Category: Home Inspection

Mold Inspection Checklist

HOW TO CLEAN MOLD GROWING IN YOUR HOME

Mold in or on windows:

If Mold has grown on windows, in most cases you can it on your own. However if the mold is growing on the window sill or window frame and is penetrating the surface further remediation will most likely be required.

What can I use to clean molds?

You will want to use soap and water, or a mold product often available in stores. If using a mold product, read the label, apply it for the right dwelling time (how long it needs to stay on the surface before cleaning),  clean the mold, wipe it down, bag the cloth /paper in a bag and seal it of (tie it up), then throw it away. Not it is also good to hepa vacuum and clean all surfaces. Also make sure you have lots of fresh air coming into the area you are cleaning.

It’s better to know how to prevent mold on windows:

  • Wipe down the condensation that is on and around your windows; further more prevent condensation in the first place: If you see condensation on your windows it is a good indication that your heat is too high compared to the temperature outside in the winter or your air conditioning is too high compared to the temperature outside in the summer. Thus causing your humidity levels to be too high in your house, when the heat in your house meets the cold window this causes condensation and vice versa in the summer. It may also be an indication that your windows were improperly installed or improperly insulated or caulked, allowing water to penetrate and build up between your windows and allowing cold spots where it is not insulated. This also may affect the drywall below your window. In this case, this is no longer situation that you can handle yourself and it is a good idea to call us, we will provide a free visible mold inspection and a free estimate.
  • Clean the dust that always finds a way to build up on your windows, sill and window frames. Dust is a food source for mold and if there isn’t a food source mold will not grow on a non-porous material (example: Glass). Mold grows behind the screen (net), in between the windows, the frames, and one of the reasons this occurs is the dust buildup, giving mold a viable food source and allowing it to continue to grow. It is a good idea to take apart your windows depending on the type you have and vacuum, wipe them clean with soap and water and dry them completely before reinstalling them. Also vacuum your window screens and spray them clean with soap and water and again allow your screens to fully dry before you reinstall them. This is a good chore to add to your spring cleaning list. If water is penetrating your windows it is a good indication your windows were not properly installed and if the same person installed all of your windows you may have similar problems below and around all of your windows.

Clean Molds from Dry wall:

In Most CASES it can not or should not been done alone, mold on drywall usually penetrates since it is a porous material, and therefore is notjust surface mold. Generally there is more than meets the eye if it is on the front of your drywall there is a good chance you will find more mold on the back of your drywall. Because of this by disturbing the mold on your drywall you are causing it to go into defence mode and it will release millions of spores into your air and may spread to other areas of your home. Just like when a maple tree is under stress it will drop thousands of keys as a defence mechanism to try and reproduce itself, it is the same when it comes to mold on your drywall.

Mold On ConreteClean mold from concrete:

If you can clean it – If your basement is not finished scrub all of the concrete with a steel brush and T.S.P and then wipe down entirely, you still need to disinfect and hepa vacuum. In a lot of cases when you see white on your concrete it is commonly mistaken for mold, but it is actually efflorescence. Efflorescence occurs when excess water meets concrete (calcination) and in most cases is a good indication that you have foundation or waterproofing issues or a leak coming from another source in your home. If the white areas continue horizontally around the perimeter of your basement it is most likely a foundation problem. If the white marks are coming down your wall then the source is coming from somewhere else. However there is white mold and without mould testing we can’t be certain if it is mould or not.

 

How is Mold Cleaned up Successful?

