Recent Mold Remediation Posts

Learning To Live With Mold

5/24/2019 (Permalink)

Mold is microscopic, and its spores are floating in the air both indoors and outdoors.

Most people have a visceral negative reaction when mold is brought up. They aren’t wrong; when it gets out of control it can seem gross, and almost everyone who owns a home has heard of the dangers of black mold. It certainly is something to be aware of in Westbrook, ME. However, mold is a natural part of the world that people should understand better in order to protect themselves and their homes.

What Is Mold?

Mold is a type of fungus. When it grows, it usually causes discoloration and has a fuzzy appearance. It is normally invisible to the naked eye, until it starts gathering as a colony. Mold spores are often wind-borne and exist everywhere. There are many different types of mold to be aware of:

  • Stachybotrys chartarum, or black mold, likes places that are consistently damp
  • Serpula lacrymans, or yellow mold, likes to grow on wood
  • Aureobasidium, or pink mold, is usually outdoors but will prey on wet caulking and framing
  • Penicillium, or blue/green mold, spreads quickly and can appear on anything water damaged

Mold Tolerance

There is no such thing as a mold-free home in Westbrook, ME. Mold is microscopic, and its spores are floating in the air both indoors and outdoors. However, there is a limit to how much mold, including the infamous black mold, should be present in the home. This can be easily tested for, so instead of looking for total mold removal, if you suspect heightened levels, you should seek mold remediation, a process of lowering those levels and mitigating their fluctuation.

Too Much Mold

If mold becomes visible in your home, this may mean that there are more spores than normal in your environment. This is usually due to a water source, such as flooding or a pipe that is leaking. Professional mold cleanup can remove these manifestations, and mold remediation can return your home’s mold levels to normal.

Mold can be okay! Remember penicillin? You must simply try to be aware of the mechanisms of mold growth, the different types that exist and the mold cleanup services that exist to remediate it.

3 Preventative Measures For Maintaining a Mold-Free Bathroom

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

Mold damage on bathroom

Mold Prevention In Your Bathroom

As a homeowner or renter in Portland, ME you understand just how irritating it can be to consistently see mold growth popping up in your bathroom. After all, you likely take precautions to secure any leaks that may cause water damage and you keep a clean, tidy house, in general. So, what’s the culprit behind the growing mold? There can be more than one. Here are three useful measures you can take to eradicate any growth for good and ensure proper mold prevention in your bathroom for years to come.

1. Install a proper ventilation system. When it comes to keeping moisture at bay, a high-powered ventilation system is key. Exhaust fans should not only be on during a shower, but be kept on for close to 20-30 minutes after a shower as a method of keeping constant air flow throughout the space. This can help enforce a moisture-free environment in areas where high humidity are common occurrences.

2. Keep a close eye on tile grout and caulking. Grout between your shower tiles, especially if it’s cracked in places, makes for great breeding ground for mold. Therefore, it pays to clean your grout on a weekly basis to hinder any mold growth. Furthermore, replace it every 6 months and seal it well to effectively ward off its potential spread. If you’ve noticed water damage and mold as a result of cracked grout or degraded caulking, contacting a highly-qualified mold remediation team could be crucial for eliminating any greater problem areas.

3. Focus on your shower curtains, towels, rugs and any cloth decor. Fibrous towels and rugs come into direct contact with water on a daily basis and should therefore be washed consistently. Shower curtains made of cloth should be washed in hot water or replaced by plastic varieties that can easily be wiped down and cleaned.

Once these areas of your bathroom have been addressed and any water damage has been restored, maintaining a mold-free environment in your Portland, ME bathroom should be an easy task.

The Advantages of Hiring a Professional Mold Inspector

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

Professional technicians can help tackle your mold remediation

If your home sustains water damage from a flood or burst pipe, it is also vulnerable to mold damage. Extensive mold growth can be a difficult problem for any homeowner in Portland, ME, to battle, especially since mold is adept at finding hidden moisture spots. For peace of mind, you may wish to consult a professional mold inspector who can thoroughly examine your home and identify areas requiring mold cleaning.

