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How do I detect Black Mold and What if I find it?

July 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Blog

You want to look first in places where water flows, such as near pipes and sinks, or places where you know there’s been leaks or flood water in the past. Check spots where moisture accumulates such as surfaces with condensation, humid areas or any other places where you often see moisture collect. Rooms that are routinely wet, like the bathroom, laundry and kitchen are common locations for mold.

You also need to look for signs of water damage. Water damaged areas usually show signs such as warping or bulging.  Stained, cracked or peeling paint are also signs to look for. Small dots can be a clue there’s more collecting nearby.black mold on wall surface

Drywall and air ducts are also common places for mold to grow.

If you do find mold make sure not to disturb it. Large  colonies should not be removed without properly sealing off the room first and following best practice removal methods.  You will need to seek professional help for proper remediation.  Attempting to remove it on your own can create more problems, risking the health and well being of those living in the affected area.

Professional inspectors are generally a good idea because they can locate hidden mold in the home. The tips we’ve provided can help with finding visible mold, but they are often an indicator that more is probably growing. If you think you have identified an area where hidden mold is potentially growing you will need a full inspection to properly look into the area.

This kind of inspection usually involves removing surfaces to look behind them for hidden spots, like drilling a hole in the wall to insert a borescope to look in the wall cavity.

This is where it’s necessary to hire a professional inspector to find the hidden mold with minimal damage to your home.

If you attempt to do such an inspection yourself, be sure to wear protective equipment. This is because there is a good chance you could trigger the release of large amounts of spores into the air in the process.

A thorough inspection for hidden mold also includes lifting carpet to check underneath, looking behind paneling, looking behind ceiling tiles, looking under wallpaper, looking inside air ducts and moving furniture or insulation to check behind.

Your house could have hidden mold if you’ve had flooding or leaks. Leaks in pipes which run behind walls are an especially common cause. Another sign is if you can smell mold or you have allergic symptoms but you can’t see any actual growth.

In summary, if you visibly see signs of mold in your home, you may want to consider contacting a professional to inspect it.  Black mold remediation is best handled by experienced professionals.  Mellon Certified Restoration has over 35 years experience in these remediation services that go beyond the typical specialties required by most property damage jobs.

A few tips to avoid a flooded basement

July 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Blog

Every house is potentially at risk of a flood.  Even if you live on the top of a hill, water from heavy rainfall or melting snow can make it’s way in, resulting in a flooded basement. Fortunately there are things you can do to reduce the chance of this happening to you.

There are a handful of things that contribute to a flooded basement. Below are a list of the most common:

Flooded basement

  •  Ground water can seep into your home due to poor drainage:
      • Cracks in your home’s foundation, basement walls, or basement windows or doors.
      • Improper grading or drainage
      • Failure in your foundation drain
      • Failure with your sump pump
      • Clogged downspouts backing up
  • From a sewer backup:
      • Waste water from the sewer system or a combination of waste water and stormwater from the combined sewer system back up into the the floor drain, toilets, sinks, showers or laundry room located in the basement.
      • Blocked connection between your home and the main sewer line, sometimes caused by stormwater backup.

Here are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of a flooded basement.

On the outside of your home:

  • Seal any cracks or openings in walls, floors, windows, foundations and window wells.
  • Clean downspouts of leaves and debris.
  • Make sure your spouts are draining properly at least 6 feet from your foundation walls.
  • Make sure the grading around your house slopes away from your foundation.
  • Add more plants, shrubs, etc. to help absorb rainwater and melted snow.
  • Keep any storm water grates clear.
  • Ensure drainage ditches between properties are clear of obstructions.

On the inside the home:

  • Make sure all plumbing and drainage systems are in good working condition. Homeowners are responsible for the plumbing from the property line to inside the home.
  • Know the location and condition of your sewer lateral (the pipe that connects the plumbing in your home to the main line on the street).
  • If you have a backwater valve or sump pump, be sure to maintain them properly, and what is needed to keep them operational during power outages.
  • Fix cracks, blockages or other condition problems.
  • Avoiding creating clogs
  • Do not flush down the toilet items such as dental floss, personal care products (including “flushable” wipes), condoms, tampons, or anything which can cause blockages.
  • Don’t pour any oils, or grease down the drain.

What should you do if you see water leaking into your home?
Call Mellon Certified Restoration! Our Certified Technicians will quickly respond with specialized equipment to minimize the damage by removing the water and starting the cleanup and drying process. All of our full service branches are managed and staffed 24/7.

To see a list of our local branch addresses and phone numbers for all of Mellon Certified Restoration locations, click here