Category Archives for Mold Remediation

Common Home Mold Symptoms Any Homeowner Should Be Aware Of

mold symptomsAs a homeowner, keeping your home clean and dry is quite a hefty task. With the rain comes a leak if there is no home waterproofing, and with the leak comes toxic mold. Mold is a fungus, and typically begins to grow in 24 to 48 hours in an untreated moist environment. It can be found growing on anything from plants to food to ceilings.

Mold can cause serious health effects if ingested.

Some toxic mold symptoms include:

1. Fatigue and weakness.

2. Chronic headaches.

3. Poor memory and difficulty concentrating.

4. Stiffness in the morning accompanied by joint pain.

5. Sinus congestion, shortness of breath.

6. Chronic coughing.

7. Appetite fluctuations.

8. An unstable body temperature.

9. Abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea.

10.Increased thirst.

While seniors and children are more prone to becoming affected due to their weakened immune systems, these mold symptoms can be dangerous to anyone in a mold-infested environment. Mold exposure can vary, so here are some common house mold symptoms to keep a look out for.

1. Unmistakable mold odors
Mold typically smells earthy and musty. Typically mold growth starts to smell before it shows up on the walls, so if you smell anything unusual use your nose to identify the culprit.

2. You can see it
When mold growth becomes visible, you know you have a problem. Mold can come in all colors of the rainbow including yellow, green, pink, or black, and can look cottony, leathery, velvety, or granular. Often times it appears as a discoloration of a ceiling or wall, then transforms into a stain or a fuzzy growth. If you notice mold do not touch it and immediately contact a mold cleanup specialist.

3. You notice stagnant water
Mold loves water, so look for any leaks, condensation problems, standing water, or any water stains. Also make sure to look behind furniture and pull up carpets for a hidden growth.

4. The home’s exterior looks wet
If your home looks constantly wet, or takes a long time to dry after it rains, then this could mean you have mold on the underlying walls or cavities. When water is trapped between your walls, it can cause severe structural damage as the water has no place to go.

Mold can be dangerous, but if it is caught early your house will thank you. Just follow these tips to ensure a nice dry home!

Everything You Need to Know About Mold

inspecting for moldMold is often the bane of a homeowner’s existence. It can be extremely hazardous, and can cause many adverse health issues if someone is exposed to it for too long. Unfortunately, many people do not understand exactly what mold is, what should be done to prevent it from entering your home, and how to go about toxic mold cleanup. Here is everything that you need to know about this harmful substance.

What is mold?
Mold is a form of fungus — there are over 3,000 species! — that grows and thrives in moist environments. Some mold can be especially toxic and can cause many health hazards if inhaled. Mold loves to be wherever water is, and will start to grow after just 24 to 58 hours in a moist environment.

Inspecting for mold
It doesn’t always take a professional to check your home for mold. Some signs that there is mold in your house include:

  • A funky odor. If a room or area of your home smells moldy, investigate until you find the source.
  • Signs of water problems, like wet stains or surface abnormalities on your walls and ceilings
  • Water leaks or condensation. If you have recently experienced a flood, be on the lookout for signs of mold development.
  • Lastly, visible signs of mold growth require immediate attention. Especially if you see black mold — typically seen on carpets, ceilings, walls, even insulation — it may be toxic mold. This type of mold is incredibly dangerous, so contact a professional right away. Don’t attempt to deal with it yourself.

Inspecting for mold can also impact your health. Here are some toxic mold symptoms to watch out for :

  • Consistent coughing and sneezing
  • Eye irritation
  • Rashes
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Nausea

How to prevent mold
To prevent mold from growing in your home, you will need to ensure your house stays as dry as possible. Considering 98% of basements will suffer from water damage in their lifetime, here are some tips to keep your home as dry as you can:

1. Keep your gutters clean. If they are overloaded with dirt and debris, then the water will have nowhere to go and will seep down your walls and pool at the foundation of the house.

2. Keep your roof properly insulated. Ice, snow, and rain can all make their way into the roof and cause cracks and holes in your ceilings.

