Q:What Is It?
A: It is a fungus that is found almost everywhere. More than likely you are breathing spores RIGHT NOW! It grows throughout the environment, inside and out, in soils, on food, on plants, and even on building materials when moisture is present. occurs naturally in the environment and is a necessary decomposer of organic matter. In fact, cheese and penicillin are both products of it. They have various colors including white, green, black, and orange. It reproduces by releasing microscopic spores that spread easily in the air and can enter a home or building through windows, doors, cracks, and vents.
Q: Why it is So Dangerous?
A: They produce health effects through inflammation, allergy, or infection. Allergic reactions (often referred to as hay fever) are most common following exposure. Typical symptoms that exposed persons report (alone or in combination) include:
- Respiratory problems, such as wheezing, difficulty breathing, and shortness of breath
- Nasal and sinus congestion
- Eye irritation (burning, watery, or reddened eyes)
- Dry, hacking cough
- Nose or throat irritation
- Skin rashes or irritation
- Headaches, memory problems, mood swings, nosebleeds, body aches and pains, and fevers are occasionally reported in cases, but their cause is not understood.
Q: Does My House have Mold?
A: You may suspect that you have it if you see discolored patches or cottony or speckled growth on walls or furniture or if you smell an earthy or musty odor. You also may suspect contamination if allergic individuals experience some of the symptoms listed above when in the house. Evidence of past or ongoing water damage should also trigger more thorough inspection. You may find growth underneath water-damaged surfaces or behind walls, floors or ceilings.
Q: How Can I prevent Mold In my Home?
A: Controlling moisture is the most effective means to prevent it. Some recommendations for the home include:
- Humidity levels above 60 percent can promote growth. In humid months, try using an air conditioner or a dehumidifier to keep the humidity in your home below 50 percent.
- Exhaust showers, baths, cooking areas,and clothes dryers to allow steam to escape outdoors. Avoid regular drying of your clothing on indoor drying lines or racks.
- Promptly attend to leaking pipes, flooded basements, roof leaks, ice dams, and other sources of water infiltration.
- Humidifiers increase the moisture in your homes. If you use a humidifier, ensure that it is properly set to avoid excessive humidity.
- Insulate pipes and install chimney liners to prevent condensation.
- Put a plastic cover over dirt in crawl spaces to prevent moisture coming up from the ground.
- Use area rugs on concrete floors that can be taken up and washed often. A vapor barrier may be necessary if carpet is installed over concrete.
- Have your heating and cooling systems inspected and serviced regularly.
- Add inhibitors to paint when repainting. It is important to start early. If you are dealing with a flood event, cleanup should begin within 24 hours, before much growth can occur. Waiting will only make it stronger and eventual cleanup worse. Porous material that is wet for more than 24 hours may need to be thrown out
Q: How Can I clean Mold?
A: Any treatment of mold must begin with stopping the water coming into the area, whether it is by leak, condensation, excessive humidity, or flooding. If an area is cleaned, but the moisture problem remains, the problem will return. Cleaning will dramatically increase the amount of spores in the air. During cleaning, use disposable rubber gloves, goggles, and a respirator (N-95 or TC-21C cartridge) available at your local hardware store. Some of them may also irritate the skin, so long sleeve shirts and pants are advisable for avoiding direct contact. Make sure the area is well ventilated. Open windows and doors and use fans to create a path of fresh air into the cleanup area that exits through the nearest opening to the outdoors.
Follow these steps to clean up 10sf or less :
- Identify and correct the moisture problem.
- Remove, bag, and discard non-essential porous material that has been heavily contaminated (i.e., ceiling tiles, leather, cloth, sheetrock, plaster, paneling, wood products, paper, carpet, padding, etc.). When removing drywall or sheetrock, cut at least 12 inches beyond the area of visible damage. Hard material such as glass, plastic, or metal can be kept after cleaning and disinfecting.
- Use a non-ammonia soap or detergent in hot water and scrub the affected area. Use a stiff brush or cleaning pad on block walls or uneven surfaces.
- Thoroughly rinse the area with hot water. A wet-dry vacuum is an easy way to pick up excess water.
- Disinfect the area with a dilute solution of 10 percent household bleach (DO NOT mix with ammonia or other chemicals). Do not use straight bleach—it will not be more effective.
- Completely dry the area for two or three days. Raising the temperature and using dehumidifiers will help.
- Vacuum your home thoroughly, preferably with a HEPA or filtered vacuum.
Cleaning up will increase your exposure to mold and bleach fumes. If you have respiratory problems like asthma or emphysema, or the affected area is large, consult with us. If after cleaning, you still notice an odor you may have hidden mold. You may wish to hire us in difficult to reach places such as in heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
Q: Am I covered by my Insurance Company?
A: Most homeowners insurance companies flat out exclude the coverage. Some do have limited coverage depending on what happened – and your description WOULD be a covered loss. HOWEVER, the limited coverage usually means, up to $10,000. Remediation on average, for a house, costs about $40,000. You’d be paying for the balance yourself.To be sure if you are covered check your policy or call your agent.
Q:why you use green produces and is that helpfully like chemicals?
A: We choose products that are environmentally friendly for many reasons. Our experience is that ‘green’ products available today are equally effective compared to chemicals used in the past. ‘ Green’ is more than a fad and as you consider your family, pets and home it becomes a clear choice. Think about your home and how you want it treated.