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Mold Blog

What is Mold Remediation – Process & Cost

Mold in your home is almost always bad news. Mold is a fungus designed to digest dead trees into forest soil, but it can’t tell the difference between a house and a tree. It likes to grow in any material that is saturated with moisture, and it only has to be soaked once for the mold to start a colony. From there, it will try to live off the moisture in the air and any nutrients it can eat from the new home. Mold likes to grow in drywall after a leak, furniture after a flood, and can take hold in the carpet with just a spill that dries slowly. It can eat away at structural beams and cause roofs to sag.

If your home has ever flooded, leaked, or sustained a high humidity, mold may be growing somewhere – like a dark, undisturbed place that is rarely seen. If you find signs of mold or have recently experienced a leak or flood, mold remediation is the best way to eradicate mold from your house to keep your family and home materials safe.

What Is Mold Remediation?

Mold remediation is the process of preventing or recovering from a mold infestation. If your home has just flooded. Mold remediation teams specialize in drying operations that can prevent mold from taking hold. If you have found signs of mold in your house, a mold remediation team can help you hunt down the mold, remove it, and repair any damage it has caused.

Signs of Mold in Your Home

  • Allergy symptoms at home or overnight
  • Musty or sour smells in the house
  • Speckled or fuzzy discoloration on any surface or furniture
  • Drywall or timbers that are spongy to the touch
  • Circular or splotchy discoloration
  • Any recent leaks or flooding

The Mold Remediation Process

The mold remediation process involves identifying, removing, and recovering from a mold infestation. Mold prevention involves rapid drying and anti-mold treatments after a flood or leak.

  1. Test and Identify Mold Locations

    • Visual inspection of most likely mold locations
    • Test surfaces for mold
    • Test air for mold spore concentration
  2. Remove Mold

    • Treat with powerful anti-fungal agents
    • Bag and remove mold-ruined materials
    • Clean and sanitize the area
  3. Recover from Mold Damage

    • Remove mold stains from surviving materials
    • Restore moldy furniture and personal items
    • Rebuild and remodel if the home structure was damaged

How Much Does Mold Remediation Cost?

The cost of mold remediation varies quite widely depending on the extent of your mold. Minor mold treatment can cost between $200 – $500, while large-scale mold remediation involving infested drywall and carpet removal can run above $6,000. If you count the home renovations that are sometimes necessary after mold-softened walls and beams are removed, the number can potentially go much higher.

The national average for a mold remediation job, however, is about $2,300.

Mold Inspection – Discovering Mold vs Looking for Mold

Every kind of inspector has a relationship with mold. Even electricians and plumbers find themselves faced with mold-backed drywall regularly. If you are buying a home or maintaining your home, mold may be found during a home inspection. However, if you are worried about signs of mold, you may hire a mold inspector to specifically track it down.

What Does a Mold Inspector Do?

A mold inspector looks for mold instead of just watching out for it. They can take both air and material samples to determine exactly where and how much mold is lurking in your house. A mold inspector can also give advice on how to approach mold remediation for the mold that they find.

What Happens if Mold is Found in a Home Inspection?

If mold is identified during a home inspection, the first step is to determine how bad it is. A few small patches in hidden places can be killed and cleaned away more easily than pests because it is just a plant. However, extensive mold should cause you to think twice about living in such a property (or asking anyone else to) until full mold remediation can be completed.

What to Do After the Mold Remediation Process

Once the mold remediation is complete, make an effort to prevent mold in the future. If you need to install new drywall, use green board, which is mold resistant, and seek mold-proof insulation. Then have your roof, plumbing, and basement inspected, as these are the top three sources of moisture that can result in mold.

Some mold remediation services also offer home restoration to fully rebuild your home after removing the mold. If so, you will not need to arrange remodeling services and can transition directly back to enjoying a safe, mold-free home.

Mold Remediation With Lightning Restoration

If you have recently experienced a flood, or leak, or suspect signs of mold in your house, call Lightning Restoration. Our skilled Tampa mold remediation teams will find any mold that lurks and have it removed before your family takes further health damage or your walls lose any further structural integrity. We will also work with you to rebuild any part of your home that was damaged so that it is identical or even better than before the mold was found.

To book a mold inspection or consultation, contact us today.

Categories
Mold Blog

How to Test Your Home for Mold

Is there mold in your home?

