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Leading Causes of Mold Growth in Apartments

Understanding Mold in the Home: Why It Grows and How to Handle It

Nobody wants to find mold in their apartment or home, but it has a pesky habit of popping up suddenly and spreading quickly. Tackling mold can be a tedious and sometimes expensive task, but it helps to understand what caused it in the first place.

What Causes Mold in Apartments and Homes?

In almost all cases, dampness causes mold. It can come from water damage, condensation, or humidity, but the core issue remains the same. When materials get damp and unable properly dry out, the spores fester and multiply- eventually taking over the area completely.

It can begin on the surface or from the inside, depending on the cause of the dampness. The deeper the mold spores go, the more difficult they are to get rid of. Although simple DIY cleaning techniques can manage most surface mold, more advanced colonies may require professional assistance.

Please also bear in mind that some species of mold are dangerous and pose health risks. Toxic black mold can cause respiratory issues if inhaled. Disturbing suspicious spores is not the answer- instead, call in a mold removal service or remediator.

Top Causes of Mold in the Home

Here are a few common household issues that can spur an unwanted visit from this fuzzy intruder.

Leaking pipes and appliances

Washing machines, dishwashers, and under-sink plumbing can begin to leak water over time. If you don’t notice it soon enough or fail to react quickly, moldy spores may appear. Because the leaks tend to happen in non-ventilated areas with no natural fresh air, a mold problem can spread quickly.

  • Condensation around air vents and air conditioning units

When air regulation systems don’t run as they should, a condensation build-up can appear in and around the vents. This dampness creates a perfect breeding ground for mold spores. Mold in vents can be dangerous as the system could be spreading it into the air. Get it checked immediately if you have suspicions.

  • Persistent Humidity

Living in a humid area means having to take extra care with air circulation and ventilation in the home. Attics are particularly prone to humidity-born mold because they tend to get forgotten.

Homes near the ocean or rivers are even more at risk because of the high water content in the air. It is natural for mold to appear in these circumstances, so homeowners must be extra vigilant to tackle issues as soon as possible.

Scrubbing the walls with a DIY anti-mold solution with a firm brush can keep growths at bay.

  • Unattended dampness

If anything is left damp around the house for too long, it can lead to mold. Clothing, upholstery, carpets, floor boards, drywall, and more can provide havens for spores to multiply. Whether your home is damp because of storm or flood damage, a leaking roof, burst pipes, or anything else: do not leave affected areas to fix themselves!

Whatever can go outside should be moved and left in a fresh, airyated space. If it can’t be moved (walls, for example), attempt to dry it out with fans and dehumidifies. Call in a professional mold inspector to assess the damage and risks.

Conclusion

Mold is natural and appears in most homes sooner or later, but it shouldn’t be left to get out of hand. Looking out for these common causes can help you stay ahead of the spores and keep your home happy and healthy.

Does Mold Grow Differently on Drywall Versus Sheetrock?

Learn how mold grows on certain porous surfaces

Nearly every household in the US has encountered mold, however insignificant it may be. You might find the mold in your attic, basement, kitchen sink, bathroom, and even window seals. One common place mold likes to hide is on drywall and sheetrock, and sometimes it can go unnoticed for a long time. The big question is whether mold grows differently on the drywall as opposed to sheetrock.

How Mold Grows on Drywall

Mold can grow in a matter of days due to the drywall’s permeability. Humidity from the surrounding will inherently rest upon porous surfaces, creating an ideal environment for mold spores to grow. This is not to say that mold will not thrive on hard floors and walls. The only variation is that hard surfaces are easier to remove mold from and may not resurface the following professional mold remediation.

Because of its permeability, drywall is more susceptible to mold infestation. Mold spores and roots frequently hide within porous surfaces, making it difficult to exterminate them. This means the roots and spores will still spread as long as the drywall is not thoroughly cleaned. The cleaning process is best handled by professionals trained in mold detection and treatment skills. 

Mold generates food from the wood particles in the wallboard because it requires food to develop. Drywall is assumed to be an appropriate setting for uninterrupted mold growth due to its porous nature. When moisture sips through the softwood pieces, it can easily reach other sections of the drywall, causing a disaster. The situation will worsen if your pipes leak water into the drywall.

