The Mold Solutions team was sent to a home in Princeton Junction, a community in Mercer County. The homeowners had recently purchased the home, and contacted Cowleys after being advised that there was mold growth in the basement. Upon inspection, we determined that groundwater was leaking into the basement through some small foundation cracks. Also, the basement had high relative humidity, which is conducive to mold growth. There is a misconception that mold can only form after a significant water intrusion event such as groundwater leaking through the foundation, flooding, or leaky or burst pipes. In fact, moisture in the air from high humidity levels is more than enough to trigger dangerous mold growth. Mold can grow as long as indoor relative humidity is above 50%, and once humidity levels reach 60%, mold will thrive. To prevent mold, indoor relative humidity levels should be kept below 45%, preferably around 35%.
Crawl spaces and basements often have high relative humidity levels, much higher than the home’s living spaces. As a result, these areas of a home are particular trouble spots for mold growth. Mold colonizes through airborne mold spores. Even if the living areas are comfortable with low humidity levels, if the subterranean areas have mold, dirty air contaminated with mold spores will permeate the living spaces above.
We treated the entire basement of this Princeton Junction home with our EPA-registered anti-microbial (MM1) using electrostatic fogging. This application kills any surface mold as well as any airborne mold spores. After a waiting period, we applied our patented polymer sealant (MM2), also using electrostatic fogging. This unique sealant, which is derived from coatings used for human implant devices, is available only to authorized pest control operators licensed to apply chemical products inside structures. While completely safe and non-toxic to people, this sealant destroys mold at the cellular level. Any mold we treat is rendered inert, harmless, and non-allergenic. The sealant is also moisture-sensitive and reactivates to prevent the return of any new mold growth in the treated area.
Next, we needed to deal with dehumidification — the most important long-term preventative measure for controlling dangerous crawl space moisture that will inevitably lead to mold growth. The house already had a good operational sump pump, so we left that alone. However, in order to reduce humidity levels in the basement, we installed a commercial-grade SaniDry XP upright dehumidifier. This workhorse dehumidifier is specifically designed for basements or other spaces as large as 2500 square feet. These dehumidifiers can operate in temperatures as low as 40 degrees F, are maintenance-free, and much more powerful (10X) than traditional dehumidifiers. They have the capacity to extract close to 14 gallons of water per day at 80 degrees F. No human intervention is needed; rather, they operate automatically, turning on and off according to a built-in hygrometer that measures indoor relative humidity. These machines connect directly into the drainage system, so they don’t have a water tray to empty.
We were able to treat the mold is less than a day. The homeowner avoided extensive renovations since no building materials were removed, and there was no need for the family to relocate. With our process, we treat and kill the mold right in its tracks. By avoiding tear-outs of building materials that have no loss of structural integrity, we also avoid disrupting the mold and inadvertently disbursing mold spores to reattach elsewhere.
Needless to say, the homeowners were quite pleased. After just purchasing the home, they were worried that this mold removal was going to be an unduly expensive problem to fix. All they could think of was the nightmare of an extensive and expensive renovation project. Because of our approach that directly treats and kills the mold while keeping perfectly good building materials, these types of expenses were completely avoided.
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