Mold Treated in Crawl Space Conversion in Cape May, NJ
Recently, a crew from Cowleys Mold Solutions team was sent to a home in Cape May, NJ. The home was originally built with a crawl space, but at some point, to increase the usable space, the homeowner had converted the crawl space into a finished basement. Conversions of crawl space to basements are a significant construction project that involve excavating the soil under the home and constructing new footings and foundation walls. Although crawl spaces are notorious trouble spots for homeowners since they are infrequently inspected and problems down below can go unnoticed until they start to affect the living areas of the home, basements can be a problem for mold as well.
Just like with crawl spaces, basements are usually subterranean and are prone to mold growth because of high indoor relative humidity levels. In addition to humidity problems, basement mold can be triggered by flooding, groundwater intrusion through cracks in a home’s foundation, and leaky pipes. With this Cape May residence, the problem was a water pipe leak. As long as there is water or moisture, mold will grow on any organic material, even processed wood. Those pungent “musky” smells we associate with mold are the gasses released by mold’s dissolving enzymes. When mold grows in basements or crawl spaces, the mold spores travel on air currents to the living spaces of the home and reattach there. A home’s entire indoor air quality is harmed by mold.
Even though this was a finished basement and problems are usually found more quickly. These homeowners were elderly and had limited mobility. In recent years, they stopped venturing down into the basement. This water leak could have easily gone on for a month or two before the couple realized they had a mold problem. One important lesson from this job is that if you know of elderly homeowners, a friend or family member should periodically check their residence for possible insect or mold problems. The elderly often do not notice these problems in their early stages, and it is only after things get really bad that they take notice. With mold, a delay can turn what could have been a smaller, localized problem turns into an extensive mold removal project.
Because of the delay in treating the mold and underlying water problem, the basement paneling was ruined/ We needed to do a full-tear out of these materials. Fortunately, although the paneling had to be removed, all of the other building materials were structurally sound. Often, with our mold treatment process, we can avoid removal of all building materials. As long as there is no loss of structural integrity we treat the mold right where it sits. However, like here, once materials are damaged, they must be removed.
After tearing out the water-destroyed paneling, we treated the beams and all of the affected areas by applying our EPA-registered anti-microbial (MAPS 1) which kills any surface mold as well as any airborne mold spores. We then applied our patented polymer sealant (MAPS 2). Any treated mold 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 areas.
Bathroom Mold Growth Treated in Trenton, NJ
A homeowner in Trenton, NJ, found mold growth in her bathroom, and she contacted Mold Solutions By Cowleys. Thois small, enclosed bathroom had no window to let in outdoor air and no ceiling vent. Without proper ventilation, after every shower, water vapor is left lingering in the air. It is a situation ripe for mold growth. If that wasn’t asking for mold trouble, there was a pipe leak underneath the vanity that had gone undetected for quite some time. These water and moisture sources created an environment for mold to grow, thrive, and spread.
When the two-person Mold Solution crew arrived, we found extensive mold growth beneath the vanity and on the walls. There was a small crevice between the vanity and the bathtub where we found fungus hanging off of the vanity itself!
We applied an antimicrobial (MAPS 1) followed by a patented sealant (MAPS 2) that kills existing mold upon contact. This sealant is moisture-sensitive and reactivates to kill any future mold growth in the treated areas should there be another water or humidity problem. As part of our mold treatment process, we thoroughly scrub down all hard surfaces to remove visible mold growth.
Mold Growing on Interior Wall in Englishtown, NJ
The owner of a pet resort in Englishtown that offers pet daycare and overnight boarding became aware, in a somewhat unusual way, that mold was growing inside a section of their building’s interior walls. A dog that was boarding there had dog scratched away a part of the wall, exposing the hidden mold. The dog had likely smelled the mold and was curious to see what on earth could be causing such a foul-smelling odor. Dogs have an incredibly keen sense of smell, so for them, identifying mold hidden behind walls would be pretty easy. A for may not know what it is, but they sure know it stinks. The owner quickly made the call to Mold Solutions By Cowleys for whatever mold remediation work was necessary to protect their health and the health of the pets that they care for.
The Mold Solutions team went to work using our MAPS system. We area that we treated was a room used for holding pens. First, using electrostatic fogging, we applied an anti-microbial that kills surface mold and airborne mold spores. Although the walls had mold growth, they were still structurally sound. In these situations, Mold Solutions can successfully and permanently resolve a mold problem while avoiding a costly and extensive tear-out of perfectly good building materials. Instead, with our process, we treat the mold itself. After the anti-microbial application, we used electrostatic fogging to apply 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. However, what makes this sealant unique is its built-in “moisture intelligence.” This sealant has 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. The MAPS system and its patented sealant not only kill today’s mold but tomorrow’s mold as well. When mold spores come into contact with this sealant, they are destroyed at the cellular level. The mold is no longer allergenic or otherwise harmful. So, when the Mold Solutions team finishes 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.
