7 Common Causes of Mold In Homes

7 Common Causes of Mold In Homes

Mold is an organism that grows both outdoors and indoors. Mold, outdoors, is an important part of nature. It helps in breaking down dead organic matter like fallen-dried leaves. However, mold growing indoors can be a big problem. 

Mold in homes does not only create a cosmetic problem but can also damage your home and cause potential health problems. Exposure to mold can lead to different health problems like allergies, sneezing, sore throat, eye irritation, headache, and more serious respiratory issues like asthma, shortness of breath, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD)

Mold produces tiny spores that float through outdoor and indoor air. They can enter homes through open doors and windows, carried by pets, shoes, and clothing, and spread through heating and air conditioning vents. But, you might be wondering what really causes mold growth in your home. In this article, we outlined the most common causes of mold growth in homes. 

Common Causes of Mold In Homes

Mold can grow just about anywhere in a home, but it will most likely thrive in areas where there are high humidity and moisture, such as bathrooms and kitchens. With the right condition, mold will grow and thrive throughout the property.

  1. Flooding

A house flood, whether it is caused by nature or humans, can bring a lot of water and cause serious water damage to your home. One of the unfortunate realities you will have to face after a house flood is mold growth. It is because it will take days or even weeks to completely dry out a flooded home, which makes it a perfect environment for mold to grow. Contact a professional restoration company immediately to mitigate the damage and prevent mold from causing secondary damage. 

  1. Persistent Humidity

Homes located in areas with high humidity have higher chances of experiencing mold growth. It is because of the high moisture content of the air. Furthermore, showering, cooking, and drying laundry inside your home can contribute to the increased level of humidity. Mold caused by humidity will most likely appear on your ceiling, drywall, under the kitchen sink, and in dark closets. Make sure to ventilate your home well and keep the humidity level below 55% to help prevent mold growth in your property. 

  1. Poor Ventilation

As mentioned, keeping your home well-ventilated can help prevent mold growth. Insufficient ventilation can lead to moisture build-up, and eventually, result in mold growth and problems like pollution. Make sure to open doors and windows when the weather permits or use fans when necessary. 

  1. Leaking Pipes

It is one of the most common plumbing issues homeowners face and has to deal with urgency. It is also one of the reasons why there is mold behind drywall and under-sink cabinets. Leaks can often go unnoticed, like leaks behind walls. So make sure to regularly check this area for any signs of water damage or mold growth. 

  1. Roof Leaks

 A damaged roof, due to wear and tear or severe weather conditions, can allow water to seep into your home and cause mold. A slow leak, when not addressed immediately, can lead to moisture build-up in your attic and ceiling, which then allows mold to thrive on walls and ceiling boards. Check your attic for signs of water damage. If the damage occurs, inspect your roof and fix it as soon as possible. 

  1. Condensation Build-up

A build-up of condensation happens when warm air comes into contact with cold surfaces like concrete surfaces, floor tiles, metal piping, and brick walls. If you notice the build-up of condensation in your home, make sure to adjust the humidity levels in your home. Or else, you might be dealing with mold damage. 

  1. Basements

 Due to the fact that this area of a home is located below ground level, it has the perfect condition for mold growth. Basements are consistently exposed to high levels of moisture, poorly ventilated, and frequently experience leaks or flooding. All these can provide the elements necessary for mold to grow. Thus, it is crucial to keep your basement maintained and properly ventilated to prevent mold outbreaks. 

 

Professional Mold Remediation Services

There are many causes of mold growth in homes. But, addressing these causes immediately can keep you from dealing with mold damage. In the case mold remediation seems difficult to handle, you can trust mold removal professionals at Superior Restoration. 

Superior Restoration is a certified mold remediation company. We have highly trained technicians that provide quality mold removal and remediation services both in residential and commercial properties. For professional mold remediation services, as well as water damage cleanup and restoration services, contact us today. 