Extensive Knowledge

A certified mold expert will have broad knowledge about mold growth and the ensuing damage it can cause. In addition, the certification process requires technicians to complete extensive training and hands-on experience. This proficiency will enable your inspector to complete numerous tasks:
• Recognize signs of moisture
• Identify subtle indications of mold damage
• Locate potential hiding spots

Access to Useful Tools

To complete a thorough mold cleaning, you will need to address every moldy spot. While some mold may be readily visible, it may be difficult to locate hidden sources, especially under flooring and behind drywall. To aid their work, professional inspectors have several useful tools at their disposal:

• Moisture meters to evaluate moisture levels in walls, carpets and other materials
• Borescopes to visually examine the area behind walls and other surfaces
• Hygrometers to measure humidity levels inside your home

Each of these instruments enable the expert to search for hidden mold in a minimally invasive manner that most homeowners cannot easily accomplish themselves.

A Beneficial Service

If it’s not quickly discovered, mold can significantly damage your home’s infrastructure. Hiring a professional mold inspector can help you efficiently identify mold sources behind drywall, in crawl spaces, under flooring and in other locations not readily visible. Quick identification is important because it enables you to jumpstart the mold cleaning process and hopefully address the situation before it becomes a serious problem. If the inspector does, however, discover extensive contamination, you may want to hire a professional mold remediation team to help you tackle the problem and reduce the risk of a future recurrence.

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3 Things You Need To Do Right When You Spot Mold

7/17/2018 (Permalink)

Ceiling Mold Damage

Black mold can surface quickly in a commercial building in Portland, ME. One day you may not notice any signs of the fungus growth and the next you see spots of it on your walls. Whether you smell or see the growth, it is important to take action as quickly as possible.

1. Call in Help

As soon as you notice any type of mold growing in your commercial space, you need to call in a professional team. The experts in mold cleanup can quickly assess your problem, make a remediation plan and start the repairs. This fast action may help save you money. If you try to take on the cleanup on your own, you may end up making the problem worse because the growth can spread to remote areas on the property.

2. Stop the Airflow

If your cleanup team can't get out to your building right away, you shouldn't sit around and wait. You need to do what you can to stop the black mold from spreading to new parts of your building. Spores can travel in the air, so you should try to cut off airflow. This may mean turning off your HVAC system, closing windows and removing fans from the space.

3. Address the Water

If you notice mold growth, chances are you also have some sort of moisture problem. Whether it's standing water or high humidity, you need to address the water issue as quickly as possible. If you have standing water, start the drying out process. If you have high humidity, set up a dehumidifier. Identifying the cause of the water problem can make your mold cleanup a little easier because you need to stop the water before you can really remove the growth. In some cases, you may have to turn off the water to your building until the professionals arrive.

It doesn't take long for mold to spread and invade other parts of your building. Taking fast actions when you first notice black mold can help make the entire cleanup process a little easier.

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Quick Guide Safety Gear Used During Mold Remediation

5/15/2018 (Permalink)

Protective equipment during mold remediation is important for you or your mold remediation team

If you have found mold in your Portland, ME, home, you may be wondering what your next move should be. Calling a professional mold remediation team should be your first step. You may be tempted to take care of the issue yourself, but there are a lot of rules you need to follow. For example, you need to get rid of the entire problem and not just wipe away the surface mold. Experts in mold damage know exactly how to address fungus-related problems. Professionals also have access to the safety gear needed to tackle this big project. What type of protective equipment do most experts use and why do they use it?

• Face Masks: Safety masks play a major role in mold cleanup. These devices help keep mold spores from entering a person's lungs. Depending on the job at hand, remediation teams may use full-face or half-face respirators.

• Gloves: Mold can cling to the hands of those who touch it. Workers need to wear gloves to ensure they do not spread the spores to other areas of your home or other customer's homes.

• Eye Protection: This protective equipment is only needed if the crew uses face masks that don't cover the eyes. Goggles can protect the eyes from debris related to mold removal.

• Coveralls: Fungus can also cling to clothing, which is how it travels from location to location. Many professionals choose to use special coveralls that are washed after each job to limit the spread of mold.

• Shoe Coverings: Some coveralls may come with attached boots, but when this is not the case shoe coverings are needed. This equipment acts as a barrier between the workers and the rest of your home because they are removed before leaving the infested area.

Protective equipment, like face masks and body coverings, are used to not only protect the person handling the mold but also to protect the rest of your home. If you want mold removed removed properly, you need to work with a team that uses proper safety gear.

