Recent Mold Remediation Posts

Myths Vs Facts of Mold in The Home

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Overbrook/ Wynnefield we currently get a lot of calls regarding mold in property’s. Most of the time it’s in an un-used part of the home like a basement or attic.

Some customers try to handle the project themselves and find that the mold comes back a few weeks later. Here are some myths & facts about mold and the dangers. Although if you think you have mold, you should contact SERVPRO of Overbrook/ Wynnefield to discuss the plans of actions.

MYTH NO. 1 BLEACH KILLS MOLD?

Liquid bleach is a solution of chlorine in water, usually 6 percent sodium hypochlorite, thus 94 percent water. Smearing bleach on mold may appear to kill it, but the effect is superficial and very temporary. Once the chlorine is gone - and it evaporates rapidly - what's left is all that water, feeding the mold.

There are many chemicals that kill mold. They're called biocides. That means they kill life. (Bio = life + cide = kill.)


MYTH No. 2 'Toxic' Mold is the only dangerous type of mold.

"Toxic" mold or "black" mold is often touted by the hucksters in the mold industry as being the one that makes people sick, the one you must eliminate. This is pure scare tactic.

Yes, there are some strains of mold that seem to be more toxic than others. But there is no such thing as good mold, or even tolerable mold, unless you like stinky cheese. Mold in your home is a problem, because it signifies a moisture problem. Moisture inside your home enables mold growth, and it can also lead to rot, threatening the structure itself.

On top of that, any mold problem that's allowed to continue often will pave the way for the dreaded "black mold." The most infamous "black mold," stachybotrys chartarum, is what's known as a tertiary mold. It's very slow to develop and usually follows earlier mold growths, actually feeding off the previous mold colony.

MYTH No. 3, Homeowners can property remediate mold themselves?

Homeowners are not trained or knowledgeable about mold enough to properly remediate the damages, most times homeowners cause more damage when they don’t hire a professional. Most of the errors are in the contamination process. Not using vapor barriers or the proper equipment to clean the air during removal stages. When it’s not properly sectioned off, they can cross contaminate mold threw other area of the home that previously did not have mold spores.


Fact No. 1 : Mold is everywhere and mold problems exist indoors in every climate.

Mold is, literally, everywhere on the planet, in every climate. A house in the Mojave Desert can have a mold problem as easily as one in Florida or New Orleans.

Mold needs three things to thrive: moisture, food, and the right temperature. Moisture can collect in walls, attics and crawl spaces in the driest of climates with a little help, such as a roof or siding leak, plumbing flaw, and pressure differentials created by air conditioning, or even a poorly vented bathroom.

Food for mold is pretty much everything we build with and everything we own. Mold loves household dust... even in the kitchen sink. And the warmth mold needs is the same temperature range humans prefer.

Bottom line: Every home has mold but not every home has a mold problem. If you think you might have a mold problem, don't ignore it. Get help.

Fact No. 2 Home inspectors don't know mold.

Home inspectors - the ones who check out a house prior to sale - are generally ignorant about mold. Many inspectors will see mold and ignore it because there's no rot or obvious moisture. Others may not see it at all.

If you think you have mold in your property, call a professional remediation company like SERVPRO of Overbrook/ Wynnefield

Does Your Overbrook/Wynnefield Home Have Lead?

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

Older homes, older child care facilities, schools and other buildings are more likely to contain lead-based paint. Homes may be private, government-assisted or public housing. Schools are preschools and kindergarten classrooms. They may be urban, suburban or rural.

Percentage of homes likely to contain lead:

    • Built between 1960-1978 = 24%
    • Built between 1940-1960 = 69%
    • Built before 1940 = 87%

What can you do to protect your family from lead in pre-1978 homes?

  • If you rent, notify your landlord of peeling or chipping paint.
  • Clean up paint chips immediately.
  • Regularly clean floors, window sills, and other surfaces. Use a mop, sponge, or paper towel with warm water and a general all-purpose cleaner or a cleaner made specifically for lead.
  • Thoroughly rinse sponges and mop heads after cleaning dirty or dusty areas.
  • Wash children’s hands, bottles, pacifiers and toys often.
  • Keep children from chewing window sills or other painted surfaces.
  • Clean or remove shoes before entering your home to avoid tracking in lead from soil.

SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield follows the EPA's strict guidelines for lead paint

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in pre-1978 homes, child care facilities and schools be certified by the EPA. These firms also must use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers to follow lead-safe work practices.

According to EPA requirements (40 CFR Part 745) contractors must use lead-safe work practices and follow these three simple procedures:

  • Contain the work area.
  • Minimize dust.
  • Clean up thoroughly.

SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield technicians always take the necessary precautions according to current laws. Our technicians have been trained and certified to follow lead-safe work practices while performing renovation and repair projects in your area. 

Coffee Makers: How to Make Sure They Are Properly Cleaned

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Chances are you don't clean your coffee maker as often as you should. In fact, 50 percent of these household machines contain yeast and mold, according to one survey. That makes it more germ-infested than your average bathroom faucet handle.

To make sure you don't drink up any of the germs or coliform bacteria this appliance has been known to grow, we asked Caolyn Forte, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute of Home Appliances & Cleaning Lab, how to keep your machine clean and your coffee tasting great. It's essential to follow these three rules: 

   

1. Wash removable parts with dish soap after every use.

 

"This is important because it helps remove coffee, grinds and oil that are left behind," said Forte. "You can hand-wash at the sink with warm and soapy water, but usually, the pieces are dishwasher-safe. And don't forget to wipe down the outside and the warming plate where spills can burn on." She also recommends leaving the reservoir's lid open so it can dry out completely after each use — germs love moisture!

  

2. De-calcify your machine every month with vinegar.

Over time, hard water minerals can build up in your machine's inner workings, and you may notice that your coffee takes longer to drip. To get things back in tip-top shape, you need to cleanse and de-calcify the machine. Forte's trick: good ole reliable white vinegar.

Fill the reservoir with equal parts vinegar and water and place a paper filter into the machine's empty basket. Position the pot in place and "brew" the solution halfway. Turn off the machine and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then, turn the coffee maker back on, finish the brewing and dump the full pot of vinegar and water. Rinse everything out by putting in a new paper filter and brewing a full pot of clean water. Repeat once.

 

3. Make your carafe sparkle again with rice.

You should always wash your carafe after each use, but if it's looking dingy over time, fill it with warm, sudsy water and a little rice. Swirl the mixture to loosen any gunk. Use a scrub sponge to remove debris and rinse well.

Mold Enters South Carolina School District

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WPDE) — The Horry County School District has been in the seat since mold was found at St. James Elementary School. It quickly started an outcry from parents.

 

ABC 15 News is digging deeper into the mold issues across the school district. Through a Freedom of Information Act Request, we found five other schools have had some form of mold spores found within the past six months.

That brings the number to six: St James Middle and High Schools, Conway Middle and High Schools, The Academy for the Arts Science and Technology and Aynor High School.

  

The HCSD is comprised of 52 schools, with about 7.8 million square footage of facilities.

ABC 15's Sydney Glenn sat down with the spokesperson for the district, Lisa Bourcier, to find out how air quality testing is mandated in the district.

“There is no mandates for the testing, and some school districts don’t do indoor air quality testing, but we kind of take it on a case-by-case basis," she said.

It begins with a work order, Bourcier said, and those usually come from staff members.

“Usually when a work order is put in, it’s information to the best of their ability of what they are witnessing or seeing or what the complaint is," she said.

The complaints can range from a bad smell, to a water leak or a stained ceiling tile.

Next, it is determined what needs to be done. In some cases, an air quality test is ordered.

The testing has been preformed since at least 2012, Bourcier said.

The complaints and issues at each school vary, but a common issue in the reports obtained by ABC 15 News were staining around HVAC units.

“Roofs can be an issue, as well as HVAC systems. A lot of times if you see a stained ceiling tile, sometimes the pipes are sweating. It’s not a leak but it’s sweating. We do live in South Carolina, and the humidity plays a big component when you have to deal with indoor air quality and you have to make sure your systems are set," Bourcier said.

