Recent Mold Remediation Posts

How to Know When You Need a Mold Inspection

8/14/2019 (Permalink)

When is it time for a mold inspection in your Austin home

Discover What to Look Out for with Possible Mold in Your Austin Home

Right now, as you’re reading this article, there are mold spores swirling around you. Since mold is a natural substance, and it’s normal for mold spores to circulate, some of this mold isn’t going to cause a problem for you.

But there are certain circumstances can cause mold to grow, spread and cause major problems, including problems to the construction of your home and health issues. So, how do you know when you need a mold inspection?

Visible Mold

Mold can often be easily seen in places such as your bathroom and sink, usually any place where there’s excessive moisture. The type of mold that grows in your bathroom can easily be removed by using a household cleaner. The biggest culprits of this type of mold or mildew in Austin are humidity and temperature. In many cases, bathroom mold isn’t harmful; cleaning the mold up right away also helps alleviate the problem. Another way to reduce the amount of mold in your bathroom is by using ventilation fans.

Invisible Mold

Mold can take on a different impression if you have a leak in your Austin home, or if you’ve experienced flooding or water damage in Austin. It’s the unseen areas where the most toxic types of mold can start to spread, without your awareness. A leaky faucet, for instance, can cause water to drip into your floors, behind your walls and other parts of your house. In the hidden areas, you may not be able to see any type of mold forming, but if a leak isn’t fixed, the mold can spread and start to smell.

While there are different types of mold, it’s the toxic types, such as Black Mold, that can cause the most harm. This includes not only damage to your home, but also to your health. When mold starts covering your walls, or you begin smelling mold in your Austin home, then you should consider having a mold inspection done by a reputable Austin mold remediation company.

However, it’s not just the appearance of mold, or the possibility of invisible mold, that would prompt a mold inspection. Other factors come into play, including the following:

  • When you can smell mold, but you can’t see it. Having a mold inspection as well as a mold test can help narrow down if you have a mold issue and where to find it in your Austin home or apartment.
  • If you’ve had a mold issue and it’s already been remediated, you may want to have a removal clearance test, to ensure that all traces of mold have returned to normal levels or are gone entirely.
  • If you have any inexplicable health issues, there’s a chance that mold could be the culprit. A mold inspection can help narrow this down.
  • A mold inspection should transpire during any real estate transaction to protect both the seller and the buyer.  This should also apply to a landlord/tenant situation should any issues with mold arise.
  • If you’re concerned about the indoor air quality of your home, then it might be worth having a mold inspection.

If these are issues that concern you and you’re on a budget, you may consider the less expensive route of a home mold detection kit. But there are significant issues why this is not a good idea, especially when compared to the services of a mold removal service. Here’s why:

  • Many of these kits do not include an actual visual inspection; nor are they performed by a mold remediation specialist. Mold remediation specialists are trained to not only acquire samples, but also to provide a thorough visual inspection to detect mold. They also have state of the art equipment to conduct these tests.
  • As we’re constantly surrounded by mold spores, a home test will tell you that you have mold in your home (which we all have), but it won’t pinpoint how severe the mold actually is. or where the source of the problem is coming from.

What to Look for in an Austin Mold Remediation Company

Before you move forward with having a mold inspection done, there are a few things to investigate before you hire a mold remediation company in Austin.

  • Mold removal is serious business, and there are plenty of unethical companies out there, who will try to take advantage of you, overcharge you and do a subpar job on your home. Only go with a highly regarded and knowledgeable Austin mold removal and remediation specialist.
  • Beware of businesses that promise to remove all mold from your Austin, home or business. It’s impossible to remove all mold, since the spores exist both inside and outdoors. But if your walls are covered with mold from a leak or a flood, and you hire a company that’s unable to completely remove and remediate the mold, without stopping the moisture and the mold at its source, then you’ll have more problems down the road.
  • You certainly want a mold removal specialist who has a good track record and uses top of the line equipment. In most cases these individuals will be able to trace the source of the mold, test it and help remove and remediate it.

How Our Austin Mold Remediation Company Can Help if you need a Mold Inspection

If you believe you may have a problem with mold in your Austin home, you should contact a mold remediation specialist, like SERVPRO of East Central Austin. In fact, mold inspection and mold remediation are just a few of the top services that we offer.

Our SERVPRO team is centrally located in Austin and we use only top of the line, state of the art equipment to treat your home.

If you have a mold issue in your Austin home or business, our highly trained Austin mold remediation specialists will work with you through the entire mold remediation process from the initial mold inspection to the complete restoration of your Austin property.

Keep in mind that the more that mold spreads, the more difficult it becomes to remove. SERVPRO of East Central Austin will meticulously search for any mold at your home or business. We can provide an immediate mold inspection and if a mold problem exists, we’ll start remediation right away to stop if from spreading.

5 Reasons You Should Not Perform DIY Mold Remediation

7/30/2019 (Permalink)

Professional Mold Remediation in Austin TX

If you have noticed black specs in your home or business, you may have mold. Mold in Austin can be a huge problem. In addition to being unsightly, those patches of mold taking up residence on your home’s walls and ceilings may be the cause of the ongoing, unexplained respiratory symptoms you’ve been experiencing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlines the many health dangers of mold. You can also read more about the health dangers of mold here

Whether or not the mold in your Austin TX home is making you sick, once you detect its presence, your next thought will likely be getting rid of it. While you may be tempted to tackle mold removal yourself, you should take into account the size of the problem. Unless the problem is limited to a very small area, it’s best to leave this important task to the hands of professionals. If you're unsure if you have mold in your household or business, you may benefit from a mold inspection. If you need a mold inspection in Austin, please contact our office.

