Brian, a Forked River resident, has been with Cowleys since 2017. He is a valued member of our construction/home improvement crew, and has a variety of responsibilities including crawl space encapsulation (CleanSpacing), attic insulation, mold treatment, and related home improvement services.
He joins us with an extensive background in construction and carpentry. For many years, Brian was a highly skilled union carpenter. His past experience including running his own construction company and serving as the maintenance manager of a large apartment complex. Brian has a keen understanding of the importance of completing projects on time and on budget, and brings strong leadership skills to Cowleys.
Brian enjoys the variety of home improvement work offered at Cowleys. He commented that the different jobs and their unique challenges every week makes his work week interesting. He takes personal pride in his work and brings out the best in the other team members.
In his spare time, Brian enjoys coaching youth softball, and he must be doing something right out on the diamond, because he’s managed to have a run of winning seasons. He also values time spent with his family, which is his highest priority.
After finding mold in his crawl space, this homeowner in Howell, NJ called our office for help... Watch Video »
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.
Mold growth is the result of water or moisture-buildup. There are numerous ways that excess water or moisture can occur inside a home. Often, its a leaky pipe. Other times, its moisture build-up in crawl spaces, attics, and basements because of chronically high indoor humidity levels. With this homeowner in ManchesterTownship, NJ, the cause of the mold formation was, believe it or not, furniture placement!
The homeowners placed furniture directly against their HVAC registers — those vent grilles in your home that cover the hole where the duct enters the room to blow out heated or cooled air. As this homeowner found out the hard way, never block these registers! Doing so not only impedes the efficiency of your HVAC system, but it can also trigger dangerous mold growth by trapping the moisture in the air that’s blowing out of the ducts.
We moved the furniture away from the walls to treat the mold. We treated all of the mold-affected areas with with two products, an EPA-registered antimicrobial (MAPS 1) followed by a patented sealant (MAPS 2). This sealant, available only to licensed distributors, completely destroys the mold. This sealant also reactivates based on moisture conditions. If any new mold attempts to take root and regrow in the treated areas, this sealant reactivates to kill that mold growth. No other mold treatment products on the market have this unique ability to kill potential future mold growth. The Mold Solutions crew was able to treat this mold problem in less than a day. Finally was the mold was killed, we wiped down any visible mold stains. Depending on the depth of the stain, we can usually get rid of it.
Finally, as a precaution we treated the ductwork. HVAC ducts can accumulate a layer of organic film from all of the dust particles and other contaminants in the air. This residue is more than enough organic “food” to trigger mold growth. Homeowners are surprised to learn that mold can grow in ducts since they are made of galvanized steel or aluminum, which is as far from organic as you can get! Mold will grow on many materials in your home besides just wood, drywall, and acoustical ceiling tiles.
Since there was no underlying damage to any building materials and everything was structurally sound, there was no need for a building tear-out. With our mold treatment process, we simply kill the mold right where it sits, and we are often able to do so in less than a day.
Homeowners in Millstone Township, NJ, were recently doing some deep cleaning of their basement. When removing a drawer out of a dresser, they discovered mold growth. They immediately stopped cleaning and contacted Mold Solutions to have the mold treated. The cause of the basement mold growth was chronically high relative humidity levels, which is quite common in basements and crawl spaces. For mold to form, flooding, a burst pipe, groundwater infiltration, or other major water intrusion event is not necessary. Mold can just as easily start to form if there is a high level of moisture in the air.
Fortunately, all of the building materials were sound with no loss of structural integrity, so we were able to treat the mold directly right were it sits with our removing any building materials. The homeowners were quite relieved that the mold treatment would not involve an extensive tear-out and renovation. We treated the basement and any mold-contaminated furnishings with an EPA-registered antimicrobial (MAPS 1) followed by a patented sealant (MAPS 2) that encapsulates and kills the mold at the cellular level. For long-term prevention of returning mold, the homeowners had us install a commercial grade whole-house SaniDry Sedona dehumidifier, which is considered one of the best high-performance dehumidifiers and filtration systems on the market. They are specifically designed to work in the challenging environment of basements and crawl spaces and operate 24/7, turning on and off automatically using a built-in hygrometer. There is no water pan to empty and is set up to drain into a sump pump or other drainage system. These dehumidifiers will keep down indoor humidity and moisture to levels where mold will not form. By producing clean, dry air, these dehumidifiers do a great job eliminating musty odors and that muggy feeling caused by high humidity. Indoor air quality is dramatically improved. These machines have proven especially beneficial for those with allergies or asthma.
Recently, we were contacted by a homeowner in Freehold, NJ who was having mold issues in their attic. As we equipped our personal protective equipment and inspected the attic we came across a support beam that showed evident signs of mold growth. As we inspected the roof valley we noticed there was a leak. Further inspection of the attic revealed that this section was the only area that had mold growth. Roof leaks cause two types of mold growth; systemic or limited growth. Systemic growth occurs when the roof leak causes enough moisture buildup in the attic to cause mold growth throughout the entire area. The roof leak only affects a small area, but the dampness in the air causes condensation throughout. Limited growth occurs when an attic has sufficient ventilation to exhaust the additional moisture caused by the roof leak, which was the case here. Remember, all mold problems arise from a moisture problem. You cannot have a mold problem without a moisture problem.
First, we applied an EPA registered antimicrobial solution called Mold Abatement Polymer Solutions 1 (or MAPS 1 for short). MAPS 1 targets mold at its cellular level and kills it instantly. Then we apply an additional solution called MAPS 2. MAPS 2 encapsulates the existing dead mold and prevents any future mold from growing. Even though we permanently removed the mold, we advised the homeowner to schedule an appointment with a contractor to repair the leak in his roof. We’re were happy to hear that the homeowner scheduled an appointment while we were removing the mold in his attic.
