Recent Mold Remediation Posts
5 Areas To Check Routinely To Keep Your Facility Mold Free
High humidity in the crawl spcace caused these TJI joist to have mold growth
5 Areas To Check Routinely To Keep Your Facility Mold Free
Despite the best mold prevention efforts in your facility, it is still possible that minor water damage may lead to an infestation. However, to avoid the need for a mold remediation company in your city and state, it is necessary that prevention efforts also include routine inspections of five vulnerable areas.
The roof is one of the most vulnerable areas for water damage, especially when it is out of sight and out of mind. Check the roof at least monthly for signs of damage, especially after rain storms or other weather events, like wind storms.
Some of the most vulnerable areas in your building are around the windows and doors. While these areas often have weather stripping and seals to prevent outside moisture from getting in, the weather-proofing gets old and can fail. Checking these areas frequently can help you notice when sealants and stripping are becoming ineffective.
Leaks from water pipes are often the cause of most mold growth problems. Unfortunately, most conventional properties have pipes hidden behind ceiling tiles and drywall. To inspect these elements, then, it is necessary to hire a plumber.
How often do you inspect your HVAC system or the appliances in the breakroom? These items can lead to mold development, especially if there is a leak that goes unnoticed for any length of time. It only takes 24 to 48 hours for mold to develop after a leak occurs, so get in the habit of checking appliances and vital systems.
Last, you should watch for foundation leaks, especially when you have a basement. Small cracks in the foundation can be enough to let water seep through, leading to mold and other problems.
Water damage is the leading cause of mold development. Therefore, routine inspections for leaks and possible water infiltration is a must for keeping your commercial property mold-free.
How to Protect Yourself From Hidden Mold Problems During a Purchase of a Home
It sometimes looks pretty but you definitely do not want mold in your new home.
Spring is officially here and spring is known in the real estate business as the start of the selling season. According to Housingwire.com, since 1999, non-seasonally adjusted existing home sales have increased by an average of 33% between February and March. The sales continue to ramp up during the spring and summer months before trailing off in the fall and winter.
Most prospective owners involved in the process of buying a home understand that some renovations may be necessary, but aren’t prepared for hidden moisture and mold damage that can significantly escalate repair costs. Unfortunately, this kind of oversight happens repeatedly during home buying transactions because home inspectors cannot see behind cabinets or walls, so often the sources of trouble are not found until after the sale. This common oversight causes many new owners to make wrongful assumptions during their purchase, potentially costing them significant expenses in unplanned renovations.
When it comes to uncovering hidden mold, your best weapons as you are looking around a house you are considering purchasing are a good sense of smell and a strong flashlight. If your nose detects the familiar musty aroma of mold, try to see if there is an obvious place where you can see it. Use your bright flashlight to take a good look under sinks and behind furniture. If any mold pops up, make sure to bring it to the attention of the home inspector you hire to do your pre-purchase inspection. If he can find the source of the mold and the current owners can get it fixed, you can save lots of money on future remediation.
If you do purchase a home that comes with a side of mold, feel free to contact us here at SERVPRO of Santa Barbara to fix that for you fast. We can be reached any time at 805-963-0606.
Prevent Mold in Goleta Homes
Don't let a small water problem become a big mold problem
Because insurance companies can make handling your mold problem a significant process, the best way to handle mold in your home is to prevent it from ever growing in your home in the first place. Since mold spores can be found pretty much everywhere, it is up to you to stay vigilant in order to prevent it from gaining a toehold. Some of the best practices you can use to limit mold growth include:
- Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners to keep air moisture between 30 percent and 60 percent, especially when the weather outside is humid.
- Do not place carpets or rugs (which can collect moisture) in damp areas such as basements
- Fix small leaks immediately. This can be easier said than done if the leak is hiding behind drywall but be observant for signs of moisture.
- Inspect faucet fixtures and nozzles under sinks and toilets to check for leaks. When you find them, fix them. Do not wait for small leaks to become big problems
Home insurance policies tend to not cover mold remediation if the mold resulted from a preventable water leak. Also in that category, home insurers typically will not pay for maintenance issues that they think a homeowner could have, and should have, prevented. Insurance companies will expect you to be proactive and fix any of those problems prior to your filing a claim.