5 Steps To Remove Carpet Odors After Water Damage

5 Steps To Remove Carpet Odors After Water Damage

Carpets do not only make a home wonderfully cozy, but they can also warm up a place. A clean and fresh-smelling carpet can enhance the appearance of your home.  But, this piece of decoration can be a breeding ground for mold and mildew growth when water damage occurs. In today’s post, we will explain to you the steps on how to remove carpet odors after water damage

 

The Danger of a Damp and Musty Carpet

A musty-smelling carpet is not only unpleasant but it is also dangerous. Your carpet can produce an unpleasant smell that can travel throughout your living space and affect the entire environment. If you realize that you are smelling a moldy odor, it could mean you are inhaling mold spores and other compounds that are toxic and may cause a wide range of health issues like bronchitis, sore throat, difficulty breathing, migraine, sinus infections, and joint pain and inflammation. 

Furthermore, a musty carpet can trigger allergies and infections because of the different kinds of allergens, molds, and bacteria that are present in your carpet. Thus, it is important to keep your carpet clean and fresh. It is also a good idea to have your carpets cleaned professionally especially after water damage occurs. 

 

How to Remove Carpet Odors After Water Damage

1. Address the Cause of Carpet Odors

One of the first things you have to do when removing carpet odors is to identify where the musty smell coming from. The musty smell often indicates water damage or high humidity problems. It could be water damage that has not been addressed or some areas of your home could be producing a high level of humidity, preventing your carpet from fully drying. 

2. Dry the Area

Once the water problem is fixed, you should dry out the area. Open windows to allow air circulation or install a fan or dehumidifier to remove any excess moisture.

3. Remove Dust and Debris

Before you begin treating your carpet, make sure that it is free from any debris. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust. Doing this can also help dissolve odor faster.

4. Remove Carpet Odors

Fortunately, there are easy ways in removing carpet odors even after water damage and some of the remedies can be found at home. 

  • Use of Vinegar and Baking Soda

Vinegar is a natural and very diverse home remedy. It can kill mold and is efficient in removing persistent odor. To make a vinegar cleaning solution, mix one tablespoon of vinegar to every 2 cups of water. Mix it thoroughly and put the solution in a spray bottle. Gently mist your carpet with this solution, but do not oversaturate it as it can trigger mold growth. While your carpet is wet, sprinkle an ample amount of baking soda. Baking soda is an amazing deodorizer. Then, allow these remedies to take effect. Leave them for some hours or overnight. Vacuum up the remaining baking soda.

  • Use of Hydrogen Peroxide

When the odor seems tough to handle, you may need to use a stronger remedy. Mix1 part of hydrogen peroxide with 5 parts of water. Use a spray bottle to apply this solution.  Allow the solution to sit for some hours to neutralize mold spores and carpet odors.

  • Use of Carpet Shampoo

Another way to remove carpet odors after water damage is by using a foam carpet shampoo. This solution can be found in most grocery stores. Apply the shampoo using a sponge to prevent oversaturating the carpet. Then, allow the carpet to dry. You may also need to vacuum the carpet again to remove any remaining debris. 

If the odor persists, repeat the process. 

 

5. Contact a Professional

If you have water damage or mold problems that caused your carpet to produce unpleasant odors, you may need to have your carpet cleaned by a professional restoration company, Superior Restoration. Water damage and mold problems can quickly get expensive. So, the earlier you take action the better it will be for your property. 

 

Superior Restoration is the leading restoration company that offers advanced carpet cleaning, water damage clean up and mold removal services to commercial and residential customers. Call us today for professional restoration services

Black Mold_ Basic Facts and Prevention

Black Mold: Basic Facts and Prevention

Black mold is really bothersome especially in the wet season of winter because this is a great time for it to proliferate. This also might be the best time for people to be knowledgeable and keen about it to prevent further damage. So to calm your fears and anxiety, here are some facts and prevention tips you need to know about black mold. 

What Is Black Mold?

