Prevent Bathroom Mold by Making Sense of Humidity

Prevent Bathroom Mold by Making Sense of Humidity

By Jamie Shelley

A hot, steamy shower soothes achy muscles, washes away grime and just plain feels delightful. It also raises the humidity level in your bathroom, which can create an ideal environment for mold and mildew.

Preventing Mold With a Bathroom Exhaust Fan
Many people mistakenly believe that the exhaust fan in the lavatory is there to whisk away unpleasant odors. While they can help with that, these fans actually serve a much larger purpose. Bathroom exhaust fans draw the moisture-laden air that fills the room after a steamy shower or hot bath out of the lavatory, bringing the room’s humidity down to a healthier level. This is a vital step in preventing mold growth and averting mold damage.

Your bathroom is an ideal location for mold because it thrives in a humid environment.
Your bathroom is an ideal location for mold because it thrives in a humid environment.

Why a Humidity Sensor Can Help
Is your exhaust fan up to the challenge? The answer may depend on how you use it. Most people turn the fan on when they enter their bathroom to shower and turn it off when they leave. Unfortunately, this does not always give the exhaust fan enough time to evacuate the steam and humidity. Ideally, the fan needs to run until it the moisture level in the bathroom is back to normal. You could just leave the fan running and come back later to turn it off, but you run the risk of forgetting it. This wastes energy and can shorten the lifespan of the exhaust fan. Instead, consider installing a humidity sensor. The sensor will automatically cut the fan off when the correct humidity level is restored. It is an easy way to prevent mold damage.

Dealing With Mold
If you find that you have a mold issue in your bathroom, do not attempt to handle it yourself. Disturbing the mold may facilitate its spread. Instead, turn to the experts. Technicians have the training, specialized equipment, and protective gear to address mold damage. They can inspect the area, identify the source of moisture, contain the mold, remove it, properly cleanse your belongings and restore a healthy environment.

http://www.servprosouthnashville.com
http://www.servprosumnercounty.com
http://www.servprowilsoncounty.com
http://www.servpromadisongoodlettsville.com
http://nationaldisasterrecovery.org

Why Choose an IEP over a Home Mold Test

Why Choose an IEP over a Home Mold Test

By Jamie Shelley
servprosumnercounty.com
servprosouthnashville.com
servpromadisongoodlettsville.com
servprowilsoncounty.com
NATIONALDISASTERRECOVERY.ORG

In the United States, most home owners have mold or believe that they have mold in their homes. Typically, they buy a mold tester for homes from a local home improvement store and use it to determine any mold issue they have in their homes. They also think that using mold testers that are sold at local home improvement stores are more convenient, efficient and cheap. 

Once the mold tester shows that they do have a mold issue, they will then immediately call a mold removal service provider to take care of the mold issue. There is nothing wrong with hiring a mold removal service provider if the mold test is accurate. But for an average home owner, there is no way for him or her to know if the mold tester is providing accurate results or not. Hence, if the mold test result is wrong, the removal company might be working on a completely incorrect room and proper procedures might not be performed. For this reason, it is crucial to choose an IEP or Indoor Environmental Professional instead of a home mold tester.

The following information will help you understand the importance of choosing IEP over mold testers:

Using a mold tester
When you smell mold in a specific room, you would think that the mold issue is in that room. So you will place the mold tester in that specific room. But, you might be wrong. There is a possibility that the mold is traveling through the vents in your home and it goes from one room to the other. Since mold is known to be airborne, it makes the mold tester easy to fail in providing accurate results. If you will use a mold tester for your home, it would be ideal to do multiple tests all over your home, including outside your property. But it will also raise another issue – the mold removal service provider may not be able to determine the test results.

Once the mold tester shows that they do have a mold issue, they will then immediately call a mold removal service provider to take care of the mold issue.
Once the mold tester shows that they do have a mold issue, they will then immediately call a mold removal service provider to take care of the mold issue.

Moreover, mold testers will only verify that there is mold in your home. It will not determine the exact location of the mold issue and how to properly treat it, which depends on the level of mold damage. If the test results are given to the mold remediation company, they may end up treating the wrong area.

Using IEP (Indoor Environmentalist Professional)
An IEP or Indoor Environmentalist Professional is a trained professional who has the expertise in solving indoor environmental issues, which one of them is mold. An IEP uses specialized equipment that detects mold and where it is located. Most IEPs are trained scientists that can create a professional report and scope of work, techniques, and protocols that is required to effectively treat the mold damage. 

Overall, the information provided above is a solid reason to choose IEP over mold testing kits for handling mold issues inside your home. An IEP can help you get a more accurate test result, allowing you to know where the mold issue really came from. Moreover, an IEP can help you make sure that the mold remediating company that you hired will effectively treat the mold damage professionally and thoroughly.