  • The mold contaminated area needs to be sealed off completely from the rest of your home or business.
  • The mold contaminated area needs to be put under negative pressure this is obtained with the use of Negative Air Machines (Air Scrubbers) with tubes sending filtered air directly outside, a Secondary Filter on a Window bringing Filtered air back in the mould contaminated space and Barricades sealing off all entry ways into the space and Sealing off any duct vents in the mold contaminated space.
  • Removal of Organic Porous Moldy Materials such as Clothing, Carpets, Ceiling Tiles, Drywall, Pressed Board and Upholstery in most cases can’t be cleaned effectively and must be disposed of. Semi Porous Moldy Materials such as Wood Studs may be able to be saved depending how affected the material is but the mold can’t just be cleaned, it must be completely removed, this is done by sanding or ice or soda blasting. Non-Porous Materials can be saved but must be completely disinfected. Moldy materials must be bagged In 6mm Poly and Sealed before removing from the contaminated area.
  • All surfaces in the entire area must be Hepa Vacuumed, then all surfaces must be disinfected and then Hepa vacuumed again.

 

What will determine the speed of mold growth?

  • Air flow
  • Humidity
  • Temperature (usually above 3 deg. C)
  • What organic material is actually wet (e.g. mold grows faster on dry wall than wood)

If mold is clearly visible then it is growing and will reproduce by releasing it’s spores that will settle in surrounding areas if allowed to aerate. Under perfect conditions mold colonies can grow at 1sq inch per day and cover surface areas of several square feet in less than a week.

Other common questions: can mold grow in the wintertime? If I can’t see mold, does it still grow?

Mold can grow safely in our refrigerator at temperatures below 4 deg. C, we’ve all witnessed this before. So the assumption that mold doesn’t grow in the winter time is certainly untrue. It is agreed in the wider scientific community that common household mold will not grow outdoors at -15 deg. C though temperatures rarely drop below 5 deg. C in the home, even in the coldest and darkest of basements.

 

Is there a difference between Mold and Mildew?

Mold and Mildew have many parallel features, but they are slightly different types of fungi, and are often different in color and texture. Mold and mildew can grow in many of the damp and warm locations. Often they are mentioned as one since they have the same effects. In many cases mildew is another word for Mold. The treatment required is same; the protocol to follow will be the same since both of them release spores that can affect our health. Mildew can grow nearly anywhere so treating it as soon as it is noticed is vital.

Mildew Removal can sometimes be cleaned up by yourself, but you should consult a certified company first!

 

A FEW FACTS ABOUT MOLD

  • Mold can be found almost anywhere; it can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are Moulds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods. Elevated Mould will be found indoors, the question is what type of Mould exists indoors and how much of it.
  • The source of the water problem or leak must be repaired to prevent mould growth.
  • Potential health effects and symptoms associated with Mould exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory problems. People bellow the age of 5 and above the age of 50 are in the higher risk category, as well people with weaker immune systems.
  • The term “Toxic Mold” refers to Molds that produce mycotoxins, such as Stachybotrys chartarum also known as “Black Mold”. This is the most dangerous type of mold and it should not be found within your living and working environment.

The Best Tips To Make Mold Remediation

Nearby Mold Removal in Your Area

What is The Mold Removal Process?

Please refer to the EPA for the full process. Here is the 9-step mold removal process you can expect:

  • Fix the issue that caused the flooding or the leak.
  • Section off or quarantine the mold damaged rooms. This could involve covering the doors and windows with plastic sheets.
  • Mist the damaged areas for dust to prevent it from going airborne during the next phases.
  • Remove and throw away all mold-covered materials in 6-mil plastic bags. There is a list with the EPA on what exact materials need to be removed for proper risk mitigation.
  • Clean all surfaces with a wire brush, disposable wipes and then a follow up with several applications of a bleach solution with rags and a mop.
  • All disposable wipes should be sealed in plastic bags. Throughout the process some of bags will need to be double wrapped. The bags can be thrown away into regular trash once sealed.
  • Clean the room with a HEPA vacuum.
  • Dry the area with a large industrial fan.
  • Double check for moisture or any remaining mold. The removed pieces of wall, window frames, etc. can now be rebuilt using fresh materials.

