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Mold Blog

How Do I Prevent Mold Growth?

If you have a water leak, it’s important to clean and dry the area immediately to prevent mold growth. Porous materials, such as drywall and wood wall cavity wood framing can appear dry, but still hold a significant amount of moisture that will cause mold damage. Under the right conditions, mold can begin to grow in as little as 24-48 hours. 

As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Some Quick Ways to Help Prevent Mold Growth

Keep your eyes open.  Identify and controlling water problems is the first step in discouraging mold growth.  Here are a few quick tips.

  • Every month, when you change your AC filters, also look at all of your ceilings and under cabinets.  Look for signs of moisture. 
  • Monitor the humidity in your home.  Keep humidity in the low 50’s or less. 
  • Regularly maintain your HVAC system.  A poorly running HVAC system will not sufficiently process the humidity in your home, which could lead to a Mold Bloom. 
  • Properly ventilate your clothes dryer and clean the lint exhaust regularly
  • Use tile, not carpet or wood, in moisture-prone areas.  In Florida, it is common to find older homes that have elevated moisture in the concrete slab due to the high-water table. 
  • Employ dehumidifiers in the home if humidity is regularly elevated.
  • Insulate cold surfaces like walls, floors and windows.
  • Use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens and let them run long enough that you don’t see condensation on mirrors or walls.
  • Improve circulation in the home by using ceiling fans.
  • Above all else, mitigate water damage immediately.  Mold cannot grow without moisture. 

If you suspect water or mold damage in your home, call Lightning Restoration for a free mold evaluation & estimate.  Stay safe and healthy Tampa Bay.

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Mold Blog

Thinking of Using Ozone Treatment in Mold Remediation? Think Again…

Today, let’s talk about the use of ozone in mold remediation. Ozone is the latest in a long list of magical bullet mold remediation services. Companies have made it available as a discounted alternative to mold remediation. If you’re a property owner considering hiring a company to perform an ozone treatment, there are some things that you really need to know.

Ozone Can Be Hazardous Inside Your Home or Office

First, ozone is very good at killing mold spores, which is what they advertise. However, on the hierarchy of services that are needed for mold remediation, killing mold spores is at the bottom or not even on the list at all.

Using ozone in such a highly concentrated manner inside a property comes with side effects. Inhaling ozone is extremely bad for your health and can cause permanent respiratory problems. The American Lung Association says that breathing in ozone is the equivalent of having sunburn on the inside of your lungs.

If these health risks aren’t bad enough, there’s a laundry list of side effects to the actual home itself, including rapid deterioration of rubber and plastic. Take a second to think of everything in your home made of rubber, such as the rubber gaskets for your plumbing system. If these were rapidly deteriorated and damaged, they will begin sprouting leaks. Then, with this new water damage, you will be almost back to square one and, as a result, possibly experience more mold damage. Then, think about the plastic in your property: your electronics, your appliances, the electrical system itself. All of these electrical wires are wrapped in plastic. The deterioration of this plastic could cause a fire and has in the past. As a result of these fires, a number of lawsuits have resulted from use of highly concentrated ozone in properties.

Companies Will Still Use Ozone for Mold Remediation

Because of the lawsuits and resulting regulations from the FDA, OSHA, and the EPA, you will never find a company that advertises using a concentrated blast of ozone in the house. Instead, these companies will refer to “energized oxygen,” which will create a pure air environment and produce a springtime odor. This is fine if our goals are to deodorize or have our clothes smell better from a fabric softener. For mold remediation, though, this really is not what we’re looking to accomplish. Our goal to bring this property back to a healthy living or working environment.

How Do We Perform Mold Remediation Without Ozone?

For this reason, industry experts around the world have performed tons of research and experimentation to find the best methods for getting rid of mold and bringing you back to those healthy living environments. It always comes back to the same process, and that is a HEPA filtration cleaning process. Supporters of ozone treatment will always say the same thing: by doing HEPA filtration, you’ll never kill or get rid of 100% of the spores. This is actually true; you won’t, and it doesn’t really matter. An actual healthy home’s mold levels should be about the same as what you find outside. As you come in and out of your home or office, you’re bringing mold in and out with you, so what does it matter if you killed and eradicated 100% of the actual mold spores? You’re just going to bring more in with you as soon as you’re done.