Here are 5 reasons you should NOT perform DIY mold remediation

Reason 1: It’s not just about cleaning up the mold

Mold is a natural occurrence and is part of the natural environment; it can be found everywhere, indoors and outdoors. Mold is not usually an indoor problem — unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. While removing mold from the surfaces of your home is an important step, uncovering what’s causing the mold to grow in the first place is just as critical. If you clean up the mold, but don't fix the water problem, the mold problem will keep coming back.

Mold thrives in warm, moist, and dark environments and can be caused by water damage from flooding or leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes. Professional mold remediation includes both the identification and correction of the conditions that permit mold growth.

Reason 2: A licensed, experienced professional will find hidden mold

Mold has a clever way of growing in hidden areas in Austin…and just because it can’t be seen with the naked eye, that doesn’t mean it’s not in your home. Experts are aware of the spots where mold likes to lurk — behind wallpaper, under paneling, the backside of dry wall, crawl spaces, or the underside of carpets and pads. Mold can also grow in insulation, upholstery, and in the air ducts of your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.

Reason 3: Mold Remediation professionals like SERVPRO will protect the health of your family

A top Austin company, like SERVPRO, will ensure the mold remediation is a carefully planned and executed process, with the team's highest priority being protecting the health and safety of your family. Once they’ve determined the cause of the mold growth, our mold remediators take special steps to avoid exposing themselves and others to mold-laden dusts as they conduct their cleanup. This includes the use of personal protective equipment (skin, eye, and respiratory protection) and sectioning off areas where the mold is growing.

Caution should also be used to prevent mold and mold spores from being dispersed throughout the air to other parts of the house. A method known as containment (which includes the use of polyethylene sheeting and a negative air system to keep contaminated air from flowing into uncontaminated areas) is part of this process. 

When large areas of the home are affected, especially after flooding or water damage occurs in Austin, residents are often instructed to temporarily vacate the premises until the remediation process is complete.

Reason 4: The pros have access to the latest equipment

When it comes to mold removal, there are a variety of cleanup methods available to effectively tackle damage to household materials and furnishings caused by mold growth. The right team of mold remediation experts has access to the training and the necessary equipment to effectively kill and remove areas of mold. This includes HEPA air scrubbers, HEPA vacuums, negative air machines, commercial-strength dehumidifiers, moisture meters, and more.

Reason 5: You’ll miss out on useful tips for preventing future mold problems

The key to mold control is moisture control. Our mold remediation team will work with you to find ways to prevent future mold problems. Tips may include:

  • Using a dehumidifier in your basement to keep the moisture content down.
  • Keeping the humidity level in your home below 50 percent.
  • Ensuring your home has adequate ventilation, including exhaust fans.
  • Fixing water leaks from plumbing fixtures or pipes as soon as you find them.
  • Preventing rainwater from seeping into your home.
  • Routinely inspecting your landscaping, gutters, and downspouts that may be directing water into or under your house. Runoff from gutters and downspouts can put your Austin home at significant risk for moisture issues — and especially mold growth.
  • Acting fast if your home floods from a burst pipe, roof leak, hurricane, or other disaster. Timing is essential as mold can start to grow on a damp surface within 24 to 48 hours.

If you suspect that your home has a mold problem, contact SERVPRO of East Central Austin to have your property assessed. It can be very frustrating to deal with mold, so if we find it, we have the training, equipment, and expertise to handle the situation.

Our SERVPRO team is highly trained in mold remediation Austin. This training and required certifications allows us to manage all of your mold remediation needs in Austin and the surrounding area.

We use top of the line, state of the art equipment to treat your home, and we’ll thoroughly examine and detect any possibility of mold that may be hard to find. We can also provide an immediate mold inspection and, we’ll immediately start remediation to stop mold from spreading, so that it doesn’t return and make your home look like it never even happened.

If you’ve experienced water damage, and are having problems with mold, then give SERVPRO of East Central Austin a call.

Why Mold Remediation Is So Important

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

Mold remediation in Austin

Mold is not fun to deal with. Not only can it cause poor health and other issues, but it’s extremely difficult to get rid of. Mold is a natural substance, so in many cases, there’s no avoiding it. It’s also insidious in nature, and in some cases, you may not even know it’s there. Once you come across mold, however, you need to act quickly. This is one of the reasons why, with Austin’s climate, and its frequent high mold counts, that having mold remediation in Austin is so important, when you first detect mold.

Mold: Where Does it Come From?

Mold is a mischievous creature; it has microscopic pores that can appear just about anywhere, indoors or out. Mold is a frequent result where water damage occurs, whether that be a minor leak, or any instance, where water or moisture is involved.

So why is mold so hard to detect? Sometimes mold is visible, but often it isn’t. Most mold spores are microscopic, and range anywhere from 2-10 microns (microns are also known as micrometers, which individually are equal to one millionth of a meter).

One answer is that if you have a leak or any water issues, most molds can grow in places that you can’t see, like inside walls, inside ceilings, and other places that are often hidden from plain sight. Much of it depends on what is feeding the mold spores, so while we often think of nasty black spots, mold can grow in a variety of colors, mold spores can also appear in white, grey, red, brown and have a fuzzy or dusty consistency.

In most cases within homes or businesses, mold grows as a result of a subsequent water issue, such as a leak that helps introduce its spreading. However, water doesn’t always necessarily equal mold growth, since the actual spores need to be present.

If ignored, mold can start to smell and eventually start to spread into hidden areas. So, if you have a minor leak in your kitchen or bathroom, and it remains problematic, then it can lead to greater problems down the line. Especially in the Austin TX climate, even if you detect the slightest trace of mold, then you need to contact a mold remediation professional to initiate its removal.

