Recent Mold Remediation Posts

Does Mold Die in the Winter?

11/25/2019 (Permalink)

Window If you're indoors and see condensation on windows, be sure to dry the area! Keeping windows closed keeps out the cold, but also shuts out ventilation.

As extreme winter weather is on its way to Maryland, you may wonder if mold is still a concern to be on your radar. Do extremely cold temperatures kill mold? Will snow or ice wipe it out? Unfortunately, no. If you were trying to find a benefit of painfully cold temperatures, this certainly isn’t one.

While the cold can deactivate mold spores, warmer weather has the ability to quickly reactivate them. The spores will then begin growing again. So watch out! The cold winter months of the Rockville, Olney, and Silver Spring region does not put your home or office in the clear from mold growth.

Here are a few tips to prevent mold growth in your home or commercial property during the winter months:

  • Make sure your pipes are insulated to ensure they will not crack or burst
  • Check the seals on your windows and doors. Are they in good condition? This is important in keeping moisture out!
  • Is there water collecting on the ground around your building? Sometimes snowmelt can create puddles, which turns into moisture seeping into your home or office. If this is the case, find a way to drain the water (ground around your building should slope away from the foundation).
  • If you are indoors and see condensation on pipes, windows, or walls, dry the area completely and investigate the cause. Is there a leak? Is there a reason why there is high humidity?
    • Oftentimes, there will be high humidity in a building during the winter due to lack of ventilation. Having the windows closed will keep the cold air out, but also shuts out ventilation/fresh air.

If you experience a mold issue of any sort or simply want to have your home or commercial building inspected, contact us, SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney or SERVPRO of Silver Spring North. We are the area’s mold damage experts, serving the area for nearly 40 years!

Need help or have questions? Give us a call at (301) 340-1313 today!

Let's Keep Our Schools Mold-Free!

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

Desks in a classroom To keep our students safe, we must ensure their campus is mold-free!

Schools that have experienced water damage from instances such as plumbing leaks, water overflows from toilets, for example, or poor drainage of rainwater, are at risk of mold growth, which can take place within the first 48 hours of the accident.

If you can see its visible growth or can smell it (usually similar to that of something rotting), it’s an obvious indicator. After water damage, you can expect mold and in a school especially, it’s imperative to call professionals to come take a look as students’ and faculties’ health alike are at risk.

Yet there are other instances where mold isn’t caused immediately by a plumping issue, for example. Mold can grow behind paint, walls, under tiles, etc. and can grow there for years. Mold can be growing behind paint and begin appearing over it, but simply scrubbing the mold off the paint won’t solve the problem as only part of the problem was removed, and it will just grow back.

In these cases, remediation is necessary. Give us of SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney or SERVPRO of Silver Spring North a call today at (301) 340-1313! We serve public and private schools throughout the county. Mold can pose serious health risks including fatigue, nausea, headaches, and respiratory irritation to name a few. Our crew is well-trained and seasoned in mold remediation and will have your property mold-free and safe in no time! Have us come inspect your school, commercial building, or home today! We’ll team up with you to keep those you care about safe!

What if There's Mold on my Food?

9/27/2019 (Permalink)

Have you ever noticed a few small spots of mold on the slice you were about to use? If the spots small and look easy to pinch off, it’s pretty tempting to try salvaging, but also, you don’t want to get sick! Have the small mold spots contaminated the whole piece, or will you be just find removing them by hand?

First, it’s important to know that simply cutting or scrapping mold off your bread, strawberry, etc. won’t save you from ingesting mold. The mold has already rooted itself in your food, so what you are looking at are surface spores where it’s emerged. Even if you no longer see it, the mold has already made its home in your food. So yes, your piece of bread is more contaminated than you think.

Although we’ve all probably pinched mold of a piece of bread at one time of our lives or another, consuming moldy food can sometimes be very harmful. Bacteria can grow along with the mold, and it’s easy for mold to contaminate porous foods like bread.

For example, black bread mold is a rarer, but very dangerous mold that grows on bread. It can cause serious infection. That being said, it’s in your best interest to toss out the moldy bread.

Mycotoxins, a toxic substance, can be produced by certain molds usually found in grain and nut crops. Mycotoxins can also contaminate apples, celery, grapes, and other produce. Consumption of mycotoxins can cause respiratory problems and allergic reactions.

Additionally, if you see mold on any of the following, throw it away!

  • Lunch meat
  • Bacon
  • Hot dogs
  • Cooked pasta
  • Cream or cottage cheese
  • Tomatoes
  • Citrus fruits
  • Peaches
  • Peanut better
  • Jelly (mycotoxins commonly found within the mold in jams and jellies)
  • And yes… bread!

