Recent Mold Remediation Posts

Mold And Your Health: Does Being Exposed To Mold Cause Health Problems?

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

There are obvious ways in which we set out to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, and getting adequate sleep. What’s not always so obvious is ensuring your home is maintained to prevent exposure to harmful substances. One particularly harmful substance that is found in every home to some extent is mold. Many wonder about the impact of mold on health, asking can mold causes rashes, can mold cause hives, and can mold causes lasting health issues? Left untreated, large overgrowths of mold can have a serious impact on the health of you and your family, such as mold rashes. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect those you love against mold, treat mold skin rashes, and remove existing growth to prevent future growth.

What is Mold and How Does it Grow?

The term mold is used to refer to fungi that grow in multicellular, thread-like hyphae structures. While mold is a common sight on foods and beverages that have spoiled, it can also be found in damp, moist areas of buildings. Moisture is integral to the growth of mold. As a result, mold can be caused by the use of air humidifiers, plumbing leaks, flooding, or any other opportunities for humidity to gather. Spaces such as basements and crawl spaces are particularly prone to mold growth as these spaces often lack proper ventilation, resulting in increased moisture and humidity.

Determining the exact type of mold growing in your home is difficult for the average person, as there are many types that range in color. The most well-known type of mold is referred to as black mold or toxic mold. Most homeowners know to be on the lookout for black mold, as this type of mold can cause health issues. Molds can result in health issues because they release very small, lightweight spores into the air that can then be inhaled by occupants of a house. Simply through inhalation, mold spores can travel deep into the lungs.

Impact of Mold on Health

So, just how dangerous is mold? Coming into contact with mold does not automatically result in health issues. In fact, most of us will come into contact with some amount of mold every day through touch, eating, and breath. However, prolonged exposure to mold when its growth is active and extensive can promote problems with health. The most common symptoms of mold exposure are those often associated with allergies, such as eye irritation, coughing, sneezing, and wheezing. Symptoms resulting from mold can range from mild to severe. Those that are particularly sensitive to the effects of mold or those with prolonged exposure can experience very serious issues, such as shortness of breath, fever, lung disease and infections, hair loss, anxiety, muscle cramps, and memory loss.

Can mold cause rashes, and can mold cause hives? Yes. Another issue that can result from exposure to mold is mold rashes and hives. In some cases, when the body’s immune system kicks in to protect again perceived threats such as mold, large quantities of antibodies are produced to attack the threat. This reaction can result in irritation and inflammation of the skin, and a mold rash is visible. Unfortunately, mold rashes and mildew rashes can be particularly itchy, however, it is important not to scratch to avoid breaking the skin and putting yourself at risk for infection.

Vulnerable Populations to Mold

There are a few populations that are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of mold, and who are at higher risk for mold skin rash and mildew rash. These populations include those with respiratory issues such as asthma, those with compromised immune systems, the elderly, and infants. Infants are susceptible to the harmful effects of mold because their immune systems are still developing. Additionally, little ones come into contact with surfaces that hold dust and mold spores, such as floors, putting them at a greater risk for inhalation and ingestion of substances of concern, in addition to mold rash and mildew rash. To protect those at special risk for mold rash,  treat symptoms of mold exposure and remediate mold overgrowths as soon as they are discovered. 

How to Treat Health Issues Caused by Mold

There are a few ways to treat health issues brought on by exposure to mold. Someone suffering from a mold rash or mildew rash can take oral antibiotics to address the infection. While antibiotics work most of the time, in especially severe cases of mold rash more intensive treatment methods and even hospitalization might be necessary. Additionally, there are topical ointments for a mold skin rash that can help with itchiness.

Another way to treat exposure to mold apart from mold skin rash is the use of nasal sprays or rinses. These items, which can be purchased over the counter, effectively reduce inflammation of the airways that result from mold allergies. You can also create your own rinse at home by mixing distilled water and saline and pouring through your nasal passages to remove mold spores and reduce congestion.

Antihistamines, decongestants, and medications to reduce mucus are all also effective in helping to treat conditions and systems associated with allergies and exposure to mold. If you suspect mold is having a negative impact on your health, contact your doctor to schedule a blood test to determine if you have in fact been exposed to harmful amounts of mold. If this is the case, you can then discuss treatment options and preventative measures to take to protect the important systems of your body.

