NO MOLD, NATURALLY

Blog

Home Mold Risks

Mold is a natural part of our outdoor environment, and most damage caused by mold can be passed on a daily basis without any effects at all. But, it is a problem when it begins to form and grow in the home or an office setting. Mold spores in these indoor environments grow quickly and are inhaled in large quantities. Those that encounter the spores may suffer no effects, slight effects, or severe effects, depending on the person and the type of mold encountered. Over 300 of the many types of mold can cause severe health issues if inhaled, touched, or ingested,

Over the past few years, mold has become more of an issue. This is due to improvements in home construction, as weird as that may seem. Because newer homes are constructed to be so tightly sealed, water and moisture get trapped inside. This creates the perfect climate for mold to form and multiply. This could result in a family moving into a home that already has a serious mold problem!

Those with a healthy immune system can withstand the effects of mold fairly easily if there isn’t repeated exposure. If they are exposed to mold for an extended period of time, they will eventually feel the side effects of being around it. It could appear as a small allergic reaction or a big respiratory issue.

Determining if you have mold is much less difficult than you may think. Look around your home in areas that collect moisture, like the attic, bathrooms, kitchen area, and the basement. Check the visible pipes, flooring, walls, and other surfaces to make sure that there aren’t any signs of water damage or mold particles. Common household molds can be taken care of with an over the counter cleaner, but if you are questioning a bigger issue, it is best to get a professional involved.

A mold professional will come to your location and assess the situation. They will determine what type of mold is present and if it is a health concern. They will then come up with a plan to contain and get rid of it, so the home becomes safe again. In addition to taking care of the visible mold, they will be able to track down the hidden culprits as well, With their experience and training, they know exactly where to look and what methods will work best to take care of the issue. Of course, some damage caused by mold is not repairable. Some drywall, flooring, or other porous surfaces may need to be replaced along with the mold removal.

Getting rid of mold is not an easy task. Some homeowners try to take it upon themselves and find themselves in a bigger conundrum than originally anticipated. Because some molds cause more health issues than others, the homeowner my wind up sick and unable to continue the process. Even worse, they may not get it all and it may continue to spread throughout the home. It isn’t worth the risks to take care of it yourself. It is better to contact a mold removal specialist to make sure your home is safe for yourself and your family.

Indoor Air Pollution and Testing

Indoor pollution can stem from a variety of sources, externally from the air outside, but it can also
originate from indoors. This may become particularly problematic during colder seasons when we seal
up our homes to conserve heat.

Let’s quickly review some of the most common air pollutants. We’ll cover how these pollutants can be
detected as well as what to do about them if you do detect them.

Gases from combustion

Combustion devices such as cookstoves, heating stoves, fireplaces, and space heaters, can release
deadly pollutants such as carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) into the atmosphere. CO
can lead to a variety of symptoms such as headaches, nausea, and even death. Around 500 people in the
U.S die from exposure to CO every year. Because it is odorless and without color, the best way to detect
the gas is by installing CO detectors near bedrooms and near combustion appliances. NO2 can lead to
shortness of breath, and long-term exposure can lead to more serious complications such as infection or
emphysema. Unlike CO, NO2 is easier to detect because it has a reddish-brown color and produces an acrid
odor. NO2 detectors can still be useful for detecting low levels.
Radon is another gas difficult to detect because it has no color and it is odorless. Unfortunately, it is also
very dangerous, causing lung cancer and responsible for the deaths of around 20 thousand Americans
every year. Soil usually contains trace amounts of decaying uranium, which emits radon. Usually it
dissipates in the air, harmlessly, but it can also flow into buildings through gaps and can reach dangerous
levels in the lower floors of a building.

Asbestos

Much like radon, asbestos can be found naturally in soil. It was also commonly used as a building
material prior to around 1980. This is why that if you’re living in an old building it may be a good idea to
test for asbestos. Along with causing lung cancer, it can lead to long-term lung scarring and
mesothelioma. Because the risks are so high, when you’re checking for asbestos it’s advised that you
contact a professional to do your testing for you.

Mold

Mold grows in damp, human conditions in the presence of a wide range of organic material such as
wood, carpet, upholstery, and an infestation can take root in places you’re not able to see, such as
behind walls. Symptoms of exposure to mold can vary from coughing, wheezing, headache, and skin
irritation. It can also exacerbate underlying respiratory issues such as for people who have asthma. Be
wary of areas in your home that is quick to accumulate moisture, such as around pipes or in bathrooms.
You may not be able to see mold but you may be able to smell it. If you suspect you may have mold,
contacting a professional is usually your best bet. Be careful of using do it yourself mold testing kits, as
they are often inaccurate and are difficult to interpret.

