Recent Mold Remediation Posts

Mold After a Hurricane

10/7/2018 (Permalink)

Many SERVPRO crews flocked to North Carolina following Hurricane Florence to assist with the cleanup, including our own SERVPRO of Park Cities professionals. Getting back to “normal” is a long process, especially for those who had their homes destroyed by flood waters. Unfortunately, this lengthy cleanup is often exacerbated by mold.

Mold requires a warm, moist environment to grow. The flood waters produced by hurricanes along with the high temperatures of hurricane season (June-November) provide the perfect climate for mold. Hurricane Florence produced an unprecedented amount of rainfall – damaging hundreds of thousands of homes. On top of dealing with water damage these home owners may also have to be concerned about hazardous mold growth.

If you ever experience a flood in your home, there are some steps you can take to protect both yourself and your home from mold.

  • Protect your mouth and nose with a N-95 respirator.
  • Wear gloves to tear out any drywall.
  • Use eye protection.
  • Open as many doors and windows as possible to encourage air flow before SERVPRO professionals can get to the scene.
  • Do not paint or caulk over any visible mold, it only hides the issue from view.
  • Throw away any items that cannot be saved.

The key to preventing mold from growing in your home is removing the moisture. SERVPRO crews will work as fast as possible to begin the drying process, and are prepared to handle any mold that may arise. If you experience a water damage in your house call SERVPRO of Park Cities anytime at 214-522-3000.

Preventing Mold - Controlling Humidity, Temperature, and Ventilation

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

The key to preventing and stopping indoor mold growth is to control excessive moisture and condensation. Keeping susceptible areas in the home clean and dry is critical. In general, mold will not grow indoors without water, dampness or excessive moisture.

Three main factors contribute to condensation of water on building surfaces:

  • Relative Humidity: Condensation occurs when the air is saturated with water and it cannot hold any more moisture. For example, steam generated from bathroom showers or from cooking can fill up the air with moisture, which will then condense into drops of water on cooler surfaces, such as mirrors and windows. Where possible, localized sources of humidity, such as clothes dryers, should be directly vented to the outdoors. To lower indoor humidity during warm, humid weather, air conditioners should be used.
  • Temperature: Warm air holds more moisture than cold air. Condensation occurs when warm humid air comes into contact with a cold surface and the moisture condenses into water. This can often be seen on single-pane windows, where water condenses and then runs down, causing the wood frames and sills to rot and the wall under the windows to blister.
  • Poor Ventilation: Indoor humidity can build up if there is not enough ventilation and exchange of indoor and outdoor air. Where there is little or no air movement, such as behind dressers and cabinets, surfaces can remain cooler than surrounding areas, which can lead to increased condensation and mold growth. It is recommended that the area is ventilated and the occupants use exhaust fans (vented to the outdoors) to remove moisture from high-humidity areas, particularly in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry areas. Furniture should be moved slightly away from walls so that air can freely pass behind it. Air should be allowed to circulate between rooms and regularly ventilate to remove humid air. Fans should be used as needed.

Other things that can be done are to clean and repair gutters regularly, make sure the ground slopes down and away from the home’s foundation and keep air conditioner drip pans and drain lines clean. In addition, in air conditioned buildings in hot and humid climates, vinyl wall coverings on the interior sides of exterior walls should not be used, as these materials can trap moisture, resulting in mold growth underneath them.

In the case of floods or leaking pipes, any standing water should be promptly removed and water-damaged materials should either be dried out and cleaned, or removed and replaced. Porous materials that are wet for more than 48 hours are likely to produce mold growth and should be discarded. In instances where the water damage is extensive, it is recommended that you call SERVPRO of Park Cities at 214-733-3193, so that we may assist you in preventing growth after a water damage, or remove the mold if it is already an issue.

Preventing Mold in Your Bathroom

11/6/2017 (Permalink)

Mold growing in a shower.