3. Slope your landscaping away from the foundation of your house. This way the water will flow away from your home, and not into it!

4. Invest in a basement waterproofing membrane. These are installed by basement waterproofing specialists and will ensure that the water stays where it belongs — outside!

Waterproofing your entire home is crucial to limit mold growth. Contact a mold inspecting specialist today if you have any other questions!

Mold Remediation: How to Avoid Cross Contamination With the Use of Containment

Your dishwasher malfunctions, water leaks and seeps unknowingly beneath your floor for days – maybe even weeks. As you start to notice an odor and some family members start to feel allergy and cold-like symptoms, water stains and very slight dripping appears in your basement. Immediately, you pick up the phone and call in a professional to confirm your worst fear: you have extensive water damage and mold.

Needless to say, colonizing mold and mold remediation inside our homes can be a daunting challenge for any homeowner. So what do you do now?

Take the first step…

A thorough mold inspection, assessing the cause and the extent of water damage, is key to correcting your mold issue. This assessment should not only outline the cause, but also provide a remedy to the problem. But does your inspection report provide you with a detailed, step-by-step plan, a blue print if you will on the proper procedures and protocols outlining your remediation?

Avoid Cross Contamination

Mold spores can travel through your home in a variety of ways; from things like air flow, pets’ fur, or even people transporting them on their clothing as they walk from room to room. The sooner you contain mold spores, the sooner you lessen your chances of cross contamination. This can often be achieved through use of plastic barriers and air filtration devices (AFD).

Cross contamination will occur if remediation is not completed correctly.

Ensure the Safety of Others

The benefits of containment in your home during a remediation project can seem endless…

One of the biggest relates directly to you and your family’s health! During mold projects, there is usually a stage which involves tearing down or ripping out any contaminated building materials. This disturbs the mold spores, making them airborne. Without containment correctly put in place, those spores can make their way through HVAC ducts or other means – introducing your family to something they otherwise would not have been exposed to.

Said plainly, containment prevents cross contamination, and THAT is the key goal to keeping your family healthy!

 

When you chose to address your home’s mold issue, you’ll want to use a company with the prerequisite skills, knowledge and expertise. This is your home. When you encounter a problem, make sure it is taken care of correctly… the first time!

 Learn more about the mold inspections TermiGuard Services and Fenwick offers here.

 

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Above, at a recent mold remediation project in the Gibbsboro/Voorhees area, you can see that isolation of treatment areas can span from floor to ceiling. 

 


Here is another isolated area created using containment; this was at a Cherry Hill property we visited:
Mold - Cherry Hill

 

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The containment pictured above protects the bedrooms from disturbed mold spores during remediation.

 

When used in conjunction with AFDs, containment becomes even more effective.
See that partnership in place at this recent Cherry Hill job:
Mold - Cherry Hill 2

 

As always, contact TermiGuard Services & Fenwick with any possible mold questions or concerns you may have for your house!
We are happy to walk you through the process and help get your home healthy again!

 

Watch Out for These 4 Signs of Mold

toxic moldYou have heard the saying “out of sight, out of mind,” and just as it relates to most things in life, this old adage applies to toxic mold. If you have not spotted it in your home, you are probably unconcerned by the issue, but ignoring even the most subtle toxic mold symptoms can lead to a long list of health complications and financial problems.

Four Signs of Mold Growth in Your House

  1. Strong odor
    When you have mold growing in your home, sometimes a moldy smell will be the only noticeable clue. Never ignore any strange odor even if you are unable to find the source. Thoroughly inspecting for mold is essential before the problem gets worse.
  2. Allergy symptoms
    Have you noticed that your allergy symptoms are worse when you are at home than when you are out of the house? If so, it is especially likely that you have mold. Common allergic reactions to mold include sneezing, runny nose, sore eyes, and nasal congestion. In many asthma sufferers, symptoms can be attributed to mold.
  3. Visible mold growth
    This may sound obvious, but many people fail to notice small amounts of mold growth or mistake it for dirt. Small mold patches can spread rapidly and if you don’t take immediate action, you will find yourself with a much bigger mold problem. Immediate mold cleanup is essential. Furthermore, if small amounts of mold can be seen, it is possible that a much larger colony is growing somewhere out of view. Some mold appears white and stringy while other kinds look like clusters of black spots. It comes in a variety of colors, including black, gray-brown, white, gray-green, or even orange, pink, or purple.
  4. Water damage
    If your home has experienced any sort of moisture problem, it is usually inevitable that mold will appear sooner or later. Mold typically begins to grow within 24 to 48 hours of the initial introduction of water in an untreated moist environment. Signs of water damage or moisture problems include discoloration on walls, water stains, or peeling wallpaper. If your walls are bulging or warped it is also an indication that moisture has been introduced.