Is it Mold or Rust?

Many homeowners mistake mold for rust. The see a reddish brown colored stain, and automatically assume that it was caused by something rusting while against the tarnished surface. This isn’t always true! If you are seeing stains on counters, walls, and floors that weren’t there in the past, it is worth it to look into the humidity in your home, and to make sure that there is no water leaking in.

Don’t just overlook the stain. Try to find out the source! Take into account the type of room that it is in, what rests against the area, and the daily activities that take place in the room. In rooms that are damp and humid, mold could be what it causing the staining. Rust only forms when metal surfaces begin to break down. Finding the source of the stain can save you a lot of money in future repairs!

If you have looked all over for metal items that could have rusted and resulted in the stain t no avail, it is time to consider the mold theory. No one wants to think about having mold in their home, but it is more common than one would think.

Bathrooms and basements are the ideal breeding grounds for mold and mildew. Stains that appear to be rust-like in your shower, sink area, or basement should be cleaned immediately to prevent future damages. Again, figure out the source of the discoloration to ensure the product you purchase to remove it will actually take care of the issue. The wrong cleaner will not produce the desired result.

There are more than three hundred types of mold, so it may be hard to determine what is causing yours on your own. The colors vary all the way from white to black, and they all vary in texture as well. There are multiple causes for mold. As far as single events go, a broken pipe, floods, or slow leaks can all cause it to invade your home. Catching the signs of indoor growth quickly is imperative, as the molds can lead to intense damage and health issues down the line. Damp musty odors, staining, and unexplained health issues are all signs that there could be mold in the area.

Using a specialized product for mold removal is essential, as most everyday household cleaners will not get rid of mold. Additionally, different molds may require different methods to eradicate them. Porous items should be replaced, as the mold will never be completely gone from them. Always wear protective gear, and if you are unsure of anything, contact the professionals! Green Home Restorations will be happy to take a look and determine a plan to get rid of the mold and prevent it from recurring.

Since there are so many different types of mold and so many varying stains that can occur throughout the home, it is difficult to determine the cause and fix the problem if you don’t know exactly what you are looking for. Let the professionals do the hard work, and sit back and enjoy breathing the fresh air when they leave!

Skylights and Mold

When designing a new home, one feature that most decide to include is the skylight. It adds elegance, value, and is aesthetically pleasing for both the owner and future buyers. Unfortunately, some find that when the skylight is installed it isn’t sealed properly. This can cause both visible and nonvisible leaks. Skylights that were installed years ago tend to leak more than those put in today, as designs have improved dramatically over the years. For skylights that have already been installed, diagnosing the cause of a leak is time-consuming and, in most cases, wallet-draining. If you see water coming in through the sky light, or any discoloration in the ceiling around the light, take the time to figure out what is causing it. If left untreated your ceiling and drywall can both be damaged, and mold and mildew can make an appearance.

There are many reasons for the skylight to leak. Only an experienced professional should repair or diagnose the skylight, as it is dangerous to work in such elevated areas. Try to find out why the leak is happening before contacting the professional, so they have a baseline to go by. If this is not possible, the professional will review all of the possible reasons to determine why it is leaking or causing stains.

The most common reasons for leaking are roof issues, incorrect sealing, cracks, and inner condensation. Roof issues are the leading problems when it comes to the skylight. Moisture may be coming through broken roof shingles, which would make it drip down the skylight. If the skylight was not sealed properly, leaking can occur. If this is the case, a simple recaulking of the area could do the trick when it comes to repairing it. If there are cracks in the skylight, the whole thing should be replaced in order to stop the leak. Condensation on the inside of the ski light can also drip down from the skylight. The humid air comes in contact with the cool surface and results in water droplets. Crack a window or install a fan!

After taking care of the sky light itself, the area needs to be inspected for underlying damage. Where there is a leak of any kind, mold thrives! This is especially true in damp, moist, humid areas like bathrooms and attics. Repair and replace the drywall around the skylight when replacing the sky light itself to ensure that any affected wet areas are not left unattended for mold to grow. Inspect you home for any signs of mold growth- musty odor, staining, and allergy-like symptoms during the wrong seasons are all indicators that mold may be lurking in the shadows of the home! If left untreated, mold continues to multiply and can cause a great deal of damage to the home and to the health of the individuals living in it.

Contacting a professional is the best way to ensure that your skyligl is secure, and that your home is safe from mold.

