Tom has been with Cowleys for over a decade, joining us in 2006. He has steadily moved up the ranks with his exemplary performance and dedication to our customers. Starting at ground level as a pest control technician, Tom is now our Resident Sales Pro. He leads the sales team, resolving any issues as they arise in the field, always ensuring top customer service. Tom directs all sales training and continuing education for the sales team, runs the weekly sales meetings, and, in addition to his own busy schedule, conducts a monthly ride along with each member of the sales team.
Tom is one of an elite group of inspectors in New Jersey designated as a “Credentialed Wood Destroying Insect Inspector.” When it comes to home inspections for any pest issues, Tom is a natural. With a keen eye for detail, and a meticulous and systematic approach, nothing escapes his attention. He has a knack for picking up on small, subtle signs of infestations, especially termite infestations. By catching these problems in their early stages, Tom has saved homeowners thousands.
In addition to the pest control and inspection side of the business, Tom is a certified CleanSpace© Installer/Design Specialist and has expertise in all aspects of crawl space encapsulation. He also helps customers with our full line of home improvement offerings, including TAP cellulose attic Insulation that does double-duty as a pest control barrier. As a certified in MAPS Mold Treatment and Prevention, Tom has helped countless homeowners treat dangerous mold and keep families healthy by improving indoor air quality.
Tom also “smokes out” hidden water intrusion and moisture issues that can lead to mold and other property damage. Tom has consulted on and eradicated hundreds moisture management issues in basements, crawl spaces and attics. He has a deep understanding of the best methods to approach and resolve chronic moisture problems and mold issues in homes.
But Tom is not all work and no play. He enjoys a multitude of sports, and is an avid outdoorsman. He especially enjoys mountain biking, skiing and traveling. Tom is also a “foodie” and here at Cowleys, we call him the Wolfgang Puck of the Jersey Shore. He is always on the lookout for foods and restaurants that are “off the beaten path,” and trying different cuisines from all over the world.
The Mold Solutions team was dispatched to a residence in Trenton to take care of a mold problem. And it is a good thing that the homeowner called us when he did — before we are visited this summer by warm, humid “time to turn on the air conditioning” weather.
Mold is a type of fungus. It’s a living, breathing, reproducing organism. As long as there is water or moisture, mold will grow. Mold will consume any organic material by releasing dissolving enzymes. It will even grow on non-living surfaces other than wood because it can live and thrive on thin layers of dust. Dust, which inevitably contains organic debris, pretty much covers everything around us, even if we don’t always see it. As a result, mold is able to rear its ugly head almost anywhere and everywhere. And, as seen with this mold job, air conditioning units are not exempt from developing a nasty mold problem. With this home, the mold had attached itself to the to the central air unit. Even worse, this mold would have continued to release spores into the ductwork. Once the unit was turned on, the AC system would have turned into a mold-dispersing system, spewing out mold spores throughout the entire home. There is no faster way to spread mold throughout a home than blowing out mold spores through a forced-air HVAC system.
Why do HVAC systems often have mold issues? These systems do a great job of removing excess humidity, one of the most common culprits of indoor mold growth. That’s why it’s smart to use your AC on those hot summer days. Not only are you more comfortable, but you also reduce the chance of mold growth in your living areas. However, over time, mold can become an issue because damp air combined with dust and debris that get past the air filter can create an environment ripe for mold growth. With AC units, mold often starts to grow on the evaporator coils where the condensation pan is located and where there is always some residual water. Standing water along with our humid, hot New Jersey summer air creates a breeding ground of all sorts of mold and fungi. Homeowners should periodically have their HVAC company inspect their system for mold and moisture before turning it on. The HVAC dust and system components should be free of moisture. Drain and condensate pans should be draining properly. When plugged, they can become a mold nursery. Drain hoses can get clogged and filled with mold. While everyone remembers to change their filters, humidifier pads can get moldy and should be changed as well.
The Mold Solutions team went to work using our Mold Exterm system. First, we applied an anti-microbial that kills surface mold and airborne mold spores. After the anti-microbial application, we applied our patented, proprietary sealant that coats and kills the mold, and prevents the spores from further spreading. Any microorganism, including mold, viruses, and bacteria that comes into contact with this sealant immediately dies. This sealant has “moisture intelligence,” the ability to travel through any surface water and seek out the moisture in mold spores where it then reactivates to prevent any future mold growth. When we finish a mold project, we’ve not only removed the existing mold, but we’ve laid the groundwork to prevent mold from returning to those areas that we’ve treated.
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.
Homeowners in Perth Amboy were in the process of selling their house. During the home inspection, the inspector found mold on the roof sheathing. Cowleys was contacted to take care of the problem so the pending sale could proceed without delay.
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, some organic material as a food source, the right temperature, and water or moisture in order to grow. Because mold results from some water intrusion problem or moisture from high indoor humidity, mold often grows and thrives in crawl spaces, basements, kitchens, washer/dryer areas, and bathrooms. However, as with this Perth Amboy home, mold can also rear its ugly head in the attic even though there are no pipes there to leak or burst. Water or moisture problems in the attic are usually due to an undetected roof leaks or from exhaust fans improperly vented into the attic instead of outside, causing condensation on the rafters and sheathing. Unfortunately, this is a common construction shortcut that winds up causing problems down the road.
As shown in the picture, this mold growth happened to be white. Mold need not be black mold to be a dangerous health hazard. There are various types of mold that can come in a variety of colors. But no matter how the mold appears, there is no such thing as harmless mold and it has to be removed. Also, even though the mold is not in living spaces, it still must be treated. Mold spores easily travel on air currents throughout a structure, so this attic mold would inevitably spread throughout the home as the spores reattach elsewhere, causing further damage and potential health risks by affecting the indoor air quality. Mold can cause a variety of respiratory and other health problems when growing in an enclosed area.
Cowleys experienced Mold Solutions team came out to resolve the mold problem. In less than a day, we applied a powerful anti-microbial (MM1) to kill the mold followed by MMR, a stain remover. Finally, we applied a patented, proprietary sealant (MM2) containing micro-particles of silver that kills the mold at the cellular level, and reactivates with moisture, to prevent any regrowth of mold. As shown in there “after” picture, we successfully resolved the problem — and did so within the day. The sheathing was as good as new without a trace that there had been a mold issue just the day before. There was no removal of building materials, no need for home renovation, and no need for the family to relocate. The sale could proceed with no delay in the closing date, and one more successful mold treatment project completed by Cowleys.
Both the buyers and sellers were pleased with the Mold Solutions By Cowleys team for taking care of the problem so quickly and with such outstanding results. This project was one of our many successful mold treatment projects — we killed and removed the future threat of mold by using a patented application. Our process saves building materials that have no loss of structural integrity, and,by doing so, we avoid the expense and inconvenience of major renovations. Traditional mold remediators don’t kill the mold. They simply remove it by tearing-out often perfectly good building materials.
Extensive mold growth was discovered in a common crawl space. This particular crawl space at the Villages showed the end-result of sustained high indoor humidity levels.
We first treated the crawl space by applying our EPA-registered anti-microbial (MM1) using electrostatic fogging. This process kills any surface mold as well as any airborne mold spores found in the crawlspace. After waiting for this treatment to dry and give the application time to kill the mold, we applied our patented polymer sealant (MM2), also using electrostatic fogging.
Finally, we installed a commercial-grade CX Sani Dry dehumidifier to keep the crawl space dry, which is essential in preventing any further mold growth.
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