The specialists at Mold Solutions by Cowleys treating mold on a garage ceiling.
Finding the right mold removal option can be daunting for homeowners. They want a permanent solution while also keeping down their costs. With mold removal, the most significant cost is often the renovation project that follows the tear-out.
Sometimes the only choice is to perform a tear-out. Building materials are sometimes water-damaged beyond repair. But tear-outs can often be avoided if the mold-affected materials are still salvageable.
Mold Solutions by Cowleys offers a unique, non-invasive Mold Abatement Polymer Solutions (MAPS) system. We are able to completely remediate the most challenging mold problem by directly killing and sealing the mold right where it's growing, making tear-outs unnecessary. By treating the mold directly without removing the mold-affected building materials, homeowners can save time, money, and headaches.
Contact Mold Solutions by Cowleys today to schedule your free on-site mold inspection and mold removal cost estimate.
This homeowner in Delran Township in Burlington County went on vacation. Unfortunately, a water pipe had burst and about six inches of water had accumulated throughout the floor of his crawl space.
There was also a small spot of mold growth that had started to form on a floor joint toward the back of the house. Once a home has a water or moisture problem, mold inevitably follows. And it doesn’t take long. In moist, humid conditions, some molds will start colonizing in as little as 24 hours. Fortunately, this water intrusion was caught early so the mold growth was localized. We used our patented MoldExterm sealant to chemically treat the mold. With our process, mold removal was quick and easy. No building materials had to be removed.
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.
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.
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.
A two-member team of Mold Solutions By Cowleys was sent to a home in Millstone Township, NJ to treat an isolated mold problem in the home. Here, the bathroom fan had stopped working and, unfortunately, was not timely repaired. Without a working ventilation system in a small enclosed area such as in a bathroom where there are high moisture conditions from all of the steam and hot water, there is a high risk of mold growth. And that’s exactly what happened.
Mold had formed on the ceiling. The homeowners had the fan fixed, but it was too late. They found themselves with a serious mold problem. Once mold forms, it will either continue to spread or become dormant depending on temperature and moisture conditions. Mold, a living organism, is a type of fungus. It will not simply “die” and go away on its own. Rather, mold, by its very nature, produces mold spores that become airborne will attach elsewhere in the home. Also, a home’s occupants can breathe in those spores, and those with respiratory sensitivities can develop allergy-like symptoms or even develop respiratory infections. Any mold, not just so-called toxic black mold, is potentially dangerous and must be treated.
For this bathroom mold problem, we treated the mold with two applications. First, we applied an EPA-registered antimicrobial (MAPS 1) that kills the mold on contact. Second, we applied a patented sealant (MAPS 2) that is available only to licensed distributors. This sealant not only kills the mold, but it is also moisture sensitive and will reactivate to kill any future mold growth. We also wiped down any visible staining caused by the mold. Mold stains are the residue of mold growth. They are not by themselves allergenic. However, they are unsightly, aesthetically unappealing, and can give the mistaken impression that there is still a mold problem.
The homeowner learned a valuable lesson about the importance of ventilation to keep down moisture and humidity levels in enclosed spaces. It is important to have working exhaust fans in bathrooms and attics where there can be high levels of humidity. In other areas of the home, such as basements and crawl spaces, where good ventilation isn't an option, it is important to have a commercial-grade dehumidification system to avoid mold problems and have clean, dry air circulating throughout the home.
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.
A homeowner’s hot water heater had cracked open in Jackson, NJ, flooding her basement. Within days, there was extensive mold growth on walls, ceiling, door, and even on some furnishings. If there is excess moisture or water, mold will grow on virtually anything. Mold lives off plant materials, and most of out building materials are wood products. Mold is especially attracted to drywall and acoustical tiling. Also, mold spores easily travel on air currents throughout the home, and the mold growing in the basement would inevitably spread throughout the home as the spores reattach elsewhere.
