Recent Mold Remediation Posts

5 Common Questions About Mold

9/12/2022 (Permalink)

Moldy carpet Take hold of the mold BEFORE it gets a foothold!

Protect Your Home From Mold Damage

Mold is an extremely common residential issue that many homeowners have to tackle at some point. Putting a stop to spreading mold is a big part of the remediation process, but even that is only the beginning. Read on to learn how to better protect your home from mold damage.

  1. What Is Mold?
    Mold is a living organism. Many people mistake it for a plant or bacteria, but it's actually a member of the fungus kingdom.
  2. How Does Mold Spread?
    Mold spores are always present in the air around us. Mold itself needs moisture and a source of organic matter in order to actually grow.  Mold growth occurs when the spores in the air attach to a damp surface or object. After that, it only takes about 24 hours for signs of black mold to appear.
  3. How Can You Stop Mold from Spreading?
    The first step to putting a stop to spreading mold is to identify the source of the problem. Perform a thorough home inspection to figure out where the moisture is seeping into your home, then resolve the issue.
  4. What Are Some Common Mold Causes?
    Any number of factors could contribute to your home's mold growth. Water damage, such as leaks or flooding, are common cause. Mold growth is not strictly a water damage problem. It can also grow in unvented bathrooms, around leaky pipes and underneath sinks with damaged seals. You're also likely to find mold growing in your walls, ceilings or window sills if your home's humidity levels are too high. Where there is water there will be mold!
  5. How Do You Get Rid of Mold?
    You can tackle smaller mold issues on your own using a non-toxic, homemade cleaning solution. A simple mixture that consists of equal parts water and white vinegar can work wonders. Mold is air borne so do not spray it, you need to wipe it down. Larger problems might require mold remediation experts, like SERVPRO of Clarion Jefferson and Forest Counties.

Spreading mold can quickly take over your home if you don't handle the issue swiftly and effectively. Contact SERVPRO experts at 814 849-5653 for assistance with your residential mold issues.

Mold Removal in Three Easy Steps

11/29/2021 (Permalink)

Moldy walls and carpeting When people clean up their own water damage but don't fully resolve the issue, mold will grow. Call SERVPRO!

How Rid Your Home of Musty Mold Odors

Enjoying all the comforts of your home can be difficult when it has a bad odor. These smells may have a variety of sources, but one of the most common is mold. All of the different types of mold release a substance called mycotoxin, which causes an unpleasant odor. However, there are several actions you can take to trace this smell to its source and eradicate it so your home smells fresh and clean once more.

1. Use an Air Filtration System

An air filtration system with a certified HEPA filter can remove mold spores from the air and reduce the musty odor that mold creates. Before you buy a filter, it may be wise to review several different brands and ensure that the filter is designed to handle mold, as some only remove dust, pollen and animal dander. Using a filter can help clear the air as you search for the source of the mold.

2. Call In Mold Specialists

If you cannot find the source of the mold odor on your own, you might want to call in a mold remediation and removal company like SERVPRO of Clarion Jefferson and Forest Counties to assist you. The technicians usually have special equipment on hand to trace the mycotoxin odor to its source, whether it is behind a wall or in your attic. No matter what is causing the mold to grow, these specialists can remove it safely and ensure that the conditions in your home will not encourage it to grow again.

3. Invest in Deodorizing Services

Once the techs remove the mold, the smell may linger. This can be especially true if bad weather is preventing you from opening your windows. However, your mold remediation service can neutralize these odors with ozone machines and other tools and completely erase this offensive odor for good.

When mold invades your home, the smell it brings with it can be troublesome and unpleasant. Knowing how to banish mycotoxin odors and their cause can help you and your family breathe easy once again. 

Call the experts at SERVPRO of Clarion Jefferson and Forest Counties at 814 849-5653 our phones answer 24/7 to make it "Like it never even happened."

Is There Mold In My Attic

9/14/2021 (Permalink)

Moldy Wall Mold can just creep up on YOU!

Is there Mold in My Attic?

When was the last time you ventured into your attic? Probably has been a while.  Attics typically remain empty spaces that are often forgotten about until a roof leak occurs.

Since attics are often “out of sight, out of mind” they easily become a hotbed for mold. Believe it or not, attics are one of the most common places for mold growth in a home.

This is because attics have the perfect conditions for mold growth. Moisture, heat and humidity are mold’s best friends.

WHAT CAUSES ATTIC MOLD?

Mold grows in attics due to four main reasons.