As many as 98% of basements in the U.S. will suffer from some type of water damage during their lifetime. Water damage alone can hike up an insurance claim to $6,965 and when mold is involved, insurance costs can end up being even higher.

To save money and protect your health, make sure you keep an eye out for signs of toxic mold and have your home inspected when necessary.

5 conditions essential for mold to grow

The top 5 indoor environmental conditions
Absolutely necessary for mold to grow & flourish
And what you can do about them…

With these easy remedies…
You can waterproof your home or building,
And leave the mold outdoors…
Where it belongs…

If you live in South Jersey, mold, treating mold,
and all the health issues associated with it, should be front-of-mind for you…

The thing is – mold is just about everywhere.

It’s all over your clothes, in and on your car, mold is on virtually everything at work and at home… and it’s mostly outdoors.

Mold plays an important role in nature ‒ and that’s to break down dead organic material, helping it decay – much the same role South Jersey Termites play.

When we keep mold outdoors, it’s relatively harmless. But, when mold grows or colonizes in a confined space ‒ like your home or building, to the point you can see and/or smell it – well, then it’s not so benign and harmless. Indoors, mold can cause allergic reactions, cold and flu-like symptoms, and it can lead to asthma, causing asthmatic attacks and other respiratory distress issues.

So how do we keep mold outdoors, and keep it from growing in our homes, our buildings or our workplaces?

If your answer for taming indoor mold involves controlling water…
You’re on the right track right!

Wherever you find ‘South Jersey mold’, there’s sure to be some kind of waterproofing issue that needs attention in your home or building. There’s more to controlling mold than just worrying about whether you might need a perimeter drain or a sump pump. In addition to sumps and drains, you might want to consider the challenges of controlling water or upgrading the waterproofing in your home or building from a few different perspectives.

Perspectives like ‒ dehumidification (a mechanical ventilation system to extract water vapor from the air and building materials, exhausting it from your home/building), or a vapor barrier (the plastic liner installed on the floors and walls in basements and crawl spaces to stop moisture being sucked from the earth, creating high-humidity conditions).

Just as water can cause serious damage to the foundation and footings of your home or buildings, the water vapor that comes from that water is detrimental to your indoor air quality and the structural building materials that make up your home or buildings.

So, just what are the Top 5 indoor environmental conditions
absolutely necessary for mold to grow and flourish?

Let’s take a look…

1 – Water – While it’s good for your body, water is awful for your home or building…

Every mold study identifies water (or moisture) as the prime requirement and causative agent for mold growth. Indeed, water is like a disease to any indoor environment.

Important fact – no water, no mold!  So, if you suspect you have a mold infestation, with absolute certainty, there’s a source of water ‘feeding’ it.

2 – Temperature – when it’s warm enough, mold will grow…

The magic temperature required for mold to grow is 50° Fahrenheit.

At 50° and up, mold spores can begin to grow and multiply on damp surfaces.

Admittedly, controlling the temperature isn’t the best way to prevent mold growth, but, if you suspect you have mold… it’s clear you’re providing the right temperature for it to grow, right now… or it’s occurred, along with water, along with the other three necessary conditions, of course.

3 – Moving Air – Since mold is a living, breathing organism, it needs air to survive and grow…

Much like our own bodies, mold needs air to live and grow. And moving, circulating air is almost everywhere. So, if you have mold, or suspect you do, remember to look for the source of moving air.