We arrived at the house, conducted an inspection to determine the scope of the problem and how to best treat the affected areas to contain the mold growth. We treated the surfaces with an anti-microbial that kills surface mold and airborne mold spores. We then removed all of the structurally damaged building materials. Often, we find mold growth on building materials that are not damaged. In those cases, we can resolve the mold problem without extensive removal of materials. We then applied our sealant that coats and kills the mold prevents the spread of spores. In addition, this sealant is moisture sensitive and reactivates to kill any future mold growth. So, when we finish a mold project, we’ve not only removed the mold, but but we’ve also prevented mold from returning to those areas. For long-term mold control, I always stress to homeowners the importance of controlling indoor humidity levels by investing in a commercial-grade dehumidifier. Mold growth is not limited to water problems like flooding and leaky pipes. A mold problem can also result if there is excess moisture from high humidity levels.
A homeowner’s hot water heater had cracked open in Jackson, NJ, flooding her basement causing extensive mold growth. We treated the affected areas to to kill surface mold and airborne mold spores and prevent its return.
Mold growth in a home is a symptom of an underlying water or moisture problem. Mold can rear its head anywhere and everywhere. Like all living organisms, mold needs air, organic material as a food source, the right temperature, and water or moisture in order to grow. We often think of water and moisture problems as external problems where water intrudes into the home from the outside, such as from flooding or a cracked foundation allowing water seepage from water-saturated soil. But oftentimes, the problems are internal. There are building or repair issues responsible for water accumulation. Common problems are burst or leaky pipes, non-operational sump pumps, backed-up gutters, and a variety of condensation problems from poor building design. Condensation easily forms on cold metal pipes and cold concrete floors as well as from our everyday activities that release moisture including cooking, washing clothes, and bathing. It is no surprise that often mold grows and thrives in crawl spaces, basements, attics, kitchens, washer/dryer areas, and bathrooms.
One of the most important ways of reducing condensation in our living spaces, is through proper ventilation. A well-ventilated home is essential for removing moisture, especially in our bathrooms and kitchens where large quantities of steam permeate the air from hot water. Homes often have vent fans installed in bathrooms to carry away moist air. Proper building construction dictates that vent fans, whether bathroom vents or dryer vents, be vented directly outdoors. Venting exhaust fans into the attic is asking for trouble, even if the attic itself is vented. The excess moisture can cause condensation on the rafters and sheathing, which can lead to wood rot, moisture-saturated insulation, and dangerous mold growth. This homeowner in Kendall Park learned this lesson the hard way. The installer had vented the bathroom fan into the attic rather than outside, and, sure enough, he found himself with a serious mold problem overhead.
For the long-term, the homeowner should fix the venting problem to remove the underlying condition allowing mold growth. However, Mold Solutions by Cowleys resolved the immediate problem. In less than a day, we applied a powerful anti-microbial to kill the mold, and then applied a patented, proprietary sealant containing silver micro-particles. Cowleys is an authorized applicator of this unique sealant; you can’t get it just anywhere. This sealant kills the mold at the cellular level rendering it inert and harmless so it no longer poses a health risk. However, this sealant does much more. It reactivates with moisture to prevent any regrowth of mold, so it not only kill’s today’s mold growth, but tomorrow’s as well.
With this project, there was no removal of building materials, no need for home renovation, and no need for the family to relocate. While the homeowner was disappointed that the vent had to be properly reinstalled, he was pleased with Cowleys for taking care of the mold problem so quickly. This project was one of our many successful mold treatment projects — we removed the threat of mold while saving the homeowner the expense and inconvenience of a major renovation that often follows the tear-out of building materials by traditional mold remediators.
A Mold Solutions by Cowleys team was dispatched to an office building in Toms River to treat a serious mold problem in the basement. Although mold growth can happen anywhere in homes and commercial buildings, basements and crawl spaces are common trouble spots because these particular areas often have higher levels of moisture and humidity than the living spaces above. According to the owner, he has been dealing with mold issues in the basement for years. Periodically, he tried “DIY” mold remediation, including purchasing different over-the-counter mold removal sprays and saturating the mold with bleach. Not surprisingly, none of these methods worked. Every time, mold returned. The building owner commented that the only thing he successfully removed was money out of his pocket. Finally, he decided it was time to definitively treat his chronic mold problem, and after researching a number of companies and their mold removal process, decided to go with Mold Solutions by Cowleys.
