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ASSET ENVIROMENTAL SERVICES IS SPECIALIZING IN: MOLD REMEDIATION, METH REMEDIATION, METH CLEANUP, PROFESSIONAL TESTING, HOUSE DECONTAMINTATION AND MUCH MORE…
The health effects of mold are not currently well documented. While about 30 species have been shown to have negative effects on the respiratory system, there are more than 250,000 unstudied species of mold/fungus on the planet.
We simply have not had enough time as a scientific community to completely understand what exposure does to a human being over time. That said, if you are experiencing symptoms as a result of even a minor amount of mold in the air, you should seek professional consultation to determine if a broad remediation of the issue is appropriate.
Regarding the chemicals used: most firms, if compliant with IICRC protocols and EPA standards, are using a fungicide that will not harm human beings. There is a list of EPA approved chemical compounds for use in residential settings. You can find this list online, or ask your contractor to produce the EPA registration number of the chemical in use if you have a specific worry.
Most contractors will also take the time to make sure surfaces are returned to a normal Ph level between 4–6 after remediation if a harsh chemical has been used. In the case of our firm, we use a green naturally-occurring solution that will not only kill mold chemically, but also mechanically break it down without any harsh additives.
It can be difficult to avoid some harsh chemical use depending on the nature of the mold and the cleanup required, so many contractors will also take the time to create a containment in the space which requires remediation.
Regardless of the situation, you’re allowed to ask questions of whoever you are working with. Most folks are happy to educate you, and while some contractors will simply say ‘its the way we have always done it,’ most people will know enough to tell you why.
- Mold Removal Company
This is an interesting question for a few reasons…. It’s pretty easy to get mold off the surface of a wall TOPICALLY…but is that really what you want to accomplish?
There are old habits in several markets across the USA in which contractors and handymen have chosen to cover up a mold issue rather than solving the growth issue for the whole structure. Often, mold will come back in a different spot. Sometimes when an issue has been manually cleaned off of a surface, the same thing can happen.
Spores from mold are released from the mycelium of the growth when they are disturbed, so basic cleaning actions can sometimes exacerbate an air quality issue, spreading mold around a home or building and resulting in growth somewhere else.
It’s important to consider getting professional help for this reason.
That said, if you have an isolated issue, have handled any humidity or causal contributors to the mold growth, and are not talking about trying to cosmetically repair an issue that should be repaired structurally, it IS possible to clean up mold off a surface pretty easily.
White vinegar, 409, NOT BLEACH…. Wet the surface thoroughly and let it sit for 5–15 minutes before attempting to wipe it up. Any highly acidic solution will do. Once you have wiped up the initial cosmetic issue, consider retreating the same area and the area surrounding the staining an additional time.
This DOES NOT resolve the air quality issue…just the topical issue of mold growth. Be careful to not clean up something larger than a few square feet by yourself. Attempting to clean up a large patch of mold that has been left to grow for a long period of time can result in growth elsewhere in your home and respiratory issues if you have too much exposure.
Be smart. Get a consultation from someone before you tackle a large project on your own.
Mold Removal Company
Mold can be dangerous for a variety of reasons. People who have a sensitivity to certain types of mold can be especially reactive when mold enters their system. In office buildings or construction older than 15 years or so, there’s also the possibility that HVAC and air circulation could be below par.
When buildings experience water issues, especially when owned by companies instead of individuals, they have a tendency to be left for longer periods of time. Companies often take a long time to make decisions, and as a result, leave plenty of time for mold to grow.
If mold has been growing in a building, it can start to effect individuals nearly right away. Prolonged exposure to ‘black mold’ (stachybotrys) has been shown to have even further negative effects.
That said, the environment should be professionally tested and reported by a qualified company that can support your suspicions with data. In addition, you likely have a local doctor that could diagnose if you have a sensitivity to certain molds.
Try to improve the ventilation in your personal space as much as possible, and make sure to report the situation up your chain of command if you feel there is a legitimate concern.
Mold Removal Company
As you probably know, mold was here before we were. Molds and fungi, as one of the oldest genus in the world, grow in nearly every climate in a variety of forms and circumstances.
It is possible to create environments and conditions that have extremely low or zero mold counts, but the conditions required to create these environments are so demanding that they aren’t economically feasible for most people to recreate inside of their homes.
The EPA guidelines for air quality within living spaces specifies that mold remediators should achieve lower mold counts in the air than what naturally occurs outside. For this reason, companies that test mold will often take a control sample of outside air for comparison.
Traditional remediation methods, like demolition, biocide application with a sprayer, and rebuild, can often exacerbate environmental conditions while work is being performed. If companies do not use proper containment, mold can be spread around the home and grow again in moist conditions, like in a bathroom or where food is cooked.
About 10 years ago a new method was introduced to the market that clearly shows we are able to circumvent a good portion of the IICRC traditional remediation protocol. Commonly referred to as ‘fogging,’ some companies, like ours, are able to create a particle of chemical so small that we can penetrate most building materials and cavities inside a home WITHOUT extensive demolition. This method reduces the likelihood of cross contamination. When used in dry conditions, this method of mold remediation will actually break down the proteins of the mold itself, rendering what is left inert matter or dust, and achieving the removal of particles from the air.
Not only is this method much cheaper and faster, but air sampling has proven that we are able to achieve airborne mold counts near zero, and with our proprietary chemical blend, even prevent the regrowth of mold in damp or humid conditions. This is revolutionary to the mold space, and one of the reasons our company has gained so much regional attention over the past several years.