Recently, we went on a service call for a homeowner in Freehold, NJ who contacted Cowleys to resolve a mold issue that had developed in his bathroom. The most common cause of mold growth is humidity. Humidity problems occur when warm, moisture-laden air interacts with a cool ceiling, causing condensation and subsequent mold growth.
After suiting up with our personal protective equipment (mold is a serious bio-hazard in enclosed spaces), we began our inspection of the bathroom. Almost immediately, we discovered an area of the ceiling that had evident mold growth. Whenever mold is discovered, to resolve the problem long-term, it is essential to identify the underlying cause of the mold growth and have those issues remedied so that mold doesn’t return. Here, after a thorough inspection, we determined that the mold growth was due to poor ventilation. Mold growth on a bathroom ceiling is almost always caused by inadequate ventilation.
Mold is a living, breathing fungus that multiplies and will continue to spread as long as the conditions in the home remain conducive to mold growth. In cases where there is structural damage from the moisture, materials would need to be removed. However, in this case, there was no structural damage so, with our treatment process, we are able to kill mold in its place.
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. Next, we applied MAPS 2, a patented polymer sealant that encapsulates the existing dead mold and helps prevent future mold from growing if conducive conditions return. Once MAPS 1 & 2 have been applied, the mold is killed and is no longer a threat. Also, MAPS 2 will reactivate with moisture to fight future mold growth.
Although we treated the mold in the bathroom, there was still the issue of the underlying condition that triggered the growth in the first place: poor ventilation. The homeowner decided to deal with this issue and hired a contractor to install vents in his bathroom. Another mold remediation treatment performed by Cowleys!
A homeowner in Freehold, NJ called our office concerned that he might have mold in his basement. We arrived, equipped our personal protective equipment (mold is a biohazard in enclosed spaces), and began our inspection. Within minutes, we found mold growth along the joists throughout the basement. Since the homeowner never had a leak in his home, he was confused as to why the mold had developed.
After measuring the basement with our hygrometer, we determined that the reason for the mold growth was due to high humidity levels in the basement. Mold can grow in any place with sufficient sources of moisture, organic feeding material, and oxygen. A high level of humidity creates the perfect conditions for both mold and mildew to spread in your basement. The main problem causing humidity in the basement is improper airflow.
First, we applied MAPS 1, which is an antimicrobial solution that targets mold at its cellular level and kills it instantly. After applying MAPS 1, we scrubbed away the mold and then applied our patented sealant called MAPS 2. MAPS 2 encapsulates the mold, rendering it non-allergenic & harmless, and is moisture sensitive and will reactivate when it gets wet to prevent future mold growth. In order to address the high humidity levels in the basement, we installed a Sedona Sandi-Dry XP dehumidifier. A Sedona Sandi-Dry XP is a powerful, energy-efficient dehumidifier that outperforms standard household dehumidifiers by as much as 10 times while using the same amount of energy to run. Now the homeowner can rest assured knowing that his home is mold-free and the chronic humidity in his basement has been resolved.
A homeowner in Freehold, NJ called our office after noticing mold growth by his baseboard heat in his basement. Apparently, while the homeowner was at work, a water pipe burst and started leaking all over. Luckily the homeowner's daughter came by and stopped the leak before any additional damage occurred. The homeowner rushed home and fixed the broken pipe, but unfortunately, mold had developed.
We equipped our personal protective equipment and began inspecting the basement. During our inspection, we realized that the drywall had mold growth all over it and it was still soaking wet. In order to properly treat the mold growth, we had to remove the drywall. We informed the homeowner and he agreed that the wall needed to be removed.
After removing the drywall, we applied an EPA registered antimicrobial solution called Mold Abatement Polymer Solutions, or MAPS 1 for short. MAPS 1 targets mold at its DNA level and kills it instantly. Afterward, we applied MAPS 2, a patented polymer sealant that encapsulates the existing dead mold and prevents future mold from growing. Once MAPS 1 & 2 have been applied, mold is no longer a threat.
The utility room of a unit in a Lakewood, NJ apartment building was located outside, off the balcony. Unfortunately, the apartment unit above theirs, with a virtually identical layout, had a water leak in their utility room. The pipe leak in the unit above was fixed, but the damage to the unit below was not corrected in time. Water had seeped down into the ceiling tile and sheetrock of the utility room. This mishap took place during the summer, and the residents of the bottom unit were unaware of the water issue above the,. These utility rooms were not air-conditioned. Also, these rooms were outside by the balcony and filled with hot, humid outdoor air. Unfortunately, the conditions were perfect for this small enclosed space to turn into a “petri dish” for mold growth.
Although the sheet rock had superficial mold growth, it had not lost its structural integrity. The only problem with the material was the mold itself. A mold remediation company had examined the utility room prior to us, and informed the apartment manager that the sheetrock would need to be torn out and carted away.
Fortunately, Mold Solutions was contacted for a second opinion. We explained that, with our treatment process, we are often able to treat the mold right where it sits, making it unnecessary to remove the underlying building materials on which the mold is growing provided that the materials are not damaged and structurally sound. In fact, treating the mold directly is far more effective because removal of building materials disrupts the mold spores. These airborne microscopic particles simply reattach elsewhere and mold growth soon reappears.
A two-man crew treated the utility room mold by applying an EPA-registered antimicrobial (MAPS 1) followed by a patented sealant (MAPS 2) that encapsulates the mold and kills it at the cellular level. Also, the sealant is moisture-sensitive and reactivates to kill any future mold growth. In less than a day, we successfully treated the mold and avoided an expensive and unnecessary tear-out and renovation project.
