How To Detect & Test For Mold

How Do I Detect Mold?

You Can Find Mold Anywhere You Have A Moisture Issue!

Mold growth can happen anywhere that you have a combination of moisture and food! The food being just about anything. The primary areas that we see mold are the following:

Overlooking The Cause Of The Mold Is The #1 Mistake People Make

As bad as mold can be for you, its just a symptom of a bigger problem! It is very important to understand why the mold is there in the first place!  Was there a flood, roof leak, pipe leak, do we have proper ventilation in the attic or crawl space, is there a proper vapor barrier installed in your crawl space?

The best methods for mold removal can be used, everything done correctly, but if you don’t fix the moisture issue, mold will come back!

Is It Safe For Me To Remove The Mold Myself?

That depends on the mold and how much there is of it.  The EPA recommends that consumers can handle mold jobs if the areas in question are smaller 3ft x 3ft.  See EPA guidelines on the following link: http://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-cleanup-your-home.

If you have high risk people living in your home, (Children under the age of 2, anyone with respiratory issues or immune deficiencies) if the area is larger then the 3ftx3ft rule, or if there has been signs of water damage, we recommend (So does the EPA) that you use a qualified professional!

Our staff has been trained to adhere to all IICRC (S502)/Clean Trust  mold remediation / mold removal standards.  We follow guidelines put forth by the EPA,  National Association of Environmentally Responsible Mold Contractors and the Indoor Air Quality Association (For mold removal.) We are fully certified for mold remediation/mold removal, so you can be assured your mold removal project will be done correctly.

We use third party testing to show that we have successfully removed the mold in the structure that we worked on.  Further more, we give a TWO year guarantee that the mold will not come back on the area’s that we worked on! 

What Steps Can I Take To Remove The Mold Myself?

We still recommend that you hire a professional for your mold removal project if one of the two following situations apply:

1. The area is over 3ft x 3ft.  (Again this is an EPA guideline)

2. If anyone in your home has respiratory issues or considered high risk.

But if you are set on doing this yourself…(Please keep the following in mind)

1. Watch Out For Magical Claims By Companies Or On The Internet

If you look on the internet, you will see multiple ways that people claim to clean up/remove mold.  While we are not saying that some of these claims will or will not work, it is our opinion that they don’t work 100%!  Some of the more common methods talked about on the Internet or by some “professionals” are listed below:

BE CAREFUL OF COMPANIES WHO CLAIM TO BE MOLD REMEDIATION COMPANIES WHO USE BLEACH BASED PRODUCTS OR ULTRA VIOLET LIGHT!                     

Bleach As A Way To Remediate Mold:

Positive Points of using bleach:           

1. It is very cheap!          

2.  Works well on NON porous surfaces.  (Ceramic tile, etc)           

Negative Points of using bleach:            

1.  Only kills the top layer of mold.  (Studies have shown it kills about 40% of the mold on porous surfaces)          

2.  Breathing bleach does more harm to your body then most molds!          

3.  It is not a green friendly method of removing mold!  In fact, bleach is very hazardous to the health of your family and pets!   

Ultra Violet Light As A Way To Remediate Mold:  

When companies claim that they can remove mold using ultra violet light, it sounds           incredibly attractive to potential customers.  In short,  it sounds like “cutting edge” technology or the latest, greatest technology.  And in theory, it is very good.  BUT then there is the practical side of things.  

Ultra violet light breaks up the DNA of mold which results in the sterilization of the mold.  Sounds great doesn’t it?????  The problem is, Ultra violet light only works if the light is kept 1-2 inches from the effected surface.  Depending on the surface, it takes anywhere from 2-10 seconds in that area to effectively sterilize the mold.  As the distance the light is from the surface increases, the intensity of the light decreases and renders the process ineffective.           

Ultra violet light is usually sold by HVAC companies as an additional item for their sales people to sell.  Their unit works with the HVAC system.  The problem with those units is that mold spores are not saturated with the ultra violet light nearly long enough or close enough to the unit.  In our opinion, these units do not work well for mold removal/mold remediation. 

Positive Points of using ultra violet light:           

1.   Sounds like cutting edge technology!                       

Negative Points of using ultra violet light:            

1.  Unless it is held 2” above moldy surface for 2-10 seconds, it doesn’t work.            

2.  Cost of unit is expensive          

3.  In our opinion, ultra violet light in a HVAC setting, can NOT expose the mold enough to its light, to properly kill it.

 Borax Used As A Way To Eliminate Mold Problems:             

Borax is pushed as a “Natural” way to remove mold.  While it is a natural method, it has the same issues as bleach!  It cannot get the the root of the mold.           

Positive Points of using borax:           

1.   Its cheap!          

2.   Its a natural method.                      

Negative Points of using borax:            

1.  Doesn’t work well on porous surfaces.  Can’t get to the root of the mold!          

2.  Borax is dangerous to mucus membranes such as eyes.  It is dangerous if inhaled accidentally and is very dangerous to your pets!          

3.  Because of the health hazards it can cause, it is not considered a “green method” or kid or pet friendly

Other Internet Methods Of Mold Removal:  

There are a bunch of other methods that folks have posted on the Internet. Vinegar,          baking soda, ammonia, tea tree oil, grape fruit see extract, the list goes on and on!  Some of these methods may work some don’t work at all.  In most cases, the mold will return in 2-3 months when these methods are used.  The use of fogging type products do NOT do enough to take care of your mold problem.  (See comments below!) 

2. Just Killing Mold Isn’t Enough!  

Dead mold can be just as harmful as live/active mold.  So once you have treated the mold to kill it, you still have        have more work to do!  Remove active & dead mold:  Either do this by wiping the mold away with a rag or remove the item that the mold has        grown on.  Example of this would be treating drywall.  Cut it out after you have sprayed it with a moldicide.  Care should be given to bag it up immediately, so that you don’t cause cross contamination.  Remember, you must remove the dead mold! 

3.  Encapsulation Of Wood Or other Areas That Have Mold Growth.  

General contractors who have not been properly trained in mold removal/ mold        remediation like to cover the mold up with KILLS.  KILLS is an awesome product if you are trying to block stains that have been caused by water or smoke damage.  BUT it wasn’t made for mold.  Far to many times, we see the mold growing on top of the KILLS (The KILLS becomes food for the mold).

*OTHER THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN DOING THIS YOURSELF: 

You should take extreme care when dealing with mold!

1.  PPE:  You need to use proper personal protective (PPE) items.  When working on a mold removal project, you should at thevery least use a N95 designated mask.  These can be purchased at any home improvement store.  Gloves are also another item that you should be using.

2.  Containment:  Cross contamination of your house or office should be a major concern.  The area that you are working on shouldbe sealed off from other areas.  Any air conditioning/heating returns that are in the area that you are working, should be sealed!

3.  Negative Air Scrubbers should be used when possible. This helps with keeping the mold in the contaminated area only.

Work with experts who know the correct way to deal with your mold issues.

Call for a FREE ESTIMATE TODAY!

We follow proper mold removal protocols put forth by the EPA, IAQA, & IICRC.
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