How Mold Grows on Sheetrock

Drywall and sheetrock are interchangeable terms and do not have much difference. The former is a gypsum Drywall is plasterboard sandwiched between two thick paper sheets, whereas the latter is a drywall brand trademarked by the US Gypsum Company.  Both products suit the construction of walls and ceilings and might be used as substitutes.

With the exception of a couple of extra chemical compounds that allow the sheetrock formula to be trademarked, there is no functional difference between drywall and sheetrock. In fact, the majority of people use the terms interchangeably.

This means that mold can grow on the drywall as it will on sheetrock. The colony will thrive and spread to other corners as long as the mold finds a little moisture on the sheetrock. 

Dealing with Sheetrock and Drywall Mold

If you suspect your sheetrock or drywall has mold, contact a professional company that can detect and treat the mold. Treating the mold yourself is not advised, as you can unintentionally spread more mold spores to other rooms in your home. Professionals will know how to handle the situation in a manner that will prevent the further spread of the mold. In most cases, cleaning drywall mold gets impossible, so you might end up buying and installing a new one after the extermination. Keep in mind that mold is hazardous and prolonged exposure can lead to respiratory allergies and reactions.

Can You Remove Mold Growth on Carpeting?

Carpeting is lovely to see and always comfortable on the feet. In colder seasons, it keeps the air warm for longer periods, which is an energy conservation benefit. However, when tragedy hits, you might need to say goodbye to your carpeting, which is upsetting. This is an area of the home that is prone to mold growth. Mold growth is serious and can ruin your carpet. That is why it is important to learn about when and how you can save your carpet.

This article is going to talk about what to do when your carpet is up against mold growth and when to throw it away.

Carpet at Risk

Carpets are at high risk for mold growth. To thrive and grow, mold requires moisture, oxygen, food, and a surface to grow on. Naturally, mold spores are found in the air. When spores land on a moist place that contains dust to feed on, massive mold growth can follow. Carpeting just provides the right spot for that, especially when located in basements.

Identifying Mold in Carpeting

Mold can be growing on your carpet, yet it is not visible on the carpet surfaces. Mold is only visible on carpets if you’re dealing with extreme cases. This might be after the carpet gets damaged by flooding or the carpet remained wet for a long time.

In cases where mold growth is visible, carpeting in this condition is most likely salvageable and should be replaced. Often, mold growth is not visible on surfaces; however, it can be seen underneath the carpet. If there is discoloration on your carpet surfaces, often described as carpet mildew, this is probably a case of mold growth. Odors and stains on carpeting can also suggest mold growth.

Why Can’t I Clean It Myself?

In most cases, if mold has grown on carpet surfaces, cleaning it yourself will not be possible. If you decide to try and clean the carpet molds yourself, then you are putting yourself at risk. Immediate or delayed allergic reactions are common and can cause irritations on the exposed parts of your body, to mold-allergic and non-allergic people.

What Does a Mold Professional Do?

Understandably, you want someone who is fully qualified in your home to help you during this stressful time. That is why you can check out the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) Certified Firms Listing. You can rest easy when you contact a certified carpet cleaning technician.

Even if there is mold growth on your carpet, you should not take the risk of allowing yourself and your loved ones to get sick. You need to have a specialist come in because they are trained in this field. If you wait too long, then the damage can worsen and permanently ruin your surfaces. You do not want to have to restore everything if you do not need to.

Conclusion

No matter the size of carpet molds, you should hire a professional to come in and handle the mold growth situation you’re experiencing. Mold growth can be harmful to your health –  getting a professional fix can get you to rest easy knowing the situation is well taken of.

Can Your Remove Mold on Basement Walls Yourself?

Can Your Remove Mold on Basement Walls Yourself?

Every home has experienced a mold situation, whether severe or mild. One thing about mold is that it can go unnoticed and spread through anything with moisture, including your basement and its walls. Basements are the most affected in most homes, mainly because of poor ventilation. If you haven’t had your basement cleaned for a while, this might be the situation going on down there, and as much as you rarely use the room, it is best to have it free of mold. This is exacerbated by the fact that mold spores can easily be transported from the basement to other rooms in your home.

