The new way to kill mold and keep it from coming back.
Serving Central NJ, Cherry Hill, Woodbridge, Toms River
Recently, this homeowner in Delran, NJ went on vacation and while he was gone, a water pipe had burst in his crawl space and about six inches of water had accumulated.
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 treated the affected areas with our EPA registered anti-microbial called MAPS 1, which attacks mold on a cellular level and kills it instantly. We then scrubbed away the mold and applied MAPS 2, which is our patented sealant that encapsulates the surface mold is growing on and renders the mold non-allergenic and harmless. MAPS 2 is also moisture-sensitive and reactivates whenever it gets wet to prevent the return of mold.
The Mold Solutions team was dispatched to a residence in Trenton, NJ 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 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 gets 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.
First, we treated the affected areas with our EPA registered solution called Mold Abatement Polymer Solutions 1, also called MAPS 1. This product attacks mold on a cellular level and kills it instantly. Next, we scrubbed away the mold and applied MAPS 2, which is our patented sealant that encapsulates the surface mold is growing on and renders mold non-allergenic and harmless. MAPS 2 is also moisture-sensitive and reactivates whenever it gets wet to prevent the return of mold.
We were sent out on a service call for a homeowner in Bordentown, NJ who noticed a small amount of mold growth in his basement. We equipped our personal protective equipment and began a thorough inspection of the basement. Within minutes we found mold growing on one of the joists in the basement.
Even a small amount of mold can cause a variety of health problems, especially those who are immune-compromised and have chronic lung illnesses. Now that we located the mold growth, the next step is finding out the cause of the mold growth. After another thorough inspection with our hygrometer, which measures the humidity (amount of water vapor) in the air, we confirmed that this basement had an unacceptably high level of humidity.
Homes require an acceptable range of humidity for our comfort and health, and air that is too dry or too wet can be the source of problems for homeowners. Homes are most comfortable at humidity levels between 30 - 50%. High humidity levels can cause condensation on windows, wet stains on walls and ceilings, musty odors, mold growth, and over extended periods of time, wood rot and structural damage.
With our mold treatment process, we first applied MAPS 1, an EPA-registered anti-microbial application. MAPS 1 (Mold Abatement Polymer Solution 1) is specifically designed to kill active mold growth. We then scrubbed the surface mold and applied MAPS 2, a patented polymer sealant that encapsulates the existing dead mold and prevents future mold from growing.
To treat the high humidity levels, we installed SaniDry commercial-grade dehumidifiers. These machines are specifically designed and manufactured for the challenging environments of basements and crawl spaces. The SaniDry XP can effectively cover indoor living spaces over 3000 square feet, making it well-suited for basements and crawl spaces over 40” high. Now, this basement will no longer have chronic humidity issues and the risk of dangerous mold growth has been removed.
After these new homeowners moved into their new home in Princeton Junction, NJ, they discovered something in their basement that made their stomachs turn — mold. They called Mold Solutions by Cowleys and after we did a full inspection of the basement, we discovered that the basement area had incredibly high levels of humidity, which is what caused the mold growth.
We treated the entire basement with our EPA-registered anti-microbial solution called Mold Abatement Polymer Solutions, otherwise known as MAPS 1. This product attacks mold on a cellular level and kills it instantly. Afterward, we applied our patented sealant called MAPS 2. This product encapsulates the surface mold is growing on and renders the mold non-allergenic and harmless. MAPS 2 is also moisture-sensitive and reactivates whenever it gets wet to prevent the return of mold.
Lastly, to control the humidity levels in the basement, we installed a commercial-grade Sani-dry Sedona dehumidifier. This will keep the humidity levels in the basement at an appropriate, safe, and comfortable level.
Mold growth in a home is a symptom of an underlying water or moisture problem. Mold can rear its head anywhere and everywhere. Like all living organisms, mold needs air, organic material as a food source, the right temperature, and water or moisture in order to grow. We often think of water and moisture problems as external problems where water intrudes into the home from the outside, such as from flooding or a cracked foundation allowing water seepage from water-saturated soil. But oftentimes, the problems are internal. There are building or repair issues responsible for water accumulation. Common problems are burst or leaky pipes, non-operational sump pumps, backed-up gutters, and a variety of condensation problems from poor building design. Condensation easily forms on cold metal pipes and cold concrete floors as well as from our everyday activities that release moisture including cooking, washing clothes, and bathing. It is no surprise that often mold grows and thrives in crawl spaces, basements, attics, kitchens, washer/dryer areas, and bathrooms.
One of the most important ways of reducing condensation in our living spaces is through proper ventilation. A well-ventilated home is essential for removing moisture, especially in our bathrooms and kitchens where large quantities of steam permeate the air from hot water. Homes often have vent fans installed in bathrooms to carry away moist air. Proper building construction dictates that vent fans, whether bathroom vents or dryer vents, be vented directly outdoors. Venting exhaust fans into the attic is asking for trouble, even if the attic itself is vented. The excess moisture can cause condensation on the rafters and sheathing, which can lead to wood rot, moisture-saturated insulation, and dangerous mold growth. This homeowner in Kendall Park learned this lesson the hard way. The installer had vented the bathroom fan into the attic rather than outside, and, sure enough, he found himself with a serious mold problem overhead.
For the long-term, the homeowner should fix the venting problem to remove the underlying condition allowing mold growth. However, Mold Solutions by Cowleys resolved the immediate problem. In less than a day, we applied a powerful anti-microbial to kill the mold, and then applied a patented, proprietary sealant containing silver micro-particles. Cowleys is an authorized applicator of this unique sealant; you can’t get it just anywhere. This sealant kills the mold at the cellular level rendering it inert and harmless so it no longer poses a health risk. However, this sealant does much more. It reactivates with moisture to prevent any regrowth of mold, so it not only kills today’s mold growth but tomorrow’s as well.
With this project, there was no removal of building materials, no need for home renovation, and no need for the family to relocate. While the homeowner was disappointed that the vent had to be properly reinstalled, he was pleased with Cowleys for taking care of the mold problem so quickly. This project was one of our many successful mold treatment projects — we removed the threat of mold while saving the homeowner the expense and inconvenience of a major renovation that often follows the tear-out of building materials by traditional mold remediators.
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