Recent Mold Remediation Posts

3 Reasons Why You Should Never Use Bleach To Clean Mold

8/10/2018 (Permalink)

 

Chlorine Bleach is often regarded as the answer for stopping mold growth and removing the mold. However, this is a myth. Bleach does not exonerate mold. Here are three reasons why bleach is not the answer to mold, and should never be used to clean a mold contaminated area.

1. Bleach Loses Effectiveness Over Time

Chlorine bleach can dissipate rapidly, causing the bleach to be less effective. Over time this occurs because chlorine can evaporate and even faster in areas that are above room temperature. When the chlorine disappears, the bleach bottle turns into a bottle of salt water.  

2. Bleach can actually contribute to mold growth

Chlorine bleach was made to clean surfaces, therefore can only kill surface bacteria and mold. This is due to bleach’s ion structure, which prevents the chlorine from penetrating porous material such as wood and drywall. When mold grows in porous areas, the enzyme’s roots grow deep within the material, rendering the bleach ineffective of exterminating the mold. The bleach can only remove the green stain from the mold, allowing surface to appear clean. But underneath the surface, the water component of the bleach penetrates and helps the internal roots to continue to grow, causing mold to reappear.

3. Bleach is Toxic

Bleach emits harmful fumes that pollute the air we breathe and can become harmful to humans and even pets. Over a period of time, inhaling the gases bleach emits can deteriorate the lungs and esophagus lining in addition to the scarring of the respiratory tract, which occurs in earlier stages. Also research shows that household bleach is one of the leading causes of accidental poisonings in the United States.

Here in Cayce and West Columbia, South Carolina, the risk of having mold in your home is a lot higher than other states. Why? Two words....heat and humidity. Mold thrives in dark, moist areas, and South Carolina's humidity only helps that process. That's why if you experience a water damage and don't take care of it the right way and in the first 48 hours; mold will begin to grow.

Why We Do Not Test For Mold-We Only Remediate

8/10/2018 (Permalink)

You would think a company that remediates mold would also do the testing of mold right?  Well we do not and here are our reasons why. 

Given that we are a Cleaning and Remediation Company, we have determined that being certified to be an Industrial Hygienist(IH) is veering too far from our profession.  Mold remediation and mold testing require different sets of training, certifications, and professional equipment.  For remediation purposes, the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) offers a course called,Applied Microbial Remediation Technician (AMRT). In this course technicians learn how to properly remediate mold, but not test for it.  For testing purposes, you must have a 4 year bachelor’s degree in the particular field as well as specific IH courses. 

In addition, a company that does both testing and remediation of mold could potentially appear to be skewing test results in order for their remediation to pass.  To avoid this, we not only have another company do the testing but we also have the customer call in the IH rather than bringing them in ourselves as a subcontractor of our services.  This ensures that the IH is working for the customer’s best interest.

So where do you start?

If you believe that you have a mold problem your first step is to find the source and stop it.  Next, we would recommend that you call in an Industrial Hygienist to come out and test the area.  A protocol will be written based off of the testing and if you do indeed have a substantial amount of mold present that needs to be remediated that is where SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia comes in.  With the protocol in hand we are able to properly assess the area and determine the extent as well as type of cleaning that will be needed to get your home or business back to preloss condition.

If you have more questions give us a call 803-755-9774

How Does Mold Affect Your Health?

8/9/2018 (Permalink)

According to the EPA, molds have the potential to cause health problems if mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. Molds produce allergens and irritants, which can cause allergic reactions if an individual inhales or touches mold or mold spores. Allergic reactions to mold are common and can include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash. Molds can especially trigger asthma attacks, so it's important that people with asthma avoid exposure to mold. 

Since mold can adversely affect your health, and therefore interrupt your daily life, it's important to remediate the mold in your home or business as quickly as possible. Luckily, SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia is here to help. If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

Call SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia at (803) 755-9774 for mold remediation services. 

To learn more about the effects of mold on your health, please visit https://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-and-health

Follow These Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

8/9/2018 (Permalink)

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:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia 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 Services

SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia 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.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (803) 755-9774

Mold or Mildew

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

Often times there is confusion when discussing Mold vs Mildew. SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia wants you to be informed.