 

HOW TO CHOOSE A MOLD REMOVAL COMPANY

For example, mold is often the result of untreated water damage or leaks, or a secondary complication of the water that was required to put out a fire. Mold doesn’t just appear on its own. The conditions have to be right for mold to grow and are often the result of other property damage first.

Regardless of how or why the mold appears, it is important to have it removed, properly cleaned and remediated in order to restore a clean, safe, healthy environment for the property’s inhabitants.

In order to do this, if the area contaminated by the mold is larger than 3 feet by 3 feet, you will need to hire a professional mold removal company to eliminate the mold and remediate the area so no new mold colonies grow.

In this article, we will provide you with information on everything you need to know about mold, including how it grows and why it can be a health threat, as well as how to choose a mold removal company to help you restore your property.

 

Mold Remediation: Basics, Process, and Possible Scams

The Basics of Mold Within the Home

Mold is a familiar condition in many homes. Wetter areas of the country have moldier homes, and even homes in dry areas have certain rooms and spaces that are more prone to developing mold. Where there is moisture in a home, there is undoubtedly mold. The most familiar example of mold is the type that develops in the grout between ceramic tiles. A simple form of homeowner-driven mold remediation happens each time you spray that mold down with a bleach-based cleaner and wipe it off. More critical mold, either from a health or aesthetic standpoint, happens elsewhere.

Areas of the Home That Develop Mold

All places where water is found can develop mold. An excessive amount of humidity in a house can condense and cause mold. Ironically, newer homes can often experience more mold growth than older homes because they are more tightly insulated. Fiberglass insulation provides fertile ground for mold growth and makes it difficult to eradicate and remove.

The Process of Mold Remediation

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notes that any moldy areas less than 10 square feet (about 3 feet by 3 feet) can be remediated by the homeowner. Beyond that, you may want to talk to a mold remediation contractor. In most cases, it is better to have a mold remediation contractor do the work than a general contractor.

Not All Mold is Toxic Mold

According to the Centers for Disease Control: “While certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins (specifically mycotoxins), the molds themselves are not toxic, or poisonous.” And while it is possible for toxigenic molds to produce rare health conditions such as pulmonary hemorrhage or memory loss, this only rarely happens.

 

MOLD REMOVAL & HOW TO KILL MOLD

WHEN SHOULD YOU HIRE A PROFESSIONAL REMEDIATION COMPANY TO REMOVE MOLD?

If you read the section above, you know that I am a proponent of leaving mold remediation to the professionals. At the very least, get a consultation and see what they have to say. There are a LOT of companies out there so make sure you read reviews and ask them a lot of questions. If you aren’t comfortable with their responses, remediation plan, or pricing, then keep interviewing companies until you find one that is a good fit for your situation and budget. You don’t want to take too long to hire a company however. Time if of the essence with mold.

TYPES OF MOLD CLEANING PRODUCTS

Do an internet search for products that remove mold, mold cleaning products, or any variation of those two and you will get an endless list of products guaranteed to kill mold. Here’s the deal. You don’t want to clean mold. You don’t want to just kill mold. You want to remove mold and remediate the entire home and everything in it. Typically that means you need to remove whatever the mold is growing on be that a wall, flooring, window frame, etc… There are some instances where there is a little surface mold that can be “cleaned” but most mold events require some sort of removal process followed by remediation.

WHAT HOUSEHOLD ITEMS AND FURNITURE CAN BE CLEANED AND WHAT SHOULD YOU THROW AWAY?

Cleaning and saving items exposed to mold is a very touchy subject. The memories associated with various possessions are often more difficult to throw out than the item itself. In addition, financial limitation may make it seem impossible to get rid of many household items.

POROUS ITEMS THAT *MIGHT” BE SAFE

Porous items in general are able to absorb contaminates around them. Mold spores and mycotoxins can either take up permanent residence in these items OR use them as food. While this list of porous items has the potential to be properly cleaned and kept, there is a risk involved especially if anyone is experiencing health issues.

