Mold is a type of fungus that produces tiny spores which can cross-contaminate throughout the home. When mold spores are exposed to favorable conditions such as damp areas indoors or moisture pockets in protein-based sheetrock, they begin growing and consuming organic matter in order to sustain growth. There are over thousands of known variations of mold. While some mold may not be toxic for humans, we suggest having a trained mold specialist assist you in identifying what type of mold may be present in your home.
Mold will grow when it is located in an environment suitable for growth. If there is excess relative humidity and moisture in your home or obvious signs of water damage (which may occur after a water pipe burst, roof leak, or improper weather sealing), your home has become a suitable location for mold to grow. When not addressed promptly, mold growth has the potential to affect the structural integrity of your home and significantly reduce your indoor air quality. It’s important to check your home routinely for any signs of moisture so mold growth can be prevented.
Exposure to certain molds is not healthy for anyone inside a home. However, all individuals react differently to mold exposure; some may have more severe reactions to certain molds than others. Those who are at the greatest risk of mold exposure have existing conditions such as allergies, asthma, weakened immune systems, or other respiratory conditions. Infants, young children, elderly and pregnant women are also more susceptible to severe reactions from mold exposure.
It is generally not recommended that you attempt mold remediation yourself. Licensed mold technicians are trained to identify the type of mold present and the best course of action to remove the mold from your home. Many homeowners tend to omit key steps in the mold remediation process, such as containing the mold-affected areas or reversing the indoor airflow, both of which are key steps needed to avoid cross-contamination. For this reason, it is recommended to have professionals who have been trained in protocols for mold abatement.
If you suspect that the mold is a result of a water leak or high moisture levels in your home, we will help you rectify those issues either ourselves or through a third party vendor as soon as possible. It is also important that if you suspect mold growth in your home, you should turn off your HVAC or forced air system immediately to avoid further cross-contamination of your home.
- Aspergillus and Penicillium
- Aspergillus and Penicillium are two of the most common types of mold found in homes. There are over 200 known species of both Aspergillus and Penicillium fungi. Visually and biologically, the spores are similar and hard to differentiate, which is why lab reports often combine them into one category. Aspergillus and Penicillium in your home may result in allergic reactions for those allergic to mold and even cause eye, ear, and skin fungal infections.
- Cladosporium is a common indoor and outdoor mold. It typically produces olive-green, brown, or black-colored mold colonies. Cladosporium typically grows on surfaces where moisture is present and is able to spread through the air. Airborne spores of Cladosporium are capable of inducing allergic reactions and are particularly debilitating for those suffering from asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Cladosporium can also produce Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) typically associated with odors.
- Stachybotrys chartarum
- Stachybotrys Chartarum, or black mold, is one of the most dangerous household molds. Black mold thrives in environments with ample cellulose-rich building materials, such as drywall panels or wallpaper, and high moisture levels. Airborne transmission is typically the only way black mold can spread throughout your home, which can occur when the spores are disturbed during attempted removal. Some species of black mold can produce highly irritating and potentially deadly mycotoxins.
- There are nearly 100 known species of Chaetomium. Like other molds, they thrive on cellulose-rich surfaces alongside high moisture levels. Chaetomium has a brownish appearance typically. Chaetomium can trigger allergic reactions and fungal infections. Prolonged exposure to Chaetomium can lead to clinical syndromes such as Onychomycosis and Peritonitis.
Mold Assessment Questions
Even if mold is not visible, when a musty odor is present and persistent in your home, it can be a sign of mold growth. If you have experienced a water leak recently or persistent exposure to high humidity in your home, there is a strong likelihood that those areas exposed have become environments highly conducive to mold growth. It is important to have a mold assessment completed if any clues or factors of mold growth are apparent in your home.
A. Protocol should be put into effect in a timely manner in order to avoid any additional growth or delay in removal prior to treatment. Client and the Company will strategize on an official treatment date and timeline in order to align on expectations for an estimated remediation deadline.
B. The treatment itself must be done in a time-conscious and precise manner, ensuring sufficient eradication of the infected area(s).
C. All processes completed and handled by Fixmold will be treated confidentially and discreetly.
D. All cleaning products and equipment are recognized for mold abatement by the EPA.
E. In order to ensure the cleanest possible conditions during the procedures, Fixmold will temporarily filter work areas with negative air during remediation work.
Mold is not only a dangerous and toxic organic material that can be seen, it can also be smelled. Normally, the scent will be abrasively earthy or musty in nature. Excessive moisture due to condensation, warping flooring or wallpaper lifting, discoloration to walls, ceiling, or paint peeling can be clear indicators of mold growth.
