Recent Mold Remediation Posts
Things to Know About Mold From The EPA
SERVPRO of White Plains is a New York State Licensed Mold Remediation Contractor. We also have people who work here who are New York State Licensed Mold Supervisors, and Mold Abatement Workers.
We are always doing research to learn any new information that the EPA puts out on mold.
The potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory complaints.
There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must get the mold cleaned up and eliminate sources of moisture.
Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by:
- Venting bathrooms, dryers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside
- Using air conditioners and de-humidifiers
- Increasing ventilation
- Using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing and cleaning
Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
A mold remediation company will clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.
We will always continue to research and bring you the most up to date information especially from the EPA
What is Mold? Questions and Answers for Mold Concerns
What Are Molds? What a question. Here are SERVPRO of White Plains, we get calls daily for mold remediation. Last September when Hurricane Ida blew through here there were so many calls about water, flooded basements, etc. A few months later the calls started coming in about mold, mold in basements, garages, the smell of mold, etc.
We still get calls from people in this area who will tell us they just saw some mold and did have water from Ida. We talk about her so often we are less formal and dropped the Hurricane and just call her Ida.
Here is a little bit about mold. We talk a lot about how to get rid of it, but here is some information on what molds are. There are different kinds of mold, different shapes, sizes, colors and smells.
Mold can grow outdoors on firewood. Often you will see white, tan or black colored mold here.
Molds are a natural part of the environment and can be found almost anywhere that moisture and oxygen are present. They belong to the kingdom Fungi and live in moist places such as soil, plants and dead or decaying matter. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves, dead trees and other debris; however, indoors mold growth should be avoided.
There are many types of mold – all of them need water or moisture to grow. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth often occurs, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. Mold growth can occur on wood, paper, carpet foods, insulation.
The EPA finds the health risks associated with indoor mold growth include: sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, skin rashes, dizziness, headaches, and asthma attacks.
These risks can be especially harmful for children, elderly people and those with per-existing respiratory illnesses.
When mold spores land on damp spots or surfaces, they may begin growing indoors and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. Eventually molds will destroy the things on which they grow.
By controlling moisture and reducing mold growth, you can prevent damage to building materials and furnishings, save money on mold remediation and avoid potential health issues.
Mold spreads by producing tiny reproductive cells called spores that waft through the air. Mold spores usually cannot be seen without magnification (ranging in size from 2-10 um) and are naturally present in both indoor and outdoor air. Some molds have spores that are easily disturbed and settle repeatedly with each disturbance. Other molds have sticky spores that will cling to surfaces and are dislodged by brushing against them or by other direct contact. Spores may remain able to grow for years after they are produced. In addition, whether or not the spores are alive, the allergens in and on them may remain allergenic for years.
If you are concerned about mold, call SERVPRO of White Plains at 914.684.1560 and we will respond walk you through it all.
Hold The Mushrooms!
Mushrooms in the wall.
They say you are never too old to learn something new.
Today I learned that mushrooms will grow behind a wall if the atmosphere is right. As our technicians were working on a house with mold. As per the protocol, they were cutting out part of the wall and found white mushrooms growing. I had never heard of anything like this before, and of course had to do a little research.
Mushrooms are fungal spores. They are tiny single celled organisms in the air, clothing, window screens, plants and other places. If you have mushrooms in your bathroom then your bathroom has to much humidity, heat and probably poor lighting. This is the perfect storm for conditions for mushrooms to grow. These conditions support single celled organisms to come together, begin germinating, and form mushrooms.
Mushrooms can grow in your bathroom and can be white, dark green and black masses in different shapes and sizes.
Mushrooms grow in the areas of the bathroom with the most moisture, often around the drain, bathroom walls, floor corners and grouted areas.
Mushrooms are a type of mold and must be removed
All types of molds including fungi like mushrooms flourish where there is water for growth. Mushrooms grow typically between 77-86 degrees. Bathrooms are usually warm and have a lot of moisture from taking long hot showers or have a heater running or low lighting.
There are many kinds of mushrooms that can grow in the bathroom. While most of them can be harmless, some are dangerous when inhaled or ingested. Most often mushrooms do not pose a significant risk to health.
Mold loves the same environment as mushrooms. If you see mold or mushrooms, give SERVPRO of White Plains a call!
Mold In Your Car, It's A Thing!
