Archived Mold Remediation Blog Posts
Mold The four-letter word no one wants to hear. From the ordinary fungi and mold naturally occur in our environment. In fact, over 100,000 kinds of fungi have been identified. Even though some forms of mold can add value to our lives, other forms are harmful. Intrusion of water into our homes and business can result in mold growth. Long standing leaks and poor humidity control are often the cause of microbial growth. Signs and symptoms to watch and smell for included the visible presence of mold growth, strong musty odors, poor air circulation, and excessive humidity. SERVPRO of Des Moines East and SW have trained and certified mold remediation techs who take the steps to ensure the mold does not spread throughout the structure by setting containment and negative air filtration systems. Once the mold has been removed our certified technicians will apply an antimicrobial to the structure to ensure the microbial growth does not return.
Mold - When Water Damage is Not Properly Mitigated
Water in the dark blue on a FLIR camera. This water wasn't seen with the naked eye but with a FLIR you can see the infiltration from the other side
Mold. Scary word when you don’t know what it is exactly. To the untrained eye mold or microbial growth as we refer to it can be very intimidating. Choosing the right company for the remediation is key in successfully removing the microbial growth and making sure no spores contaminate the remaining area. Did you know that microbial growth spores are so small that you can’t see them in the air? At SERVPRO of Des Moines East / SW we use true HEPA Air Filtration Devices and Containment procedures to ensure you and your family or business remain safe. This catches 99.97% of airborne particles and the containment procedures ensure no cross contamination happens. We receive calls all the time where an untrained person has attempted remediation and cross contaminates the unaffected areas putting everyone at risk. At SERVPRO our technicians are certified and we continuously train to stay up to date with all the current procedures, technology, and practices that keep everyone safe. When you choose SERVPRO you can rest assure that you, your family, and your business are in good hands. When water damage occurs call a professional to properly mitigate. Mold can be the result of improperly mitigated water damage. Below is a link to the EPA’s “Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home.
Whoever smelt it dealt it… Or did they?
This photo shows mold growth behind the dry wall. We are hear to help with inspections to find the source of the odor.
It’s a Friday night and you’ve just gotten in your comfy clothes now you’re ready to Netflix and chill right? Well before you start making the popcorn you catch a whiff of something new. Not a good new either. You blame the garbage and go on with popcorn. Saturday is here and you realize it’s even worse. So now what, Laundry, garbage, pets, kids, your significant other... These things all can create unpleasant smells. What do you do when you have checked everything off? Everything is clean and that smell is still there.
Did you know that on average your HVAC system is built to last 10-20 years!? During that time most of us will go day by day not thinking twice about the nice warm heat or the cool A/C running. 1/6 Allergy Sufferers can directly tie their symptoms to the dust and dirt inside the HVAC system! Now everyone knows to replace the filter regularly according to manufacture specifications but did you know that the inside of your HVAC system still collects dirt, dust, and dander inside!?
If you have ever experienced a water loss, microbial related issue, or even rodent/insect infiltration and the structural materials were not properly mitigated and restored you may have found your odor issue. Compromised HVAC systems that are not properly addressed will create these issues down the road.
Your local SERVPRO of Des Moines SW & East technicians are trained and ready to inspect and help identify the source of odor! We use state of the art technology to pinpoint moisture and compromised materials in order to eliminate all things smelly and dirty to make it “Like it Never Even Happened”!
Benefits of Using A Trained Professional To Clean Up Mold
SERVPRO of Des Moines SW is here to help when mold affects your building. Mold will grow under certain conditions. Mold is a living organism and needs air and moisture to live. When conditions are ideal mold will grow. It is important to use a trained professional to properly clean up mold. A trained professional when remediating mold will set up containment, use HEPA vacuums, use antimicrobial, seal if necessary and take air samples when completed to make sure it is remediated properly. Before the work is completed photos will be taken and after the work is completed additional photos will be taken as well for documentation. We are here to help improve and take care of your property. We work hard and take pride in making it "Like it never even happened."
AMRT Trained Staff To Clean Up Mold
Our staff at SERVPRO of Des Moines SW that lead the crews and provide mold remediation services are IICRC AMRT Anti Microbial Remediation Training certified. This is vital to make sure that services are provided properly. A lack of training and education can be harmful to the structure, occupants as well as our employees. This is why our staff are trained in this skill set before performing services. Protecting the health and safety of all involved while dealing with microbial growth is important. Trained technicians know how to perform testing, set up containment, use HEPA filtration equipment, and keep cross contamination from happening. You can trust our team to properly remediate your mold situation and concerns and trust that our staff that are performing the work are AMRT certified.
Mold & Microbial Growth Testing
SERVPRO of Des Moines SW offers Microbial Growth Assessments. If you believe you have something that you think might be mold have it tested by a professional. It is better to be safe than sorry. We are here to help you. Our employees are trained and certified. We will perform the testing. Send in the samples. If mold is confirmed we will set up a remediation plan and go over the estimate. Proper containment will be set up. Mitigation will occur and then finally another set of testing will occur to make sure that all of the microbial growth has been removed.
