Recent Mold Remediation Posts

How Can Homeowners Assess Mold Damage?

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

How To Assess Mold Damage?

A complete mold assessment involves determining the type of mold and extent of growth. Accurate analysis can be difficult and risky for non-professionals. Here are a few measures homeowners can take in preparation for an expert assessment.

Look for Visible Mold

Homeowners can look for signs of visible mold. Do not attempt to find mold hidden in places where colonies may be disturbed by a search:

  • Behind wallpaper
  • In wall cavities
  • Under carpet

A musty odor may indicate the presence of hidden mold. This odor originates with microbial volatile organic compounds, which are off-gases released during the fungal growth cycle.


Schedule Testing

An environmental hygienist or mold specialist can contribute to an accurate mold assessment. Experts may take air or spore samples for lab analysis to determine which types of mold are present, such as black mold or more than 100,000 other species.

Identify the Cause

Mold and mildew thrive where moisture is present. A homeowner can try to identify the source, which may involve one or more of the following factors:

  • Leaky pipes
  • Roof leak
  • Other water damage

Mold is a common type of secondary damage that results when water damage is not properly mitigated. It is important to remove standing water and residual moisture to prevent fungi from starting to grow.

Determine the Extent

Mold remediation experts can determine the extent of an infestation. A minor mold problem covers less than 10 square feet and is accessible without opening large sections of closed surfaces. Major problems affect larger areas and may involve hidden mold or black mold.

Minor mold growth can cost over $1,000 to remediate, while major damage can range up to tens of thousands of dollars. A mold assessment may impact a homeowner's ability to file an insurance claim or pay for remediation that will resolve a mold problem at a residence in Houston, TX.  

The Invisible Damage of Mold

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

Mold thrives in the warm, humid climates of the Houston metropolitan area. If your property has experienced flood damage in recent years, you may have a serious mold infestation lurking behind your walls. For a thorough risk assessment and mold removal, call your neighborhood SERVPRO team.  We are the trusted home restoration leader, and our team of highly trained mold remediation technicians will find the cause of the moisture and mold problem and begin to restore your property quickly.

If a property isn’t cleaned and dried properly after a flood, mold can start to grow at an exponential rate. That’s why it’s important to have a professional and trusted team like SERVPRO of Bear Creek handle the cleanup after water intrusion from a flood, or broken water pipe. Many times, we see mold infestations caused by improper cleaning and restoration techniques, often due to beginning the process before moisture and humidity levels been restored to pre-flood levels. If new drywall, insulation, or carpeting is installed too early, your property is at risk for mold infestation.

While it may be easy to spot mold growing on walls, grout lines, and other areas, it is impossible to see the mold prospering behind the drywall, or under the flooring. Mold needs food, like insulation or carpeting, and a warm, humid environment to thrive. If flood damage cleanup in the home was completed improperly, structural elements like floor joists and framing can be weakened, damaging a home’s structural integrity.

Mold spores travel through the air, often through a property’s heating and air conditioning vents. The ventilation system can harbor mold and provides a highway throughout the home for the mold to spread. That is why it is essential that at the first sight of mold, a professional mold remediation team is called. Our team at SERVPRO of Bear Creek is available 24 hours a day to help property owners after water damage, fire, a severe storm, or a mold infestation damages the home.

In the event our team finds mold in your property, we will work quickly to bring your property back to its original condition. The process starts with a thorough investigation of the water damage, applying a special microbial compound to affected areas that will kill the mold, and then begin the structural drying with industrial dehumidifying fans. This is an integral part of the restoration to help ensure that mold doesn’t grow behind the walls, under the flooring, in the insulation, or in other invisible areas of your home. Call us today if you suspect you have a mold problem; we stand ready to help our neighbors in and around the Houston area with water damage and flood damage cleanup, and mold remediation.  

What Is The Difference Between Mold and Mildew?

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

Difference Between Mold and Mildew

No homeowner in Houston, TX, ever wants to hear that he or she has mold damage. Fortunately, mold is often confused with its significantly less destructive cousin, mildew. Before you suspect the worst, read this quick primer on the differences between the two.

Where Are Mold and Mildew Found?

Mold and mildew tend to hang out in different places, although they both generally thrive in warm spots with plenty of moisture. Mold growth is most commonly found in the following areas:

  • Garages
  • Sheds
  • Attics
  • Crawl spaces
  • Basements

Mildew growth, meanwhile, is most commonly found in those areas of the home that are regularly exposed to high humidity, such as the bathroom. It's typically spotted on the floors, walls, and ceilings. It can also take hold on damp surfaces, such as fabric and leather, as well.

What Do They Look Like?

The types of mold most typically found in the home are green or black in color. Texture-wise, they may be slimy or fuzzy, and they prefer to take root underneath wet surfaces, such as below a sink or behind drywall.