Finally, although we thoroughly wiped down the mold stains, some of the stains were too deeply embedded to remove completely. Mold stains are the residue of the mold enzymes dissolving the materials (mold is nature’s decomposer). Although mold stains look horrible, they are not harmful or allergenic like the mold itself. Even though the utility room is not a “living space” of the unit, if these residents don’t want to be reminded of the mold growth when visiting the utility room, the solution is easy. With a fresh coat of paint to the utility room walls and ceiling, you would never know that there was once was a mold problem.
Recently, a two-man crew from Cowleys Mold Solutions was sent to a home in Lakewood, NJ to resolve a basement mold problem resulting from chronically high indoor humidity levels. Mold can form simply from high levels of moisture in the air not just from a water issue. When furnishings are sitting on damp floors or placed flush against damp walls, mold will often start to form. So, for example, when hanging pictures or paintings, we recommend using spacers so the back of the framing is not in direct contact with the wall. Keeping air circulating is important to minimize mold growth, and it important to have good room ventilation. Weather-permitting, air out rooms by opening up your windows to let in fresh air. Also, make sure all of your fans are operational, especially in bathrooms, attics, and laundry rooms. In basements where indoor humidity levels trigger mold growth, the only long-term solution is whole-house dehumidification. By keeping down relative humidity levels below 55% mold cannot take hold.
Here, during our inspection of the basement, we found mold growing on a leather couch. Mold can grow anywhere, not just on walls, floors, and ceilings! As seen in the pictures, this mold had a white, powdery appearance, almost like chalk. Different strains of mold have different colors and textures, but no matter its presentation, all mold is potentially harmful. We first noticed significant mold growth on the couch along the base underneath the seating, and after tipping up the couch to inspect its underside, the couch was found to have extensive mold growth. Mold can form on any organic material, including leather.
We treated the entire basement with an EPA-registered antimicrobial (MAPS 1) followed by a patented proprietary sealant (MAPS 2) that encapsulates the mold and kills it on contact. The sealant not only kills the existing mold. It is moisture-sensitive and will reactivate to kill any new mold growth.
A three-man crew from the Cowleys Home Improvement team was sent to a home in Toms River, NJ. As often happens in homes situated in areas with high water tables, especially after periods of heavy rain or snowmelt, this home had a significant problem with groundwater seepage.
As this homeowner found out, an unfortunate byproduct of groundwater entering a crawl space is mold growth. The homeowner realized there was a mold problem down below because that tell-tale earthy, musty smell of mold had permeated the home’s living space. To resolve this problem, we removed the existing fiberglass insulation. This type of insulation in the crawl space absorbs water and is a source for mold growth. Over time, fiberglass insulation in crawl spaces tends to fall as it becomes weighted down and mice just love this material for nesting. These types of insulation are are not specifically designed for the moisture and humidity found in crawl spaces and often wind up causing problems.
To treat the mold, we applied an antimicrobial (MAPS 1) followed by a patented sealant (MAPS 2) that not only kills the existing mold, but also has moisture-sensitivity. This sealant has the ability to reactivate and kill future mold growth in the treated areas. To effectively deal with future groundwater intrusions we installed two workhorse “smart pumps” that tie into a discharge line.
Homeowners in Toms River, NJ, found that groundwater had entered the basement. Fortunately, it wasn’t a great amount and the cleaned it up and fixed the crack where water was entering. Unfortunately, as this homeowner found out, it doesn’t take much water to trigger mold growth. A couple of days later, they checked the basement and noticed some mold growth on the sheetrock. Mold will attach to any organic material and use it as food, dissolving it with powerful enzymes. Even though sheetrock is made of inorganic gypsum, it has thick sheets of paper that mold will attach to.
Here, the sheetrock was not structurally damaged and we could treat the mold directly. As often happens, as long as there is no loss of structural integrity to the materials, we can treat the mold — often in less than a day — and leave the materials alone, avoiding an expensive tear-out and renovation project. Here, we first treated the mold with an EPA-registered antimicrobial (MAPS 1) followed by a patented sealant (MAPS 2) that encapsulates and kills the mold at the cellular level. Finally, we wiped down any visible mold stains. The staining is a byproduct of the mold’s enzymes. The stains are not allergic or harmful as the mold itself. However, it is aesthetically unappealing. As long as the stains are not too deep we can usually clean it off with a mold stain remover. However, sometimes, for deep mold stains, it is necessary to re-paint.
The homeowner was pleased that we could quickly resolve the mold issue. With the groundwater problem fixed, this homeowner should not have a return of mold.
One of the Mold Solutions By Cowleys crews was called out to treat and remove mold that had formed in the basement of a restaurant in New Brunswick. The basement had significant mold growth on the joists (the lumber supporting the basement ceiling) and the walls due to moisture and condensation from high humidity levels down below.
We first treated the joists and walls were treated with our EPA-registered anti-microbial (MAPS 1) to kill the surface mold and eliminate dangerous airborne mold spores. During this process, we were able to scrub away most of the visible mold growth. Next, we applied our patented polymer sealant (MAPS 2). This sealant is safe and non-toxic sealant to people, but deadly to mold. It contains small particles silver that destroys mold at the cellular level, rendering it inert, harmless, and non-allergenic. This sealant has the unique ability to reactivate and prevent the return of any new mold growth in the treated areas, so it not kills both the existing mold growth as well as any future mold growth as well. No other mold treatment product has this capability.
Mold formation in this New Brunswick basement could have been prevented if a dehumidifier had been installed. Dehumidification is, by far, the most important long-term preventative measure for controlling dangerous crawl space and basement moisture that will inevitably lead to mold growth. We recommended the purchase of a commercial-grade dehumidifier to maintain indoor humidity at levels that would minimize or prevent mold growth. Mold Solutions By Cowleys sells and services powerful, maintenance-free dehumidifiers specifically designed for basements and crawl spaces. The owner understood the importance of dehumidification to keep a basement clean and dry, and stated that he would contact us at a later date if he decided to go forward with purchasing a unit.
