Even though molds are virtually everywhere in our environment, we rarely think about them until they're a problem. If molds are growing anywhere inside our homes or businesses, they are a problem. Molds need a specific environment to live and grow. They need water, food, and to be left alone. Sounds like just about every other living thing, doesn’t it?
Well, there is one specific factor that determines whether they can live indoors or not, and that is humidity above 50%. The food sources will always be there – they like almost anything. Being undisturbed is also very easy with all the nooks and crannies found in every building.
In a nutshell, the environment makes all the difference, and our mold remediation process emphasizes the “remedies” needed to ensure a mold-free environment, including arming you with the knowledge you need to prevent it from growing where it doesn’t belong – indoors!
When the conditions are right, molds can grow anywhere, but there are a few areas in our dwellings and businesses that seem to be the most impacted.
Mold growth in attics is more common than you might think. Have you ever noticed the winter ice-dams on some houses and buildings, or that some homes in your neighborhood have very little snow on their roofs, yet others remain snow-covered most of the season? These are signs of heat loss and ineffective ventilation, which leads to condensation and mold growth in the attics.
Cleaning and eradicating the growth in attics is only part of the remediation. Fixing the ventilation and addressing the contributing factors so that it doesn’t grow back is our goal.
Basements are part of the living area in our homes and molds should never be found there, let alone be living in them. Unfortunately, there are several reasons why basements are more susceptible to mold growth, and in this situation, the age of the property makes a lot of difference.
Prior to 1972, the underground foundations of all buildings, including houses, were not sealed on the exterior with tar-coating. Since brick, concrete, and mortar are porous, these foundations allow moisture to seep into the basements. Unless specific measures are in place to ensure adequate drying, these basements will have mold growth to some degree. If it smells musty, growth is present.
Properties built after 1972 are far less likely to have mold growth because the foundations most probably are tar coated. Mold growth can be present in these buildings, and there are still many scenarios for this to occur.
Our mold remediation process for basements includes evaluating all potential moisture sources, ensuring appropriate corrections, then implementing the best approaches to keep the environment moisture-free.
Crawl spaces present unique challenges, mainly because the original thinking and design was flawed. It was thought that crawl spaces should be vented to the outside, just like attics, and unfortunately most crawl spaces are still vented, unconditioned spaces. In 2013 the standards were changed for crawl spaces, due to the problems with moisture, humidity, and mold growth.
It is now recommended that crawl spaces be conditioned spaces, and not vented to the outside. The rim joists are the only areas that should be insulated, not the ceiling because this causes more condensation between the insulation and the wood.
Mold remediation of crawl spaces is like that of basements, but there are some additional steps that should be implemented to adequately ensure a clean, dry, and mold-free environment.
Anywhere & Everywhere
As stated earlier, molds can grow anywhere when the conditions are right. Leaky pipes, flooded basements, sewage backups, and even steamy showers are some other common culprits. Some of these require rapid and even emergency services.
It is important that any flood be cleaned up and completely dried as soon as possible. It only takes 24 hours for molds to begin to grow and in 48 hours, germination begins, in other words, spores (seeds) are produced and released.
Whether you have a current emergency, or you want to ensure that a past emergency doesn’t have any lingering effects, we can help.