Recent Mold Remediation Posts
Tips for maintaining a healthy indoor environment
Close up of mold damage on a wall surface.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention offers tips and statistics to help educate people on the health risks associated with repeated exposure to mold infested environments;
“Exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects, or none at all. Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, molds can cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, or, in some cases, skin irritation. People with mold allergies may have more severe reactions. Immune-compromised people and people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may get serious infections in their lungs when they are exposed to mold. These people should stay away from areas that are likely to have mold, such as compost piles, cut grass, and wooded areas.
In 2004 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people; with asthma symptoms in people with asthma; and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition. The IOM also found limited or suggestive evidence linking indoor mold exposure and respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children.”
Heed the following tips from the CDC and see https://www.cdc.gov/mold/ for more information:
- Controlling humidity levels;
- Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes;
- Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding;
- Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas.
If mold is growing in your home, you need to clean up the mold and fix the moisture problem. Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of household laundry bleach in 1 gallon of water.
Mold growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. If you can see or smell mold, a health risk may be present. You do not need to know the type of mold growing in your home, and CDC does not recommend or perform routine sampling for molds. No matter what type of mold is present, you should remove it. Since the effect of mold on people can vary greatly, either because of the amount or type of mold, you can not rely on sampling and culturing to know your health risk. Also, good sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable quantity of mold have not been set. The best practice is to remove the mold and work to prevent future growth.
If you choose to use bleach to clean up mold:
- Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce dangerous, toxic fumes.
- Open windows and doors to provide fresh air.
- Wear non-porous gloves and protective eye wear.
- If the area to be cleaned is more than 10 square feet, consult the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guide titled Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. Although focused on schools and commercial buildings, this document also applies to other building types. You can get it by going to the EPA web site at https://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-remediation-schools-and-commercial-buildings-guide.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using bleach or any other cleaning product.
If you suspect an air quality issue in your home or business, call SERVPRO of Missoula at 406-327-9500 to see what we can do for you. We are standing by with trained technicians and state of the art filtration and cleaning equipment to help you from the simplest duct cleaning to full scale mold remediation.
Mold and Indoor Air Quality
Moldy OSB subfloor from long term water damage.
Call SERVPRO today to inquire about the potential health effects of known or suspected mold growth. The only way to truly determine the quantity and type of spores present is through lab analysis. SERVPRO does not conduct air quality inspections, however we do have trusted vendors and subcontractors that provide these services.
Swab or air sampling can be helpful in determining the scope, or extent of a mold infestation. Air samples are taken by drawing a set volume of air through a sterile media, which is then sent to laboratory for analysis. Lab analysis can determine the types of spores found, as well as extrapolate estimated quantities of the spores identified. Upon request most labs will include a report detailing any issues regarding the indoor air quality. Some Indoor Environmental Professionals will complement the lab report with a recommended remediation plan, however SERVPRO of Missoula has trained project managers and technicians that are skilled at reading lab reports and determining the best plan for remediation.
Call SERVPRO of Missoula today to see if we can help clean up your home or business’ air quality today. We have the experienced and trained technicians and all the proper equipment to setup and execute mold remediation on any scale, residential or commercial.
Build an Emergency Kit
Be prepared at your home or business with an Emergency Kit. Ready.gov suggests you
have enough supplies to last for at least three days. Below are some suggested items to
include in your kit:
- 3-day supply of nonperishable foods
- Water (one+ gallon per person per day)
- First-aid kit
- Prescription medication
- Sleeping bag or blankets
- Fire extinguisher
- Hygiene products
- Extra batteries
- Cell phone charger
- Change of clothes
- Matches in waterproof container
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Whistle to signal for help
- Pet supplies
- Infant formula and diapers
- Important documents such as insurance policies, IDs, and bank records in a plastic container
You can also keep a condensed emergency kit in your vehicle as well. For a more extensive list,
check out Ready.gov.