While there are many differences between the two fungi, mold and mildew both develop and thrive in moist conditions. A leaking roof, a window that doesn’t seal properly, and a basement with water damage caused by a broken pipe can all lead to the growth of mildew and mold. In order to reduce the risk of health effects and damage to building materials, mildew and mold in the home or a business need immediate mold remediation. Continue reading to learn more about the differences between mold and mildew, and the danger both may present to your home or business.

Mildew vs Mold

Plain and simple, mildew and mold are fungi. Fungi can live in many different types of habitats such as in soil, on vegetation, and on surfaces exposed to moist conditions like a wall or ceiling after flood damage. Fungi reproduce by spores and quickly can spread.

What is mildew? Mildew is mold in its early stage and often the term is used interchangeably with the word mold. That whitish-gray, powdery substance sometimes seen on the leaves of a plant is mildew. Mildew is a surface fungi that grows on organic material like plants and food as well as other surfaces.

How is it different from Mold? Mold ranges in color from green to gray, brownish and black. It may appear fuzzy, flat or even slimy. Green slimy mold may develop in the damp, shady areas of decks and even vinyl siding, while indoors, mold can develop on grout, tile and other surfaces found in and around bathrooms and other areas with high humidity and inadequate ventilation.

Pro Tip: Slimy mold on decks, fences and siding often can be removed using a pressure washer. Always wear proper safety protection when dealing with mold and working with tools.

Dangers of Mildew and Mold

In a battle between mildew vs mold, which presents more problems and danger? It depends on several factors.

The powdery mildew often found on the leaves of a houseplant, typically poses little danger to you, but it can harm the plant. However, anyone that suffers from mold allergies should avoid touching that mildew. If contact occurs, wash hands thoroughly and never touch your face/eyes/nose after coming in contact with mildew.

The Need for Mold Remediation

Mold and mildew, if ignored, can cause health effects and physical damage to a home or business. Mold found anywhere in a building, such as behind drywall, on insulation, around windows and along basement walls has developed because there is a moisture problem. To avoid further damage, it’s essential to locate and correct the source of the moisture and then remove all traces of mold.

Any home or business that’s suffered any type of water damage (from firefighting efforts, roof leak, burst pipe or flood) needs professional assessment quickly. Contact SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia immediately after any water disaster; mold can begin developing within 24 to 48 hours. Trust our professional technicians for a comprehensive mold remediation plan. Call (803)755-9774

Mold Prevention

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

Let’s face it, mold is never a good sign in any situation.
It can be extremely costly and hazardous to your health, if it’s growing in your home. We want to share some information with you on how to prevent mold growth in your home. Mold can grow anywhere, with that being said there is no way to completely remove mold. Once mold spores have been disturbed, they travel through the air contaminating other areas.  Do not worry, we are here to help should you discover a mold problem. We have a mold specialist on staff to address your mold issues and determine a remediation plan that works the best for you. Give us a call at 803-755-9774 to schedule a site visit. Here are some tips to help prevent mold in your home:

  1. Identify and fix any problem areas in your home. You can’t mold proof your home, you can make it resistant though.  Anywhere moisture is present, mold can grow. If you notice any condensation, water staining on your walls or ceilings, or leaky pipes you need to get it fixed as fast as possible. Sometimes there is moisture or water in areas that you are unaware of, mold can spread very quickly in these conditions.
  2. Dry any wet areas immediately. If your carpet is wet, make sure your carpet is thoroughly dried. Mold can develop quickly on your carpet and padding and will need to be removed if this happens.
  3. Prevent as much moisture as possible by using proper ventilation. Your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room are high moisture areas. Make sure to vent your appliances that can cause moisture. Use dehumidifiers as needed.
  4. Equip your home with mold resistant products. There are now drywall and paint products that are manufactured with mold inhibitors.
  5. Inspect your gutters. Clean them out regularly and repair them if need be.
  6. “Bleaching” mold is not an effective way to get rid of mold, it does just that “bleaches” it. To effectively get rid of mold and mold growth you must use an antimicrobial.
  7. Having a vapor barrier in your crawl space will prevent moisture and keep mold growth to a slight minimum. If a little mold growth does occur the vapor barrier will also protect your family from the harmful fumes that come from mold.

Can Mold Be Contained During Remediation?

6/14/2018 (Permalink)

Can Mold Be Contained During Remediation?

Just because you’ve found mold in one room in your home doesn’t mean your entire house is a lost cause. You can still stop the spread of mold contamination during remediation procedures by enacting containment procedures and stopping mold in its tracks.