• LEAKY ROOFS
• SPRINKLER SPRAY HITTING THE HOUSE
• PLUMBING LEAKS
• HIGH HUMIDITY
• WINDOW LEAKS
• DAMPNESS IN CRAWLSPACES
• STEAM FROM SHOWERS OR COOKING
• OVERLY MOIST HOUSE PLANTS
• DRYERS VENTILATING INDOORS
• DYSFUNCTIONAL VENTS
• INADEQUATE VENTILATION
Mold Remediation Questions
We require all of our licensed mold technicians to wear PPE equipment while they are completing a mold remediation service for their own safety. Because we take these precautions with our employees, we would not want our valued customers to be exposed for a second to the toxic hazards of mold remediation. It is recommended for your own health that you vacate the premises during mold remediation. However, depending on the severity of the issue and the containment area in your home, it may be possible for you to remain at home during mold remediation. FixMold will work with you to ensure that the mold remediation process is as unobtrusive as possible.
Unfortunately, mold can reappear after the initial mold remediation process if all property recommendations are not followed. It is imperative that you take the steps needed to address the sources of elevated moisture levels in your home if you would like to reduce the chances of mold growing in your home in the future. If all the property recommendations laid out in our mold assessment are addressed, the probability of mold returning can drop to less than 10%.
1. Work area will be sealed to prevent dust and spores spreading to other areas. No
non-approved workers will be allowed in areas under remediation.
2. Plastic 6-mill Polyethylene sheeting protective work tarps will be placed throughout the work area if and as needed.
3. Negative air pressure unit will be installed in the area with a hose leading to an outside air source to generate negative pressurization (ventilating to the outdoors) at an air exchange rate of six times per hour.
4. Foundation/exterior walls will be thoroughly sealed using a multi-phase process
including Liquid Nail, Dry-Lok and silicone, to waterproof where needed to prevent
future moisture intrusion. All waterproofing work will be provided with advanced
precision using protimeters and infrared technology. Although we offer this service to our clients we do not provide a guarantee due to us being licensed mold professionals and not water proofers.
5. Vent System(s) will be thoroughly sealed using silicone, to avoid condensation where needed.
6. Moldy materials will be removed and double bagged in affected areas if and as necessary. (Sheetrock and/or drywall replacement is not included and is the responsibility of the owner). Thermo Fogging will be performed throughout the areas if and as needed.
7. Central A/C Unit(s)/Intake/Ductwork and Vent system(s) will be decontaminated, sealed and completely filtered to rid the unit(s) of any mold, fungi and/or contaminants present while preventing cross contamination of airborne mold spores throughout. Air handler coils will be thoroughly cleaned using non-abrasive materials, sanitized and disinfected.
8. Electrostatic disinfecting will be performed throughout all area(s) where evidence of mold growth was present, as well as throughout the central A/C unit(s)/intake/ ductwork and vent system(s) once they have been filtered.
9. Decontamination and air purification using Photocatalyctic Hydroxyl Generator will be performed in affected areas, as needed.
10. Full premises will be thoroughly aired out with air scrubbers and HEPA-Vacuum, where needed to remove the airborne mold spores throughout the area.
11. Each room will be wrapped up upon completion and materials will be removed from premises.
12. All surfaces will be closely inspected and wiped down ensuring no debris is left behind.
13. Clearance testing to be performed will include air sampling and/or swab sampling, upon client’s approval.
30%–50% of the structures we live in consist of damp enough environments which often encourage growth and a buildup of biological pollutants - mold being one of the most prevalent. Mold often targets indviduals’ respiratory systems and can cause a range of symptoms, from minor to extreme health risks. Mold can be the reason for nose bleeds, pulmonary hemorrages, hemotysis, and allergic reactions. For some, the longer exposure to mold, the worse the condition. For others, it only takes a small amount of mold exposure to lead to some of the most severe and sometimes life-threatening symptoms.
We have a complete process that entails using HEPA air scrubber machines, photocatalytic hydroxyl generators with maximizers, electrostatic disinfecting machinery, Vector fog + ULV, a thermo fogger and more.
Disposable toxic suits, inclusive of masks with filters
Any materials or fittings needed to properly clean the infected areas thoroughly and effectively
Cleaning materials, cloths, sprayers, etc.
Disinfectant (one or more of the following): DP2545, Shockwave, Mildewstat, First Defense, Benefect DECON 30, Chlorine Dioxide, Fungicide and Sanitizer.
6-Mil Polyethylene sheeting for sealing area
Use of Negative Air Units
Depending on the square footage of the property and the type of issues needing to be addressed in the mold remediation process, the service can range between 2-6 hours. Based on these factors we will present you a custom report prior to servicing your property that will outline the time expectations and the scale of the job.
