Recent Mold Remediation Posts
Using a Portable Fire Extinguisher
A portable fire extinguisher can be a life and property saving tool when used correctly. In order to operate an extinguisher, the National
Fire Prevention Association suggests remembering the word PASS:
-Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release
the locking mechanism.
-Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
- Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar
with them before a fire breaks out. Remember, extinguishers do have
limitations. It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of extinguisher for your facility. For more information
on the different types of fire extinguishers and to ensure you have the proper one, visit nfpa.org.
SERVPRO of Washington D.C can assess your situation and help to remediate your 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.
Mold and Your Business
In the business world, time is money, as the saying goes, and you should spend your time growing your business....not repairing water damage or removing mold from your property. Protect your business with mold prevention.
What Causes Mold?
The short answer is simply water. Did you know mold exists nearly everywhere water exists? Mold is a natural occurrence, and any type of moisture can lead to mold growth in a short period of time. Water damage is worrisome because it can unbalance natural mold levels. Your commercial building could experience water damage from various sources:
• Natural disasters
• Heavy rainfall
• Broken pipes
• Leaky plumbing
Untreated leaks, humidity, and moisture may lead to mold, which will continue to spread until the source of the moisture is repaired.
Mold in Heating Ducts
Mold In Heating Ducts
Mold in heating ducts is a serious problem. Of course, household mold is never a good thing, no matter where in the home it's found. Exposure to mold has been linked to health effects and it can literally eat away at some building materials, including wood. There are a few reasons mold in heating, ventilation and air conditioning ducts is particularly problematic, though. We'll tell you why it's such a bad thing and what to do if you think you may have mold in your heating ducts.
You Can't See It
Mold can grow unseen in heating ducts for a long time before you ever realize it's there. Even if you suspect you have mold in your home and look for it, you might miss mold in your heating ducts. It can be hard to see even if you try to look in your heating ducts, since only a small portion of the duct work in your home can be seen without special equipment. Even if you can't see it, though, mold in your heating ducts can grow and spread and make you sick.
It Can Easily Spread Throughout The House
Most strains of mold grow and spread easily. The duct work that runs through your house provides a pathway for mold to move easily from room to room, throughout the whole house. Turning on the heat helps mold move through the duct work even faster, as the forced air carries the mold spores effortlessly along. Even worse, when the heat is turned on, the air blowing through the vents carries mold spores into every room. In no time at all, you could have mold throughout the entire house.
Mold In Heating Ducts Is Difficult To Remove
It's one thing to clean mold off shower stalls or to remove moldy carpet from a room. It is another thing to remove mold in heating ducts. While mold can be removed from nonporous surfaces like metal or fiberglass heating ducts, it's difficult to reach the ducts in order to clean them.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends calling in a professional if you need to have mold removed from your heating ducts and we definitely agree. Special equipment is needed for the job, including manual or mechanical brushes, blowguns or air skippers that drive mold particles and other debris toward a collection device, a vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter to remove potentially harmful mold and other contaminants from the heating ducts, and negative air pressure devices that create negative pressure within the duct work so that mold spores are unable to drift into other areas during the mold removal process. The job must also be done carefully in order to avoid inadvertently damaging the duct work in the process.
Look for a professional that is certified by, or at least adheres to the standards established by, the National Air Duct Cleaners Association. If you have fiberglass ducts or fiberglass liners in your ducts, look for a professional that also is familiar with and follows the cleaning procedures established by the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association. Many techniques commonly used to clean heating ducts can damage fiberglass, so it is important to choose a professional with the skills and experience needed to properly clean fiberglass ducts.
Until you can get a professional to look at your heating ducts, don't turn on the heat!
Making Sure Mold In Heating Ducts Has Been Removed Completely
The Environmental Protection Agency suggests having your home tested for mold after mold remediation has been completed and we think that is especially important after having mold removed from your heating ducts. You want to make sure no mold remains in the duct work because if even a little bit of mold remains, it can grow and spread throughout the home again. Make sure you find a professional mold tester that adheres to the standards established by professional organizations like the American Industrial Hygiene Association or the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists.
Note that you want to hire a professional mold tester who is not affiliated in any way with any company or professional performing mold remediation in your home or cleaning the heating ducts in your home. You want someone completely independent and objective.
Inspecting For Mold
Having your heating ducts cleaned may not be enough to ensure your home is free of potentially hazardous mold. Since mold spreads easily, especially through heating ducts, we recommend checking the rest of your home for mold. A professional mold tester can test the rest of your home or you can schedule a free inspection by a mold removal specialist. If any additional mold is found, the mold removal professional will provide a written estimate for the work and answer any questions you may have.
Different Types of Mold
The most common types of mold include aspergillus, cladosporium and stachybotrys atra (also known as black mold).
Aspergillus is a fairly allergenic mold that is commonly found on foods and in home air conditioning systems. Cladosporium is typically a black or green "pepper like" substance that grows on the back of toilets, painted surfaces and fiberglass air ducts. While this mold is nontoxic to humans, it can trigger common allergy symptoms, such as red and watery eyes, rashes and a sore throat.
Mold that appears to be orange or red in color is typically found outdoors, given its nature to thrive on decaying plants or moist wood. This type of mold, which can appear slimy, is harmless and should only be removed for aesthetic purposes.
Mold Vs Mildew
When it comes to mildew vs. mold, homeowners often have trouble identifying the differences between these two fungi. Knowing their different characteristics will help you when preparing for the battle against these household culprits.
Mold and mildew are both members of the fungi kingdom.
Mildew is common and will grow on damp materials like paper, leather and fabrics in addition to walls and other wet surfaces. Because of this, mildew is most commonly found in bathrooms, kitchens and basements. Mildew usually gives off a musty smell.
Unlike mildew, certain types of toxic molds can result in serious health problems for you and your family. Black mold can lead to serious respiratory complications.
Once mold is found in your home it is important that you make the call to SERVPRO to have the experts come and remove from your home.