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Hot water heater burst - Shrewsbury basement mold removal

Hot water heater burst - Shrewsbury basement mold removal

Before After
Hot water heater burst - Shrewsbury basement mold removal Hot water heater burst - Shrewsbury basement mold removal

A Shrewsbury homeowner had her hot water heater burst. To me, short of a tree crashing through a roof, a burst hot water heater is one of the more damaging, scariest events that can happen to a homeowner, and is listed by insurance companies as one of the major sources of residential water damage. There was even an episode in the Sopranos TV series that could have been a public service announcement to remind homeowners to periodically check their water heater. The FBI noticed on their surveillance footage that Tony’s water heater was draining brown sediment and would eventually burst, but they couldn’t warn him. Sure enough, the water heater exploded, and we later see an angry Tony walking around his basement knee-deep in murky water smacking everything in sight.

The scary part about hot water heaters is that, in some respects, they are all ticking “time bombs” of potential water damage. All of them will eventually burst if not replaced soon enough. There are also some preventable causes of a burst water heater that can be avoided by having your water heater periodically inspected and maintained by your local plumber.  One problem is sediment build-up. Over time, minerals from your hard water settles at the bottom of the tank, insulating the water from the burner. This forces the burner to run longer in order to heat the water, and as the sediment accumulates, the tank can overheat. How do you know there is a sediment problem? You may see brown liquid coming out of the bottom like Tony’s heater. Also, when your heater is making knocking noises, that’s the sound of water trapped under the sediment layer bubbling up. It’s important to flush and drain the tank of sediment annually. Another water heater problem is rust since the water containing tanks are made of steel. Tanks have a “sacrificial” internal anode rod that protects the inside of the tank by corroding first. However, once that rod deteriorates, your heater will start rusting. A common warning sign is your hot water coming out with a brown, rusty color. So, you need to periodically have that rod replaced. The most startling cause of a burst hot water heater is too much internal pressure build-up. This happens when the temperature & pressure (T & P) valve goes bad and doesn’t open. Pressure can build to the point where the tank literally explodes. 

This homeowner was not keeping tabs on her hot water heater and paid the price. The tank burst and flooded her basement. She had the water removed and had everything dried out. Unfortunately, mold will start forming with standing water in as little as 24 hours. Mold Solutions By Cowleys came in and treated the entire basement with our two applications, MAPS 1 and MAPS 2. MAPS 1 is our EPA-registered anti-microbial fungicide that kills surface mold and airborne mold spores. Next, we applied MAPS 2, which is our patented polymer sealant. This application, which kills mold and vertically any pathogen on contact,is moisture-sensitive and has the ability to reactivate, killing any mold that may reappear in the treated areas. We thoroughly wiped down all hard surfaces to remove the mold stains. The homeowner was pleased with our service, and happy that there was no need for tear out of any building materials. As long as the building materials have not lost their structural integrity, Mold Solutions can treat the mold right where it sits, avoiding substantial construction costs often associated with traditional mold remediation. 

Mold Remediated in Shrewsbury, NJ

Mold Remediated in Shrewsbury, NJ

Before After
Mold Remediated in Shrewsbury, NJ Mold Remediated in Shrewsbury, NJ

This Shrewsbury, NJ homeowner found himself with mold growth on a dining room wall behind a recently hung mirror. This particular job highlights the fact that it does not take much of a water or moisture intrusion for mold to grow.

Homeowners often associate mold growth with only significant water intrusions like flooding or a leaky pipe. However, that is far from the case. Often, we see mold growth formation from sustained high indoor humidity levels, especially in basements, crawl spaces, and attics. With the mold growth in this home, mold had started to form either because there was preexisting moisture on the paper and cardboard backing of the mirror or the direct contact of the mirror against the wall allowed for condensation since the was no room for the room air to move and naturally keep the wall surface dry. Either way, to the surprise of the homeowner, significant mold growth had formed behind the mirror.

I wanted to be sure that there was no mold growth inside the mirror itself behind the paper and cardboard backing, and with the homeowner’s permission, I removed the mirror backing (which was already damaged from moisture build-up) to see if there was anything lurking underneath. Out of an abundance of caution, I treated the backside of the mirror with our treatment products as well as the wall itself (see photos of damaged backing and mirror with the backing removed).

