Recent Mold Remediation Posts
Mold Testing in Orlando and Winter Park
Even if mold is visible, it is important to conduct an air quality test to determine how far it may have spread.
If you suspect you may have mold in your home or you are certain that you have mold in an area that is larger than ten square feet, you should absolutely be seeking a professional hygienist to perform mold testing. Many of our initial conversations with clients consist of explaining the mold remediation process and guiding them towards taking the correct actions. In this article, we will explain what it means to have mold testing done in your home, why it is important, and what you can do to get the process going correctly.
Does SERVPRO Test for Mold?
Most of our callers assume that testing for mold and removing it are the same service. However, while SERVPRO of Winter Park is licensed to remediate and remove mold, we are not actually licensed to test for mold or determine whether you have a mold issue at all. Here’s why.
In the state of Florida, there are laws in place that protect businesses and homeowners by not allowing any particular business to simultaneously hold a remediator license and a testing license at any given time. The licenses are separated to ensure that you, as the homeowner, are safe from conducting business with any company that may wish to perform testing on your property, inflate estimates for remediation, and overcharge you for services performed.
If SERVPRO Can’t Test, Who Can?
The decision of who to call to schedule mold testing services is entirely up to you unless your insurance company specifies otherwise. There are many testing companies available in Central Florida but it is important to know what you should expect from your company of choice. Be wary of companies that offer to perform remediation as well or companies that do not provide full documentation after tests are completed. While SERVPRO of Winter Park does not provide this service, we understand how confusing the search for a trustworthy mold inspection company can be, which is why we provide our callers with recommendations for mold testers that have proven to be efficient and thorough.
What Should I Expect from The Mold Tester’s I Choose?
Solid mold testing companies in Orlando and the surrounding areas will actually perform more than one test in your home. Taking surface samples from your home can determine the type of mold you are dealing with, however, doing this type of testing alone is insufficient in determining the extent to which your home is affected or the actions that must be completed to successfully remediate and ensure the problem is gone.
Air quality samples should also be taken from multiple areas throughout your home. Mold is a living organism that releases spores that become airborne and can travel throughout hour home and ventilation, affecting other areas as well. Air quality tests will determine how much of your home is affected and to what extent.
Comprehensive Reports and Protocols
A professional mold assessor will provide you with the full details of your testing results and their findings. You should expect a report that contains a variety of information such as the type of mold species that was found, how many areas are affected, and which areas contain the highest concentration of spores.
Just as important, you should make sure to receive a written protocol from the mold testers that details what actions are needed in order to successfully remediate the mold so that the problem does not worsen and will not come back.
Will SERVPRO Remediate Without Testing?
SERVPRO of Winter Park will NOT perform services for any client that cannot provide a written protocol for proper remediation. As an IICRC licensed remediation company, we follow strict guidelines to ensure quality work and services are provided to our client’s.
The only exception to this rule is in the case of clients who have a mold problem that is only affecting an area that is less than ten square feet. While we still recommend proper testing is performed, areas smaller than ten square feet do not require testing and be removed of mold or mildew, treated, and sanitized.
How to Get Mold Testing Started
Once again, finding your own mold testing company is your choice. Be sure to do as much research into the company you choose as possible and remember the key points made in this article. If you need assistance, direction, or recommendations for trustworthy mold inspection companies, call our office at (407) 678-5391 and we will be more than happy to assist you!
Mold Damage on Clothing in Orlando
Most types of clothing are extremely susceptible to mold growth as their porous materials provide the perfect habitat for the organism to thrive in.
SERVPRO Can Help You Determine Which Items are Salvageable
Mold in the house is something every homeowner in the Orlando area fears. Mold problems usually mean that you have water or moisture coming from somewhere. Therefore, your first priority should be to address this source, whether it is a hole in the roof or a leaky basement. When correcting the root of the mold problem, it is important to remove any mold that has managed to grow on any of the surfaces. This includes furniture, walls, and sadly, even your clothing.
Mold damage on your favorite clothing can be heartbreaking. One of the main ways mold may develop on clothes is if they have been in storage for too long. Perhaps you stored your winter pullovers in boxes in the attic where there is a hidden moisture problem, or you accidentally tossed wet clothes into a storage bag before they had a chance to dry completely.
What Type of Clothes Does Mold Grow On?