 

Identifying white mold growth in your home

Identifying white mold growth in your home

By Jamie Shelley
http://www.servpromadisongoodlettsville.com
nationaldisasterrecovery.org
www.servprosouthnashville.com
servprosumnercounty.com
www.servprowilsoncounty.com

Although white molds are an issue in many homes, they don’t carry the same reputation as the black variety. This is mainly because concerns of Stachybotrys, commonly known as black mold, have been so overblown. While color can be used to narrow down mold species, it does not serve as a completely accurate identifier. Whereas Stachybotrys is invariably black in color, other molds, like Penicillum, Aspergillus and Cladosporium can come in a number of colors. Furthermore, there are numerous other varieties of mold that can be black.

White molds can be far more difficult to identify. These are frequently mistaken for crystalline mineral deposits on stone called efflorescence. This happens due to water passing through the porous material and moving salts to the surface. Once the moisture evaporates, it leaves behind a white, often feathery substance that can look strikingly similar to white mold.

Where Does White Mold Typically Appear in Homes?
White molds will grow anywhere in a home that has the ideal conditions for other mold growth. Generally, this involves any place that is dark, moist and cool. White mold can be found growing in attics, crawlspaces, basements and bathrooms and tends to favor wood, carpet, drywall and other moisture-retaining materials, causing mold damage. It can even grow on furniture.

White molds can be far more difficult to identify.
White molds can be far more difficult to identify.

Distinguishing Between Efflorescence and White Mold
Having your mold problem analyzed by a qualified inspector will help you discover whether the growth is efflorescence or white mold. However, you can do some testing on your own. When misted with water, efflorescence will usually dissolve. This does not occur with white mold growth. The material you find the growth on can also help. Whereas efflorescence only develops on stone, brick and cement, mold prefers wood and sheetrock. Smell can also be an indicator of mold damage, but this is somewhat less reliable. White mold will smell musty, like a wet basement, but efflorescence will not have a smell.

Can White Mold Be Harmful?
A wide variety of molds can cause people to experience allergic reactions. If there is considerable mold growth in your home, none of it should be viewed as safe. It’s essential to pinpoint the reason for the mold growth, then follow through with the proper remediation and mold damage repair process, no matter what color the mold is.

Can Testing Help Identify White Mold?
By taking a sample of the mold, the species can be correctly identified. Taking samples usually consist of swabbing, bulk sampling and tape lifts. The sampling process is performed by a trained technician and analyzed in a lab. Once at the lab, it will be determined whether the substance is truly mold, and if it is, which species it fits into.

What Special Considerations Are There When Cleaning Up White Mold?
No matter what color the mold is, it’s recommended to treat them all the same. It’s important to be aware that several varieties of mold, even those that are not toxic, can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive people. In light of this, the mold’s color has no bearing on how mold damage remediation should be approached. The issue becomes even more complicated when you consider that experts are still not certain of the allergy-causing properties of most mold species. Therefore, experts strongly recommend treating them all as potential health hazards.

A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Nashville Home

By: Jamie Shelley
http://www.nationaldisasterrecovery.org
www.servprosouthnashville.com

Mold Basics

  • The key to mold control is moisture control.
  • If mold is a problem in your home, you should clean up the mold promptly and fix the water problem.
  • It is important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.

Why is mold growing in my home?

Molds come in many colors; both white and black molds are shown here. Click on the image for larger version.

Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.

Can mold cause health problems?

Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold. Research on mold and health effects is ongoing.

Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on. You can prevent damage to your home and furnishings, save money, and avoid potential health problems by controlling moisture and eliminating mold growth

This [guidance] provides a brief overview; it does not describe all potential health effects related to mold exposure. For more detailed information consult a health professional. You may also wish to consult your state or local health department.

How do I get rid of mold?

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors; some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in house dust. The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors. If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold, but don’t fix the water problem, then, most likely, the mold problem will come back.

Mold Cleanup

Who should do the cleanup depends on a number of factors. One consideration is the size of the mold problem. If the moldy area is less than about 10 square feet (less than roughly a 3 ft. by 3 ft. patch), in most cases, you can handle the job yourself, follow the guidelines. However:

If you already have a mold problem – ACT QUICKLY. Mold damages what it grows on. The longer it grows, the more damage it can cause.

Leaky window – mold is beginning to rot the wooden frame and windowsill.

 

 

 

  • If you choose to hire a contractor (or other professional service provider) to do the cleanup, make sure the contractor has experience cleaning up mold. Check references and ask the contractor to follow the recommendations in EPA’s Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, the guidelines of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygenists (ACGIH), or other guidelines from professional or government organizations.
  • If you suspect that the heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC) system may be contaminated with mold (it is part of an identified moisture problem, for instance, or there is mold near the intake to the system), consult EPA’s guide Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned? before taking further action. Do not run the HVAC system if you know or suspect that it is contaminated with mold – it could spread mold throughout the building.
  • If the water and/or mold damage was caused by sewage or other contaminated water, then call in a professional who has experience cleaning and fixing buildings damaged by contaminated water.
  • If you have health concerns, consult a health professional before starting cleanup.