Archived Mold Remediation Blog Posts
Conditions In LA Might Be Right For Mold
SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz knows what to do if mold grows in your home.
It's estimated that over 1 million types of mold exist, yet less than 10% have actually been named. This means that mold is very common in both indoor and outdoor environments. While mold and humans can sometimes co-exist without issue there are certain species of mold that can cause health issues for some people.
If the right conditions exist, mold will grow. Those conditions include:
- Water - Different mold types require varying amounts of liquid before growth begins.
- Temperature - Normal indoor temperatures will promote mold growth.
- Time - Initial mold colonizers can take hold within one day after being exposed to an adequate water supply.
Mold growth can occur in any home, so it's important to keep an eye out for situations that might promote mold activity. Roof/chimney leaks, wet basements, or condensation from ducts that dampen surrounding insulation are just a few examples of issues that can make your home a prime target for mold growth.
If you suspect mold in your home, call SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz to asses the situation. We have the knowledge. tools and track record to effectively remediate mold in your home or business.
What to do:
- Stay out of the affected areas.
- Turn off HVAC systems and fans.
- Contact SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz.
How Fast Can Mold Spread Throughout a Home?
Contact us today at 323-667-3100 for a free estimate!
The bad news is that mold can be found almost anywhere, and it thrives off of moisture. Mold prefers an environment that has little to no air circulation, dim lighting, and an average temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Mold spores travel through the air, attach themselves to any damp surface, and then begin attacking the surface of the material they adhere to. This is one of many reasons why it is imperative for a property owner to quickly contact a professional restoration company like SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz if they have experienced a fire or flood in their home and/or business.
Mold begins growing immediately after the spores have adhered to an item. It is not uncommon for mold to begin to grow within 24 to 48 hours, and a mold infestation can colonize within 1 to 14 days. In most instances, the mold infestation has already become an issue before it is discovered. This makes mold spores exceptionally hard to destroy, and it will occasionally return even after the source of the mold has been removed. This is another reason why it is so important to contact a professional mold remediation company for a permanent and appropriate solution.
Mold prefers to grow on damp, cellulose materials. However, property owners should bear in mind that mold can still grow even after a moisture problem has been remedied. Mold is capable of going dormant and surviving even when moisture is not present. While it is dormant, it will continue to feed off of materials like ceiling tiles, sheetrock, carpet, wall paper, paints, wood, and upholstery.
If you have a mold infestation in your home or business, it is the not the kind of problem that should be ignored. Instead, you need to make a call to trusted mold experts like the staff at SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz. We specialize in emergency services such as, water damage, extraction, flood cleanups, and mold remediation.
Is Mold Covered by Property Insurance?
Call SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz at 323-667-3100 for a free mold inspection!
Homeowners insurance covers mold damage if it was caused by a "covered peril." Otherwise, an insurance company will likely not cover mold damage. There are exceptions, which we will get into later. Home insurance policies usually don't cover mold that resulted from a preventable water leak, flooding, or high humidity.
Home insurance covers mold if a "covered peril" caused the mold. In that case, your home insurance policy will likely pay for repairs and clean-up.
Here are some of home insurance's covered perils:
- Vandalism or malicious mischief
- Damage caused by vehicles
- Falling objects
- Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
- Accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam from plumbing, heating, air conditioners, sprinkler systems, or household appliances
- Frozen pipes
Let's take a look at some real world examples. When home insurance will likely cover you:
- An ice dam forms in a roof gutter during a rough winter and water backs up under your shingles. The water leaks into your attic, soaks your attic floor and insulation, and creates mold.
- A pipe bursts in your home and dumps gallons of water on the floor and saturates drywall while you're at work. Mold begins to form before you call.
- A washer hose springs a leak and damages behind your washer. The washer hose isn't old, you stop the leak, and report the damage immediately, but not before mold forms.
These are "sudden and accidental" incidents. Insurance companies typically cover this type of damage. In fact, non-weather-related water damage is one of the most common home insurance claims and one of the most expensive.
When home insurance will likely NOT cover you:
Your basement pipes freeze and burst. You don't notice it for a few weeks. Now, you have a few inches of water on your floor and mold growing.
Broken shingles on your 40-year-old roof allows water into the attic. Water saturates wood and insulation and leads to mold in the attic.
Mold forms in your shower. You don't think much about it until one day you notice that it's really unsightly and you're concerned about whether it's making your family sick.
