Recent Why SERVPRO Posts
Whether or Not You should Remove Mold Yourself
Many homeowners are interested in do it yourself mold removal. They want to know how to clean mold themselves because they want to save money. Some also like the satisfaction of doing a job themselves. In some cases, it makes sense to handle a household mold problem yourself. Sometimes, though, it’s necessary to call in a professional that knows how to clean mold, like SERVPRO of Central Auglaize, Hardin & Logan Counties.
When Is Removing Mold Yourself a Good Idea?
Cleaning up mold yourself may be a good idea if:
- The mold only covers a small area.
- The mold is growing on easy-to-clean surfaces like glass, metal, tile, tubs, or sinks.
- The mold is growing on hard-to-clean materials, like carpet, that are easy to remove and replace and you know how to do it properly.
Of course, you always have the option of hiring a professional for the job if you don’t want to do it yourself or simply don’t have the time or energy for what can be a time-consuming process.
When Is Do It Yourself Mold Removal Not Such a Good Idea?
In some situations, it’s better to call in a mold remediation professional for assistance. Cleaning up mold yourself is probably not such a good idea if:
- The mold covers a large area (greater than three feet by three feet, according to the Environmental Protection Agency).
- Mold develops after flooding with water that might be contaminated with sewage or other potentially hazardous substances.
- There is mold in your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (most homeowners have neither the knowledge nor the equipment needed to properly remove mold from their HVAC systems).
- You aren’t sure how to do all parts of the job correctly (if, for instance, there is mold inside your walls and you don’t know how to remove and replace drywall) or you don’t have all the tools required to do the job (such as a drywall saw, if you need to remove moldy drywall).
- You have moldy wood that cannot be removed and replaced, so the moldy area needs to be sanded and encapsulated instead (it’s recommended that only mold remediation professionals sand moldy wood since it significantly increases one’s exposure to mold, which can lead to potentially serious illnesses).
In some instances, homeowners handle part of the job themselves while calling in a professional for other parts of the job, like removing mold from their HVAC system.
For Help with Mold Removal
If you need help with mold removal, or if you’d just like some professional advice before beginning do it yourself mold removal, we suggest consulting with a mold remediation specialist in Central Auglaize, Hardin and Logan counties. You can schedule a free in-home consultation with a professional that knows how to clean mold. You can get some free expert advice and then determine whether or not it’s a job you’re prepared to tackle yourself. There is no charge and no obligation, so there’s nothing to lose.
If you suspect mold that you cannot handle or want advice on contact SERVPRO of Central Auglaize, Hardin & Logan Counties at (937) 354-3540.
Moisture and Mold Prevention Tips
Moisture Control is the Key to Mold Control
- When water leaks or spills occur indoors - act quickly. If wet or damp materials or areas are dried 24-48 hours after a leak or spill happens, in most cases mold will not grow.
- Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.
- Make sure the ground slopes away from the building foundation, so that water does not enter or collect around the foundation.
- Keep air conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly.
- Keep indoor humidity low. If possible, keep indoor humidity below 60 percent (ideally between 30 and 50 percent) relative humidity. Relative humidity can be measured with a moisture or humidity meter, a small, inexpensive ($10-$50) instrument available at many hardware stores.
- If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes act quickly to dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture/water source. Condensation can be a sign of high humidity.
Actions that will help to reduce humidity
- Vent appliances that produce moisture, such as clothes dryers, stoves, and kerosene heaters to the outside where possible. (Combustion appliances such as stoves and kerosene heaters produce water vapor and will increase the humidity unless vented to the outside.)
- Use air conditioners and/or dehumidifiers when needed.
- Run the bathroom fan or open the window when showering. Use exhaust fans or open windows whenever cooking, running the dishwasher or dish washing, etc.
Actions that will help prevent condensation:
- Reduce the humidity
- Increase ventilation or air movement by opening doors and/or windows, when practical. Use fans as needed.
- Cover cold surfaces, such as cold water pipes, with insulation.
Where does mold come from?
A mold situation begins with those small, dark, little dots that, with ample moisture and nutrients, gradually spreads and grows across a wall or on a surface. You may open a closet door and see a dark circular pattern growing on the back wall and can only wonder how it got there?
