Mold Remediation

 

If you are reading this, I’m guessing you have found mold somewhere in your home.  Maybe you’re trying to find out if you should be concerned that you found it.

 

Finding mold in your home is definitely something that needs to be addressed.  Left unchecked, mold will continue to grow, eventually crumbling the structure it attached itself to.  

 

Um…What?!

 

Yep, mold is a lot more invasive than some people give it credit for.  While it generally takes some time before mold eats through the materials in our home, most people don’t think about this characteristic of mold.  But mold is literally eating your house.  Think about that.  

 

Maybe the example of moldy food can help us better understand.  When it comes to food it makes sense to us because we see it happen. We see it in science videos or even our own forgotten leftovers in the back of the refrigerator.  The moldy apple slowly disintegrates until there is nothing left.  Well, that same thing is happening to the wood, drywall, etc that the mold has attached itself to in your home.  Scary, right?  And just like moldy food, the longer it sits the more it’s eating away, so it’s a good idea to get a certified company out to do a mold inspection and work with you to make a plan of attack as soon as possible.

 

Restoration companies that specialize in mold remediation have gone through the training, learned through years of experience and now understand the best techniques to kill those nasty mold spores.  

 

Your safety should be the number one priority of a reputable restoration company.  Killing mold spores requires some pretty harsh chemicals.  The technicians doing the work will be in full body chemical resistant suits, gloves, full respirator face masks, etc.  We don’t take the safety of employees lightly.  You can be sure that the safety of your family and pets is equally as important.  To make certain your health and safety are prioritized, you will likely be asked to leave the premises where the mold was found, for a period of time after the technicians have been able to remove and kill the mold.  This will allow the chemical the time to dissipate and allow your family to return knowing that it is safe to do so.

 

Mold inspection

 

Maybe you have found some marks on your wall or baseboard that you believe could be mold, but you’d like to have a second opinion. Or maybe you know you have mold, but you need help to find the source of the problem.  A lot of times you can smell the mold before you can see it. Calling a restoration company that you trust to do a mold inspection can help you have some peace of mind.  Each company will do things a bit differently, however, you can expect to pay a nominal fee for a technician to come out and diagnose the problem.  Many of these companies are willing to waive this fee when you are ready to treat any mold found in your home.  It’s well worth the investment to ensure the safety of your home and family.

 

Finding Mold

 

Mold can be found anywhere that moisture exists in our homes.  It doesn’t have to be caused by a water leak, it can simply be caused by too much humidity in an area.  Below are some of the common areas we treat for mold:

 

  • Mold in attics.  The heat mixed with water coming in from a leak small or large can cause mold spores to grow rapidly.  
  • Mold in your shower.  We all love a nice hot shower or soak in the tub.  However, without adequate ventilation a shower or bath can be a recipe for mold growth.  It’s important to be able to push all of the humidity created in this situation outdoors.  You do this by either cracking open a window, or install a fan that will direct to humid air outside.
  • Mold in crawlspace.  The crawlspace of our home can get water down in it whether from an outside water source, such as your sprinklers, or a leak trickling down from up above it.  Once water gets trapped down there it creates a moist environment.  Which is a perfect environment for mold spores.  Unfortunately, not a lot of homeowners want to get into their crawlspace to check for water which can mean this moisture is trapped for a long time, without anyone being aware it even exists.  Providing mold a perfect breeding ground.  
  • Mold under sinks.  Water leaks are common undersinks which in turn makes it a common place to find mold in your home.  

 

This is not an exhaustive list.  Not by a long shot.  But, it is a few of the most common locations that mold is found in your home.  It may give you some ideas of where you can look in your home to check if your home is safe from this invasive organism.

 

Mold removal process

 

I have identified that I have mold in my home, now what?  Well, I’m going to assume here that a mold technician has already done the initial mold inspection and you have agreed for them to begin the work.  Here is what you can expect:  A certified mold technician will come at an agreed upon time to your home.  Depending on the severity of the mold and the area being affected by the mold, you, your family, and any pets may be asked to leave the premises for a period of time.  This will be communicated to you well before the job even begins. 

 

A mold Restoration company will want to make sure the mold spores are not going to continue to spread to other areas of your home. So the first step may be to set up a containment area to control the spread of mold spores to other areas of the home.  It is also common practice to set up a hepa fan to scrub the air and send any possible missed spore outside.  To ensure the proper removal of mold a technician will be using strong enough chemicals to kill the visible mold and mold spores that a common bleach solution won’t normally kill.  As previously mentioned, we will be in full hazmat suits and full face mask respirators for safety from the mold and chemicals.  A technician will determine if physical abrasion is needed due to the mold penetrating the surface deeply enough of the material it is on.  Next, proper disposal of mold spores will help to make sure all of the mold will be removed from your home.  A trusted restoration company will also seal the mold contaminated areas afterwards and depending on the surface, there are different sealers used.  You can expect to have a lingering smell for a few days depending on the airflow of the affected area.  The mold removal process is rather involved, and varies depending on individual conditions.  Understanding how to remove mold is something that comes with training and experience.  A restoration company that specializes in mold remediation will understand the process needed with the mold in your home.

 

So what does it cost to remove mold?

 

It is understandable to want to know what it costs to remove mold in your home.  The answer is a bit harder to unravel.  It’s like asking your contractor how much he can build you a house for.  He would likely ask you in turn…well how big is this house?  What materials will be used? And so on.  Mold removal works in much the same way.  We really need to come to your home and inspect the visible mold in order to know how much product, equipment, tools, and manpower will be necessary to do the job right. 

