Recent Mold Remediation Posts

Reducing Moisture in Your Home and Mold Growth

6/20/2019 (Permalink)

Reducing Moisture in Your Home and Mold Growth

It's impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores in your home, but because mold spores can't grow without moisture, reducing moisture in your home is the best way to prevent or eliminate mold growth. If there is already mold growing in your home, it's important to clean up the mold and fix the problem causing dampness. If you clean up the mold but don't fix the problem, the mold will most likely return.

Following is some advice for reducing moisture throughout the home with specific tips for the areas most prone to dampness and mold growth:

  • Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners, especially in hot, humid climates, to reduce moisture in the air.
  • Keep indoor humidity below 60% if possible. You can measure relative humidity with a hygrometer, an inexpensive instrument available at many hardware stores.
  • Keep air conditioning drip pans clean. Make sure drain lines are free of obstructions and flow properly.
  • Keep the house warm in cool weather. As the temperature goes down, the air is less able to hold moisture and it condenses on cold surfaces, which can encourage mold growth.
  • Add insulation to cold surfaces, such as exterior walls, floors, and windows to reduce condensation.
  • Dry wet areas within 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold growth.
  • Fix leaks and seepage. The ground should slope away from your house. If water is entering the house from the outside, your options range from simple landscaping to extensive excavation and waterproofing.
  • Have a heating and cooling contractor check your heating and cooling system to make sure it's sized and operating properly to remove humidity.
  • Open doors between rooms to increase circulation, which carries heat to cold surfaces. Increase air circulation by using fans and by moving furniture from wall corners.

Source: WebMD Online.  Jan 2019

Mold Growth in the Kitchen

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

 Reducing Mold Growth in the Kitchen

  • Use exhaust fans to move moisture outside (not into the attic) whenever you are cooking, washing dishes, or cleaning.
  • Turn off certain appliances if you notice moisture on windows and other surfaces.
  • Check for leaks around the kitchen sink, refrigerator ice makers, and other sources of water. Repair if necessary. Many of the homes we visit that have suffered mold damage stems from an undetected link under the kitchen sink that has set the conditions just right for an outbreak of mold growth.  Mold under and behind the kitchen sink often goes undetected until there is a kitchen remodel and by then it has spread dramatically. 
  • Empty and clean refrigerator drip pans if necessary. Mold growth can go long undetected behind a kitchen refrigerator. 
  • Put a plastic cover over dirt in crawl spaces to prevent moisture from coming in from the ground. If there is standing water or the soil is wet, dry it out with fans before covering the floor.

If you smell or can visibly see mold growth in your home, call the professionals at SERVPRO of West Austin / Lakeway today.

Source: WebMD Online

Learning About Mold Assessment vs. Mold Remediation in the State of Texas

1/1/2019 (Permalink)

Learning About Mold Assessment vs. Mold Remediation in the State of Texas

Mold assessment activities include an inspection, investigation, or survey of a dwelling or other structure to provide the owner or occupant with information regarding the presence, identification, or evaluation of mold, the development of a mold management plan or remediation protocol, and the collection or analysis of a mold sample. Mold remediation means the removal, cleaning, sanitizing, demolition, or other treatment, including preventive activities, of mold or mold-contaminated matter. The industry is regulated to ensure that persons conducting mold assessment and remediation services in Texas are properly trained and licensed, and are following minimum standards that protect the health of workers and building occupants.

Source: https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/mld/mld.htm

How to Prevent Mold on Your Patio Furniture

1/1/2019 (Permalink)

How to Prevent Mold on Your Patio Furniture

If you’re hoping to save your current furniture or you’ve bought a new patio set and want to keep it from falling victim to the same problem, you can take steps to prevent mildew and mold. When purchasing new furniture, look for water-resistant fabrics and materials and check to see if the dyes used are also weather-resistant. Acrylic and polyester are usually the most durable. You can also waterproof your patio furniture yourself by purchasing a waterproofing kit at your local supply store.