During the pending sale of a home in Howell, the inspector discovered extensive mold growth in the crawl space. Mold, a type of fungus, is always caused by some water or moisture problem inside a structure. Sustained high indoor humidity levels are enough to trigger mold growth. Basements and crawl spaces are often prime breeding grounds for mold. Many crawl spaces are still vented, allowing thick, humid outside air to enter, not to mention insects and other pests.
This “before and after” of this basement in Marlboro, NJ is another demonstration of the effectiveness of our mold treatment process. The Mold Solutions crew was sent to this home to treat a a small amount of mold growth on the joists in this basement.
Rim joists are a common area for basement mold growth in many homes. especially rim spaces that are insulated with fiberglass batts. Warm, moist air easily passes through the home into the rim space and then oneness on the joists. Any area in the home that has chronic problems with excess water, moisture, or humidity, there is a high risk for mold growth — and dark, moist, humid basements can easily turn into a mold breeding ground. Hidden mold in non-living areas of the home will then transfer on air currents to the inhabited areas, often making the home’s occupants sick.
We chemically treated the entire basement using electrostatic fogging by first using an EPA-registered antimicrobial (MAPS 1). Next, it was time to do the heavy-duty manual work, painstakingly scrubbing off any visible mold. Once completed, we applied a patented sealant (MAPS 2). This unique product not only destroys mold at the cellular level, but also has the ability to reactivate based on moisture conditions. If any mold attempts to take root and regrow in any of the treated areas, our MAPS 2 sealant will reactivate and kills any new mold growth before it has a chance to take hold. No other product on the market has this capability.
The Mold Solutions Team at Cowleys went out on a service call for a homeowner in Marlboro, NJ who was having an issue with mold growing in his basement. We equipped our personal protective equipment and began our inspection. As we inspected we discovered that the basement had water intrusion through the foundation wall behind a sheetrock wall, which was causing mold. We informed the homeowner that he would need to take care of the water issue prior to our mold treatment. The homeowner had a basement waterproofing company come in and take care of the water intrusion issue. Now it is our turn.
Even though the drywall was removed by the waterproofing company we needed to treat the existing wood framing and the rest of the basement walls to kill any mold spores. We first treated with Maps 1, which an EPA-registered anti-microbial solution that is specifically designed to kill active mold growth. We then scrubbed away the surface mold and applied MAPS 2, a patented polymer sealant that encapsulates the existing dead mold and prevents future mold from growing. Now the risk of dangerous mold growth, both now and in the future, has been removed.
A small family practice medical office in Howell, NJ was closed for a short time during the summer for a family vacation. While away, the building’s air conditioning system malfunctioned and stopped functioning during an exceptionally hot and humid week and the office was filled with warm humid air. The air conditioning system was immediately fixed and started pumping out cool air. However, this caused an unintended problem that often happens during our Jersey Shore summers — vent and ductwork condensation. The warm air in the building came into contact with the cooler surfaces causing the water vapor to condense into liquid form. These beads of water (often called “sweat beads”) are more than enough to trigger surface mold growth.
Since this was a doctor’s office, this mold had to be treated quickly and correctly. Cowleys Mold Solutions was contacted and a two-man crew was immediately sent over to inspect and treat the problem. We treated the mold with two applications. We first applied an EPA-registered antimicrobial, and followed that application with a patented sealant that encapsulates the mold and destroys it at the cellular level. Any mold is rendered inert and harmless. As long as there is no loss of structural integrity to any building materials, we are able to treat the mold directly with little to no interruption of business activities — usually in less than a day.
The customer was pleased that we were able to resolve this mold issue so expeditiously. He was concerned that the space would not be usable for some period of time for treating patients, and that was not the case. With our mold treatment process, everything was up and running in no time.
Mold is not just a problem limited to home and apartments. Any structure with a water or moisture problem can soon find itself with a mold problem. Here, a commercial customer in South Plainfield, NJ, had a slow pipe leak in a bathroom closet that had apparently gone unnoticed for quite some time. Finally, an employee noticed the stagnant water on the floor as well as mold growth. A plumber was called in to fix the leak prior to our arrival, but the customer was still left with dangerous mold growth that needed to be resolved.
This business used Cowleys for its pest control needs and knew of our Mold Solutions Division. A two-man Mold Solutions crew arrived to treat the mold growth quickly and easily. We treated all of the mold-affected areas with an antimicrobial (MAPS 1) followed by a parented polymer sealant (MAPS 2) that encapsulates the mold and kills it at the cellular level. No building materials needed to be removed, and we were in and out in less than a day.
Finally, there were unsightly mold stains that we were scrubbed away using our MMR stain remover. Even though the mold is completely destroyed, we do our best to remove any visible traces that there was once a mold problem. Mold stains are a residue from the enzymes in the mold. Stains themselves, unlike mold, are not allergenic or otherwise harmful to people. Nevertheless, mold stains are unsightly and aesthetically unappealing. As long as the stains aren’t too deep in the materials on which the mold has taken hold, we can get rid of all or most of them. Sometimes, if the staining is deep, the surface has to be painted over.
The customer was quite pleased that the mold problem could be resolved so quickly and without any tear-outs or renovations.
These homeowners in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ were in the process of selling their home. As often happens, during the home inspection, mold was found in the basement. This home did not have a basement dehumidifier and their was chronically high indoor humidity that led to the mold growth.
We chemically treated the entire basement. We used an EPA-registered antimicrobial (MAPS 1) followed by applying a patented sealant (MAPS 2). This product not only destroys mold at the cellular level, but also has the ability to reactivate based on moisture conditions. If any mold attempts to take root and regrow in any of the treated areas, this sealant reactivates to kill any new mold growth before it has a chance to take hold.
