Recent Mold Remediation Posts

Drying is Key

12/14/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Drying is Key The damage to the ceiling caused by the mold.

A new local office that was being built had a case of bad mold. The walls/ceilings got covered in new drywall without the notice of them still being wet/damp by the contractor. They were left out and the rain got to them. They thought they did a good enough job drying them because the drywall wasn't damp to the touch and didn't show signs of dampness when being installed. After a few weeks the owner began to notice a musty smell and decided to investigate. He was shocked when he undid the drywall on the ceilings to find the wood structure covered in mold. He had heard about SERVPRO of Southeast Portland and immediately gave us a call. Our team went in and got the job done providing maximum satisfaction to the owner and his team. The picture shows just how extensive the mold damage was.

Does Your Portland Home Have A Mold Problem?

6/4/2018 (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 – (503) 427-9535

Portland Residents: Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

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

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Southeast Portland specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (503) 427-9535

Conditions In Portland Might Be Right For Mold

6/4/2018 (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 Southeast Portland 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 (503) 427-9535

What to Do:

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

Four Steps to Preventing Mold Growth after a Flood

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

Step One – Remove Affected Materials

Aside from stopping the source of the moisture, it’s important to promptly remove wet furnishings and porous materials from the flooded area to enable a thorough damage-assessment, and drying and restoring contents that have not been compromised. 

Some of it - such as wet/moldy carpet, drywall, upholstery and fabrics - will need to be discarded.

Vacuum using HEPA-wet-dry vacuums to remove moisture, mold and soils without spreading allergenic or unhealthy mold and dust particles around your home. According to the IICRC, "It is preferable to use a HEPA vacuum, but a simple wet/dry vacuum can work. When using a wet/dry vacuum, attach a hose to the exhaust and vent the exhaust air to the outside. This keeps dust, spores and other fine particles from being suspended in the air and settling back on clean surfaces."


In the case of minor “clean” flooding, say from a small burst indoor water pipe, homeowners can remove smaller wet items themselves, but should wear goggles, gloves, long sleeves and an N-95 respirator to avoid exposure to mold spores that may already be present in the environment. 


If the flooding is excessive and/or “dirty” - e.g., from a rising river or sewer backup - expert help from a reputable company such as SERVPRO of Southeast Portland is needed to protect health and property.
 

Step Two – Dry It Out and Quickly

Mold spores are everywhere, but need moisture to “germinate” – so drying affected areas is Step Two. Since mold can grow within 24 to 48 hours, quick action is critical.

Aside from obviously wet areas, experts using special meters can check for and locate moisture - even finding hidden wet/moldy places, such as inside wall cavities - and implement techniques to enable a thorough drying-out process. They may also use special fans or “air-scrubbing” equipment with HEPA filters. See also Step Three. 

Step Three – Air It Out

The flooded, wet area will need fresh air and ventilation to dry it out, but take care not to spread mold spores around your home by improper “airing”. Consult with an IICRC-certified firm such as SERVPRO of Southeast Portland to set up “containment”– a fancy word that means keeping doors closed, putting up plastic sheeting, exhausting air to the outdoors, and other measures to enable the drying and ventilation process without exposing loved ones to contaminated air from the flooded area.

Step Four – Keep it Dry to Keep It Out

The cardinal rule for preventing mold growth is – "Keep it Dry." Strive to ensure your home’s insides are staying dry.  It’s also a way to protect the investment of your home, since excess mold growth and moisture will damage the structure, in addition to being unhealthful.

Try to keep indoor humidity below 50% using air conditioning or a dehumidifier. Have carpets cleaned by professionals that use equipment to clean and properly dry your carpet.

5 Basic Principles of All Successful Mold Removal Projects

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

These are the five basic principles of all successful mold removal and mold remediation projects:

1. Safety – Protect all workers and occupants.


2. Assessment – Make a preliminary assessment, an assessment during mold remediation and an assessment after mold remediation.


3. Contamination Control – Prevent cross-contamination and the spread of mold from contaminated areas to areas absent of or with less contamination.


4. Source Removal – Physically remove the mold at its source.


5. Moisture Removal – Eliminate the moisture problem that caused the mold outbreak.

If you are ever in need of mold remediation, removal or restoration, please do not hesitate to contact SERVPRO of Southeast Portland at (503) 427-9535. We have trained and certified technicians that are ready to tackle any size problem - big or small!