In addition to this, we must remember that mold spores are not what really cause you to get sick. These carry mycotoxins, which is what causes illness. The mycotoxins, being microscopic poisons, are present because of the mold, and they attach themselves to mold spores. They also attach themselves to other fungi, called hyphae. When you breathe these in, you actually get sick. If there are no supplemental services on top of the actual ozone treatment to remove all of those fragmented pieces that carry all those mycotoxins and even those dead spores that are there, it really doesn’t matter that you’ve killed them. You’re still going to get the same type of adverse health effects from the mold. Again, that’s not what we’re trying to accomplish.

Trust Lightning Restoration With Your Mold Troubles

Here at Lightning Restoration, we follow the state of Florida guidelines for mold remediation. We use the nationally and internationally recognized process for performing mold remediation, which is a HEPA filtration cleaning process. We guarantee our services 100%. If for any reason we didn’t pass after the first test and need to clean again, we would clean for free. We would even pay for that hygienist to come back and test for a second time.

Which brings me to my next point: If you’re having mold remediation performed in your home, you want a third party industrial hygienist to come in and do the testing upon completion to ensure that your property is back to a healthy environment. We see some situations regularly when it comes to ozone treatments:

  • They either do not get a test at all, or
  • They do the test themselves.

If they’re doing the test themselves, they’ve actually adjusted the test to their benefit. The test will show they’re doing what they set out to accomplish, which was simply, once again, to kill the mold spores. Meanwhile, they will never address the mycotoxins and the fact that you still have those mold fragments present that make you sick. Remember always:

  • Utilize a third party,
  • Rely on an industrial hygienist,
  • Require testing upon completion.

If you have questions about mold remediation or the use of ozone, we’d be happy to discuss more of it with you. If you have mold concerns, give us a call. We come out to your property. We do a free consultation. When it comes to mold remediation, you have the right to choose whoever does work in your property. We’d love it if you chose Lightning Restoration.

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Mold Blog

Here’s How Mold Spreads in Your Home

We want to talk about exactly what mold is and why it is so harmful to people? If you’re not terribly familiar with mold, it is a microfungi and it’s also saprophytic. Saprophytic means that it eats dead organic material.

Mold is very good at eating dead organic material, and it’s absolutely necessary on this planet. If we didn’t have mold eating those dead organic materials, this planet would be overrun with dead plants, animals, people, and everything else. Simply put, it serves a very good and beneficial purpose.

However, we don’t want it in our homes or offices. Our homes, offices, or any confined space can become very toxic. The reason why?… When you see mold growing in a confined space, you’re seeing the visible vegetative growth. What you’re not seeing are microscopic things that are happening. The mold spreads by releasing spores, which are like seedlings, into the air. All of these spores are carrying mycotoxins with them. And as the name would suggest, that means microscopic poisons.

For example, remember when you were a kid, and you ran outside and you picked up a white dandelion and blew on it. All the little seedlings went flying everywhere very easily as the air just carried them away. That’s the same thing that happens on a microscopic level with mold. As a matter of fact, some molds look exactly like those dandelions, just on a microscopic level.

When air drafts come by and picks up those released spores, it carries those mycotoxins and those seedlings to other areas of the home. And then, with the right amount of moisture, those spores are actually growing and forming their own colonies. Then, all these new colonies are releasing their own spores. So with the right amount of moisture and the right amount of mold in a property, you can have very highly concentrated levels of that poison.

Now, one thing to keep in mind is that mold is ubiquitous. That means you’re not going to go anywhere on this planet and not find mold. However, we want to keep it at an acceptable level inside your confined spaces, which is your home or your office, so that you’re not living in a toxic environment.

And that’s the reason why it’s so important to stay on top of any kind of moisture issues or mold growth issues in your property, instead of letting them go and then letting them get it worse. Because mold spreads so easily,  it will continually get worse until you address it.

CALL LIGHTNING RESTORATION

If there is something you have questions about, or anything that you want to inquire with Lightning Restoration when it comes to mold removal, water damage, or fire damage, please give us a call. You can reach us at 855-850-LTNG, or you can reach us on the web and leave us a message. Be safe out there.