Steps to Prevent Mold

The best way to protect your health and health of your loved ones from mold skin rash and other health effects is to stop it from growing altogether. One of the best methods for preventing exposure to mold is by ensuring air ducts in your home are kept clean. The air duct cleaning process involves removing dirt and debris from the heating and cooling systems in a house used to transport the flow of hot or cold air when heat or air conditioning systems are engaged. When left with a buildup of debris, these substances can spill into the air, reducing quality and resulting in harmful effects. It is therefore recommended that homes receive an air duct cleaning every 5 to 7 years.

Another method for preventing the growth of mold is by ensuring damp spaces such as the basement or crawl spaces are well ventilated and dry. Where moisture exists, mold growths. If you notice signs of water damage in your home, such as discoloration of walls, a musty odor, or cracking in the foundation, you are at a higher risk for the development of mold. Ensure your home is properly waterproofed and sealed. Should water damage or flooding occur, conduct repairs immediately and disposed of furniture or belongings that you cannot successfully dry.

The Cost of Black Mold Removal: Should I Buy A Home With Mold?

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Is your perfect house still worth moving into if it has black mold?

Imagine, you’ve scoured your favorite neighborhoods for months in order to find the perfect new home for you and your family. After long deliberations and discussions over cost, distance from work, proximity to schools, and more, you’ve narrowed your search to the perfect home and are ready to make an offer. Unfortunately, you find out that the house is not so perfect, as it is home to black mold. What should you do next? Do you proceed with the purchase and explore mold removal costs, or, should set your sights on another option?

Determining whether or not to purchase a home that has black mold first requires an understanding of what black mold is, the potential consequences of living in a space with black mold, and the mold remediation cost required to rid the house of this intrusive growth.

What is Black Mold

Before jumping into mold remediation costs, let’s first understand what black mold is. Also referred to as “toxic mold,” black mold is the common term for the type of mold called Stachybotrys Cchartarum. Mold is a type of fungi, surprisingly similar to things we eat every day like yeast in bread or mushrooms. There is cause for concern for black mold, as its very small spores are incredibly light in weight, making them easily become airborne. Once airborne, they can be inhaled by individuals in the vicinity. Some forms of mold produce harmful toxins, called mycotoxins, that can have a particularly negative impact on health. For this reason, if you notice mold growing in your home, it’s important that you do not touch or disturb it.

Identifying whether a particular mold growing in a house is black mold is difficult for the average person, as many different types of mold can grow in the same space, and can have a similar appearance. If you suspect the home you wish to purchase has a mold problem, contact a professional immediately who, as part of their mold removal cost, will help determine the type of mold growing and the severity of the case.

Where does Black Mold Grow

While black mold can grow in a number of spots throughout a home, they are particularly prone to growing in warm, moist spots, such as attics, basements, and crawl spaces. Mold remediation costs cover the various spots where mold is likely to grow.

Attics: Because many attics are not equipped with proper ventilation, various types of molds prosper in these spaces. Attic mold growth is perpetuated when moisture from the lower levels of the home rise and become trapped in this top level of the house. The issue of attic mold is worse when kitchen and bathroom fans or even dryer vents exhaust into the attic. This is because these channels fill the attic with additional warm, moist air mold needs to thrive. To reduce moisture and thus the growth of mold, an attic requires sealing, insulation, and proper ventilation.

Basements: Like attics, basements are prone to the collection of moisture due to their often dark, damp nature. Basement mold results when moisture collects and flows through small holes and cracks in the home, draining into the lowest level. Homes built from porous materials will have more issues with moisture, as they promote the flow of water throughout the home. Before purchasing a home, determine whether the basement has proper ventilation, whether the rain gutters effectively push water away from the foundation, and whether there has been adequate maintenance and construction to prevent moisture buildup and subsequently basement mold.

Crawl Spaces: Many of us avoid venturing into crawl spaces, leaving us unaware of whether or not crawl space mold is growing in these spots. However, because crawl spaces are often warm and damp, they can be a breeding ground for black mold and other types of crawl space mold. In fact, because lots of crawl spaces have exposed earthen floors, ground moisture raises the level of humidity in the space.

