The Need To Know Guide For Mold Remediation Services [Special Edition]

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Close-up Of A Shocked Woman Looking at moldy room

Close-up Of A Shocked Woman Looking at moldy room

Household mold isn’t something that should be taken lightly, and part of this is due to the sheer variety of different ways that it can impact health when people are exposed to it for a long period of time. In some cases, it may be mild discomfort, indistinguishable from some common allergies. In other situations, it may present a more serious health issue.

No matter how your body reacts to mold, no one wants to take a chance, especially with the different species of mold that can grow in your house if left unchecked. Because of this, it’s essential that you take the time to consider mold remediation services as a solution to your greater issues.

The #1 Question Everybody Asks??

How Do You Know It’s Time For Mold Remediation Services?

Some sources would have you believe that if you see a small patch of mold in your home, that you’re in good shape to deal with it yourself via a few DIY treatments or cleaning products that you can buy over the counter. Not necessarily, and here are a few reasons why.

  1. Store-bought “test kits” aren’t always reliable, and if you try to apply a specific treatment to the wrong species of mold, you may not get the results you want.
  2. This approach only works for mold that is easily visible or detectable. As we will mention later, there’s a variety of ways mold gets into areas that are much harder to see.
  3. There are other elements that you need to keep in mind, including the presence of dead spores and comparing levels before or after your “remediation” process.

With this said, how can you determine the difference between a smaller mold issue and something that requires full-scale remediation? The truth is, it can be difficult to detect the difference. Mold can grow in any situation where there is humidity or moisture. A lot of the horror stories you hear about mold involve flooding or another water intrusion because it adds a lot of moisture at once, but some summers in certain climates should always be accompanied by a mold inspection. If your home is flooded, though, you should include mold remediation as part of your recovery, no questions asked.

Aside from that, the biggest signs that you should look for mold remediation versus smaller-scale efforts is if you see prolonged signs of mold exposure. For example, mold has a distinct smell, and if you apply some DIY methods and see little results, this may mean that you have it in more areas than anticipated. In addition, if you see a prolonged health impact related to mold, it’s better to be safe than sorry and get mold remediation services before these issues go any further.

Finally, there’s the simple matter of confidence. If you can smell or detect mold in a certain area and aren’t confident about your ability to properly remove it or if there may be mold in other places, you’re better off looking into mold remediation services. Even if you save money upfront with a DIY method, if it doesn’t work, you may have to do it again and again, with no guarantee that you will remove all mold. This will erode the price advantage pretty quickly.

One reason why profession mold remediation services are preferable to DIY options is the timeline that you have to work with when it comes to mold. In optimal conditions (dark, damp, humid) mold can grow in as little as 24 to 48 hours. Note that this is the initial germination. It can take up to a week or longer until the mold is actually visible, which could mean a week of potential health symptoms and issues before you have an idea of what you are dealing with. Going the professional route saves you from dealing with this for even longer.

Sources Of Mold In The Home (and how mold remediation services target them)

One thing you want to do yourself before calling mold remediation services is to get a basic idea of where mold is growing in your home. The biggest reason for this is for your personal and financial benefit. Mold remediation is an essential process but can get expensive if there needs to be additional steps taken to get to the mold, like tearing down drywall or other similar procedures. By knowing how and where mold has gotten into your home, you can budget accordingly.

The easiest way to break this down is by explaining the different components any mold species needs to grow. If any one part of the following list is missing, mold won’t be able to grow.

  1. A food source: In nature, mold will grow on fallen trees or other plant matter. In the home, wood and drywall are some of the most common sources they turn to.
  2. Darkness: Ultraviolet light is harmful for mold, so there needs to be some degree of darkness or cover present.
  3. Oxygen: Although mold can grow without light, it cannot grow without sufficient oxygen.
  4. Warmth: Freezing temperatures and below make it impossible for mold to grow. This is why people in year-round warm climates need to pay special attention to mold.
  5. Moisture: As mentioned before, doesn’t need to be standing water in order for mold to grow. Any moisture can provide a home for mold.

In your typical home setting, there are a variety of different situations that can lead to mold growing. The bathroom and kitchen are always good places to look because certain appliances can lead to more humidity. Combine these with forgotten areas that have shade and aren’t cleaned often, and you have an ideal home for mold.

Aside from these, water leaks of any size are also a prime candidate for mold. For example, if you have a leaky pipe, the dripping water from here provides a constant source of moisture for mold to grow. The same situation applies to moisture from outdoors that comes in through a leak in the roof or attic. In general, on top of acting quickly if you smell mold or have any sudden symptoms that could reflect growing mold, a good practice is to check your roof, attic, and other areas after any rough storm, even if it doesn’t seem like there was major damage. Even a small leak can provide enough moisture for mold to grow, leading to larger issues in the future.