Mold has to come from somewhere and the reality is, it’s no mystery. Mold found indoors comes from the outdoors. There are many types of mold found in the environment—tens of thousands of species in a wide variety of colors, in fact—and many ways it can get in your home. Mold spores can drift indoors through a screened window or open door, or it can be carried in on shoes, a golf bag, a backpack, or a coat that gets hung in a closet, and then spread through the ventilation system. Mold spores can also enter your home through leaky roofs, foundations, door frames or window casements. Once the spores that are carried in or drift in are exposed to dampness, moisture or water, mold usually begins to grow there. The spores that come in through a leak somewhere in the structure of your house are already primed to grow.
Does Your Home Have Signs of Mold?
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.
Mold Basics In Ada, OH
- The key to mold control is moisture control.
- 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 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.
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 should have the mold professionally remediated 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.
Winter Preparedness for Central Auglaize, Hardin, and Logan Counties
We received these great tips from the CDC on how to stay safe this winter and wanted to share them with you.
Prepare Your Home
Staying inside is no guarantee of safety. Take these steps to keep your home safe and warm during the winter months.
- Winterize your home.
- Install weather stripping, insulation, and storm windows.
- Insulate water lines that run along exterior walls.
- Clean out gutters and repair roof leaks.
- Check your heating systems.
- Have your heating system serviced professionally to make sure that it is clean, working properly, and ventilated to the outside.
- Inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys.
- Have a safe alternate heating source and alternate fuels available.
- If you do not have a working smoke detector, install one. Test batteries monthly and replace them twice a year.
- Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning emergencies.
- Install a CO detector to alert you of the presence of the deadly, odorless, colorless gas. Check or change the battery when you change your clocks in the fall and spring.
- Learn the symptoms of CO poisoning: headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.
Prepare Your Vehicle
Get your vehicle ready for cold weather use before winter arrives.
- Service the radiator and maintain antifreeze level.
- Check your tires’ tread or, if necessary, replace tires with all-weather or snow tires.
- Keep the gas tank full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
- Use a wintertime formula in your windshield washer.
- Prepare a winter emergency kit to keep in your car in case you become stranded. The kit should include:
- Cell phone, portable charger, and extra batteries;
- Items to stay warm, such as extra hats, coats, mittens, blankets, or sleeping bags;
- Food and water;
- Booster cables, flares, tire pump, and a bag of sand or cat litter (for traction);
- Compass and maps;
- Flashlight, battery-powered radio, and extra batteries;
- First-aid kit; and
- Plastic bags (for sanitation).
Take Precautions Outdoors
Outdoor activities can expose you to several safety hazards, but you can take these steps to prepare for them:
- Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: wear a tightly woven, preferably wind-resistant coat or jacket; inner layers of light, warm clothing; mittens; hats; scarves; and waterproof boots.
- Sprinkle cat litter or sand on icy patches.
- Learn safety precautions to follow when outdoors.
- Work slowly when doing outside chores.
- Take a buddy and an emergency kit when you are participating in outdoor recreation.
- Carry a cell phone.
We hope these tips have helped you and we wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! If you ever have any more questions or needs, please call us at 937-354-3540.
How Does Mold Get Into Your Home?
What can Increase the Risk of Mold Growth?
Interestingly enough, the more people in your home, the higher your risks of mold growing there. The reason for this, is because we release a lot of moisture into the air when we breathe.
Also, things such as long hot showers, cooking with uncovered pots, drying clothes on an indoor clothesline, and use of humidifiers, contribute to placing moisture into the air.
Storing wet firewood, watering many plants, and keeping many vegetables like potatoes and squash can create a mold problem too.
What Does Mold Need to Grow?
Not only does Mold need that moisture, but also food sources too. By food sources I mean materials they live on.
Food sources such as drywall, wood, insulation, cardboard and paper, as well as, invisible bio-film on hard surfaces, carpet backing, wallpaper adhesive, many fabrics, leather, and especially house dust are mold havens for spores.
Can We Live in a Mold Free World?
Mold is ever present, we cannot expect to live in a mold free world. However, mold is not a problem most of the time, until you can see or smell it, or if you are having ill affects that are not normally present in your home.
This is when a call to action is needed. Delay in these matters will worsen the problem at hand.
Always remember, when Mold is an issue.. Deal with it promptly, do not wait.
We are Cleaning Experts
SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need
During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.
We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.
The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:
- Kitchen/Food Areas
- Retail Spaces
- Water Fountains
- Sales Counters
- Carpets and Rugs
- Stair Handrails
- Elevator Cars
- Playground Equipment
- Fitness Equipment
The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.
Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning
If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Central Auglaize, Hardin & Logan Counties at 937-354-3540.