Mold Remediation and More
What is mold?
You’ve likely seen it: Green, black, white, or gray fuzziness coating a bread loaf forgotten in the pantry past expiration date. You’ve probably smelled it too: An unpleasant, mildewy stench thickens the air after water intrudes into your commercial space.
MOLD is behind the smelly, unsightly mess, and big or small, it can cause significant stress. But did you know it serves a purpose?
Mold, sometimes referred to as mildew, is a fungus that grows and spreads in moist or damp conditions. It’s actually beneficial in nature. It helps decompose dead organic matter, such as fall leaves and dead trees. Still, mold wouldn’t be such a menace if it remained outdoors, but it doesn’t! Microscopic spores are released to float through the air and land virtually everywhere, indoors and outdoors, in all seasons and climates, year-round.
In short, mold exposure is inevitable as its tiny spores can travel far and wide—at home, at work, and at play in as little as 48-72 hours in just the right conditions. Even in sanitary spaces, such as a hospital’s operating room, mold spores float undetected, waiting for the right moist and humid environment to multiply into colonies quickly.
What are common signs of mold?
You are familiar with the most common signs of mold, such as the musty, mildew smell and their visual appearance mentioned earlier, but there are other signs to note. For one, mold is a serious health hazard, so family and coworkers feeling sick without improvement may indicate a mold infestation. (We will further discuss health implications later, but suffice it to say that mold is nothing to take lightly.) Additional signs include rust, leaks, and water damage to your property.
What is mold remediation?
Speaking of water, mold and water damage often go hand in hand. Why? As explained, a damp environment is necessary for mold to thrive. When water intrudes into your home and workplace, there is plenty of one thing: moisture. It’s worth emphasizing that in as little as 48-72 hours, mold can grow fast in moist, humid spaces, significantly damaging belongings and adversely impacting health.
Mold remediation is removing and cleaning mold off contaminated surfaces. This process involves extensive cleaning and sanitizing, requiring a professional to inspect, detect, dry, clean, and disinfect to ensure mold in your home won’t continue to grow and thrive. Included in this process is identifying the moisture source and tackling that head-on. Reputable companies like The Flood Team are professionally trained to address moisture issues and tackle mold as well.
When is mold remediation required?
Mold remediation is required wherever mold is found growing due to humidity and moisture in the air. Additional indications include the following:
A strong, musty smell may or may not be apparent at first. It may take time for a stench to build as the mold grows, becoming more visible to the naked eye. Taking note of even minor smell deviations from the norm, particularly if your home or commercial space has been vacant or closed for a time, is essential. Even a faint, mildew-like odor indicates a moisture or humidity issue and mold growth.
Mold remediation professionals, such as The Flood Team, arrive with specialized tools and top-notch training to detect mold growth and inspect hard-to-reach places such as behind insulation and above ceiling tiles in your home or commercial property.
Respiratory or Allergic Symptoms
Mold is known to cause health issues, especially in sensitive individuals or those with weakened immunity. Symptoms of mold responses can include coughing, wheezing, sneezing, stuffy nose, and even skin rashes.
Health responses like these can likely result from mold growth when not attributed to other factors. One way to check is to observe whether symptoms subside after you leave an environment with mold.
Mold often causes discoloration when not addressed for an extended period. The discoloration from mold can vary as much as the color of the mold itself. Mold can be anywhere from grayish-green to grayish-brown, pink, white, black, or a combination of several colors and hues. Stains on surfaces can indicate mold was present, which is a great reason to call a mold remediation specialist like The Flood Team to inspect it for free and resolve it fast and effectively.
This cannot be overstated: Mold thrives in humid, moist spaces. Unfortunately, these locations can be hard to reach, such as after a leak within a wall. Not only should water damage issues be quickly addressed, but mold remediation should check for the presence of mold as a result of heightened moisture and humidity levels.
Homes or workplaces with a flood history are good candidates for mold inspection and remediation to ensure no moisture and mold remains undetected.
How long does mold remediation take, and what’s involved?
Now that you know when mold remediation is necessary, your next question may be how long mold remediation takes and what’s involved. After addressing the moisture source, a professional will remove any visible mold. This is a more extensive cleaning process because it ensures the area is cleaned and mold spores do not have a thriving chance. Following mold removal, the repair process of any damaged areas affected by the mold can then begin.
Several factors impact how long mold remediation takes. For one, the actual length of this process depends on what kind of mold is involved. More severe types of mold, such as black mold, may take longer to address. It requires more technical cleaning and safety measures.
Another factor that impacts the duration of mold cleanup is damage due to mold. Left unaddressed, mold can create significant structural damage in your property, even resulting in the floor caving in, ceilings crashing, and walls breaking apart. Mold eats away materials, including drywall, floorboards, carpet, ceiling tiles, wooden studs, and other building structures. The mold remediation process can be completed within 48 hours under less severe instances. When the mold infestation is more severe or widespread, it can take several weeks to clear up and repair.