What Exactly is Mold Containment?

Mold containment essentially involves sealing off the mold infestation so that no spores or growths can escape into other areas of the home and working to eradicate any free-floating spores from the air in un-infested areas. Mold containment during remediation usually involves:

• Identifying the source. Mold won’t stop growing unless you remove the impetus for it to grow, which means removing the water damage feeding it. Identifying the source of leaks and flooding means conducting a thorough home inspection and taking effective remediation activities.
• Sealing the area. You may need to shut off your HVAC systems to prevent mold contamination through the air vents, and fully seal off the area using air-tight methods to prevent further spread of spores. If the mold has penetrated your walls, however, this may be difficult.
• Chemically treating uncontaminated areas. Many mold prevention and mold killer sprays work as an effective preventative treatment and can lay down a barrier that prevents mold from spreading to uncontaminated areas of the house. Determine which mold killer solution is safest for your home, family, and pets before applying it to surfaces in the home.
• Air filtration. While it’s impossible to fully get rid of the billions of mold spores omnipresent in the air always, you can still use air filtration to cleanse the air as much as possible. When you have a mold infestation, the density of spores in the air is much higher – and professional air filtration can at least reduce the density to more reasonable, safe levels.

Many of these steps can be accomplished on your own, or with the aid of professionals. Professionals may be needed if mold contamination has penetrated too deep into the foundations of the home.

Understanding Mold

6/13/2018 (Permalink)

Understanding Mold

When water intrudes into your property, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic, float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor, and that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia is locally owned and operated—so we live and work here too and are proud to be part of this community. We are also part of a national network of over 1,600 Franchises with special Disaster Recovery Teams placed strategically throughout the country to respond to large scale disasters.

5 Steps to Mold Remediation

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

Five steps that each mold-removal specialist takes when conducting mold remediation includes:

  1. Determine the degree of contamination. The first step for a mold remediation specialist to determine the extent of the mold damage and test for contamination within the facility. Because mold spores and other microscopic contaminants can travel easily throughout a building, they may collect and analyze samples from affected as well as unaffected areas of the building. Once finished the inspection they will develop a remediation plan for the mold removal specialist with steps to return the home to its preloss condition (Condition 1).
  1. Set up and verify containment. To make sure mold contamination does not spread to other areas of a facility, the mold remediation specialist will set up containment by creating isolation barriers. Once the barriers are set up, the specialist will need to verify the containment with a lower partial pressure differential (negative pressure) to ensure there is no air leakage between containment zones. Exit chambers would then be used to serve as a transition between the containment and the unaffected area of the building. Once the containment is verified and the correct amount of pressure is achieved, the removal process can begin.
  1. Remove non-salvageable materials. Porous materials and items that cannot be restored or cleaned effectively must be carefully discarded.  Non-salvageable items include but are not limited to drywall, insulation and other items with visible mold growth. It is important for the specialist to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment which may include a full face respirator, disposable coveralls and nitrile gloves.
  1. Clean surfaces with a high-attention to detail. A mold remediation specialist will likely begin the cleaning process by thoroughly vacuuming the contaminated areas using a HEPA vacuum with a high-efficiency filter to catch mold spores. He or she will then begin a detailed cleaning process involving mold removal tools such as a HEPA filtered sander, followed by the damp wiping of surfaces with an effective cleaning solution.
  1. Verify remediation. Once cleaning is complete, and verify the remediation was successful. The area must be returned to the dry standard and should be visually dust free with no malodor.

 Mold remediation requires mold removal specialists to perform techniques that promote source removal rather than relying on chemicals, paints and coatings as a replacement.  Understanding and managing air flow is also critical to the success of a mold remediation project. 

Returning Home After Summer Break or Vacations

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

The spring semester ends and students head home to visit with friends and families.  When they leave their apartment, home, townhome, or condo, they assume that upon their return everything will be just as they left it.  That, unfortunately, is not always the case.

With the return of college students and summer vacationers alike, we have had a massive influx in mold remediation jobs.  People return to their homes to either find their walls, floors and belongings covered in mold.  Most have no idea what caused it or what to do next!  That's where we come in.  

