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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Where’s the Mold?

10/15/2018 (Permalink)

Moisture meter showing that the wall is saturated with moisture.

We get calls on a regular basis from customers who say “we smell mold or mildew but don’t see any mold, can you help?

We’ve learned over the years some people have a very keen sense of smell and do indeed smell mold even when they can’t see it. The challenge then becomes finding and eliminating the mold. If customers are not aware of any type of water damage event that could have led to mold growth inside their home we usually suggest they get an air quality test from a reputable Indoor Environment Professional. These tests are very objective and document both the types and quantities of mold present in the air. We then review the test results, consult with the customer and if tests say mold is present we begin the search.

Typically we would begin by scanning all areas of the foundation walls, near sinks, toilets, dishwashers, washing machines, hot water heaters, etc. with infrared cameras looking for areas that appear cold or wet. This usually helps us determine the general areas that are wet and that could be leading to mold growth. The next step is to detail check the suspect areas with moisture meters to zero in on the wettest spots to determine where the water is coming from that allows the mold to live.

From there we would begin removing baseboards, shoe mold and other trim work looking for mold growth. If we still do not find the mold we can use borescopes to see inside the walls or demo a small area of the wall then take a photo inside the wall. Once the mold is found containment is set up to isolate the mold affected areas and mold mitigation begins per IICRC s520. (A standard to which we can show progress)

Mold requires water and an organic material to live and grow, without water it cannot live. So if we detect water leaks early we can minimize the chances for mold growth in our homes or properties. We recommend the use of Water Leak Alarms to help detect and alert us to small leaks before they become a major water or mold damage issue. The alarms are small, battery powered, cost less than $12 each in most areas and will emit a shrill alarm when contacted by even a small amount of water. We suggest putting them in the Laundry room near the washer, Near the Water Heater, under the Dishwasher, under all sinks and behind the Fridge if you have a water dispenser or ice maker. These alarms won’t prevent a water leak but they will alert you much sooner of a water issue than the smell of mold or mildew.

If you suspect mold or see it call us directly at 336-946-1131

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