Mildew instead sticks to the surface — literally — and has a powdery, feathery, or fluffy appearance. It's usually gray, white, or yellow.

What Do They Do?

Of the two, mold damage tends to be more severe. It can cause serious harm to building materials, entire houses, and even cars. For that reason, it's always wise to leave black mold cleanup to the professionals. They have the equipment and expertise needed to restore affected areas promptly and thoroughly.

Mildew is generally less destructive, invasive, and tenacious than mold. While mold cleanup is almost always a job best left to experts, mildew cleanup can often be sufficiently managed in, for example, a bathroom shower with some household cleaner and a little elbow grease.

If you suspect you have mold damage, the first thing to do is verify that it is actually mold. Once you've confirmed that it is, your next step should likely be to enlist the help of experienced mold remediation professionals — or, even better, leave that verification process to the pros, too.

Is It Black Mold? 3 Ways to Know

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

Black mold in homes can be a costly and dangerous problem.

Black Mold

Black mold are two words that no homeowner wants to hear. If you think this pesky problem is cropping up in your Houston, TX home, a mold inspection is the best way to be sure. Until you can schedule one, however, here are a few quick tips to answer mold is what you’re dealing with.

Identification

All mold is comprised of microscopic organisms found indoors and outdoors. It spreads easily and comes in various colors including:

  • White
  • Pink
  • Gray
  • Orange

Black mold is the one that is best publicized and the one that homeowners most want to recognize and eradicate, fast.

Location

Molds of all kinds love damp, dark areas. That means attics, crawl spaces, areas under sinks and anywhere drips, leaks or condensation can create pooling water are perfect breeding grounds. In homes, bathrooms are another common mold area. If you spot something dark and fuzzy in any of these areas, schedule a mold inspection.

Color

Black-colored mold isn’t always just black. In fact, this type of mold often presents as a dark, greenish black and sometimes even has a grey tinge to it. While things like common dirt can take on this appearance, black mold also tends to be a bit slimy. If you see something matching this description, it might be black house mold.

Odor

This type of mold is known for its musty odor that is similar to the sharp, pungent odor of mildew. In many cases, you may not see black house mold, but the smell through your home can be a sign that it is present.

Black house mold is not something to play with. Left alone, it can spread and become an expensive problem to solve. If you think you have it, schedule a mold inspection and connect with a mold remediator to rid your house of

How to Decrease Your Mold Exposure

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Inside homes, mold growth can be slowed by controlling humidity levels and ventilating showers and cooking areas.

Specific Recommendations:

  • Keep humidity levels as low as you can-no higher than 50% - all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. Bear in mind that humidity levels change over the course of a day with changes in the moisture in the air temperature, so you will need to check the humidity levels more than once a day.
  • Use an air conditioner or dehumidifier during humid months.
  • Be sure the home has adequate ventilation, including exhaust fans.
  • Add mold inhibitors to paints before application.
  • Clan bathrooms with mold killing products.
  • Remove or replace previously soaked carpets and upholstery.

What areas have high mold exposures?

  • Antique shops
  • Greenhouses
  • Saunas
  • Farms
  • Mills
  • Construction areas
  • Flower shops
  • Summer cottages
  • Lake Houses

Did you know? (MOLD)

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

While many of us think of mold and cringe because we associate it with bad things such as infections, disease and death, the truth of the matter is that there is a lot of mold in the world that we love to eat and couldn’t live without!

Did you know?

  • Cheese is made from mold. Geotrichum candidum to be exact.
  • Quorn, a meat substitute primarily sold in the UK, is fusarium venenatum.
  • Alexander Fleming, a brilliant Scottish physician, microbiologist and pharmacologist discovered penicillin from a mold called Penicillium Notatum. It was actually the world’s first antibiotic.
  • The immunosuppressant drug cyclosporine, used to suppress the rejection of transplanted organs, is derived from the mold Tolypocladium inflatum.
  • Several statin cholesterol-lowering drugs are derived from molds.

Mold Growth After Flooding

1/16/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growth in Houston, TX is always concerning because once it starts, without intervention, it is going to continue and become a much bigger problem. Excessive moisture in any area of your home can result in this issue. Of course, when there is standing water and bacteria is present, it can exacerbate the growth. Knowing more about mold and how to take care of it is the first step in protecting your home.

Getting Rid of Mold in Your Home:

Once mold growth has begun, it is important to get it taken care of immediately. Following a flood, you should have your home inspected to see if mold is present. The following steps are most often taken to tackle this problem:

  • Utilize the proper safety gear and equipment
  • Assess the space to determine the work that needs to be done
  • Start the contamination control process to prevent spreading the mold and cross-contamination
  • Source the mold and then physically get it removed
  • Alleviate the moisture in the space so that a future outbreak does not happen

Preventing Future Mold Growth:

The first step in prevention is making sure that all flood damage was properly cleaned and repaired. Then, ensure that the moisture levels in your home are kept to a minimum. If you suspect the source of the flooding is from something like a leaking pipe, quickly get it fixed so that it has a low chance of causing mold. Make sure that the ventilation in your home is sufficient, and consider using mold resistant products. It is also important to make sure that rainwater is directed away from your home to alleviate the risk of future flooding.