Black mold is also identified as Stachybotrys chartarum and is usually black or sometimes dark green. It is a dangerous form of mold commonly found in places where there is moisture. Any material that is wet for at least 72 hours or has consistent moisture is a good requirement for the growth of black mold.

What made the black mold harmful is the release of mycotoxins that are present in mold spores. The mold spores can easily get into the air and can then be inhaled or ingested. Thus, causing potential harm to human health.

What Are The Causes?

The principal reason behind the formation of the black mold is moisture. This can be caused by several things like:

  • water leakage/flooding
  • clogged-up gutters
  • improper ventilation 
  • not having regular maintenance
  • wet or damp clothes
  • condensation 
  • humidifiers 
  • humid basements
  • accumulation of water around the foundation of your property

What Are The Effects?

Any kind of mold, particularly black mold can have a detrimental effect on your health as well as structural damage to your property. 

1. Health

There have been some reports about fatalities related to mold. The World Health Organization agreed that exposure to mold can cause infections, respiratory symptoms, asthma, and allergic rhinitis.

Other common symptoms of mold include:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Constant tiredness
  • Eye and throat irritation
  • Headaches
  • Skin irritation and rashes
  • Nausea
  • Chest tightness/difficulty breathing
  • Nosebleeds

2) Structural Damage

Growing mold likes feeding on organic matter like paper, cardboard, wood, and fabrics. The mold damages the surface slowly as it feeds and grows. This can cause unpleasant damage to the interior of a house or property.

How To Prevent Black Mold in Homes?

Black mold prevention is the best defense to stop mold growth. The following are some measures to prevent black mold or any mold in your home: 

  1. Remove growing black mold anywhere in your home immediately.
  2. Use a mask and a proper covering to protect yourself from exposure to mold spores. 
  3. Contact a mold expert if you have health problems or if you can’t handle bigger mold issues.
  4. Try to maintain the area once everything is clean. 
  5. Make sure to fix all leaks to avoid water damage.
  6. You should frequently monitor the levels of humidity in your home because too much humidity can trigger the growth of mold. 
  7. Check regularly your air-conditioning unit that it’s running properly.
  8. Check for stagnant water in and around your home. 
  9. You might also consider covering the floor of your crawl space to prevent moisture.
  10. In addition, try to invest in a dehumidifier to help you in controlling humid air especially in confined spaces like basements or crawlspaces.

Who To Call For Help?

Understanding basic facts about mold and its prevention tips can help you deal with this problem. But, in case, dealing it on your own is challenging, contact a professional. While you can do-it-yourself, identifying the source of moisture to eliminate the problem is not easy. Thus, it is advisable to let professionals do the job to ease your worries and burden about black molds. 

Superior Restoration, a leading restoration company, offers mold removal and remediation services. They have skilled and experienced technicians who only utilize the best methods of remediating mold both in commercial and residential area. If you need mold removal and remediation services, contact their office today. 

 

Mold Remediation as A Solution to The Growing Mold Problems

Molds are types of fungi that usually grows on surfaces inside one’s property due to water interaction or excessive moisture. 

However, although some types of mold are normally harmless, there are some types that can cause severe health issues in anyone. According to the EPA, one of the most common causes of molds are allergies and can be a top reason for asthma symptoms. Furthermore, molds in one’s property might also lead to irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat and, worst can also cause serious lung issues even if the person involved is not allergic. In line with this, mold growth in the house or property should be treated as a serious issue and should not be, in any way, ignored.

As for the fact that molds can be found everywhere, the problem of its growth arises, most especially when the growth begins inside the house. This is usually caused by the moisture that the mold spores found to begin to grow. The extremely common reasons for mold growth inside one’s property are roof leaks, pipe leaks, high humidity levels, and floods.

Mold requires spores (serves as their ‘seeds’), favorable temperatures, nutrient supply, and moisture. Molds, like plants, grow by spreading and releasing its mold spores. However, if the conditions for the molds are unfavorable, mold will be dominant and release spores into the air to find a suitable environment for their growth and survival.