What to Do at the First Signs of Mold in Austin

Molds will also omit a foul odor when its spores are in the process of colonizing. Initially, you may smell something fairly dank and musty, indicating that the mold has started to spread. Remember, you may not be able to see it, but if you can smell it then you need to take care of it.

Although you can attempt to eradicate the mold on your own, if you don’t have the experience or know how to actually remove it, then you’ll likely run into some problems. Because mold can also cause serious health related issues, your health may also suffer as a result. That’s why professionals in the water damage and mold remediation industry are highly equipped to tackle this. It’s also best to have a basic understanding of how mold originates and how you can stop it before it spreads. The last thing you want to deal with is a mold infestation in your home and business that’s gotten out of hand.

Understanding what mold is capable of and confronting it before it becomes something uncontrollable is a good way to start. It’s important to prevent the spread of mold by any means necessary, because it can affect not just your business and home, but your health as well if it’s not properly remediated.

Finding the Mold Source

As previously mentioned, mold can be invisible, often appearing in areas behind walls, under floors and inside ceilings. Seeking out the source is the route that a professional mold removal and remediation company will take. If there’s a dominant musty smell and the appearance of dry rot, then the mold issue is more problematic and immediate action needs to be taken.

The potential for health related issues grows stronger if the mold isn’t fully checked out. If you spend time at the home or office, and there’s a mold problem present, you can become overwhelmed by congestion, fatigue, headaches and possible allergy symptoms. Questionable indoor air quality could also mean that you have a mold issue.

What is Mold Remediation?

If mold has taken over your home or business, then you need to start the mold remediation process right away. Any areas where moisture appears will have to be stopped in its tracks and dealt with, such as turning off the water source. But, first you’ll need to document everything to help with any liability you may face. Take pictures or videos, and make notes documenting where all the leaks and potential damage have occurred.

If too much time has passed before noticing the mold, the spread of it could be more extensive than originally perceived. Remediating mold will help to remove all traces of it in your home, so that you’re no longer exposed to any harmful spores.

If mold has seeped into your walls, they’ll have to be opened up to allow for any dry rot and existing mold to be removed. This may not be the only place where the mold is growing, so you’ll have to investigate further into where any additional traces of it may occur.

Remediation professionals utilize a two level mitigation process, which can help remove the mold from your property.

Since mold issues are most often caused by water damage, the first level primarily handles the repair of any water problems, to prevent any new spores from appearing and growing. Contaminated areas are isolated, such as closing doors, windows and other areas from parts of the home that aren’t affected.

If there’s a fair amount of dust, it should be misted, so that the dust particles don’t spread, which allows for an easier cleanup. This level also includes the removal of any wet or contaminated materials, which should then be double-bagged in thick plastic bags and discarded.

The second level of mold mitigation primarily involves a thorough cleaning of the affected areas with a HEPA vacuum, followed by scrubbing the areas in question with a detergent solution, to ensure that all traces of mold have been removed and mold odors are removed as well. A visibility test often follows, to make sure that no dust, dirt or anything even resembling mold remains.

Afterwards, extensive drying should take place by properly airing out the areas in question using appliances such as fans and dehumidifiers. Once the areas are completely dry, then all affected parts of your home or business, including walls, etc., should be replaced.

Read about the full process of steps in mold remediation.

If a mold situation in your home or business starts to develop, and it’s too overwhelming for you to handle on your own, you should contact an Austin mold remediation specialist, for help in remediating the mold in your Austin home or business.    

How to Find the Right Mold Remediation Company in Austin

Mold remediation can be quite a time consuming endeavor, and if you’re not able to stop the spread of it on your own, then by all means, reach out to a mold remediation specialist, like SERVPRO of East Central Austin.

Located in Central Austin, our SERVPRO team features highly trained mold damage specialists, all of whom have the training and required certifications to tackle all of your mold remediation needs. SERVPRO of East Central Austin uses only top of the line, state of the art equipment for mold remediation projects.

SERVPRO of East Central Austin will thoroughly examine and detect any existence of mold at your home or business. We’re able to provide an immediate mold inspection and if we find any mold, we’ll get started to stop mold from becoming more of a problem.

Why Mold Remediation Is Best for Mold Situations

2/28/2019 (Permalink)

Why Mold Remediation Is Best for Mold Situations | SERVPRO® of East Central Austin 

If you have water damage occurring in a home or commercial property, mold growth is most likely to follow. Did you know that mold can begin growing within 48 hours of exposure to moisture?

If you are faced with a mold issue, knowing what your next steps are is very important, which is why we would like to use this blog to provide an overview of mold remediation.

The Difference Between Mold Remediation & Mold Removal

There are ads out there that you’ve probably seen for mold remediation and mold removal, but the latter of the two is a fallacy. Removing all mold from a home or business is virtually not possible. However, a qualified restoration company will focus on mold remediation, which will produce the goal of getting mold levels back to a normal and natural range.

Mold spores can—and do—occur naturally almost everywhere, both inside a home or commercial building and outside. The issue only becomes a problem when a minor mold issue is ignored or left untreated, allowing it to turn into a major infestation.

During mold remediation, technicians isolate all of the contaminated areas. Dependent upon the level of remediation, this could be done by either closing all doors and windows or effectively sealing off all doorways and openings with a polyethylene sheeting. Dust in the contaminated areas is then suppressed through a “misting” process.

Wet and mold-damaged materials are then removed and discarded using plastic bags. All areas exposed to and affected by the mold are then completely and thoroughly cleaned and dried. A HEPA vacuum is often brought in and used to remove contaminated materials and debris.

The mold-affected area is treated with a biocide and then left overnight to cure and kill the mold spores. The next day, the mold remediation crew will return to encapsulate the mold-affected and surrounding areas.

