Recent Mold Remediation Posts

Cleaning Mold: What Would You Use?

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Cleaning Mold: What Would You Use? Don't potentially make the problem of mold worse by using bleach!

If you were asked, “What would you use to clean mold?” What would your answer be?

If you are like most people, bleach would be your first choice. That is understandable; at one time this was the recommendation of the EPA in their publication A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home.

However, the last printing of this guide states: “The use of a biocide, such as chlorine bleach, is not recommended as a routine practice during mold remediation” Despite that change, the belief that bleach is still the “go to” for many attempting to remove mold has not changed. Part of the problem is, bleach containers list that they are effective against mold when used as directed. However the directions also state: For use on hard, nonporous, pre-cleaned surfaces Remediation of mold requires cleaners that can reach deep down into wood and other porous building materials to get to the roots of the mold. For that, they need special biocides and mildewcides.

In addition household bleach is 99% water. You may actually be giving mold the moisture it needs to survive. The water and mold damage specialists at SERVPRO of Reno East / Central Sparks have the experience, the expertise, and the advanced training that enables us to get your property restored quickly and thoroughly, "Like it never even happened."

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I Used Bleach On Mold--Now What?

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

While SERVPRO does not recommend using bleach to handle a mold issue, if you already have used bleach to clean it, these tips will help you. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners.

Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce a poisonous gas (called chloramine gas--different from chlorine).

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when you use bleach or any other cleaning product. Open windows and doors to provide fresh air. This airflow will also assist in preventing mold.

Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles during cleanup of affected areas.

Additionally, expect the mold to come back if it is on walls, wood, or any softer surface. The chemical structure of chlorine itself (the active ingredient in household bleach) is too big to penetrate porous surfaces.

Chlorine bleach is, however, partially water, and because water DOES penetrate porous surfaces (like wood and drywall), where the hyphae (the “roots” of the mold) tend to live, you may actually be contributing to the mold issue by using bleach.

If there is more mold than the size of your palm, call SERVPRO to take care of it. Our employees are experts at mold remediation, and use professional grade mildewcides and mold-inhibitors.

Your home deserves better than household bleach.

For more information and to keep up with our tips, follow SERVPRO on Twitter: @SERVPRO9944 And, stay in the loop on Facebook with us, too: SERVPRO9944

5 Steps to Having the Perfect Garden

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

  1. NURTURE YOUR PLANTS: Sometimes gardens need a little help and humidity. Nevada and Northern California aren’t always the most hospitable when it comes to that, so for that reason, you should consider investing in a mini-greenhouse like this one. It’s $40 and it has 4 shelves and an easy-to-zip cover that keeps the warmth and moisture in. For $10 more there’s the walk-in version for you more adventurous gardeners. I like to place tropical saplings in early-mid spring in there until they are ready for planting in summer. The same goes for any leafy, green friends who are more sensitive to the cold.

  2. LISTEN TO THEIR NEEDS: Plants each have different requirements. The soil your plants use needs to be a certain pH, level of moist, and allow light to penetrate it a certain amount. This soil meter tells you all three.

  3. STOP PLANTING THINGS SO CLOSE TO YOUR HOME: We hear it all the time, “when I moved my roses, I saw this black and brown stuff on the wall/window right behind it!”. Especially if you have climbing plants, they tend to hug close to surfaces. When it gets wet, the space between may not dry (sometimes leaving you with rotting leaves, flowers, etc). While you may want the support, you’re going to have to avoid outdoor wall mold by setting up separate climbing surfaces like these grid panels. Here is another one for you vegetable-growers out there. If at all possible, move them far enough away from your outer wall or window to where new growths won’t take over the outside and trap moisture.
  4. RAISE YOUR PLANTS (don’t just grow ‘em!): No one said it better than Waltons: “If your garden floods regularly, consider adding raised beds. These lift and protect plants above the level of flood water and can be built using paving slabs, timber or railway sleepers or purchased ready-made from garden centres.”

  5. YOU WANT ME TO DO WHAT TO MY GARDEN?: Fork it! That's right, be careful of the roots, but dip a fork into the soil and rustle it around to discourage soil clumping too tightly. Especially if you’ve been the unlucky victim of a backyard or garden flood, your plants may be suffering from a lack of oxygen. Plants drown too, and sticking a fork in the soil to create holes makes oxygen pockets so the roots can breathe. If you have a larger garden, you may consider a lawn aerator like this one, and skip the silverware.

Mold Prevention at Home - A DIY Guide

8/10/2018 (Permalink)

The following excerpt first appeared in an article on Old House Online, and provides some good insights into the ways you can combat mold at home.

Though, if you are less handy around the nitty-gritty of caulk, installation, and a few tools, you may want to seek some professional assistance from us here at SERVPRO of Reno East / Central Sparks!

"Small amounts of visible mold, like the kind that builds up in the shower, can be addressed by removing the moldy caulk and resealing the affected areas with new caulk. Afterwards, minimize obvious sources of moisture. If there’s no ventilation fan in the bathroom, for example, it would be prudent to add one. If the mold has penetrated the wallboard beneath—a common result in bathrooms and kitchens—a more serious repair is in order. 

Other easy fixes include cleaning out the gutters, and caulking around leaking windows. Standing water in gutters holds moisture close to the house and can lead to leaks that may ultimately trickle into interior walls.

Leaks around windows can compromise plaster and drywall. Since the water is coming in from outside, the mold may develop without visible evidence, although puffing or efflorescence in plaster or wallboard are telltale signs.

This should be obvious, but if the roof leaks, repair it. Look beyond finished rooms to the attic and basement or crawl space. Leaks in out-of-the-way places can go for years without notice, creating an optimum environment for mold."

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