Recent Mold Remediation Posts

Preventing Bathroom Mold

1/25/2019 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Southwest Lubbock

What does mold need to grow?  For mold to grow, it needs oxygen, moisture, warmth and food.  The ideal spot for mold to grow would be a warm place (somewhere between 77 and 86 degrees), with a high amount of humidity or moisture, and organic matter, like cotton, paper or wood for the mold to feed upon.  This makes our bathrooms an ideal spot for mold growth.  Our bathrooms tend to be warm, they contain things like towels, toilet paper, and woodwork for the mold to feed upon, and they often have high levels of relative humidity from running water and steam from hot showers.  So what can you do to prevent mold from growing in your bathroom?  

First make sure that your bathroom is properly ventilated. Poor ventilation is one of the most common causes of bathroom mold.  Without proper ventilation, steam/moisture in the air from hot showers and running water, settles on bathroom surfaces and makes a perfect environment for mold growth.  Every bathroom should have a clean and properly functioning ventilation fan permanently mounted in the ceiling and it should be turned on every time someone showers.  They are inexpensive and can be purchased at most hardware and home improvement stores.  A properly installed and functioning, ventilation fan in your bathroom's ceiling will help move the air out of your bathroom and clear the humidity caused by hot showers and other running water.  It is important however to ensure that your ventilation fan has been properly installed and is venting the moist bathroom air outside of your home versus into your attic or some other room.  If it improperly vents into another area of your home, you are simply transferring your problem from one location to another. If your bathroom does not have a ventilation fan, instead of showering with the bathroom door closed, as most of us do, an alternative until a ventilation fan can be installed, would be to leave the bathroom door open while showering.  This will allow the steam/humidity to dissipate over a larger area reducing its impact.  Another alternative during warm weather months, or in warm climates, would be to open a bathroom window while showering or even putting a box fan in the window with the air blowing out of the bathroom versus in.  And of course, abstaining from very long, hot showers is always recommended when trying to prevent mold.   

Regularly cleaning your bathroom by wiping down all surfaces at least once a week will also help keep mold in check.  And when it comes to cleaning/preventing mold, wiping is always the best approach.  Molds are fungi that reproduce by releasing spores into the air.  Spraying bleach on mold may look like an easy fix.  When you spray bleach on mold it looks like it almost instantly disappears.  Unfortunately, when you spray bleach on mold, you are releasing the mold spores into the air.  Think of it like a mature dandelion that you have just gently blown upon and released the seeds floating into the air on their white dried flowers.  The mold spores that you have just released by spraying bleach upon them, float through the air and settle onto new surfaces, where they can begin to grow again if the conditions are right.  Wiping with soap and water, or another cleaner, and then throwing away any rags that may contain beginning mold spores is your best bet.

Also when it comes to mold in bathrooms, consider that caulk and grout are there to block or keep out water and moisture.  If you have missing or broken caulk or grout, water and moisture can get behind the tiles and mold can form behind the tiles where it's impossible for you to see or clean. It's important to regularly replace and/or maintain your bathroom caulk and grout.

Lastly, painting your bathroom with a mold resistant paint and/or primer will help you battle mold in your bathroom.  As indicated earlier, mold needs a food source of organic matter.  Drywall paper can be a source of food for mold.  Using a mold-resistant paint on bathroom walls can help stop mold before it starts by sealing off access to a food source.   

If you discover mold growth in your home, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Southwest Lubbock at (806)780-6311 for a free mold assessment. 

Preventing Mold

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

The key to preventing and stopping indoor mold growth is to control excessive moisture and condensation. Keeping susceptible areas in the home clean and dry is critical. In general, mold will not grow indoors without water, dampness or excessive moisture.