What to Do If You Have a Mold Problem

If you are seeing evidence that your home or business has a mold problem, it is important to act quickly. Evaluate to check the size of the problem, and if the mold-affected area covers more than 10 square feet, it is time to call the professionals.

Be sure that the professionals you call are highly trained and certified in the following areas:

  • Applied microbial remediation
  • Water damage restoration
  • Applied structural drying

While it is possible that some minor mold issues can be successfully resolved by homeowners and business owners on their own, it is always safer to contact the professionals in order to have a quick and safe resolution to the problem.

At SERVPRO® of East Central Austin, our mold damage specialists are trained and certified experts in mold remediation. If your home or business is experiencing a mold issue, contact us to begin the mold remediation process.

How to Help Prevent Mold in Your Austin Home

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

One way to stop the spread of mold, is to prevent it before it starts.

It’s no question that mold is a nuisance, and once it makes its first appearance, it can be hard to stop it from spreading in your Austin home. Mold spores are so microscopic that it’s nearly impossible to stop them; however, you can take precautions to keep mold from spreading.

The first step is finding out where mold exists in your home. As Austin tends to be very humid in the summer, there are greater options for mold to appear if you don’t confront moisture in your home head on. You may in fact need a mold inspection Austin, to determine how bad the problem actually is. Whether it’s a wet area, a small leak, or extensive water damage, you have to get to the source before the mold starts. 

Mold has the ability to get into everything, such as fabric (furniture and clothing), wood (floors and walls), carpets and also poorly ventilated areas such as bathrooms, showers and cabinets. These are items and areas that need to be maintained, because if unchecked, mold can cause serious health problems.

So, how does one stop mold before it starts?

Prevention is one method to help keep mold from spreading, so if you have issues with moisture and mold from water damage, then here are some ways to manage it:

Mold and Dampness

Mold cannot spread unless there is moisture in your Austin home. Therefore, if you discover any wet patches or areas that are more damp than usual, you might have the start of serious problem. Remove anything that appears to have been affected by moisture or dampness; this can include anything ranging from clothes, walls, carpeting, etc. You should clean and dry any wet or damp spots as soon as you find them, usually you have a 48-hour window before mold starts to spread, and so sooner is better.

Proper Ventilation in Your Austin Home

If there are parts of your house that are poorly ventilated (such as bathrooms and laundry rooms), open your windows and bring in fans and dehumifiers, which will help to eliminate dampness and prevent any mold spores from growing and spreading. Any type of condensation or wet spots should be dealt with as soon as possible. If you don’t have proper airflow, then mold can spread throughout your Austin home.

This is why it’s important to have good circulation. By keeping your windows open, doors to your closets open and giving access to areas that don’t usually get much air, such as cabinets, closets and cupboards, you can help reduce excess moisture in your home. Fresh air will also help decrease moisture and prevent mold from spreading.

You should also monitor any indoor plants that you may have, as mold spores are drawn to damp soil. The spores can take root in the soil and start the spread of mold over time throughout your home. Water your plants only when they need it.

How Moisture Meters Can Help

Moisture meters are designed to help you manage the amount of moisture that exists in your home. Reducing humidity can drastically affect moisture buildup as well as the spread of mold. A moisture meter, which can be purchased at any hardware store, can help you regulate internal humidity, which, according to the EPA should be between 30 and 60 percent.

Using Mold Resistant Building Materials 

If you’ve experienced water damage Austin, then you may have extreme problems where you may have to renovate your home. If this is the case, then you might want to look into a variety of mold-resistant products on the market. Items such as mold-resistant sheetrock and drywall are available which can help prevent the spread of mold.

Keep Water Away From Your Austin Home 

If your Austin home is often susceptible to floods from rainstorms, the problem might involve the landscaping of your property. If the land surrounding your home doesn’t slope downward, then water may be seeping into your home’s foundation, which can cause major problems in the end. Check the layout of your home and foundation to make sure that water isn’t getting into your home. If you have gutters, clean them frequently to prevent water buildup, and make sure that the water drains away from your home.

How SERVPRO Can Help if You Experience Mold Problems

Dealing with mold can be extremely frustrating, especially if you’ve experienced water damage Austin. If you’re having issues with mold, then you should contact a mold removal and mold remediation specialist, like SERVPRO of East Central Austin. We can help stop the spread of mold, so that it doesn’t return.

Our SERVPRO team consists of highly trained professionals in mold remediation Austin, and our training and required certifications enable us to manage all of your mold remediation needs. Using top of the line, state of the art equipment to treat your home, we will examine and detect any possibility of mold that you may not be able to find. We can provide an immediate mold inspection and, we’ll immediately start remediation to stop mold from spreading.

If you have problems with water damage Austin TX and the spread of mold, then give SERVPRO of East Central Austin a call.

Mold and Fabric Contamination in Austin: A Dangerous Combination

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

Black Mold affecting walls and carpeting, which can lead to serious health issues.

While it’s often humid in Austin throughout the year, if your home isn’t properly ventilated excessive humidity can be responsible for an increase in mold.

Mold spores can be found all over Austin, but it isn’t until they take root in fabrics that problems can arise, where you may have to seek professional mold inspection Austin, followed by mold removal. 

As walls and floorboards can fall victim to mold from poor ventilation and humidity or water damage, the various fabrics in your home, such as clothing and furniture, for example, can also be affected.

What types of Fabrics can Experience Mold Damage in Austin?

That’s a good question, and you’d be surprised by the answer. Most natural fabrics can be affected by mold. You’ll find materials such as rayon, wool, linen, silk, jute, and even cotton, are able to attract molds, especially species that are attracted to cellulose. Once mold appears in these fabrics, the enzymes start to eat away at the cellulose transforming them into compounds, which feed the mold.