The Relation between Water Damage & Mold

12/11/2017 (Permalink)

Water damage & mold are two of the worst aspects of a house fire or flood, as they are the most damaging to your home. Mold and mildew can begin growing within 24 hours of a fire or flood and can result in many health issues if left unchecked. There are many ways you can prevent mold and mildew in your home, and hiring a professional restoration company to handle the cleanup, repair, and restoration process for you is an excellent way to start. Such a company has special equipment, expertise, and extensive experience that enable them to handle water damage & mold of any severity. When determining what you can do to prevent water damage & mold growth in your home after a fire or flood, it can be helpful to know the ways in which water damage and mold are related.

Water Damage Causes Mold and Mildew

One of the key ways in which water damage & mold are related is that water damage results in mold growth. Mold requires a moist environment to grow and thrive, and a water-damaged home is the perfect breeding ground for this to occur. Water seeps into your home’s structure after a fire or flood and causes the wood to swell and warp. This also allows mold to grow in the core of your home’s structure, and getting rid of this mold once it is present is very difficult. Therefore, you should do everything possible to prevent mold from growing in your home in the first place. Some things you can do to dry excess water in your home are to open all the windows and place fans throughout your home. You can also place dehumidifiers in your home if you have access to them. If possible, you should leave the actual restoration process to a professional, however.

Water Damage & Mold Require Special Equipment

If you have had water damage in your home for more than 24 hours, chances are that mold has already begun to develop. Getting rid of mold once you have it can be extremely difficult, especially considering mold can re-grow even after you get rid of it if the conditions are right. You should contact a professional restoration company immediately after a fire or flood to prevent mold and mildew growth, as cleaning existing mold requires specialized equipment only a professional has. Industrial-grade ozone generators and dehumidifiers are usually best for getting rid of water damage & mold in your home, and these machines are best left to professionals to operate.

When dealing with water damage & mold, it is important to remember that the two are related and that you can therefore prevent one by dealing with the other as soon as possible. You should always hire a professional to deal with water damage & mold if possible, since doing so yourself can result in further damage to your home. For more information about water damage & mold and how the two are related, you should contact a professional restoration company.

What is Mold?

6/22/2017 (Permalink)

Mold (or mould) is a term used to refer to fungi that grow in the form of multicellular thread-like structures called hyphae. Fungi that exist as single cells are called yeasts. Some molds and yeasts cause disease or food spoilage, others play an important role in biodegradation or in the production of various foods, beverages, antibiotics and enzymes.

Mold is also found in damp building materials where it often appears like stains and comes in a variety of colors. A must smell is an indication of microbial growth even when there is no visible growth. 

Mold growth requires moisture. The sources of moisture could be Washing, cooking, air humidifiers, condensation or leaks from plumbing or from the outside. Poor ventilation contributes to higher humidity levels and leads to condensation, which also allows mold growth.

Mold Sampling

6/22/2017 (Permalink)

Sampling For Mold Growth On Surfaces
 

Mold growth in homes

Mold growth is very common in damp building environments. During building assessment for mold growth, sampling is sometimes necessary. For example air sampling may be performed to determine whether visible mold growth has degraded indoor air quality. Air sampling may also help to determine the presence, location, and/or extent of suspected hidden mold growth. Air sampling is also used to determine the effectiveness of mold remediation. Interpretation of air sample results can be difficult if clear sampling objectives were not set prior to sampling.

Surface sampling involve collecting samples such as bulk material, tape-lift samples, swabs/wipes, contact plates or dust samples. These type of samples (with the exception of contact plates) can be analyzed by direct microscopic examination (DME) to verify the presence of mold growth.

Content sampling can also be conducted during a mold growth investigations. Content sampling helps to determine whether visible mold growth is present on the items or whether there are significant amounts of settled mold materials on their surfaces. Contents can be sampled using tape-lifts, swabs, contact plates or by collecting dust settled on their surfaces.

Why Is Mold Growing In My Home?

6/16/2017 (Permalink)

  • 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.

Mold growing outdoors on firewood. Molds come in many colors; both white and black molds are shown here.

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.

Four Steps to Preventing Mold Growth after a Flood

6/14/2017 (Permalink)

Step One – Remove Affected Materials

Aside from stopping the source of the moisture, it’s important to promptly remove wet furnishings and porous materials from the flooded area to enable a thorough damage-assessment, and drying and restoring contents that have not been compromised.

Some of it - such as wet/moldy carpet, drywall, upholstery and fabrics - will need to be discarded.

