Recent Mold Remediation Posts

Is Mold An Issue In My House

1/8/2019 (Permalink)

As seasons shift to colder temperatures, we may not worry so much about things like mold and mildew. Even as snow falls and covers the lingering leaves which start to deteriorate on the ground, we may not think twice about the mold that is clearly spreading over it and eating it away. After all, that's outside. Unfortunately, mold can easily invade the home in the winter just as much as it can in any other season. Below, we cover how mold does just that, what you should look out for, and what you can do when you see mold.

How Mold Forms

It's important to understand what mold is and how it spreads. Mold, is essentially a fungus. It spreads itself through spores that settle on surfaces and remain relatively dormant until the right temperature and amount of moisture enter their atmosphere. By that point, the fungus starts to eat and spread even further by deploying more spores. There are species of mold which can be activated in the temperatures typically associated with early winter. You can expect home damage as it spreads should this be something occurring indoors.

What To Look For

While mold comes in varying colors and species, the mold primarily seen in homes is black. It can spread quite quickly as it’s given moisture, which can turn into devastating damage rather quickly. This is why mold is quite common in places that have seen water damage and it’s important to be conscious of environmental changes and ensure effective cleanup. Because mold can eat away at the surface it is attached to, it's important to have it removed quickly by someone who is well-versed in mold restoration.

What You Should Do

When you first notice mold, you can attempt to safely clean it away with bleach or another harsh cleaner, if the amount is small. This helps you limit the amount of home damage caused by the mold and allows for potential containment.  Keep an eye on the area you cleaned, if you notice the mold returning, this means you could have a deep rooted below the surface. You should also keep an eye on the areas where water damage has occurred as these are the key areas mold will grow. If this looks like something you’re not totally confident handling, make sure you have it handled by someone who can.

Dealing with the reality of mold damage can be devastating, and we know firsthand how hard it can be to return to normal life while this is going on. At SERVPRO of East Meadow/Westbury our goal is to relieve your stress by handling the entire process of remediation from start to finish. If you’re interested in learning more, give us a call at 516-334-2927!

Managing Snow Mold

1/7/2019 (Permalink)

Recently we have witnessed our first snow of the season! This brings to mind the subject of snow Mold. Snow Mold is caused when there is snow on the ground but the ground is not completely frozen. Snow Mold is also found under leaves that have not been cleaned up that should have been moved as part of a final fall landscaping cleanup, before winter set in.

How is snow Mold prevented?

  • Avoid excessive nitrogen fertilizers in the fall,
  • Mow the lawn until it stops growing,
  • Clean up leaves in the fall,
  • Manage thatch, to avoid accumulations of more than 2"

Although it can look really gross in the early spring, most snow mold damage will recover in time. Once the area has dried, the infection will end and the grass will grow out and renew itself.

Black Mold Prevention

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

Black mold is a problem found in many homes. It has many bad effects on humans and precautions should be taken to help reduce the risk of coming into contact with it. To prevent black Mold add the following to your routine home checks:

- Check under sinks and around garbage disposals and dishwashers.

- Check visible water pipes throughout your home, for leakage and sweating.

- In the basement, check the faucets and fixtures of the washing machine and furnace

- Check the attic on regular intervals, especially during months that are humid or damp.

- Don’t forget the crawl space whether you have interior or exterior access.  These are dark spaces where mold thrives.

- Simple solar powered attic fans can be installed to help air exchange and eliminate moist conditions.

 - For around $30, A simple instrument can be purchased at home centers to check humidity levels in moisture laden rooms, such as the basement, bathroom, and kitchen.

Is mold in your house affecting your health?

7/31/2017 (Permalink)

Long Island's Leader in Mold Removal and Remediation - Call us at (516) 334-2927 for a FREE Consultation

With summer, comes mold. An excessive moisture level enables household mold to grow on floors, walls, ceilings as well as in furniture, posing serious health risks on building occupants. Mold can turn out to be an uncontrollable problem in your home if not detected and eliminated on time. If there is a constant source of humidity or moisture in the space, it makes the conditions favorable enough for mold to take a complete hold on your home walls and flooring. The problem worsens if any of your family members is sensitive to allergies and/or mold specifically.

How house mold becomes uncontrollable

Mold is a natural fungus found in our environment. It is also found in buildings where dust, moisture, and dirt accumulates. While most house molds don’t bring serious problems, the little mold spores in your home can rapidly multiply in number of moist and damp environment and bring health concerns.

You must have seen mold growing on plants and food. The same way, mold grows on wood, paper, fabric and home building items such as dry wall and home furniture like carpets. All mold needs to thrive, is the moisture.