Staging Your Home For Mold Remediation Services

At this point, you’ve established, or at least have an idea, of what is causing your mold and are ready to call in professional help. There are a few steps you can take as a caring homeowner in order to slow the growth and make the work a little easier for your mold remediation professionals when they come.

  1. Take Care of Water: While it may not halt the growth of mold, you can prevent things from getting too out of hand by taking the initiative for outstanding water. In fact, it’s generally recommended that you wear some sort of protective clothing, including a N-95 respirator, protective gloves, and some sort of apron. Most homeowners don’t have these, so you’re probably better off calling a plumber to handle any leaks, as many mold remediation services can’t start until those leaks are fixed.
  2. Be Ready To Fix Adjacent Issues: As we alluded to before, mold growth can also be a symptom of another problem in your house, like a leak. Depending on what contractors you use, you may be able to get mold remediation services and the necessary other repairs done at once, but it’s good to start budgeting for both now.
  3. Check With Your Insurance Company: In general, insurance companies only cover mold remediation costs if the mold issue stems from what is called a “covered peril.” Generally, this includes sudden, accidental situations, like an ice dam in your gutters causing a roof leak and sudden mold. By comparison, mold that slowly grows in your shower likely won’t be covered. Situations like natural disasters generally require their own insurance.
  4. Test For Mold?: The question mark may surprise you, but remember, we mentioned how unreliable home mold tests can be. You’re better off paying the extra money and bringing in a professional before getting your mold remediation services done. This helps you know exactly what type and how much mold you are dealing with. It’s possible that mold remediation services offer these tests as a part of their package. Choosing the right contractor means one less piece of work for you.

As a final side note, we’ve mentioned how mold leads to different medical issues for different people. Once you’re set with the staging process, it may not be a bad idea to talk to your doctor and mention that you’ve found mold in your home. This can give them additional insight to provide treatment.

The Process of Selecting Mold Remediation Services

After staging your home for mold remediation services, the time has come to choose your ideal contractor. You have a lot of different options as far as this is concerned, so it’s important to know what separates the best from the rest of the pack.

For starters, in the world of mold remediation, you need to take a close look at certifications when looking for who is qualified. Unfortunately, there are a lot of certifications out there that may sound official but carry little actual weight when it comes to showing how skilled an organization is. There are a few standing exceptions, though. For example, at Total Care Restoration, we are fully certified by the IICRC, a long-standing organization that requires in-person training.

Another important thing to keep in mind when it comes to mold remediation services is that racing to the bottom in terms of price rarely works out well for you. The reason for this is that mold remediation can be a prolonged and sometimes expensive process. For example, if it’s just about removing some carpet, it may take a few days, while it can take far longer if mold needs to be cleared from attics or if demolition and rebuilding is involved. Make sure that you are working with professionals who will follow all the steps needed to remove both living and dead mold from your home, as both can cause issues.

When it comes to online reviews, it’s always a good idea to practice some caution. Because of the nature of mold remediation services, there may not be a lot of reviews for a given contractor, which means you need to weigh each one carefully. Look at trends across multiple reviews rather than single responses.

After things are done, it may be a good idea to hire an outside mold inspector to test how well the remediators did their job. Remember, mold remediation services are more about cleaning things up and replacing areas damaged by mold. It’s also about removing mold spores from the environment to make sure that they don’t start growing again the next time there is a little moisture present. Of course, it falls on you to make sure you are hiring a qualified mold inspector.

Why TCR Stands Above Other Mold Remediation Services

There are a variety of mold remediation services out there, so you want to make sure that you are not only picking the right type of services, but also working with a company with a proven track record of not only helping minimize mold, but also properly staging a home to ensure that mold doesn’t get to unsafe levels in the future. For help in the Miami area, be sure to contact professionals like Total Care Restoration. On top of doing the most to help our customers, we are also:

  • 5 Star Rated on Yelp
  • IICRC Certified
  • BBB A+ Rated

This means that we have the skills and expertise to help you with mold remediation, no matter the stage of growth, type, or cause of mold that you are dealing with. Our customers also trust us to diagnose different issues and create a remediation solution that matches their needs. Reach out to us today for a free inspection.

10 Questions For Your To Ask Mold Remediation Professionals

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Ask Picture

Ask Picture

If you find yourself in a major water damage situation or are beginning to deal with health issues as a result of the presence of mold, you want to get a mold remediation professional at your home as soon as possible. Part of the issue with this, though, is that you want to make sure you have the best option, even if you are in a rush. The nature of mold means that if your professionals miss even one area, you could have mold spread around your house once again before you even know it. Because of this, you want to cut the wheat from the chaff right away, and this list of questions will help you do just that when looking for mold remediation professionals. If you have questions of your own about mold remediation, be sure to look at our all-purpose guide on the subject (Think You Need Home Mold Remediation? )

  1. What Do You Do About Repairs?

Depending on the extent of mold contamination, you may incur some serious damage to your home that is necessary for remediation. For example, mold behind the drywall will require said drywall to be removed to handle the mold. Ask ahead of time whether your remediation company will be able to handle repairs or if you need to find another contractor for this process.