First, the Mold Solutions team treated the basement with our EPA-registered anti-microbial (MAPS 1) that kills surface mold and airborne mold spores. Next, we applied our patented polymer sealant (MAPS 2). This unique sealant is available only to select pest control operators licensed to apply chemical products inside buildings. While completely safe and non-toxic, this sealant completely destroys mold. Upon contact with the sealant, any mold is rendered inert, harmless, and non-allergenic. The sealant’s unique feature is its moisture-sensitivity. It will reactivate to prevent the return of any new mold growth in the treated areas, killing both today’s mold and any future mold growth. There is no other mold application on the market with this mold-destroying capability.
Mold was discovered on the beams in a very wet crawl space in Englishtown. We had to do an extensive clean out and clean up of the crawl space and then installed a dehumidifier to protect against high humidity.
We treated these two areas of the building using or two-component MAPS (Mold Abatement Polymer Solutions) system. We first applied our EPA-registered anti-microbial fungicide (MAPS 1) and, afterwards, thoroughly wiped down the areas to remove any visible mold growth. This initial application, which kills any surface mold as well as any airborne mold spores, is specifically selected for its compatibility with our patented polymer sealant (MAPS 2), our second application. This unique sealant, which is derived from coatings used for medical implant devices, is available only to authorized pest control operators licensed to apply products inside structures. While completely safe and non-toxic to people, this sealant destroys mold at the cellular level. Any mold we treat is rendered inert, harmless, and non-allergenic. The sealant is moisture-sensitive and reactivates to prevent the return of any new mold growth in the treated area, so this product prevents future mold growth as well as treating the mold that is here today.
We completely tore down and cleaned out the old, moist and soiled insulation and vapor barrier We bagged it and then removed it. We then treated the mold and installed a dehumidifier.
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.
This homeowner in Lakewood, NJ, had some paintings and pictures that were hung along the walls of the staircase leading into the basement. He had taken them down in order to clean them, and when doing so, had an unpleasant surprise — there was mold hiding behind them. Paintings and pictures that are flush against walls can sometimes develop mold if the walls are damp in any way. Air circulation helps to minimize mold growth. When hanging paintings or pictures, it is recommended to have a spacer so they are not in direct contact with the wall.
With this home, the staircase area had the perfect environment for mold growth because humid unconditioned air from the basement came into contact with conditioned air from the first floor. You could feel the dampness in the walls from the condensation. We treated the mold in the staircase with an EPA-registered antimicrobial (MAPS 1) followed by a patented sealant that encases the mold and kills it on contact. This sealant has the unique property of reactivating if exposed to moisture, killing any future mold growth in the treated areas. We also wiped down any visible mold growth as we proceeded.
The homeowner did not want to risk future mold growth in the staircase area or basement of his home. The only long-term solution is to keep down the relative indoor humidity level in the basement (below 55%), so mold cannot grow. We installed a commercial-grade high-performance SaniDry Sedona dehumidifier and filtration system that is specifically designed to work in basements and crawl spaces. These dehumidifiers operate automatically with a built-in humidity sensor (humidistat) that allows the homeowner to set the target humidity level and let the machine take care of everything else. Also, these humidifiers drain directly either outdoors or to a sump pump, so there is no pan or reservoir to empty.
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.
Water-damaged sheetrock or other building materials that have lost their structural integrity and are non-salvageable must be removed. In those particular cases, we offer traditional mold remediation services. However, even with traditional mold remediation, we always strive to remove as little building materials as necessary in order to keep repair and renovation costs to a minimum and we always take extra precautions to preclude the mold from spreading during removal.
Why should New Jersey homeowners consider Mold Solutions by Cowleys to remove and remediate mold? We’ve been involved in mold removal for almost a decade and have serviced thousands of satisfied customers who are now enjoying their mold-free homes. We have the expertise and a proven track record to remediate the most challenging mold problems.
If you see or smell mold or someone in your home has allergy-like symptoms that won’t go away, don’t take any chances. Every day that mold is left untreated is another day allowing it to spread.
Contact us to schedule a no-obligation, no-cost mold inspection and estimate. Mold problems often develop after flooding, a groundwater problem, or a roof leak. But even minor water intrusions like a leaky pipe can trigger mold. And basements, crawl spaces, and attics with chronically high humidity are an ideal breeding ground for mold.
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