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How To Detect Mold Growth in Your Building

4/25/2018 (Permalink)

Mold and mildew can grow after your belongings suffered from water or moisture damage

If your property has been affected by flooding in Portland, ME, you may be concerned about mold growth. Because mold spores are carried in the air, they are found everywhere. That means if there is any lingering moisture in your building, conditions are right for mold spores to settle and grow into a colony. If you can't locate the mold yourself, call in an indoor environmental specialist to conduct a mold test before you hire a mold remediation company to deal with it.

Look for It

In most cases, you can detect mold through visual inspection. Get a good flashlight and examine any locations likely to be affected. This includes areas prone to retaining moisture and harboring mold, such as rooms under the roof, basements and crawlspaces.

Mold appears as patches of discoloration, often growing in a circular or rounded pattern. There are more than 100,000 species of mold and they come in a range of colors:

• Black
• Grey
• Brown
• White
• Green
• Orange
• Yellow

Sniff It Out

If you don’t find any mold during your visual inspection but you notice a persistent odor, you could have mold growing in hidden locations, such as inside your walls or under carpets and floorboards. An indoor environmental specialist can test the air and tell you if there is an unusually high spore count inside your building. Although most people think of musty or earthy odors when they think of mold, different species can have distinct smells:

• Old cheese
• Cat urine
• Car exhaust
• Dirty, wet socks

If you can smell mold, chances are very good you have developing growth. Having your air tested by an indoor environmental specialist can help you decide if you need to bring in a mold remediation expert in Portland, ME, to perform a cleanup. These experts can use infrared light and hydrometers to locate hidden mold and design a plan to remove it quickly and efficiently.

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What You Need To Know About Lawn Slime

3/25/2018 (Permalink)

Your Portland, ME, home's lawn can be a major factor contributing to the beauty and curb appeal of your property. However, problems such as lawn slime can make it look sickly or unappealing. This slime, which may appear unexpectedly, can spread quickly if not treated. Before you attempt to battle this fungus, there are a few facts you may want to know about it beforehand.

It Feeds on Organic Matter

Much like other types of fungi, yard slime does not need sunlight to grow. Instead, it feeds on organic matter in your yard, which may include the following:

" Dead leaves
" Decaying twigs
" Dead turfgrass

Removing these food sources may help you reduce the spread of this outdoor mold, especially during humid weather, as humidity can accelerate mold growth.

It Is Usually Not Related to Other Lawn Problems

Unlike encroaching weeds, bald patches and problems that cause grass to thin or yellow, lawn slime is typically an isolated issue and not related to other yard illnesses. It grows only when there is a food source available, so starving it out can be one of the best defenses against this fungus.

You Can Treat It Several Ways

Fortunately, there are several different tactics you can use to treat this backyard fungus. One is to rake up all the thatching in your yard, along with dead leaves and twigs, to reduce the food supply. Avoid overwatering your lawn, and allow the sun to dry up the mold. You can call in a storm cleanup and mold remediation company to help you treat the fungus if it appeared after a flood. If the mold grows in dark, shady areas, consider pruning your trees to allow more sunlight in and ensure that no sprinkler water pools in these spots.

Dealing with lawn slime at your Portland, ME, home can be a frustrating experience. However, when you know why it grows, what feeds it and how to treat it, you can take the proper steps to heal your yard and make it healthy and green once again.

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Different Kinds of Containment Procedures

2/22/2018 (Permalink)

Containing Mold Before Remediation

Have you recently discovered mold contamination in your Falmouth, Maine, business? Mold particles can spread quickly, so you need to take action as soon as possible. Your first step should be calling in commercial mold remediation experts. The mold cleanup process usually incorporates five important steps:

1. Having a damage assessment and inspection.
2. Getting mold spores contained.
3. Removing mold and infested materials.
4. Cleaning the area and belongings.
5. Restoring the damaged areas.

The containment part of the cleanup can use a few different procedures depending on the size of the problem. However, it is the most important step in making sure your business is not further contaminated.

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How to Use Containment for Mold Remediation

2/9/2018 (Permalink)

Negative Air Chambers

The negative air procedure uses ventilation systems to create air flow in the area of the fungus growth. However, the ventilation is set up in such a way that the air cannot escape the room. This negative air flow helps keep the spores contained in a specific area, which can make cleanup much easier.