Microbial growth is more present in facilities than ever before as we build more efficient, tighter buildings. Everything we do produces moisture. Buildings need to breathe. We are here to help you protect your health and safety if you believe you have mold give SERVPRO a call to perform a microbial growth assessment.
Mold Cleaning for Your Health
When cleaning after a mold remediation job SERVPRO of Des Moines cleans for the safety and health of our customers using multiple techniques.
- We use HEPA vacuums.
- We use HEPA air filters in our air filtration devices during the process.
- We use microfiber cleaning cloths and change them out after cleaning so much of an affected area reducing cross contamination.
- We set up containment before starting work so that during the process contaminates are not spread to uncontaminated areas.
We clean for health and safety first and then you just get an outstanding appearance. It is so important to contain contaminants when performing mold remediation services and cleaning. We work hard every day to make it "Like it never even happened."
The Process of Mold Mitigation and Remediation in Des Moines
Our Technician Matt setting up to do air testing for microbial growth in a basement in Des Moines
When there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking waterline, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. It is the water you can't see that may cause the most damage. Mold can affect your health and can also cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, we are here to help and have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different, requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a “typical” mold removal process.
Call Professionals - SERVPRO of Iowa City/Ottumwa/Des Moines
The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call our office. A representative will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed.
Inspection & Damage Assessment
Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water which can be hidden from plain view.
Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.
Specialized filtration equipment will be set in place that captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO® technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.
Removing Mold & Mold-Infested Materials
The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.
Cleaning Contents & Belongings
We clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. Our technicians use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. They are also trained to remove odors and deodorize using fogging equipment.
Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet, or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business. We understand mold and mold growth and have the raining and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business.
We use HEPA filters when we Clean Up Mold
These vacuums are used during the Mold Remediation process
When doing different types of restoration work we will set in the space what we call air scrubbers. These air scrubbers are HEPA filter units that collect air borne particles that their size is 300 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. To a HEPA filter, catching a one-micron particle is like stopping a cotton ball with a door screen. When doing mold remediation we use these air scrubbers but we also will use HEPA vacuums to clean surfaces and trap the particles.
HEPA filters were invented during World War II to remove and capture radio active dust particles that would present a health hazard to researchers. It was invented to protect the human respiratory system. HEPA filters are the top form of air filtration.
It is important to dry up the water
Water damage due to an intrusion, long standing leaks, or from high humidity need to be addressed right away. Mold feeds and grows in high moisture and warm environments. Mold is present every where. There are good forms and bad. It is very important to start the drying process right away to prevent mold growth. Organic materials found inside a building; wood, paper, drywall and insulation are great sources of food for mold. Different types of mold are health threats. It is very important though to remember that if you see visible mold spores to not put air flow directly across the mold. It can send the spores airborne causing more damage. This is why it is so important to call a professional right away to make sure all areas are brought back to acceptable moisture levels inside a home after water damage.
Testing For Mold
We are certified to test for mold. If you believe mold is present either by visually seeing something you think is mold or by smelling something musty call a professional. We do visual inspections, air sampling, as well as we have a bore scope that can go inside areas that are not normally visible to look for mold. When air samples are taken, 3 samples are taken and sent in. The results take about 5 to 7 days to return. If the air samples come back positive for mold then we will do further investigation to locate the source of the positive result of the air samples. Call for pricing if you believe you have mold present and we will help you maintain your healthy home.
Health Effects of Mold
Mold can effect people's health. People most effected by mold are people with compromised health, infants and young children, people with chronic breathing issues such as asthma and allergies, and the elderly. Any one can experience health problems from mold though. Possible health effects are runny nose, cough, sneeze, abnormal accelerated problems with asthma, sore throat, or sinus inflammation. This sounds like a common cold but problems from mold linger for excessive amounts of time. Mold spores grow very quickly so if you see mold give us a call right away so health concerns don't accelerate. Cleaning the affected mold areas when you are already showing signs of illness can increase this level of sickness for yourself so this is why using a professional with proper personal protective equipment is a good idea.
Types of Mold
There are different types of mold. The most common are aspergillus, cladosporium and stachybotrys atra (also known as black mold).
Aspergillus is non toxic to humans but it can aggravate allergy symptoms. It is found on foods and in air conditioning systems.
Cladosporium is non toxic to humans but can aggravate allergy symptoms. This is found as a black or green mold that grows in little dots in bathrooms, on painted surfaces, and in flexible air ducts.
Stachybotrys is commonly called black mold. This should be removed to prevent health issues. Call a trained professional to remove. This type of mold grows on building materials.
To prevent mold growth make sure that water leaks are dried up quickly and humidity levels are maintained in your home or business. Mold thrives in warm damp conditions.