Most important for the seller, since there were no building materials that lost their structural integrity, it was not necessary to do a major tear-out and renovation with our treatment process because we kill the mold right where it sits. With our process, there were no construction delays or other problems caused by finding mold. The sellers breathed a sigh of relief once they found out that the sale would not be derailed because of mold, and that the closing could go on as planned.
For those who are selling homes as well as the real estate agents representing them, Mold Solutions By Cowleys offers many benefits compared to traditional mold remediation not the lest of which is keeping the agreed-upon closing date on track..
A homeowner in Metuchen, NJ, was in the process of selling his home. During the home inspection, mold growth was found in the crawl space. There was groundwater seepage into the crawl space and high humidity levels making this enclosed area of the home the perfect environment for mold growth. As often happens, mold growth in crawl spaces is often not timely discovered since it is rare for homeowners to venture down there and check on things. It is quite common that crawl space mold is discovered during home inspections. There is never a good time to find mold, but finding mold during a pending sale is particularly frustrating. The last thing any seller wants to find out is that there is a mold problem that can delay the sale or even derail it.
The homeowner contacted Mold Solutions by Cowleys. We treat the mold directly and can often avoid time-consuming and expensive tear-out and renovation projects. We only remove building materials that are water-damaged and have lost their structural integrity. Here, the only use was the mold growth, so we were able to treat the mold in less than a day and keep the pending sale on track.
We treated the mold with an effective mold-killing antimicrobial (MAPS 1) and a patented polymer sealant (MAPS 2) that encapsulates and kills mold at the cellular level, rendering it inert and harmless. We also wiped down any visible mold stains. Although residual mold stains themselves are not allergenic (these stains are just a byproduct of the mold’s enzymes dissolving whatever material it is eating), they are aesthetically unappealing and can give the mistaken impression that there is an active mold issue, when there is not. With our process, we not only kill the existing mold. This this sealant is moisture-sensitive and will reactivate to kill future mold growth as well. Our process was more than enough to give the prospective buyers complete assurance that the crawl space mold was no longer an issue.
In addition, when there is mold growth, it is important to identify and fix the underlying issues causing the mold growth in the first place. With groundwater seepage, we recommend crawl space encapsulation and, of course, an efficient dependable sump pump. To keep down humidity levels, the only effective long-term solution is dehumidification. Here, the sellers asked us to install a SaniDry Sedona dehumidifier to keep down moisture in the air, so mold would be unable to form.
The SaniDry dehumidifiers that we install and service are made with commercial-grade components. They are specifically designed to operate in basements and crawl spaces where humidity levels, especially during the summer, can skyrocket. These dehumidifiers operate automatically with a built-in hygrometer, and they empty into the drainage system, so there is no water pan to empty. They are truly worry-free machines. Perhaps best of all, with clean, dry air in your basement or crawl space, the entire home’s indoor air quality is dramatically improved. With these machines keeping down humidity levels, those musty odors from down below that permeate the home’s living spaces soon disappear.
Recently, I went on a service call to a home in Manasquan, NJ after the homeowner contacted us because of mold growth in his basement. As I was equipping my personal protective equipment to start my inspection, I asked the homeowner about any water intrusions that could have triggered the mold growth. He stated that, a short time ago, his water heater had a small leak, spraying water all over the sheetrock wall. Although the leak was fixed immediately, it wasn’t caught quickly enough, and mold started to form.
Mold is a living fungus that grows by digesting organic matter and spreads by releasing airborne spores that attach on surfaces to form new colonies. In nature, mold is essential to decompose wood, leaves and other plant debris. However, indoor mold poses a serious health hazard. Mold growth can be triggered inside homes because of chronic humidity or some water intrusion, and mold can form on pretty much any surface, from wood and wallpaper to insulation and carpeting. Because mold thrives on water and moisture, any water leak, even a small one, can trigger mold growth. Mold spreads by airborne spores attaching to damp surfaces. Spores in outdoor air can find their way inside homes through open windows or by attaching themselves to anyone or anything entering the home. Short of forming an airtight seal around your home, it is impossible to stop mold spores from coming inside. In fact, mold spores surround us all the time. But just like other invisible allergens, they are too small for us to see!
I began my inspection, and immediately located the obvious mold growth next to the water heater. However, mold growth could attach anywhere once it forms, and to be thorough, I inspected every nook and cranny of the basement to determine if there was mold growth in other areas. Fortunately, the mold growth was localized to the one area near the water heater and no other areas were yet affected. In some instances, sheetrock or other building materials with severe water damage have lost their structural integrity and must be removed. Often, however, the materials just have superficial growth and it is not necessary to remove the materials. Instead, we treat the mold directly right where it sits, which saves the homeowner from an expensive tear-out and renovation project. Here, to the relief of this homeowner, it was not necessary to remove the mold-affected sheetrock.
First, I began treating the affected area with an EPA-registered antimicrobial solution, called MAPS 1 (Mold Abatement Polymer Solutions) that kills existing mold. Then, I follow it with a patented sealant called MAPS 2 to encapsulate the mold rendering it inert, harmless, and nonallergenic. The sealant not only kills the existing mold, but it’s formulated to reactivate to kill any future mold growth. Now the risk of dangerous mold growth, both now and in the future, has been removed.
A homeowner in Manalapan, NJ called contacted Cowleys after spotting mold in his garage. The ceiling in this garage had a small area of mold growth due to a leaky roof. The homeowner had the leak repaired, but mold stilled formed. Exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects. Those who are sensitive to molds can suffer nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, or, in some cases, skin irritation.