Work-Area Seals

Some professionals put up plastic sheets to cut off the contaminated area from the rest of your building. The sheets themselves are not always enough to stop the spread of spores, which is why many teams use multiple containment procedures. When these work-area seals are used, traffic into and out of the mold area is usually restricted.

General Cleanup

Throwing out the porous objects, such as baseboards, drywall and insulation, can actually be a very effective isolation procedure used throughout mold cleanup. While this process is not always categorized as control, it does help stop the spread of fungus.

Air Filters

Sometimes specialized air filters can be used to help isolate the mold problem. HEPA filters, for example, are fine filters that can catch spores and other particles. Regular filters might not be able to stop the spread of fungus, which is why it is so important to use expert-recommended products when trying to stop the spread of mold.

Understanding the containment procedures used to stop mold spores during mold cleanup may make you more comfortable with the commercial remediation process. You can learn more about the steps used to stop mold contamination before hiring a cleanup team.

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Finding Hidden Mold in Your Home

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Finding Hidden Mold in Your Home

Mold growth may be occurring in your home in hidden places that you can’t see. If your home smells rather musty, then mold might be lingering somewhere out of sight.

Hidden Mold

If you can see mold, the solution is rather easy. You know the source of your problem. You can clean and disinfect the area and resolve the cause of growth. Mold can hide in attic insulation, inside the walls, under the carpet or between floors.

A musty odor is one way to tell that you have a problem. When you smell these signs, you need to contact an indoor environmental specialist to come and run a mold test.

Checking for mold can be a risky game. You could actually disturb mold colonies and release spores that can go contaminate other areas of your home. If you do a preliminary search of your home and inspect easily examined places such as walls, ceilings, basements, bathrooms and inside cabinets with no luck, you need to call a professional.

If you suspect you have mold growth under the carpet or behind the walls due to previous water damage, go ahead and consult an indoor environmental specialist. She or he can perform a mold test and determine the source. Specialists know the likely places to find mold growth. They can get you accurate answers so you can fix the problem or lay your worries to rest.

Places Mold Hides

If you are conducting a search, turn off your HVAC system and any fans. This reduces the chance of spreading spores around your home. Here are some popular places mold might lurk:

Under carpets

Behind wallpaper

Behind wood paneling or drywall

Inside ductwork

In between floors

Above ceiling tiles

Have your home inspected by a seasoned indoor environmental specialist in Portland, Maine.
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Insurance and Mold: What Homeowners Need To Know

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Insurance and Mold: What Homeowners Need To Know

It's a nightmare for many homeowners: after dealing with water damage in your Portland, Maine home, you discover mold. Good thing you have insurance, right? Well, maybe not. Homeowner’s insurance doesn’t always cover fungus growth. To get full mold coverage, you may need individual mold insurance. Here’s what every homeowner should know about fungus and insurance.

It’s Not Covered in Standard Policies

If you purchased a standard insurance policy for your home, the chances are that your insurance won’t pay for repairs needed due to fungus growth. Standard plans consider the growth of mold to be a home maintenance issue, which these policies don’t cover. However, if the mold is a result of an insurable peril, you may be in luck.

Secondary Mold May Be Different

While most home insurance policies don’t reimburse for the cost to get rid of the mold when the fungus is the primary problem, your plan may have you covered if the mold is the result of a different issue. If a pipe burst in your home in Portland, Maine and caused fungus to pop up, your homeowner’s insurance may pay for the repairs.

Flood Insurance May Provide Coverage

You may be surprised to learn that flooding caused by rain is not covered by standard homeowner’s insurance policies. If a storm causes the mold in your home, the question of insurance covering the cost becomes more complicated. If you have flood insurance, the policy will likely pay out for mold removal. However, if you don’t, you may be stuck with the bill.