  1. Warmer temperatures
  2. High humidity, condensation, or major water intrusion from a roof leak
  3. Improper ventilation, no ventilation, or blocked vents
  4. Lots of food (insulation, wood, dust, stored household items)

SIGNS YOU HAVE MOLD IN THE ATTIC

In no particular order, here are 8 common signs of attic mold.

  1. Water stains on your ceiling. This could be from a new or old leak but any water staining should be investigated.
  2. Water dripping from smoke detectors, light fixtures, bathroom exhaust fans, and ceiling fans. This is a sure sign that the attic has a level of moisture that needs to be addressed. 
  3. Wet insulation in the attic. Attic mold loves wet insulation. In fact, it often times only takes 12 hours for certain types of insulation to start growing mold. This is why mold resistant insulation is so important in an attic.
  4. Dark black staining on wood surfaces in the attic.  Wood can change color a bit as it ages but aging wood in the attic doesn’t develop dark patches here and there. If you see dark brown or black areas on the wood, chances are you have mold in the attic.  
  5. Attic feels very hot or stuffy. When attics are properly ventilated, they should have the feel of a gentle (but warmish) breeze. When an attic is stuffy, that indicates you have a ventilation problem.
  6. A musty smell in the attic.  Mold can smell like a lot of things but an attic with mold will always have a pretty musty odor.
  7. Frost buildup on the underside of the roof sheathing in winter. When it’s cold enough outside, water vapor in an attic can freeze on the underside of your roof. 

IS ATTIC MOLD DANGEROUS?

Yes. In fact, attic mold can be more dangerous than other molds because it goes unnoticed for so long. This allows it to penetrate into walls, the HVAC system, ductwork, and more. By the time most people realize they have a mold problem in the attic, their entire house is compromised with high levels of air born mold.

HOW DO YOU PREVENT ATTIC MOLD?

Inspect your attic four times per year. This is the best way to ensure that a leak doesn’t go unnoticed for too long and that everything else is in good repair in the attic. Things to look for include:

  • Discoloration of insulation and wood (e.g. rafters, sheathing, joists, attic side of fascia boards, etc.).
  • Wet areas in roof valleys (where two roofs join at an angle), which are highly susceptible to roof leaks.
  • Raised shingles. When shingles become brittle and dry they are subject to nails pushing the shingles upward and exposing the interior joists and other structures of the interior roof. 
  • Skylights, chimneys, attic windows and any portion of the attic/roof where dissimilar materials join each other (including flashings). These places are hotbeds for potential moisture intrusion.
  • Condensation underneath a vapor barrier if one is installed.
  • Leaks coming from and around attic plumbing stacks.
  • Soffit vents.  Make sure they are free of insulation, bird nests, and other debris that could be blocking them and preventing proper air flow.
  • Discolored insulation. This is a sign of leaking air as insulation acts as a filter, becoming discolored in areas of air infiltration.  Leaking areas can typically be caulked from within the attic to prevent warm, moist interior air from entering the (cold) attic where it may condense and create elevated moisture conditions conducive to mold growth.
  • Dryer exhaust vents, kitchen exhaust fans and bathroom exhaust fans are designed to pump moisture out of your home. Make sure that they are vented to the outside of your home and not in the attic.
  • Plumbing stacks in the attic can be a source of condensation, which can lead to attic mold growth.

Each appliance and vent should have its own dedicated port to transport the hot air outside. However, because dryer vents require periodic cleaning, you’ll want to be able to easily access the inside of the pipe to remove any lint build up, therefore, your dryer vent should have a removable section of pipe in the attic area.

  • Don’t over-insulate. Sounds weird but attics are weird. Adding too much insulation will make mold growth more likely. Why? Your roof needs a certain amount of heat to reach it so it can dry out moisture in the air. Over insulated cold attic + wet winter air = mold growth.
  • Make sure insulation is properly installed. Insulation should prevent warmer air from penetrating into the colder attic, which will cause condensation and moisture build up. Check that there is insulation:

    • On and surrounding your access panel (the pull-down stairs or utility hole you use to enter the attic)
    • Surrounding your skylight chases
    • On the attic floor or if you have finished attic floors, between your attic floor and living quarter’s ceiling.
    • In any empty wall spaces between the attic and other parts of the house (crawl space, open chases, etc.)
    • Heating ducts – insulate their surface to help your heating and air conditioning system perform more efficiently. Besides wasting expensive energy, heat released from the air ducts surface might condensate on the roof decking surface and cause mold growth.

    Furnaces and water heaters installed in attic areas should be contained inside a separate and insulated room – code requirement in some jurisdictions. Have both these items inspected twice a year and serviced if there is an issue.