When we treated the mold, the building materials were dry, so further inspection will be required to determine the source of the water intrusion. Because mold requires water or moisture to grow, it is essential to identify the underlying water or moisture issue that caused the mold growth in the first place. Our objective is to permanently resolve a mold problem, and that requires identifying and repairing the underlying water problem. If the underlying conditions causing the mold growth are not resolved, there is always the potential for mold to return. With hidden mold growth inside walls, the problem is usually either a slow leaky pipe or a roof leak causing seepage from above. If the volume of water is not enough to stain or seep through the drywall or acoustic tile, the problem often remains undetected unless someone can smell the mold or an occupant of the structure starts to develop allergy symptoms. If someone has chronic allergies, it is important to rule out mold as the underlying cause. The owner of this pet facility was fortunate that one of his “guests” had such a refined sense of smell and took it upon himself to “do some digging” in order to satisfy his curiosity about the offending odor.
Recently, a two-person crew from Cowleys Mold Solutions division was sent to a home in Englishtown, NJ to treat a mold problem that had developed in the garage. This was one of those cases that highlight that the water or moisture intrusion event that triggers mold growth can be almost anything. Here, the homeowners had a pinhole leak in their dryer vent that vented into the garage instead of venting outside.
When the warm dryer air hit the cool garage wall, the moisture condensed and formed water droplets. That was enough to trigger mold growth. Once there is water and the right temperature, all mold needs is some organic material to feed on. Mold “food” includes processed building materials like sheetrock. As you can see from the attached photos, speckled black mold had formed on the wall. This homeowners replaced the dryer vent and contacted Cowleys to resolve the mold problem. Even though the mold was in the garage, the microscopic mold spores can circulate anywhere and eventually find their way into the living areas of the home. The mold had to be treated or it would continue to spread.
Generally, when treating mold with our process, it is not necessary to remove building materials, including sheetrock, unless they are water-damaged and there is a loss of structural integrity. Here, the underlying sheetrock was still in good condition despite the mold growth. As such, the homeowners were able to avoid an extensive tear out/renovation project. Instead, we were able to treat the mold directly and leave the building materials alone.
We treated the mold-affected areas of the garage with two different applications. First, we applied an EPA-registered antimicrobial (MAPS 1). We then followed that application with a patented proprietary sealant (MAPS 2). This product, available only to authorized licensees, encapsulates the mold and kills it on contact. Any mold treated with this sealant is rendered harmless and non-allergenic. The sealant kills not only the existing mold. It is moisture-sensitive and has the ability to reactivate and kill any future mold growth as well.
With this particular assignment, we were able to successfully and completely treat the mold in less than a day. These homeowners, like many, have heard horror stories about finding mold in homes and they were worried about what may be entailed to rid their home of mold. Needless to say, these homeowners were relieved to find a mold treatment process that effectively and permanently treated the mold while avoiding the expense and hassle of removing the mold-affected sheetrock.
Mold Treatment Saves Home Sale in Lakewood, NJ
Oftentimes, mold is discovered in the non-living areas of the home during a home inspection performed as part of a pending sale on behalf of the buyer to determine whether the home has any structural issues that require correction. Although home inspectors are not generally mold experts, most are aware that mold is a concern for buyers and they are able to identify the signs of mold growth and the water intrusion or moisture issues that may be causing the mold growth. For all the parties involved – buyer, seller, and realtor – the discovery of mold could not happen at a more inopportune time. It is to no one’s advantage to postpone or kill a potential sale because of a finding of mold.
During a home inspection of a home in Lakewood, NJ on behalf of the buyer, the inspector discovered mold growth in two different areas of the crawl space. Crawl spaces are a notorious trouble spot in a home. They are often used by insects and wildlife, and their high humidity can trigger mold growth. At this juncture, given the pending sale, the sellers were focused on having the existing mold treated and were not seeking long-term solutions to prevent future mold growth. To protect their investment, the buyer should consider dehumidification and other possible improvements to the crawl space.
A two-person Mold Solutions By Cowleys crew treated the mold problem with our mold treatment program. This program involves two separate applications in areas of mold growth. First, we applied an EPA-registered antimicrobial (MAPS 1) to the affected areas. Next, we applied our patented sealant (MAPS 2), for which Cowleys is a licensed distributor. This sealant kills molds on contact at the cellular level rendering it inert and harmless. Mold is dangerous because its airborne spores can cause various respiratory problems, and some strains of mold contain actual toxins. This sealant is also moisture-sensitive. If the conditions that trigger mold growth return, this sealant has the ability to reactivate and kill any new mold growth in the treated areas. Finally, we wiped down any visible staining.