This is a very important question that every homeowner should ask themselves at least once a year. Mold is a fungus that likes to eat porous, moist materials. It’s supposed to break down things like fallen trees, but it can’t tell the difference between your house and an old tree trunk. While most of the time, you wouldn’t fret about a little wildlife in your home, it is bad news for both the structural integrity of your house and the long-term health of your family. Today, we’re exploring what mold is, how to identify its growth, and how to test for mold in your home.

Where Does Mold Come From?

Some areas have a bigger mold problem than others, but mold spores exist in nature absolutely everywhere. Any time something fibrous gets soaked, mold spores can start to grow. Drywall, clothing, insulation, particle board, the beams of your home, upholstered furniture – even your mattress: are all at risk of growing mold if ever damp enough to hold moisture.

This is why a home flood or plumbing leak, even in the driest climates, can result in new mold growth. However, you don’t have to see the water or even have owned the house for there to be hidden mold in your home.

Why Is It Bad for Your House

For many, a little discoloration on the back side of the drywall wouldn’t be a big deal. Live and let live, you might say. However, mold has three very important downsides that make it more dangerous than a little grass near the foundation or a bird’s nest on the roof.

  1. Unwanted Musty Smells

    • Mold does not smell good, and the more it is in your home, the stronger that musty sour-laundry smell becomes. It may blow through your air vents, emanate from the walls, puff up with each step of the carpet, or even exude from the furniture. The smell alone is bad, but the headaches it can cause are worse.
  2. Structural Integrity of Your House

    • Mold eats away at the boards, walls, and beams of your house like it would eat an old tree. You can often tell a spot is moldy because it’s soft to the touch. This has caused roofs to sag and even homes to be condemned.
  3. Health Problems With the Family

    • Worst of all, excessive mold spores in the air can harm your family. This starts with allergy symptoms and headaches that are worst at home, or in the morning after sleeping in the house. However, it can become long-term and even cognitive damage depending on the type and concentration of mold spores breathed daily.

How to Spot Mold in Your House

Most of the time, families can identify mold in the house without needing a lab test. It can be identified as speckles and splotches in the range of natural colors from green, black, and brown to yellow, white, and beige. It is most often found in places where there is water and could be a leak, like near plumbing, below roof flashing, or in the basement.

However, anywhere that has been moist can now be home to mold. It doesn’t need constant dampness, just enough to get started. If you don’t see mold, it might still be there – on the backside or in hidden spaces less exposed to light and airflow. However, softened materials and the smell may guide you. Here’s a quick summary of how to find mold in your house:

  • Signs of Mold

    1. Speckles and Splotches that Do Not Wipe Away
      • It often looks like a bunch of little dots instead of obvious fuzzy mounts. Look for spreading “dark dirt” near places like corners, vents, and plumbing.
    2. Green, Brown, Yellow, Black, White, and Beige
      • It can be a lot of different colors. Some types of mold are multi-colored or change colors with the seasons.
    3. Soft or Porous to the Touch, Musty to the Nose
      • It can make your walls or wood soft and crumbly if you tap it with a screwdriver or butter knife
  • Where to Find Mold

    1. Near Plumbing and Under Sinks
      • Check under sinks, shower heads, and near plumbing junctures. Especially if it looks like the last plumbing job was DIY or the seal is starting to crumble.
    2. In the Attic Below the Roof
      • If there’s a small leak in your roof, the attic beams may get wet which can A) grow mold and B) cause your roof structure to soften and sag.
    3. In the Air Ducts, Vents, and Filter
      • This one, you can usually smell. Look for spots near the vents and a musty smell when the AC fan comes on – or in the air filter when changed.
    4. In the Basement Along Walls and Floors
      • Basements with a damp problem can grow mold anywhere that drywall or wood impacts the cold foundation – or near leaky basement plumbing.
    5. Behind Drywall and In the Insulation
      • If you can’t see it but there are signs, it might be behind your drywall, on the backside which dries more slowly.
    6. Anywhere that Has Been Wet or Moist
      • If there is a big spill or plumbing leak, anything soaked might be at risk, even if it dries in a few days.
    7. Anywhere That Has Flooded and Dried
      • If the home floods while you live there – or ever flooded with previous owners – there could be hidden mold in the carpet, walls, beams, or wood features.