Clothes made from natural fibers like silk, wool, rayon, jute, ramie, linen, and cotton are more susceptible to mold damage than those made with synthetic fibers. SERVPRO of Winter Park offers mold remediation services. Our technicians can help you sort out those that are salvageable with mold remediation techniques. When mold develops on clothes, it produces enzymes that break down the protein or cellulose to compounds that the mold uses for food.
What Signs Should You Look For?
Often, the initial sign of mold damage on clothes is a distinct musty smell in the closet. After careful examination, SERVPRO technicians can detect stains with visible mold growth or visible pigmentation. Mold on clothes can appear in the form of spores, which are easy to clean up using simple mold control techniques.
In case of severe mold damage, it is best to get rid of the item. Even then, such clothes should be handled with caution because certain species of mold may cause health effects. Here is some more information on restoring contents.
When is DIY Mold Removal an Option in Winter Park?
You should not attempt to remove mold if you are experiencing health problems of any sort.
Many homeowners are interested in DIY (Do-It-Yourself) mold removal. They want to know how to clean mold themselves because they want to save money. Some also like the satisfaction of doing a job themselves. In some cases, it makes sense to handle a household mold problem yourself. Sometimes, though, it’s necessary to call in a professional that knows how to clean mold, like SERVPRO of Winter Park
When Is DIY Mold Removal a Good Idea?
Cleaning up mold yourself may be a good idea if:
- The mold only covers a small area.
- The mold is growing on easy-to-clean surfaces like glass, metal, tile, tubs, or sinks.
- The mold is growing on hard-to-clean materials, like carpet, that are easy to remove and replace and you know how to do it properly.
- You don’t have any health problems likely to be made worse by increased exposure to mold (check with your doctor if you’re not sure if it’s safe for you to clean up a mold problem yourself).
Of course, you always have the option of hiring a professional mold remediation company for the job if you don’t want to do it yourself or simply don’t have the time or energy for what can be a time-consuming process.
When Is DIY Mold Removal Not a Good Idea?
In some situations, it’s better to call in a mold remediation professional for assistance. Cleaning up mold yourself is probably not such a good idea if:
- The mold covers a large area (greater than three feet by three feet, according to the Environmental Protection Agency).
- Mold develops after flooding with water that might be contaminated with sewage or other potentially hazardous substances.
- There is mold in your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (most homeowners have neither the knowledge nor the equipment needed to properly remove mold from their HVAC systems).
- You aren’t sure how to do all parts of the job correctly (if, for instance, there is mold inside your walls and you don’t know how to remove and replace drywall) or you don’t have all the tools required to do the job (such as a drywall saw, if you need to remove moldy drywall).
- You have moldy wood that cannot be removed and replaced, so the moldy area needs to be sanded and encapsulated instead (it’s recommended that only mold remediation professionals sand moldy wood since it significantly increases one’s exposure to mold, which can lead to potentially serious illnesses).
- You have a medical condition that might be made worse by increased exposure to mold (check with your doctor if you’re not sure if increased exposure to mold may exacerbate your medical condition).
Expert Mold Removal Services and Advice
If you need help with mold removal, or if you’d just like some professional advice before beginning DIY mold removal, we suggest consulting with a mold remediation specialist in Winter Park. You can schedule an in-home consultation with a professional that knows how to clean mold. You can use our expert advice to determine whether or not it’s a job you’re prepared to tackle yourself.
If you suspect mold that you cannot handle or need advice, contact SERVPRO of Winter Park at 407-678-5391.
Creating the Right Mold Remediation Plan
The extent of remediation and work that must be done will be outlined in your written protocol, which is used to build our remediation plan.
Mold Remediation is a process that both removes materials damaged by mold and identifies and corrects the conditions that allowed for the mold growth to begin in a safe and effective manner. Every property with mold damage should have its own custom plan created in order to properly address the issue.
Air Quality Test and Written Protocol
In the state of Florida, the same company that performs mold testing on a property is not allowed to perform its remediation as well. SERVPRO of Winter Park performs the actual remediation side of the process, however, we have a network of trusted companies that can perform an air quality test and provide you with a written protocol. This is an essential step in the overall process for a number of reasons. In addition to providing information such as the type, cause, and severity of your mold problem, a written protocol by a professional mold assessment company will also provide you with an outline for remediation. The next part of the process can begin after this protocol has been sent to us.
Creating a Mold Remediation Plan
After receiving the written protocol, SERVPRO of Winter Park will schedule a day and time to have a mold professional visit your property to take pictures and measurements. This, along with the contents and outline of the written protocol, will allow us to build an estimate for the cost of remediation and finalize a remediation plan that is catered to your specific mold problem.
