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.
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.
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.
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Mold Solutions by Cowleys is your local, trusted source for high quality mold removal services! Our innovative products and procedures are miles ahead of the rest- we can often times treat a home in one day, and our unique process eliminates the need for the invasive tear-out that traditional mold remediators will use. We guarantee that areas we treat for mold remain mold free for one year, renewable for up to five years with a dehumidifer and service contract!
We pride ourselves on top-notch customer service in every interaction, from the inital call to our production crew's cleanup. We work our hardest to exceed our customers' expectations and ensure that the job is done right; the first time. If you're in need of unparalleled mold removal and control, count on us!
A realtor who was trying to close on a short sale had contacted me. He couldn’t sell his investment property in East Brunswick, NJ unless and until its widespread mold growth was taken care of.
This home was a “perfect storm” for mold growth, and had one of the most severe mold problems I’ve ever encountered. And after the mold problems I’ve seen following Sandy, that’s saying a lot. This vacant home suffered from neglect, poor ventilation, no power, and, if this weren’t enough, it was located in an area with a naturally high water table. The soil around the foundation was always saturated, and with no power, there was no operational sump pump. Water entered the structure and, with no mechanism to remove it, collected and remained stagnant in the basement. It was a horrendous situation. If a microbiologist wanted to grow mold, this home would have made the perfect laboratory.
Upon entering the home, the smell of mold hit me like a slap in the face. I immediately knew that I would not need to do much detective work to find the mold in this house. There was nothing subtle about this mold problem. I entered the basement and immediately found heavy mold growth on the sub-floor, joist beams, the walls that were painted, and all the basement drywall.
The solution to treating this mold problem was our patented MAPS system.
After the water intrusion inspection, there are three key steps:
Step 1: Eradicate any existing mold. We apply an anti-microbial killing agent using electrostatic fogging. This is an EPA-registered, multi-purpose, anti-microbial based in quaternary ammonium salts that works as a bactericide, virucide, disinfectant, fungicide (mold is a type of fungus), cleaner, mildew stat and deodorizer. This solution kills mold and mildew (and even bacteria and viruses!!) within 10 to 15 minutes. Its job is then done, and the product dissipates and is no longer present.
Step 2: Prevent the regrowth of mold. We apply our patented, polymer sealant using electrostatic fogging. This sealant is the key product of the MAPS System, and is not available elsewhere. It enhances the effectiveness of the anti-microbial by sealing any treated surfaces, porous or non-porous. The sealant acts as a shield against future mold growth on treated surfaces. The product, developed by a world-renowned biomaterials scientist, is derived from coating used in human implant devices. The sealant uses silver, nature’s natural anti-microbial metal, at a nanoscale level to create an impermeable silver barrier. Any microorganism that comes into contact with this sealant, including mold, immediately dies. The sealant also has built-in “moisture intelligence,” which is the ability to travel through any surface water and seek out the moisture in mold spores. When a mold spore comes into contact with the sealant, its molecular DNA is broken down and rearranged. The mold is no longer allergenic or otherwise harmful to the home’s occupants. This step is essential for preventing the regrowth of mold and for resolving a mold problem for the long-term. This sealant is unique to the Mold Exterm System and is what separates our mold treatment process from any other that is offered on the market.
Step 3. The installation of a commercial-grade SaniDry upright dehumidifier in the basement.
Once the power to this home was turned back on, with the dehumidifier and annual yearly service, reducing indoor humidity levels and an operational sump pump, I was able to guarantee that this home would remain mold-free for 5 years from the date of treatment. No similar guarantee is offered by traditional mold remediators. That is because they simply remove the mold (as well as huge quantities of building materials) and do not attempt to treat it. In contrast, we are able to offer a long-term guarantee precisely because our products and our process are designed to treat and remove the threat of mold for the long-term, not just for today.