A few food items you can cut the mold out from include:

  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Hard cheese
  • Hard salami
  • Dry-cured country hams

What's Leaf Mold? Common Fall Allergen in Maryland

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

Now that summer has come to a close, we are in the first few days of fall. The temperatures were quite high (and are still), and we’ve experienced a normal amount of rain for a Maryland summer (9.19 inches in Baltimore, according to https://www.weather.gov/media/lwx/climate/bwiprecip.pdf). 

As leaves are beginning to change color, we realize they’ll soon be falling from their trees. The hot, humid weather of summer enables mold growth on dying grass patches, and as soon as the leaves fall, the mold on the ground begins to quickly spread over them.

Do you have a mold allergy? If so, you may be wondering if leaf mold is a threat at all.

Indeed, leaf mold can certainly cause symptoms including itchy, watery eyes, nasal congestions, and runny noses.

Not only does the leaf mold lay under the foliage, but it also disperses through the air when leaves are raked or blown about by wind or leaf blower. When spores are stirred up, they’re basically being thrown up in the air to linger around.  

However, leaf mold isn’t the fall season’s only allergen. Grasses and ragweed are also common sources of your sneezes.

If you suffer from mold allergy, you can look forward to colder temperatures within the next couple months. Once frost begins showing up on the ground, the mold begins to die off, and you can expect your symptoms to recede. 

Feel free to check out our website. We have an entire tab dedicated to mold for your knowledge. https://www.SERVPROrockvillesilverspringnorth.com/mold-remediation

Is Black Mold Growing in Your Home or Office?

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

Mold on the walls of a room. This mold is growing on the wall inside a room.

We’ve all heard of black mold, but what exactly is it? Take a look at our website to find out, then return to this blog post to discover how you can identify black mold in your own home or office.

https://www.SERVPROrockvillesilverspringnorth.com/black-mold

One of the most obvious signs happens to be scent. Have you smelled something earthy or musty? Think of a late fall’s odor of rotting leaves or the smell of dirt on a rainy spring day.

Next, consider the environment in which you suspect the mold is inhabiting, and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the area damp?
  • Has the area previously been flooded?
  • Does it get little to no exposure to light?

Black mold feeds off water-saturated materials such as cotton, drywall, cardboard, and wood. It even thrives off of damp dust and lint.

If the scent of the mold leads you straight to where it is festering, examine the color but don’t get too close. In color, black mold is typically greenish-black and a bit slimy. However, it can also appear grayish and powdery.

Note other molds may appear similar in color, so it is impossible to determine which breed of mold is growing in your property unless it is examined under a microscope.

At the end of the day, this examination is expensive and unnecessary because whether it is black mold or not, mold must be removed for health and sanitary purposes.

If you detect mold, regardless of its color or texture, call the professionals to have it removed.

SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North are experienced and trusted companies that will get the job done promptly and carefully.

Call us at (301) 340-1313 today!

Remediating Mold in Your Rockville, Olney or Silver Spring Home

11/14/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO uses different cleaning methods for each unique surface to remediate mold

Mold is often undetectable in homes until it has become a significant problem. Not every type of mold has that distinctive, ‘musty’ odor and if the growth started behind a wall or in the attic, the smell is not noticeable until the mold has grown into a large colony of spores.

Restoring a home due to the effects of mold damage is a task that needs a professional service. SERVPRO keeps a trained crew on 24-hour notice to support our neighbors and customers. We have some of the best-trained personnel in the industry to clean mold from the property and safely remove it from each home.

These technicians first determine the type of surface infested. This inspection decides both the cleaning methods needed and how much time may be required to complete the job. We usually divide surfaces into porous, nonporous, and semi-porous categories.

Porous surfaces are typically building materials and fabrics; drywall and upholstery for example. They are often cleanable, but if the mold is very thick or has grown into the material, we dispose of it. Our cleaning methods for these surfaces involve vacuuming them with special HEPA filters that catch tiny amounts of loose mold, even a single spore.

After finishing vacuuming, we move on to using spray bottles with an antimicrobial cleaner and foaming agents to dampen the surface. Wetting loosens the mold and allows technicians to remove it with cloths and sponges.

Nonporous surfaces are the easiest to clean. This category includes metal and glass tabletops as well as marble and smooth stone kitchen countertops. In many cases, we can remove the mold with dry cloths and sponges. Technicians wipe down the surfaces from top to bottom to prevent accidentally leaving spores at the top or along the sides. If the mold layer is thick, we vacuum it first before dry wiping.