Each challenge was met with recommendations from the air quality tester, Palmetto EHS. Cleaning was a solution offered in each report, among other things. Bourcier said all tasks recommended were done.

“Cleaning is an issue. So, we need to make sure everything is cleaned well and the filters are changed out appropriately, which we do have a company when we change out air filters. And again, just making sure those maintenance issues aren’t going out too far," she said.

In terms of follow up, air quality testing being done, and like has been done at St. James Elementary, Bourcier said it is on a case-by-case basis.

The school district is looking to hire a company to help determine best practices when it comes to preventing and dealing with air quality issues and possibly help set district wide standards. The company would also be able to do air quality testing and basically serve as a consultant, Bourcier said. This idea will be discussed and decided on in the upcoming months.

Article from: https://wpde.com/news/abc15-investigates/abc-15-investigates-5-other-horry-county-schools-tested-for-positive-for-mold

At Home Tips for Mold

11/6/2018 (Permalink)

Mold growth can happen in as little as 48 hours and can quickly become a huge problem in your business or home. Whether it is caused by a leaky pipe, water intrusion, or a roof leak, mold will grow if things like this are not taken care of quickly. Mold not only can cause damage to your property but also can cause health effects. Luckily our SERVPRO crew has the tools, training, and equipment to handle any mold job.

What To Do If You Discover Mold:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system.
  • Contact us for mold remediation services.

What NOT To Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Do not blow air across any surface with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Do not spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

Content by: SERVPRO Corporate 

 

Westover School Closing For a Week Due to Mold

11/5/2018 (Permalink)

STAMFORD — After outcry from parents and poor air quality test results, the district has resorted to closing Westover Magnet Elementary School for at least a week to remediate mold and other facility problems that are allowing its growth.

While the school is closed, parents have the option of sending their children to the Boys and Girls Club on Stillwater Avenue for the day if they need child care, deputy superintendent Tamu Lucero announced at a Board of Education meeting Tuesday night.

The closing comes after news that Northeast and Newfield elementary schools are shutting their portable classrooms for the time being due to mold infestations.

 

The decision to close Westover was made following the end of the school day Tuesday, after the district received preliminary air quality test results from a Saturday inspection of the building. The early results showed 21 elevated mold counts out of 90 tests performed.

  

“If we’d gotten these results back at 10 o’clock this morning, we would’ve recommended you close school today based on the counts that we saw,” Mike Handler, the city’s Director of Administration, told school officials at the Tuesday night board meeting.

The school’s gym, not affected by the mold, will remain open for voting on Election Day, Nov. 6, said city Republican Registrar of Voters Lucy F. Corelli.

The mayor’s office on Tuesday announced the formation of a Stamford Public School Mold Task Force consisting of Handler, interim Director of Operations Cindy Grafstein, Lucero, Chief Financial and Operations Officer Clarence Zachery and City Engineer Lou Casolo. The task force will investigate, develop and implement ongoing remediation efforts and monitoring programs while planning short-term and long-term solutions to the problem.

 While the initial focus is on Westover due to conditions there, the goal is to ensure the safety of and create an ongoing maintenance plan for all 20-plus Stamford Public School buildings, Handler said. 

Mold problems have been found throughout the district. The most recent mold status report from Stamford Public Schools shows mold was also found in the OT/PT room at Northeast. Remediation dates are to be determined.

According to that report, dated Oct. 25, there is also mold in Cloonan Middle School, Hart Magnet Elementary School, KT Murphy Elementary School and Turn of River Middle School. Initial remediation has already cost the district more than $427,260, not counting custodial overtime.

 

“Right now at Westover, it’s not acceptable,” Handler said. “That’s why we closed the school.”

Handler said officials are prepared to keep Westover closed an additional week if needed, as well as work on it during Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks. Maintenance projects, including drain clearing, gutter repair and window caulking, will be done during this time, to prevent further mold incidents.

He added that there will be an increased number of people on site during future inspections, including hygienists to identify mold and additional custodians to move ceiling tiles and speed along the process. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will be present as well.

Data will also be collected from teachers and students about symptoms of any mold-related health problems to form a better understanding of what’s happening in the building.