If mold ever does become a problem in your home, let SERVPRO of Santa Barbara help you with the remediation process so you have one less thing to worry about. We can be reached at any time by calling us at 805-963-0606
Mold: All too common after flooding
Mold may not appear right away after a flood
When moisture creeps into porous surfaces, it can start a biological process that frequently ends with colorful blooms of mold. That process can take several weeks before becoming obvious, though, according to Tony Cappello, public health director at the Northeast Colorado Health Department.
Whenever there is flooding, there is always the risk of mold growing in affected buildings, including homes, sheds, vehicles and other structures that may have been exposed to the water. Mold can start to show in as quickly as 48 hours but sometimes it may not show for weeks. And sometimes it grows behind walls or cabinets so it is hidden from your view.
SERVPRO of Santa Barbara provides fire and water damage restoration services, as well as mold remediation. If you know that your home has been affected by mold, we are always available to help to make it go away
SERVPRO of Santa Barbara is available 24 hours/7 days a week and are ready to restore damage to your home or commercial structure caused by water, fire, storms, floods, mold, and biohazard·
We are a state of California licensed general contractor who can manage any loss from start to finish.
SERVPRO of Santa Barbara proudly serves Santa Barbara, Montecito, Goleta, Carpinteria, Summerland, Santa Ynez, Solvang, Los Olivos, Buellton, Lompoc and surrounding areas.
Call us at 24/7 at (805) 963-0606
What is Mold?
A little problem with moisture can cause big problems with mold
What is mold? Mold is not bacteria, an animal, or a plant. Mold is a fungus, much like a mushroom and it requires water and some type of organic material to in order grow. The organic material provides a nutrition source that fungus needs to grow. Mold will thrive on almost any organic material, including things that you would not normally consider to be organic, such as carpet glue, gypsum- based drywall, and wood. After a home floods, mold growth can begin within hours and if it is not dealt with, it will eventually become visible as green, black & blue spots, especially if the structure is not dried thoroughly.
Mold is everywhere and all of us have been exposed to it on a daily basis from the time we were born. Some of us are much more sensitive to the "spores" mold releases which may agitate current medical conditions such as asthma or allergies. At certain concentrations, however, all of us become susceptible to these mold spores in varying degrees. It is difficult to say exactly how much mold is "a lot" or "enough to cause symptoms". But a good rule of thumb is to call a professional mold inspector or water restoration company as soon as a mold colony is noticed with your naked eye.
If you suspect mold growth, or have noticed a mold colony on your flooring or walls, we can bet that you have a water problem somewhere. Whether the moisture is the result of a recent flood or maybe a small invisible leak, the problem needs to be addressed. As long as there is residual moisture in your home the mold colony will continue to expand and the spore concentration will continue to increase.
Call SERVPRO of Santa Barbara for any mold or water damage issues you have in your home at 805-963-0606
A Moldy House
Moisture and organic materials leads to mold
Older homes are prime habitats for mold which thrives in a dark, damp, warm environment. Mold spores are very opportunistic and are on the constant hunt for the moisture they need to grow. If you have had a recent water damage from a leaky faucet, a roof that needs repair, or a washing machine that overflows, that moisture can give mold a toehold. In some instances, it can be hard to see the water damage even though it is there. SERVPRO of Santa Barbara professionals can use moisture meters and infrared cameras to help you figure out what is leaking and where.
So what can you do to reduce your exposure to mold? Attack mold on two fronts -- removal and prevention:
- Get your house tested for mold. An environmental testing company can tell you how much mold you have, what type it is, and provide a scope for how to get rid of it
- Fix leaky plumbing or other sources of water. Mold cannot grow if it does no have moisture to drink
- Check inside drywall for mold inside the wall. You can usually smell mold even if you can't see it. Moldy drywall must be cut out and replaced. Moldy insulation also must be removed and replaced.
