Mold Damage

There are at least 100,000 known species of mold in the world and 1,000 common species in the United States. Aspergillus, Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Stachybotrys are known to grow indoors where a favorable environment exists. A consensus of opinion among several governmental agencies, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), mycologists, and microbiologists is that mold may start to grow and spread within 24-48 hours. It grows exponentially when the right conditions exist:

  1. Food source–such as wood, paper, sheetrock, insulation, and natural fibers
  2. Temperature–generally molds grow best in conditions 68-86°F
  3. Moisture–most molds can survive in Rh as low as 65%

10 Things to Know About Mold

  1. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.
  2. There is no practical way to eliminate all molds and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
  3. If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
  4. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
  5. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60% ) to decrease mold growth by: venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside; using air conditioners and de-humidifiers; increasing ventilation; and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning.
  6. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
  7. Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
  8. Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
  9. In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
  10. Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.

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Steps to Solving Your Mold Problem

Inspection - Thorough visual inspection of all possible contaminated areas, attic, crawlspace, basement, HVAC and Duct System, floors, walls, ceilings.

Pre-testing and Analysis performed by AFTERDISASTER, an independent indoor air quality hygienist, prior to the start of remediation.

Containment and Protection of structure and contents not yet affected:

  • Limited: Use polyethylene sheeting ceiling to floor around affected area with a slit entry and covering flap; maintain area under negative air pressure with HEPA filtered fan unit. Block supply and return air vents within containment area.
  • Full: Use two layers of fire-retardant polyethylene sheeting with one airlock chamber. Maintain area under negative pressure with HEPA filtered fan exhausted outside of building. Block supply and return air vents within containment area.

Removal and safe disposal of unsalvageable materials (usually porous materials such as drywall, insulation and ceiling tiles).

High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Vacuuming of all surfaces

Wet cleaning of affected areas using detergents recommended for mold remediation.

Application of an antimicrobial approved by EPA for mold remediation.

Drying of the structure to safe moisture levels (determined by hygrometer measurement).

Final HEPA Vacuuming of all surfaces.

Clearance inspection and testing by AFTERDISASTER.

Removal of containment.

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