How is Black Mold Remediated

Because mold is always present inside and outside of a home, it is virtually impossible to truly remove all mold. Therefore, when particular cases of mold growth occur that require professional attention, we refer to this as remediation. Quality mold restoration companies will not promise to remove all mold and instead can efficiently and effectively return mold levels in a home back to normal, natural levels.

The first step to house mold removal is repairing the source of moisture to prevent the collection of water in mold-prone spots of the home. Ensuring that basements, attics, and crawl spaces are properly ventilated, sealed, and insulated is therefore of particular importance. If this step isn’t taken, the mold will likely come back after the remediation process.

Next, the area of the home where the mold is growing should be sealed off, particularly any doorways or other openings that lead to other areas of the home. Doing this helps to prevent the spread of mold spores into other spaces during the house mold removal. As mentioned, inhaling mold spores can have serious consequences to one’s health, so everything should be contained when tackling this issue.

Now, only when wearing a face mask or respirator, a professional can begin the house mold removal process by destroying any visible mold and disposing of mold-infested materials using antifungal and antimicrobial treatments. The exact type of treatment used will largely depend on the type of mold growing and the amount of mold growth.

Because the house mold removal process might require the removal of drywall or carpet, small repairs might be necessary following the process. Next, let's explore mold remediation costs.

Black Mold Remediation Cost

For quality, long-term remediation of a mold issue, paying the mold removal costs for a specialist is essential. Determining the exact mold remediation cost depends on factors including the extent of mold growth impact price. When a mold infestation is contained to a single area, the mold removal cost will be less than if air ducts are involved, or if there is extensive mold growth following the flooding of a home. Contact a specialist to discuss the specifics of your case to determine the mold remediation cost for your situation.

Should I buy a home with black Mold

When trying to decide whether or not to buy a home with black mold, consider how soon you plan to move in, whether you or your loved ones have any health issues that could be made worse through exposure to mold, and whether you can afford the mold remediation cost. If you plan to move in immediately, it is likely not a great idea to move into a home with a black mold infestation. On the other hand, should you have the flexibility to delay a move in and have the money for mold removal costs, the black mold should not deter you from purchasing your dream home.

Remediating the Mold Damage In Your Atlanta Residence

4/4/2018 (Permalink)

Atlanta Area Mold Remediation is a Cornerstone of SERVPRO Services

Professional Remediation by SERVPRO Controls Mold Growth in Your Home

As familiar as it might be to Atlanta homes throughout the year, there is very little that most homeowners even know about mold growth. While you might work hard to keep your house clean and free from potential problems, mold colonization in moisture ridden areas can happen to any residence. There are very few things that are a requirement for fungal growth, and the interior of your home gets constructed with one of these: organic materials.

Yes, for spores to turn into colonies, you need warm temperatures, moisture, and organic materials. Considering that many of the interior walls of your home primarily consist of drywall and wood, there are little stopping spores from seating on these surfaces if the other conditions get met. Preventing mold damage to your Atlanta home is often a battle of keeping your home dry, and understanding that regular inspections of critical components intended to keep moisture out can aid in preventing colonies from forming.
 
There is no mistaking that mold growth has gotten linked to potential health effects for you and your family, so it is nothing to put off until a favorable time. While ultimately this process is successful through the employment of SERVPRO IICRC certified remediation specialists, there is a specific reason why professional restoration is a requirement for success.
 
Most often, conventional cleaning methods only scratch the surface (literally) of the problem that you are facing. Instead of penetrating deeply enough to uproot and remove the entire organism that is thriving (hyphae), your cleaning methods are only useful on the limited depth that your cleaning utensils can reach. This process merely puts a bandage on a problem that returns after a short while. Applying a product such as bleach can also add to the moisture source that molds crave for expansion.
 
Instead of not fully correcting the fungal problem, you can trust in the experience and diligence of our SERVPRO remediation technicians. From the moment that we arrive, we get to work on blocking off the affected area from spreading further while also working to locate the source of the moisture and repair it if possible.
 
While this is only a small piece of the remediation process, it can show the dedication and experience found in every technician at SERVPRO of West Atlanta / Downtown. If you are facing mold damage in your home, do not hesitate to call us at (404) 835-0200.

