Recent Mold Remediation Posts
How to Keep Mold and Moisture Out of Your HVAC System
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Tips and Tricks From SERVPRO of SW Orlando to Keeping Mold and Moisture Out Of Your HVAC System
In the warm summer heat, it's easy to build up moisture; especially when it gets sticky, muggy and humid. When this happens, you naturally crank the A.C., reach for something cold, and kick back in your lazy chair. The problem is, when you're relaxing and enjoying the nice cold breeze, mold is spreading through your ducts, vents, and HVAC system, leaving a nasty haze of mold that you can smell all over the house. If you're running a business, your customers could smell it too- which is why you should always call our service professionals to deal with the problem as soon as possible.
How Does Mold Get in The HVAC System?
Mold damage in Orlando is no laughing matter. Mold, fungus, and other bacteria are in their perfect environment when they're trapped in your HVAC system. It's dark, warm, moist, closed in, and humid, meaning that spores can grow practically unabated. You'll notice more and more scent as heat and humidity is generated from outside and pulled through your ducts.
When this moist air gets in your air system, it collects within and above your HVAC units. At this point, the spores of mold and other fungi easily rise through the air, setting up colonies as your condenser forces them up through the duct system. These aren't the only cases of mold that we've seen at SERVPRO; we've seen mold stick to people's clothes or shoes, and it's all brought inside by excess humidity caused by rainfall.
Here Are a Few Tips on How to Remove Mold From Your HVAC System
1. Continue to clean and maintain your HVAC system, even when you aren't using it. Check the ducts for wet spots, and regularly check and maintain your HVAC filter.
2. Double check the drainage systems on your HVAC for mold. Allow for "dry-out" areas where the drainage comes out to prevent excess moisture.
3. Get dehumidifiers for your home. They are ideal for collecting excess humidity, and they help with the temperature inside your house, too.
4. Always insulate your pipes, walls, and ceilings. Use caulking for cracks to control cracks and leaks.
5. Contrary to common beliefs, keep your windows closed when it's hot outside. Humidity, dust, and dampness easily travel inside.
What Can You Do to Fix Moldy Clothes?
Your dryer is your friend.
The reason clothing is so susceptible to mold growth is not just because of the mold-inviting circumstances within the laundry room. Generally, when it is worn, clothing collects sweat and skin cells, as well as dirt and other forms of moisture and organic material that mold loves to feast on. Then, it is placed in the laundry hamper and usually sits for days before it it is finally washed. This scenario is typical and may not result in a noticeable mold infestation, but should the soiled laundry be allowed to fester long enough, a mildew smell may be present, as well as visible signs of green, blue, gray, black, or sometimes even white mold on clothes.
Another scenario is becoming more common due to busy lifestyles and poor habits. The quick development of mold on clothes after washing may be surprising to some, but it is quite an ordinary occurrence for those with overwhelmed schedules or those who are vulnerable to procrastination because they often forget to remove clothing from the washing machine once the cycle is finished. As time passes, this leads to the rapid proliferation of mildew and mold on clothes after washing, due to the remaining moisture. Neglecting to put the wet clothes in the dryer for a few hours is not what makes mold grow. Neglecting the clothes in the washer for 6 hours or longer–sometimes a day or even a few days–is the problem. Before too long, a mildew smell will be detected in the washer and clothing. Some assume this is the residue of soap, and while that may be true to some extent, the fact of the matter is that most soaps contains lard and other organic (even synthetic) materials that mold can thrive off of. The smell is not necessarily the residue of soap, but an indication that mold is producing a secondary metabolite–the mildew smell–from consuming that soap.
What is a natural detergent to kill mold? Here is what you will need.
- Two 5 oz. organic castile soap bars (naturally-scented with lavender or peppermint is great but non-scented works just the same)
- 3 cups of washing soda (no, it’s not the same as baking soda)
- 2 cups of borax
- 30 drops of certified-pure lavender essential oil (optional but highly advisable for a mold killing laundry detergent)
Once you have all the materials, this is what to do.
- Cut the castile soap bars into small pieces or chunks. (This is crucial to avoid damaging the food processor.)
- Place the cut castile soap pieces or chunks in the food processor bowl. Pulse the soap on high until what remains are large crumbs.
- Add the washing soda to the food processor and pulse for 1 minute. (After pulsing, all the ingredients should be in powder form and well-combined. If not, try running the food processor again and then mixing with a spoon.)
- Empty the washing soda and castile soap into the storage container. Add the borax and blend well with a spoon.
- Add the essential oils of choice (optional but beneficial) and be sure to mix well.
Do not place this mixture into the drawer or dispenser, place it directly in with the laundry.
Is Mold Covered by Your Homeowners Insurance?
Call SERVPRO of SW Orlando today with any questions about mold, 407-704-0327.
Most owners insurance comes down to the source of the moisture to where the mold damage started. If you are unsure if your homeowners insurance covers mold, go over your policy. Make sure you look for mold exclusions or limitations and call your agent if it still unclear.