- Dry water-damaged areasand items (like carpeting) within 24 to 48 hours of flooding. Don't install carpeting in areas where there is a moisture problem.
- If ceiling tiles or carpet have become moldy, they must be replaced. Throw out all wet, moldy tiles and carpeting.
- Reduce indoor humidityby venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources. Exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens can help. If you don’t have exhaust fans, crack a window in the kitchen when you're cooking or in the bathroom when you're bathing.
- Use air conditioners and dehumidifiersinside your home. Change filters regularly. Use a dehumidifier to get rid of dampness in basements.
- Add insulationto windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors where there is potential for condensation on cold surfaces.
SERVPRO of Santa Barbara does free estimates for mold remediation. Call us today at 805-963-0606
Mold in Your House
Sometimes you can't see the mold until the walls are opened up
Science tells us that mold is a type of fungus that is separate from bacteria, plants, and animals. It is made up of micro-organisms that live in colonies and serve a vital purpose in nature as they help to decompose dead organic material such as plants, leaves, and wood. These colonies resemble hair-like bodies and are too small to be seen individually with the naked eye. When the colonies begin to grow though, you can see the mold in a variety of different colors and perhaps you will notice a musty smell as well. Outdoors, it’s one of nature’s ways of helping to break down dead organic matter. However, when mold moves into your home, it wants to continue to break down whatever material it is growing on. In your house you could find mold on drywall, on wood, or even on your clothing and it will still want to do its job and decompose. Additionally, some people can have sensitivities to mold and the only way to avoid that is to get a company like SERVPRO of Santa Barbara to help you get rid of your mold.
The professionals from SERVPRO of Santa Barbara understand industry protocols and have the necessary equipment to do an effective job. Our technicians have many years of experience to make sure that your mold remediation is handled professionally and is done right the first time. It is very rare that we do not pass our mold clearance testing. The SERVPRO technicians know where to search for harmful, hidden molds and complete the mold remediation protocols.
Locally Owned, with National Resources
We live and work in Santa Barbara and Goleta too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Santa Barbara is close by and ready to respond to your mold damage emergency in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Montecito, Lompoc, Santa Ynez, Summerland, Carpinteria and Solvang. Call us at (805) 963-0606
What to Do When You See Mold
If your window leaks, you may see mold someday
When you purchase a home, you assume all of the upkeep that comes along with it. At some point, you may notice a musty odor emanating from your bathroom or perhaps you see that a dark stain has developed on the wood beneath your kitchen sink. You suspect it could be mold but you wonder what would be the next steps for helping you to get rid of it?
We normally recommend that you should contact a third-party testing company to take samples which will help to identify the types of mold and how it compares with the mold that exists in unaffected areas. These environmental testing companies can put together a written protocol of the steps to follow to get rid of your mold. In the reports that they produce, you will learn what type of mold you have and the process that your chosen remediator should follow to remove it. The report will decide which materials need to be removed, what equipment should be put in place, and if any containments need to be built to control the spread of spores. These guidelines ultimately help you to hold down your costs to include only the work that must be done.
The testing company that you select will come back after remediation work has been completed to make sure that all of the work has been done to specifications and to provide a post-remediation report. SERVPRO of Santa Barbara strongly recommends that clearance testing be done so that you can get a report signifying that mold clearance has been achieved. Mold clearance companies can be found by doing a Google search or you can contact us for referrals of several companies that we work with.
When SERVPRO of Santa Barbara arrives to perform the work at your mold job, the crew has the correct equipment, supplies and training to properly and safely remove the mold. Our crews will suit up in personal protective equipment to ensure that they are protected from mold spores or moldy debris that can irritate skin and lungs. Your SERVPRO team will contain the moldy areas with plastic sheeting and use HEPA air scrubbers to keep the air clean. This type of equipment and setup makes the remediation process move faster, more safely, and more efficiently.