 

To give you an idea. A small mold job will be as little as a few hundred dollars, while a large amount of mold will run you tens of thousands of dollars.  However, our idea of a large amount of mold may differ from yours.  So rather than worrying about the cost, give a restoration company a call and they can give you a correct bid.  Having this information can allow you to make a decision that is right for your family.  There are hazards involved in mold removal.  The methods and products used to kill and remove mold require our technicians to take extra precautions and added equipment to protect their health and safety and even yours.  The mold itself also provides a health risk.  The cost to remove the mold invading your home will reflect the necessary precautions taken to ensure the health of everyone involved.  This especially includes the health of your family and pets.  We will be setting up any needed containment areas and running air scrubbers to purify the air you breathe.  

 

Most homeowners don’t worry about the cost of mold and think that they have mold coverage because they have an insurance policy.  Well that might not be the case for you.  Mold coverage is an additional coverage that you need to request when signing up for your homeowners insurance, but it can also be added afterwards.  Most insurance policies read that they will cover mold “IF” it is part of one of the “named perils” on the insurance policy.  But that is not always the case either, it will depend on how your insurance policy adjuster views and determines the coverage.  I always tell people it’s worth the extra few dollars a month to have mold coverage added to the policy to save them from having to pay out thousands of dollars if something does happen. 

 

What causes mold?

Mold is not unlike us as people, it needs food, water and air to grow.  Now that being said, it does grow quicker under certain circumstances.  What most people don’t know is that there are mold spores in the air outside and yes inside every day.  But if you can control the moisture in your home you can control mold.  Mold does especially well in damp, humid, and wet conditions, such as water leaks, floods, condensation, and high humidity are all prime areas that mold will thrive in.  That is why if you have had a flood or a leaking pipe in your home you need to call a mold or water restoration company as quickly as possible to dry the structure out properly before mold has time to grow.  Those long hot showers and not having an adequate ceiling fan to remove the humidity is also a large culprit for mold to form.  According to FEMA mold growth or colonies can grow in as little as 24 hours which isn’t that long. They reproduce through spores which spread through the air with the slightest of breezes, even just as simple as walking by it.  Spores are attracted to wet and or cold organic surfaces and start to eat the organic surface, sometimes to the point of destroying that material and compromising structural integrity.  Hot water lines or hot water heater leaks seem to produce mold more quickly.  Not only are you introducing water to the area, but the higher temperature of the water creates humidity faster and mold seems to take hold a lot quicker with more growth criteria met.  The hard part is that mold can be growing behind a wall, curtains, dressers where you can smell it but can’t see it.  Those would all be good areas to check during spring cleaning to ensure you don’t have a hidden pocket of mold in your home.  

 

How can I prevent mold from coming back?

 

Water, water, water!  If you want to prevent mold from coming back or from forming in the first place you need to be on top of keeping water out of your home.  Whether that be checking for leaks in pipes under your sinks, sprinkler lines, teaching the kids to turn off the outside spigots after running through the sprinklers or controlling the humidity levels in your home, the key will always be water control.  In areas with high levels of humidity I recommend having a whole home dehumidifier installed.  It can be installed inline with your HVAC equipment and it will help control the levels of humidity in your home.  There are also portable stand alone units that you can purchase but would need to pipe the excess water into a drain.  Also another good thing to do is to check the plumbing in exposed areas two times a year.  So under sinks, the washing machine lines, hoses and pipes front the hot water heater etc..  Check for leaks and if they are leaking dry them up quickly and replace the broken parts.  One thing that is overlooked is sinks themselves.  Most sinks that are inset or underset have a silicone or caulk sealant around them, those sealants don’t last forever like we would like them to and water will start to penetrate under and around them and create the perfect breeding ground for mold and water damage..  Check those areas and reseal them as needed but at least every other year.

 

If you experience water in your home, getting a restoration company to properly dry out the water damaged area is the best way to prevent mold from ever forming

 

Will mold affect my health?

 

That is a complicated question to answer.  The short answer is yes it can, but to what extent still hasn’t been adequately studied.  According to heathline and FEMA the following are some common symptoms of mold sickness:  sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose, skin rash, Itching watery eyes, Asthma, chest tightness,  Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome.  Those are some of the most common symptoms of mold being found in your surrounding areas.  Now there are some other more rare but very harmful sicknesses that can happen also, such as the following. Mold spores can colonize (grow) inside lung cavities that developed as a result of chronic diseases, such tuberculosis, emphysema, or advanced sarcoidosis. The fibers of fungus might form a lump by combining with white blood cells and blood clots.  One thing to remember is that these same symptoms can also be apparent in our furry friends too.  That is why it is important to professionally treat all mold and rid it from your home. 

 

Who do I call to cleanup mold?

 

Cleaning up black mold can be done by a restoration company that specializes in mold cleanup.  It’s important when choosing a company that you choose one that is certified in mold removal.  This means they have gone through the necessary training to understand and implement the correct procedures to properly remove the mold in your home.  It is important with anything we do to have the knowledge to do it right.  By becoming certified and through the knowledge they’ve gained in on the job training, helps you to know they value a job done right.  Be sure to ask a few questions about their procedures. It is important you go with a company that is going to remove the mold, not cover it up.  Painting overtop, is not a satisfactory solution.  It does not cleanup the mold left behind and it can continue to grow beneath that layer of paint.  Another common issue is the mold bleeding through the paint.  The dark spots can simply come to the surface over time causing an unsightly issue. A paintable primer such as killz mold and mildew or shellac are, however, an approved sealant but should be applied after the mold has been killed and appropriately taken care of.