Vacuum using HEPA-wet-dry vacuums to remove moisture, mold and soils without spreading allergenic or unhealthy mold and dust particles around your home. According to the IICRC, "It is preferable to use a HEPA vacuum, but a simple wet/dry vacuum can work. When using a wet/dry vacuum, attach a hose to the exhaust and vent the exhaust air to the outside. This keeps dust, spores and other fine particles from being suspended in the air and settling back on clean surfaces."  

In the case of minor “clean” flooding, say from a small burst indoor water pipe, homeowners can remove smaller wet items themselves, but should wear goggles, gloves, long sleeves and an N-95 respirator to avoid exposure to mold spores that may already be present in the environment.

Clean mold from smooth surfaces using a weak bleach-water solution (1/4 - 1/2 cup bleach per gallon of water). Use gloves, eye and skin protection and plenty of ventilation. If you are sensitive to mold or chemicals, have someone else do it.

If the flooding is excessive and/or “dirty” - e.g., from a rising river or sewer backup - expert help is needed to protect health and property.
 

Step Two – Dry It Out and Quickly

Mold spores are everywhere, but need moisture to “germinate” – so drying affected areas is Step Two. Since mold can grow within 24 to 48 hours, quick action is critical.

Aside from obviously wet areas, experts using special meters can check for and locate moisture - even finding hidden wet/moldy places, such as inside wall cavities - and implement techniques to enable a thorough drying-out process. They may also use special fans or “air-scrubbing” equipment with HEPA filters. See also Step Three.

Step Three – Air It Out

The flooded, wet area will need fresh air and ventilation to dry it out, but take care not to spread mold spores around your home by improper “airing”. Consult with an IICRC-certified firm to set up “containment”– a fancy word that means keeping doors closed, putting up plastic sheeting, exhausting air to the outdoors, and other measures to enable the drying and ventilation process without exposing loved ones to contaminated air from the flooded area.

Step Four – Keep it Dry to Keep It Out

The cardinal rule for preventing mold growth is – Keep it Dry. Strive to ensure your home’s insides are staying dry.  It’s also a way to protect the investment of your home, since excess mold growth and moisture will damage the structure, in addition to being unhealthful.

Try to keep indoor humidity below 50% using air conditioning or a dehumidifier. Have carpets cleaned by professionals that use equipment to clean and properly dry your carpet.

SERVPRO Southeast Portland are professional mold specialists who can help you with any size mold problem!

Professional Steps for Mold Cleanup in a Crawl Space

6/14/2017 (Permalink)

  • Put the area under negative air pressure, by setting up an air mover on the outside of the home to draw air out from the crawl space - preventing the mold-affected air in the crawl space from traveling into the living area any further. 
  • "Meter" the floors in the home, assessing moisture levels to determine where unseen mold inside the home might exist. 
  • Consider calling in a third party - e.g., SERVPRO Southeast Portland - to provide an independent visual inspection of the crawl space, and to take air samples in the living area to determine how much mold has entered the home interior. 
  • Use a HEPA filter or air scrubber in the living area to reduce contamination. 
  • Before beginning the mold mitigation in the crawl space, build a containment around the interior crawl space access, and tape off the interior air vents. 
  • If mold damage is extensive, remove the crawlspace-mold by [baking] soda blasting [along with blasting using ground walnut shells], followed by thorough HEPA vacuuming and vapor barrier replacement. 
  • Call in a third party - such as a SERVPRO Southeast Portland - to again perform an inspection of the crawl space and take air samples in the living area, to ensure that everything has been completed properly.

Mold Risks

12/14/2016 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Risks Mold is even more dangerous than this looks disgusting.

 

When returning to a home that has been flooded, be aware that mold may be present and may be a health risk for your family.

People at Greatest Risk from Mold

People with asthma, allergies, or other breathing conditions may be more sensitive to mold. People with immune suppression (such as people with HIV infection, cancer patients taking chemotherapy, and people who have received an organ transplant) are more susceptible to mold infections.

Possible Health Effects of Mold Exposure

People who are sensitive to mold may experience stuffy nose, irritated eyes, wheezing, or skin irritation. People allergic to mold may have difficulty in breathing and shortness of breath. People with weakened immune systems and with chronic lung diseases, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop mold infections in their lungs. If you or your family members have health problems after exposure to mold, contact your doctor or other health care provider.

What to do if mold is suspected?

Immediately call a mold removal specialist such as SERVPRO Southeast Portland to assess and remove problem. Stay away from affected areas until mold is removed.