What Causes Mold Growth?
What Mold Needs to Grow
Mold Growth Conditions :
- Darkness (mold can't grow under ultraviolet light)
- Warmth (mold can't grow in freezing temperatures)
- Moisture (eg water leaks, humidity)
- Enough time (most molds can begin to grow in 24-48 hours if the conditions are right)
Humidity Causes Mold
If you live where humidity in the air is naturally high, like near the coast or another large body of water, then mold growth in your home can also be a recurring problem.
When moisture inside your house evaporates into the air it increases the humidity indoors. If your home isn't well ventilated then the humidity will stay high for a long time.
HVAC systems can also create humidity problems while it artificially heats or cools the air.
Sometimes people use humidifiers in their homes. But there are molds that only need the humidity level to be higher than 55% to start growing. Be sure to keep the humidity below 55%.
High humidity feeds mold. High humidity can also causes puddles of water and damp materials in the home take longer to dry out. These wet surfaces can in turn create mold growth of their own.
Poor Ventilation Causes Mold
Poor ventilation can create pockets of stagnant moist air which mold thrives in. Steam and water evaporating into the air creates humidity inside which then needs to be circulated outdoors through windows to keep the moisture level balanced.
Poor ventilation also means wet surfaces dry out slowly. Ventilation is especially important in rooms such as the bathroom and the kitchen where there is a lot of steam.
Mold Growth in Basements
Basements often contain higher amounts of moisture or humidity than other rooms because they are usually not well ventilated. Basements are often colder which causes more condensation leading to damp and humid conditions
When water leaks in your home it will often end up running down to the basement. Not only is mold more likely to grow in basements, but because they are usually neglected mold growth may not be discovered until it is well set in.
If you have questions regarding mold please contact us at 303-576-6868.
The Storm of July 2018 in Des Moines, Iowa
Flooding in Des Moines, Iowa
SERVPRO of Aurora traveled to Iowa, after it excessively rained, causing severe water damage to over 1,500 properties. Owner Nick and his dedicated Storm Team jumped on the opportunity to help the people of Des Moines. During a three week period the Storm Team provided restoration & mitigation services for over 40 properties.
The Des Moines Register Update
More than 1,500 properties were reportedly affected by the weekend weather that dumped up to 9 inches of rain on central Iowa — a number authorities expect to increase.
Through Wednesday night, 15 properties in Des Moines have been categorized as majorly damaged and 350 received minor damage, Cody Christensen, permit and development administrator for Des Moines, told the Register Thursday.
Many homes and businesses had moderate damage, and others still need to be inspected.
Update: 29 homes suffered major damage, 520 with minor impacts
About 500 homes have been inspected for damage in Des Moines, Mayor Frank Cownie said Thursday, with another 500 inspection requests still needed to be finished.
He predicted tough times ahead for some homeowners if the federal government did not “see this as a national-level disaster.”
In the Fourmile Creek area alone, more than 230 single-family homes, 10 commercial buildings and six apartment buildings were damaged by flooding, Cownie has said.
For more about the flooding in Des Moines please visit the link below.
Giving Back to Educational Institutions
We Support Educational Institutions
The owners of a Colorado SERVPRO wholeheartedly support educational institutions, and are dedicated to preserving the integrity of every educational institute.
Who are Nick and Travis?
The brothers grew up in Cedar Falls, Iowa, graduating from the University of Iowa in 2011, Nick with a degree in accounting and Travis with a finance degree.
Nick worked in public accounting for 6 years until purchasing a Colorado SERVPRO franchise in 2016.
Shortly after Nick moved to Colorado, Travis closed their consumer finance business and joined his brother in Colorado.
Keeping in mind their educational background contributed to the success of SERVPRO. Nick and Travis wanted to show appreciation for education by sponsoring their hometown U of I Hawkeyes.
Concepts & Core Values
- The belief there is an educational foundation behind every successful business and establishment.
- Supporting all employees in the pursuit of furthering their education.
- Providing proper training and education for all employees.
- An investment in knowledge is an investment in individual growth as well as business growth.
A little more about our U of I Alumni:
While working in public accounting Nick became a board member of Tree Des Moines, which is a community non-profit organization supporting a healthy and sustainable urban tree canopy for a viable and livable Des Moines Metro Area. He worked with children; educating and helping them better understand the biology behind different tree species and how they benefit the environment.
After graduating college Travis wasted no time opening a consumer finance business, managing and operating Osprey Capital SD LLC for 6 years. However, he wanted to make a change in people's lives,co-owning a Colorado SERVPRO gave him the opportunity to help people whose homes have been damaged by storm, water, fire or mold.