  1. How Do You Isolate Rooms?

One of the most important steps when it comes to mold remediation is isolating the impacted area to avoid any spread during the remediation process. Make sure that your provider has a set standard on how to tackle this important step.

  1. How Long Have You Been In Business?

As is the case with any sort of contractors, unfortunately, there are a lot of fly-by-night operations that offer mold remediation services, especially after hurricanes or flooding where a lot of people need these services right away. You want to work with established companies, not only because they have more experience to do the job properly, but also because it will be easier to follow up with them in case you have issues in the future.

  1. Are You Licensed?

Every state has its own set of rules and regulations to perform mold remediation. You want to make sure that your company of choice has the proper experience and expertise to perform the necessary job, and licensing is a major part of this.

  1. Are You Insured?

You want to make sure that any company that you work with has both worker’s compensation insurance to protect the employees who are working with the mold in your home as well as liability insurance to protect your home and property if something happens during the remediation process.

  1. How Do You Handle Waste Material?

Technically, there aren’t any regulations to dispose of mold-contaminated material, but your mold remediation company should still have some in place. The reason for this is that due to the nature of how mold spores spread, it’s very easy for materials disposed of in the trash to end up spreading spores back in and around the home. Double-bagging contaminated materials and cleaning the bags can do the job in a pinch—just make sure a set plan is in place.

  1. What Is The Cost Structure Of Your Contract?

Depending on the nature of your remediation needs, the process can get expensive. Make sure you know the exact financial breakdown so you don’t end up paying more than you can afford.

  1. Have You Worked In This Type Of House Before?

Different homes have different structures, which means different areas where mold may appear. Ideally, you want a company that has experience with exactly the type of job your remediation will require.

  1. Do You Have A Guarantee Policy?

In general, you want to use a mold remediation company that stands behind their work with some sort of guarantee. Find out exactly what their policy is if you are not happy with how they handle the mold or if some other issue arises during the process. The last thing you want is to go through the entire search process again.

  1. Can You Provide A Post-Remediation Report?

The last thing you want to do is pay for a second remediation before you are ready. A post-remediation report can minimize the chance of this happening by providing information and guidance on what you need to do next to deal with mold before it gets out of control.

A lot of the time, you’re going to need to go through this process to narrow down the different mold remediation professionals to find the best match for your budget and situation. If you want a company that is versatile, make sure to contact professionals like Total Care Restoration. Not only do we believe in doing the most for our customers in the Miami area, but we’re also IICRC-certified. This means that we have the skills and experience to help in a variety of mold remediation scenarios.

Common Household Mold Areas

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Window Sill Picture

Window Sill Picture

Part of being a homeowner is being as vigilant as possible, and mold is the perfect example. If left unchecked, mold can easily spread throughout the home, causing health issues for you and your family, and potentially necessitating an expensive mold remediation project. The best asset you have as a homeowner is to check the home regularly to try and catch the issue before it gets out of hand. Here are some of the key areas where you can start your mold inspection.

  1. The Bathroom: Remember, mold requires moisture to grow, and there are few areas that get as much moisture as a bathroom. The major contributors that can lead to mold are a lack of ventilation within the bathroom, and this can lead to mold growing on obvious areas like the shower tiles, as well as in less common areas like the surface of the sink and toilet or even within the walls.
  2. The Basement: Many home basements are naturally dark and can occasionally get some slight flooding or leaks in heavy rain conditions—the perfect combination when it comes to breeding mold. Be sure to check your basement regularly to ensure that mold doesn’t have a chance to grow.
  3. The Attic: Many mold issues in the attic stem from roof leaks. The reason for this is twofold. First, leaks in the roof allow rainwater to be absorbed into the various layers of the roof. However, leaks also make it easier for the humidity naturally occurring within the home to go into the attic. This combination allows mold to grow, and it could potentially spread to other rooms if you move items in storage within the attic to other parts of the house.
  4. Windowsills: Again, the main reason that mold appears on windowsills is that these are natural sources for condensation, which provides the moisture that mold needs to live. Take a moment to wipe sills and sashes after each rainstorm so that mold doesn’t have a chance to grow.

One area where you need to be especially careful when checking for mold is flood/water damage scenarios. This can include a prolonged leak in the gutter/foundation or burst pipes. When these issues happen, it makes it possible for moisture to get into hidden parts of the residence, leading to mold growing in areas that can be difficult to reach, such as behind the walls. Here is some basic guidance that you can use after one of these issues takes place to keep an eye out for mold.