Mold in bathrooms is a common problem in almost every home. Darkness combined with excessive moisture provides the perfect conditions for consistent mold growth. Constantly cleaning and re-caulking, to keep a growth problem under control, can be time consuming and expensive. The best defense against mold is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Here are a few tricks to help you stop mold growth in your bathroom:

  • Run the ventilation fan while you are showering, and leave it on for 15 minutes after. If you don’t have a fan open a window or use a dehumidifier.
  • Use a squeegee after a bath or shower to remove some of the excess moisture. Instead of a squeegee, a small towel can be used to dry any accumulated water.
  • Try to avoid keeping a lot of things inside of the bath/shower. They can hide mold growth as well as collecting water to promote it. Children’s toys are particularly notorious for growing mold, so be sure to dry them as much as possible and clean them regularly.
  • Fix leaky faucets and shower heads.
  • Use a shower curtain that can be put in the washing machine. There are also many mold-resistant liners available.
  • Clean out the shower and wash bathroom rugs regularly.
  • Check for any other signs of mold in the bathroom under the sink, behind the toilet, etc.

If you are consistently experiencing mold in your bathroom, regardless of how often you clean, then you may have a larger, hidden growth problem. Call SERVPRO of Park Cities at 214-522-3000, and one of our mold experts will be at your house quickly to assess the issue.

Mold Myths and Facts

10/24/2017 (Permalink)

Mold containment chamber.

There is a lot of information about mold out there, but how much of it is true? No one wants to deal with this issue, but it is important to know which are the correct steps, and which are wrong, if it becomes a problem in your home. There are many mold myths that could lead to the spreading of growth if they are followed. To ensure you know fact from fiction, we have outlined some of the most well-known myths as well as the facts. 

Bleach Kills Mold

Bleach is a not good option for killing mold. It is effective if the growth is on a hard, solid surface, such as tile or glass, but it will not work when the surface is porous. Unfortunately, many growths occur on these materials, like drywall and wood, in our homes. Bleach does not soak into porous materials, which means it can’t reach the growth spread out through the pores, it only kills the surface. The outer surface of the affected area will appear clean, as the bleach will have whitened any stains and scrubbed away the exterior mold, but the internal mold will be quick to grow back.

Bleach may even intensify a mold problem. The chlorine in bleach quickly evaporates which leaves behind a lot of water. Water that will soak into porous materials and then feed the mold that was left behind, potentially making the problem worse than it was originally.

Dead Mold Doesn't Need to Be Removed

Killing mold should not be the goal during remediation. Even “dead” mold can continue to act as an allergen and spread throughout your house. In order to remove all risks of continued growth in your home the affected areas need to be completely removed with correct remediation procedures

Any Black Mold is Toxic

There are over 100,000 different species of mold, and they can be any size, shape, or color. Just because a growth is black it does not mean that it is Stachybotrys chartarum, the species that is known as the toxic black mold. The only way to truly identify the species of mold in your house is for it to be tested by an industrial hygienist. 

Fix Mold by Painting Over it

Although it is a common practice, you cannot fix a mold problem by painting over it. Even when using mold resistant paint, a growth will not be killed or prevented from spreading. Paint will, however, make it more difficult to see when the mold has grown.

Mold resistant paint can be used in rooms with high moisture levels, such as bathrooms and kitchens, to help prevent growth. Using this paint is in no way a guarantee that you will never experience a mold problem, but when painted on dry, mold-free surfaces it can help prevent it in at risk rooms.

Mold Must be Tested Before it is Removed

Having mold testing can be an important, and expensive, step when determining if you have a mold problem in your home; however, it is not always necessary. All mold, regardless of its type, should be treated in the same manor by a remediation company. If your home is showing signs of mold, particularly if there is visible growth, then you know you have a problem that must be handled. Unless you personally want to know which species of mold is growing in your home, testing is unnecessary when it comes to removing it as the procedure and precautions taken should remain the same.