In these cases, an insurer will likely not cover the damage. Why? An insurance company expects you to take care of your house. That means properly ventilating the bathroom, replacing an old roof, and checking your basement regularly. An important reason to stay on top of home maintenance.
Also, the standard homeowners insurance policy does not cover water damage caused by a flood. Thus if a flood causes water damage that leads to mold, the resulting mold issue would not be covered by your home policy.
A separate flood policy, will cover mold and mildew, as long as it’s not caused by the homeowner’s failure to inspect and maintain the property after the flood. That means, once you can get back into your home, you need to start trying to clean up and keep mold from growing or spreading.
How do I know if my home insurance policy covers mold?
As mentioned earlier, home insurance companies usually don't cover mold damage unless it's directly related to a "covered peril." The good news -- there are exceptions.
Check your homeowners insurance policy to see if there is any language about mold claims. Some insurers offer limited coverage for mold claims. This may mean limiting how much the insurer will pay for a mold-related claim. Or an insurer may increase the cost of a home insurance policy if you have mold-related coverage.
If you don't have mold coverage, you can buy an endorsement to your insurance policy that adds mold coverage. An endorsement is when an insurance company adds additional coverage to a regular home insurance policy, for an additional fee.
The Relationship Between Carpets & Mold
To schedule mold remediation, please contact SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz today at 323-667-3100
No one wants mold growing in their home. If you suspect mold is present in your home, apartment, or commercial building, the wall-to-wall carpeting should be the first place you check. Learn what to look for, how to get mold out of carpet, and how to prevent future mold problems.
Why Is Carpet at Risk for Mold Growth?
Mold needs four things to grow: moisture, an organic food source, oxygen, and a surface to grow on. Damp wall-to-wall carpeting and rugs meet these criteria perfectly. After all, the dirt, dust, pet dander, and microorganisms that settle in your carpet provide ample organic material for mold to feed on. Add a little water to the mix, and you have a recipe for mold growth.
Carpet Mold Symptoms
Just because you can’t see mold on the carpet fibers doesn’t mean there’s not mold under the carpet pad. In fact, the only time you can see mold growing on the surface of the carpet is if you have unusually severe contamination. This means you need to dig a little deeper to find evidence of carpet mold. Here are the symptoms to watch for:
- Wet or water-damaged carpet: Flooding or a plumbing leak can result in standing water in carpeted areas. Unless you remove, clean, and dry the carpet within 24 to 48 hours, mold growth is very likely.
- Wet carpet padding: Even minimal moisture caused by high humidity or condensation beneath the carpet pad is enough for mold to grow.
- Odors and stains: Any discoloration or musty odor is a sign of carpet mildew or mold.
How to Get Mold Out of Carpet
Many times, once you discover carpet mold, it’s too late to salvage it. If the mold has spread several square feet, the carpet will likely need to be replaced.
Still, if you act quickly enough and the contamination hasn’t spread, it may be possible to get mold out of the carpet. Start by cleaning the carpet thoroughly with detergent and water in a steam-cleaning machine. Dry the carpet thoroughly to ensure mold doesn’t grow again. If detergent doesn’t work and you decide to try something stronger, test an inconspicuous area of the carpet first to ensure it doesn’t damage the fibers.
How to Prevent Mold in Carpet
Once the existing mold is cleaned up, avoid a recurrence with these tips:
- Avoid laying carpet in high-humidity areas: Basements, bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms are often inappropriate for carpeting. Stick to tile floors and area rugs to avoid the need to rip out contaminated wall-to-wall carpeting.
- Reduce indoor humidity: Run a dehumidifier to keep the relative humidity between 30 and 60 percent.
- Clean up water damage quickly: Remove, clean, and dry water-damaged carpet within 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold growth. Also, dry the carpet thoroughly after having it professionally steam cleaned.
Hire a Professional Mold Remediation Company
If you find mold growing under your carpet, it probably covers an extensive area. This means you should schedule professional mold remediation as quickly as possible. The longer you ignore the problem, the more you put your family, employees, or tenants at risk of adverse health effects.
Count on SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz for mold remediation services. We assess the damage, address the source of moisture, remove contaminated items, and clean up salvageable belongings. Our goal is to restore a clean, safe, mold-free environment.
Humidity Levels in Your Crawlspace Affect the Rest of Your Home
Mold in Your Crawlspace? Call SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz 323-667-3100
What’s the threshold humidity level for mold growth?
