When Mold Grows, Damage Follows – Protect Your Home in Columbus
Let the experts at SERVPRO help with any Mold Remediation needs.
Having houseplants inside over the winter is beneficial for both you and your plants. They receive protection and warmth from the harsh winter weather and you gain a natural air filter that provides oxygen and beauty. One thing that you might not know is that mold can also hitch a ride with your plants and spoil things for you. Plants don't like to be moved much, so after you've brought them inside in the late summer or early fall, chances are you've left them exactly where you originally placed them.
If you've placed them on a tray, you might not have a problem in your Columbus area home, but mold damage can hide under pots and planters. If these are sitting directly on the wood in your bay or bow windows, you could end up with a nasty surprise when you go to take them back outside again in the spring. Having such easy access to water and a wooden windowsill makes a perfect feeding ground for mold. Couple that with the warmth of the sun, but the darkness from being under a plant, and you've set up perfect conditions for mold.
If your windowsill has slats or joints, these can provide additional entryways for mold to migrate to other areas of the window. This is one way that seals on windows deteriorate. It can also cause window frames to warp, which may eventually allow in melting snow, rainwater, or pests. It can also lead to the heating and cooling systems in your home needing to work harder than they should. This will also cost you more money in utility costs that could be prevented.
If your wintering plants are beginning to smell strange, it could be mold that is the cause. If you find mold growing on tiles or another hard, non-porous surface, it most likely is safe to clean up with a damp cloth. When the windowsill involved is made of wood or other porous material, it can quickly turn into a much more complicated project, one that should have professional assistance. No job is considered to be too small at SERVPRO, nor too large. We are always available to help when mold damage is creating a problem in your home.
To protect your home from mold damage of any kind, give us a call. SERVPRO of South Columbus is always available and can be reached at (614) 863-1392.
When Homes Develop Mold, Damage can Spread Quickly
When Mold Had Ruined Your Bathroom in Your Groveport Home, Call SERVPRO for Remediation
Call SERVPRO To Inspect and Remediate Mold Damage in Your Home
Because of the media attention on black mold of recent past, many homeowners believe that it is only black mold that can cause health effects. However, while this is true, the CDC recommends that all mold, of any and all types, be remediated. This is because black mold is not the only one that can cause those worrisome health effects – it just receives the most notoriety. Many mold problems need professional remediation by experienced technicians in order to prevent future damage and contain any current damage.
SERVPRO has certified and specially trained personnel who can remediate the mold in your home to acceptable levels, and then remove and restore any damaged areas back to their original state.
Mold growth in your Groveport home can damage your home's interior without proper remediation techniques. There are many ways that mold can become a problem very quickly in any home, even when you have a house that seems to be dry.
One way this can happen is when your clothes dryer doesn't completely dry the clothes by the time you pull clothing out of it. Clothing that isn't completely dry can act as a magnet to mold. Not only is there moisture present, but many types of clothing fibers can provide food for mold to consume. Ensuring that all clothing must be both laundered and dried correctly can reduce this risk. Many textiles are ruined after fungi visibly discolor it, and repairs are often difficult or impossible.
Washing the dishes by hand after supper and then putting them away should include ensuring they are dry beforehand. Damp plates and glasses and other items can allow moisture to evaporate in a closed cupboard or cabinet. This moisture can create a safe, dark, and damp haven for mold to grow. A dark cabinet often only needs moisture to add to its other environmental attributes to do this. Make sure you either air or towel dry your items to keep moisture, and mold, out of your cabinets.
Mold can start in many other ways in any home. If you can smell the musty odor of mold, but cannot locate it at the source, you should have your home inspected. SERVPRO professionals have moisture detecting instruments that can help detect mold colonies, as well as other problems in your home. Give us a call today at SERVPRO of South Columbus at (614) 863-1392, 24/7 hours a day, every day. We'll arrive promptly and put your concerns about mold at ease.