“Our hope is that with the comprehensive peer review and visual inspection, coupled with the test results we get back tomorrow ... we can get a plan for remediation for each of the rooms,” Handler said. “The reason why school was closed was not just out of an abundance of caution, but because it’s the right thing to do. ... There is no physical place to put kids anymore that’s safe in the school.”

In the meantime, the district’s paraprofessional union will send staff to supervise children the Boys and Girls Club, Lucero said, and Chartwells food service will provide breakfast and lunch. Busing will remain the same, given the club’s close location to the school.

Sharon Beadle, spokesperson for Stamford Public Schools, said the displaced students would be housed at the Boys and Girls Club on Wednesday apart from the students in the district’s Alternative Routes to Success program, who are normally in the building during the day. After Wednesday, ARTS students will be temporarily moved to the Ferguson Library.

Beadle said less than 100 students showed up to the club on Wednesday and the district will continue to re-assess the situation.

“We’re really grateful to the Boys and Girls Club for their generosity,” she said. “This is sort of a whirlwind, trying to accommodate students on such short notice.”

While the mold is being remediated, facilities upgrades will also be made to Westover, Handler said, which will hopefully prevent future spread of mold. The ventilators in each classroom are being upgraded, drain valve systems are being replaced, gutters are being repaired, window caulking will be improved and the auditorium HVAC system will be fixed.

“We’re not going to get this all done at once,” Handler said. “We’re going for the low hanging fruit first. Our hope is we’ll get the building safe for kids to occupy, we’ll maintain it safe and we’ll fix its underlying issues. If we don’t fix underlying water intrusion issues, this is going to be a perpetual problem we’re dealing with for the rest of our lives.”

Lucero said families were notified of the closing Tuesday afternoon.

According to Superintendent Earl Kim, there is no plan in place yet to make up the missing days. Suggestions have included making them up at the end of the year (pending any inclement weather days) and sending students to school during spring break.

Last week, parents and staff from Westover and Newfield elementary schools spent two hours at a board meeting demanding action be taken to remedy a growing mold problem at both schools.

Following the outcry, a decision was made to close the portables at Newfield.

According to a letter sent to parents Monday by Northeast Principal Shawn Marinello, the portable classrooms are being closed temporarily out an “abundance of caution” per the recommendation of industrial hygienist company Hygenix.

The letter said Hygenix conducted a further investigation of the portables and advised the school to close the portable classrooms until further testing results come later this week. Music classes, previously conducted in the portables, will now be held in homerooms.

Content from: https://www.stamfordadvocate.com/local/article/Northeast-School-portables-closed-due-to-mold-13348534.php

SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield has the capacity and capability to take on large tasks such as this mold problem. Call us at 215-877-6653 for more information. 

Philadelphia Residents: Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 215-877-6653

Myth vs Facts of Mold

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

Recently, SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield has been getting a lot of calls related to mold within people’s homes. Many times, these occurrences happen in basements and attics of these homes. These jobs may seem easy enough for the typical home owner to do themselves,  but many times, if the job isn’t done correctly, that mold will spread again a few weeks later. Here are a few myths vs facts about the dangers of mold in the household. F.Y.I. If you think you have a mold infestation in your house, please contact SERVPRO of Overbrook/Wynnefield at 215-877-6653

Myth #1:

Bleach kills mold

Fact #1:

Liquid bleach is a solution of chlorine in water, usually 6 percent sodium hypochlorite, thus 94 percent water. Smearing bleach on mold may appear to kill it, but the effect is superficial and very temporary. Once the chlorine is gone - and it evaporates rapidly - what's left is all that water, feeding the mold.

There are many chemicals that kill mold. They're called biocides. That means they kill life. 

(Bio = life + cide = kill.)

Myth #2:

“Toxic” mold is the only dangerous type of mold

Fact #2:

"Toxic" mold or "black" mold is often touted by the hucksters in the mold industry as being the one that makes people sick, the one you must eliminate. This is pure scare tactic. 

Yes, there are some strains of mold that seem to be more toxic than others. But there is no such thing as good mold, or even tolerable mold, unless you like stinky cheese. Mold in your home is a problem, because it signifies a moisture problem. Moisture inside your home enables mold growth, and it can also lead to rot, threatening the structure itself.

