Mold Remediation

Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods, and insulation. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. It is impossible to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment. However, mold growth can be controlled indoors by controlling moisture indoors.

Molds reproduce by making spores that usually cannot be seen without magnification. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on.

Many types of molds exist. All molds have the potential to cause health effects. Molds can produce allergens that can trigger allergic reactions or even asthma attacks in people allergic to mold. Others are known to produce potent toxins and/or irritants. Potential health concerns are an important reason to prevent mold growth and to remediate/clean up any existing indoor mold growth.

Since mold requires water to grow, it is important to prevent moisture problems in buildings. Moisture problems can have many causes, including uncontrolled humidity. Some moisture problems in buildings have been linked to changes in building construction practices during the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Some of these changes have resulted in buildings that are tightly sealed, but may lack adequate ventilation, potentially leading to moisture buildup. Building materials, such as drywall, may not allow moisture to escape easily. Moisture problems may include:

  • Roof leaks

  • Landscaping or gutters that direct water into or under the building

  • Unvented combustion appliances

  • Delayed maintenance or insufficient maintenance are also associated with moisture problems.

When mold growth occurs in buildings, adverse health problems may be reported by some building occupants, particularly those with allergies or respiratory problems. Remediators should avoid exposing themselves and others to mold-laden dusts as they conduct their cleanup activities. Caution should be used to prevent mold and mold spores from being dispersed throughout the air where they can be inhaled by building occupants.

Source:  https://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-remediation

Moisture and Mold Prevention and Control Tips

 

Moisture Control is the Key to Mold Control

  • When water leaks or spills occur indoors - act quickly. If wet or damp materials or areas are dried 24-48 hours after a leak or spill happens, in most cases mold will not grow.

  • Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.

  • Make sure the ground slopes away from the building foundation, so that water does not enter or collect around the foundation.

  • Keep air conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly.

  • Keep indoor humidity low. If possible, keep indoor humidity below 60 percent (ideally between 30 and 50 percent) relative humidity. Relative humidity can be measured with a moisture or humidity meter, a small, inexpensive ($10-$50) instrument available at many hardware stores.

  • If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes act quickly to dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture/water source. Condensation can be a sign of high humidity.

Actions that will help to reduce humidity

  • Vent appliances that produce moisture, such as clothes dryers, stoves, and kerosene heaters to the outside where possible. (Combustion appliances such as stoves and kerosene heaters produce water vapor and will increase the humidity unless vented to the outside.)

  • Use air conditioners and/or de-humidifiers when needed.

  • Run the bathroom fan or open the window when showering. Use exhaust fans or open windows whenever cooking, running the dishwasher or dishwashing, etc.

 

Actions that will help prevent condensation:

  • Reduce the humidity (see preceeding page)

  • Increase ventilation or air movement by opening doors and/or windows, when practical. Use fans as needed.

  • Cover cold surfaces, such as cold water pipes, with insulation.

  • Increase air temperature.

Hidden Mold

 

You may suspect hidden mold if a building smells moldy, but you cannot see the source, or if you know there has been water damage and residents are reporting health problems. Mold may be hidden in places such as the back side of dry wall, wallpaper, or paneling, the top side of ceiling tiles, the underside of carpets and pads, etc. Other possible locations of hidden mold include areas inside walls around pipes (with leaking or condensing pipes), the surface of walls behind furniture (where condensation forms), inside ductwork, and in roof materials above ceiling tiles (due to roof leaks or insufficient insulation).

Investigating hidden mold problems

Investigating hidden mold problems may be difficult and will require caution when the investigation involves disturbing potential sites of mold growth. For example, removal of wallpaper can lead to a massive release of spores if there is mold growing on the underside of the paper. If you believe that you may have a hidden mold problem, consider hiring an experienced professional.

Source:   https://www.epa.gov/mold/brief-guide-mold-moisture-and-your-home#tab-7

All Remediations we perform include the causal factors that created the environment where mold can grow, what steps we perform to remediate(remove) the mold, and the repairs needed to prevent future mold growth.

We always follow the protocols outlined by the IICRC
Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification

The ANSI/IICRC S520 is a procedural standard for the remediation of mold damaged structures and contents. The ANSI/IICRC S520 is based on reliable remediation and restoration principles, research and practical experience, and attempts to combine essential academic principles with practical elements of water damage restoration for technicians facing "real-life" mold remediation challenges. The S520 and R520 are written for use by those involved in the mold remediation industry, and is the result of collaboration among microbiologists and other scientists, public health professionals, industrial hygienists, remediation contractors, restoration service companies, cleaning and restoration training schools, trade associations that service the professional restoration industry, allied trade-persons and others with related professional and practical experience.

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 301-797-4115 

Larry V Hammond: Certified Home Inspector since 1999

International Assoc. Certified Home Inspectors#03092909

Maryland Home Inspectors License #30329

Pennsylvania Compliant Home Inspectors

Pennsylvania Registered Contractor License #PA104054

MHIC, Maryland Home Improvement Commission #7851

CMRC - Certified Mold Remediation Contractor #62963

IAQ - Indoor Air Quality EMSL Analytical, INC. #06-0411-MD

IAC2 - International Assoc. of Certified Indoor Air Consultants #1AC2-00-1185