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Cleaning Mold Damage from Atlanta Homes

2/6/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO's first step is to locate the mold and its source, this step helps us to determine the necessary cleaning methods to use.

SERVPRO’s Steps to Remediating Mold Damage in Your Home

Flooding or other water damage to an Atlanta home can also lead to mold problems. It only takes a small cluster, no bigger than a pinhead, to begin growing and turn into a threat to property and personal health.

The smell is how most people first notice Atlanta mold damage. Active mold growth has a distinctive musty odor that few people can mistake. SERVPRO technicians know that is not the best way to detect it, since not every mold gives off this odor and if a homeowner does detect it, that means mold may already be a threat. To eliminate it from homes, we clean and dry everything that has mold but is salvageable, dispose of items we cannot clean, and dry everything that does not have mold but is still at risk.

To begin cleaning, we first have to find the mold. Technicians can do this with air content meters to follow airborne mold spores and visual inspections of likely spaces such as under sinks, laundry rooms, crawlspaces, and basements. Both methods of detection also help us determine which cleaning methods to use.

Next, we isolate the mold. Depending on where we find it, SERVPRO response team members block all access with plastic sheeting and use fans to create negative air pressure and force airborne and other loose spores out of the home. If necessary, we also seal off the heating and air vents to prevent accidentally contaminating unaffected areas of the home.

Now, we can clean. Technicians start by wiping down affected surfaces with dry sponges and cloths. Unless the mold layer is very thick, this removes the majority of it. If the cloths and sponges cannot remove it, we bring in vacuums with HEPA filters. These are specially designed to capture mold spores.

If there is an excessive amount of moisture present, we need to break up clumps of mold. Team members can do this with an anti-fungal cleaning agent and then use wet sponges to remove the mold. If needed, we can also use vacuums with the HEPA filters to remove wet mold as easily as the dry spores.

When none of these methods work, we have to dispose of the property. Everything we remove from the home is according to state and EPA regulations.

If the inside humidity is too high, we can use dehumidifiers and air movers to reduce the air moisture content. These devices help us dry not just the structure, but also remove moisture from personal property as well. Lowering the humidity to normal levels is the most effective method to prevent future mold growth.

Returning your home to its original state is not a simple task, but SERVPRO of West Atlanta / Downtown is here to help you through each step. Call us today at (404) 835-0200 to get started.

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Staying Vigilant for Mold Damage in Atlanta in 2018

12/31/2017 (Permalink)

When you see or smell mold in your home, it is time to call the specialists at SERVPRO to come out and investigate the cause. It is best to call fast

Our Technicians Remediate Mold Damage As Well As Offer Helpful Preventative Tips

As we head into a new year, many observant and careful homeowners across Georgia may be reevaluating their finances and committing to a more fiscally responsible year. One critical expense that many overlook, however, is home maintenance. Home maintenance may concern replacing old gutters or fixing the back patio, but you might also want to consider hidden variables such as mold. Mold damage can affect Atlanta homes silently and slowly, wholly hidden from even the most watchful of eyes. As you move into the new year, you may want to vow to keep an eye out for one of America's worst pests.
 
Remediation of mold damage in Atlanta does not always have to be an excessively costly endeavor. If you catch the infestation early and contact a certified company like SERVPRO to remove it, you may not be liable to pay much at all, even before your insurance is taken into account. The trick lies in catching the colony before it grows too big. Every few months, give your home a check-over to look for signs of mold damage. Indicators may include unusual smells, discoloration on walls and surfaces, and patches of white "fuzz" anywhere in the home. Depending on the size of your home, such a check should take somewhere between fifteen minutes and an hour but could save you thousands in future costs.
 
If you do find signs of damage, it is always best to seek help sooner rather than later. There is no such thing as waiting out a mold infestation; if mold is allowed to remain undisturbed, it can only grow and spread across your home. Calling SERVPRO as soon as you find the mold growth ensures that the remediation procedure is as short and inexpensive as possible and that the fungus does not spread to other parts of the home.
 
SERVPRO of West Atlanta / Downtown is ready around the year and around the clock to respond to calls for help in the local community. If you find signs of mold in your home, call us at (404) 835-0200.

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