Mold, Fungi, Virus, Bacteria Issues?
Mold from a leaking pipe in German Village
Nature, the cycle of life, the natural order, and other expressions you have heard through the years, all refer to how things survive, thrive and die in the natural environment. Humans encounter mold, fungi, bacteria, and viruses in German Village every day. However, when high concentrations of such microbes are present within buildings, it can cause health effects. Not all molds, fungi, viruses, and bacteria are harmful to us, but we often don't know what type of microbial to which we have been exposed, or to what degree (how much, or how long).
So what should we do? We use our noses! If you can smell that familiar musty odor that mold can cause, it usually means it is off-gassing and is a good indication that mold is active and growing in a fairly high concentration. Proper mold remediation in German Village requires the use of PPE (personal protective equipment), like respirators, goggles, gloves, etc. to protect against exposure to microorganisms. There can be unknown strains in areas of increased growth, like a sewage backup, a flood, long-standing water in a basement, dead and rotten animals, and so on. We also know that volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can be airborne, water borne, or surface borne; therefore we take all precautions to avoid exposure, and especially over exposure.
The next time you think about jumping right in to start cleaning mold or sewage, before you stir things up too much I hope you will pause and reflect on safety for yourself and others; OR better yet, call the professionals at SERVPRO of South Columbus. 614-863-1392 www.SERVPROsouthcolumbus.com
Mold, Virus, Bacteria
One of the most challenging problems that can impact a homeowner's life is unknown or left alone water damage. Unfortunately, many residential property owners don't know what to do when this disaster strikes And some believe "it will dry and be okay" However, learning more about water damage can prepare you to resolve any issue that surfaces quickly and correctly. Read this quick information guide to get the information you need on this important matter.
Numerous types of water damage can adversely impact your property once excess water is on the premises. For example, personal contents stored near the water can be subjected to extensive damage and even destruction. This includes items like clothing, drapes, furniture, and boxed items. Water can also adversely impact your electrical appliances and electrical connections. Additionally, wooden items like structure beams and flooring can become susceptible to rotting as a result of water damage.
Another danger that can result from water damage is the onset of health risks. For example, excess water can lead to bacteria that generates illness for those who are repeatedly exposed to it. Standing water also creates the ideal environment for mold to thrive in very quickly. When exposed to mold for extended periods of time, household members can experience a broad range of unwanted health issues. More importantly, mold can be very challenging to remove.
Let SERVPRO's Professionals Assist You Now
As made plain by the information above, water damage is a serious issue that can do extreme harm to your health and your home. However, attaining a high-caliber water damage restoration service can help ensure that you and your residential living space are kept in excellent condition. The company to call for expedient, exceptional restoration support is SERVPRO. Our IICRC-certified professionals work with skill and diligence to address and resolve each property issue you have. We're ready to assist you now, so call us today and let's get started!
Mold Cleaning and Remediation is a Job for Professionals
A leaking pipe that went undetected for an extended time period allowed extensive mold growth that was concealed by furniture.
Visible mold growing inside your home or business may pose serious health risks for some people, and it should be properly removed as soon as possible.
Mold spores in Columbus or elsewhere, which are similar to the seeds of a plant, are microscopic in size and ever-present in the air and on surfaces, both inside and outside of buildings. All that is necessary for mold spore to take root and grow is a growth medium, sufficient moisture, and time. A bit of dust, or soil, or food residue on any surface (even concrete or tile) is enough to serve as a growth medium for mold or other microbes. Porous materials such as carpet or drywall can be an excellent growth medium. Humid conditions combined with warmer temperatures can accelerate the growth of some types of mold. When moisture remains in a suitable growth medium for more than a day or so, mold and other microbial growth is possible and likely, which is why keeping surfaces of indoor environments clean and dry is important.
Once mold in Columbus becomes visible to the naked eye, it is usually active and growing. The expression "Black Mold" is often used when it is visible. When this occurs in the built environment, it may be cause for concern, and you should contact a mold remediation professional, to perform an inspection.