Mold growth can quickly become a major problem. Following a flood, it can start to grow in just 24 to 48 hours, so it is important for homeowners to act quickly in getting it taken care of. Once it is eliminated, take precautions to prevent future issues.

Visit SERVPRO of Bear Creek for additional information on storm damage.

Truth about Mold

1/9/2019 (Permalink)

Mold is one of the most common problems that homeowners face. It develops quickly, growing as fast as 24 to 48 hours within the home when water or moisture is present (which is why it’s a common problem following a water loss and in moisture-prone areas of the home like crawlspaces and basements).

But despite everything that is known about mold, there are still a lot of misconceptions. Here’s a look at some facts and some myths about mold and mold remediation:

Fact: There are far too many species of mold and fungi to identify.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that there are anywhere from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of mold and fungi species – far too many to identify. However, some of the most common found in homes are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria and Aspergillus.

Fiction: Mold is always visible.

Many think that just because they can’t see it, it’s not there. Seeing isn’t believing when it comes to mold, as not all types of mold are visible. Therefore, it’s best to rely on smell to detect mold. If you smell a musty odor, there’s likely mold present.

Fact: Mold can lead to health complications.

Although not everyone is affected when exposed to mold, all molds have the potential to cause illness or distress, especially among people who already have respiratory issues. Common symptoms associated with mold exposure include coughing, watery eyes, congestion, headaches and even memory loss and dizziness. Most recently, researchers at Rutgers University have discovered that mold exposure can lead to Parkinson’s disease-like symptoms.

Fiction: Once mold is remediated, it won’t come back.

The only way to completely eliminate mold from returning is to solve the moisture or water problem that caused the mold to grow in the first place.

As you can see, mold is a serious, often misunderstood problem that can grow even more problematic if it isn’t taken care of properly. That’s why SERVPRO of Bear Creek follows the IICRC S520 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation and are trained to remediate mold using the latest, most effective techniques.

For more information, contact SERVPRO of Bear Creek today at (281) 463-9800.

Increase Your Chances of Preventing Mold

12/26/2018 (Permalink)

Prevent Mold by Preventing Moisture

Mold needs 24-48 hours of moisture to start to grow. If an item is wet for more than 24 hours, you are running a high risk of mold growth.

Prevent Water Leaks

Make sure that water leaks are taken care of soon before the moisture build up can cause mold to grow in the affected area. Also condensation can cause moisture.

Reduce Moisture

Mold starts to grow when the humidity level is more than 55%. To prevent high humidity levels, make sure there is proper ventilation throughout the home. Opening windows on a hot day and closing them when it rains is a good way to reduce humidity. In the bathrooms, an exhaust fan will reduce the moisture caused by the steam after a hot shower.

Wet Clothes

A common cause of moisture problems in homes is wet clothes. It is better to hang wet clothes outside if not using a dryer because the water on the wet clothes will evaporate inside the home, which increases the humidity and increases the risk of mold growth. If using a dryer, make sure to exhaust the air outdoors.

Cleaning To Prevent Mold

Mold grows on most organic materials inside a home. Some examples of organic materials include wood, carpet, food, insulation, wallpaper, furniture, leather, etc. Making sure your home is dust and grime free well help prevent mold because mold loves dust. The only way that mold can grow on metal, plastic, or glass is if dust is present. Dusting and vacuuming regularly will help out tremendously.

Sunlight Is Key

Mold loves to grow in dark spaces indoors. Sunlight will reduce the chances of mold growth. Something as simple as opening the curtains throughout the day can help prevent mold from growing indoors.

And lastly, warm humid conditions and mold are best friends. Most mold grows when the temperature hits 70 degrees Fahrenheit, so keeping your home cool will lower the risk of mold growth.

If you have a mold problem, call SERVPRO of Bear Creek at 281-463-9800. 

Mold Mitigation and Remediation

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals work to control and remove mold contaminants while protecting the health and safety of building occupants.

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.

Limiting Mold Growth

“Moisture control is key to mold control. When water leaks or spills occurs indoors, act promptly... A prompt response (24-48 hours) and thorough clean-up, drying, and/or removal of water-damaged materials will prevent or limit mold growth."

