Mold is a word that creates fear. No one wants mold in their house. In the picture on the left, we encountered the worst mold loss we had ever seen in 20 years. We wore very strong organic cartridge respirators just to be able to walk in this house. The owner lived in Ohio and left for the winter and left the heat on and water on. At some point in time during the winter, the furnace broke, and a pipe froze and ruptured, running for almost 5 months. Always turn off your water when leaving a home in cold weather. To restore this house was a lot of work and money that the insurance company paid, fortunately.
We ended up deconstructing this house to the framing, treating and killing all the mold on the framing, and discarding most contents. We installed a new vapor barrier and left the core of the house very clean, dry and mold free. A builder, than took over the project.
There is no mold project that we can not handle.
NYS. Mold Law: States that on all mold remediation projects in NYS., have to be over scene by an independent mold assessor. They are usually an environmental company. Plus, we the mold remediation contractor, must be certified and licensed by NYS. We are certified and licensed.
Health Effects of Mold: Mold can make people sick, there is substantial evidence supporting that. The question is, how much mold will make you sick, and what kinds of mold will make you sick?
That is a very broad question that depends usually on the amount of mold, but not necessarily. It can depend on the person. Some people are extremely sensitive to mold, and a very small amount of mold can make them sick. Also, very young, - babies, and the elderly are much more susceptible to negative health affects from mold.
If you have a mold problem and are interested in just calling and talking about your mold problem, we would be happy to take 10-15 minutes answering any questions you have, or providing a free consultation visit.
Cause of Mold: Too much moisture, plain and simple. All species of mold require a certain amount of water to grow. In a healthy home and basement, where there is controlled humidity between 30-50%, and no water intrusion, there will be no mold.
Where mold in a home is the most pronounced is usually after an undiscovered water damage event. The reason mold will grow on walls and ceilings where no direct water has touched them is because of secondary high humidity. I see this in basements all the time where there is consistent water intrusion with out dehumidification, and the humidity rises to 70-80% for long periods of time. What happens with high humidity is, excess humidity eventually is absorbed into all ceilings, walls and wood, the way a piece of paper on a hot humid day feels soft and sticky. As humidity is absorbed into building materials, especially sheet-rock and wood,nh the moisture content of those materials slowly rises. Once the moisture content rises to over 20%, there is enough water present for mold to grow. In general, the greater the amount of mold in a home, the greater the health affects.
Common health effects include respiratory illnesses: nose and throat [upper respiratory] symptoms, cough, wheeze, and asthma symptoms, shortness of breath, head aches. I know from working with mold and performing hundreds of mold abatement projects, that mold makes me sick. There is no question about it.
The mold abatement project:
1. We will assess the problem and bring in an environmental company to also assess the problem. They really become in charge of all mold abatement projects greater than 10 square feet. Because of 20 years of experience in performing mold work, we really could perform these projects with out the environmental company, but we certainly will comply with NYS mold law. What happens is the environmental company and our company put two layers of expertise together and create a remediation plan to solve your mold problem.
Basics of remediation projects:
1. Assess the mold problem and create a written plan of remediation with the environmental company.
2. Set up containment and negative air flow. This involves setting up 6 mil plastic walls to seal off non-damaged areas of homes and businesses. Negative air means take a hepa filtered machine that a 12 inch duct tube attaches to, and exit that out a window through a cut piece of Styrofoam or plywood. When turned on, all dust and mold spores will be drawn to the machine.
3. Use dehumidification to remove all excess moisture.
4. All workers will wear proper gloves, respirators, and tyvec suits if necessary, called PPE.
4. Most mold projects involved removing mold damaged building material such as sheet-rock and trim, plywood.
5. After external layers of wood and sheet-rock are removed, any remaining mold will be killed and treated with chemicals. We have a chemical that does wonders, and leaves the wood looking new and mold free.
6. Once all necessary work is completed, the area is hepa vacuumed and cleaned spotless.
7. After all work is completed, the environmental company reinspects our work and will issue a clearance that the project is mold free, if we have done our job exceedingly well. However, they are on the line when they issue clearance because they have now assumed a great deal of liability. Therefore, we have to do our work to a very high standard to pass the clearance from the environmental company.