When the relative humidity of your crawl space is 70% or higher, mold can thrive.
“Relative” humidity is the humidity level expressed in a percentage of the amount of moisture in the air needed for “saturation” (i.e. the highest level of humidity – 100%). The amount of water the air can hold (humidity level) is dependent upon the temperature of the air itself. When the humidity level begins to creep up past 70% relative humidity, this provides the perfect environment for mold growth!
I’m seeing condensation. What does that mean?
Condensation is an indication that the air within your crawl space has reached 100%. The air can no longer hold the moisture and it’s condensing onto the surfaces, causing the organic materials that make up your crawl space to become damp, which will result in mold growth. Being able to track the changes in both of these conditions in your crawl space will allow you to see trends and anticipate necessary changes.
For instance, if the weather is hot during the day but the temperature plummets at night, this can cause problems for your crawl space’s humidity levels. The daytime temperature is higher, which allows the air to hold more moisture. As night approaches and the air cools, the amount of moisture the air can hold also decreases – causing the relative humidity level to rise. A crawl space that was at a permissible humidity level during the day can run into problems when night falls.
Having unconditioned air below your living spaces makes the whole house harder to heat and cool as well as provide the perfect damp setting for mold spores to breed. In the past, we were told that crawlspaces needed to be ventilated. Now, however, we are learning that crawlspaces need to be treated almost as if they were living spaces. In other words, areas that are in contact with your living space affect your living space. So if you have a crawlspace, what solution is available?
SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz can help you dry out the dampest crawlspaces and turn them into drier, healthier foundations for your home that aren’t breeding grounds for mold spores.
Top 7 Areas Mold Is Growing In Your Home!
Mold? SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz is here to help!
One of the first signs that you have a mold problem will be a “musty” or “mildewy” odor. The next step is to determine where the smell is coming from. The seven areas listed below are some of the most common areas in a home where you will find mold. Other visual clues to look for during your investigation of these areas include: buckled floorboards, discolored carpet, new water stains on the ceiling or wall, and/or actual visual growth such as black specs.
Mold Area #1: Bathrooms and Kitchens
The most common area where you will find mold is under the sinks because of leaks.
Mold Area #2: Appliances
Another potential source of leaks are your refrigerator, dishwasher, and washing machines. Check behind and under the appliances for mold.
Mold Area #3: Roof
If you notice water stains on the ceilings, then your roof could be leaking which will cause mold if the leak is not repaired.
Mold Area #4: Windows
If you have condensation in the home, you will likely find mold on the window sills and around the windows.
Mold Area #5: Basement
If there is high humidity in your home, then check your basement and other areas of the home for mold.
Mold Area #6: Closets
Leaky pipes, high humidity, and other sources of moisture can result in hidden mold in your closets. If there are boxes in the closet, move them and check the walls and floor for mold.
Mold Area #7: Crawl Spaces
Moisture in your crawl space will cause mold to grow.
What Is Black Mold?
Think you have black mold? Contact SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz at 323-667-3100 immediately.
Stachybotrys chartarum is the type of mold often called “black mold” or “toxic mold”. Sensational news reports warn about the dangers of black mold and these stories can be alarming and confusing.
It can grow on material with a high cellulose and low nitrogen content, such as fiberboard, gypsum board, paper, dust, and lint. Growth occurs when there is moisture from water damage, excessive humidity, water leaks, condensation, water infiltration, or flooding. Constant moisture is required for its growth. It is not necessary, however, to determine what type of mold you may have.
All molds should be treated the same with respect to potential health risks and removal. Any mold in your home should be treated with caution – stay out of affected areas and don’t touch or disturb the mold.
Please refer to ourMold Damage Tipsto learn more about mold and what to do until help arrives.
How Do I Tell If It’s Black Mold?
Since many types of mold can produce allergens and irritants, you should contact a qualified mold remediation company regardless of the color or type of mold. In many instances, multiple types of mold can exist in the same house or structure.
Mold in Winter
Got Mold? Call SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz at 323-667-3100
When temperatures start to drop, homeowners tend to stop worrying about mold and direct their attention toward household issues that are more commonly associated with cold weather. However, mold can develop in winter as well. While mold thrives in warm, humid environments, the primary contributor to mold growth is moisture, which can get out of hand at any time of year.
Excessive indoor moisture can be caused by a number of issues; water damage, plumbing leaks, leaky roofs, high indoor humidity, and condensation are potential concerns.