Note that sunscreen and bug spray are known to soak into cushions, so always use a towel to sit on as added protection, and never sit down directly after coming out of the pool. If you do spill water or otherwise soil the furniture, clean it immediately, and do routine cleaning every few weeks. If you do not use your patio furniture year round, consider using furniture covers, or find a shed, garage or storage unit to house it during the off season.

Now that you know how to remove mold and mildew from patio furniture, you can clean up your chairs, table and umbrella to return it to good condition. You’ll be back to lounging out in the summer heat in no time.

Source: https://learn.livingdirect.com/patio-furniture-mold-removal/

What are molds?

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

What are molds?

One of the most common questions we receive at SERVPRO® of West Austin/Lakeway is: what exactly is mold.  What kind of mold do I have?  How do I keep it from spreading?

Molds are fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors. No one knows how many species of fungi exist but estimates range from tens of thousands to perhaps three hundred thousand or more. Molds grow best in warm, damp, and humid conditions, and spread and reproduce by making spores. In addition, mold spores can survive harsh environmental conditions, such as dry conditions, that do not support normal mold growth.

What are some of the common indoor molds?

  • Cladosporium
  • Penicillium
  • Alternaria
  • Aspergillus

SERVPRO® of West Austin and Lakeway can help to remediate the mold in your home.  In addition, SERVPRO® will bring in air scrubbers that will help to remove the mold spores in the air in order to prevent any additional mold from forming.  In most cases, the contaminated area will be sealed off in order to contain the mold spores in the air while the air is being "scrubbed" by the air scrubbers.

In many cases, the mold can simply be remediated.  Please give us a call to schedule an appointment.

How to Decrease Your Mold Exposure

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

How can people decrease mold exposure?

Molds grow best in warm, damp, and humid conditions, and spread and reproduce by making spores. Sensitive individuals should avoid areas that are likely to have mold, such as compost piles, cut grass, and wooded areas. Inside homes, mold growth can be slowed by controlling humidity levels and ventilating showers and cooking areas.

Specific Recommendations:

  • Keep humidity levels as low as you can—no higher than 50%–all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. Bear in mind that humidity levels change over the course of a day with changes in the moisture in the air and the air temperature, so you will need to check the humidity levels more than once a day.
  • Use an air conditioner or a dehumidifier during humid months.
  • Be sure the home has adequate ventilation, including exhaust fans.
  • Add mold inhibitors to paints before application.
  • Clean bathrooms with mold killing products.
  • Do not carpet bathrooms and basements.
  • Remove or replace previously soaked carpets and upholstery.

What areas have high mold exposures?

  • Antique shops
  • Greenhouses
  • Saunas
  • Farms
  • Mills
  • Construction areas
  • Flower shops
  • Summer cottages
  • Lake Houses

Source: cdc.gov

Conditions In Austin Might Be Right For Mold

6/21/2018 (Permalink)

It’s estimated that more than 1 million types of mold exist, yet less than 10 percent have actually been named. This means mold is very common in both indoor and outdoor environments. While mold and humans can sometimes co-exist without issue, there are certain species of mold that can cause health effects for some people.

If the right conditions exist, mold will grow.  Those conditions include:

  • Water - Different mold types require varying amounts of liquid before growth begins.   
  • Temperature - Normal indoor temperatures will promote mold growth.
  • Time - Initial mold colonizers can take hold within one day after being exposed to an adequate water supply.

Mold growth can occur in any home, so it’s important to keep an eye out for situations that might promote mold activity. Roof/chimney leaks, wet basements, or condensation from ducts that dampen surrounding insulation are just a few examples of issues that make a house a prime target for mold growth.

If you suspect mold in your home, call SERVPRO of West Austin/Lakeway to assess the situation. We have the knowledge, tools and track record to effectively remediate mold in your home or business.

If you suspect mold, call us today at 512-335-7247

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO for mold remediation services.

We Treat Mold in West Austin/Lakeway

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 512-335-7247