Water Grows the Mold
We consider mold and water damages to be two sides of the same coin. The mold jobs that we remediate are just water damages that have gone on for too long. It is not always the case that a homeowner is negligent when taking care of a water damage in his home. More likely, they actually contact a plumber or their insurance company as soon as they are aware of moisture in places where it does not belong. The problem usually comes when they find out that the pipe behind their drywall had actually been leaking for a long time. Behind the drywall is the perfect home for mold…it is dark and quiet, there is no air movement and all of a sudden you are watering it. Well, needless to say, once you introduce that moisture to whatever spores might be behind your walls, the mold springs to life and begins to grow.
In many cases, we will recommend that you consult an environmental consultant. These consultants will come in to assess your mold situation. They will take samples that will let you know how much mold you have compared to natural levels found outside your home and they can also identify the specific types of mold that were found in their testing. If it turns out that the tests show that the levels of mold are elevated, the consultants can put together a scope of work for remediation. Once the scope of work has been prepared, now would be the best time to contact SERVPRO of Santa Barbara. We will send a technician to your home that can provide you with an estimate for removing the mold. We never charge for our estimates and we can explain the whole process to you while we are on site. Give us a call at 805-963-0606.
Does Your Home Smell Like Mold?
When you smell mold, it is wise to try to find out the source
The nights have turned colder, even in Santa Barbara, and people are starting to spend more time inside. Since it is cold out, you close the windows and turn on your furnace which blows warm air around. You may start to notice an odor in the air. Some people describe the smell as musty, others call it earthy. Typically, the smell comes from mold.
The mold may be obvious as a dark patch on drywall in the bathroom or it may be hidden beneath or behind your kitchen cabinets. All mold requires water to grow so at some point in the recent past, the mold found some moisture and began to thrive. As the mold dries out however, some types like to release their spores into the air so that they may find a better home. The mold may also release microbial volatile organic compounds which produce the aroma you are smelling.
When you turn on your furnace and you start to smell an odor that is like Grandma’s basement, you may want to take a look around to see if there are any obvious signs of mold in your home. If your search does not turn up any obvious signs, you may want to consult an Environmental Hygienist to do some testing. If it turns out that you do find you have mold, SERVPRO of Santa Barbara is there to help you make it go away.
SERVPRO of Santa Barbara is Better Than Bleach
If you don't get rid of the roots, the mold can grow back
For better or worse, mold has been around for millions of years. It is an extremely resilient organism and designed for survival. Many homeowners believe that if they discover their home has mold, they can just spray it with bleach and be done. The problem is that if the mold is on a porous material like drywall, the chlorine in the bleach does not penetrate below the surface. The chlorine remains on the surface of the material while the water component of the bleach does penetrate the surface and actually can end up contributing to the growth of the mold. Additionally, bleach is toxic to humans as well as mold. It does not make much sense to add a poison into the atmosphere of your home.
Causes of Mold
Part of what makes mold such a common issue is that there are multiple things that can cause it to grow. Some of the most frequent causes of household mold include:
- Leaking Pipes
- Poor Ventilation
- Wet Clothes
- Leaky Roof
- Flood Damage
When our experienced crew arrives on site, we will set up barriers using 6ml plastic that will prevent the mold from spreading to other areas of your home while we perform a controlled and clean demolition of all the affected materials. If the affected material is porous, we will remove it so that the roots of the mold never get an opportunity to grow back in your home. All the while we will run HEPA filter air scrubbers to capture any spores that try to escape.
SERVPRO of Santa Barbara knows how stressful a situation like residential mold growth can be and we work efficiently to ensure your mold treatment is hassle-free. Our experienced technicians guide you through every step of the remediation process so you always know what’s going on. Our mold removal products are designed to be environmentally-friendly and deadly to mold but they’re also gentle enough for every member of your family.
Santa Barbara Residents: Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold
Be careful! Without proper training and equipment, you could be spreading mold throughout your home
If you see visible mold, your best move is to leave it alone. When you disturb mold by trying to remove it, you can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. Mold spores are microscopic and when you try to clean them, the mold can release tiny spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.
What to Do:
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
- Contact SERVPRO of Santa Barbara for mold remediation services.
What Not to Do:
- Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
- Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
- Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
- Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.
