This homeowner in Delran Township in Burlington County went on vacation. Unfortunately, a water pipe had burst and about six inches of water had accumulated throughout the floor of his crawl space.
There was also a small spot of mold growth that had started to form on a floor joint toward the back of the house. Once a home has a water or moisture problem, mold inevitably follows. And it doesn’t take long. In moist, humid conditions, some molds will start colonizing in as little as 24 hours. Fortunately, this water intrusion was caught early so the mold growth was localized. We used our patented MoldExterm sealant to chemically treat the mold. With our process, mold removal was quick and easy. No building materials had to be removed.
The Mold Solutions team was dispatched to a residence in Trenton to take care of a mold problem. And it is a good thing that the homeowner called us when he did — before we are visited this summer by warm, humid “time to turn on the air conditioning” weather.
Mold is a type of fungus. It’s a living, breathing, reproducing organism. As long as there is water or moisture, mold will grow. Mold will consume any organic material by releasing dissolving enzymes. It will even grow on non-living surfaces other than wood because it can live and thrive on thin layers of dust. Dust, which inevitably contains organic debris, pretty much covers everything around us, even if we don’t always see it. As a result, mold is able to rear its ugly head almost anywhere and everywhere. And, as seen with this mold job, air conditioning units are not exempt from developing a nasty mold problem. With this home, the mold had attached itself to the to the central air unit. Even worse, this mold would have continued to release spores into the ductwork. Once the unit was turned on, the AC system would have turned into a mold-dispersing system, spewing out mold spores throughout the entire home. There is no faster way to spread mold throughout a home than blowing out mold spores through a forced-air HVAC system.
Why do HVAC systems often have mold issues? These systems do a great job of removing excess humidity, one of the most common culprits of indoor mold growth. That’s why it’s smart to use your AC on those hot summer days. Not only are you more comfortable, but you also reduce the chance of mold growth in your living areas. However, over time, mold can become an issue because damp air combined with dust and debris that get past the air filter can create an environment ripe for mold growth. With AC units, mold often starts to grow on the evaporator coils where the condensation pan is located and where there is always some residual water. Standing water along with our humid, hot New Jersey summer air creates a breeding ground of all sorts of mold and fungi. Homeowners should periodically have their HVAC company inspect their system for mold and moisture before turning it on. The HVAC dust and system components should be free of moisture. Drain and condensate pans should be draining properly. When plugged, they can become a mold nursery. Drain hoses can get clogged and filled with mold. While everyone remembers to change their filters, humidifier pads can get moldy and should be changed as well.
The Mold Solutions team went to work using our Mold Exterm system. First, we applied an anti-microbial that kills surface mold and airborne mold spores. After the anti-microbial application, we applied our patented, proprietary sealant that coats and kills the mold, and prevents the spores from further spreading. Any microorganism, including mold, viruses, and bacteria that comes into contact with this sealant immediately dies. This sealant has “moisture intelligence,” the ability to travel through any surface water and seek out the moisture in mold spores where it then reactivates to prevent any future mold growth. When we finish a mold project, we’ve not only removed the existing mold, but we’ve laid the groundwork to prevent mold from returning to those areas that we’ve treated.
A two-member team of Mold Solutions By Cowleys was sent to a home in Millstone Township, NJ to treat an isolated mold problem in the home. Here, the bathroom fan had stopped working and, unfortunately, was not timely repaired. Without a working ventilation system in a small enclosed area such as in a bathroom where there are high moisture conditions from all of the steam and hot water, there is a high risk of mold growth. And that’s exactly what happened.
Mold had formed on the ceiling. The homeowners had the fan fixed, but it was too late. They found themselves with a serious mold problem. Once mold forms, it will either continue to spread or become dormant depending on temperature and moisture conditions. Mold, a living organism, is a type of fungus. It will not simply “die” and go away on its own. Rather, mold, by its very nature, produces mold spores that become airborne will attach elsewhere in the home. Also, a home’s occupants can breathe in those spores, and those with respiratory sensitivities can develop allergy-like symptoms or even develop respiratory infections. Any mold, not just so-called toxic black mold, is potentially dangerous and must be treated.
For this bathroom mold problem, we treated the mold with two applications. First, we applied an EPA-registered antimicrobial (MAPS 1) that kills the mold on contact. Second, we applied a patented sealant (MAPS 2) that is available only to licensed distributors. This sealant not only kills the mold, but it is also moisture sensitive and will reactivate to kill any future mold growth. We also wiped down any visible staining caused by the mold. Mold stains are the residue of mold growth. They are not by themselves allergenic. However, they are unsightly, aesthetically unappealing, and can give the mistaken impression that there is still a mold problem.
The homeowner learned a valuable lesson about the importance of ventilation to keep down moisture and humidity levels in enclosed spaces. It is important to have working exhaust fans in bathrooms and attics where there can be high levels of humidity. In other areas of the home, such as basements and crawl spaces, where good ventilation isn't an option, it is important to have a commercial-grade dehumidification system to avoid mold problems and have clean, dry air circulating throughout the home.
A homeowner’s hot water heater had cracked open in Jackson, NJ, flooding her basement. Within days, there was extensive mold growth on walls, ceiling, door, and even on some furnishings. If there is excess moisture or water, mold will grow on virtually anything. Mold lives off plant materials, and most of out building materials are wood products. Mold is especially attracted to drywall and acoustical tiling. Also, mold spores easily travel on air currents throughout the home, and the mold growing in the basement would inevitably spread throughout the home as the spores reattach elsewhere.
We arrived at the house, conducted an inspection to determine the scope of the problem and how to best treat the affected areas to contain the mold growth. We treated the surfaces with an anti-microbial that kills surface mold and airborne mold spores. We then removed all of the structurally damaged building materials. Often, we find mold growth on building materials that are not damaged. In those cases, we can resolve the mold problem without extensive removal of materials. We then applied our sealant that coats and kills the mold prevents the spread of spores. In addition, this sealant is moisture sensitive and reactivates to kill any future mold growth. So, when we finish a mold project, we’ve not only removed the mold, but but we’ve also prevented mold from returning to those areas. For long-term mold control, I always stress to homeowners the importance of controlling indoor humidity levels by investing in a commercial-grade dehumidifier. Mold growth is not limited to water problems like flooding and leaky pipes. A mold problem can also result if there is excess moisture from high humidity levels.
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