Condensation on and around windows, in particular, is normal and may seem harmless, but it is one of the biggest moisture culprits when it’s cold outside but warm inside—as is typically the case during winter.
Window condensation occurs when moisture in the warm air inside your home liquefies upon contact with glass or other surfaces that are drastically cooler due to freezing outdoor temperatures. High humidity contributes to this process because there is excess moisture in the air.
While minor condensation doesn’t usually lead to problems, it is important to dry window surfaces regularly to keep condensation from accumulating and being absorbed by the wood and drywall around the windows. Mold feeds on such organic materials and can develop in as little as 24 hours. Mold Prevent specializes in attic mold remediation. If you are in need of mold removal services, SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz can help!
Facts on Toxic Mold
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Mold is just a fact of life. It can't completely be escaped, as there's always a little bit around in the air where we go. With that said, there are risks associated with mold, as you well know for things like food and wood. While these are troublesome, there's also a type of mold that contains something called mycotoxins that can actually cause some severe health problems for people such as memory loss or a pulmonary hemorrhage. Common sense is generally the best way to prevent mold from growing and to deal with any problems associated with existing mold, but let's take a closer look at some common mold questions to see what the proper course of action is.
It's very normal for a home or even a business to be inhabited by mold. It grows just about anywhere as long as there is moisture.
How Do Molds Get There?
Molds are a natural part of just about any indoor environment. They generally enter into the premises through windows, doors, or even ventilation systems. Spores that come from outside can easily attach to both people and animals, which makes excellent vehicles to get inside.
Understanding Stachybotrys Chartarum
Stachybotrys Chartarum is a dark green or even black colored mold that will generally grow on things such as gypsum or fiber board, paper, dust, or even lint due to its preference for materials with high cellulose and low nitrogen. It requires regular moisture such as from leaks or high humidity.
Do I Have to Leave My Home?
If you think you are sick because of mold present in your home, then you may consider vacating until the problem is resolved.
Am I at Risk?
Generally, people with allergies can be a bit more sensitive to mold, but anyone can be affected by it.
How to Check for Mold
Mold is oftentimes identified by simply being seen or smelled.
The Potential Risk to Health
Just because you've been exposed to mold, it does not mean that you may be at risk for health problems. There are some people that are more sensitive to standard mold and some mold that is much more harmful than other types, however.
Let the Professionals at SERVPRO Get Rid of the Mold in your Home or Business
Call us for all of your Mold Remediation needs 24/7 at (323) 667-3100
The prospect of having mold remediation specialists enter your home and set up decontamination areas is the stuff of science fiction movies for the most part. If you have never experienced extensive mold damage before, it will be an entirely new process. And yes, it can look a little strange at first.
The reality, however, is that containment booths and decontamination areas are a lot less dramatic than they seem. They are very common, and they really are not designed to protect homeowners at all. The primary purpose of mold containment is to protect the property. Mold damage in homes can spread very quickly if left unchecked.
This guide to the containment procedures used by SERVPRO will tell you a little more about what to expect.
What Does Containment Look Like?
The level of containment will depend entirely on the extent of the problem. Usually, however, we only set up small areas and cause minimal disruption to daily routines. If the mold damage is spreading across a bedroom wall, for example, the SERVPRO team may need to establish a containment perimeter around the room.
While this does mean that you will not be able to enter, there is no danger to worry about. Containment prevents mold spores from being carried out of the space and into other areas of the home. The technicians will wear special PPE suits and footwear, which are treated to neutralize spores every time that they exit the perimeter.
There will be clear polyethylene sheets set up around the affected area. They may be hung over doorways, across carpets, and along ceilings in some cases. If items or materials are removed from the containment space, they will be wrapped in this plastic first. Once again, it can look a little strange, but the SERVPRO team will discuss any concerns that you might have.
What Happens Inside the Containment Area?
The processes carried out inside the containment area are no different to those that are used on any other mold remediation job. The use of polyethylene sheets simply helps to maintain certain drying conditions. The technicians will set up dehumidifiers, negative air movers, and possibly ozone generators to deal with the source of the damp.
It may be necessary to keep some of the machines (such as fans) running constantly over a period of days. You will be informed of this, and the experts will be on site regularly to check progress.
Don’t let mold and mold damage take over your home. Get in touch with the experts at SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz. We are experienced, highly skilled, and provide excellent customers service.