For starters, if you’re dealing with flooding, make sure that you follow basic safety practices for re-entering a home, like making sure the electricity in the home is turned off and that you wear protective gear before entering. Floodwater brings a lot of different contaminants into the home. If the waters have receded, you can begin looking for mold in earnest.

Mold can grow as early as 48 hours after initial contact with water, so the sooner you act, the better. Good areas to start looking are on and under furniture as well as floors. However, just about any surface exposed to moisture can grow mold. This is why when dealing with flooding, it’s best to pay professionals for a full inspection.

After you’ve identified the areas where mold may develop in your home, you want to make sure that the remediation begins as soon as possible, but this is easier said than done. If you have more questions about mold remediation, be sure to look at our all-purpose guide on the subject (Think You Need Home Mold Remediation?).

Certain areas can be extremely difficult to reach on your own, and you want to make sure that you handle the situation properly. The perfect resource for these needs is Total Care Restoration. Not only do we believe in doing the most for our customers in the Miami area, but we’re also IICRC-certified. This means that we have the skills and experience to help with mold remediation in even the hardest-to-reach parts of your home.

Why A DIY Mold Remediation Doesn’t Work

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Caution Picture

Caution Picture

Mold remediation costs can vary wildly, mainly because, depending on the spread of the mold, you may be trying to either clear out a few affected areas or trying to remediate several large rooms in your home. Because of this, you may end up paying anywhere from $500 to $15,000 for remediation, and it’s difficult to narrow down that range until the extent of contamination is discovered.

Because of this problem, a lot of people may be tempted to try and get rid of mold themselves. The presence of DIY mold remediation tutorials online tends to make the idea even more appealing. However, for the most part, trying to get rid of mold yourself is a big mistake. Here are some key reasons why.

Misconceptions: There’s a lot of false knowledge that gets handed out in the DIY world, and with something that has health impacts like mold remediation, you want to make sure that this isn’t the case for you.

For example, a lot of people may suggest that bleach is the  proper way to kill mold, but this isn’t the case at all. To truly get rid of mold, you will need a proper biocide, and while you can purchase these yourself, you may not understand which product to buy based on what type of mold is in your home.

Cross-Contamination: If you see professional mold remediation in action, you’re going to see professionals wearing protective gear as well as taking the time to isolate the affected area before the remediation process starts. This is an area where a lot of DIY approaches don’t take the time to prepare. The result could mean putting yourself at risk as well as giving the mold a chance to spread to other areas of the home.

Hidden Mold: This is probably the biggest place where DIY Mold Remediation falls short. Generally, what people do to get rid of mold themselves is seek it out based on sight and smell, but this isn’t always going to help you find all the mold in your home. Mold in the foundation, attic, or behind the walls won’t be detected in such a way, meaning that it can spread further. In addition, in some cases, you may need to remove parts of the home to get to the mold, and you may not be comfortable doing that.

With this said, there are a few active roles that people can have when it comes to dealing with mold in their home. For example, while waiting for mold remediation professionals to do their work, you can use humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and other tools to maintain a proper humidity level in your home. This can help curb mold from appearing in other areas.

However, your best asset is being an alert homeowner and doing regular checks around your home for mold. This means you can pay a lot less for remediation when you need it. If you have more questions about mold remediation, be sure to look at our all-purpose guide on the subject  (Think You Need Mold Remediation In Your Home?).

There’s nothing wrong with the DIY impulse, but as a homeowner, you need to understand that there are situations where this just doesn’t apply, and mold remediation is one of them.  A major reason for this is that mold and water damage are not the type of situations that you want to let progress because you either missed a location or didn’t do something properly. This could lead to permanent damage to your furniture or even the foundation of your home, and you want to make sure that you solve the problem by bringing on professional help.

If you are looking for a place to start, contact professionals like Total Care Restoration. Not only do we believe in doing the most for our customers in the Miami area, but we’re also IICRC-certified. This means that we have the skills and experience to properly see your mold remediation to its conclusion.

Knowing Your Mold Types

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Mold Growing

Mold Growing

Technically, we don’t have complete knowledge about all the different types of mold and fungi out there in the world, though there are believed to be roughly 100,000 types of mold, many of which have a decent chance of appearing in your home. The good news is that there are a few specific species that are a lot more likely to appear in a home, whether they’re stemming from humid conditions, excess water damage, or flooding. Here are some of the key examples.

Aspergillus mold: This very common type of mold can be found just about anywhere and is known to cause allergic aspergillosis when its spores are inhaled. This generally causes minor allergic symptoms for healthy adults, but can lead to more pronounced issues in children, the elderly, or those recovering from surgery and serious illnesses.

Cladosporium mold: Another of the more common types of mold you can encounter in your home, Cladosporium is a black or green “pepper like” substance that is often seen on the back of toilets, as well as fiberglass air ducts and painted surfaces. This mold is non-toxic, but it can cause allergic reactions like a sore throat and rashes.

