Recent Mold Remediation Posts
A Brief History of Mold
Obviously, mold has been around for longer than humans can remember. It is a key part in ecosystems all around the world for decomposing dead plant and animal remains to keep the life cycle in motion. The problem occurs when mold enters our homes and workplaces.
The discovery of mold by humans dates back as far as the ages when the bible was written. In the Old Testament, Leviticus 14, you will find the first words of mold remediation ever written:
“The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “When you enter the land of Canaan, which I am giving you as your possession, and I put a spreading mold in a house in that land, the owner of the house must go and tell the priest, ‘I have seen something that looks like a defiling mold in my house.’ The priest is to order the house to be emptied before he goes in to examine the mold, so that nothing in the house will be pronounced unclean. After this the priest is to go in and inspect the house.
“If the mold has spread on the walls, the priest is to order that the contaminated stones be torn out and thrown into an unclean place outside the town. He must have all the inside walls of the house scraped and the material that is scraped off dumped into an unclean place outside the town. Then they are to take other stones to replace these and take new clay and plaster the house.
“If the defiling mold reappears in the house after the stones have been torn out and the house scraped and plastered, the priest is to go and examine it and, if the mold has spread in the house, it is a persistent defiling mold; the house is unclean. It must be torn down—its stones, timbers and all the plaster—and taken out of the town to an unclean place.”
Fast forward to the 1920s, horses and farm animals in Ukraine were dying at a rapid rate from an unknown disease. Farmers were left bewildered by the cause of such a spike in animal deaths. Only until 1938 did scientists discover that the cause was toxic black mold from the animal’s wet feed.
Although black mold has potential dangers for living things, other types of mold can in fact heal us! In 1928, Alexander Fleming discovered Penicillin from the Penicillium notatum mold. Usually you’d think mold would be dangerous to ingest, but the chemical properties of different molds can serve different purposes in our world.
Now, mold has been studied by scientists for decades and we have a thorough understanding of its benefits and drawbacks. Through these discoveries are we able to create services like SERVPRO to prevent and remediate the effects of mold.
If mold ever strikes your Torrance property, SERVPRO has the training, technology, and certification to restore your property “Like it never even happened.” To learn more about the types of mold, read our blogs.
A Funny Story About Mold Damage
The Strange Entity on the Wall
Samantha had always been into strange things and by that we mean the Ouija board, calling upon spirits through her magic ball, and what not. After one of her particular sessions, she went down into the basement to do her laundry. As she turned on the overhead light, she saw this huge black shape on the wall. There was black ooze dripping from the shape and making a puddle on the floor.
Scared, Samantha ran up and called her mom. After talking to her, she made the next call to the local priest. Turns out, her mother had advised her to get an exorcism done… on the wall. When the priest came to the house, Samantha directed him to the basement and stood back as he took out the things to perform the exorcism. As he was about to start the sermon, he slipped and fell on the black puddle. The priest scrambled back and held out his cross. When nothing happened, he brought his hand closer to his face and smelled the black goo. Eyebrows raised, he turned back to Samantha and said in a deadpan voice, “Child, this is mold!”
Don't be like Samantha and her mother, read our blogs on mold to learn more about how it can affect you and your property. SERVPRO is here to help!
Does Your Torrance Home Have A Mold Problem?
In Torrance, mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.
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 – (310)320-2112
Torrance Residents: Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold
Be careful! Without proper training, you could be spreading mold throughout your home.
If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.
What to Do:
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
- Contact SERVPRO of Torrance for mold remediation services.
What Not to Do:
- Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
- Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
- Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
- Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.
About Our Mold Remediation Services
SERVPRO of Torrance specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business. Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (310)320-2112
The Steps to Mold Remediation
There are many steps involved in a mold remediation. To explain, we must start at the very beginning and identify the moisture problem. Mold thrives in moist places, which usually means the structure has untreated water damage. In order to have a successful cleanup, there must be a dry area to ensure no recurrence.