    Install an attic vent fan.  This is extra insurance against potential future elevated moisture conditions because the fan will turn on when/if elevated moisture conditions present.

    Do not install a vapor barrier on top of insulation. Moisture in the attic cannot pass through the insulation and out the vents. Instead it gets trapped by the vapor barrier allowing mold to grow in the insulation.

    Use externally baffled ridge venting. Externally baffled ventilation relies on barriers on the outside to prevent water intrusion.  This allows for much larger openings in the actual ventilation portion of the ridge vent.  These ridge vents also sit significantly taller than a typical internally baffled model.  This also allows for great air flow.

    Prevent ice dams. Ice Dams occur when water can’t drain properly from the roof, freezes, and backs up into the home through the attic. The stagnant water causes attic mold growth. Clean your gutters regularly. As you’re cleaning the gutters, look for leaks and misaligned pipes and make sure the downspouts carry water at least 10 feet away from the house’s foundation.

    Don’t used your attic as storage. The less there is in your attic, the better.

    HELP! I HAVE MOLD IN MY ATTIC! HOW DO I REMOVE IT?

    YOU don’t. Attics are dangerous and structurally difficult to deal with. You are working in a small space with very little ventilation which makes breathing quite difficult when you are wearing a respirator.

    This is NOT a DIY job. Professional mold remediation is prudent when it comes to attic mold.

    As you can see, attic mold is not only difficult to deal with once you have it but it also requires a lot of special preventative measures. However, it is 100% worth the effort as attic mold can have devastating consequences both on a building structure as well as your health.

    SERVPRO of Clarion Jefferson and Forest Counties is your local Mold Remediation specialist and we will make it "Like it never even happened."   

A Brief Guide To Mold Containment

7/6/2021 (Permalink)

Residential mold containment Mold hides EVERYWHERE!

Microscopic mold spores occur naturally almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors.

It is 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.

Reasons To Contain Mold 

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.

How To Contain Mold
Proximity to mold requires extensive protective gear. Wearing rubber gloves, respirators with built-in HEPA filters, and goggles can help avoid exposure to mold contamination. Disposable full-body protective suits are also recommended.

Identify the source of the mold and fix it. For instance, if the cause is a leaky pipe, shut off your water supply and contact a plumber.

Isolate the contaminated area. Always close doors leading to rooms where mold exists. Place warning signs to prevent accidental entry. Keep indoor-facing windows closed. Use polyethylene sheeting to cover doorways and other openings. Duct tape can be used to seal your sheeting in place.

Remove everything from the room, including rugs. This will prevent mold from attaching itself to more items that people may touch. Have these things professionally cleaned. Throw them away if they prove to be unsalvageable.

Spray a dust suppressant to prevent particles from floating around. The drier the room, the longer your dust suppressant solution will work. Consider using one that is biodegradable.

Prepare the room for professional remediation by wiping every surface with a cloth and a mold-killing detergent. Floors can be mopped with the same solution. Discard the materials you're wiping with after use. Visually inspect the area and, if you detect dust or dirt, continue cleaning.

Containing mold is an essential preliminary step before mold remediation. Follow these guidelines to limit mold contamination and prevent further destruction.

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 – 814 849-5653

How to Identify and Get Rid of Mold in Crawlspaces

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

Mold is yucky Having mold take over your house can be dangerous

Identifying Crawlspace Mold

Mold may exist in the hollow area underneath your home’s ground and first floor if:

  • Insulation becomes missing or starts sagging.
  • Water stains surrounding baseboards appear.
  • Wood becomes discolored.
  • You detect increased animal activity.
  • Cool air is coming through your flooring.
  • Your house rests on an elevated water table.

Mold commonly breeds in these narrow spaces because such locations possess ideal conditions for growth – oxygen, darkness, moisture and warm temperatures. Use an expert in mold remediation to eradicate the issue as quickly as possible before the mold damage escalates and transforms into a far more serious problem.

Eliminating Crawlspace Mold Using Soda Blasting
One method for ridding your residence of this nuisance is soda blasting. Through the use of sodium bicarbonate particles, this high-pressure abrasive spray is ideal for accessing the myriad nooks and crannies that mold so easily infests. Perfect for use on wooden structures, it’s approximately four times faster than scraping and scrubbing.
Once the affected area has been treated, the final stage is vacuuming and wiping down all relevant areas, assuring every hazardous spore has been thoroughly removed. If you are environmentally conscious, you will love soda blasting, as it does not use any chemicals. As an added bonus, it also deodorizes while it cleans.
Alternatively, dry ice and surface blasting are worth investigating. Encapsulation is another tantalizing option, as it permanently prevents the headache from ever returning. Take care, however, that the right vapor barrier is used.
When mold invades your crawlspace it is a perilous scenario. There are multiple ways to handle the dilemma, but soda blasting is one of the best. Whatever you choose, consult a professional before making such a critical selection.