Three main factors contribute to condensation of water on building surfaces:

  • Relative Humidity: Condensation occurs when the air is saturated with water and it cannot hold any more moisture. For example, steam generated from bathroom showers or from cooking can fill up the air with moisture, which will then condense into drops of water on cooler surfaces, such as mirrors and windows. Where possible, localized sources of humidity, such as clothes dryers, should be directly vented to the outdoors. To lower indoor humidity during warm, humid weather, air conditioners should be used.
  • Temperature: Warm air holds more moisture than cold air. Condensation occurs when warm humid air comes into contact with a cold surface and the moisture condenses into water. This can often be seen on single-pane windows, where water condenses and then runs down, causing the wood frames and sills to rot and the wall under the windows to blister.
  • Poor Ventilation: Indoor humidity can build up if there is not enough ventilation and exchange of indoor and outdoor air. Where there is little or no air movement, such as behind dressers and cabinets, surfaces can remain cooler than surrounding areas, which can lead to increased condensation and mold growth. It is recommended that the area is ventilated, and the occupants use exhaust fans (vented to the outdoors) to remove moisture from high-humidity areas, particularly in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry areas. Furniture should be moved slightly away from walls so that air can freely pass behind it. Air should be allowed to circulate between rooms and regularly ventilate to remove humid air. Fans should be used as needed.

Other things that can be done are to clean and repair gutters regularly, make sure the ground slopes down and away from the home’s foundation and keep air conditioner drip pans and drain lines clean. In addition, in air-conditioned buildings in hot and humid climates, vinyl wall coverings on the interior sides of exterior walls should not be used, as these materials can trap moisture, resulting in mold growth underneath them.

In the case of floods or leaking pipes, any standing water should be promptly removed, and water-damaged materials should either be dried out and cleaned or removed and replaced. Porous materials that are wet for more than 48 hours are likely to produce mold growth and should be discarded. In instances where the water damage is extensive, it is recommended that you call SERVPRO of Southwest Lubbock at 806-780-6311, so that we may assist you in preventing growth after a water damage or remove the mold if it is already an issue.

What is Mold?

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

Let’s get scientific for a moment. What is mold? Mold is an informal term for a group of filamentous fungi that are common on food or wet materials. According to American Industrial Hygiene Association, most molds that are found inside are caused by flooding from surface waters or storms, roof leaks, leaking pipes, damp basements, or condensation on cold surfaces.

Here’s a little more about mold that you might not know:

  • 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.

            Mold can spread throughout a property in as little as 48 hours. Since mold can produce allergens and irritants, SERVPRO® of Southwest Lubbock is available to inspect your home if you get the hunch that you have a mold problem. If mold is found, we have the training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation. Call us at 806-780-6311 – we’re faster to any size disaster.

Does Your West Texas Home Have A Mold Problem?

7/3/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Damage

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following 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.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (806) 780-6311

Lubbock Residents: Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

7/3/2018 (Permalink)

Be careful! Without proper training, you could be spreading mold throughout your home.

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Southwest Lubbock for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Southwest Lubbock specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today –(806) 780-6311 

Mold Remediation

6/12/2018 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO® of Southwest Lubbock, we are the mold magicians… making it seem to just disappear. But like any good magician we have a few tricks up our sleeve. These are a few of the tools we use to get rid of that pesky mold:

  • Sensitive moisture detectors, hygrometers, and other meters measure the extent of moisture saturation, where mold loves to grow
  • Industrial grade dehumidifiers pull the water vapor from the air, another place mold likes to hang out
  • Disinfection products stop the growth of bacteria, fungi, mildew, and other harmful microorganisms
  • Air scrubbers, Thermal foggers and deodorization agents remove airborne contaminants and control the air quality

Of course, our guys use a few more tools to ensure the mold is completely gone, but a good magician never reveals all their secrets, right? No one wants to deal with mold, but we are here to help 24/7. Call us anytime of day or night at 806-780-6311.

Mold Facts: What to Watch Out For

1/24/2018 (Permalink)

When the freezing temperatures begin to thaw, water will be left behind. Unfortunately, this is where mold begins to take root. Mold can start to grow in as a little as 48 hours after water is left behind! Since microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, removing all mold from a home or business is virtually impossible. However, SERVPRO® of Southwest Lubbock understands both mold and mold growth, and our experts have the training to eliminate the mold in your home or business. We also understand that most people are not mold experts, so here are some facts about mold to keep an eye out for:

  • 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.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor, and that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Keep the humidity in your home or business below 45% to prevent humidity and fostering mold growth.