Fusarium: This mold is similar to Cladosporium and can survive in both warm and cold conditions. Generally, it is found in carpeting, wallpaper, and other types of fabric. The major difference is that in time, Fusarium can become toxic. This means that its impact is far more severe, including bone infections and even internal bleeding.

Aureobasidium mold: This allergenic mold is generally found behind wallpaper or on painted surfaces, which can make it hard to locate. When you do see this, it has a pink, brown, or black color that gets darker as it ages. It can lead to eye, skin, and nail infections.

We should take some time to discuss the concept of “toxic mold” as part of this conversation. To be clear, mold can be hazardous to your health, but there are a lot of misconceptions. For example, only 50 species of mold out there truly have components that can be considered to be “toxic.” Toxic, in this case, doesn’t necessarily mean that the mold is toxic, but that it creates toxic compounds known as mycotoxins.

The most prominent example of this is Stachybotrys chartarum, also known as black mold. Black mold is commonly seen in flood-damaged buildings and areas. While some non-toxic molds can trigger allergic reactions, common symptoms of toxic molds include wheezing, chronic sneezing, coughing, eye irritation, and even regular serious headaches. Left unchecked, it can also cause issues like fatigue, depression, and breathing problems. Black mold is generally found in air conditioning pipes and ducts.

It can be difficult to identify different types of mold, and if you want to get technical, mold doesn’t have to be “toxic mold” to cause discomfort for any occupants. This is why, no matter what type of mold you are dealing with, it’s best for you to start mold remediation as soon as possible to avoid any health issues in your household. In addition, the quicker you act, the less expensive your remediation project could be.

If you have more questions about mold remediation, be sure to look at our all-purpose guide on the subject (Think You Need Home Mold Remediation?).  The best way to start the remediation process is by using professionals like Total Care Restoration. Not only do we believe in doing the most for our customers in the Miami area, but we’re also IICRC-certified. We have the experience and expertise to figure out what type of mold you are dealing with and help bring it down from potentially dangerous levels.

Think You Need Home Mold Remediation? Read This…

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Man shocked to mold in kitchen cabinet.

Man shocked to mold in kitchen cabinet.


Chances are, you could have some form of mold in your home without even knowing it. Experts suggest that roughly half of the homes in the U.S. have some form of mold problem. Compounding the issue is that 28% of the population has some sort of genetic factor that could leave them at risk for mold-related health issues. In addition, people in certain regions of the country may be at greater risk of mold in their homes, generally in areas with high humidity. In these situations, you need to make sure that you are ready to utilize mold remediation.

Mold Remediation vs. Mold Removal

At first, you may be confused about exactly why the term is called mold remediation vs. mold removal. Part of the reason for this is that mold remediation is a more accurate label. Mold, to some degree, is going to occur wherever there is any sort of water or moisture, including heavy humidity. As a result, you’re never going to technically remove every single iota of mold in a home, and even if you could, it would come back pretty quickly. This is where the legal definition of mold remediation makes a lot of sense—being: “the removal, cleaning, sanitizing, demolition, or other treatment, including preventive activities, of mold or mold-contaminated matter that was not purposely grown at that location.”

Mold remediation does not completely remove mold forever, but it brings it back to healthy levels. So, with this in mind, what exactly leads to mold in the first place? In nature, mold has a very important use—to break down organic matter like dead trees and fallen leaves, but indoors, it can lead to issues.

Mold grows in areas where there is moisture, and it continues to grow and reproduce by expelling spores that are invisible to the naked eye. There are a variety of different types of mold out there, and all of these require moisture to function. This is part of the reason why so many companies that help with water damage also offer mold remediation services—because the two go hand-in-hand. Water damage scenarios, like flooding, hurricanes, or burst pipes, are some of the areas where mold remediation is often needed most because the sudden influx of moisture leads to the greatest risk of mold causing health issues.

When You Need Mold Remediation?

To be clear, we should address the commonly held concept of “toxic mold” in the home. A lot of restoration services may use this in their marketing, but it’s a bit of a misnomer. Very few molds actually produce true toxins. However, those same spores that we mentioned earlier can cause health issues if they are ingested, and this applies to a variety of different species of mold. However, only roughly 50 species out of the 100,000 types of mold out there truly qualify as toxic (Knowing Your Mold Types).