HAZARDOUS POROUS ITEMS

Unfortunately, there are a lot of items that are too hazardous and cannot be cleaned under any circumstance. They should not be given away or sold either. These items must be disposed of safely.

 

How to Find a Good Mold Remediation Company

Ensure Certification

When you are thinking about employing a mold removal company you should ensure that they are certified. Due to the attention of the media, consumers are extremely sensitive to mold growth and often panic at the first sight of it. Unscrupulous persons who prey on people’s fears have cropped up offering mold services. Before you accept a consultation or pay anyone, ensure that they are certified to remove mold.

Go with Experience

Experience in the field is also something that is important. You want to hire a company that has seen, tested and treated all types of mold growth. This knowledge and experience mean that you are more likely to get the job done right the first time. The last thing you want is for your time or your money to be wasted.

Equipment, Techniques, and Communication

In addition to using the latest techniques and equipment to remove mold any company you use should communicate with you effectively. You need to know the progress being made at all times so that you can have peace of mind. Choose a company that not only has the best removal techniques and equipment but also great communication skills.

Final Thoughts on Finding the Best Mold Remediation Company

Finding a good mold remediation company is a must when dealing with mold removal. Mold growth can get out of hand quickly and you need a company that can act fast and uses the right techniques.

Black Mold – Among the Most Dangerous Toxic Molds

Mold can be anywhere moist and humid. If not immediately gotten rid of, they could cause from mild up to life threatening health problems. This and many other reasons make mold removal an almost imperative step to maintain a safe and healthy home environment.

There are many sub-species under mold. This wide variety of molds makes home mold removal a crucial step as each variety can cause different negative health effects. Nonetheless, all must be eliminated.

One of the most hazardous of all molds is Stachybotrys atra. In generic, it is simple called as “black mold” because of its dark color. However, there are many other dark-colored molds that are not as dangerous as “black mold”.

This small similarity between molds produces confusion. As true “black molds” are greater threats, they require mold removal process that is of higher level and one that is sure to be effective. In order to apply the home mold removal process that is appropriate, true “black mold” must first be spotted from the rest, then come after the steps of how to get rid of it.

Why black molds are toxic?

Toxic black molds, Stachybotrys or black mold, whatever you call them, produce mycotoxins during metabolism. Mycotoxins are found on the substance they grow on, in airborne hyphal parts and in mold spores. Mycotoxins make black molds more dangerous for human beings. When they grow inside homes or business premises, the risk of exposure to black molds increase many times. One needs to use black mold cleaner to kill toxic molds.

Different species of molds produce mycotoxins of varied severity. The amount produced and the level of toxicity also may depend on the present conditions of life. When all the conditions – moisture, food source, air and temperature, are right, higher amount of mycotoxins are produced which make the situation worse.

Different species of fungus produce different types of toxins; needless to mention that not all the toxins affect human system in the same way. Mold sampling is often done to find out the type of mold contamination. Once you know the species of molds, you can figure out what type of health concerns does it associate with.

Mycotoxins – black mold health effects:

  • Weaker immune system
  • Allergy, irritation of eyes, throat and skin
  • Sickness, diarrhea and even death

Some forms of mycotoxins have higher impact on pets than on humans. Indoor toxic black mold growth can be lethal. Black molds should always be removed with black mold killer.

Removal Of Black Mold

If mold is discovered in a home it should be removed only by a professional black mold in Charleston, SC with the proper equipment and protection from the fungus. Only a professional can ensure that the mold is not only removed properly from the home but also responsibly disposed of in the aftermath. However, even with the assistance of a professional, mold can be difficult to defeat.

It is possible that the fungus might never be permanently eliminated from a structure with recurrence a strong possibility. Some structures may need to be torn down completely to avoid recurrence of the toxic mold. Only a professional can make these determinations.

Black toxic mold is something that is very serious, and you do not want to mess with.