Should I Use Bleach to Clean Up Mold?
Mold problem? Call SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz at 323-667-3100
- The key to mold control is moisture control.
- Scrub mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water, and dry completely.
- Fix plumbing leaks and other water problems as soon as possible. Dry all items completely.
- Absorbent or porous materials, such as ceiling tiles and carpet, may have to be thrown away if they become moldy. Mold can grow on or fill in the empty spaces and crevices of porous materials, so the mold may be difficult or impossible to remove completely.
- Avoid exposing yourself or others to mold (see discussions: What to Wear When Cleaning Moldy Areas and Hidden Mold).
- Do not paint or caulk moldy surfaces. Clean up the mold and dry the surfaces before painting. Paint applied over moldy surfaces is likely to peel.
- If you are unsure about how to clean an item, or if the item is expensive or of sentimental value, you may wish to consult a specialist. Specialists in furniture repair, restoration, painting, art restoration and conservation, carpet and rug cleaning, water damage, and fire or water restoration are commonly listed in phone books. Be sure to ask for and check references. Look for specialists who are affiliated with professional organizations.
Should I use bleach?
Biocides are substances that can destroy living organisms. The use of a chemical or biocide that kills organisms such as mold (chlorine bleach, for example) is not recommended as a routine practice during mold cleanup. There may be instances, however, when professional judgment may indicate its use (for example, when immune-compromised individuals are present). In most cases, it is not possible or desirable to sterilize an area; a background level of mold spores will remain - these spores will not grow if the moisture problem has been resolved. If you choose to use disinfectants or biocides, always ventilate the area and exhaust the air to the outdoors. Never mix chlorine bleach solution with other cleaning solutions or detergents that contain ammonia because toxic fumes could be produced.
Please note: Dead mold may still cause health effects in some people, so it is not enough to simply kill the mold, it must also be removed.
“Mold Removal” vs. Remediation
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What’s the Difference?
Since microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors, removing all mold from a home or business is impossible. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold. This is a fallacy.
A qualified restoration company understands the science behind mold and mold growth. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the training and expertise to remediate the mold in your home or business. Mold remediation focuses on getting mold levels back to normal, natural levels.
Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same.
- Step 1: Emergency Contact 323-667-3100
- Step 2: Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
- Step 3: Mold Containment
- Step 4: Air Filtration
- Step 5: Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
- Step 6: Cleaning Contents and Belongings
- Step 7: Restoration
Signs of Mold? Call Today 323-667-3100
When water intrudes into your property, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic, 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 and have the potential to cause other health effects.
- 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 that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
- Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
How Much Does Mold Remediation Cost
Mold Infestation? Let the pros at SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz make it, "Like it never even happened."
Factors Affecting Mold Remediation Cost
If the mold is confined to a fairly small area, you may be able to clean it yourself. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency publishes guidelines for mold cleanup. However, if the damage covers more than about 10 square feet or the HVAC system is infected, you should hire a professional mold and mildew removal service.
The biggest factors that affect the mold remediation cost are the additional repair necessary to prevent mold from returning. If mold growth is extensive, it can cause structural damage to wood-framed buildings, and you may need to find alternate housing until the reformation is completed.
Price Range for Mold Cleanup
Mold removal from a residential crawlspace costs between $500 and $4000, but the final cost of a typical mold cleanup project usually comes up to $2000 and $6000. Mold is rarely confined to one area of a home. It tends to spread into the walls and ventilation system, making it difficult to remove.
A thorough mold inspection should be done both before and after a mold cleanup project. Some companies offer a free inspection, but industry experts recommend having the inspection done by a third party.
Identifying Mold on your Property
This kitchen cabinet is affected by mold caused by a dishwasher leak.
It is important to note that mold is caused by moisture or dampness and can begin growing in as quickly as two days. Also, mold has no set or particular appearance and can be found in any number of colors, such as, white, grey, black, green and even pink! It can grow in clusters and/or spots and it can grow in places you may not even be able to see. When you are exposed to mold, your ability to breathe properly should be of high concern. Mold can cause health effects and you may also be required to evacuate the property when there is a large/great presence of mold. Our experts can find mold wherever it may be. We know which signs to look for to determine if mold is present and our technicians have undergone extensive training and are certified in IICRC-the most trusted certification for mold removal and remediation. Contact SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills 323-667-3100 or visit our website for more information http://www.SERVPROhollywoodhillslosfeliz.com/.