Removing Mold from Walls

While treating mold yourself is highly discouraged (contacting a pro is always a good idea), there are several measures you can take to treat mold in your basement. If your basement has concrete walls, you can follow these guidelines.

Prepare the Area

If there is mold in your basement, you will realize a dark color, usually black, greenish, or bluish. Such mold is toxic and should not be handled without wearing personal protective gear. To prepare the basement for mold treatment, clear the room of everything that is not affected. 

Note that mold can also grow on organic materials such as clothing or carton boxes. So, if any of these are adjacent to the affected wall, you will have to dispose of them. Also, as part of the preparation, find something you can seal the doorway with so mold spores cannot reach other rooms.

Incorporate Bleach

Although there are numerous products for mold treatment, using bleach to scrub the concrete wall might be the most effective method. This only works if the wall is not porous. Porous surfaces are the worst when it comes to mold. If you apply bleach to a porous surface, the mold will only disappear for a day or two and then regrow even more rapidly. Therefore, ensure your wall is concrete before applying bleach and scrubbing. After scrubbing the affected wall, wipe it off with a clean cloth and let it dry. 

If your basement walls are covered with drywall or paint, you might have to use a different procedure. The mold infestation might worsen with drywall, prompting more prudent measures. If you realize mold on your drywalls, evaluate the status and the extensiveness of the mold damage. You will have to reinstall new drywall if your current one is damaged beyond repair. 

But if the wall is still in good condition, you can use natural remedies like applying essential oils to treat the mold. Avoid using remedies involving moisture incorporation because it will worsen the situation. The last thing you should think of doing is scrubbing the mold of your wall. This will only allow mold spores to transfer to other surfaces.

Treating mold from a porous surface is complex and best handled by professionals. Therefore, if you suspect mold in your walls or even the attic, contact professionals. They will know exactly what to do and handle the situation better than you would have.

How Do You Know If to See a Doctor for Mold Exposure?

How Do You Know If to See a Doctor for Mold Exposure?

While most people don’t realize how harmful mold exposure can be, it can sometimes be lethal, especially when exposed for a long period. Being microscopic organisms, molds can grow anywhere in your home and go unnoticed for months or years. Molds are a natural constituent of the environment, therefore, difficult to get rid of. They release spores that help them spread across surfaces and, in most cases, inhale the spores when exposed to mold. Generally, inhaling bits of it is not harmful, but prolonged exposure can cause respiratory issues

If you are particularly worried about mold’s health impacts, you may be wondering about the duration it takes to become ill from mold exposure and when to seek medical attention. There is no definite answer because the timeframe for effects to manifest is affected by various factors, such as your surroundings and general wellbeing.

Sensitivity and Allergic Reactions

You might find people with different reactions to different allergens in a household. As such, your reaction to mold exposure may not be the same as your child’s, husband, or siblings. Some people react immediately, while others don’t even show any symptoms within the first days after exposure.

If you notice eye or skin redness that doesn’t end, you probably have mold in your home, and your body reacts to it. These symptoms may not be as severe and might go away on their own without medical assistance.

Exposure Duration

While some people may not show any symptoms of mold exposure, it is not good to be exposed for too long. If you suspect you have been exposed for too long, schedule a check with a physician to ensure you are in perfect condition. Prolonged exposure can lead to chronic respiratory issues, hence shouldn’t be taken lightly. This applies to even those without sensitivity or allergic reactions.

Nearness to the Mold

Having close contact with the mold might increase the risk of reaction. If you have touched the mold, whether black or another type, ensure to clean up thoroughly. This helps you get rid of the mold on your skin and might even reduce irritation caused by the microorganisms. If symptoms persist, contact your doctor. Some of the symptoms you may experience include;

  • Nasal congestion
  • Itchy skin
  • Eye redness
  • Watery eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Wheezing
  • Asthma attacks

If these symptoms persist after exposure or you experience worse symptoms like nose bleeds and difficulty breathing, it means your time to see a doctor has come. While sometimes the symptoms might not be purely caused by mold exposure, it is best to get a clarification on the matter.