Our treatment uses two products that work in sync with each other. First, we apply an EPA-registered antimicrobial (MAPS 1) followed by a patented proprietary sealant (MAPS 2). This sealant will reactivate when exposed to water or moisture, so it not only kills the existing mold but also stands ready to kill any future mold growth in the treated areas. I recommended to the homeowner that when the mirror is reinstalled that spacers be used to keep it from directly touching the wall. Keeping the mirror off the wall will allow air circulation behind the mirror which will reduce condensation and mold growth. Also, spacers help protect the wall paint.

Mold stains are different than the mold itself. Mold is a fungus, a living organism, that spreads through releasing mold spores that reattach on new surfaces. Mold is the culprit that can cause respiratory sensitivities, allergies, and in severe cases, lung infections. Mold stains are the non-living residual markings left by mold from its enzymes that dissolve whatever organic materials that the mold is using for food. Although mold stains are unsightly, they are non-allergenic and their removal is an aesthetic decision such as whether the mold is in a living or non-living space of the home. Often, mold stains are so deeply embedded that they cannot be completely removed through scrubbing and a mold stain remover, and the only way to obliterate the mold stains is to paint over them. 

Here, you can see the residual staining on the wall after the mold was treated and we tried to manually scrub away as much of the staining as we could. The homeowner’s concern was to have the mold treated so there would no longer be any active mold growth in his living room. We were able to successfully treat his home and make his living room safe in less than a day.

 

Mold Removal & Mitigation Company Shrewsbury, NJ

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Mold Removal & Remediation Company in Shrewsbury, NJ

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 treat a home in one day, and our unique process eliminates the need for the invasive tear-out that traditional mold remediators use.

We guarantee that areas we treat for mold remain mold-free for one year, renewable for up to five years with a dehumidifier and service contract!

We pride ourselves on top-notch customer service in every interaction, from the initial call to our production crew's cleanup. We work hard 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 Mold Solutions by Cowleys!

Services we offer in Shrewsbury:

  • Home mold removal
  • Mildew removal
  • Black mold remediation
  • Mold testing & sampling
  • Mold cleaning
  • Air duct cleaning
  • Dust might control
  • Commercial mold removal
  • Mold remediation for athletic facilities
  • Mold remediation for schools
  • Mold inspection
  • Mildew cleanup & removal
  • Dehumidification system installation for mold control
  • FREE written estimates and inspections, and fast installation
  • Financing Available
Job Stories From Shrewsbury, NJ
Dehumidifier Servicing in Shrewsbury, NJ

Cowleys installs and services Sanidry commercial-grade dehumidifiers that are specifically designed to maintain an ideal relative humidity level in basements and crawl spaces, stopping mold and mildew, and eliminating those stinky musty odors that accompany these problems. Crawl spaces and basements are common high humidity “troublemakers” in a home where problems can stay hidden for quite awhile because these subterranean spaces are rarely visited let alone inspected. Often, water, moisture, mold, and insect problems are not discovered until the problem starts to spread to the living areas of the home above (for example, you start noticing a woodsy, musty smell rising up from below) or the problem is found at the worst possible time — during a home inspection on a pending sale! 

These dehumidifiers, by keeping indoor humidity levels low, prevent mold growth from high moisture conditions. Also, a home’s indoor air quality is dramatically improved by these machines pumping out clean, dry air. These units have a two-stage filtration that captures mold spores, dust mites, and other pollutants. 

Just as important, these machines are “set and forget.” First, there is no water pan to empty or worry about overflowing. Instead, the water extracted from the air drains directly to the sump pump, french drain, or a hose that exits the home. Second, these machines are energy-efficient. They have a built-in auto-humidistat that senses the moisture level in the space that automatically turning the unit on and off as necessary to maintain the desired humidity level.

However, just like with your furnace and air conditioning units, annual servicing is essential to keep these machines performing at their best and preventing malfunctions and costly repairs. Our trained technicians inspect, clean, and replace the filter and any parts so the dehumidifier keeps working at optimal efficiency. 

This photo show the servicing of one of these dehumidifiers for a homeowner in Shrewsbury, NJ.

Dehumidifier Servicing in Shrewsbury, NJ - Photo 1
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