The restoration technician will begin by checking for wet conditions in the building. Since moisture plays a key role in the growth of microbes, the amount of moisture present in the air, the building contents, and the building materials must all be taken into consideration. The technician will attempt to determine the source of the excess moisture. Any leaks or other sources of excess moisture must be addressed.
The technician may employ any of several methods and devices to measure the moisture in each of the areas above. The tool used most commonly by technicians for measuring moisture in the air is a thermo-hygrometer (sometimes called a psychrometer), which is essentially an electronic psychrometric calculator. The primary readings use by the technician are temperature and relative humidity. The readings from the psychrometer may also be inserted into a psychrometric chart. From this, the technician can see the relationship between relative humidity, temperature, dew point, and the humidity ratio. Relative humidity is the percentage of moisture in the air compared to how much moisture the air is capable of holding at a given temperature. Dew point is the temperature at which water will begin to condense from the air onto surfaces. The humidity ratio is the actual amount of water vapor in one pound of dry air, usually expressed as a ratio of grains of water vapor per pound of air (GPP).
There are several tools used to determine the moisture content of the materials in the building. A non-penetrating moisture meter will measure to a depth of approximately 3/4 of an inch. Most have separate settings for wood, drywall, or masonry. Wood moisture content is measured as a percentage, while other materials use a points scale.
A pin-type penetrating moisture meter is employed to check for moisture deeper than 3/4 nch, or if there are wet materials behind a wall or under a floor. It has probes that must be driven into or even completely through one material to check for moisture in another, such as insulation behind drywall, or subfloor materials beneath a vinyl rug.
Another method for finding wet materials that may not be visible to the naked eye is with an infrared camera. Infrared cameras are extremely sensitive, with the ability to detect temperature differences to as little as .05 degree Fahrenheit. They can enable the technician to locate wetness in buildings that cannot be found using conventional moisture meters.
The moisture levels in most materials must be measured against a 'dry standard', which will vary with local environmental conditions. The dry standard for materials in a building along the Gulf of Mexico will usually allow for a higher normal moisture content than for materials found in a building in the Desert Southwest for example. The technician will take readings from an area of the structure, or a neighboring structure, that has not been affected by the water damage event to set a 'drying goal' for each type of material, which will approximate the dry standard.
When a building incurs a water loss, the level of wetness is classified, and the level of contamination is categorized according to standards established in the S500, a manual by the Institute for Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification and Training (IICRC). Water damages are divided into 4 Classes.
- Class 1 water damage is the least amount of wetness, confined mainly to the floor with only part of a room or area affected and little or no wet carpet or carpet pad.
- Class 2 is a large amount of water, with very wet flooring materials in at least an entire room and moisture wicking up the walls no more than 24 inches.
- A Class 3 water loss is the greatest amount of water, with entire rooms saturated from ceiling to floor, where water may have leaked down from above.
- Class 4 is a Specialty Drying situation, with hard to dry materials such as concrete, plaster or masonry, and deep pockets of saturation, which may require very low humidity or heat to dry.
Water contamination is broken into three categories:
- Category 1 water is water from a clean or sanitary source, which may be from a broken supply line, or toilet tank or bowl. Category 1 water can degrade over time to Category 2 or 3 with exposure to higher temperatures or contaminants, such as animal feces or animal carcasses.
- Category 2 water is mildly contaminated, and may cause illness or discomfort if ingested. Sources of Category 2 water may include a washing machine or dishwasher overflow, toilet overflow with no feces or a small amount of urine. Category 2 water can degrade to Category 3.
- Category 3 is grossly contaminated water which would likely cause serious illness or death if ingested. Examples include sewage, intruding water from flooding rivers or streams, toilet back-ups that include feces, or water that has been sitting long enough to support microbial growth. Water associated with a significant mold loss is generally considered to be Category 3.
