Mold Remediation Service
If left untreated, mold can cause severe respiratory illness, difficulty breathing, coughing, wheezing and asthma attacks. The effects of mold are especially harmful to the elderly, children, and anyone with a compromised immune system.
Vital Restoration is a professional mold remediation company with years of experience in helping homeowners with their problems. We offer our customers the highest quality mold removal services in the Bay Area at the most reasonable prices.
Free Examination & Estimate
If you’re experiencing mold problems in your home, give us a call today at (650) 262-4545. Here at Vital Restoration, we offer our customer a free mold examination.
Our services are prompt, efficient, and use the industry’s best technology to get your home back to its pre-mold condition as quickly as possible.
Mold remediation is the process of stopping mold growth and removing existing mold from an environment. It is the second part of a two-fold process, the first of which is mold assessment.
Why Is It Essential?
If left untreated, mold can cause severe respiratory illness, difficulty breathing, coughing, wheezing and asthma attacks. Molds also contain microbial volatile organic compounds, which can affect the brain and central nervous system. In other words, neurotoxicity is a very real risk. The effects of mold are especially harmful to the elderly, children, and anyone with a compromised immune system.
The procedures for mold removal will vary based on the amount of mold, its type and the environment. For example, the protocol for a 30-square-foot mold remediation is different than the protocol for a 100-square-foot one.
Despite these variations, the fundamentals of mold remediation are universal. Specifically, mold remediation is a multifaceted process that involves a combination of heat, disinfection and removal. Heat is used to dry the mold, thereby rendering the spores inactive, and the removal of spores prevents mold recurrence.
Mold is something you often hear about, but if you keep your home clean and tidy, you might assume that it isn’t something you’ll need to worry about. However, because mold can grow in places you might not expect, it can still create a serious danger for you and your family.
Conditions That Promote Mold Growth
Unlike plants, which get their energy from the sun, molds grow in dark, damp environments and are harmed by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. You will not experience mold growth unless you have a problem with moisture in your home. Excessive moisture can be caused by leaky buildings, flood damage or high levels of humidity. Most species of mold require that a surface be damp for at least 24 hours before the spores will begin to grow.
Temperature is also a factor in mold growth. Most species of mold require warm temperatures, but some have been known to survive even in cold weather. Even worse, many molds that require warm weather are known to go dormant in winter but come back again the following season. This can make combatting a mold problem even more difficult.
Most common indoor molds are:
Places Where Mold is Generally Found
Mold can grow in unexpected places, such as behind walls, the bottoms of couches or chairs, the backs of picture frames, inside heating and air conditioning systems, the inside of wall board and even beneath carpet. On dark surfaces, it may not be clearly visible.
Sometimes you know exactly where mold is located and what caused it. Any incident that produces moisture can lead to mold in the house. The following are some situations that can produce mold:
- leaking pipes or fixtures
- overflowing toilet or sinks
- sewer backup
- leaks from roof or around windows
It is important to fix leaks and dry up moisture quickly. Mold can begin to grow within 24 to 48 hours from the time of the incident, and it often starts in out of the way places, such as wallboard, insulation, under carpets and flooring.
How to Tell if You Have a Mold Problem?
The following are signs that you may have mold:
The Physical Characteristics
When it comes to mold symptoms, sight is obviously the most apparent, but what does mold actually look like? Unfortunately, this isn't simple to answer. Stachybotrys chartarum (black mold) doesn't look like Aspergillus, and Penicillium doesn't look like Cladosporium. The colors can vary from black to green to white and even yellow. However, there are some commonalities to consider. For instance, mold is always moist. That's because mold spores require a source of water in which to germinate. So mold tends to look slimy, sometimes velvety, but always wet.
The Musty Odor - Mold's Calling Card
If you can't identify mold by looking at it, you may be able to identify it by its smell. Some molds smell stronger than others but they almost always bear a musty odor due to the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that they release into the air. It's a sour odor, sometimes quite pungent. This odor can sometimes reveal the presence of mold even when the physical growth isn't visible to the naked eye.
Mold symptoms will vary depending on the type and severity of the mold, but in some cases, molds can cause noticeable health symptoms. First, it's important to understand that there are three classifications of mold: allergenic, pathogenic and toxigenic.
In most case, allergenic molds will only manifest symptoms in people who are allergic to mold. These symptoms may include constricted breathing, coughing, sneezing, lung inflammation and wheezing.
Pathogenic molds can make just about anyone sick, but they tend to affect the respiratory system as well.
