Mold and Mildew Concerns
Mold on floor joist
When something goes wrong in your home, it is natural to expect the worst. Many homeowners in the Chino/Chino Hills area are well-educated in regards to mold and the problems it can cause and while many of the homes in the area are relatively new, mold does not necessarily stick to a timeline. Trapped moisture behind a wall that has gone unnoticed or ignored can rapidly become a more serious (and expensive) issue.
Recently, our office was contacted by a homeowner in Chino Hills who was experiencing a chronic illness brought on by what was suspected to be a mold issue. After several rounds of antibiotics, she had had enough. We dispatched two technicians to the home to do an initial inspection in the garage and bathroom areas, respectively. We discovered a roof leak that had spread down into one of the walls and effectively destroyed the drywall. While seemingly a fairly black and white situation with a simple enough solution (cut open the wall, remove affected materials, dry out the wall’s interior), there was one glaring inconsistency: the affected wall was nowhere near the bathroom and the source of the earthen odor that is common with mold.
Our technicians deduced that since the roof had leaked in one place, it was reasonable enough to assume that it had leaked in another. After inspecting the bathroom, they discovered that the downstairs bathtub was being used as a storage area for extra towels and washcloths. Over the years, the bathtub faucet had dripped water onto the washcloths and they had begun to mold. The homeowner had no idea, due to the fact that the washcloths were buried beneath other items. The inspection showed no other signs of moisture in the bathroom, and the odor began to fade as soon as the washcloths were removed.
The homeowner was not only happy, but relieved. After so many rounds of heavy-duty medications and not knowing the culprit, she could finally find closure and begin to recover.
Sometimes, the simplest solutions are the ones that are overlooked. This situation is more common than you may think. In the midst of a seemingly major event, it is important to take a step back and assess the situation from a calm perspective. More often than not, it is an easy fix. If it is a major problem, your local SERVPRO of Chino / Chino Hills is here to help, 24/7, 365 days a year.
Does Your Chino Valley Home Have A Mold Problem?
Act fast! Mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.
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 – (909) 548-3191.
Mold problem? SERVPRO of Chino / Chino Hills will make it like it never happened.
Molds are part of the natural environment, and can be found everywhere, indoors and outdoors. Mold is not usually a problem, unless it begins growing indoors. The best way to control mold growth is to control moisture. The EPA website provides guidance about mold and moisture for homes, schools, multifamily and commercial buildings. Molds can have a big impact on indoor air quality.
Ten Things You Should Know about Mold
- Mold can cause health effects.
- There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
- If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
- Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
- Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by:
Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance,so long as moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.
- Venting bathrooms, dryers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside
- Using air conditioners and de-humidifiers
- Increasing ventilation
- Using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing and cleaning
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. 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 (think of a roughly a 3 ft. by 3 ft. patch), in most cases, you can handle the job yourself. However:
- If there has been a lot of water damage, and/or mold growth covers more than 10 square feet, consult EPA guide Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. Although focused on schools and commercial buildings, this document is applicable to other building types.
- 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 guide Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, the guidelines of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (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 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.
Floods and Flooding
During a flood cleanup, the indoor air quality in your home or office may appear to be the least of your problems. However, failure to remove contaminated materials and to reduce moisture and humidity can present serious long-term health risks. Standing water and wet materials are a breeding ground for microorganisms, such as viruses, bacteria, and mold. They can cause disease, trigger allergic reactions, and continue to damage materials long after the flood.
EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency): https://www.epa.gov/mold