Home molds can instantly find a favorable breeding setting in homes if there is:

  • High humidity level from humidifiers
  • Poor venting of clothes dryer
  • Too much steam-cooking
  • Backed-up sewer
  • Leakage in roof
  • Flooding
  • Constant dampness in crawl spaces and basements
  • Water pooling from overflowing toilet or bathtub
  • Leaking plumbing

It is to be noted that if leaks are detected on time, water is cleaned up from flooded basements, and areas are thoroughly dried out, the mold spores present in the air can be prevented to make a home in your building. Furniture or carpets that get wet, should be immediately dried in order to prevent mold growth.

How House Mold Can Cause Health Concerns

Almost all kinds of mold lead to respiratory problems. People having a sensitivity to mold get a negligible reaction, while those who are specifically allergic may have more noticeable symptoms. Certain kinds of mold are more hazardous than others since they cause severe health problems. The mold containing chemical named mycotoxin, is highly risky if inhaled.

Generally, the home mold may cause the following symptoms:

  • Nasal problems such as sneezing, running nose and congestion
  • Throat problems
  • Wheezy, difficulty breathing
  • Frequent cough
  • Worsening allergy response
  • Skin rashes
  • Irritation in eyes
  • Asthma attacks

The Vulnerable People from Mold

Though mold affects the health of everyone, yet following are the people are more vulnerable to health problems caused by home mold:

  • People having asthma, allergies and/or other respiratory problems
  • People having weak or affected immune system, for instance, patients having HIV
  • People who are on chemotherapy medications
  • People passing through or recently had organ transplant
  • Elderly people since they have weaker immune system
  • Toddlers, infants, and young children

How to Encounter Mold?

To control mold growth and stop the health problems caused by it, you must first strive to get rid of sources of moisture in your home. Household mold is often visible and many cases don’t require mold testing. Mold may leave a fuzzy, velvety and leathery appearance, along with shade from yellow to green to black, sometimes looks like a discoloration or stain. If you find mold or sense a musty smell, take steps to block moisture sources. The cleaning of small spaces affected by mold can be done by brushing and vacuuming or you can also hire a pro for this purpose.  During brushing away mold, wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, rubber gloves and safety goggles.

Take prompt action and you can successfully kick the mold off your home to have a healthy mold-free living environment. For expert consultation and mold removal services, SERVPRO of East Meadow / Westbury's skilled technicians are just a call away.

Summer Means Mold Growth - where to look for mold

7/13/2017 (Permalink)

Long Island Mold Detection and Remediation Specialists.

Summer is the season of mold growth because of the higher level of moisture and humidity in the environment. The unhygienic or dirty surroundings in home further accelerate mold growth. Mold in your homes damage floors and walls and produce unpleasant odors. In addition, it becomes the source of bringing a number of health problems for you and your family. The first thing to get rid of mold in your home is to know the most common areas where mold grows. Once you know where to look for mold in your homes in summer, you can better adopt preventive measures.

The most common mold growth areas

Though mold can be found anywhere in your home having hot and damp environment on a constant basis, yet the most common areas are:

  • Basements

Most of the basements are sub terrain because of their foundation function for home; however, these basements have the most favorable mold growth conditions, including long term damp environment that usually remains humid and doesn’t get satisfactory air circulation. If you are residing in the areas faced with frequent floods, the water can easily seep through small cracks in foundation or enters the basement’s doorway. The trapped moisture increases humidity after being evaporated and creates a favorable place for mold to grow.

  • Bathrooms and Showers

Bathroom is the most humid areas in homes with high degree of moisture due to frequent use of water. Since moisture becomes the constant element of the environment, bathrooms may not have any chance ever to get optimum humidity level. In addition, hot baths also make your bathrooms vulnerable to mold. Bathrooms are usually devoid of adequate ventilation, lingering humidity, which becomes an ideal place for mold growth.

  • Attics

Inadequate ventilation leads to many issues in attics. Poor insulation installation raises low levels of moisture in home, which get trapped in attic. In addition, plumbing vents, dryer vents, kitchen and bathroom fans vented to attics continuously pump hot moist air into congested space. Installation of water furnaces or heaters in the attic is being widely seen in many large homes. If leaks are not identified and treated on time, or if the appliances are not properly installed, the risk of higher moisture level or line break increases significantly.

  • Crawl Spaces

Crawl spaces usually have higher degree of relative humidity that is favorable to hidden mold to grow, especially if these spaces have a bare earth floor. The soil absorbs and traps moisture. The relative temperature of these spaces make the soil dry through evaporation, adding the moisture into an air in the crawl spaces, which eventually cause mold growth. Moreover, in areas having high water table and suitable weather conditions, ground water may easily penetrate into crawl spaces.

The Quick Remedies to Prevent Mold Growth in Vulnerable Areas in Homes

Here are some important tips to prevent homes from becoming an ideal place for mold growth.

  • Controlling moisture level in your homes is the most important measure to stop mold growth. Any areas that are wet or damp, must be dried within 48 hours.
  • Check the condensation and wet locations. Identify and repair moisture sources on immediate basis.
  • Make efforts to maintain low humidity in your home; 60 percent RH maximum or below. Usually 30 to 50 percent RH is considered ideal. Try to maintain this level.
  • Keep your HVAC drip pans completely clean and flowing unobstructed.
  • Vent your moisture producing appliances and equipment, like dryers, to the outside.