The final remediation plan should include steps to correct the source of moisture that led to the mold growth. The plan should also detail other aspects of the process such as the use of personal protective equipment and steps for carefully containing the mold and affected building materials so that further contamination is prevented. The length of your remediation plan will be based on the size and complexity of the job and can vary greatly from other remediation plans. It is also important to know that new discoveries or changing circumstances during the remediation process can result in a revision of your plan to ensure that the remediation is thorough.
Most importantly, the foundation of your remediation plan should be the safety of all inhabitants of the property and the remediators performing work as well. Your remediator should avoid exposing themselves and others to mold-laden dust while performing work. If your HVAC system is contaminated with mold, or mold is present near the intake of the system, you should not run your air conditioning unit. Doing so can spread the contamination to the other areas of your home. In properties that are highly contaminated with certain specific types of mold, it is common for your remediator to recommend that all inhabitants be temporarily relocated for their safety until the property is remediated and cleared by a post-remediation air quality test.
Professional Mold Remediation Company
If you suspect mold in your property, give SERVPRO of Winter Park a call at (407) 678-5391. We offer knowledgeable and professional mold remediation services and can even refer you to a trustworthy mold testing company to get the process started for your property.
5 Mold Remediation Don’ts to Avoid
Painting over mold is looked at as the cheapest option for many property manager and homeowners but only limits your ability to visibly notice growth.
There are plenty of myths out there in regards to proper mold remediation and what actually works. New discoveries about mold are made all the time, and the recommended processes for treatment improves and adapts along with each discovery made. Because of this, predated information still exists and homeowners and property managers tend to use techniques that either make a mold situation worse or have no effect at all. Here are our top five mold remediation don’ts to avoid.
The most common don’t when it comes to mold remediation is the use of bleach for the cleaning or removal of mold. While at one point The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommended the use of chlorine bleach in mold abated, they were the first to retract their recommendation. The Environmental Protection Agency has since retracted their recommendation as well.
The truth when it comes to using chlorine bleach is that it actually CAN kill certain mold types (Aspergillus niger and Trichophyton mentagrophytes) when used on a non-porous surface. The main problems with this are that there are many other types of mold and remediation typically involves disinfecting wood and wood-based building materials, all of which are porous materials. Because the properties of chlorine bleach prevent it from soaking into wood-based materials, the bleach is not able to reach and affect the roots of the mold to stop it at its source. Mold membranes will recognize bleach as a threat, retreat further into the material to avoid it, and in some case, mold can even use the bleach as a fungal food to grow more rapidly. Yes, bleach can potentially make the problem worse! Be wary of any restoration company that recommends the use of bleach as a solution to your mold problems.
Another popular household item that is often used to deal with mold is vinegar. Vinegar is mildly acidic and actually can kill about 82% of mold species. However, when treating mold as a homeowner, you must be aware that visible mold growth in your property may not be the only area that is affected. Choosing this option runs the risk of missing additional mold growth within your property, leaving you unknowingly open to an increasingly worse mold situation. Seeking professional mold testing is always the best option for determining how bad your mold situation is, as well as determining the type of mold you are dealing with. In most cases, calling a professional mold remediation company is the best option, especially when the mold is widespread.
3. Scraping Off
One misconception is that you can remove mold by simply scraping it off. This is a big don’t for a few reasons. Mold is a living organism and disturbing it releases spores into the air which can potentially be breathed in. These released spores also cause the mold to contaminate other accessible areas of the property helping the mold to spread throughout. Scraping mold not only means a significantly higher bill for treating and removing it but also poses an increased health risk for all inhabitants of the property.
4. Ignoring Mold
Aside from making the decision to remediate on their own, many homeowners and property managers also make the decision to leave the mold as is. There are an enormous amount of risks involved when ignoring signs of mold. Mold that is exposed and left untreated is at high risk of being disturbed and spreading. Prolonged exposure to mold, visible or otherwise, can have different effects on people’s health. Another issue with leaving mold untreated is the structural damage that it can cause to your property. The longer that mold is ignored, the bigger your problems will be down the line across the board.