On top of that, any mold problem that's allowed to continue often will pave the way for the dreaded "black mold." The most infamous "black mold," stachybotrys chartarum, is what's known as a tertiary mold. It's very slow to develop and usually follows earlier mold growths, actually feeding off the previous mold colony.

Myth #3:

Homeowners can properly remediate mold problems themselves 

Fact #3:

Homeowners are (usually) not trained or knowledgeable about mold enough to properly remediate damages. Many times homeowners cause more damage themselves when they don’t hire a professional. Most of the errors are in the contamination process. Not using vapor barriers or the proper equipment to clean the air during removal stages can cause further mold spread throughout other areas that were not effected before. 

Mold Myths & Facts by SERVPRO of Overbrook/ Wynnfield

9/6/2016 (Permalink)

Mold on Drywall in Basement in Overbrook PA

At SERVPRO of Overbrook/ Wynnefield we currently get a lot of calls regarding mold in property’s. Most of the time it’s in an un-used part of the home like a basement or attic.

Some customers try to handle the project themselves and find that the mold comes back a few weeks later. Here are some myths & facts about mold and the dangers. Although if you think you have mold, you should contact SERVPRO of Overbrook/ Wynnefield to discuss the plans of actions.

MYTH NO. 1 BLEACH KILLS MOLD?

Liquid bleach is a solution of chlorine in water, usually 6 percent sodium hypochlorite, thus 94 percent water. Smearing bleach on mold may appear to kill it, but the effect is superficial and very temporary. Once the chlorine is gone - and it evaporates rapidly - what's left is all that water, feeding the mold.

There are many chemicals that kill mold. They're called biocides. That means they kill life. (Bio = life + cide = kill.)


MYTH No. 2  
'Toxic' Mold is the only dangerous type of mold.

"Toxic" mold or "black" mold is often touted by the hucksters in the mold industry as being the one that makes people sick, the one you must eliminate. This is pure scare tactic. 

Yes, there are some strains of mold that seem to be more toxic than others. But there is no such thing as good mold, or even tolerable mold, unless you like stinky cheese. Mold in your home is a problem, because it signifies a moisture problem. Moisture inside your home enables mold growth, and it can also lead to rot, threatening the structure itself.

On top of that, any mold problem that's allowed to continue often will pave the way for the dreaded "black mold." The most infamous "black mold," stachybotrys chartarum, is what's known as a tertiary mold. It's very slow to develop and usually follows earlier mold growths, actually feeding off the previous mold colony.

MYTH No. 3, Homeowners can property remediate mold themselves?

Homeowners are not trained or knowledgeable about mold enough to properly remediate the damages, most times homeowners cause more damage when they don’t hire a professional. Most of the errors are in the contamination process. Not using vapor barriers or the proper equipment to clean the air during removal stages. When it’s not properly sectioned off, they can cross contaminate mold threw other area of the home that previously did not have mold spores.


Fact No. 1 : 
Mold is everywhere and mold problems exist indoors in every climate.

Mold is, literally, everywhere on the planet, in every climate. A house in the Mojave Desert can have a mold problem as easily as one in Florida or New Orleans. 

Mold needs three things to thrive: moisture, food, and the right temperature. Moisture can collect in walls, attics and crawl spaces in the driest of climates with a little help, such as a roof or siding leak, plumbing flaw, and pressure differentials created by air conditioning, or even a poorly vented bathroom.

Food for mold is pretty much everything we build with and everything we own. Mold loves household dust... even in the kitchen sink. And the warmth mold needs is the same temperature range humans prefer.

Bottom line: Every home has mold but not every home has a mold problem. If you think you might have a mold problem, don't ignore it. Get help.

Fact No. 2 Home inspectors don't know mold.
 
Home inspectors - the ones who check out a house prior to sale - are generally ignorant about mold. Many inspectors will see mold and ignore it because there's no rot or obvious moisture. Others may not see it at all.

If you think you have mold in your property, call a professional remediation company like SERVPRO of Overbrook/ Wynnefield