After the moisture has been taken care of, the work area needs to be contained. Usually, Polyethylene plastic sheeting is used to erect the contaminants. This is done to prevent the mold from spreading to unaffected areas, and to contain the spores as you continue remediation.It is laid out, and the AC supply is turned off. Then, the ceilings, walls, and fixtures are all covered.
The next step is to manage air flow.Clean areas are positively pressurized, and the contaminated areas are negatively pressurized. The air is filtered in this way to prevent the contamination of clean rooms, and so the Air Filtration Device (AFD) can “filter” the spores out of the contaminated air. The air is filtered by the AFD as the job goes on.
Once the air flow has been managed, the demolition and removal of items/structures that have been infected by pores begins. Some items/structures will not be salvageable, due to the extent of mold contamination. Once those are removed, the remaining material will be cleaned, then a deep cleaning will commence of all surfaces in the designated work area.
Once the cleaning has been done, there will be a post job clearance testing. To prevent conflicts of interest, this is done by a third-party company to ensure all mold is cleaned and accounted for. This is to make sure that everything has been properly cleaned, and safe for human/animal interaction. After the last inspection, the reconstruction process can initiate.
How to Control the Mold Situation in Your House
Mold enters your house through open air passages and air inlets. Windows, doorways, vents and even your air conditioning systems can serve as an entry, since it is a spore floating around in the air. If you have water leaks and stagnant water anywhere in your home, be wary of mold development.
In order to get a handle on the indoor mold situation, you must control and adjust humidity levels, promptly fix any leaky places, clean and dry after flooding, and have properly ventilated shower, laundry and cooking areas. If you spot mold development anywhere in your house, you need to clean it and then fix the prerequisite leakage problem that’s causing it in the first place.
It is believed that you can easily get rid of mold growth by using widely available commercial products such as soaps, detergents or a bleach solution. You can remove mold this way, however, what many don't understand is that usually where there is surface mold, there's most likely more mold lurking behind your walls. It would be unwise to clean up the mold without the assistance of a professional (SERVPRO of Torrance specializes in mold remediation). If you try to clean the mold yourself, you risk not cleaning it thoroughly, and exposure to mycrotoxins. The safest way to manage a mold infestation is to call professionals that will run a mold inspection, and asses cleanup from there.
The Dangers of Black Mold
Even with the stigma surrounding black mold, not many fully understand the health affects that can present if contracted. Common symptoms in humans can include rash in sweaty places, dermatitis (another rash), headache, fatigue, tightness of the chest, and cough. Other, more severe symptoms are a burning of the nasal passage and eyes, edema of the mucous membrane that surrounds the throat and mouth, and bloody rhinitis. Workers usually show symptoms within three days after exposure, so it’s important to report any suspicions. It is also believed that Black Mold is the root cause of the biblical medical condition known as Leprosy, due to all the different rashes it causes, and eventually leading to death.
If you feel these symptoms, or smell any other signs of mold in your home, or office, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Torrance at 1(310)320-2112. A team will be sent out right away for a mold inspection. The Stachybotrys Chartarum and any other types of mold should be dealt with immediately to prevent further contamination of property, and further exposure of humans and animals alike.
Some History on Black Mold
Stachybotrys Chartarum hidden in the walls
Black Mold, or Stachybotrys Chartarum, is usually found in homes that have had recent water damage, and are still damp; the untreated home becomes a prime breeding ground for Stachybotrys Chartarum and all other fungi alike. What makes Stachybotrys Chartarum unique to other mold is the fact that is highly toxic, and very lethal when someone comes into contact.
The first documentation of the fungus was in 1873, when it was collected from a wallpaper sample in Prague, however, it’s thought to go back millenia. Black mold can be noticed easily, because it appears as a very dark blachish-brown; if spotted, contact a clean-up crew immediately (SERVPRO of Torrance specializes in mold removal).
Black Mold is mostly found in Europe, on different farms with animals and farm workers being the prime target for infection. Despite this, it doesn’t mean black mold never presents itself in North America. If mold goes untreated in a home or commercial property, it only festers more and more (this is true for all types of fungus, not just Stachybotrys Chartarum or molds in general). At first sign of mold, for the safety of everyone, it needs to be called in and inspected, then removed thoroughly.