Moreover, these conditions can lead to mold growth subjected to water damages within the span of 24 to 48 hours. The affected materials or appliances should be dried as quickly as possible to prevent germination and subsequent mold growth. This mold growth can result from inadequate design, installation, and operation of materials and appliances used, maintenance of the structure and lack of adequate ventilation in the building. Among the conditions mentioned, moisture is the only condition a homeowner can really control.

Mold Remediation: The Basics and Process

Molds should be removed by a trained professional accredited by organizations such as RIA, IAQA, and IICRC. However, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) any area subjected to mold growth less than ten (10) square feet (or about 3 feet by 3 feet) can be remediated by the homeowner. If the affected area succeeded the 10 square feet policy, the homeowner or the building administrator must contact a mold remediation contractor.

On the off chance that the mold growth occurs inside a homeowner’s property that requires larger immediate removal or mold remediation, it is important for the homeowner to know the basics of mold remediation.

Basic Mold Remediation Directions:

  1. Determine the size of the area that will need to be contained. Set up your containment using zip walls and 6-mil poly sheeting.
  2. Determine the size of air scrubber needed (4-6 air exchanges per hour).
  3. Install air scrubber into containment, duct clean air from the scrubber out of the containment area to keep the containment under negative pressure.
  4. Vacuum all surfaces in the containment area using a HEPA vacuum.
  5. Remove all porous surfaces (drywall, carpet, etc.) with mold contamination. The material that is being removed should be placed in contractor bags and disposed of in normal garbage receptacles (e.g., dumpsters). Bags should be sealed before leaving the containment area.
  6. Vacuum all surfaces in the containment area using a HEPA vacuum.
  7. Physical mold removal:
  1. Using a cleaner, all surfaces with visible mold should be scrubbed or sanded to remove some of the mold stainings. Without heavy sanding, some of these stains might not be removed. Staining is not an indication of active mold growth.
  2. Using a disinfectant, wipe or spray all surfaces to ensure any remaining (hidden) mold is dead. This will not preclude any health problems from the mold, but it will keep it from further growth.
  1. Again, vacuum all surfaces in the containment area using a HEPA vacuum.
  2. A mold-preventative coating can/may be applied to further ensure no future mold growth.
  3. For larger jobs (over 32 sq ft of contamination) it may be required to:
  • Have a controlled egress area.
  • Have an independent hygienist write a protocol.
  • Have an independent hygienist do post clearance testing.

With regards to the increase of mold growth in the house, EPA provided the necessary simple steps or process of mold removal or mold remediation.

Process: Steps to Mold Remediation

  1. Containment and Ventilation. This is the first step, and probably the most important step in the process of mold remediation. The installation and use of adequate ventilation and air filtration devices (AFDs) including air scrubbers are required to keep and ensure that the existing mold spores that are disturbed and become airborne will not be spreading to any uninfected area through the air.
  2. Cleaning and Disinfection. Next is the stage that includes the actual remediation, removal, and disposal of materials subjected to molds—the cleaning and disinfection stage. Where the trained professional or technicians will apply biocide, fungicide or moldicide solutions to the infected areas.
  3. Fixing the Source of the Mold. This is where the technicians will address any moisture or humidity concerns that cause the growth of molds within the property or area. This includes a loose bathroom fan duct that is running into an attic, in this case, the broken fan duct may be fixed. For cases with more involved repairs, the mold remediation company could hire a sub-contractor to recommend to the homeowner.
  4. Encapsulate the Unremoved Molds. Molds that are not removed through the process of mold remediation should be encapsulated by paint or a similar material. The encapsulation process is an approved method for dealing with mold in a house.

Molds are complex. It may start from a small area but can form larger colonies indoors under appropriate conditions. It is important to not ignore the significance of a proper building or house maintenance at all times.