Plants and Gray Mold

Wherever plants are grown, gray mold can be lurking. It doesn’t matter if it is inside of your home, in a greenhouse, or on your front lawn. It spreads by both wind and water, so it is easy to become a victim of it! Sometimes it is dormant for the life of the plant, or if moisture permits, it can spread to other areas. When gray mold is first beginning to grow, it is white. It then turns gray and can have a hint of brown. The mold likes to attach itself to broken stems and other injured areas of the plant, before making its way to the healthy parts. Eventually, the whole plant can become enveloped in it! Lettuce, onions, strawberries, and grapes are prime real estate for gray mold.

One area where gray mold is welcomed is the vineyard. When it begins to accumulate on or around the grapes, it is called “noble rot.” It helps to make the grapes sweeter and adds flavoring to wine. Otherwise, gray mold is not a welcome addition to plants, greenhouses, or homes!

Gray mold makes many people experience allergy symptoms. A runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing, sore throats, and in more severe cases, coughing and wheezing are all indicators of mold growth in the area. It is similar to the feeling of hay fever.

Sickness is no stranger to people working on the vineyards. While the mold is good for the grapes, it is not good for those spending time around it. Some experience flu-like symptoms, such as bronchitis, shortness of breath, cough, fatigue, chills, pain, and more. This is known as “Winegrowers Lung.” It is important to get it treated, as without treatment it can cause finger and toe clubbing, weight loss, and fibrosis of the lung.

Eye infections are also known to be caused by gray mold. Light sensitivity, eye pain, redness, and trouble seeing are all indicators of an infection. If you feel you may be experiencing an infection, it is important to get treated immediately so you don’t incur any permanent vision damage.

If you find this type of mold in your home, remove it immediately! In certain situations, you may decide to remove it yourself. If it is only a surface mold on a small area, you can usually take care of it. But, be sure to use proper tools and methods in order to prevent inhaling the spores or making it spread. Goggles, gloves, and a mask should always be on hand when dealing with mold. Also, keep the mold contained while you are removing it- a vacuum, duct tape, and plastic sheets are must-haves.

For most, contacting a professional gets the job done quicker, and more efficiently. Mold can be hard to see in the home, and professionals know just where to look. If you suspect that there is mold without seeing it, a mold remediator will be able to find the culprit of concern. Genesis Home Restoration will be glad to assist in locating, mitigating, and preventing mold.

The Dangers of Asbestos

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a heat-resistant, fibrous, silicate-based material that can be woven into fabrics. It was also used in ceiling tiles, floor tiles, insulation, cabinets, shingles, siding, clothes, and more. Though the use of building materials containing asbestos ended in the 1980’s, they can still be found in homes across the country.

 

Why is it Dangerous?

Materials that contain asbestos aren’t usually dangerous unless they release dust or are damaged and then release fibers into the air. Once fibers or particles pass into the body’s systems, they can begin to cause problems. Since the human body can’t properly process asbestos, it can become lodged in the lungs and body tissue which can cause disease and infection. Some common diseases from Asbestos are: Asbestosis, Lung Cancer, and Mesothelioma.

 

Handling & Removal of Asbestos


The handling and removal of asbestos must be done with great care, due to its toxic and carcinogenic properties. It’s important to know if something in your house is made of asbestos and if it’s damaged or not. Some things that contain asbestos are: ceiling tiles, floor tiles, insulation, shingles, siding, clothes, ductwork connectors, cement, and more. Homeowners should never attempt to handle or remove asbestos-containing materials themselves. If you suspect something in your home contains asbestos, you should contact an asbestos professional to have it removed. These professionals know how to safely remove asbestos and have the ability to properly dispose of it.

 

What Exactly are These Diseases?

Asbestosis

Asbestosis is a very serious respiratory disease. Asbestos fibers aggravate lung tissue and cause the tissue to scar. In the long-term, the effects of the disease can cause cardiac failure and can be permanently disabling or fatal.

Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that can be caused by asbestos exposure. Nearly every case of mesothelioma is linked to asbestos exposure. It occurs most in the lung lining, chest, abdomen, and even the heart. 200 cases are diagnosed in the US each year. The younger the person exposed to asbestos is, the more likely they are to develop mesothelioma. 

 

For more information on the causes and effects of asbestos exposure and mesothelioma, go to Mesothelioma.net

 

mold and mildew

Mold Mitigation

It can be tedious trying to repair property that has been damaged by flooding. Living in the wetlands of any area can make flooding a higher possibility, but in areas with high moisture and heat, it makes it even more daunting. Flood damage has to be repaired quickly, as mold can begin to grow in as little as 48 hours with the right environment. Floors, rugs, and wooden furniture should be removed as soon as possible to mitigate mold growth.