You’ll find that most toxic molds, such as black mold, have a real knack at infesting most cellulose related fabrics, and can spread at a greater rate when compared to other strains. Synthetic fabrics are also able to become mold infested, but not at the rapid rate that you would find in natural fabrics.

Should a flood occur and most of your clothes and fabrics are submerged by floodwater, you shouldn’t try to clean up the mess on your own. Reach out to a water extraction Austin specialist, who can help remove the water and then offer guidance on mold removal.

Are Moldy Clothes a Health Hazard?

Once an outbreak of mold appears, whether it’s caused by excessive humidity or water damage, you’re faced with whether to keep your items or to toss them. This is where you run the risk of facing a health hazard, as some mold spores can cause respiratory and immune system issues. Other strains can cause allergies and infections.

Any type of clothing or fabric that’s affected by mold should be tossed. Don’t even think of saving it; if the mold damage is that extreme, the fabric cannot be saved. If your clothes have traces of toxigenic molds, you may run the risk of getting mycotoxin poisoning, so, it’s best to seal them in plastic bags and dispose of them properly. If you’ve decided to save any type of clothing that shows minor traces of mold, it’s advisable to have them cleaned professionally.

Proper Ventilation Can Help Prevent Mold

As Austin has high humidity throughout the year, most residents run their HVAC units on a constant basis. You may think that this helps ventilate your home. It does, but there are small areas where ventilation is poor and therefore breeding grounds for mold. Think of your bathroom, your kitchen, and your laundry room: all of these areas may have poor to little ventilation, which gives mold the ability to grow.

In cases like these, managing the relative humidity of your home can help prevent the spread of mold on all kinds of fabrics in your home. Having proper air circulation throughout your house will also be a benefit. If you run the HVAC all the time and it’s actually nice outside, open the windows and let some fresh air in the house; this will help to dry out any tough moisture spots where mold might fester.

If you have an Austin home with an attic or basement, then you have a prime location for condensation to form. Here is where you need to regulate the humidity in these areas to control mold from spreading on your clothes, furniture and other fabric related items. Fans and dehumidifiers can make a great impact if you have limited water damage, and there is little mold. However, it’s recommended that you check your HVAC unit and dehumidifiers to make sure that they don’t actually leak themselves.

SERVPRO Can Help Remove and Remediate the Mold in Your Austin Home

If you notice the presence of mold damage on your fabrics, contact SERVPRO of East Central Austin immediately. We provide emergency mold removal and mold remediation, and we are highly experienced water damage specialists Austin, serving our surrounding communities on a 24/7 basis.

Our SERVPRO team is thoroughly trained, experienced, and certified by the IICRC to ensure that our methods meet industry standards.

Call our SERVPRO company today for an immediate mold inspection. We're here to help.

Saving Your Property After Mold Damage Occurs in Your Austin Home

11/30/2017 (Permalink)

Tips on Saving Your Property Once Mold Damage Affects in Your Austin Home

You’ve had water damage in your Austin home or business, and you’ve done your best to clean up the mess. The first part is getting rid of all that water. It’s not the easiest thing to do, as water removal Austin can be very time consuming. If you’re not able to get rid of all of the water, you’ll find mold starting to make an appearance.

If you’re faced with a dangerous mold problem that’s affecting your personal items, you need to determine what to keep and what to discard. It’s a big problem, because not everything is salvageable, and if you can’t handle removing the mold on your own, you need to bring in a mold remediation Austin specialist.

Of course the idea of seeing a beloved possession covered in mold can be very distressing, but don’t fret just yet: that antique clock might be salvageable, but that couch may not. Of course you’d like to keep everything, but that may not be possible. If you’ve managed to remove most of the water damage from your Austin home, then you may have less mold to deal with, and more chances to save your items.

So, let’s break all of this down for you, because some items can be saved, while others cannot.

How to Deal with Mold Affecting Non-Porous Surfaces

Let’s look at non-porous surfaces such as glass or ceramic items. These are often very smooth, and since they are non-porous, you’ll find that mold cannot really affect these materials. Glass is usually pretty easy to clean, usually with a damp towel and dish soap. If you find a lot of mold on these types of items, be sure to scrub it off thoroughly, then run it through your dishwasher if possible. 

How Mold Can Affect Porous Surfaces

You’ll find that items such as carpets, curtains, rugs and furniture are not as easy to clean, once they’ve been affected by mold. As these are porous, they have a greater tendency to absorb water, giving mold the thumbs up to spread. If this is what’s happened, then you should probably throw out these items, as the mold will become so immersed that they will be beyond repair. It should be stressed that if these types of items and materials are wet and are caught in time before mold can start to grow, you might actually have a better chance of drying them out and then cleaning them. A mold remediation Austin professional can give you guidance on how to proceed with this.

How Mold Can Affect Semi-Porous Surfaces

With materials such as wood and stone, it can be a bit of a gamble as to whether they can be saved. If you have wood floors and walls, and the water damage is severe, you’ll find greater opportunities for mold to appear, especially if the water damage isn’t taken care of immediately. The same can be said for walls, especially if water saturates sheetrock and seeps beyond it to the wooden beams in the structure of your Austin home. Once mold starts to grow, you may have to cut open your walls and floors, bring in a mold inspection Austin professional to inspect the severity of the situation.

Masonry, such as brick and stone can also be affected by mold if not checked properly. Remember, mold thrives wherever there’s moisture, so be sure to check any internal stone work (including bricks) if you’ve experienced water damage in your Austin home.

How SERVPRO Can Help with Mold Removal and Mold Remediation

Mold removal can be extremely difficult, especially if it affects different surfaces and materials. Don’t try to handle this on your own: contact a mold removal and mold remediation specialist, like SERVPRO of East Central Austin. We can help stop the spread of mold, so that it doesn’t return.