If you think you see Mold - Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

Mold on wall, cheese and penicillin Call the SERVPRO Green Team to get it Clean

Microscopic mold spores occur naturally. Over 100,000 types of fungi have been identified. Some types of fungi are very useful.  They are used to bake our breads and to ferment alcoholic beverages.  The unique flavor of Blue Cheese and Gorgonzola Cheese is the result of mold; and lifesaving penicillin is also the product of mold.

Although some forms add value to our lives, other forms of mold can cause health effects, especially with infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with asthma, allergies, and weakened immune systems.

Some companies advertise “Mold Removal” and even go as far as to guarantee that they will remove all mold.  This is a misconception, as it is impossible to remove all molds from a home or business.  SERVPRO of Clarion Jefferson and Forest Counties offers Mold Remediation, which reduces the mold spore count back to its “natural” or “baseline level”.

Indoor Air Quality/Environmental Professionals will come into your home and evaluate the quality of the air inside a structure.  Using various testing devices and equipment, these professionals collect air and surface samples to compare the indoor mold spore count to the outdoor environment.  

If You Think You See Mold, Call Us Today (814) 849-5653  Our trained professionals will inspect your home or business, and create a scope of work to remediate the mold from the structure.    

SERVPRO is Here To Help!

The Potential Dangers of Removing Mold Yourself

7/17/2020 (Permalink)

With the re-emergence in DIY home care and repairs, in part due to stay at home orders in many areas, a lot of home owners everywhere decided to pick up their hammers as they attempt to tackle home repairs. While the feeling of a hard day’s work spent getting a bit dirty fixing your own home does have an allure to it, the truth is many home owners bite off a little more than they can chew when it comes to removing mold. While putting aside the accidents and potential hospital visits that occur while taking on a project outside the limits of your experience, sometimes some repairs are best left to MOLD removal professionals.

Unlike painting a room, fixing a broken garbage disposal, or even replacing a broken window, some repairs come with inherent dangers that most home owners are unaware even exist. In addition to unsuccessful attempts at removing mold it can quickly become hazardous to their own health. Adding to the potential risk, improperly and inadequately removing mold could cause larger amounts of spores, naked to the eye, to circulate into your home. Though undetectable to the naked eye, the microscopic spores can potentially grow into new sources of infestation, starting the cycle of removal all over again. The dangers present with mold infestations are one of those repairs when it is best to put down the sponge and pick up the phone.

Mold removal professionals bring the right tools and years of mold remediation experience to help you reclaim your home.

With the potential for harm quite high even with the use of personal protective gear, it is often safer and more effective to allow the Mold professionals at SERVPRO of Clarion Jefferson and Forest Counties 814 849-5653 who are specifically trained to remove mold to address the situation.

It is important not only for your safety but that of your family, that you call SERVPRO of Clarion Jefferson and Forest Counties 814 849-5653 if you suspect mold has begun to infest your home. Your family’s health is worth the phone call

What you should know about mold....

9/12/2019 (Permalink)

Mold is a natural organism that can grow anywhere in the environment where moisture is present. Any source of water can make your home or business susceptible to mold growth, and can be damaging to your home and to your health if it is not dealt with quickly and properly. You do not even have to have significant water damage or flooding in your home or business in order for mold to begin to grow, so it is important to be aware of the most common places where mold is found.

Where mold might be growing...

- Basements or cellars where humidity is high

- Basements or cellars where water damage has previously occurred

- Behind or underneath refrigerators

- Around plumbing or pipes

- Around air conditioning units

- Around the base of toilets or showers

- Underneath sinks

- Around or underneath windows that leak

- Around cardboard boxes or papers that are kept in damp or dark places

What to look for...

- Presence of visible mold

- Strong musty odors

- Evidence of past moisture problems (dark water stains, etc.)

- Excessive moisture or humidity in a space

What to do if you find it...

If any of items listed above are present in your home or business, technicians from SERVPRO of Clarion, Jefferson & Forest Counties can be on site within a few hours to evaluate the situation.   If mold is present, we have the expertise and equipment to remove it and restore your property. 

Call 814 849-5653

Does Your Home Have A Mold Problem?

12/14/2018 (Permalink)

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 – 814 849-5653