Toxigenic molds are the most serious; while they may behave—at first—like pathogenic molds, studies have shown that long-term exposure may actually lead to certain cancers. Toxic mold is known to cause breathing problems, skin rashes, mood disturbances, immune-system dysfunction, organ damage or even death. That's why it's so critical to address mold accumulation immediately.
How to Prevent Mold from Growing in Your Home - Tips
There are three things you can do to help make sure that mold problems don’t affect the health of you and your family.
The first is to buy a few quality dehumidifiers and place them in the most humid areas of your home, which are usually the kitchen and the bathrooms.
You also might want to consider buying a hygrometer, which measures the level of humidity inside the house. Most molds begins to grow at around 50 percent humidity, but keep in mind that extremely low humidity has negative effects as well, such as cracked lips, dry nasal passages and flaking skin. Aim for around 45 percent humidity in your home as this is the ideal condition for human living.
Next, you will want to make an effort to keep clean. Although cleaning won’t protect you from all mold problems, it will help you avoid most surface mold. Some molds thrive on dust particles, so if you keep your home dust free, you’ll have fewer issues.
Lastly, schedule a mold inspection from a team of professionals who have the experience necessary to look for hidden areas where mold may be growing.
White Mold - Sclerotinia
When it comes to mold in the home, black mold tends to get all the attention and panicked response. White mold (Sclerotinia), however, is an even more common problem, but isn’t acknowledged nearly as often.
Is White Mold Dangerous?
White mold may not be as dangerous as black mold, but it is still a concern. If you find this type of mold in your home, removal and cleanup should be your first priority, as well as identification and containment of whatever caused its growth.
How Do You Identify White Mold?
White mold looks just like something called efflorescence. Efflorescence is a crystalline growth that occurs on concrete and stone when water brings salt to the surface. Unlike white mold, efflorescence is harmless, but it’s almost impossible to tell the difference just by looking at it.
However, if the growth is on a wood surface, it is definitely mold. You can also spray water and see if the growth dissolves. Efflorescence will dissolve while mold will not.
Black Mold - Stachybotrys
Its proper name is Stachybotrys, but most of us know it as “black mold”. Typically, it can be found growing on items that are made from materials with low nitrogen content. Unfortunately, many such materials are commonly found inside homes.
Is Black Mold Dangerous?
Toxic Black Mold has earned its reputation. It is known to cause a wide array of symptoms, including but not limited to: breathing problems, skin rashes, bleeding, cold-like symptoms, fatigue, nausea, brain fog, immune-system suppression and damage to the internal organs. In some cases, the body can’t bounce back from even a temporary exposure, and the mold infection eventually leads to death. Of course, not everyone reacts negatively to the presence of mold, but because the risk is so great, it’s important to get the problem taken care of immediately.
What to do if you found black mold?
Call Vital Restoration! Because mold is a major health hazard, and removing it requires equipment and experience that the average DIY homeowner simply can’t match.
Whatever you do, don’t disturb the black mold. Mold can release spores and mycotoxins by the millions and millions, spreading throughout your home and creating a problem akin to having a nuclear meltdown specific to your house.
Home Mold Testing
If you suspect that you have mold, but you just can't be sure, a mold detection kit can help you to gain a definitive sense of what you're up against. Mold testing kits can help you answer the following questions:
- Is it actually mold?
- What kind of mold is it?
- Is it toxic?
Mold testing kits usually cost about $50 and are available online or in hardware stores and home centers.
Each kit is different, and some allow you to swab the dust while others use test tapes. Despite these variations, they all function in basically the same way. They use samples from the air to determine if active mold is present. Even if the mold colony is hiding deep within the walls, a test kit can quite often pick up airborne samples and give you an immediate “positive” or “negative” assessment. Think of it like a drug test for your home. With any luck, your home gets a clean bill of health.
Some mold testing kits, though, will require you—or enable you—to send your sample to a certified laboratory for a thorough assessment. This costs a lot more, but a lab technician will actually tell you the exact type of mold you're dealing with, and whether or not it's toxic. On the surface, this may sound like an excellent service, but I would advise against it. When you add up the time that it takes to send in your sample, assess the fungus and generate a response, you're looking at several weeks of waiting time. That's several weeks where you're living with a potentially toxic mold colony.
One of the problems with home test kits is that all they tell you is whether mold is present. They can’t pinpoint the location of the mold, determine its cause or do anything to fix it.
Give Us a Call!
If you think you have mold in your home, don’t wait to take care of the problem, and don’t attempt to take care of it yourself. Attempting to clean mold can actually cause the spores to release into the air you breathe, making the risk of health problems much worse. Give Vital Restoration a call today at (650) 262-4545. We strive to help the people of the Bay Area enjoy mold-free homes by offering some of the lowest prices available.