Semi-porous surfaces (concrete and wood decks for example) require methods not acceptable on other surfaces. Affected surfaces may need sanding to wire brushing and other abrasive tools to dig out the mold. The cleaners we use on these surfaces would mar or otherwise destroy glass and metal surfaces. If mold has penetrated the surface of the wood or concrete, technicians may have to sand them down by hand or with a power sander to remove it.

Returning your home to its pre-mold condition is not a quick or easy set of processes. SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and of Silver Spring North has years of experience in helping our customers through each step to put you back into your home. If you need us, call (301) 340-1313 today to set up an inspection.

SERVPRO Tip: Call US for All Mold Remediation Treatments

3/15/2017 (Permalink)

Mold SERVPRO Recommends Professional Clean Up of a Mold Infestation in Rockville-Olney

Mold can seem almost benign due to its slow rate of visible damage and sluggish spreading but make no mistake; it can pose a health hazard to you once it has taken hold. SERVPRO technicians take entire courses on mold safety. There are many species of fungi that can create widely varied situations and problems depending on a high number of factors. If you have uncovered mold in your home, protecting your health and safety becomes a concern, and should top your list of priorities. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind as you live and work in your home during the remediation service. SERVPRO stance is that mold does cause health effects, we do not diagnose, but we do remediate.

You May Want to Wear a Mask
Rockville mold damage has a potential to cause respiratory health issues, in particular for individuals with weakened immune systems or asthma. SERVPRO technicians have access to industrial-grade protective masks and even suits when needed, and you should, at the very least, try to protect your mouth and sinuses with a mask when working near mold damage. For those with asthma or respiratory issues, the urgency of this precaution is even higher. We firmly recommend that you do not grapple with this problem. Our main advice is to call us to tackle your mold problem. Be safe, not sorry.
 
Hands Off
Some types of mold can produce toxic or infectious byproducts, making the act of touching mold with your bare hands potentially dangerous. In general, you should never touch visible mold growth, as doing so can not only hurt you but also spread the mold to other surfaces. If you touch mold by accident, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before touching other surfaces.
 
Be Mindful of Other Dangers
Many mold damage cases come with additional problems, whether you are aware of them or not. That patch of mold could be the result of a five-year-old water pipe leak, and in addition to allowing mold growth, it may have already long weakened the surrounding structure. Being aware of structural issues and other types of damage could save you money while protecting your home investment.
 
SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and of Silver Spring North is ready 24/7 to respond to local disasters and home damages. Just give us a call at (301) 340-1313.

Dealing With Severe Mold Damage After 48 Hours

3/15/2017 (Permalink)

When it comes to residential water damage, there is a clear deadline which all technicians must follow. The forty-eight-hour window is crucial for repairs. Up until this point, almost all flood affected materials can be dried and restored to their original condition.

After this point, repairs are still possible, but they are tough, and the outcome is not certain. Part of the reason for this is because two days is all that’s needed for flooding to turn into mold in Rockville homes. At SERVPRO, we are trained to handle these severe cases and can use a variety of strategies to neutralize mold spores and prevent them from spreading. Keep reading to find out what happens to household materials after the window has passed and mold is developing.

Carpeting
Heavily affected areas of carpet are heard to clean. Usually, it is more economical to remove them and find a replacement. We can help you to do this, as we have a wealth of industry contacts. Unless you would prefer to arrange your own replacement, our technicians are happy to source and install new carpeting. Replacement flooring is installed only after the subflooring is completely dry. It requires the use of high-powered fans, air movers, and dehumidifiers to draw water vapor out of materials. Concrete and cinder block surfaces respond very well to dehumidification and water extraction using motorized pumps.

Wallboard
Wallboard which is not dry within 48 hours (after the initial incident) requires removal. However, it is rare for the whole wall to need disposal. The SERVPRO technicians measure twelve inches above the water line and take away all material beneath this boundary. It leaves a hole which is helpful for drying. Fans are either pointed up into the cavity or placed inside it to deal with wet conditions between the boards. New wallboard only gets installed once the restoration experts have tested the moisture levels and found them to be safe and suitable.

SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and of Silver Spring North specialize in fast, effective mold damage repairs. Our remediation strategies are designed to protect your home from further damage and mold breakouts. Call us 24/7 on (301) 340-1313 for a professional restoration service.

Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

11/11/2016 (Permalink)

Mold Mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.

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 Rockville-Olney or of Silver Spring North 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 Rockville-Olney and of Silver Spring North specialize in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our businesses.  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 – 301-340-1313