The Mold Mitigation & Remediation Process
Stormy and Blaze proudly displaying their moisture meter. They use this to measure the amount of moisture in the air and in the affected materials.
The Mold Mitigation & Remediation Process
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 Missoula 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 step illustrates a typical mold removal process.
Call SERVPRO of Missoula professionals
The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO of Missoula professionals. A representative will ask you 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 hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose or other organic material and water which can be hidden in plain view.
Various containment procedures will be placed 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 clean up process.
Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO of Missoula 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 Missoula professionals may be able to clean 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.
Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs such as 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 Missoula understands mold and mold growth and have the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business. Call us at 406-327-9500 to make it “Like it never even happened.”
Destroy Odors with Deodorization
Even a small fire can cause odors for years to come if the affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized. Fire, smoke and soot damage in your home or business can create unpleasant and potentially permanent problems.
With technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC), SERVPRO of Missoula professionals provide specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO of Missoula professionals do not coverup lingering odors with fragrance; they seek out and remove the sources of the odor. Once the source is found, SERVPRO’s own proprietary line of cleaning products is used to treat and prevent the odor from returning. Any restorable item in affected areas will also be professionally cleaned and deodorized, including furniture, draperies and upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, HVAC air ducts, and more.Ask your SERVPRO of Missoula professional to explain the various deodorization methods available and which will work best for you. If you suffer a fire damage or some other accident and require deodorization services, contact us at 406-327-9500. Whether it’s fire, water, or mold damage, or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, we’ll help make it “Like it never even happened.”
Summer School: Mold 101
This is a residential project from the North side of Missoula caused by an undetected slow leak in a supply line.
Fungi and mold naturally occur in our environment. In fact, over 100,000 kinds of fungi have been identified. Yeast is a great example of how some molds and fungi enrich our lives. Yeast is used to make bread. Yeast helped create those refreshing Kombuchas you have sampled at Farmer’s market. Yeast is also present in the fine wine and bleu cheese you are enjoying on your patio this summer!
Sadly, there is also a dark side to fungi and mold. Some molds are harmful to your health. An intrusion of water into your home or place of business can result in mold growth. Water intrusions can result from storm damage, plumbing or equipment failures, long-standing leaks (that small leak under the sink) and poor humidity control (tenants/family members not turning on the fan while showering). If water intrusions are not addressed right away, the resulting damage can present increased risk of harmful mold growth. Health concerns may arise when excessive mold grows indoors. This website helps determine how to address any mold issues you may have. https://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-cleanup-your-home
If there is an ongoing moisture problem in your building, be alert for:
- The presence of visible mold.
- Strong musty odors, which may indicate mold is present.
- Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth.
- Excessive humidity
If any of these signs are present let SERVPRO know. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals care about proper restoration of your structure and, in most water damage situations, can safely restore your building to preloss condition.
Don’t fear, we are here! Call us today at 406-327-9500 to see what SERVPRO can do for you.
Questions about Mold?
Water damaged building materials can lead to mold damage that you can't see.
Many customers call SERVPRO inquiring about the potential health effects of known or suspected mold growth. The only way to truly determine the extent of mold spore migration is through lab testing. SERVPRO does not conduct air quality inspections, however we do have trusted vendors and subcontractors that provide these services.
Air or surface sampling can be helpful in determining the scope, or extent of a mold infestation. Air samples are taken by drawing a predetermined volume of air through a sterile media, which is then sent to laboratory for analysis. Lab analysis is able to determine type of spores found, as well as extrapolate estimated quantities of the spores identified. Upon request most labs will include a report detailing any issues regarding the indoor air quality. Most Indoor Environmental Professionals will complement the lab report with a recommended remediation plan.
If you find yourself on the receiving end of this type of report for your home or business, call SERVPRO! We have the experienced and trained technicians coupled with the proper equipment to execute mold remediation on any scale.
Call SERVPRO today to see how we can help make your mold problem "Like it never even happened!"