If you are following many of these tips and still facing high mold growth, or if you are new to home repairs, you can consult Long Island's top mold remediation specialists at SERVPRO of East Meadow / Westbury for mold detection and removal.

Preventing Black Mold

12/13/2016 (Permalink)

Black mold is a problem found in many homes. It has many bad effects on humans and precautions should be taken to help reduce the risk of coming into contact with it. To prevent black Mold you should:

-Check regularly under sinks and around garbage disposals and dishwashers should be a routine task

-Check water pipes for leakage and sweating on a regular basis

-In the basement, check the faucets and fixtures of the washing machine and furnace on a routine basis

-Check the attic on regular intervals, especially during months that are humid or damp.

-Simple solar powered attic fans can be installed to help air exchange and eliminate moist conditions.

 -A simple instrument can be purchased at home centers to check humidity levels in moisture laden rooms, such as the basement, bathroom, and kitchen, for around $30.

Preventing Snow Mold

11/23/2016 (Permalink)

 

Recently we have witnessed our first snow of the season! This brings in the subject of snow Mold. Snow Mold is caused when there is snow on the ground that is not completely frozen. Snow Mold is also shown under leaves that have not been cleaned up that should have been moved once more before winter set in.

How is snow Mold prevented?

  • Avoid excessive nitrogen fertilizers in the fall,
  • Mow the lawn until it stops growing,
  • Clean up leaves in the fall,
  • Manage thatch to avoid accumulations of more than 2"

Although it can look really gross in the early spring, most snow mold damage will recover in time. Once the area has dried, the infection will end and the grass will grow out and renew itself.

 

Effect Mold Has On Humans

11/9/2016 (Permalink)

Being exposed to damp and Moldy environments can cause a variety of health effects. Some people are sensitive to Molds. For these kinds of people, Molds 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. People with chronic lung illnesses 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, This includes compost piles, cut grass, and wooded areas.  Mold can enter your home through different ways. It can find its way in from open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, bags, and pets can and be carried indoors.

 

If you think you have Mold, Call SERVPRO of East Meadow/ Westbury! We can help fix the problem and keep your health safe.

How Can You Keep Your Fall Pumpkins Free From Mold?

10/25/2016 (Permalink)

There are some simple things you can do to keep your pumpkins nice, fresh and free from Mold! 

  1. Get some silica gel packets. These are used to wick away excess moisture. Wonder what causes your pumpkin to start rotting and molding? Excess moisture. The two are a simple but effective combination. You can find these in some recent purchases including: Beef jerky, shoes and shoe boxes, and cat litter. 
  2. Remove silica beads from their packets. Make sure you don't leave any of these around! Even though the silica gel packets are non toxic, sometimes manufacturers add other toxic chemicals (for example, cobalt chloride) to the product.
  3. Embed the silica into the pumpkin. Open the top of the pumpkin, take a silica bead and embed it into the interior of the pumpkin. Use 3/4 grams of silica for every 100 cubic inches of pumpkin.

This simple trick can keep your pumpkins fresh and free from Mold for the fall season!

Mold On House Plants? Who Knew!

10/18/2016 (Permalink)

Greenhouse White Fly

There are many ways to prevent the growth of Mold within your home. Small changes and adjustments to your environment can have some immediate effects on the growth or even the prevention of Mold. Mold can grow in places that you would least expect. For example, Mold growth on household plants is a rising issue in centrally heated homes. Household Mold travels in soil, on plants, and in the air. Luckily, there are ways to stop this from happening. First thing you can do is water plants deeply and infrequently. The reason for this is because shallow watering encourages growth near the soils surface, not at root level. Ohio State Univeristy recommends, keeping the humidity in your home under 85%, maintaining good air circulation, and using copper-based fungicides to control botrytis Mold. 

Keep checking our blog for more unusual facts!

SERVPRO of East Meadow Westbury provides Mold damage restoration services

5/9/2016 (Permalink)

Here is a prime example of mold growth due to moisture from a water leak. As you can see, the leaky valve is directly above the mold. YIKES!

What causes Mold in Houses and what does mold needs to grow?

Mold needs these conditions before it can begin to grow in a home:

  • Mold spores
  • A food source (wood, Drywall, cotton)
  • Darkness (mold cant grow under ultraviolet light)
  • Warmth (mold cant grow in freezing temperatures)
  • Oxygen
  • Moisture (water, leaks, humidity)
  • Enough time (most mold can begin to grow in 24-48 hours if th conditions are right)

Moisture is really the key cause of mold growth since the other conditions on the list are always going to be present in a home.

Essentially, the difference between whether or not mold grows in your home comes down to if you have a moisture problem.