The Flood Team will undergo a free inspection, inform you about the severity of your mold growth, and advise whether leaving your home for a time during remediation would be necessary. If anyone in your household or workplace has allergies, respiratory issues, or sensitivities that mold spores can irritate, vacating your property for some time may be highly advised.
How much does mold remediation cost?
Depending on the cause of mold damage, homeowner insurance may or may not cover the cost. The fee may not include materials and labor, so asking upon receiving an estimate is important. The cost may increase if the removal process requires additional materials, especially if drywall removal and repairs are involved. The cost ranges anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000. The sooner you act after the first indication of mold, the better, because this can impact the severity and remediation costs.
Does home insurance cover mold remediation?
In short, typically not directly. If the mold growth is caused by an accidental or sudden issue covered by insurance, there is apparent reason to believe that you may pay nothing or very minimally out of pocket as repairs involving another covered issue may include mold remediation. For instance, remediation typically covered by standard insurance policies includes mold claims involving mold above the ceiling, under floors, or behind walls due to water damage. Some examples include:
– Pipe or drain hose burst or leak
– Toilet backup and overflow
– Water from firefighters putting out a fire
– A water-related appliance malfunction
Acts of nature, such as stormwater entering through the roof or the foundation resulting in mold growth may be covered by the “act of nature” part of your policy.
To ensure mold coverage, additional insurance options or add-ons to your homeowner insurance policy may be your best bet. One includes sewer and drains backup or sump pump overflow endorsement. This water backup coverage pays for these types of damages, and with this endorsement, should mold be found following the water backup event and repairs, mold remediation services should be covered.
Another supplemental add-on to a standard insurance policy may be hidden water damage coverage. Since mold requires moisture and humidity to thrive, when leaks occur in hidden spaces, mold can thrive undetected. These areas include inside cabinets, behind walls, or under flooring. Not only will water intruding into these spaces cause major damage, but mold growth can create secondary damage should the moisture and humidity levels not be addressed quickly. A hidden water damage endorsement will cover mold removal and cleanup services.
It’s important to note that not all insurers offer these supplemental endorsements or add-ons for mold events. Check with your insurance company to see if it is available in your case, as mold and water damage often go hand-in-hand.
One final thing to note is that mold remediation coverage, if available, is usually limited. The amount covered typically ranges from $1,000 to $10,000 per instance, depending on the policy and insurer. As mentioned above, supplemental insurance can help cover mold damage costs when standard policies often do not.
When Home Insurance Doesn’t Cover Mold
Neglecting to promptly address water damage and the resulting mold growth may disqualify you from receiving mold remediation insurance money, should it be available, so contact a professional like The Flood Team FAST. A standard homeowner policy may not include mold coverage in these occurrences:
- Insufficient ventilation causing heightened humidity in bathrooms, basements, or other areas prone to mold
- Neglect involving leaks or broken seals in and around windows, doors, fixtures, plumbing, appliances
Why should you hire professionals for mold remediation?
You may be wondering, “Why can’t I address mold, particularly after water damage myself? If it can quickly spread, why not tackle it here and now with residential-grade cleaning products?” The answer is simple:
You can, mainly, after the moisture and humidity issue is effectively addressed and the space impacted by common household mold is less than 10 square feet. Mold that appears on shower tiles, refrigerator handles, and even within kitchen sinks can be quickly removed by residential-grade cleaning agents yourself. But know that these cleaning products can only address specific types of mold. Calling a professional, trained and equipped to safely and effectively remove and clean mold infestations, is often your best move.
Indeed, a mold infestation is nothing to take lightly when your health is concerned. Contacting a professional like The Flood Team will help restore your home or commercial space AND peace of mind. Below are some things to consider when determining whether to contact a professional mold remediation service like The Flood Team.
Undetected Mold Contamination
Mold can leave behind many spores, even after the visible mold is cleaned or removed. Mold is a bioaerosol, so even after killing it, you must address any residual contamination from the airborne mold spores. Professional mold remediation companies can thoroughly kill mold and also address lingering contamination. For instance, this is done through a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) vacuum. This is used for the final cleanup of remediated areas to clean the impacted areas further. Additionally, some remediation companies release fog through your HVAC system to kill any lingering mold spores circulating in your home or workspace.
Identifying and Fixing the Cause of Moisture
It can be a double whammy to identify the cause of mold and address the issue that caused it. Professional remediation specialists are trained to identify the conditions that caused mold to thrive in the first place. Water damage is one leading cause, so in addition to cleaning mold, fixing the source of water intrusion and making appropriate repairs is necessary.
Mold Health Risks
Mold’s potential to affect your health and that of your loved ones, including pets, is reason enough to leave clean-up to the pros. Lingering or hidden mold can potentially result in health hazards, so getting mold removed quickly and effectively is essential.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website, “mold can cause a stuffy nose, sore throat, coughing or wheezing, burning eyes, or skin rash. People with asthma or who are allergic to mold may have severe reactions. Immune-compromised people and people with chronic lung disease may get infections in their lungs from mold.”