If mold results from a sudden and accidental damage, like a pipe bursting, the cost of mold remediation would be covered. Now, if it mold shows up because of neglecting home maintenance then most claims would be rejected.
Here is sample of damage done by an inch of flood water:
- Replace carpet, flooring: $2,700
- New baseboard molding: $2,250
- Replace drywall $1,350
- Cleanup, materials: $1,000
- Bookshelves, lamps: $500
- Total: $7,800
Source: National Flood Insurance Program - https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program
You could also buy a mold rider as an add-on to your existing policy for extra coverage. If your insurance carrier doesn’t provide a rider, specialty companies might sell you a stand alone mold policy. Just to warn you, there will be a big price tag for that route.
If your insurance does not cover mold at all, moisture prevention is the key.
To help prevent mold growth, take the following steps:
- Lower indoor humidity with air conditioners, de-humidifiers, and exhaust fans
- Inspect hoses and fittings on appliances, sinks, and toilets
- Use household cleaners with mold-killing ingredients like bleach
- Opt for paints and primes that contain mold inhibitors
- Clean gutters to avoid overflow and check roof for leaks
- Avoid carpet in wet areas like basements and bathrooms
- Remove and dry carpet, padding, and upholstery within 48 hours of flooding
Source: House logic https://www.houselogic.com/finances-taxes/home-insurance/homeowners-insurance-mold-covered/
Mold Remediation Process
Call SW Orlando SERVPRO today if you have any mold issues. 407-704-0327
Mold Remediation Process
Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate the “typical” process:
• The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO of SW Orlando (407)704—0327. Our representative will ask a series of questions to help us determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel.
•SERVPRO Franchise Professionals will carefully inspect your property for visible signs of mold. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view. They use various technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources.
•They use various containment procedures to prevent the spread of mold. They may use advanced containment procedures like negative air chambers to isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process. All fans and heating and cooling systems will be turned off to prevent the spread of mold.
• Their specialized filtration equipment allows their Professionals to capture microscopic mold spores out of the air. They utilize powerful “air scrubbers” and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in process.
• The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. SERVPRO of SW Orlando uses anti-fungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies and to help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and carpeting, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.
•SERVPRO of SW Orlando will clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, clothing, and other restorable items affected by mold. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. They’re also trained to remove odors and deodorization 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 busines
What is HEPA and why is it important?
You have probably heard the term HEPA in commercials for vacuums, but what does it mean? The definition of HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air.
What that means is that air that is passed through a HEPA filter will have 99.7% of particles in the air that are .3 microns or larger. To help put that in perspective the diameter of a human hair is between 50 and 75 microns. So as you can see a HEPA filter is capable of removing very small, invisible to the naked eye, particles from the air. Those particles could include but are not limited to dust, pollen, mold spores, soot or ash.
HEPA Vacumms are used in applications where critical HEPA filtration is required such as asbestos, lead or mold mitigation and cleanup.
Air scrubbers are disigned for restoration, abatement, and remediation. Used for cleaning and controlling air quailty and creating nagative pressure in a work area.
How it works: air enters the unit and passes through three- stage filtration captureing smoke, fumes, mold spores, dust and particulates. Cleans air is returned to the enviorment. When large areas are to be cleaned, multiple units can be strategically placed for optium cleaning.
Using a HEPA filtered air scrubber or vacuum can help remove these small particles from the air leaving the air we breathe cleaner and remove odors.
Better Understanding Mold Growth in Your Home
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Your home’s air is full of different substances, and there are always a few spores floating around. While they normally have no harmful effects on your building, the right conditions could allow them to take hold and create dangerous black mold buildup. If a moisture problem or other circumstance occurs in your Southwest Orlando, FL house, it’s important to get help from a licensed mold cleanup service as soon as possible. Here’s everything you need to know about this potential household hazard.
Favorable Conditions for Growth
Like any other living thing, mold needs the right environment to flourish, and there are a few areas of your house where these circumstances are more likely. Go through your home and make a note if you notice the following:
-Indoor humidity levels above 50 percent
-Lack of sunlight
-Permeable surfaces such as newspaper and blankets
While you can prevent some of the favorable conditions for black mold on your own by opening window shades, operating fans and installing dehumidifiers, others might require intervention by experts such as basement waterproofing contractors. Your goal should be a space with plenty of moving air and low humidity levels.
Common Types of Household Mold
Molds come in every color of the rainbow, but there are only a few that normally grow in homes. Here’s a brief overview and how to identify them:
-Penicillium is a green or blue growth usually found in areas damaged by water.
-Cladosporium is quite common and usually manifests as black or green dots in fabric and carpets.
-Stachybotrys chartarum, which is commonly referred to as black mold, forms in areas that are constantly wet, such as air conditioning ducts and around leaky pipes.
It’s important to understand many species look alike, so contact a remediation specialist if you suspect growth in your home. Once black mold and other growths take hold, it can be difficult to contain their progress, which is why you should take action as soon as possible.