Recent Mold Remediation Posts

CDC Officials Do NOT Support Home Mold Testing

10/25/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation CDC Officials Do NOT Support Home Mold Testing A piece of fungus (mushroom). Skip the mold test; the professionals are the safest option!

Home Mold Tests: Should I Get One?

The CDC states that  “generally, it is not necessary to identify the species of mold growing in a residence, and [the] CDC does not recommend routine sampling for molds.”

Testing, to be accurate, should be done by and Indoor Environmental Professional (IEP) or an Industrial Hygienist (IH).  These professionals have the ability to test in a manner that gives an accurate representation of the environment inside the structure. Clearance testing after mitigation should also be a part of the protocol to confirm the effectiveness of the mitigation.  

Testing not performed by the mitigation company handling the work adds a level of accountability to the project, avoids a conflict of interest, and ensures the building owner of properly mitigated mold damage.

SERVPRO of Reno East / Central Sparks is committed to properly remediating any mold damage in your home, making it, “Like it never even happened.”

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Where Do I Look For Mold?

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

We're glad you asked! Mold loves damp, poorly-ventilated areas. Bathrooms are the first place that comes to mind for most people, and for a good reason; how often do you use your bathroom fan when you shower?

The answer is probably “never” but it should be “always”! Ventilating and controlling humidity is the first step in stopping and preventing growth.

NOTE: The same goes for laundry rooms! When you dry your clothes, the heated water needs to go somewhere. If you turn on your laundry room vent, it'll be more likely to go to a place where it won't cause mold growth. Mold especially likes paper products. Wet, nutrient-dense, paper products. This brings us to the kitchen. Old cardboard boxes where take-out or frozen foods were stored can be amazing catalysts for mold growth. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), mold also grows well on “ceiling tiles, and wood products. Mold can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery”. Anywhere you might suspect mold growth, is worth giving SERVPRO a call for.

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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.

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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.

The SERVPRO Referral Program (or 'How To Make $100 Fast').

8/10/2018 (Permalink)

Are you a contractor or helping out on a job for a client? Do you see visible mold? SERVPRO might just pay you for letting us know--provided it turns into a job we do!

So many businesses in the Nevada region are growing with the influx of our larger neighbors Tesla, Switch, and Blockchains--and SERVPRO of Reno East / Central Sparks doesn’t want to lose sight of the smaller, important acts of kindness that keep us going.

Businesses passing business is just one way that you and SERVPRO of Reno East / Central Sparks combat high mold content in homes, repair dry rot, and remove smoke odors from the living places of our community; when you are working with a client, you may be the first to know (rather than the customer) there will be a mold, smoke, or water issue when SERVPRO has not been contacted for the issue.

It’s not JUST contractors who can benefit--we have recently expanded the program: ANYONE can bring us a lead, and when we sign the job, you will get $100 in return!

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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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