Mold is Only a Problem in Old Homes

Many people associate mold with older homes, but it can grow in any house, regardless of age, when provided with the right conditions. All mold requires to grow is darkness, a food source (typically drywall or wood in a home), and moisture. If you have any excessive moisture problems in a new home, you may soon have a mold issue too.

Stop Mold Now!

If you have mold in your home don’t spend the time worrying about what information is right or wrong, call in the professionals. SERVPRO of Park Cities employees have the training and equipment to remove any growth from your home and reduce the potential for mold problems in the future. Call us now at 214-522-3000.

Signs of Mold: How to Recognize the Symptoms of Mold in Your House

10/9/2017 (Permalink)

Mold growth after water damage from Hurricane Harvey.

We are surrounded by mold spores unknowingly every day, but in the right conditions mold can quickly become a problem within our homes. Dealing with mold growth can be overwhelming and frustrating, especially because many people aren’t aware that they have a problem until it is excessive. Recognizing the signs of mold in your house and knowing how to prevent growth can save you time, energy, and money. 

First Signs of Mold - Trust Your Nose

Molds produce gases that have an earthy, musty odor. This odor is typically the first noticeable sign that there is a mold problem; however, for someone who has never encountered this smell it can be hard to identify. Many people compare the smell of mold to rotten wood or wet socks.

Typically, this odor is not one that will go away regardless of how many times you light candles, open windows, etc. People will often become “immune” to the smell of mold since they are living with it each day. If you suspect mold go outside for some fresh air before coming back into the house to try and identify any smells. Even if you are unsure that what you are smelling is mold pay attention to your nose. If your nose feels irritated, or if you are sneezing more often in a certain room, your body might be recognizing mold even if you are not.

Once you have recognized the smell of mold in your house, follow the scent until you find the point at which it is strongest. This is most likely the source of your problem. If you only notice the smell when your air conditioning turns on the growth could be occurring within your HVAC.

Visible Signs 

The first visible signs of mold may be just a few spots of discoloration on the wall or on the grout between tiles. While small spots like this may not seem too problematic, they show that the conditions in that area are perfect for mold growth and you may have a larger, unseen problem somewhere else.

There are many different types of household molds, and they can vary greatly in color. The most common colors of growths in houses are black, grey, and brown; however, mold can also be white, yellow, or even brighter colors such as blue or green. The only way to truly identify the species of mold in your house is for it to be tested by an industrial hygienist, color is not always indicative of the type of mold.

Mold can grow anywhere and on anything, as long as the conditions are conducive. If you see discolored spots in your home – on walls, floors, furniture, or even books - that are accompanied by other signs of mold, you might have a growth problem.

Certain Conditions Can Also Serve as Signs of Mold

The conditions that allow mold spores to thrive in a house can often serve as signs for growth that you might not be able to see or smell. In order to grow mold needs moisture. Knowing the history of your home, particularly pertaining to previous water damages, is vital when it comes to identifying the rooms in your home that may be displaying signs of mold. Some subtle symptoms of excessive moisture in your home that can lead to mold growth include:

  • Rust on pipes
  • Wallpaper or paint peeling
  • Warping wood
  • Condensation on walls or floors
  • A humidity level above 60% inside the home

At SERVPRO of Park Cities our professionals have the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business, if you suspect a water damage or mold growth don’t hesitate to call us for 24-hour emergency services at 214-522-3000. 

Mold Mitigation Services

6/2/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Park Cities Professionals can help provide a solution to your property’s mold damage needs.

Buildings with excessive moisture can be breeding grounds for mold growth. If your facility has experienced an ongoing moisture problem due to water intrusion, long-standing leaks, roof damage or from poor humidity control, it is important to be alert to the following factors:

  • The presence of visible mold.
  • Strong musty odors which may indicate mold is present.
  • Any evidence of past moisture problem that might indicate previous mold growth.
  • Excessive humidity.