The seller homeowners were pleased that we could complete this job in less than a day and that the sale would not be delayed because of mold. The sellers could now represent to the potential buyers that the crawl space mold problem was treated, and the crawl space is now safe and mold-free.
Investment Property Riddled with Mold in East Brunswick, NJ
A realtor who was trying to close on a short sale had contacted me. He couldn’t sell his investment property in East Brunswick, NJ unless and until its widespread mold growth was taken care of.
This home was a “perfect storm” for mold growth, and had one of the most severe mold problems I’ve ever encountered. And after the mold problems I’ve seen following Sandy, that’s saying a lot. This vacant home suffered from neglect, poor ventilation, no power, and, if this weren’t enough, it was located in an area with a naturally high water table. The soil around the foundation was always saturated, and with no power, there was no operational sump pump. Water entered the structure and, with no mechanism to remove it, collected and remained stagnant in the basement. It was a horrendous situation. If a microbiologist wanted to grow mold, this home would have made the perfect laboratory.
Upon entering the home, the smell of mold hit me like a slap in the face. I immediately knew that I would not need to do much detective work to find the mold in this house. There was nothing subtle about this mold problem. I entered the basement and immediately found heavy mold growth on the sub-floor, joist beams, the walls that were painted, and all the basement drywall.
The solution to treating this mold problem was our patented MAPS system.
After the water intrusion inspection, there are three key steps:
Step 1: Eradicate any existing mold. We apply an anti-microbial killing agent using electrostatic fogging. This is an EPA-registered, multi-purpose, anti-microbial based in quaternary ammonium salts that works as a bactericide, virucide, disinfectant, fungicide (mold is a type of fungus), cleaner, mildew stat and deodorizer. This solution kills mold and mildew (and even bacteria and viruses!!) within 10 to 15 minutes. Its job is then done, and the product dissipates and is no longer present.
Step 2: Prevent the regrowth of mold. We apply our patented, polymer sealant using electrostatic fogging. This sealant is the key product of the MAPS System, and is not available elsewhere. It enhances the effectiveness of the anti-microbial by sealing any treated surfaces, porous or non-porous. The sealant acts as a shield against future mold growth on treated surfaces. The product, developed by a world-renowned biomaterials scientist, is derived from coating used in human implant devices. The sealant uses silver, nature’s natural anti-microbial metal, at a nanoscale level to create an impermeable silver barrier. Any microorganism that comes into contact with this sealant, including mold, immediately dies. The sealant also has built-in “moisture intelligence,” which is the ability to travel through any surface water and seek out the moisture in mold spores. When a mold spore comes into contact with the sealant, its molecular DNA is broken down and rearranged. The mold is no longer allergenic or otherwise harmful to the home’s occupants. This step is essential for preventing the regrowth of mold and for resolving a mold problem for the long-term. This sealant is unique to the Mold Exterm System and is what separates our mold treatment process from any other that is offered on the market.
Step 3. The installation of a commercial-grade SaniDry upright dehumidifier in the basement.
Once the power to this home was turned back on, with the dehumidifier and annual yearly service, reducing indoor humidity levels and an operational sump pump, I was able to guarantee that this home would remain mold-free for 5 years from the date of treatment. No similar guarantee is offered by traditional mold remediators. That is because they simply remove the mold (as well as huge quantities of building materials) and do not attempt to treat it. In contrast, we are able to offer a long-term guarantee precisely because our products and our process are designed to treat and remove the threat of mold for the long-term, not just for today.
Bank Sale Forces Treatment of Mold in Howell, NJ
There wasn't visible mold in this home in Howell, NJ basement but there was a high mold spore count versus the spore count from the outside. The bank that was selling the property wanted all the wood panels removed and the actual concrete and wall joists treated for mold to ensure that the mold wouldn't form.. those pictures just show that we're a well round mold treatment company that could tear out the materials whether it's necessary or not where in this case the customer (the bank) wanted everything removed..
In situations where concealed mold is suspected due to an indoor mold test, or there is knowledge of previous conditions which could have led to mold. Cowleys can perform demolition work to remove any structurally damaged
In this bank-owned property, there was no visible mold, but testing showed a very high mold spore count. The bank asked us to remove all the wood panels so that the concrete and wall joists could be treated with the MAPS patented sealant, guaranteeing a mold-free home so the sale could go through.
Mold in Crawl Space Causes Allergies for Howell, NJ Family
A homeowner in Howell, NJ was having chronic allergy problems in her home. Often, when someone is experiencing chronic allergy symptoms and is having respiratory difficulties, it is often mold growth in the home, especially if the problems are not happening during “allergy season” when pollen counts are high. Different people have different sensitivities to mold, and occupants of a home do not uniformly react to mold growth. At a loss to determine why she was having allergy issues that would not resolve, the homeowner finally had a mold test done in the crawl space. The test indicated that mold spores were high even though visible mold growth could not be located anywhere. During our inspection, it was clear to us that the crawl space’s air quality was poor, and crawl space air circulates throughout the entire home. Even though crawl spaces are “out of sight, out of mind,” the air down below enters the home’s living spaces above.