You Can Prevent Mold

The best strategy may be to prevent mold altogether. While it is not always possible, there are a few things you can do to guard your home against the fungus:

Clean gutters regularly
Use exhaust fans in your bathrooms and kitchen
Use bleach to clean your bathrooms
Leave carpets out of the basement, bathrooms, and kitchen

If you’re not sure if your insurance has mold coverage, you can talk to a local contractor. Larger, more sophisticated companies often have professionals who can speak to insurance providers on your behalf. The sooner you get rid of the fungus growth, the better.
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4 Reasons to Focus on Mold Remediation

8/31/2017 (Permalink)

4 Reasons to Focus on Mold Remediation

Mold is a problematic type of fungus that is far worse than the average mildew in a shower or around a sink. Black mold, mold growth behind a wall, and more can wreak havoc inside of a home or business. Understanding the need for mold remediation will help mold in a home or business get under control much faster.

Eliminate Odors

The reality is that residential and commercial mold damage often comes with a smelly odor. The smelly odor is often one of the first things that people notice when there is any kind of fungus or mold damage in the room. Sometimes, the mold growth is behind a wall, so it's hard to see right away. However, the mold growth is there and needs to be addressed.

The smelly odor will often go away through deodorization and eliminating the mold damage. It's helpful to work with a restoration company that specializes in residential and commercial mold damage to ensure that deodorization is strong enough. When it's done properly, it will ensure that there is no smelly odor remaining. It's also an important part of mitigation to control the issue.

The deodorization is just one of the reasons to focus on remediation as it's something that needs to be taken care of in order to forget that there was ever a problem with fungus.

Repair Existing Damages
Whether it's black mold or even mildew, there is going to be some existing damage because of the mold growth. It's important for people to recognize that there is mold in a home or business so that mitigation can get addressed properly.

Depending on how long the fungus has been growing, there could be dry rot. When there is dry rot on wood, it shows that the mold growth has been strong. Especially when there is mold growth behind walls, it's particularly hard to notice right away. However, a restoration company will be able to identify where there is mold and therefore be able to make repairs to all of the existing damage.

There is a process for remediation. The mold removal has to be taken care of carefully so as not to allow the mold spores to spread. Professionals will be able to get rid of the mold and make the repairs so that it looks as though mold in a home or business never happened.

Prevent Further Damage
Remediation is a must because, without mold removal, the problem is only going to get worse. Mold can spread quickly, especially when the conditions are just right. Warm and moist environments can cause black mold, mildew, and other fungus to grow faster than you might realize. This means that there might be mold growth behind a wall or somewhere else, too.

By calling in a restoration company, they can find the dry rot, identify where the black mold is, and all sorts of other mold growth. With top-notch equipment, they can look beyond walls and flooring to ensure that all mold damage is identified. It will help with the mitigation as well as the actual mold removal.

Improve Air Quality
Mildew, mold in a home, and more can create spores in the air. When there is residential or commercial mold damage, it's important to schedule a restoration company to come out. They will focus on mold removal so that the air quality improves. As soon as the spores are no longer in the air, it can help everyone to breathe easier.

Mold damage is a concern. It can lead to dry rot, a strong odor, and more. Residential and commercial mold damage can be taken care of through the help of a restoration company. They will be able to come in and identify where the mold growth is. They will help with mitigation, including water removal, as well as deodorization. It ensures a building gets the assistance it needs to prevent mold from growing in the future.
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The last 4 letter word any homeowner wants to hear...MOLD

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

MOLD...It's one of those words that just makes you cringe. The odor, the allergies, the associated health concerns and the overwhelming headache of having to deal with it all are all reasons why you should contact SERVPRO of Portland if you ever find yourself in a moldy situation. SERVPRO of Portland has highly trained professionals that are here to ease that stress. Each estimator and crew chief has been trained in mold remediation/abatement and adhere to the IICRC S520 Standard. Mold growth can occur as a result of improper ventilation in an attic, previous or unknown water damages or simply due to the environment in the house itself. Our friendly office staff will be more than happy to answer any questions or schedule a time for our estimators to inspect the loss and give you a quote! Just call us at 207-772-5032 to schedule an appointment for the Greater Portland Area today!

Insulation Removal for Mold Remediation

11/13/2015 (Permalink)

An insulation removal vacuum is being used at a home to remove blown insulation that had experienced a mold damage.

All mold damage scenarios are different and may require different techniques to aid in the mitigation process.  We recently removed blown insulation from an attic that had experienced a mold damage.  The insulation removal vacuum extracts blown insulation (wet or dry) from attics or crawl spaces saving time and money. This method  has the ability to remove 6,000 cubic feet of insulation an hour.  The insulation is then pumped into a container for easy disposal.