The elderly and parents with infants should also be wary of taking on the mold-clean-up task. Depending on the duration of exposure, the type of mold, and how you are exposed, the symptoms and risk to health can vastly vary. Additionally, if you’re already experiencing symptoms that may be attributed to mold exposure, professionals should be called, so symptoms do not worsen.
Size of Affected Area
We touched on this earlier, but the size of the mold infestation is important to consider. Though you can clean common household mold with residential-grade cleaning products, an impacted area larger than 10 square feet is a reason to contact a professional immediately. Even if the area is smaller, a professional may still be highly advisable after considering the factors above
In short, finding and fixing moisture or water damage issues can be difficult. Time is of the essence because, in as little as 48 hours, mold can grow fast, far, and wide. Mold is nothing to take lightly or, in some cases, to mess with entirely because of its adverse health effects. Also, if the mold impacts an area over 10 square feet, a professional like The Flood Team is your best bet when things get moldy and wet.
Steps to take when you notice mold
If you see mold, identify it as typical in households, such as on shower tiles, refrigerator doors, or even bread; it is generally safe to proceed with cleanup yourself. Residential products can effectively clean common household mold. However, should the impacted space be hard to reach or cover more than 10 square feet, call a professional immediately to kill and remove mold.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, here are some things you can do immediately should you identify mold within your home or workplace:
Identify and fix the source of moisture.
This may include fixing leaks and other sources of water damage as quickly as possible, then drying or discarding unsalvageable items. A professional like The Flood Team can be contacted 24/7 to promptly provide a free evaluation and begin extracting moisture from hard-to-reach places and drying the impacted area fast. This is important as mold cannot thrive outside of humid, moist conditions. Mold can also grow extensively within as little as 48-72 hours.
Clean mold off non-porous surfaces.
This may require scrubbing with detergent and water to ensure the area is completely dry. Mold can grow back since no space (indoors or outdoors) can be completely rid of mold spores floating in the air, so cleaning and effectively drying is a must.
Discard unsalvageable materials.
This includes porous materials like carpet, some furniture, and ceiling tiles, which may need to be discarded if moldy. Mold can be difficult or near impossible to remove from some porous surfaces, so if in doubt, call a professional or specialist to find the best course of action.
Avoid mold exposure as much as possible.
Once you identify mold, if it cannot be quickly and safely addressed, avoid the impacted areas as much as possible since mold can cause adverse effects on the health of loved ones, even pets. Remediation specialists such as The Flood Team are prepared with protective gear to address mold cases, big and small, safely and effectively, so your health won’t be in jeopardy.
Get expert opinions quickly.
A professional remediation specialist like The Flood Team will provide a free evaluation, quickly begin extracting water or moisture, dry the area, detect residual moisture left in hidden places, and safely and effectively clean up mold. Still, another specialist may be able to provide expert opinions on how to clean a particular item, especially if it is sentimental or expensive. Specialists in art restoration, furniture repair, carpet and rug cleaning, and more are great people to contact should you be unsure how to preserve your valuables impacted by mold.
The Flood Team process for mold remediation
By now, you are aware that moisture and mold do not mix. The great thing is that The Flood Team has your mold remediation fix! Water can lead to fast-growing mold in as little as 48-72 hours. Therefore, acting quickly is important, which The Flood Team is professionally trained, equipped, and ready to do.
Available 24/7, we get the root of mold growth problems: moisture and humidity. We utilize the most powerful water extraction tools to help you avoid widespread mold growth and keep it from thriving altogether. Our professional moisture meters will also detect water or moisture in hard-to-reach places, following the extraction and drying process, so mold doesn’t have a thriving chance.
In the process, The Flood Team protects your home and workspace contents to ensure no further damage. As a preventative measure, plant-based antimicrobials are applied when needed. Our mold removal process cleans mold up from the source. Besides, we don’t want mold to wreak havoc on your health, including that of your family, friends, pets, employees, or customers.
But that’s not all! Call us first, even before contacting your insurance company, because we also have you covered there. Allow us to be your insurance ally to get you the mold remediation money you’re due depending on your policy plan.
Our insurance specialists are familiar with filing insurance claims of all sizes. Why stress over your mold mess? Let us do the heavy cleaning and the insurance calling so your home or workplace can be restored along with your peace of mind. We also provide all pictures and documents to the insurance company through our proprietary Flood Team app. You and your insurer will be kept up to date and provided with timely information as well.
The Flood Team is trained to act and act fast and effectively 24/7. When mold is concerned, time is of the essence, so contact The Flood Team today to provide a free evaluation, remove, clean, and keep mold growth away.
We are your best remediation bet when things get moldy or wet. The Flood Team looks forward to serving your home or workplace next. Call us today so we can come out fast.