from dirt generally evaporates into the atmosphere, but can be contained in a sealed space. When moisture isn’t well ventilated, condensation may begin to form on sub-flooring or foundation walls, which might be an issue if the sub-flooring is made of wood.
A couple of things to keep in mind about crawl spaces:
Air travels from bottom to top. As such, moisture accumulated in crawl spaces will naturally ascend to your living spaces (or through the HVAC system), which can lead to mold development in places other than the crawl space.
Standing water in crawl spaces isn’t required to stimulate the growth of mold. Humidity at levels of 60% or higher can trigger crawl space mold growth. High levels of humidity are quite typical in crawl spaces, even without the evidence of a flood!
How can crawl space mold and moisture build-up be reduced?
Inspect the foundation walls to ensure there aren’t any entry points for water to seep through. Also, make sure there aren’t any cracks or holes are present in the crawl space’s ceiling. These openings can be a portal for the transportation of water and mold from the crawl space to your living area.
Ensure that downspouts and gutters carry water away from the home. If this is not done, water may gather near it, and eventually make its way into your crawl space.
Make Good Use of Vents
Make sure you have enough ventilation. At the very least, 1 square footage of ventilation should be present for every 150 square feet of crawl space. Most building professionals suggest controlling moisture and closing vents through alternative methods, as open vents may make it hard to keep crawl spaces warm during cold seasons. They may also contribute to a rise in a build-up of moisture during warm seasons when humid and hot air is delivered into the crawl space.
Though these may all be strong points, it can be troublesome to regulate moisture via alternative approaches without using vents. Further, when mold begins growing, it will spread easier in enclosed areas without vents, in comparison to enclosed spaces with vents. The exterior fresh air emitted from the vents may aid in drying out a structure, and reduce/dilute airborne mold concentrations, post-outbreak.
In crawl spaces that are ventilated, tightly insulate against the sub-floor. The insulation should be secured with a mechanical latch or screw. Refrain from simply clogging up the insulation in the subfloor between the joists, as it will probably fall out without fasteners. The insulation’s vapor barrier section should face the source that’s heated.
Ensure existing insulation isn’t sagging or missing, as either one of those situations could be indicative of a water problem.
Ensure the whole dirt crawl space is covered with plastic sheeting and goes up at least three inches along the walls of the foundation. There should be enough of an overlap between the sheeting layers, which should not contain any standing water. If properly applied, plastic sheeting will act as a vapor shield in your crawl space.
Call a Crawl Space Mold Removal Expert
Use these suggestions to bypass crawl space mold, and be careful as you apply them. The attic and crawl space are full of safety hazards that can lead to bodily harm. If you aren’t experienced in crawl space work or don’t want to do the work yourself, a crawl space mold removal professional can help you instead. It’s not worth putting your safety on the line to save a buck or two.
For many households, Chlorine Bleach is generally seen as your “go-to” cleaner for tough jobs. Mold clean up and removal does requires a heavy duty cleaner, but recently, many of the hazards of Bleach are gaining more media attention causing people to take a closer look at the way they clean.
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) was one of the first federal agencies to STOP recommending the use of liquid Bleach for mold remediation. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has since edited their “A brief guide to mold and moisture and your home” to exclude their once suggested use of bleach as a means to kill mold.
So what actually is mold? Let’s go over the basics to get a better understanding of how it works and how it should be properly treated.
According to scientists, mold is a type of fungi that is neither plant nor animal. This basically means, unlike plants, it cannot derive energy from the sun or actively “hunt” for food like an animal. Therefore, mold must be opportunistic to survive. In order to reproduce, it regularly sends microscopic spores into the air searching for a suitable environment to live. It only needs a few requirements to survive: water, warm temperatures and a food source. Once it has located the perfect environment, it can begin to grow remarkably fast, sometimes within 24 hours! This is why we often see a mold bloom after flooding, water damage and undetected burst pipes etc…
Bleach is not good for Mold Clean Up
So now that we know how it works, how do we properly treat it? Big Bleach labels have promised you that nothing else will do the job like Bleach. Chlorine Bleach is most well known for it disinfecting properties but that doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for mold. It’s main function is to disinfect and to, well, bleach or change the color. But after use, what usually happens? The moldy color looks like it’s gone but within a week or two the mold usually comes back and sometimes worse! Most homeowners don’t put together that it’s the Bleach causing this reaction and not a really bad case of mold. The fact remains that if the mold is not removed from the material, it will most likely always return. But you may ask yourself, does Bleach kill mold?
Does Bleach kill mold?
Yes, but it comes with a catch. Bleach labels will warn you that Chlorine Bleach will only be effective on a “hard, non-porous surface.’’ This basically means that Chlorine Bleach is not made to “soak in.” Therefore, its disinfecting properties are limited to a hard surface like tile or glass. So here’s the problem: To ensure survival, mold spores spread its roots (Mycelia) deep into a porous surface. Mold remediation requires a cleaner to reach deep down into wood and other porous building materials to remove or “pull out” the roots. The properties of Bleach prevent it from soaking into these materials. The surface mold looks gone (it’s bleached white) but the internal mold always remains to grow back.
Another issue: Bleach contains 90% water and mold LOVES water. When Bleach is applied, the chlorine quickly evaporates after use leaving behind A LOT of water. This water often soaks into the porous surface allowing the mold to flourish and re-grow in this moist environment. So in effect, using Bleach actually feeds the internal mold spores! Although the surface may look bleached and clean, the remaining spores will root deeper, stronger and will often return worse than before.
Read more about mold clean up and removal at Rhinohide.com
Concerned about molds growing in your home? Let’s admit it, it is not that easy to fight a combat to one of our home enemies, especially molds which grows undetected in your house. Mild spores, especially, grows very easily and cannot be easily eradicated. Which is why preventing mold is essential for every household to combat molds in your home.
Although we all know that molds can also be good in use such as penicillin and organic matter decomposition, having them grow all over our house and in undetected areas is enough for homeowners to cringe. One’s health can be compromised when large amount of mold spores grow in our house. If your home is water damaged, mold can easily grow within the next 42 hours. That is why preventing mold is important, and also eliminate mold from growing in your home and all the personal items which have been affected by water damage.
Top 10 Tips for Preventing Mold after Your Home is Water Damaged
When a home is flooded, due to either a natural disaster or a major water leak within the house, mold can set in fairly fast, sometimes in as little as 48 hours. While many molds are harmless, others can cause respiratory problems, eye, nose and throat irritations, headache, vomiting and lethargy. It’s important to begin a thorough cleanup as soon after the damage as possible to prevent the growth of mold.
1. Open all windows and doors to increase ventilation and help dry things out. If you have power and you know it is safe to use, set up fans to speed up the process.
2. Wall to wall carpeting and padding should be removed and thrown away. Wet carpeting may be very slow to dry and can ruin the floor underneath.
3. Upholstered furniture, mattresses and pillows should be disposed of. These are very hard to clean completely and can take a long time to dry and this is exactly the conditions that mold needs to take hold.
Read more at enlightenme.com
For mold removal and mold remediation call on the experts at Gold Coast Flood Restorations.