We equipped our personal protective equipment and began inspecting the garage. We spotted the mold growth in the garage and began our treatment. We treated the entire garage space with Maps 1. Maps 1 is an EPA-registered anti-microbial solution that is specifically designed to kill active mold growth. We then scrubbed away the surface mold and applied MAPS 2, a patented polymer sealant that encapsulates the existing dead mold and prevents future mold from growing. Once MAPS 1 & 2 have been applied, the mold is no longer a threat. The remaining stains are inert, harmless, and non-allergenic. Also, MAPS 2 will reactivate with moisture to fight future mold growth.
Recently, we went on a service call to a home in Holmdel, NJ, after the homeowner found mold in his attic, and contacted us to have it treated. The attic is one of the most common places for mold to develop because of chronic humidity issues. Unfortunately, rarely visited attics are also one of the most likely places for mold growth to go unnoticed.
Once we put on our personal protective equipment (mold is a bio-hazard in enclosed spaces!), we began our inspection of the attic. After a thorough inspection, we determined that the mold growth in is attic was due to a lack of ventilation. Here, there was neither an attic fan nor any static vents to create an air flow. Poor ventilation can trigger mold growth. Why? Mold can form by an imbalance in temperature between the air coming into the attic and the air going out. During cold weather, warm air from the house rises, entering the cold unheated attic. When warm air meets the cold attic surfaces condensation occurs forming water droplets, and if cold enough, ice crystals. This moist environment along with a food source, building materials made of wood, creates the perfect conditions for attic mold infestation. Mold will grow on and consume anything that contains once-living organic materials, including plywood and sheetrock.
After determining the cause of mold growth, it was time for the solution! First, we applied an EPA-registered, non-toxic antimicrobial solution called Mold Abatement Polymer Solutions 1 (MAPS). MAPS 1 breaks down mold at a cellular level and kills it instantly. Once that solution dried, we applied a patented sealant (MAPS 2). This moisture-sensitive sealant encapsulates mold, rendering it inert, harmless, and non-allergenic. MAPS 2 reactivates when it gets moist to prevent the growth of any future mold colonies.
Although we successfully removed the mold, the underlying issue causing the mold growth, poor ventilation, still needed to be addressed. Otherwise, there would likely be future mold issues. Improper attic ventilation is a serious problem for homeowners that can lead to very expensive repairs, not to mention unnecessarily high utility bills. After speaking with the homeowner about his inadequate attic ventilation, he asked us to help with the air flow by installing static vents. With a mold problem, homeowners must not only remove the mold. For a long-term resolution, the underlying cause of the mold growth must also be fixed. The mold specialists at Cowleys do both.
Recently, during a pending sale of a home in Wall Township, NJ, the home inspector found mold growing underneath the basement stairs. Often, hidden mold in the non-living spaces of the home are not discovered until there is a pending sale. A determination of mold at this juncture can potentially delay or derail a pending sale. At some point, there had been a small water intrusion in that corner of the basement, and, unbeknownst to the homeowner/seller, had triggered some mold growth. The mold growth wasn’t extensive, which is probably why it went unnoticed until discovered by the home inspector. Nevertheless, it was enough of a problem to potentially throw a wrench into the works, so to speak.
The homeowner contacted Mold Solutions to treat the mold. We went into the home with one objective: to quickly and completely treat the mold so that the pending sale could proceed without delay.
Upon arrival, the two-man crew from Cowleys went straight to work. After identifying the mold-affected areas of the basement, we applied an EPA-registered antimicrobial (MAPS 1) followed by a patented sealant (MAPS 2) that encapsulates the mold and kills in at the cellular level rendering it inert, harmless, and non-allergenic. Often, like with this mold treatment project, we are able to treat the mold and wrap things up in less than a day. We treat the mold directly and, as long as the building materials on which the mold is growing has not lost its structural integrity, there is no need for an extensive project to remove any materials with surface mold growth. With a pending real estate sale, this can make all the difference.
Here, the mold team, as we always do in these time-critical situations, kept the sale on track with no delays. Everyone here was happy — the seller, the buyer, and, of course, the real estate agents who worked hard to facilitate the sale.
A homeowner inspection that uncovers mold growth does not necessarily mean a lost sale or significant renovation expenditures to remedy the problem. Instead, with our mold treatment process, we can resolve most mold issues in less than a day — and with a pending sale that means no delay in the closing.
Recently, I went on a service call to a commercial property in Wall NJ, after the property owner found mold during his renovations. Before beginning my inspection, I equipped my personal protective equipment (PPE). Why? Once mole spores are disturbed, the spores detach and start floating everywhere, landing on anything and anyone. If you’re not wearing any PPE, you’re inviting all of those mold spores to settle on your clothing, the area you’re cleaning, your shoes (allowing mold to travel to other areas in your home), in your eyes, and up your nose into your upper respiratory system! This is an imperative first step to any mold inspection.
Once I put on my PPE I began my inspection of the entire property. After a thorough inspection, I noticed a small amount of mold growth on the interior of the wall plywood. As I took a closer look, I noticed there was moisture entering from the exterior siding. Turns out the siding of the building is stucco and water was flowing from the top of the building between the stucco and the sheathing. This moisture led to mold growth. Mold thrives on organic materials like natural fibers (cotton, wool), paper, leather, wood, or surfaces coated with organic matter such as food, grease, and soil. Mold grows best in warm temperatures of 77 to 86 degrees and needs moisture that can come from water leaks, flooding, high relative humidity, or condensation. Mold growing on exterior stucco walls is not only unsightly, but it can also cause larger problems if it gets in between your home's exterior stucco and framing.
Before treating any mold on your property, you must first fix the problem or the water source causing the mold to grow. Fortunately, the property owner repaired the leak by the time I arrived.