How to Test Your Home for Mold

If you suspect mold – but aren’t sure – you can confirm your suspicions with a kit. Especially if your family has combined mold exposure symptoms (it can be different for each person) but you have not yet located a large mold colony with visual checks alone. Here’s how to test for it using mold test kits you can order or pick up at the store.

  • Surface Mold Testing Kits

    • Surface mold test kits ask you to scrape samples of the mold into small vials or onto a slide. The kit will suggest that you test surfaces from various areas where it is most likely to be. See the list above if you’re not sure where to start.
  • Air Quality Testing Kits

    • Air quality kits test for air contaminants and, in your case, specifically for mold spores. You will take air samples in vials from various rooms in your house to find out if there are high concentrations of mold spores. This can reveal large, dangerous mold colonies that are hidden from view.
  • Send It to the Lab

    • With either type of kit, you will send your results to a local lab (for an additional processing fee). They will test your samples and send back a report of the results. Likely, there will always be some mold, but concentration matters. Its type matters only if it is one of the more dangerous types like the deadly Black Mold.
  • Hire a Professional Mold Testing Team

    • If you’re not sure about DIY testing or want a second opinion, you can also bring in a pro team to hunt for it, test surfaces, and/or take air samples to confirm that your home is or is not at risk. They will also offer a more insightful and contextual report on what you should do next.

What to Do if There Is Mold in Your House

If a significant amount of mold is found in your house – or compromising an important structural element – you should seek immediate mold remediation. This process involves cleaning away mold, fixing its stains, and possibly rebuilding parts of your home that have been damaged by it. Fortunately, when mold remediation is done, you will have a beautiful, clean home and can say goodbye to the myriad symptoms your family had experienced.

Here at Lightning Restoration, we know how dangerous mold can be to your home and your family. Contact us today if you suspect or have found mold in your home to consult on your mold remediation needs and options.

Categories
Mold Blog

Mold Remediation: What to Do When You Find Mold in Your Home

Mold contamination can have serious implications for your health and your family members. A health report shows mold can cause red eyes, allergic reactions, skin rash, and a runny nose. Those with weak immune systems, children, seniors, and those with chronic illnesses are at a high risk of mold complications. Throughout the nation and here in Tampa, mold remediation is essential. If you find mold in your home, you should remove it and prevent further growth. Here is a guide to mold remediation and measures to ensure mold does not return to your home.

How Does Mold Look Like?

Knowing what mold looks like is the first step toward discovering what to do when you find mold in your home. Mold can appear in spots with different colors and be smelly and musty. It mostly appears in places with a lot of moisture and may sometimes be challenging to know when there is mold in your home.

How to Remove Mold From Your Home

Locate the Mold in Your Home

The first step to mold remediation is identifying all areas with mold in your home. Look for discoloration spots, especially in high moisture areas. The easiest way to identify mold is by using mold-testing kits. However, it is worth noting that these kits are not always accurate, and you may get incorrect and misleading results. You can get accurate results if you let a professional test the mold for you because they have the right tools and expertise.

Identify the Cause of the Mold

Knowing what causes mold growth in your house will help you take measures after cleaning and avoid having similar experiences in the future. For instance, if there are leaky roofs and pipes, ensure they get fixed after removing the mold. This can reduce the humidity levels and discourage the growth of mold in the home in the future. You do not want mold to return after barely a few days or weeks of cleaning.

Remove Moldy Materials

Many items in your home, such as carpets, cardboards, drywall, wallpaper, and insulation materials, commonly support mold growth and accumulation. It is important to remove these materials and place them outside before you do anything else. Removing the materials will make your work easier.

Clean the Affected Areas

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bleach and other cleaning products can remove mold from surfaces. Without the right tools and cleaning supplies, you may get frustrated at the end of your cleaning if you do not apply the appropriate measures. Here is a guide to cleaning the mold.

  • Get a bleaching agent and soap
  • Open windows and doors before you start cleaning
  • Wear protective goggles, boots, and rubber gloves
  • Clean the affected areas using soap, water, and bleach
  • Clean all the affected materials before bringing them back into the house
  • Seal all leaking areas to prevent mold from growing again
  • Keep humidity levels lower in your home

Avoid mixing bleach with other cleaning products because it will produce poisonous gas that may cause health complications. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on using bleach and other cleaning supplies. You should be careful to avoid spreading mold in other parts of the mold when removing it because it can quickly spread and grow in other areas.