If you see mold anywhere in your home or business, remember SERVPRO® of Southwest Lubbock is ready to help 24/7. Give us a call!

How to Prevent Mold from Growing in your Home

10/10/2017 (Permalink)

Mold is a nightmare for anyone who has ever had it in their household. It is disgusting and makes you cringe with only the thought of it. Despite there being good mold, most people don’t want any mold at their place. Houses contain plenty of organic materials for mold to feed off such as wood, drywall, carpet, food, paper, wallpaper, paint, fabrics, cotton, books, leather, furniture, dust, ceiling tiles, inside air conditioners and almost any other organic material. Moisture is another thing that makes mold grow, but this can be controlled by keeping the moisture in your house low. If something in your home is wet for more than 24 hours you run the risk of mold starting to appear. Here are some steps to prevent mold from growing in your house.

  • Identify problem areas in your home like condensation in windows, water stain on ceilings, leaks, areas that flood, etc.
  • Install mold-resistant products like mold-resistant drywall or mold-resistant Sheetrock.
  • Dry wet areas immediately, even a spill on the carpet should be dried within 24 to 48 hours.
  • Don’t leave wet clothes in the washing machine.
  • Vent appliances that produce moisture — clothes dryers, stoves — to the outside.
  • Make sure AC units and dehumidifiers are not producing moisture by checking and cleaning them periodically.
  • Keep indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent.
  • Have your roof gutters cleaned regularly and inspected for damage.
  • Keep an eye out for water stains after storms that may indicate a leak.
  • Open doors between rooms, move furniture away from walls, and open closets that may be colder than the rooms they’re in.
  • Let fresh air in to reduce moisture.
  • Indoor plants. Add a bit of Taheebo tea to the water you give to your houseplants. The oil of this tree helps delay mold growth in plant soil.

Remember to vacuum and clean often to reduce dirt and prevent mold from living in your house. It has been found that 80% of mold grows on dust. Once mold has begun to grow it's not enough to just take away the mold's moisture source. Mold that runs out of moisture can lie dormant for a long time without dying. So, if you already have mold growth in your home make sure to act fast and remove it immediately. Follow the steps above to ensure a mold-free household.

Mold Damage: How We'll Help

7/24/2017 (Permalink)

Mold problem? Call SERVPRO of Southwest Lubbock, we can help.

With the introduction of a water source, any home or business can quickly become infested with mold. The most common culprits: roof and plumbing leaks. Mold can spread throughout a property in as little as 48 to 72 hours, causing allergens and irritants that have the potential to cause other health issues.

Every mold damage scenario is different and requires its own solution, but the general process stays the same. Let’s take a look at the steps:

  1. Call us! 806-780-6311
    The mold cleanup and restoration process begins with giving us a phone call. From there, we’ll talk with you and determine the best course of action.
  2. Inspection and Assessment
    Once we arrive, we’ll carefully inspect the property for signs of mold. We have various technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources.
  3. Mold Containment
    We will use various containment procedures to prevent the spread of mold. We’ll use negative air chambers to isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during cleanup. We will turn off all heating and cooling systems to prevent further spreading of the mold.
  4. Air Filtration
    With our special filtration equipment, we can capture microscopic mold spores and remove them from the air.
  5. Mold Removal
    The remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces the mold has contaminated. We will use antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies.
  6. Cleaning
    We can clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, clothes, and other restorable items that the mold contaminated. We are trained to also remove odors and deodorize your items.
  7. Restoration
    Based on the level of mold damage, some building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor or major repairs in various areas in your home or business.
  8. License
    In the state of Texas, you need to call a state licensed contractor like SERVPRO® of Southwest Lubbock who can help you with any questions and refer you to a state licensed testing company. You can view our IICRC and mold certifications and training requirements here.

If you suspect your home or business has been affected by mold, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 806-781-6311. SERVPRO® of Southwest Lubbock is faster to any size disaster.