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Mold Removal and Remediation

The first step in solving an indoor mold problem is to remove the moisture source; new mold will begin to grow on moist, porous surfaces within 24 to 48 hours. There are a number of ways to prevent mold growth. Some cleaning companies specialize in fabric restoration, removing mold (and mold spores) from clothing to eliminate odor and prevent further damage to garments.
The effective way to clean mold is to use detergent solutions which physically remove mold. Many commercially available detergents marketed for mold cleanup include an EPA-approved antifungal agent.
Significant mold growth may require professional mold remediation to remove the affected building materials and eradicate the source of excess moisture. In extreme cases of mold growth in buildings, it may be more cost-effective to condemn the building than to reduce mold to safe levels.
The goals of remediation are to remove (or clean) contaminated materials, preventing fungi (and fungi-contaminated dust) from entering an occupied (or non-contaminated) area while protecting workers performing the abatement.

Mold Assessment and Testing

The first step in assessment is to non-intrusively determine if mold is present by visually examining the premises; visible mold helps determine the level of remediation necessary. If mold is actively growing and visibly confirmed, sampling for its specific species is unnecessary.
Intrusive observation is sometimes needed to assess the mold level. This includes moving furniture, lifting (or removing) carpets, checking behind wallpaper or paneling, checking ventilation ductwork and exposing wall cavities. Detailed visual inspection and the recognition of moldy odors should be used to find problems. Efforts should focus on areas where there are signs of liquid moisture or water vapor (humidity), or where moisture problems are suspected.

Mold Removal and Cleanup

Removing large infestations requires precautionsu2014and work!

You can scrub away the surface mold common to bathrooms, decks and siding in a matter of minutes with a 1-to-8 bleach/water solution We do not recommend bleach for the simple reason it does not KILL the spores. But often mold grows and spreads in places you don't notice, until you spot surface staining, feel mushy drywall or detect that musty smell.

If you have to remove mold concentrations covering more than a few square feet, where the musty odor is strong or where you find extensive water damage, we recommend that you take special precautions. You want to not only avoid contaminating the rest of the house but also protect yourself from breathing high concentrations of spores and VOCs.

Step by Step

  • u00a0Wear old clothes and shoes that you can launder or throw away after the cleanup work.
  • u00a0Wear special N-95 or P-100 respirators, in addition to goggles and gloves.
  • u00a0Set an old box fan or a cheap new one in a window to ventilate the room while working. Throw it out when you're done cleaning, because the spores are almost impossible to clean off. Tape plywood or cardboard around the window openings so the spores can't blow back in .
  • u00a0Wrap and tape moldy carpeting in 6-mil plastic, and double-bag mold-infested debris in garbage bags for disposal .
  • u00a0To control airborne spores, moisten moldy areas with a garden sprayer while you work (Photo 1).
  • u00a0Turn off your furnace and air conditioner and cover ducts and doors to contain spores.
  • u00a0Keep your wet/dry vacuum outside when you vacuum.

Moisture damage and large mold infestations go hand in hand. Cleaning under an old leaky window where wind-driven rain frequently got into the wall and gave mold a foothold.

You have to open up the wall to get at the mold growing inside . Since you have to repair the wall anyway, don't hesitate to cut the drywall back beyond the obvious damage to find all the mold and let the wall dry out. To avoid cutting electrical wires, poke a hole through the damaged section and locate the wires first. Turn off the power to the outlets before you cut.

If the moisture damage has been neglected or gone unnoticed for long, you're likely to find rot. Where possible, remove and replace soft, spongy studs and wall sheathing. Where removal is difficult, treat the affected areas with a wood preservative (available at home centers), after cleaning the wood and allowing it to dry. Then double up rotted members with pressure-treated wood.

If you are unsure of any of these processes you need a professional Mold remediation company such as Win Win Inspections. MRSR#973 Call 386-846-5368.

Fire Safety

Your inspector may comment on any number of fire safety issues, as a key component of a home inspection is safety. Here are 12 of the more common fire safety items your home inspector should note:
  • u00a0The presence of smoke detectors. Depending on the circumstances, the inspector may not press the u201ctestu201d button on smoke detectors. If detectors are wired together or to a security company, then pressing the test button (without having the system deactivation code) could cause the fire department to be called.
  • u00a0If the inspector has access to and can peer into dryer vents, then he may note that buildup of lint could be a potential fire hazard.
  • u00a0The inspector should check the chimney flue for creosote buildup, which would warrant concern.
  • u00a0An exposed incandescent light bulb inside a closet (near clothing/shelving, etc.) is considered a fire hazard.
  • u00a0Curtains or draperies blocking heat registers can pose a fire hazard.
  • u00a0Any over-fusing in an electrical panel is a fire hazard. An over-fused circuit is a one that is protected from over-current by a fuse or circuit breaker that is oversized for the capacity of the circuit conductors.
  • u00a0Too many appliances or cords plugged in to an electrical outlet.
  • u00a0Single-strandedu00a0aluminum branch wiringu00a0u2014 whenever this is discovered, the inspector should recommend that the system be fully inspected by a qualified, licensed electrician.
  • u00a0A door leading from the garage to the house should be fire-rated and perhaps self-closing.
  • u00a0Most inspectors use gas detectors during the inspection, and any indication of a gas leak would be a concern.
  • u00a0If there is a vantage point, the inspector would hope to find a u201cfire stopu201d in the space that fireplace flue occupies and the next floor above.
  • u00a0Any hole or breech in wall of a garage and next to the living space is a potential fire hazard.

Mold control for your home and business

The best way to avoid a mold problem in your home or businees is to always take steps to control and prevent moisture.
Moisture Intrusion in any form can be the beginning of a full blown mold bloom if not contained and clean up immediately.
Most mold issues are caused by a moisture intrusion event.
Leaky water lines.
A/C System condensation left uncontrolled.
Open windows during a rain event.
Roof leaks with or without serious roof damage.
These are just a few of the many ways moisture can get into your building.

Why is Mold a Problem Today

Since the 1970u2019s, when there was a shortage of oil, home construction has changed dramatically. It is now common practice to heavily insulate homes, wrap the exterior with a vapor barrier, and create less ventilation from the outside air. This can cause the potential for mold growth if there is a water event. According to statistics from the Bureau of the Census, 35% of homes are
damaged due to water or moisture yearly. With the wood, cellulose, and other organic materials used in buildings, this now provides a fertile platform for mold growth. All buildings can be affected by excessive moisture. The source of the water intrusion must be identified and fixed to prevent further mold growth. Suspected visible mold growth can only be determined by Laboratory analysis for positive identification. Identifying mold or mold problems should be done by a trained inspector who is knowledgeable in all factors of mold growth. A thorough inspection by our Professionals will identify all possible causes of mold growth within the premises. We can also take the appropriate samples for laboratory analysis of suspected mold growth.
Mold is a fungus. The main purpose of mold is to break down dead materials, like wood and fiber that are used in building materials. There are good molds and bad molds. Some molds are used in making antibiotics, beer, and cheese, for example, while other types of molds can cause serious health effects. Mold growth can start as soon as 24 hours after a water event has occurred. Mold can often be seen in the form of a discoloration or a stain. When molds are present in large quantities, called colonies, they become a health concern. Some people are sensitive to molds. Exposure to molds can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation and can trigger Asthma episodes. Some people, such as those with
serious allergies to molds, may have more severe reactions. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. Some people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop mold infections in their lungs.
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