Our objective at Fix Mold is to completely cleanse, demolish, eradicate and abate molds from the infected area, while applying a pro-active treatment process to prevent any possibility of mold re-growth. We utilize a number of proven techniques throughout this process that have resulted in guaranteed results in the past. All remediation work will be performed in accordance with the EPA Mold Remediation Guidelines.
Microbial Lab Testing Questions
- Every case is different. But typically, if mold is already visible, lab samples are not needed. However, if our office or managing technician receives information that anyone in a residence may be suffering from mold related ailments or is at higher risk for developing complications from mold exposure, we would recommend taking a sample to understand the type of mold that may be found in your home and if the mold may be a cause of said ailments.
- Another scenario where mold samples would be taken are during real estate transactions. Mold samples help provide clearance or identify if there is a mold related issue for potential buyers or sellers.
- When our mold technicians take surface and air samples, they are always sent to a third-party, independent laboratory. We will always share with you the results of the samples sent to the lab, and walk you through any areas of concern and work with you to rectify those concerns.
At this time, there are no standard levels of tolerable or acceptable levels of mold present in your home. If we take samples at your residence, our mold technicians will take the time to walk you through the lab results and explain the findings. Our goal at FixMold is to make sure that your home is safe to inhabit. We pride ourselves on our honesty and integrity and will never misconstrue or misinterpret third-party, independent lab results in our favor.
Sanitization & Disinfecting Questions
Every preventative cleaning and disinfection service presents different scenarios. Depending on the service provided, you may be asked to leave the premises with minimal interruption to your schedule. If you would like your business or office sanitized or disinfected, we recommend having the service completed after normal business hours to ensure minimal interruption or distraction for your business. Again, every sanitation and disinfecting job is different; we will work with you and your schedule to identify the least intrusive and disruptive time to complete our service.
Our disinfectants and cleaning products are EPA approved, Organic, Non-Toxic and free of VOCs. We use a combination of top-tier machinery to purify the air, sanitize infected surfaces, and eliminate moisture. Chlorine dioxide and PX10 tablets; the chlorine dioxide is a very selective oxidant, chlorine dioxide can reduce harmful pathogens ranging from viruses to bacterial spores by 99.9999%. This oxidant consists of two oxygen atoms and one chlorine atom, and presents as a yellowish-green color, is a vital part of our environmentally-sensitive choices for cleaning strategies.
• KEEP THE HUMIDITY LEVEL IN THE PROPERTY BETWEEN 40% AND 60%
• ALWAYS HAVE THE AIR CONDITIONER RUNNING & A DEHUMIDIFIER PLUGGED IN DURING HUMID MONTHS
• BE SURE THE PROPERTY HAS ADEQUATE VENTILATION, INCLUDING EXHAUST
FANS IN KITCHEN AND BATHROOMS
• CONSISTENTLY DISINFECT BATHROOMS
• DO NOT LAY CARPET IN BATHROOMS OR ANY DAMP AREAS
• REMOVE OR REPLACE PREVIOUSLY SOAKED CARPETS AND UPHOLSTERY
• FOLLOW THE PROPERTY RECOMMENDATION LIST GIVEN TO YOU DURING YOUR ASSESSMENT
There are over 100,000 different types of mold that can build up in your property due to both natural environmental damage as well as delayed maintenance. Certain types of mold can be very dangerous for spaces that are heavily utilized as airborne side-affects can cause respitory health issues.
Water damage is often one of the most common culprits of mold development. This can mean leaky pipes, flooding, or rain damage are common reasons for mold accumulating in your property. Though, mold will grow and multiply wherever there is sufficient moisture and organic material present. It only needs 3 components to grow:
1. An organic source of protein
2. Moisture and warmth (condensation)
3. Temperatures between 60-80°F and Oxygen
Mold growth can damage your home and possessions, and in time, unchecked growth can cause serious damage to not only the structural elements in your home, but also put the health of the property's inhabitants at extremely high risk with time. Be on the lookout in your home or property for common sources of indoor moisture that may lead to mold related issues.
Air Duct Cleaning Questions
It is extremely important to clean your air ducts! Having dust and contaminants build up in your air ducts not only reduces your indoor air quality but can also lead to higher energy costs. Per the National Air Duct Cleaners Association, air ducts containing dust and other contaminants can contribute to or exacerbate health issues such as allergies, asthma, or other respiratory illnesses.
Many factors determine how often your air ducts should be cleaned. Some of these factors are persistently high moisture levels, how severe family members’ allergic reactions could be to airborne contaminants, and the number of pets in your household who shed, to name a few. Our mold technicians are adept at identifying when and if air duct cleaning is needed at your home by utilizing unobtrusive technologies such as fiber optic and infrared cameras.