We treated the crawl space with an EPA-registered antimicrobial (MAPS 1), followed by a patented sealant (MAPS 2) that kills mold at the cellular level. This sealant renders any mold growth inert, harmless, and non-allergenic. While in the crawl space, we realigned the vapor barrier. Vapor barriers insulate your crawl space walls and prevent moisture from affecting your home’s structure. However, to work, they must be where they are supposed to be. Vapor barriers can detach, and it is important to periodically check their condition.
When we were finished, the crawl space air was noticeably better. We are hopeful that with the basement now treated for mold growth, this homeowner’s allergy issues will be resolved.
Extensive attic mold nearly derails home sale in Farmingdale, NJ
These Farmingdale homeowners were in the process of selling their home. As often happens, mold was discovered during the home inspection. Often, mold grows in those humid, damp areas of the home that are rarely visited, especially is there had been a water intrusion at some point because of a roof leak, groundwater seepage, or a broken pipe. With this home, the inspector discovered mold on some of the wall sheathing in the attic. Mold will feed on anything that is alive or was once alive, including oriented strand board (OSB) sheathing, which uses an engineered manufacturing process to make rigid uniform panels for wood-framed walls that has no core voids or knotholes. Although OSB sheathing looks nothing like the trees from which it was made, mold will still grow on it as long as there is sufficient water or moisture.The homeowners were concerned that this discovery of mold would delay putting their house on the market, and they contacted Mold Solutions By Cowleys. They called us in to do our mold treatment. We first treat affected areas by applying our EPA-registered anti-microbial (MAPS 1) and then apply our patented polymer sealant (MAPS 2). While completely safe and non-toxic, this sealant destroys mold. Upon contact with the sealant, any mold is instantly 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 areaThe homeowners chose Mold Solutions By Cowleys because they did not want mold to delay the sale of their home. Our treatment process allows most mold projects to be completed in less than a day. Why? We directly treat the mold itself instead of tearing out the mold-affected materials (as long as they are not structurally damaged). Also, unlike traditional mold remediation, we warranty our mold treatment process against returning mold.Unfortunately, even when mold is removed, it leaves behind staining and discoloration. This staining is caused by the release of enzymes and certain pigmented compounds. For non-living spaces of the home like crawl spaces and attics, it is an aesthetic choice to have these stains removed, and for certain porous materials like drywall, mold stain removers are ineffective. Residual mold stains, while unsightly, pose no health risk. What’s of critical importance, and our focus, is getting rid of the mold. And after our treatment, not only is the mold is gone, but also any treated areas are protected from future mold growth. Because our process restores the home’s indoor air quality, mold-related respiratory problems are avoided.
Treating Mold in Brick, NJ Beach House
The owners of a beach house in Brick, NJ found themselves with an unpleasant surprise when they returned to get the home ready for summer: there was mold growing behind a cabinet and drywall. They contacted Cowleys Mold Solutions and a two-man crew was dispatched to treat the mold.
The homeowner wanted us to removing the cabinet, which was no problem. However, he was hoping to avoid a tear-out and replacement of the drywall panels that had developed mold. Since there was no structural damage to the drywall, we could potentially leave it in depending on whether there was some behind the drywall responsible for the mold growth, and whether we needed to access the area in order to fix the problem. Mold is a sign that a home has some type of water intrusion or chronic moisture from high humidity. While it is important to treat the mold, it is just as important to address the underlying problem that’s causing mold growth in the first place. Otherwise, the mold will return. To check behind the drywall, we cut out four small “peepholes” at the tops and bottoms of each moldy area of the drywall so we could visually access the wall void and determine the water source triggering the mold growth. As it turned out, a condensation drain for AC was dumping water into a bay directly above the mold-affected infected area. We repositioned the condensation line so it would drain water away from the home.
We treated the mold problem with our mold treatment process that that involves two separate applications. First, we applied an EPA-registered antimicrobial (MAPS 1) to the affected areas. Next, we applied our patented sealant (MAPS 2), for which Cowleys is a licensed distributor. This sealant kills molds on contact at the cellular level rendering it inert and harmless. Mold is dangerous because its airborne spores can cause various respiratory problems, and some strains of mold contain actual toxins. This sealant is also moisture-sensitive. If the conditions that trigger mold growth return, this sealant has the ability to reactivate and kill any new mold growth in the treated areas. The owners were pleased that we could complete this job in less than a day, that the drywall could be saved thereby avoiding a tear-out/renovation project. And, most important for them, there would be no delays in using the beach house over the summer.