About Our Mold Remediation Services
SERVPRO of Santa Barbara specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business. Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 805-963-0606
Let SERVPRO of Santa Barbara Take Care of Mold Remediation in Your Home
Without proper ventilation, mold is happy to grow on your bathroom ceiling
Mold is a type of fungus that is different from bacteria, plants, and animals. It’s made up of micro-organisms that help decompose dead organic material such as plants, leaves, and wood. These colonies resemble hair-like bodies and are too small to be seen individually with the naked eye. If they are thriving in your Santa Barbara home, mold remediation is a must. As seen on the surface of an object, mold will appear to be black, blue or green.
Where Is Mold Found?
Mold occurs naturally in both outdoor and indoor environments. Outdoors, it’s one of nature’s ways of helping to break down dead organic matter. However, mold growth indoors can cause health effects so mold remediation is needed. SERVPRO recommends that you call us at the first hint of a possible mold infestation.
Where Does Mold Grow Indoors?
Indoors, mold can be found growing on ceilings, walls, floors, windows, clothes, insulation, air ducts, building voids, and especially, in damp areas of basements or crawlspaces. A professional mold remediation service is the safe and most effective approach. The professionals from SERVPRO of Santa Barbara understand industry protocols and have the necessary equipment to do an effective job. Moisture meters, hydrometers, "air scrubbers," HEPA vacuums, and antifungal and antimicrobial products are utilized.
SERVPRO technicians know where to search for harmful, hidden molds and complete the mold remediation protocols. We can also advise you how best to protect your Santa Barbara home.
Locally Owned, with National Resources
We live and work in Santa Barbara too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Santa Barbara is close by and ready to respond to your mold damage emergency from Summerland and Carpinteria to Solvang and Santa Ynez. Call us at (805) 963-0606
More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Mold
Mold growing on the back of drywall after a water damage
Mold is one of those things that you do not give too much thought to in life except for when for some reason, one of the rooms in your house starts to smell a little musty or you notice the tell-tale dark patch on your drywall. The truth about mold is that it is everywhere. Like dust or pollen, mold spores are just a part of our natural biosphere and they actually do serve a useful purpose. Mold is nature's great decomposer and is valuable in recycling any organic waste.
Whether you like it or not, your house is currently filled with microscopic mold spores. You wouldn't give that fact a second thought until the day that the mold spores are introduced to a little bit of moisture. Mold spores are nothing if not opportunistic and when you "feed" them with water, they quickly grow into colonies. That is when you might start to notice a musty odor or start to see the dark shadows.
And that is the time for you to call SERVPRO of Santa Barbara. SERVPRO of Santa Barbara has the training and expertise to safely handle any mold situation you may come across.
Mold Remediation, should I test?
small commercial mold remediation ready for third party clearance testing.
You may first notice a darkening of the wood under a cabinet or a musty smell in the bathroom. Small leaks add up to a growing problem. Eventually contacting a mold remediation company is your next step.
However you may want to use a third-party testing company to identify the types of mold and to publish a written protocol for removing the mold. Using these companies can help you understand the what, why and how of your mold removal project. They also drive the scope of work based on their findings. This helps keep the cost down to just what needs to be done. These companies verify the work is done correctly at the end of the job and provide a post-remediation report. At minimum, SERVPRO of Santa Barbara strongly recommends post-remediation testing. Search the web for local mold testing companies or call SERVPRO of Santa Barbara for referrals.
SERVPRO of Santa Barbara has the correct equipment, supplies and training to properly and safely remove mold. First, our crews suit up in PPE (personal protective equipment) to ensure that they are protected from moldy debris that can irritate skin or interfere with breathing. SERVPRO uses proven methods to contain the moldy areas with plastic sheeting and efficient high-tech negative pressure air scrubbers. This type of equipment and setup makes the remediation proceed much faster and more safely, but is costly and difficult to replicate with supplies from the local hardware store.
The key to a successful mold remediation is to make sure and eliminate the moisture that allows the mold to grow. Mold has a tough time growing if there is no mosture.