Our SERVPRO team can manage all of your mold remediation needs. We use only top of the line, state of the art equipment to treat your home. We will examine and detect any possibility of mold at your home or business. We’ll provide an immediate mold inspection and, we’ll get right on it to start remediation and stop if from spreading. If you have problems with water removal Austin and mold, give us a call.

Three Surprising Causes of Mold in Austin

11/27/2017 (Permalink)

Mold has many causes, but there are three in particular: temperature, moisture and food sources.

What Causes Mold in Austin? And How to Know When You Need Mold Remediation

While mold is often associated with flooding and water damage, there are many other causes that can lead to mold damage and the need for mold remediation Austin. While a natural disaster, such as a flood, is a major component in mold development, but even the most miniscule amount of stray water can attract mold spores, and here’s where microbe growth can take root and be ignored for a lengthy period of time, until it’s too late. This is where you'll most likely need a mold inspection Austin.

Mold is extremely messy to deal with and to clean up. The greatest misconception is that everyone who has mold lives in a dirty house. You can have the cleanest, most immaculate house, and still experience mold. Mold spores are everywhere, so it’s not the condition of your house, or the cleanliness of it that’s the main issue. What does matter are three important things: temperature, moisture and a food source.

How Temperature Affects the Growth of Mold in Austin

On average, and depending on where you live, many homes manage an indoor temperature ranging from 74 to 78 degrees. However, mold spores can thrive and grow anywhere from 68 to 86 degrees, while others are known to grow at temperatures that are lower than 68 and even higher that 86. In a humid environment such as Austin, mold spores can thrive outside in 100-degree weather.

Moisture and Its Role in Furthering Mold Growth

Moisture is a necessity in order for mold spores to take root and grow. The spores can grow at different moisture levels; for example, the spores can grow quite rapidly at 70% humidity and above. Some can even start growing at a reduced level of 65%, so it’s best to keep moisture levels in your home or business below 60%. A mold remediation Austin specialist can help in understanding how to regulate humidity.

Could Food Sources Be Contributing to Mold in Your Austin Home?

Mold can attach itself to practically anything, which is why your Austin home is a prime food source for spores. Once the spores attach, mold can spread on anything such as insulation, paper, drywall, wood…basically anything organic is a lure for mold to take root and expand. If the mold becomes excessive, then you need to arrange a mold inspection Austin.

How SERVPRO Can Help with Mold Removal and Remediation

Once water damage Austin takes place, mold can quickly take root not that far behind. You have a limited time frame in which you can stop it before it spreads.

If you find that you have contaminated water and can’t control the spread of mold, don’t try to handle this on your own: contact a mold removal and remediation specialist, like SERVPRO of East Central Austin. We can help stop the spread of mold, so that it doesn’t return.

Our SERVPRO team consists of highly trained professionals in water damage and mold remediation. Our training and required certifications enable us to manage all of your mold remediation needs. We use only top of the line, state of the art equipment to treat your home, business or apartment.

We will perform a thorough mold inspection Austin, where we examine and detect any possibility of mold at your home or business. 

If you believe you could have a mold problem, give us a call at 512-420-9886 today.

4 Major Health Issues Caused by Mold

10/3/2017 (Permalink)

Austin mold and the various health issues it can create.

High Levels of Austin Mold Growth & What It Means for Your Health

Mold can be a major headache, literally. In addition to creating problems with your Austin home or structure, mold can also wreak major havoc on your health. 

You may have heard that lately there's been a higher than average mold growth throughout Austin. The truth is mold is everywhere - that's why complete mold removal is not a reality; however mold remediation is an absolute priority, when you've experienced mold growth. If you're wondering what the difference is, check out this article, where you'll find information explaining the differences between mold removal and mold remediation. If you have seen mold growing in your Austin home or business, it's a necessity that you have it treated immediately, so the mold does not continue to grow, and cause additional issues with your health.

The good news is that mold remediation companies, like our SERVPRO team can help. From the initial stages of an Austin mold inspection to the remediation process to the restoration of your home or business - we're available 24/7 to help with your mold issues.

How does mold develop?

One of the major causes of mold is actually water damage Austin. But there are also many other ways in which mold can develop. These can range from poorly ventilated spaces, excessive moisture in the air and very high levels of humidity.

Mold: Moisture and Humidity

Being microscopic, mold is able to grow on practically any surface, including wood, paper, gypsum (drywall), and on fabrics. The key to stopping the spread of mold is to reduce moisture by using proper ventilation. Appliances such as a dehumidifier or an air conditioner can help to greatly improve ventilation and alleviate the presence of mold in your Austin home.

While mold can be stopped, you can still find traces of it, as its spores are microscopic. By controlling the amount of indoor moisture in your home or business, you can greatly reduce the spread of hazardous mold spores, which can affect your health and also damage your home or business; mold growth can actually compromise the structural integrity of a home or building.

4 Health Issues Associated with Mold in Austin

As mold spreads and goes ignored, your ability to experience a variety of serious health issues from mold increases. Nasal and sinus congestion, sneezing, eye and throat irritations, coughing, respiratory issues, and other health issues can be caused by different strains of mold.

Some of the more harmful mold strains are known as mycotoxins, which are toxic compounds that are released in certain environmental conditions, and can be extremely dangerous. While outdoor molds can be tricky to remediate, the biggest issue is actually indoor molds, because if these continue to go unchecked, they can also make you highly ill.