In order to begin the treatment process successfully, I needed to remove the insulation in the affected areas to gain access to the sheathing. The property owner allowed me to do so as the contractor he hired will replace the insulation and drywall. Then, I applied an EPA-registered, non-toxic antimicrobial solution called Mold Abatement Polymer Solutions 1 (MAPS 1). MAPS 1 breaks down mold at a cellular level and kills it instantly. Once that solution dried, we applied a patented sealant called MAPS 2. This moisture-sensitive sealant encapsulates mold, rendering it inert, harmless, and non-allergenic. MAPS 2 reactivates when it gets moist to prevent the growth of any future mold colonies. Now the property owner can continue his renovations in a safe, mold-free environment.
Recently, the Cowleys Mold Solutions Team went on a service call to a residence in Belmar, NJ. The homeowner contacted us because of mold growth in his living room.
Mold is an unwanted by-product of a water or moisture problem in a building. There is a long list of possible water intrusion events that goes well beyond flooding. Mold can form because of leaking pipes, dampness and humidity, especially in basements and crawl spaces, and rain seeping in because of damage to the roof, surrounding fascia boards, and around window frames. For many, exposure to mold can be harmful, leading to long-term chronic health problems, especially for those with pre-existing respiratory conditions and other risk factors.
As we were putting on our personal protective equipment (mold is a serious biohazard in enclosed spaces) we asked the homeowner if he knew of any water intrusion on his property, such as a recently burst water pipe. This preliminary information helps us determine the underlying cause of the mold growth. We don’t just want to treat the current mold. We also want to fix the underlying problem so that mold doesn’t return. The homeowner informed us that a pipe did, in fact, burst in his living room while he was away at work. Fortunately, his son happened to come home early from work and was able to stop the water leak. Otherwise, the problem would have been much worse.
As we began our inspection in the living room, we immediately noticed mold growth around a particular window frame. Unfortunately, after a more detailed inspection, we found that the mold and water damage was more extensive than we first thought. Some of the drywall was so damaged that it had to be removed. If building materials have not lost their structural integrity, we can often just treat the mold. However, sometimes the water damage is too much. Here, we needed to remove some of the drywall, and we started to cut the drywall in those areas where the moisture and mold were most visible. Once the window trim was removed, we could see there was mold growth between the trim and the drywall that wrapped around most of the window. We kept cutting and removing the damaged building materials until we reached the undamaged areas of the drywall.
After the damaged drywall was removed, we applied MAPS 1(Mold Abatement Polymer Solution 1), an EPA-registered anti-microbial. This application is specifically designed to kill active mold growth. We then scrubbed away the surface mold and applied MAPS 2, a patented polymer sealant that encapsulates the existing dead mold and prevents future mold from growing.
After we were finished with our treatment, the homeowner informed us that he scheduled an appointment with a contractor to install new drywall in the living room. Although no one likes these unexpected events, the homeowner was relieved that the dangerous mold growth was removed from his home and he could now move forward with the necessary repairs without worrying about any hidden mold.
A homeowner in Old Bridge Township, NJ found himself with a basement mold problem. Indoor mold will start to grow wherever there is a water or chronic moisture problem inside the home. Here, the culprit was a leaking dehumidifier. Apparently, the dehumidifier had been leaking for some time before anyone noticed. When working properly, dehumidifiers can do wonders preventing mold growth by extracting excess moisture from the air. The problem, however, is that with store-bought “off the rack” machines, there is a wide range in quality, and most are lacking in one respect or the other. Some simply are not powerful enough for the square footage requiring coverage. As this homeowner found out the hard way, others aren’t build that well and are prone to leaking. For this homeowner, his dehumidifier was a hindrance rather than a help.
For homeowners looking for reliable trouble-free dehumidifiers, Cowley sells and installs commercial-grade machines specifically designed for the challenging environment of basements and crawl spaces. We install them so that they drain directly into the home’s drainage system. There is no water pan to empty or overflow, which is important when installed in the non-living spaces of homes.
The excess moisture triggered mold growth on the bottom of the furniture where the carpet was soaked through. We removed the carpeting because it was still wet from the leak, and then treated the mold-affected areas. We first applied an EPA-registered anti-microbial (MAPS 1) followed by a patented sealant (MAPS 2) that encapsulates the mold and kills it at the cellular level.
The homeowner decided to postpone installation of one of our Sani-Dry dehumidifiers. One of our most popular units, the Sedona, would have been perfect for this home. However, the homeowner felt that there was not enough of a chronic high indoor humidity problem that would trigger mold growth. He wanted to wait and see before making the investment, even though there are many benefits for house-wide dehumidification besides mold prevention, not the least of which is dramatic improvement of indoor air quality.
We are hopeful that the homeowner is correct and that this mold growth resulted from this one-time water issue and he did not have other water or moisture issues. However, before leaving, we gave a friendly reminder that Cowleys is always here if he finds himself with a high indoor humidity problem in his home that needs to be addressed. During the fall and winter, it’s easy to forget how bad things were in our basements and crawl spaces during those high humidity summer months.
What ’s the worst that can happen if your basement is not dehumidified? Plenty. Just take a look. This homeowner in Perth Amboy, NJ found out what can happen the hard way.
Chronically high relative indoor humidity will create an environment that is ripe for dangerous mold growth. Homeowners do not need a major water intrusion event like a flood for a serious mold problem to develop. More often than not, mold will form from a slow leaky pipe or high humidity conditions in which the air is saturated with water vapor. Often, this vapor condenses into water beads on cold surfaces like air conditioning ducts. To keep mold from forming, and for your own health and comfort, relative indoor humidity should be kept below 55%.
Fortunately, this situation can be remedied. To treat the mold, we would apply an EPA-registered antimicrobial (MAPS 1) followed by a patented sealant (MAPS 2) that encapsulates the mold and kills it at the cellular level. The process also involves quite of manual labor since we scrub the surfaces to remove any visible mold growth. But how do you keep mold from returning? The only long-term solution is to address the underlying reason for the mold growth in the first place — high indoor humidity. For a basement of this size (under 3000 sq ft), we would install a commercial-grade Sani-Dry Sedona dehumidifier. Unlike generic store-bought dehumidifiers, these machines are specifically designed to work 24/7 in the challenging environments of crawl spaces and basements. These dehumidifiers are maintenance-free and require no human intervention to operate. They turn on and off automatically based on a built-in hygrometer that measures humidity levels. Also, we install them to drain the extracted water directly into a sump pump or condensation pump, so there is no water pan to worry about overflowing.