Should mold be found within the facility, mold removal and remediation can help eliminate a potentially dangerous situation. SERVPRO of Park Cities Professionals will arrive on-site alert for any visible signs of mold. Following industry standards for mold remediation, they will work to remove visible mold and reduce the potential for future mold growth.

Mold, Biohazard, Crime Scene, and Vandalism Cleanup

6/1/2017 (Permalink)

Recognized as a leading fire and water cleanup and restoration provider by hundreds of insurance companies, SERVPRO of Park Cities Professionals also offer fast, reliable mold, biohazard, and crime scene cleanup and restoration services to residential and commercial property owners.

Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers, and owners. A failure to property handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments.

SERVPRO of Park Cities Professionals are trained to safely and effectively remove biohazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA and state and local health regulations.

Equipped with the necessary safely equipment and cleaning products, SERVPRO of Park Cities Professionals help turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes and offices.

SERVPRO of Park Cities can help with the following issues:

  • Bloodborne Pathogens
    • Removal and disposal of bodily fluids, tissue, and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime or death. Technicians thoroughly clean, disinfect, and deodorize the structure.
  • Methamphetamine Labs
    • Many of the chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs, such a methamphetamine, are volatile and can leave harmful residue throughout a structure. SERVPRO of Park Cities Professionals follow federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.
  • Crime Scene Residues
    • From fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residue, our technicians can clean and restore your property and contents.
  • Arson and Vandalism
    • We are recognized as leaders at helping property owners recover quickly from fire and water damage. We also provide general cleaning and deodorization services for situations resulting from vandalism including graffiti, egg, spoiled foods, and human or animal waste.
  • Sewage Backups
  • Black Water Intrusions
  • Mold Mitigation and Remediation

State and local regulations vary. Contact us, SERVPRO of Park Cities, at 214-522-3000, today for 24-hour emergency services.

The Mold Mitigation & Remediation Process

5/23/2017 (Permalink)

When there's a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can affect your health and can also cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Park Cities professionals have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different, requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a "typical" mold removal process. 

Call SERVPRO of Park Cities

The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call us, SERVPRO of Park Cities, at 214-522-3000. One of our representatives will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources and personnel needed.

Inspection & Damage Assessment

Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water which can be hidden from plain view. 

Mold Containment

Various containment procedures will be places to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.

Air Filtration

Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO of Park Cities technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.

Removing Mold & Mold-Infested Materials

The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth. 

Cleaning Contents & Belongings

SERVPRO of Park Cities cleans your furniture, decorative items, curtains and other restorable items affected by mold. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. They are also trained to remove odors and deodorize using fogging equipment. 

Restoration

Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. 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 or rooms in a home or business. 

SERVPRO of Park Cities Professionals understand mold and mold growth and have the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business. 

What is Black Mold?

9/27/2016 (Permalink)

This is what Black Mold looks like. If you think you have it, call us @ 214-522-3000.

Also knowns as Stachbotrys chartanum or Stachbotrys atra, is a species of toxic mold or fungus. This kind of mold survives and thrives off moisture areas. It appears dark greenish-black (sometimes gray) in color and no other mold looks the same. You might ask, well does it have an odor? Yes it does. It has a musty smell and if it is in one affected area, that area will smell the most but if it is in the air ducts, when the air is cycling through that is when you will smell it. You might also be wondering, well how does post help me in any way?

Wll September 29th is World Health Day according to Days of the Year and I want to bring to your attention the symptoms Black Mold causes for your safety. You know how it rained and some water came in through the walls and you have been putting off fixing it or calling someone to fix it? Well it is time to fix it. Like mentioned before, Mold grows and survives off moist areas and that drywall water damage is prime. Black Mold can causes serious problems in a person: respiratory distress, kidney discomfort, memory loss, excessive fatigue, immune system suppression and redness of the eyes, just to name a few.

After reading this you might be either scared and ready to fix any water damage you’ve been putting off, but slow down for a bit. Black Mold, if not contained properly, can cause bigger problems. If the affected area is in the bathroom and it is not contained and some black mold flies into the vents at home, now the whole house could be infected.