Woman Sneezing

Woman Sneezing

Just because exposure to mold isn’t poisonous doesn’t mean that it can’t be serious, though. One of the most common negative health reactions to mold is mold allergies. These, like other allergies, are caused due to an overreaction of the immune system when someone inhales mold spores. This can happen even with some of the milder mold species out there. Typical signs of mold allergies include:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny/stuffy nose
  • Cough/postnasal drip
  • Itching in the eyes, nose, and throat
  • Watery eyes
  • Dried skin

Like other allergies, there can be a lot of variance in the severity of different reactions, as well as the duration of said allergies. For example, your mold allergies may only happen at certain times of the year or occur year-round. For the most part, mold allergies will make you extremely uncomfortable but don’t necessarily threaten your health. However, the issue may be further compounded for people who are dealing with asthma. Asthmatic people with mold allergies can easily have an asthma attack if they end up being exposed to mold that triggers an allergy.

While mold allergies are the most common health issue that will require mold remediation, there are some other more dangerous health conditions that can occur. These can include respiratory infections and conditions like bronchitis, especially among people who have compromised immune systems.  In some cases, post-flooding mold can be especially dangerous due to the other contaminants that are often brought in by floodwater.

With this said, even if mold is rarely life-threatening, constant allergic reactions can cause a serious impact on your quality of life. Because of this issue, it’s essential that homeowners have the means to detect mold as soon as they suspect that it’s present. There are a few ways that you can do this:

Check by sight: While you don’t want to use just this option, certain types of mold are more visible than others, like the infamous Stachybotrys chartarum, known as black mold, which has a distinct greenish black appearance.

Check by smell: One of the most common ways people first detect mold in their home is by the very distinct damp, musty smell that stems from substances naturally produced by mold as they grow.

Health issues: Because mold allergy symptoms can resemble other allergies, it may be difficult to pin health issues on mold at first. However, if you recently had a flood or humid season and are experiencing issues out of the blue, mold may be the culprit.

Technically, there are mold kits out there, but most of the time, you don’t really need those. If you have even a suspicion that there is mold in your home, the best course of action is to prep for mold remediation rather than delay the process. The longer it takes for you to get started, the more time the mold has to grow and spread.

If you’re struggling to find a place to start looking, remember that mold is naturally drawn to places where moisture is present (Common Household Mold Areas). This means that bathrooms and the kitchen are a good place to start, but you may want to also look in areas that may have come into contact with heavy rain or leaks. Windows, air conditioning vents, humidifiers, and even indoor plants can become a home to mold. This is part of why pipe bursts and floods can be so dangerous when it comes to mold, as water and moisture can get into areas that are difficult or impossible to see or check. This is why you want to start looking for mold remediation professionals who can get the job done shortly after returning to your home after these issues take place.

Mold Remediation – Step By Step

The beginning of the mold remediation process, no matter what the size of the project or the location in the home, is going to be attending to the underlying water issue. Because the water is the root of all the major problems, it’s essential to clear out any excess moisture to avoid mold growth. At this point, you’re typically going to use the following steps:

  • Isolating the area. If the mold is limited to one area, mold remediation professionals are going to close all windows and doors to try to stop the spread of mold, and they should also be protecting themselves by wearing protective gear. Depending on the size of the remediation, they may also have to cover the doors and openings with sheeting to ensure there is no additional spread.
  • Removing wet/damaged items. Many areas that have been contaminated by mold or soaked by water damage will need to be disposed of. However, your mold remediation company should be following best practices to dispose of these items. Generally, this includes using double-bagged thick plastic bags. After the exterior of the bags are cleaned, these can be treated as regular trash.  
  • Cleaning the affected area. Different professionals will use different tools, but the basic concept stays the same. All affected areas need to be brushed and scrubbed using a cleaning solution until all mold has been removed. At this point, the cleaning materials need to be disposed of and the surfaces need to be rinsed with clean water.
  • Drying the affected area. The cleaning process will generally lead to some leftover moisture, and many mold restoration professionals will speed up the drying process by using dehumidifiers and fans, as well as raising the air temperature in the home. After things are dried, the homeowner can begin replacing anything that was discarded during the remediation process.

Depending on the location of the mold and the nature of your home, the exact process of remediation will vary, but this list gives you a basic principles behind remediation—isolating the affected area, clearing out any water, disposing of contaminated material, and then an effective clean and dry.  It may be worth it for you to ask the mold remediation company exactly what type of biocide/fungicide/moldicide solutions they use to kill any remaining mold during this process.

The Ideal Path Towards Mold Remediation

With all these steps in mind, is there anything that you can do as a homeowner to stage your home before your mold remediation starts? In general, it’s not a good idea to start your own DIY mold remediation because there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about clearing out mold that may cause issues. However, there are a few things that you can do, like turning down the humidity in your home. In general, you want indoor humidity at approximately 55%.