Mold growth in basements and crawl spaces is still a problem even though it is not growing directly in the living spaces of the home. Mold colonizes by releasing microscopic mold spores that attach elsewhere. This spores will travel on air currents throughout the home. For those with mold sensitivities, inhaling these spores can trigger serious respiratory issues. Although any strain of mold is potentially harmful, toxic black mold has it’s own particular set of serious health issues.
Recently, we went on a service call for a homeowner in Asbury Park, NJ who contacted Cowleys to resolve a mold issue that had developed in his attic. Attics are one of the more common places in a home to find mold growth. Attics can suffer from high humidity levels, especially during the summer, as well as water intrusion problems because of roof or soffit leaks. Unfortunately, mold growth in attics often goes unnoticed. It is important to periodically check the non-living spaces in your home like attics and crawl spaces for mold and other issues.
After suiting up with our personal protective equipment (mold is a serious bio-hazard in enclosed spaces), we began our inspection of the attic. Almost immediately, we discovered an area that had evident mold growth. Whenever mold is discovered, to resolve the problem long-term, it is essential to identify the underlying cause of the mold growth and have those issues remedied so that mold doesn’t return. Here, after a thorough inspection, we determined that the mold growth was due to poor ventilation. Attic ventilation is something that few homeowners think about. However, inadequate attic ventilation can lead to very expensive repairs, unnecessarily high utility bills, and as this homeowner found out the hard way, mold growth! Circulating airborne mold spores can cause respiratory issues and skin irritation, especially with the young, the elderly, and those who are immune-compromised. There is no safe level of mold and, if found, it must be treated.
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 from the attic and applied MAPS 2, a patented polymer sealant that encapsulates the existing dead mold and prevents future mold from growing.
Mold releases enzymes to decompose wood, which leaves a stain. Here, the mold growth had gone unchecked for such a long period of time, and there were some areas where the mold had left deep stains that could not be fully removed. While it appears that there is still mold, these stains are purely aesthetic and pose no health risk. Once MAPS 1 & 2 have been applied, the mold is no longer a threat. The remaining stains are inert, harmless, and non-allergenic. Also, MAPS 2 will reactivate with moisture to fight future mold growth.
Although we treated the mold in the attic, there was still the issue of the underlying condition that triggered the growth in the first place: poor attic ventilation. The homeowner decided to deal with this issue once and for all. He will be hiring our contractor division to install static vents in his attic. Static vents, by improving air exchange, will reduce attic humidity levels and the risk of mold growth. Also, with the installation of these vents, the home will be more comfortable and his utility bills will be reduced. All in all, a very worthwhile investment!
Earlier this week, I went out on a service call for a homeowner in Asbury Park, NJ who was having a bit of an issue. Recently, as the homeowner was renovating his garage area, a pipe burst behind the drywall and began leaking water. He was able to stop the water leak in time but missed a portion in the garage. In a short amount of time, mold had developed.
Mold is considered a biohazard in enclosed spaces, therefore, I need to equip my personal protective equipment. I began surveying the garage and was able to spot the mold growth. Any strain of mold, not just toxic black mold, is potentially hazardous. The elderly and young children are especially susceptible to health issues from indoor mold. Mold Solutions by Cowleys has a new technology solution that kills active mold and its mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are the primary allergens associated with mold spores that cause most severe allergic reactions.
First, I removed the contaminated portion of the drywall and then treated the entire area with an EPA-registered, non-toxic antimicrobial solution called MAPS 1. MAPS 1 breaks down mold at a cellular level and kills it instantly. Next, I applied MAPS 2, which is a moisture-sensitive sealant that encapsulates mold and reactivates when it gets moist to prevent the growth of any future mold colonies. The homeowner told me that he hired a contractor to take care of the broken pipe.
Recently, a two-person crew from the Mold Solutions Division of Cowleys was sent to a home in Oceanport, NJ in Monmouth County. These homeowners had a detached garage used for storage that they rarely entered. After not going in there for a few weeks this summer, they opened it up and found an unpleasant surprise waiting for them — there was extensive mold growth on the ceiling. Since there was no indication of a roof leak or other water intrusion, the homeowners believed the mold was due to accumulated humidity buildup from the garage not being opened up for a few weeks.
We treated all of the mold-affected areas of the garage with an EPA-registered antimicrobial (MAPS 1) followed by a patented sealant (MAPS 2) that instantaneously encapsulates and kills mold in any of the treated areas. This sealant is moisture-sensitive and will reactivate to kill any future mold growth. Finally, we wiped down all of the visible mold stains. Although mold stains themselves are not allergenic, they are aesthetically unpleasant and we strive in our mold projects to remove all traces of mold.
Since the homeowners don’t regularly use the garage, they decided to install a dehumidification system to keep down humidity levels so mold could not form. For this homeowner, we installed a commercial-grade SaniDry Sedona dehumidifier. These machines are ENERGY STAR certified, and remove more water from the air for the same electricity costs as the standard dehumidifiers sold at a big box store. These maintenance-free machines are specifically designed to work in challenging environments. They have the capacity to remove over 95 pints of water from the air daily, and move over 300 cubic feet of dry air per minute. By extracting so much moisture from the air, these dehumidifiers can keep indoor relative humidity below 55%, and at these low levels, mold is unable to form. There is no better long-term solution to prevent mold growth than by installing a quality dehumidification system.
our service area