All this said, there are some conditions in which old-style methods of material tear out and removal are required, and it’s important to consult with a professional about what your specific situation might be.
So, no, you can’t completely eliminate mold from the common space, as outside air and normal traffic will bring limited spores from outside back inside. You can, however, lower the level of mold in a space to be comparable to outside, and in the case of specialized methods, achieve levels that are much lower than normal.
Thanks for the question!
Mold Removal Company
This is a question we get a lot!
In the early 1990’s, there was a major health scare in Cleveland. Within about 48 hours, 4 infants were brought to a local hospital with a relatively rare condition at the time: their lungs were bleeding internally. This activity was reported to the CDC, as normally only 1 in 1 million infants suffer from this sort of sickness. They thought there was some kind of epidemic.
After a few years of study, it was realized that the majority of the cases that were sprouting up in Cleveland were from a lower-income neighborhood, where homes had been primarily constructed of wood, and where there had been a previous history of flooding. A 1997 NY Times article summarizes this story and is linked here: Infants’ Lung Bleeding Traced to Toxic Mold (https://www.nytimes.com/1997/01/24/us/infants-lung-bleeding-traced-to-toxic-mold.html)
The species of mold identified that seemed to be causing this issue was Stachybotrys Chartarum. This is what we commonly refer to as ‘black mold.’ It has a tendency to grow in areas where water has been standing for a few days. It is typically what we refer to as a ‘marker’ spore, demonstrating there might have been a water intrusion issue in a property at some point.
All this said, there are more than 300,000 fungal species on the planet. We simply have not had time to study the extent of human reactions to each one. There are several species that have been identified as potentially harmful to humans, but the list is certainly not complete.
There are two ways that the mold species can be identified, though identification may not always be necessary…not necessary, because, of course, if you see mold, there simply is no reason to risk not getting it remediated.
1. A local inspector or environmental company (like ours) can perform a swab of a particular section of growth to determine the species content. While this identifies the species present, it DOES NOT identify the concentration of those molds in the air, thus not giving us an indicator of a real air quality issue. That said….if you can see the mold, you should probably get it cleaned up.
2. A local inspector, environmental company, or homeowner can acquire or use an air sampling device then send the air sample to a lab for further testing. Air samples will tell us species AND concentrations in the air, thus allowing us to diagnose a larger issue. Typically, you can say that you have an air quality issue if your air samples show higher spore counts per cubic meter of air than what would typically occur outside. Typical pricing for professional sampling can range from $250–500.
The extent of mold effect on overall health in adults is simply a very large unknown. I know from personal experience that most people can have severe allergic reactions to high concentrations of mold in the air. I myself have been rendered completely ineffective for several days following spending an hour or so within a moldy apartment without a respirator. There’s just no reason to take that kind of risk with health.
My recommendation would be that regardless of the species or concentration of mold, that you strongly consider professional remediation, and at the least, a professional consultation to determine if what you are seeing requires remediation. While some homeowners opt to perform cleanup themselves, I know from experience that most people do not resolve the issue completely, thus allowing mold to grow back over a period of time.
I hope this helps. Here’s to your health.
Mold Removal Company
Thanks for asking this question. While I don’t recommend ever trying to do a mold remediation by yourself, it’s important to understand the process. I’ll tell you how to do it, but I recommend you get help to ensure that it is done correctly.
Mold removal can be a daunting process…especially if your home has had a history of flooding and if you are concerned that the initial water damage may not have been handled properly. Often, a property that is experiencing a mold issue has had a previous water intrusion, often from outside, that has caused some kind of flooding.
Outside water carries mold spores into the property, depositing them around where the flooding has occurred, and allowing them to start to grow. It takes less than 48 hours for growth to start, and though microscopic, if left untreated, it can grow slowly for years and develop into a serious problem.
The first item to address when you are looking to remove mold is to identify and evaluate whether or not you still have a water issue in the property. If the property is relatively dry, and if you have resolved the issue that initially caused a water intrusion, you can proceed to look at the mold issue.
Visible mold on a wall does not always indicate that there is an air quality issue in a home…so before you simply jump to conclusions that you have a mold issue, you need to evaluate the air quality levels in the space. Most companies will offer a test for a few hundred dollars that will compare interior mold spore counts to exterior counts in the air. If your air mold levels are higher than outside levels, you can bet that you have an issue.
So….let’s assume you’ve done the above and let’s assume that you now know you have an air quality issue in the space. Remember, you may not be able to see the mold growth that is causing the air quality issue. You have a few options from here:
It is critical during this process that a containment is made in the space to isolate the area of the home where you might be doing demolition. Reduce air flow from the space throughout the rest of the home by hanging plastic sheeting to isolate the space. Consider running a HEPA vac while you clean to reduce dust. Do not use water to wet the space, as this may further encourage mold growth and sporing.
You will typically have to remove insulation and replace it if you are doing the work yourself. Scrub the walls of the foundation, the studs, and any dry wall that is salvageable with your mold solution.
Once you have completely removed and cleaned all mold from the space, ensure that the space is dry.
Carefully remove the contaminated material from your home, and clean everything in the contained area very carefully before proceeding.
After cleaning has occurred, you can rebuild in the space without isolation and feel confident that you have resolved the issue.
Feel free to reach out anytime with any questions. Also, we’re free for a consultation for professional help for any mold remediation, mold removal, or mold testing needs.
Mold Removal Company
Mold Removal Company. Mold and Meth - (435) 764-2400. Decontamination Specialists, Mold clearance and Mold Cleaning in Utah, Salt Lake and Las Vegas.