In addition, while you may not be able to eliminate mold completely, there are certain best practices you can put in place to avoid issues in the future. For example, get in the habit of looking for cracks in the foundation or leaky gutters at the start of each major rainy season. A lot of the time, areas that are difficult to detect can suddenly become havens for mold due to rain seeping into the home.  In general, if you live in a humid area or one with a lot of moisture, the best thing you can do is get into the habit of checking common areas of the home for mold. By acting quickly, you may only need remediation for a small space as opposed to a large swath of your home. Another good practice is to make sure that your home is properly ventilated and insulated to avoid mold in unexpected areas like the attic. However, your own efforts can only go so far (Why DIY Mold Remediation Doesn’t Work).

When the time comes to find a mold remediation professional, the best course of action is to be an attentive consumer (10 Questions To Ask  Mold Remediation Professionals). Take some time to look at the online reviews and look over the company website to make sure that they are properly licensed. Ideally, you’re going to want a company that is not only experienced in mold remediation, but also going through the process in your region, and even in your type of home, if possible. You can always ask the potential company for clarification about these details outright.

Using TCR For Mold Remediation

At this point, we’ve established that it’s essential for you to act quickly when it comes to mold remediation and that half-measures won’t work when it comes to keeping your family safe. This is why it’s important to recruit professional help for mold remediation rather than trying a DIY solution. For the right company, contact professionals like Total Care Restoration. Not only do we believe in doing the most for our customers in the Miami area, but we’re also:

  • 5 Star Rated on Yelp
  • IICRC Certified
  • BBB A+ Rated

This means that we have the skills and expertise to help you with mold remediation, no matter where the mold is in your home or how much has grown. Our customers also trust us to diagnose different issues and create a removal solution that matches their needs. Reach out to us today for a free inspection.

What Causes Mold & 5 Tips How To Prevent Mold

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How To Prevent Mold

How To Prevent Mold

Mold is a natural substance that’s existed since the beginning of time, but it doesn’t belong in your home. Mold can cause or worsen the symptoms all sorts of health problems, including asthma, respiratory diseases, skin irritation, allergies, fever, eye irritation, and sore throat. The health effects of mold are still being researched by various government agencies and healthcare providers, most notably the Environmental Protection Agency, so its important to understand what causes mold growth and how you can prevent can prevent it. 

Common Causes of Mold

Mold spreads via tiny spores that are invisible to the naked eye. They float through the air, growing in places with plenty of moisture, which can include food, damp fabric, wood, and other places where excess condensation and moisture tends to collect.

Mold usually starts to grow within 24 to 48 hours, so it’s important to act fast if you notice water forming inside your home. 

Some common situations that can lead to mold include:

  • Water damage from a leaking pipe
  • Flooding from a natural disaster or excess rain
  • Spoiled food
  • Excess humidity
  • Leaks in the roof or foundation of your home
  • Excess condensation from cold surfaces such as a window, pipes carrying cold water, cold concrete floors and other metallic surfaces
  • Wet clothes that haven’t properly dried
  • Pools of water around the sink or bathtub that fail to properly evaporate
  • Lack of ventilation so wet surfaces can’t dry
  • Basements with poor ventilation or excess humidity

If you have mold growing in your home, you might notice a few white spores on a piece of fabric, on the wall, or in the corner of a room. Remember, do not touch or inhale the mold. Use proper mold remediation techniques or contact a mold remediation specialist immediately for further assistance.

How to Prevent Mold from Growing in Your Home

There are many steps that you can take to prevent mold from growing in your mold. Mold is the result of moisture, so it’s important to keep an eye out for water damage and excess humidity. Use these tips to prevent mold growth based on recommendations from the Center for Disease Control
  1. Keep Humidity Levels at 50% or Below

Unlike water damage and leaky pipes, humidity can be hard to detect on your own unless you have the proper equipment. If you’re serious about preventing mold growth, get a humidity meter and keep the level in your home at 50% or below. Humidity levels can change on a dime, so you’ll need to check up on the meter at least several times a day. You can turn up your air conditioning or use a dehumidifier to keep levels under the 50% threshold. 

  1. Use Exhaust Vents

Not having proper ventilation in your home will make your mold problem much worse. All the steam from your morning shower and bath routine can lead to excess pockets of moisture and humidity. Try adding a bathroom or an exhaust vent to the bathroom and kitchen.

You also need to make sure that your clothes dryer vents outside, not into your basement or another room in your house.

  1. Use Mold-Killing Cleaning Products

When you’re cleaning your bathroom and kitchen, there’s bound to be traces of mold in the corners of your tub and sink. To stop the mold in its tracks, use mold-killing cleaning products to make sure that these moisture-ridden areas don’t develop into a full-blown mold problem.

  1. Fix Leaks Right Away

Thoroughly inspect the plumbing in your home to make sure there aren’t any leaks around. Even the tiniest crevice can lead to some big problems down the line. You can also call your local plumber for a thorough inspection once or twice a year for some added peace of mind. 
  1. Remove Wet Carpet or Switch to Hard-Surface Floors

Carpet can be a breeding ground for mold because it’s so difficult to keep dry. If you’ve experienced some water damage, remove the moist carpet entirely before the mold can spread. If you really want to mold-proof your home, consider removing the carpet from your home all together. Especially remove carpets from high-traffic areas like the living room or dining room where people tend to eat and drink.