Some groups of people are more vulnerable than others, hence should not be exposed to the mold for too long. These include babies, expectant mothers, older people, allergic people, people with weak immune systems, and those with chronic respiratory issues. The mold symptoms might escalate quickly for them and be more severe than with less-vulnerable people.

Mold Removal Now is a nationally recognized mold remediation company helping property owners by safely removing mold from homes and businesses

What is the Leading Cause of Mold in Your Home Attic?

The number one reason for Mold in Attics is not what most people expect. Sure, a leaky roof isn’t going to help matters any, but the most common reason is the result of poor ventilation. Without proper airflow, even minute levels of moisture can cause major problems for you as a home or business owner.

Poor ventilation is at its highest risk of causing mold in the winter time in northern areas where snow and ice are prevalent. The heat in your home rises and escapes through your attic and causes condensation. That condensation seeps into your attic and, over time, causes major problems.

It’s important to remove all belongings and building materials that have mold on them to get it under control. Although no mold is good to have in your home, one of the molds that is the most dangerous is Black Mold. This particular mold generally has a black to dark greenish appearance. Whether you suspect Black Mold or not, it’s always a good idea to wear a mask with a ventilator when removing mold from your home.

Mold Remediation is best handled by a professional, though. If you end up with mold in your attic, it’s wise to call in an expert to assess your situation and develop a plan of action. For instance, if you simply remove the moldy items in your home without first fixing the cause, it will happen again at a later date. They have the knowledge and tools to bring relief to your mold problem that the average person doesn’t have.

Those with expertise in mold management will be able to help you not only with Mold in Attics, but Mold in Basements as well. They will be able to determine if your attic is structurally appropriate to allow for proper ventilation. They’ll also be able to do Mold Testing so that you know what kind of mold that you’re dealing with and the severity of it so that the best solutions can be applied.

After calling a professional, an assessment of the situation will be made. After this, measures will be put into place to keep the mold from spreading any further. Next, ventilation concerns will be addressed and remedied. Once this is accomplished, Mold Removal is the next logical step. As already discussed, this involves removal of building materials compromised by mold. After this, belongings will need to be either cleaned or thrown away if they appear to be affected by mold. Lastly, all building materials that were taken out will need to be replaced.

You really have no risk by calling in a professional. Many are willing to give free assessments and then you can decide what to do from there. If you’re dealing with a moldy attic, know that you’re not alone. There are solutions to help with your problem.

Cleaning Up Black Mold In Hospitals Is Ultra Risky

The worst place for a mold epidemic is in a hospital. Especially black mold. Black mold is thought to be more toxic than many other forms of mold. Many patients are already susceptible to airborne pathogens, and this includes the spores and mycotoxins that mold produces. Hospitals need to be sanitary, and mold is anything but sanitary. While mold is not an issue most people need to worry about when it comes to their health, hospitals are loaded with people with weakened or damaged immune systems, and for these patients, mold can most definitely be dangerous, if not deadly. Hospitals that avoid taking care of a mold problem can open themselves up to costly litigation should a patient get sick or even die due to complications from mold exposure.
black Mold

If black mold gets out of hand in a hospital, and the hospital board of waits to long to seek a professional remediators help, it could mean further issues. For example patients may need to be moved from the affected floors. The sooner a hospital acts on containing and removing mold, the easier it is for the hospital in question to manage, not to mention it ensures the hospital is keeping the environment safe and sanitary for its paying patients.

It is not just patients health that needs to be considered when deciding to pursue black mold remediation and cleanup or not. There is also the matter of appearances, and yes word of mouth and patient reviews. It does not take much for a hospitals reputation to go downhill, and fast, if the hospital looks dirty or unsanitary. There is also the matter of county codes of health to contend with. The sooner you deal with your black mold issue via mold remediation and cleanup from an IICRC certified mold abatement expert, the better.

Mold Cleanup and Abatement Inc can handle your hospitals mold problem, no matter how large the mold colony or colonies are. We have worked on several hospitals in the continental U.S. and have always exceeded our clients expectations, both with price and with the quality of our work. We strive to do every mold remediation project with as little disruption to the hospital as possible. We have over 20 years of experience dealing with mold remediation and black mold removal, including hospitals and government installations.