5. Painting Over
Due to either a lack of knowledge on mold or in some cases pure negligence, there are plenty of property managers, landlords and/or homeowners that choose to hide mold by painting over it. One of the biggest issues in property managers doing this is that it limits the inhabitants from quickly noticing the mold. Mold can eat through the majority of paints and become exposed again. By the time this happens, the mold growth is usually significantly worse. There are also mold resistant paints that are misconstrued as a viable option for painting over mold. These paints are intended to be used prior to mold growth on a clean surface to prevent the growth from happening. Using these paints will not take care of the issue and will only prevent you from noticing the problem get worse.
Local Mold Remediation Services
If you notice mold growth in your home or property, call the professionals here at SERVPRO of Winter Park. Our phone line 407-837-8990 is open 24/7 to assist you with your mold disaster.
5 Steps Used for Mold Remediation
In this instance, water was still present in the affected area, so a dehumidifier forces hot air into the contained environment to continue drying.
Mold in your Winter Park home or business can appear without warning and spread rapidly. While size and severity of a mold remediation job can vary, the 5 steps shared below are the foundation of the process we use every time.
Step 1: Mold Inspection
In Florida, the law states that the mold testing company cannot perform the actual remediation. We recommend having a mold assessment company take air quality samples in and outside of your property first. After receiving the test results from the samples and a protocol to perform an inspection, we then send a technician to thoroughly inspect and assess the damage to your property.
Our inspector checks for visible signs of the mold first and then proceeds to identify places where it may be hidden such as cabinets, baseboards, sheetrock, and under carpeting. Prior to remediation in areas over 10 square feet, it is important to have mold samples taken and tested.
Step 2: Mold Containment
The initial step is the most vital when beginning mold remediation. To ensure mold spores do not spread throughout your home, plastic barriers must be placed to separate affected and unaffected areas. We create a contained environment by systematically setting up a barrier and using negative air pressure. Negative air pressure creates a vacuum that forces the surrounding air that may contain mold spores into the contained environment. All entrances and exits of the area are completely sealed to prevent the spores from contaminating the rest of the property.
Step 3: Air Filtration
To achieve successful air filtration, we use powerful HEPA vacuums and air scrubbers. HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) vacuums work by forcing air through a fine mesh to trap harmful particles. Some of the particles captured by a HEPA filter include pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and tobacco smoke. Our technicians perform this step to capture mold spores that become airborne after removing drywall and similarly affected components of the property.
Step 4: Mold Removal
The mold removal step can vary in difficulty and length of time based on the extent of the damage and size of the affected area. Our technicians use antifungal and antimicrobial treatments such as Benefect, which is a plant-based and safe-to-use treatment. These treatments work to eliminate existing mold colonies and prevent new colonies from growing. In larger mold removal jobs, it is not uncommon for carpet and drywall to be removed as well, especially if they are infected with mold.
Step 5: Restoration
After removal, the next step is to clean and disinfect components of the property that have been affected by mold. Items such as curtains and furniture will be cleaned and deodorized. Repairs such as carpet replacement and painting are also made to restore the area. Because mold is a living organism that thrives inside of drywall, baseboards, cabinets, and clothing, it is necessary to remove them completely to eliminate the problem.
Your Local SERVPRO
SERVPRO of Winter Park is a family-owned business and knows what it takes to help you with your mold disaster. Give us a call to speak with a mold remediation expert and get the process started.
Contained Mold Removal Companies
It is important to completely seal off the contaminated area.
In a growing industry, options for mold removal companies are numerous. More options create the need for paying closer attention to quality. A major factor in your decision to hire a company should be whether or not the mold is removed in a contained environment. To better understand the importance of a contained environment, it helps to understand exactly how mold can spread.
How Mold Spreads
If left exposed, there are various ways for mold to spread throughout a home or building. Mold releases microscopic spores that can travel through vents, air currents, people or even pets. The spread of these spores is more likely to occur if the environment is not contained before removal.
When creating a contained environment prior to mold removal, it is crucial to completely seal off the entire area that’s affected. The size of containment can vary based on the size of the contaminated area. Smaller mold issues typically require limited containment and can be sealed with a layer of polyethylene and duct tape. Larger issues require full containment. Full containment involves a sealing process using two layers of polyethylene, a barrier between the contaminated and non-contaminated areas, and an airlock chamber for the entry and exit.
Choosing the Right Professionals
Avoid any company that says containment of your mold issue is not a necessity. Mold can cause health effects so choosing a professional is in the best interest of all occupants of your home or commercial building. If you have a mold problem, you can contact a professional at SERVPRO of Winter Park for fast, reliable, and 24/7 service at (407) 678-5391.