Primary causes of Mold growth include but are certainly not limited to:  water intrusion, the improper dry out of water damage, flooding, high humidity levels, and a broken or turned off air conditioning unit.  In the case of a home that is left empty for the summer, finding mold upon returning is very common.  In general, the cause is a turned off air conditioning unit.  NEVER turn off your air conditioner.  South Carolina has an extremely high humidity level.  A high humidity level is the perfect condition for mold growth.  An air conditioner set at 78 degrees Fahrenheit, at the very highest, will keep the cost of your electrical bill low all while circulating the air in your home and preventing mold growth.  

The second most common cause behind mold growth is an unknown water intrusion.  If you plan to leave your home empty over the summer, have a friend or neighbor whom you trust periodically stop by to monitor the condition of your home.  For example, we experienced plenty of heavy rainfall this summer, as Florida normally does.  What if you have any unknown leak in your roof?  Water damage will occur.  Unfortunately if no one is in the home to catch this, the water damage will only get worse.  The wet walls, flooring, etc. are breeding grounds for mold.  While you are away enjoying your summer, mold is infesting your home.  But sometimes, you don't even have to have an uninhabited home for this to occur!  If water damage occurs in your home, whether it be from indoor or outdoor sources, handle it properly.  Water damage that is not dried properly will result in mold.  Water mitigation might not be the cheapest process, but mold remediation can certainly be more expensive.  The longer water damage lingers without being handled properly, the more damage that is created.

Does Your Cayce/ West Columbia Home Have A Mold Problem?

7/10/2017 (Permalink)

Does Your Cayce/ West Columbia Home Have A Mold Problem?

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (803)755-9774

Does Your Cayce/ West Columbia Home Have a Mold Problem?

7/10/2017 (Permalink)

Does Your Cayce/ West Columbia Home Have A Mold Problem?

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (803)755-9774

The Truth about Mold

6/14/2017 (Permalink)

The Truth about Mold

Mold is a type of fungus that consists of small organisms found almost everywhere. Mold can be black, white, orange, green, or purple. Mold plays a very important role in nature- it helps break down dead leaves, plants, and trees. We are exposed to mold daily, meaning removing all mold is impossible.

In small amounts, mold spores are usually harmless, but when they find a damp spot in your home or business, mold may begin to grow.

Mold can spread quickly, in as little as 48 hours. Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home or business through windows, doors, or AC/ heating systems. Mold often produces a strong, musty odor.

Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. If mold is found, SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington has the training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be taken care of, or the mold will return.

Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas in your home or business.

Here is a helpful list of specific recommendations to limit your chance of getting mold:

  • Keep humidity levels as low as you can- no higher than 50%.
  • Use an air conditioner or a dehumidifier during humid months.
  • Be sure the home has adequate ventilation.
  • Add mold inhibitors to paints before application.
  • Clean bathrooms with mold killing products.
  • Do not carpet bathrooms and basements.
  • Remove or replace previously soaked carpets and upholstery.

Every mold damage is different and requires different solutions. SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington understands mold and mold growth, we are trained mold damage specialist who get started quickly to get your home, “Like it never even happened.”

Does Your Cayce/ West Columbia Home Have A Mold Problem?

6/12/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Does Your Cayce/ West Columbia Home Have A Mold Problem? In Cayce/ West Columbia, mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.

 Does Your Cayce/ West Columbia Home Have A Mold Problem?

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (803)755-9774.

The Truth About Mold

6/26/2014 (Permalink)

Mold occurs naturally throughout the environment both indoors and outdoors. In fact, mold spores could be found in nearly every structure in the United States regardless of how new or clean the structure is. That’s because mold in normal amounts is no more dangerous than dust or pollen. Even through some forms of mold can add value to our lives, other forms can be harmful. Excessive amounts of mold, different types of mold or exposure to molds may present health concerns for some people. If there is an ongoing moisture problem in your office, your home or in your customer’s home it is important to be alert for:

  • The presence of visible mold
  • Strong, musty odors which may indicate mold is present
  • Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused mold growth 

These conditions may require the expertise of a qualified Indoor Air Quality/ Environmental Professional to inspect the building for mold growth and water damage problems. If you think you or your customer might have a mold problem, check out our website for more information or give us a call: 803-755-9774. 

The Truth About Mold

6/25/2014 (Permalink)

Mold spores are everywhere in our environment and can enter homes easily. Most types of mold grow quickly if they have a water source, an organic food source and temperatures between 60 and 86 Fahrenheit.

An Institute of Medicine study found excessive dampness indoors is a public health problem by encouraging growth of molds, dust mites and other organisms.