A Mold Solution team was sent to a home in Metuchen, NJ. The homeowner had extensive mold growth in her attic. Although mold is commonly found in basements and crawl spaces, attics can also be a mold trouble spot as well. Just like in basements and crawl spaces, homeowners can find themselves with mold in their attic for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, attic mold is caused by chronically high indoor humidity levels, especially in those attics with poor ventilation or non-working attic fans This particular home had a significant water intrusion from a roof leak. Although the leak was repaired, the problem was that because of poor attic ventilation, mold had formed on the water-saturated wood. And the poor attic ventilation exacerbated the problem.
We first treated the attic by applying our EPA-registered anti-microbial (MAPS 1). This application kills surface mold and airborne mold spores. Next, we scrubbed off any visible mold. Mold stains are a residue from mold enzymes. They are not harmful or allergenic. However, they look horrible, especially when it comes time to sell the home. Prospective buyers are always cautious about mold growth in the non-living spaces of the home. We then applied our patented polymer sealant (MAPS 2). This unique sealant destroys any mold at the cellular level. It is also moisture-sensitive and reactivates to prevent the return of any new mold growth in the treated areas.
To prevent mold from returning to the attic, it is important to address those underlying problems that facilitated the mold growth in the first place. Ensuring good air circulation in the attic is essential in order to prevent moisture buildup. A key part of any attic ventilation system are having soffits and gables with built-in vents that allow proper air circulation. Especially during the summer, these vents exchange cooler air from outside the house with the hot, humid air collecting in the attic. This prevents water vapor from collecting on roof sheathing and rafters, eventually causing rot wood and triggering mold growth. Also, air inside attics can reach temperatures that can warp and damage roof shingles. You also need attic air flow during the winter to prevent ice dams from forming on the roof. Blocked soffit vents will stop airflow and trap humid air, creating an environment perfect for mold growth. Even well-insulated attics need good air circulation.
With this Metuchen home, we wanted to ensure that the attic had good airflow by installing plastic baffles (also called wind baffles, venting chutes, rafter vents, or insulation baffles) in the rafter bays. Baffles establish a pathway for air to circulate between insulation and the roof sheathing. They prevent insulation from restricting air movement and allow air to circulate under or near the insulation. It is common for wind blowing through soffit vents to disturb the insulation by moving it out of place and blocking the vents, especially with blown loose fiber insulation. Baffles act as screens to separate the insulation from the air currents blowing through the vents. Also, baffles allow you to insulate the entire attic floor space. Without them, you have to keep the vents clear of insulation, so a portion of the attic stays unprotected.
We finished up this mold job in less than a day, and with our treatment process, the homeowner avoided extensive, expensive renovations. This attic is now mold-free, and more important, will remain mold-free. We advised this homeowner, as we would any homeowner that had attic mold, to periodically inspect the attic for roof leaks, to monitor the attic’s humidity levels, and to make sure that the attic fan is in good working condition.
Mold Solutions By Cowleys was contacted after a Perth Amboy, NJ homeowner found mold growth in the back right corner of his basement. The sooner that a mold problem is identified and treated, the better. Fortunately, here, the homeowner contacted Cowleys immediately. The mold did not have time to spread and it remained localized in one area.
We applied an antimicrobial (MAPS 1) followed by a patented safe and non-toxic sealant (MAPS 2) that kills existing mold upon contact. This sealant is unique: it is moisture-sensitive and will reactivate to kill any future mold growth in the treated areas. As part of our mold treatment process, we thoroughly scrub down all hard surfaces to remove visible mold growth. As long as the building materials have not lost their structural integrity through water damage, our applications treat and kill mold right where it sits. By treating the mold directly, homeowners can avoid extensive and expensive tear-out and renovation projects.
We strive to remove all mold and all signs of mold including unsightly mold stains and musty mold smells. Someone should be able to go into a mold-affected room after our treatment and not have the slightest indication that mold was once present. But mold treatment is more than aesthetics. Indoor mold can trigger a variety of health issues. We want to make sure that a home’s indoor air quality is safe once again for all of the home’s occupants.