                                        -OSHA

How SERVPRO Responds

The SERVPRO team has specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation. With remediation, SERVPRO reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline mold.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call SERVPRO of Bear Creek at (281) 463-9800

Home safety

3/16/2018 (Permalink)

With spring break just around the corner, it is imperative that you and your home stay safe should you have to vacate due to vacations and the like. Mother Nature can strike at any time and the professionals at SERVPRO of Bear Creek are ready to respond 24/7. Here are a few tips on how to ensure your home's safety.

          Tips to prevent water damage;

  • Turn off the water supply line
  • Check for cracks in pipes
  • Inspect the hot water heater for rust or a tear in the line
  • Check for wet dry wall that is “hanging” or “dripping”

Tips on preventing mold from growing after water damage;

  • Do not attempt to dry water with a vacuum cleaner or fan
  • If mold has grown, do not attempt to remove the mold as it could lead to the growth of more mold and illness to you
  • Mold can grow within 24 of water damage

The professionals at SERVPRO of Bear Creek will be ready for any call at any time of the day. Have any questions or have damage in your home, call us at (281) 463-9800

Tips to prevent water damage and mold

3/16/2018 (Permalink)

The damage of water can leave devastation in its wake creating what seems like an endless amount of damage. But if not handled correctly, mold damage that can be even more dangerous. Here are a few tips and pointers on how to protect your home from water damage and the growth of mold.

When using everyday appliances such as sinks, toilets and showers, it is important you as a homeowner understand the early signs of leaks or the growth of mold. If inspecting a shower or bathtub, look for soft spots or cracks that may indicate a leak or a growth in mold. When inspecting sinks, check the water supply or drain pipe for any signs disjointed pipes.

To further ensure the safety of your home, here are more short tips on safety with mold and water damage:

  • Ensure you know where the water shutoff valve is
  • Mold will start to grow within twenty-four hours of water damage
  • If water heater is more than fifteen years old inspect it to make sure there is no rust damage or leaks coming from it

If your home has mold or water damage call us at (281) 463-9800

Mold damage

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

Being in the middle of the holiday and away from your home, it is important to know the dangers that mother nature can throw at you or your home. 

Even during the coldest time of the year, mold can still be a potent problem from causes such as a pipe freezing and bursting. As mold can grow as quickly as twenty four hours after a water loss has occurred, it is important to  know the damages that can occur in your home this season. 

Here are a few steps that can prevent water damage from occurring in your home should you leave for holiday.

Turn off the water to your home: Depending on the home, there might be a master valve next to or behind your home that can shut off water flow into your home.

If you do have water or mold damage, call SERVPRO of Bear Creek at (281) 463-9800 for restoration cleanup. 

Remediation services

12/14/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO OF BEAR CREEK IS READY TO ANSWER THE CALL 24/7.

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Bear Creek has highly trained technicians that are dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster. We provide 24-hour emergency service and have the training and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs. 24-Hour Emergency Service, Faster to Any Size Disaster, Highly Trained Restoration Technicians, A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry, Locally Owned and Operated, and Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment.

  • Locally owned and operated

o    As local owners we are passionate about our work because we live and commute here in Houston

  • Highly trained technicians.

o    Our technicians are IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified and have experience and know-how to do any job.

  • Faster to Any Size Disaster

o    Whether it be a small leak or standing flood water all in your home, we will be there quickly and ready to help.

  • Trusted leader in the restoration industry

o    Founded in 1967, SERVPRO has been a trusted restoration company all across America helping restore damage "Like It Never Even Happened."

Have damage in your home or business? Don’t wait until it’s too late, call SERVPRO of Bear Creek!

24/7 Mold remediation services

11/22/2017 (Permalink)

Having mold in your home can be a stressful time, so here are a few tips and tricks on how to both control mold and remediate the mold.

  • Interaction with mold
    • Once you realize there is a mold growth in your home, do not touch or interact with the mold itself as it could increase the growth.
    • Do not place a fan on the growth as a form of drying as it could spread the growth around the home.
    • If possible, isolate the room with mold in order to try and contain the mold growth.
  • What to do before help arrives
    • If you have any delicate or personal items in the room with mold, remove those items and place them in a unaffected room.

If you have any mold affecting your home, call SERVPRO of Bear Creek at (281) - 463 - 9800

What is mold

5/12/2017 (Permalink)

When controlling moisture in a water loss it is important to understand what mold is exactly and how to handle it both correctly and safely

         How mold is formed

Mold is formed from moisture that sits for a small period of time such as two or three days and normally flourishes on surfaces like drywall or wood material. 

        How mold spreads

Mold releases small spores that travel to find another surface and once the spores land on another surface, the cycle is repeated until the mold is remediated. 

       How to control/limit the growth of mold until help arrives 

Keep the room isolated and have no one enter the damaged room, limit the amount of airflow in the room so that mold cannot spread as quickly, and do not attempt to wipe mold off with a simple wet rag