If you think you have Black Mold in your home or business, I recommend to call a professional mold remediation company to handle the problem. And as you know, SERVPRO of Park Cities is certified to do this kind of job. If you have any questions or concerns about this topic, give us a call at 214-522-3000 and we will gladly help.

September 29th is World Health Day and we are concerned for everyone’s health. We want to make you aware of Black Mold for your safety.

Quick Tips from SERVPRO of Park Cities on Preventing Mold Growth

5/20/2016 (Permalink)

Growth can occur in anyone's home, if you think you might have an issue, give SERVPRO of Park Cities a call and we will be able to assist.

The rainy season has arrived, and with that the opportunity for mold growth presents itself. Due to this, we recommend that you call SERVPRO of Park Cities / North Garland at the first signs of any moisture or growth.  If you have discovered mold in your Dallas area home or office, we are here to help.

How mold gets into a house or building

Mold and fungal spores occur naturally outdoors, where fungi are the earth’s most important recyclers. Indoors, mold needs moisture to grow; it becomes a problem only where there is water damage, elevated and prolonged humidity, or dampness. Common sources in the Dallas area of excessive indoor moisture that can lead to mold problems include:

  • flooding from surface waters (i.e., overflowing rivers) or from severe storms;
  • roof leaks from damaged or missing roofing materials, blocked gutters;

  • storm-driven rain through window frames, exterior walls or door assemblies;

  • leaking pipes, sewer back-ups or overflows;

  • damp basements or crawl spaces due to a high water table or poorly managed rainwater drainage; and

  • condensation on cold surfaces.

How to prevent mold growth

The key to preventing and stopping indoor mold growth is to control excessive moisture and condensation. Keeping susceptible areas in the home clean and dry is critical. In general, mold will not grow indoors without water, dampness or excessive moisture.

Three main factors contribute to condensation of water on building surfaces:

  • Relative Humidity: Condensation occurs when the air is saturated with water and it cannot hold any more moisture. For example, steam generated from bathroom showers or from cooking can fill up the air with moisture, which will then condense into drops of water on cooler surfaces, such as mirrors and windows. Where possible, localized sources of humidity, such as clothes dryers, should be directly vented to the outdoors. To lower indoor humidity during warm, humid weather, air conditioners should be used.

  • Temperature: Warm air holds more moisture than cold air. Condensation occurs when warm humid air comes into contact with a cold surface and the moisture condenses into water. This can often be seen on single-pane windows, where water condenses and then runs down, causing the wood frames and sills to rot and the wall under the windows to blister.

  • Poor Ventilation: Indoor humidity can build up if there is not enough ventilation and exchange of indoor and outdoor air. Where there is little or no air movement, such as behind dressers and cabinets, surfaces can remain cooler than surrounding areas, which can lead to increased condensation and mold growth. It is recommended that the area is ventilated and the occupants use exhaust fans (vented to the outdoors) to remove moisture from high-humidity areas, particularly in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry areas. Furniture should be moved slightly away from walls so that air can freely pass behind it. Air should be allowed to circulate between rooms and regularly ventilate to remove humid air. Fans should be used as needed.

Other things that can be done are to clean and repair gutters regularly, make sure the ground slopes down and away from the home’s foundation and keep air conditioner drip pans and drain lines clean. In addition, in air conditioned buildings in hot and humid climates, vinyl wall coverings on the interior sides of exterior walls should not be used, as these materials can trap moisture, resulting in mold growth underneath them.

In the case of floods or leaking pipes, any standing water should be promptly removed and water-damaged materials should either be dried out and cleaned, or removed and replaced. Porous materials that are wet for more than 48 hours are likely to produce mold growth and should be discarded. In instances where the water damage is extensive, it is recommended that you call SERVPRO of Park Cities / North Garland at 214-522-3000, so that we may assist you in preventing growth after a water damage, or remove the mold if it is already an issue.