If mold is discovered or suspected, samples must be taken from surfaces inside the building, and from the air both outside and inside of the building. The process of taking samples may require somewhat intrusive measures, such as moving furniture, lifting carpeting, opening air condition ducting, or even removing sections of drywall or flooring. The samples are taken to a laboratory and examined under a microscope by to identify the type and quantity of any microbes present. The results for the interior and exterior samples are compared against each other. The quantity of mold spore for a given volume of air should be somewhat less indoors than outside. The type and quantity of microbes normally present in the local environment are also taken into consideration. It is not uncommon in cases of serious interior mold infestations that the quantity of mold spores discovered in the interior air samples is significantly higher than the outdoor sample. Another indicator of an interior mold problem is the presence of a significant quantity of spores from the indoor air sample that are of a different type than the majority of spores present in the outdoor air sample.
When the results of the laboratory analysis are positive for mold, a remediation protocol is developed. This protocol must be followed by the mold remediation professional.
Before the remediation can begin, any standing water must be removed from the environment. Air scrubbers may also be installed inside the building. Air scrubbers are high-efficiency particulate arresting (HEPA) air filters, which remove 99.97% of particles from the air, down to a size of .03 microns. This filtration level is fine enough to capture mold spore, which can help reduce the amount of it in the air, and the likelihood that the mold will spread.
Technicians must don the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) before beginning the remediation. This usually includes impermeable gloves and suit, a respirator and eye protection. The remediation technicians will construct a containment barrier around the affected area, to close-off unaffected areas from the remediation process. Slight negative air pressure should be maintained within the containment, with any air exiting the chamber also filtered through an air scrubber, to reduce the likelihood of cross-contamination of unaffected areas.
Any wet and contaminated, porous materials, such as carpet or upholstered furniture, must usually be discarded. Materials to be discarded must be sealed in a container (such as a trash bag) while still within the containment area. Once removed from the building, it can be tossed out with normal construction waste.
Standing water must be extracted. Extraction is normally accomplished using a powerful portable unit that is capable of pulling a strong vacuum. Truck mounted extraction is less common in the presence of mold.
Once standing water has been removed, any remaining residual moisture must be removed from materials to be saved through dehumidification. Commercial dehumidifiers are usually employed to achieve low relative humidity levels. Low grain refrigerant (LGR) dehumidifiers are used with larger losses and higher moisture levels, as they are capable of discharging air at even lower humidity levels. However, refrigerant dehumidifiers must operate within a relatively narrow temperature range to achieve maximum effectiveness. Desiccant dehumidifiers are capable of achieving extremely low humidity levels in a wide range of temperatures, but they require a method to discharge moist air from the environment, which may not always be feasible, especially in the presence of mold.
When materials such as concrete or plaster become saturated with moisture, they can be difficult to dry, and will usually take much longer than materials such as wood, drywall or carpet. Heat may be added to the drying process in this case. However, heating the materials or the drying environment can also stimulate mold growth, and should not be employed on a mold job until humidity levels have been reduced below 50%. Air movement may also be applied to aid in moisture removal, although this too is often curtailed in the presence of mold, to prevent spreading and cross-contamination.
It is not uncommon for the subfloor and structural members of a building to be contaminated with mold as well. Solid wood flooring or structural wood can be sanded or otherwise abraded to remove mold. HEPA vacuum equipment is employed to capture all of the dust and debris created by this process. The depth of material that must be removed will be specified in the protocol. Since the integrity of some structural members can be compromised by sanding or grinding, it may be necessary to consult with an engineer to determine how much material can be safely removed before having to be replaced.
The goal of a mold remediation is to remove the mold from all surfaces, or remove and discard material where the mold cannot be remediated. In some cases, it is extremely difficult or impossible to remove material or remediate the mold from it. In those cases, the mold may be sealed off using an approved an encapsulant.
Once the remediation is complete, the containment barrier can be disassembled, and any reconstruction can begin.