If your hospital has black mold, do not delay, call the pros at Mold Removal Now today! We can rehab your hospitals effected areas quickly, yet thoroughly, applying cost control measures to keep the costs as low as possible. We also offer black mold testing and IAQ tests (indoor air quality). We can fully contain any mold, and remove any mold that is present. In the case of certain building materials, such as drywall that are mold infested, we may need to replace these materials, using environmentally sound methods. We handle not only the mold removal, but also the disposal of any contaminated building materials. If you have or suspect you have mold in your hospital, call us today for a consultation.

Steps to Hire a Reputable Mold Remediation Company

If you’re a homeowner in need of mold removal services, then you need an understanding of how to choose the right company to undertake the job. Mold or mildew can be damaging to your property as well as your health, and it is crucial that you get it taken care of in a timely manner to minimize the chance of further issues occurring. A good mold removal company can be there in a timely manner and will provide you with excellent service. Here are some great tips on how to choose a good mold remediation company:

First, you’ll want to check their reputation in the industry. Find out if this company has had any complaints filed against them, and if they acted and corrected these issues. A good source to check would be the BBB, or Better Business Bureau. From there, you can see if there were any complaints filed against the company, and if there have, you will be able to see the reason as to why. In most cases, you will also be able to derive how long the company has been in business by checking their website.  As a general rule, a company that has been in the industry for a while has obviously provided good work and quality service to keep them in the industry for so long.

Next, you’ll want to check their certifications. It is absolutely vital that the company you choose has the proper certification in mold cleaning and remediation. This ensures that the said company has the necessary experience and expertise to tackle the mold issue inside of your home. Making sure that the company and their technicians are well trained on safety precautions and guidelines is a good idea as well, because you will want to avoid any health risks.  The certification programs that they’re involved with include Indoor Air Quality Association, or the IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, & Restoration). If the company does not have any certifications or can’t provide you with the proof of certification, it would be best to find a different company. Any reputable and experienced company will gladly provide you with their credentials.

After you’ve checked for certifications, it is time to ask around for references. One of the best ways to find out how reliable a company is comes from the customer base. You shouldn’t rely on any advertisements, regardless of how clever it may seem. Scan over their website for references, and if you would like to take it a step further, contact the customer directly and ask them about their experience. Asking friends and family for recommendations is also a good idea, as they will usually provide you with an honest answer regarding their experiences. Social media such as twitter and Facebook are usually good mediums to find good reviews as well.

It is always in your best interest to contact several different companies and ask for an estimate. But, be forewarned that some companies may charge you for this service if you do not end up choosing them to provide the services for you. If you’re having doubts, ask them up front before having them provide you with an estimate.

You should always check to see if the mold remediation company has liability insurance for their services. The policy must clearly prove that they are covered for the removal and safe handling of mold.

There are always going to be companies that do not guarantee their work, but the company should guarantee their work or at least offer a warranty, and in some cases warranties can extend up to 20 years.

The next and final step to finding a quality mold remediation company is to find out the full scope of the services that they can provide you with. Some companies may only deal with the treatment and removal of mold, but they won’t remove the source of moisture that caused the mold. For example, say water came in through a crack in your ceiling and that is what caused the mold. In this case, the company would not fix the crack but only remove the mold. It is important to know just exactly what services you’ll be receiving and what exactly you are paying them to do.

If that happens, it means that the mold will more than likely return since mold thrives and grows off of excess moisture. It is far more cost-effective to hire a company that also specializes in water damage as well as mold remediation, as they will provide you with complete water damage repair and mold removal services. These contractors can also repair other damages to your home as well.

Dealing With the Insurance Company After a Disaster

Many homeowners who have dealt with a home disaster will look to their insurance companies for relief, but not all are successful. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you begin the claims and insurance process with the company and your adjuster:

First things first, you should get an advance.  If you were forced to leave your home you may not have been able to grab the proper living necessities. This could be anything from clothes for work to a toothbrush. Your basic homeowner’s policy will cover this, but you don’t have to file a claim and have it approved before heading to the store to pick these things up.  Instead you can ask your company for an advance against your eventual claim. You can ask a representative of the company to bring you a check to wherever you’re staying, and you should save any receipts that you have from the purchase.