Not surprisingly, many mold allergies tend to escalate during the summer months. With asthma, for example, people can be affected year round, with symptoms, such as itching, runny nose, sneezing, scaly skin and congestion. Many are affected by molds that grow on trees, grass and leaves. The general misconception is that these spores die off in colder weather, when in fact they instead become dormant and reappear once it becomes warm again.

Humid areas in your Austin home or office, such as bathrooms, showers, kitchens, and areas with very little ventilation and basements, can be high-risk breeding grounds for mold and can greatly escalate the spread of mycotoxins.

Here are some of the major health issues that can be caused by different kinds of mold.

1) Asthma: Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease, which has no cure. Mold can definitely trigger it if spores find their way into the inner lining of your nose, causing symptoms that can make you feel feverish. Gradually, the mold spores will travel into your lungs, which can cause asthma symptoms, depending on how sensitive your lungs are. In many cases it tends to be seasonal, but if you’re allergic to indoor mold spores, then it can be a year–long issue. Indoor humidity can also cause upper respiratory issues for people with asthma.

The most notable asthma symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing and tightness in the chest. In some cases, an asthma attack can be so extreme that it may require medical attention.

2) Allergies: Alternaria and cladosporium are the two most common allergy causing molds, which, if inhaled can cause serious reactions. Allergic Rhinitis is also known as hay fever, and is one of the more common afflictions caused by mold. Its many symptoms include sneezing, red and itchy eyes, a runny or stuffy nose, all of which can affect your ability to sleep and concentrate. Hay fever is often brought on by pollen, pet dander, dust, and, of course, mold. However, it should be noted that the mold involved here is usually outdoor mold, with pollen serving as the major culprit.

3) Pulmonary Hemorrhage is a disease that causes bleeding in the lungs. Mold spores can get into the lungs, leading to a wide variety of respiratory problems. Pulmonary Hemorrhage tends to have a profound effect on infants, seniors and individuals with pre-existing pulmonary disorders.

3) Bronchitis: While alternaria and cladosporium are known to cause allergies, these two pesky molds can also cause bronchitis. Bronchitis is caused when the air passages that lead to the lungs become inflamed. Black mold can be a leading cause of this, especially if you have leaky or damp walls and ceilings. In addition to black mold, another type of mold, stachybotrys chartarum, can cause chronic bronchitis if not treated, and it can also lead to death.

4) Depression and Toxic Mold Syndrome: Excessive exposure to toxic mold can also lead to insomnia, anxiety, memory loss, confusion, shortness of breath and depression. There have been cases where individuals developed bipolar like symptoms, only to discover that Toxic Mold Syndrome was actually the cause. If not remediated properly, Toxic Mold or Black Mold can cause cognitive and emotional issues, as well as brain toxicity. The exposure to black mold can be so severe that there have been reported cases of brain swelling. However, if caught early, many of these effects can be reversed, but it’s important to always get a second opinion if you suspect a misdiagnosis.

While you may think that mold may not have that much impact on your health, there are numerous symptoms that can be caused by exposure to different kinds of mold. These symptoms can include include: Fatigue, Headache, Morning stiffness, Red eyes, blurred vision, sweats, mood swings, sharp pains, joint pain, diarrhea Static shocks, blurry vision, tingling skin, and many others.

How to Solve the Mold Problem

The first step is to stop mold in its tracks. If you should experience any type of water damage, extreme humidity, or even start to see the slightest traces of mold, you should make every attempt to find the source and clean and dry the affected areas as soon as possible.

Mold can often be removed from hard surfaces by cleaning with soap and water. Should your carpets and walls show any signs of mold, they could be very difficult to clean; if this is the case, you may have to throw out your carpets and replace your walls. Mold and other bacteria can also appear if you have pools of standing water around your property, so be sure to remove those if they exist.

If your mold situation becomes way too problematic and overwhelming, then you may have to reach out to an Austin mold removal specialist, to help remove and remediate the mold in your home or business.   

How SERVPRO Can Help:

Granted, mold removal can be extremely difficult, and if it spreads and is beyond your ability to conquer, then you should contact a mold remediation specialist, like SERVPRO of East Central Austin, who can help stop the spread mold, so that you’re no longer at risk.

Our SERVPRO team is centrally located in Austin and consists of highly trained mold damage specialists, with specific training and required certifications to handle your mold remediation needs. We use only top of the line, state of the art equipment to treat your home.

The more that mold spreads, the more complex it becomes to remove. SERVPRO of East Central Austin will examine and detect any possibility of mold at your home or business. We can provide an immediate mold inspection and if one should exist, we’ll get right on it to start remediation and stop if from spreading.

How to Treat Mold in Austin

8/24/2017 (Permalink)

A Guide for Treating Mold in Austin

Mold in Austin: What to Do When You Discover Mold in Your Austin Home or Business

If your Austin home or business experiences unusual moisture in the air, or has experienced extensive water damage, then you can expect mold to make an appearance in the near future. Mold often appears in environments that consist of poorly ventilated spaces and high humidity. Flooding and ongoing leaks are also a major culprit of mold in Austin.

If you own a home or business in Austin, you may find that you’re dealing with serious mold issues, and you could have mold removal and mold remediation costs in the aftermath of flood a heavy storm, and/or after suffering from ongoing water damage.

While mold can be stopped, it’s virtually impossible to fully eliminate all mold spores inside a home or business, as mold is actually a naturally growing substance in the environment. However you can work to stop the spread of mold spores by controlling your Austin home or business’s moisture levels.

Austin Mold: A Growing Problem with Moisture and Humidity

Mold is microscopic, and can pretty much grow on anything, including paper, wood, drywall, food and carpets. If your home or business is properly vented, and if you use air conditioners and dehumidifiers, you can greatly reduce moisture buildup and improve ventilation to alleviate the presence of mold.

