Searching For Mold Damage In Your Home Or Business

Searching For Mold Damage In Your Home Or Business

By Rick Hovanec

Mold will grow anywhere it can gain a foothold.  Higher levels of moisture can support the growth of mold and other pathogens, including bacteria.  All that is necessary for mold or other microbial to begin growing is for a suitable medium to remain wet for 48 to 72 hours; even less with elevated temperatures. Mold spore can lie in a dormant state for months or even years, but it can grow quickly once the right conditions are met, often surprising homeowners who find prolifically growing mold where it was non-existent only a few days prior.

Discovery of a major mold infestation often begins with someone in the home or business detecting a musty odor and discovering a bit of mold growing in an area that has been concealed for some time.  Behind furniture or inside a cabinet, particularly in the bathroom or kitchen, attics, unfinished basements; places that are visited less often are common points of discovery. A small amount of visible mold can often be just the tip of the iceberg.  Slow leaks in concealed areas can go undetected for an extended period of time.  Moisture can travel under and through building materials, always searching for equilibrium between dry and humid spots. Finding mold in one area can be an indicator that conditions have been right for growth in a larger area for a substantial amount of time.

In my line of work, I find mold infestations more common in older homes and businesses, where plumbing may have been modified or extended over a long period of time and then concealed behind walls or above the ceiling.  It is also more common in homes that have a number of indoor planters, or that were built on sites that were not properly graded to carry ground water away from the foundation. Businesses that employ water in their processes or have extensive landscape watering systems are also more commonly affected with mold problems. 

Eliminating the source of the moisture problem is key to any mold remediation, in order to prevent it from recurring. Professionals who repair mold damage employ a number of methods to detect moisture in concealed areas, such as non-penetrating and penetrating moisture meters, and infrared cameras. These instruments can help detect the source of leaks.

For mold damage repairs and remediation, a professional company with extensive experience and training should be sought. Doing so can protect your home by having all of the repairs needed to completely remediate mold conducted at one time.

Click here for more about Omaha.


Water Damage – Drying Wood Floors

By Rick Hovanec

Hardwood floors provide a beautiful addition to a house that doesn’t fade when color fads change. They also survive flooding and other disasters better than other kinds of flooring or floor coverings due to their dense composition. They are not invulnerable though and do require certain maintenance if you wind up with water damage in your home. If this happens, you need to call an established water damage restoration company to make certain they are cared for properly.

Hardwood does not rot from exposure to water, and it resists picking up odors. Prolonged exposure causes the floorboards to buckle, cup and warp. This doesn’t mean they have to be underwater either. If the air moisture content (relative humidity) is too high, the effect is the same, just slower.

First, a restoration specialist will extract any visible water on the floor, then use a specialty floor drying system that utilizes mats to create a suction on the floor, drawing out trapped moisture. This will halt further damage. If possible, they will be placed underneath the floor to speed up the process. These specially designed fans will also remain in place until the humidity is reduced to at least 20 percent. This prevents mold growth if any spores are present on the wood.

All of this is needed to achieve the goal of getting the moisture content down to under 12 percent. This level has to be met before the wood can be properly sanded or refinished. If not, the wood will continue to buckle, cup and warp. The difference is that it will happen at a slower rate that you may not even notice until the floorboards begin to separate from the sub-flooring. Once this happens, the floor will have to be completely replaced.

Hardwood floors are much more resistant to damage from flooding than other types of flooring. Even with that, you cannot simply allow hardwood to dry on its own. It is important to call in an established water damage restoration company to inspect your flooring to determine if you need their services.