Did you know that your car can have mold in it? Mold in cars can be caused by a variety of things, it is imperative to find out what is causing the mold and get that fixed as soon as you can, to ensure your car doesn’t get mold again.
Here are a few things that could potentially be causing mold to grow in your car:
- Water entering your car is one of the most common reasons for mold, it could be coming in through a crack in the underneath part of your vehicle, such as the footwell, or through a poorly sealed window or sunroof. Because the water has entered and not been dried or is continuously entering and not drying out at all, it will cause mold to grow.
- Spilled food or drink is the other most common cause of mold; if a drink has been spilled onto the fabric seat and hasn’t been washed or dried, it will most likely form mold. If food has been dropped onto the floor and stood on or just left, it can cause mold to grow, and potentially spread.
- Flooding of your car will cause mold, maybe the window was left open, and there was heavy rainfall while driving through deep puddle water managed to get in flooding the car. If the water isn’t drained pretty quickly and dried really well, it will become a breeding ground for mold, and soon starting growing.
- Pets can also carry mold spores, so it would be a good idea to get a doggy seat or lay down a sheet for your pooch to sit on when in the car next.
There are other factors which can cause mold, leaking air con units, not drying your car after washing it, or leaving it in the sun with no ventilation while the inside is wet, these are all ways that can cause mold to grow in your car. Ever come back from the beach or the pool and everyone sat on the seats in wet suits? Parked in the hot sun this can cause mold.
You will be able to notice mold in the car pretty quickly; it only takes a few days to grow so you will soon be able to see it after it forms. It is a fast-growing and even faster spreading. As soon as you notice it, work on getting rid of it to prevent further and permanent damage to your vehicle. You don’t want to put on your air conditioner or heat and have it blowing in your car, blowing around mold spores!
Mold can appear in different forms depending on what type of mold it is; you will need to work out which kind of mold is growing in your car to know how to treat it. But usually, mold looks dusty, fuzzy, or slimy and can vary in color to white, grey, green, or black, and more.
Call SERVPRO of White Plains! 914.684.1560
A perfect example of why you should do preventative maintenance on your home is what happened to our client today. They had a pipe break and we were called in to do the water mitigation. A pretty standard job. Our technicians went to the home and began the mitigation. As they were taking down the wet sheet rock, they discovered 2 things: Mold and a leaking pipe. The pipe had obviously been leaking for a long time as they could see by the amount of mold. What happens now? Glad you asked. We have to stop work. A plumber has to be called in to fix the pipe and a mold assessor has to be called in to do some mold testing. Here in New York State, a licensed mold assessor must be called in to test when there is more than 10 square feet of mold.
Now work has to stop until the mold assessor comes, tests the air and spores, gets the results, sends us the mold protocol (which NY state requires us to mitigate the mold based on what the report says), we have to create and estimate and send it to the homeowner for their approval.
What’s the problem here besides the headache of the delay? Insurance. Many insurance companies will not pay to mitigate or repair any damage caused by a leaking pipe. Mold mitigation can be very costly. If the pipe has been leaking for a while, even a slow or small leak, mold can form and spread behind walls, under floors, and just keep growing. You can’t unsee a wall being taken down and a wall of mold behind it. Believe me it will stay with you forever.
Preventative Maintenance. It all starts with the water. If you notice your water bill is higher than usual, and you know you have not been using an excessive amount of water, call a leak detection company in. Contact your local plumber and see if they offer a moisture testing program. The money you may spend in preventative maintenance can far out weight the cost of mold remediation from not doing it.
If you need us we are here. Call SERVPRO of White Plains 914.684.1560
The Mold Removal Process
We here at SERVPRO of White Plains get a lot of calls from people saying they have black mold. Often they are in a panic and want us to come out right away to get rid of the mold. While we are a licensed mold remediation company there are New York State Guidelines we have to follow.
For mold over 10 square feet, a licensed mold assessor is required for mold testing. The assessor will come out to your home and do sample testing. Air samples, swabs on walls, ceilings, etc. Once the test results are back from the lab, the assessor with write up a report. That report will be the remediation protocol that we are required by the State of New York to follow. The mold report and the estimate we give based on this protocol is what we submit to the homeowner and or insurance company if applicable. The report will also tell the homeowner what spore of mold they have found. Many times it is not the dreaded Black Mold, but just mold that is black in color.