Hire a Professional for Mold Remediation

Knowing what to do when you find mold in your home can help keep your home free from mold. Don’t try to handle the mold situation in your home. If you are looking for mold remediation in Tampa, Lighting Restoration is here for you. Contact us, and let s help clean the mold in your home.

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Water Remediation

Water Damage :: What To Do When It Happens To You

Whether it is from a broken pipe, heavy rains, busted hoses, or even back-flowing toilets, water can cause a lot of damage to your home if it is not dealt with quickly and efficiently. Unfortunate as it may be, water damage can happen to any of us at any time. According to estimates, the Tampa Bay Area alone typically reports above 15,000 water-based losses every year. On any particular day, about 20 homeowners in Hillsborough County return to their homes only to find busted hoses, leaking pipes, back-flowing toilets, and overflowing washing machines,

As a homeowner, there is only a handful of things as stressful as coming home to a water-damaged home. Not only is there the physical damage to contend with, but there is also the emotional rollercoaster of witnessing your most significant investment get ruined along with personal belongings.

What to do when you have water damage

Typically when you come home only to find it flooded, your initial reaction will be panic. However, you must quickly regain your composure since you must take quick and decisive action. Once you are calm, it is time to take action. Here is what to do.

1. Immediately call Lightning Restoration. Lightning Restoration is the number one water damage remediation and restoration company in Hillsborough County. Call us immediately you notice water damage since time is of the essence. The quicker the LR gets there, the more we will be able to save you money and damage content.

2. Shut off the water if possible. Turn off the water flow into your home if possible. If it is a broken pipe, close the valve and if it is a washing machine, unplug it from the wall outlet.

3. Switch off the power. Water and electricity are a dangerous mix. Don’t do anything that will put you or your loved ones in danger. If you are concerned about electrical items in the water, you can shut the power off to the house with your main breaker. To save content, you can slide aluminum foil or saran wrap under the legs of furniture items. You can also use towels to soak up standing water while LR is en route to your home.

4. Rescue any valuable items. If possible, try to move any valuable or sentimental items to a safe, dry place. This step will help mitigate the amount of damage done and give you a sense of control during what can feel like a very chaotic time.

5. Keep the doors and windows closed. Florida is very humid, which may slow the drying process. Therefore, keep the windows and doors closed unless it is unseasonably cool outside, .

6. Lightning Restoration will be there immediately to take care of everything for you and establish a drying system in the house.

Who do you call for water damage?

Once you have taken the necessary steps to protect your home and belongings, it is time to call the professionals. Here is where the challenge comes in who do you call first? A water remediation company or your insurance company? While your initial instinct may be to contact your insurance company first, we highly recommend that you first call a remediation company such as Lightning Restoration.

Insurance companies are interested in one thing, saving money. They will always prioritize their interests which often does not line up with what is best for the homeowner. On the other hand, Lightning Restoration is always on the homeowner’s side. We prioritize the homeowner’s interests even during the insurance claim, ensuring they are fully taken care of during this difficult time.

About Lightning Restoration services

Since its establishment in 2006, Lightning Restoration has risen to become the premier restoration company within the Tampa Bay area. We specialize in fire, mold, & water remediation with proven procedures in cost efficiency and maximizing job time. We are also the most preferred vendor by hundreds of insurance carriers, insurance agents, property owners, and property management companies.

Our remediation and restoration services include:

  • 24/7 emergency water extraction
  • Moisture mapping and an immediate detailed assessment with an outline of remediation procedures.
  • Industrial grade drying equipment, including high-capacity air movers and dehumidifiers.
  • Professional assistance with your insurance claims process.

At Lightning Restoration, we understand that this is a stressful and challenging time for you, but rest assured that we are here to help. We guarantee excellent restorative cleaning services with effective, ongoing reporting and communication. Our technicians will arrive on the site within two hours of the initial call and provide a complete estimate, with photos, to the parties involved within 24-48 hours of completing the job.

Note. Throughout the insurance claim process, Lightning Restoration always takes the homeowner’s side to ensure they get the best possible outcome. In case of an emergency flooding in your house, call Lightning Restoration immediately and have someone truly on your side when it comes to your insurance claim.