If you suspect or notice mold growing in your home, act immediately. Don’t wait to start the cleanup process as the mold will spread to other areas of your home.

Contact the mold remediation professionals at Total Care Restoration for fast mold cleanup services in Miami and South Florida.

Mold Restoration Experts

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How To Know If Mold In Your House Is Dangerous?

So You Found Mold At Your House Or Business

First of all, finding mold growing in your home is no small matter. It can be quite dangerous to your health if left to continue growing and untreated. There is a long list of symptoms that one can manifest from being exposed to toxic mold growing in the home or office. Allergic reactions including:

  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Irritated skin
  • Sore eyes
  • Sinus problems
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Breathing difficulty

All of the previous are on the short list of symptoms you may notice if you are being exposed to poisonous mold spores. Are you filling any of these symptoms?

Dangerous Mold Example

Dangerous Mold Example

When Should You Worry?

Additionally, if you notice that these symptoms seem to disappear when you leave your home, it could be a clue to hidden mold growing. Also if multiple household members suffer from the same symptoms, it could indicate dangerous mold growth.

So if you have these types of recurring ailments and are at a loss to explain them, then inspecting your home for mold growth would be a great place to start. There are several things that can predict mold sight unseen.

Check out our article on how to prevent mold in your home.

Water Damage Can Cause Mold

If you have had water damage due to flooding or old plumbing, or other types of water leaks, musty moldy odors that get worse when the AC is on, or live in a place with high humidity, you will most likely have to check for mold at some point. Also, you will need to make sure that the water damage is mitigated, so mold doesn’t spread everywhere.

If you notice warning signs such as water stains on walls, ceilings or other surfaces, you could have a problem. In addition, peeling paint or wallpaper, rust in the home, or walls that have bowed or warped, it’s a sign that the ventilation in those areas has been compromised. And this type of water damage is almost always a precursor to mold growth.

Also, if you have a cold, damp basement with little ventilation, you could have a mold problem there as well due to unchecked condensation. Nearly any area of undetected moisture in the home can be a fertile breeding ground for toxic mold spores to thrive in. Which is why it’s a good idea to do periodic inspections around your home to make sure you are safe from exposure to the mycotoxins in mold.

Mold Remediation Miami And Removal Header

What To Do When You Find Mold?

If you decide on a self directed home inspection, and find evidence of mold, don’t try and clean it up yourself. Without professional advice you could potentially be releasing millions of dangerous mycotoxins into the air.

This can expose you and your family to poisonous spores that could cause severe health problems. Even in a preliminary DIY inspection, it’s a good idea to use a mask or respirator, goggles to shield your eyes, and gloves to prevent any accidental contact with dangerous spores.

 Professional Mold Remediators

Professional inspectors have an arsenal of tools and techniques at their disposal to help detect mold growth including borescopes, moisture meters, and infrared inspection. They are experienced at recognizing the subtle signs of mold growth and water damage. Sometimes even using trained canines to sniff out mold that is not visible to the naked eye. 

Moisture Meter

You Will Need Advanced Tools

A moisture meter is a tool with a long narrow probe. The inspector will use the meter to detect moisture by pressing it into carpets, drywall, wood, or concrete. Also, the inspector may use borescopes which are helpful in detecting hidden mold that is growing behind walls and other surfaces.

A mold restoration expert will drill a small hole into the barrier that hides the mold and the borescope. Then the expert will insert a fiber optic probe of sorts, to look for mold on the other side. This technique helps to minimize damage to the wall or any other surface. In addition, it helps  to detect the hidden mold growth.

Even though professionals have very useful tools in detecting mold growth, it’s a good idea to think of any previous history of water damage in the home. You can help point them in the right direction if you do decide to hire a professional. You will enable them to be the most efficient they can be, and you won’t have to have them come back for more repairs in the future. Professionals are trained and have the necessary tools to seal off areas of mold growth. They will need to isolate mold from the rest of the house while they clean the area.

Mold Restoration Experts

In reality, mold detection and removal can be such a large and complex job that often times putting it in the hands of qualified experts will be your best bet. Because you won’t have to worry about being exposed to the harmful mycotoxins that are found in mold. More importantly you can bypass the possibility of spreading spores around your house, causing a bigger problem down the line. When you are ready to get the job done right, give us a call. We have helped many customers with their mold restoration in Miami.

Our advanced mold restorations experts in Miami will leave you with the peace of mind that you and your family are safe.

Finally, we may be able to bill your home owner’s insurance, so you don’t have to come out of pocket.

We Can Clean Up Mold In Your Home Or Business

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