 

Mold is sneaky, and oftentimes you may not even know it is there. After experiencing water damage, you may clean up the area and feel as if everything is fine. But, mold hides! It can be under carpeting, in the walls, and in small crevices of the home. If there is a surface to attach to, mold will grow. It penetrates the surface of what it is growing on and shows small green or black patches. It is fuzzy or slimy in texture and can make those in the homesick!

 

Mold has been known to cause awful damage to the structures of homes. It also makes those in the home feeling terrible. They may experience health problems that seem like allergic reactions. Mold also causes respiratory issues and mental issues in more severe situations. There are thousands of different types of mold that can take up residence in your home after water damage has occurred, and the effects that it has depends on the type it is.

 

After cleaning up damage caused by flooding, it is important to contact a professional to investigate the home and check all areas for mold. It will save you costly repairs and health issues by taking care of it before it progresses and becomes worse. Even if you don’t think there is mold after flooding, get the home looked at.

 

If you can actually see mold after experiencing flooding, contact a professional right away. Because there are so many different types of mold, the professional can determine what kind it is and combat it in the correct way. It may be as simple as telling you what product to use to get rid of it. Or, in severe cases, such as black mold instances, the professionals will wear protective suits and use special chemicals to rid the home of it. Black mold is very dangerous and causes many health issues- including death if left untreated.

 

Untreated mold continues to multiply and attach to different surfaces, essentially taking over the home. It is different than your regular home maintenance in the sense that it is a serious condition that can not only affect the home itself but your family as well. Even if it is typical household mold and not a severe version, it is wise to have a professional come and look at it before taking on the task yourself. They can give you tips for doing it yourself, or get rid of it for you. Having them get rid of it for you is the better option, as they know where mold likes to hide. They know just where to look and treat in order to make your home mold free.

 

Living in an area that is prone to flooding and humidity is stressful enough. You don’t need the added stresses of mold and health issues. There are ways to prevent mold from growing in certain areas that the professionals would be happy to share with you after taking care of the issue. This will help in future situations, whether you expect them to occur or not. It is better to be prepared. After all, no one wants a repeat occurrence!

The Signs of Household Mold

Being exposed to mold is always unhealthy, but some strains are more toxic than others. If you have a mold problem or suspect you may have a mold problem the issue will always stem from an unchecked moisture issue. This is why the best way to deal with mold is by preventing it from happening in the first place by checking for common areas of moisture build-up. If mold has already begun to take root, or worse, then you should still look for what caused the mold. Such areas may include faulty pipes, or areas of unchecked condensation, such as found in a bathroom. A recent flooding may have also been the cause of your mold growth. The following article will deal with whether you should test your home for mold.

If you’re able to see visible traces of mold in your home, skip the inspection all-together and work on not only removing the mold but getting rid of what caused it in the first place.

You may not be able to see mold but you can smell it. This is a situation where carrying out a mold inspection may be appropriate because it will help you test for whether there is too much mold in an area and also help you locate where the mold is. One of the most common sources of mold growth is where there are water leaks due to plumbing issues. This is particularly problematic for pipes that are behind walls.

Another factor to consider is if you have a health issue that your doctor has trouble explaining—a condition known as sick building syndrome. You may experience headaches, sneeze, cough, etc. that are all symptoms of being exposed to mold. A mold inspection for your home may provide you some proof of what may be causing your health problem.

If you decide to get the air in your home tested for mold, be careful about using do it yourself mold test kits. More often than not these kits will provide you with inaccurate information or provide difficult to interpret results without the eye of a professional. This is why the U.S Government EPA recommends sampling for mold to be conducted with professionals experienced in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods, sample analysis, and interpretation of results.

Qualified mold inspectors are engineers with expert training to ensure accuracy, along with possessing wherewithal for where to test for mold and knowledge for determining which kind of mold may be growing in your home.

Consider testing for mold if you experience any of the following conditions…

• You smell a musty odor (this is more often than not caused by mold)
• You have moisture issues, such as by frequently leaking pipes, condensation build-up, or recently flooded homes.
• People in the house have symptoms related to exposure to mold
• You think there is hidden mold in your house you can’t locate
• One of the members of your household has a condition that is exacerbated by the presence of mold, such as severe allergies, immune system disorders, respiratory problems, and asthma.

 

3 Common Sources of Indoor Pollution

Indoor pollution can stem from a variety of sources. These sources may originate from the air outside of the house, but they can also originate from inside the house. Indoor sources of pollutions may become particularly problematic during colder seasons when we seal up our homes to conserve heat.

