Today, our Mold Solutions crew was dispatched to an age-restricted community in Freehold Township. Cowleys contracted with its community association for all of their pest control and mold treatment needs, and we have long-standing contractual relationships with hundreds of condominium associations throughout New Jersey.
Extensive mold growth was discovered in a common crawl space. Mold, a type of fungus, is always caused by some water or moisture problem inside a structure. Indoor mold can cause a host of respiratory problems for a home’s occupants. Some have higher mold sensitivities than others, and since mold does not affect people uniformly, any amount or strain of mold must be treated. Sustained high indoor humidity levels are enough to trigger mold growth, and, while mold growth can happen anywhere, basements and crawl spaces are prime mold breeding grounds because of their potential for high humidity and water intrusion problems. Unfortunately, many crawl spaces are still vented even though study after study by modern building science experts recommend crawl space encapsulation as the solution to avoid a host of crawl space issues. Vented crawl spaces allow thick, humid outside air to enter, not to mention insects and other pests. Once indoor humidity exceeds 50%, which is common in virtually all open, vented crawl spaces, mold can grow, and once humidity exceeds 60%, mold thrives. This particular crawl space showed the end-result of sustained high indoor humidity levels.
It was time for us to get to work. First, we started our prep work, laying out tarps, running cables down to the crawlspace, and putting in drop lights to better illuminate the area.. When treating a tight enclosed areas like crawl spaces for mold, we use Tyvek suits and respirators for out own safety. Before treating the mold, we had to carefully tear out and remove the old water-saturated insulation. We also sealed off the air vents to maximize the effectiveness of the treatment. Since the area that we were about to treat was part of a greater crawl space system (the crawl spaces for numerous residential units were attached), we set up an air curtain to stop air and airborne contaminants like mold spores from flowing from one open space to another. This way, we are able to gain access to and from the affected crawl space while keeping the mold spores localized to this area, so they can’t spread and potentially reattach elsewhere.
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. This sealant destroys mold at the cellular level, rendering it inert and harmless. The sealant is also moisture-sensitive and reactivates to prevent the return of any new mold growth in the treated area. 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. To stop mold, it is critical to correct the underlying conditions that caused the mold growth in the first place. These humidifiers are specifically developed to work in damp, moist basement and crawl space conditions, and have features and specifications not found on standard models such as jumbo-sized cooling coils, electronic controls, and a particulate filter. These humidifiers are maintenance-free, have no water pan to empty, and are designed to deliver years of economical, trouble-free performance. With the mold treated and a powerful dehumidification system installed, these residents at the Villages should not be dealing with any future mold problems.
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