After Hurricane Ida came and smacked this area back in September 2021, so many people had never before seen amounts of water in basements. While the water has been pumped out and drywall often replaced, we are still getting calls from people finding mold in their basements. Often the calls start with, we had water in our basement during Ida, and now we are seeing mold. We have been to so man of these jobs and have really given people piece of mind when we explain the whole process and get out there and get the mold remediated.
Don't hesitate to contact SERVPRO of White Plains, not only for water and fire, but we are trained, and New York State Certified in Mold Remediation and abatement work.
What is that smell?
A bathroom towel that has not been hung properly to dry, the load of wash that has not been moved to the dryer fast enough, the tiled walls of a shower that has some missing caulk around its base and starts to hold moisture and form black spots. The damp and mildew smell that invades our senses alerts us to the fact that something has not been dried properly, that something has been wet for too long and the result is that odor or black spots on the shower surround base. How do you deal with these issues on a regular basis? What do you do when that smell is more extensive or there is a much larger area of black spots forming elsewhere in your home?
Dealing with the everyday smells of clothing that has sat too long in the washer or a towel not hung properly after showering or even the black spots forming around the base of the shower surround can be annoying but they are manageable. A simple rewash of the affected clothes in the washer and timely placement into the dryer can prevent clothes from smelling. Hanging bath towels unfolded and completely open on a towel rack in an area with good air circulation to ensure quick and even drying will help prevent any odors from forming. Cleaning the shower surround and tub on a regular basis with a cleaning product containing bleach will help ensure back spots will not form or a resealing of the surround base with caulk would work too. Sometimes that smell is more extensive and there are areas in your home that are showing a larger area of mold growth. These simple everyday ways of handling it will not be effective. If there been a recent incident of a large water loss in your home, or a slow leak over time that you have been unaware of, or a basement that has a high level of humidity, these can be causes contributing to the smell or growth of mold that you see in your home. When this is happening it is time to call the mold remediation specialists at SERVPRO. Our staff is trained and certified in handling the removal of mold and affected materials. SERVPRO of White Plains has been handling water mitigation, mold remediation as well as other services since 1996. We will come to your home and get a free estimate together for your and figure out a plan of action to remediate the mold. We have the skilled and trained staff as well as proper equipment to ensure the mold is remediated “Like it never even happened."
Will Home Owners Insurance Cover Mold Remediation?
Let us fix your mold problem!
Insurance companies will not always cover all mold damages which is why it is a good idea to contact your provider. Whether mold is covered under your insurer is something that varies from policy to policy. Occasionally it will specifically state whether they do or don't cover removal of mold. Others will only pay for removal but not testing despite the fact that tests may be necessary to discover if there is mold in the first place. In many cases they will only cover part of the removal process or you can pay extra to add mold to your policy.
Does the Cause Affect the Coverage?
Yes, in many cases the coverage will depend on the cause of the mold. If the mold is caused by something covered by your policy such as a pipe burst, which is covered by insurance, they are more likely to cover removal than if it is caused by neglect of home maintenance.
Water Damage From Flooding
After a flood, it is very common for mold to appear. If your insurance does not cover flooding then there is a good chance that the mold wont be covered either. If you live in a flood prone location it may be a good idea to purchase flood insurance and check if that would cover mold due to a flood as well.
Generally, roof leaks are not covered in insurance policies, therefore you will most likely get no coverage for mold as a result. If the roof leak, however, is caused by a falling tree which causes a leak, there is a good chance you will be covered.
Homeowners insurance does not typically cover leaky pipes, but often will cover a burst pipe. Again, if they cover the cause it is more likely that they would cover the mold as a result.
Water Damage Following a Fire
Homeowners insurance almost always covers fires. The thing that many people neglect to think about is the water used to put out that fire. This can lead to mold damages which most likely will be covered.
Here at SERVPRO, we have trained crew members to help efficiently and completely remove the mold from your house and help work with you to solve the cause of your problems.
If you live in Portchester, Rye, Ryebrook, Harrison, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, or White Plains and have mold problems, call us at:
Does Your Westchester County Home Have A Mold Problem?
In Westchester County, mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.
If you live in Portchester, Rye, Ryebrook, Harrison, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, or White Plains call us immediately if you have mold damage.
Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:
Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (914) 684-1560