Mold: How It Can Hurt You

The possibility of suffering from serious health issues increases with the spread of mold. If ignored, and if you have health-related issues, such as asthma, respiratory issues or skin conditions like eczema, the results can be serious. Exposure to mold can give you symptoms, such as nasal and sinus congestion, coughing, sneezing, respiratory problems, and throat inflammation. If you even suspect the slightest appearance of mold, it should be managed and remediated immediately by a professional mold remediation company, like our SERVPRO team.

Most molds consist of organisms that are not actually dangerous. But, there are certain strains of mold, called mycotoxins, which thrive in damp environments like kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. Some of these mycotoxins are actually quite dangerous, and can be very harmful if not properly addressed.

Different Types of Mold in Austin and Their Levels of Danger

Nobody likes mold, so if you’re a homeowner, or business owner in Austin, there are several kinds of indoor mold with strains that can cause great structural damage as well as physical harm. Of course it’s best to remove these types (or any type of mold for that matter) when they first appear.

There are many strains of mold in existence, but these are the four types of mold that most commonly appear in Austin homes and businesses.

  • One of the most common types of indoor mold is Cladosporium. As the spores are often found on outdoor plants, they are so microscopic that they can find their way indoors. Cladosporium has been known to be less harmful to humans than other types of mold (it tends to be pretty stinky), but if untreated, it can cause infections in the toenails, lungs and sinuses. It can appear in a variety of colors, such as olive green, black and brown.
  • While the antibiotic penicillin has helped millions fight bacterial infections, it derives from a form of mold called Penicillium. If you seen spoiled food in your refrigerator, then you’ve evidently encountered this type of mold, which grows indoors in low humidity and in places where there’s sufficient moisture.
  • If you have hay fever or asthma, then you might have been exposed to Alternaria: This type of fungi can grow on skin as well as in your mucous membranes and eyes. They also grow in colonies that are usually black, gray or grey. If you have respiratory issues or suffer from an autoimmune disease, Alternaria can cause serious problems.
  • You will often find Aspergillus in high oxygen environments and on foods such as vegetables and bread. There are a variety of different strains of this particular mold. Some can be toxic and can cause serious infections, while others are used in the fermentation of alcoholic drinks.
  • Stachybotrys chartarum: This specific mold is most commonly associated with water damage Austin. This black mold needs high moisture in order for it grow. It’s often found in building materials, such as wet gypsum and wallpaper. Not only can Stachybotrys chartarum affect your health, it can also be detrimental to the safety of your pets. As dangerous as this mold is, it should only be removed by mold remediation professionals.

If you know you have mold, but are unsure of what type of mold you have, you may want to start by having a professional mold inspection Austin.

Stopping Mold Before It Starts in Your Austin Home or Business

As harmful as mold can be, how do we prevent it? One way is to prevent the spread of humid air in your home or office, by using a dehumidifier and making sure that there is proper ventilation, especially when furniture is involved. Believe it or not, a couch leaning against a wall can actually prevent the flow of air, which in turn can cause mold to develop, especially if the air is humid.

If you have small problems with mold creeping in, it can be eliminated with regular cleaning of your home or office. Keep areas where there is moisture clean on a regular basis, like a shower or bathroom, and even the kitchen. The same goes for keeping your air ducts and vents clean, to avoid any moisture from settling in and creating problems: clean your vents frequently and change your AC filters once a month.

In addition to individual rooms in your home or business, your refrigerator is also not immune to the world of mold. If you have a well-stocked fridge, it’s inevitable that something will be overlooked and start to rot; this is especially true of fruit, which has a short shelf life, and if it’s ignored, it can dry out or begin to get moldy. Once any food in the fridge has passed it spoiling point, decomposition begins, and brings on mycotoxins. So, keep track of what's in your fridge, and if it starts to spoil, toss it out.

The problem with many older homes is that poor ventilation can bring about excessive mold if it’s not addressed. While most homes have central air conditioning, some older homes may not, and if the environment tends to be humid, without a dehumidifier or cross ventilation, there is a greater chance for humidity and mold to make an unwelcome appearance.

Most new and modern construction projects also use drywall, which can be extremely vulnerable to moisture. If not properly treated, the gypsum in drywall will eventually soften over time, and attract mold spores, which will be more difficult to clean over time.

In addition to internal mold issues, you should check the outside of your business or home for leaks in your roof, as well as making sure your gutters are properly cleaned out.

A leaky roof, if undetected for long periods of time, will eventually cause water to spread, and can lead to very costly repair and roof replacement. Cleaning out your gutters can also help prevent water from running down the side of your structure, which can affect the quality of your foundation.

Combustion appliances, such as furnaces, gas water heaters, fireplaces, space heaters, gas ranges, ovens, clothes dryers, and wood or coal-burning stoves should be inspected to make sure that they are properly vented.

Basic Mold Cleanup Procedures

Regardless of the cause, if you do experience any kind of water damage, you will need to clean and dry the areas quickly. Do not let the water damage continue, as a 24-48 hour window to clean and dry the areas in question is likely all you have before mold begins to grow and spread. If you have any standing water, be sure to have water extraction done in your Austin home or business if it is too much for you to remove on your own.

In most cases, minor mold spots can be removed with water and detergent, followed by letting it fully dry out. Carpeting, furniture and ceiling tiles, may not be as easy to remedy; in fact, you may have to dispose of them if the damage is too extreme. Eliminate any puddles of standing water that you come across; this not only can help spread mold, but it’s also a breeding ground for a variety of bugs and bacteria.

If mold removal becomes too much of a conquest for you to handle on your own, then you should contact a mold remediation specialist, like SERVPRO of East Central Austin, who can help in getting rid of the spread of mold, so that it’s no longer an issue.