Let’s review three of the most common sources of indoor air pollution. We’ll cover how these pollutants can be detected as well as what to do about them if you do detect them.

Gases from combustion

Combustion devices such as cookstoves, heating stoves, fireplaces, and space heaters, can release deadly pollutants such as carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) into the atmosphere. CO can lead to a variety of symptoms such as headaches, nausea, and even death. Around 500 people in the U.S die from exposure to CO every year. Because it is odorless and without color, the best way to detect the gas is by installing CO detectors near bedrooms and near combustion appliances. NO2 can lead to shortness of breath, and long-term exposure can lead to more serious complications such as infection or emphysema.

Unlike CO, NO2 is easier to detect because it has a reddish-brown color and produces an acrid odor. NO2 detectors are useful for detecting the gas when low levels are being emitted and are otherwise difficult to detect through sight or smell.

Radon is another gas difficult to detect because it has no color and it is odorless. Unfortunately, it is also very dangerous, causing lung cancer and responsible for the deaths of around 20 thousand Americans every year. Soil usually contains trace amounts of decaying uranium, which emits radon. Usually, it dissipates in the air, harmlessly, but it can also flow into buildings through gaps and can reach dangerous levels in the lower floors of a building.

Asbestos

Much like radon, asbestos can be found naturally in soil. It was also commonly used as a building material prior to around 1980. This is why if you’re living in an old building it may be a good idea to test for asbestos. Along with causing lung cancer, it can lead to long-term lung scarring and mesothelioma. Because the risks are so high, when you’re checking for asbestos it’s advised that you contact a professional to do the testing for you.

Mold

Mold grows in damp, humid conditions and grows across a wide range of organic material such as wood, carpet, upholstery. Mold infestation can also take root in places you’re not able to see, such as behind walls, or beneath floors. Symptoms of exposure to mold can vary from coughing, wheezing, headache, and skin irritation. It can also exacerbate underlying respiratory issues such as for people who suffer from asthma. Be wary of areas in your home that are quick to accumulate moisture, such as around pipes or in bathrooms. Also note that while you may not be able to see mold, you may be able to smell it. If you suspect you have a growth of mold somewhere in your home, contacting a professional is usually your best bet. Be careful of using do it yourself mold testing kits, as they are often inaccurate and are particularly difficult to interpret.

 

Do You Need an Indoor Air Quality Test?

Society has become increasingly more environmentally conscious. Few people, however, pay attention to the air quality in their own homes. This is problematic if the air is polluted with toxins and other irritants. If the goal is to improve the quality of the air we breathe, why not start at home?

If you’re not sure whether you should have your home’s air quality tested consider some of the factors below.

Listen to your body

One of the ways you can test for air-quality is by paying attention to your own body. For instance, ask yourself, do you frequently suffer from allergies or find yourself experiencing nausea, fatigue, headaches, or irritated sinuses? These may be symptoms that originate from the air in your home being over-filled with irritants such as dust and debris. These irritants may be comprised of dirt, air from outside, cleaning supply particles, dead skin, and mold—to name just a few.

Ventilation

Another way to gauge whether the air in your home is of poor quality is by checking your air vents. Do you notice clumps of dirt building up on the outside of the vent? When you open up the grate and see the ventilation filter, is the filter overfilled?

Your Heating

Sometimes people notice headaches after turning on their heaters. This is often a sign that the ventilation is over-filled with dust and debris. Kerosene heaters are also potential health risks depending on where they are placed. Studies show that if heating occurs in areas with poor ventilation there are a multitude of potential health problems that this can lead to. It’s well-advised to become familiar with the heat source keeping your home warm. Depending on the kind of heating your home uses, it’s often a good idea to install carbon monoxide and radon detectors in your home, as these gases are lethal and impossible to detect otherwise.

Moisture

Pay attention to the moisture levels in your home. It’s important to recognize any areas in your home where moisture frequently builds up and to keep them as dry as possible. Areas such as bathrooms, pipes, confined spaces, areas of condensation etc. are the usual suspects. If moisture is allowed to linger in any area for too long it’s an invitation for mold and mildew to take root. Not only is mold unpleasant to look at, it can also pose a significant health risk. If you do happen to find mold in your home it’s highly recommended to perform an air quality test as soon as possible.

The Age of Your Home

Another factor to consider is how old your home is. Homes built before around 1980 used harmful materials such as lead-based paint, or asbestos. If you’re living in an older home consider having an air-quality test performed for your peace of mind.