From there, make sure to check your policy. Even if you have replacement coverage for the house itself, you may only have an “actual cash value” for any personal items that were in your home. A good agent will alert you to this and will suggest buying an endorsement so that the contents will be covered under a replacement policy as well.

Then you can begin to secure your property. Every policy will require you to take steps to minimize any further damage to your property. Most of these steps are common sense, such as putting a tarp on your roof if its leaking, or turning off the water if you have a broken pipe. Other steps you may need to take can include: stop the smoldering after a fire, board up the property, and be diligent. Make sure that you keep a close eye on the property.

You should always file your claim right away. All policies will require property owners to report their loss as soon as possible. You can do this by calling your agent or sending them an e-mail. You will be required to submit a “proof of loss” claim, in which you itemize your losses and list their value. If you don’t notify your company quickly, you may find that you’re far down on the list when it comes time to send an insurance adjuster out to the property.

Luckily for the homeowner, insurance companies are required to act promptly when dealing with claims. If there is no dispute over your coverage, you’re entitled to payment quickly. If you find that your insurance company is taking an extended amount of time, you can write to the state’s Department of Insurance.

Always keep a good track of your living expenses. Your policy should include a “loss of use” clause, which entitles you to reimbursement for living expenses while you’re out of your home. However, you’re only entitled to additional living expenses, which is the difference between what it costs you to live at home and what it costs now.

Make sure to keep a close eye on the insurance process as your home or business is being restored as well. Always find a reputable and seasoned contractor to come in and do any necessary repairs.

How to Find a Reliable Home Repair Contractor

If you have recently suffered from a home disaster and are in need of a quality property repair company, look no further! Extreme Cleanup Services is licensed, bonded, and insured for all property disasters. After sustaining justifiable damage to their properties, many property holders need to begin the search for a quality contractor to help clean, repair, and restore their property. There are many great restoration firms out there, but it is imperative to find a company that is trained, experienced, and knowledgeable in their craft. Here are the five key steps to hire a quality home repair contractor:

1. Obtain Referrals

The easiest way to begin seeking referrals is from family members and friends. This could be done by checking social media sites that you frequent to expand your search. Make sure that any family or friends that you ask have had the same type of work done that you are looking for, or the same budget as you. Another way to find referrals is through consumer review websites. Angie’s List is a good start, but joining often requires a small fee. You can also ask local professionals who do business with trustworthy and reliable contractors. This could be anyone from a building inspector to your insurance company.

2. Interview Potential Candidates

You should make a list and begin making calls to get a sense of how comfortable you would be with them working in, and around, your home.  Here are a few simple questions to ask when interviewing a potential home repair contractor: How long have you been in business? How many projects like mine have you completed in the last year? Who will be assigned the role of project manager for the job and are workers actual employees or subcontractors?

3. Avoid Any Red Flags

Make sure that your contractor isn’t cutting costs with cheap material or labor. Poor quality materials and a rushed project can lead to disaster.  A couple red flags would be: a demand to be paid in cash only, a request for a third or more of the money up front, they don’t have a physical business address, or the contractor saying that he was in the area and wanted to give you a discounted service.

4. Narrow the Field

After interviewing potential repair contractors, narrow your choices down to three. Then you can begin to double check references to make sure the contractor is reliable and the services were satisfactory on other projects. Mot consumer protection agencies often register contractors and keep records of complaints. After all background checks, set up face-to-face meetings with those who pass your initial test, and then get written estimates.

5. Finalize the Deal

Obtain an agreement in writing, as a formal contract will provide you with protection in case something goes awry. Also, you should ask for a certificate of insurance proving the contractor has liability and workers compensation insurance in case of an accident.  This contract should also include details of a beginning date, a completion date, and how payments will be made. Typically you can be a third up front, a third when the project is halfway done, and then the last third when the job is done and you are satisfied.