4 – Carbohydrates – Organic food is ‘gold’ for mold to grow…

Hopefully you’ve accepted that mold is a living, breathing organism, and that it has to have a source of water, the right temperature, and moving air to grow. But as a living organism, it also needs a source of food.

So if you think you may have mold… check to see if it’s growing on an some kind of organic surface (wood, cloth, paper, gypsum, glues, some silicones, etc.

5 – Seeing it and/or smelling it – the best detection tools – your eyes & nose…

This is perhaps the most obvious indicator, but it’s the one most people tend to forget or overlook. If you see anything that concerns you – or if you smell a musty, ‘mildewy’ odor – it’s a good sign you may have a mold issue

For a more in depth look at these conditions and to learn more about mold, visit our TermiGuard Mold Services website, dedicated to helping you eliminate your mold problems… once and for all.

Or, we invite you to read the complete, FREE Report

As always ‒ Dedicated to providing you healthier living,

Jim and Mike Allen, Owners
TermiGuard Services

Remember Grandmas Basement?

I remember my younger, innocent years (nostalgic sigh goes here)…

I spent a lot of time with my grandparents back then – and if your grandparents were anything like mine – they were always telling stories, chock-full of life lessons. There were even books like that… “The Three Little Pigs”, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”, “Little Red Riding Hood” each featuring a moral, or lessons to be learned.

My Gram always told stories like those, too (still does, actually).

But now it’s my turn to offer one with a moral

In those days, I was always playing in Gram’s basement with my sister and our cousins. Gram had so much neat ‘stuff’ down there for us to get into.

Old clothes for dress-up, old hockey sticks to slap around, a rickety, old ping pong table, strange books, stacks of old magazines, and other collected ‘thingies’ long-retired – which we could bring to life and dream up new uses for.

I remember there was always an odd, sorta funny smell down there, too. But, I thought it was just how all old basements smelled.

In fact, it was a musty, damp, disgusting, and totally unnatural smell – because what I’d actually been smelling all those years – was mold.

We get a lot of rain in the South Jersey area, and Gram’s basement would flood with every storm. She’d spread newspapers on the floor to sop it up. Since there weren’t many effective waterproofing solutions in those days, she’d repeat this routine with every rain storm.

Gram must have known she had a mold problem… right?

How could she not?
  •  Maybe she just didn’t want to face the issue
  •  Maybe she just didn’t know that water getting into her home where it wasn’t supposed to be was causing the mold
  •  Maybe she didn’t wanna ‘foot the bill’ to hire a water intrusion professional?

Or maybe she really didn’t know she had a problem

Gram’s home had contracted a disease and mold growth was a symptom of it.

What disease? WATER!

Years of water intrusion (in her case, it was basement flooding), had started with improperly designed gutters & downspouts, clogged underground gutter drains, and a negative grade on the ground around her home (it had pitched back and settled, sloping toward her home, guiding rainwater directly to her foundation and into her basement).

Through our home services company, we’d even offered to deal with it for her, but the ‘fish weren’t biting…’

That is, until the storm of the century hit!

All of that ‘stuff we’d played with as kids was ruined, family memorabilia destroyed and lost… and the mold had taken over more than ever before.

It was only then she realized how bad her problem had become, and she finally took action and called us for help (Note – she hasn’t had flooding or mold issues since – and yes, she got the family discount)

Ever seen the Direct TV commercials where things spiral out of control, because the poor guy (or gal) hadn’t gotten around to switching to Direct TV? Some of them are actually quite hysterical…

Anyhoo, along those lines, here’s something to consider…

When you’re feeling lazy, you may just sit on your couch, eating chips all day

And if you do, you might put-off, or forget about cleaning your roof gutters & spouts

When you don’t clean your roof gutters & spouts, your basement might flood

When your basement floods, mold may begin to grow

When mold grows, your house will begin to smell

When the smell becomes unpleasant, nobody will want to come to dinner

And when nobody wants to come to dinner, you’ll end up eating alone!

The Moral?

You don’t have to eat alone! Have your problems taken care of – call the TermiGuard Services & Fenwick professionals at one of the numbers below TODAY!

 

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