The Esporta Wash System
Before and After
Fire and water cause enormous damage to countless homes every year. Beyond structural damage, they also impact contents causing contamination that can prove very difficult to restore.
Leave it to us!
We know all too well that many items are extremely difficult to clean, but that is why we are the professionals. SERVPRO has a specialty Wash System that can clean almost irreversible damage.
About the Esporta Wash System
The Esporta washing technology is capable of cleaning category 1, 2, and 3 water, heavy smoke, and soot damage.
You can count on Esporta to predictably clean and restore soft contents. Even the toughest soot, water damage and bio contamination is no match for Esporta. Our wash system consistently delivers 90% of soft contents back to “food grade” clean. Customers are wowed by what we can restore!
What is the Esporta capable of cleaning:
Soft contents that can be cleaned include:
- sleeping bags
- stuffed animals
- Sports Equipment
More About Contents Restoration
SERVPRO professionals specialize in restoring contents damaged by fire, water, or mold. Their expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. They pretest your contents to determine what items can be restored back to their condition before the water damage. SERVPRO Professionals utilize several methods of cleaning your contents, including:
- Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
- Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
- Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning.
- Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
- Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
- Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.
Are You Prepared?
As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.
Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it. Now is the time to ask yourself, “Are you ready for whatever could happen?” The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile is a start up approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It is designed to serve as a quick reference of important building and contact information. By working with SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile, your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. SERVPRO® is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.
Homeowners, can you locate your water/gas shut off?
What Should You Do After a Fire
Call The Professionals!
What to Expect After a Fire
Fire and smoke damage is destructive and finding a restoration/mitigation company can be daunting. When it comes to fire and smoke damage restoration, SERVPRO professionals are trained and follow an extensive and thorough restoration process in order to get your home or business back to normal.
Each fire/smoke damage case is unique and is treated as such by SERVPRO professionals. SERVPRO professionals will compose a detailed plan to rid your property of smoke and soot damage. Smoke odor latches onto and penetrates the surfaces of walls, ceilings, clothes, upholstered furniture, books, electronics and more. It is crucial that all affected contents and surfaces are properly sanitized by professionals. Oftentimes it can be difficult to determine the source of the smoke odor. Experienced professionals know where to look for smoke and soot damage and how to best approach the restoration process.
If smoke damage is not taken care of by a professional, your property and its inhabitants may face greater damage. Smoke and soot can destroy the integrity of your home or business, damaging the ventilation system, air ducts, insulation, wall studs and even the framing/structure.
Different Smoke Odors
Cleaning smoke and soot damage yourself or using a basic cleaning service runs the risk of recurring smoke odor which can cause respiratory problems. Smoke odor can be harmful depending on what type of material was burned. Smoke that comes from wood framing causes a “campfire” smell which lets off acetic acid, benzene, carbon monoxide (CO), formaldehyde, formic acid, heavy metals, nitrogen-oxides (NO2), phenols, sulfur dioxide (SO2).
Cooking fire smoke is very difficult to remove and has a lingering smell of burnt animal fat/protein. Grease splatter from a cooking fire requires specific cleaning techniques that only a professional can provide.
When plastic is burned, it releases dangerous chemicals such as hydrochloric acid, sulfur dioxide, dioxins, furans and heavy metals, as well as particulates and are known to cause respiratory ailments which are potentially carcinogenic.
Fireplace wood fires also emits hazardous emissions, such as particulates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and other emissions that can be dangerous for health.
Who Are The Professionals?
SERVPRO provides 24/7 Emergency response. After the initial emergency call a crew of certified SERVPRO professionals will promptly respond to your fire damage and arrive onsite prepared to assess, plan and arrange resources to restore your home or business back to what it once was.
What Will SERVPRO Do?
Board Up and Security
Fires can destroy doors, walls and windows, leaving your property vulnerable to additional loss from weather or theft. SERVPRO professionals have the equipment and capabilities to provide board up for your home or business. Your home or business may need additional security. SERVPRO can also provide fencing or even security to oversee your property.
All damaged structural material is removed from the structure in order for the mitigation and restoration to take place. Demolition is a planned procedure, completed with the utmost care and strategy.
The local fire department will use fire retardants and water to extinguish the flames. SERVPRO will assess and examine the extent of damage to the structure, walls, ceilings, floors, ventilation/HVAC system and contents while composing a thorough plan for mitigation and restoration.
Clothes, upholstered furniture, books, electronics and more that are affected by smoke may be salvaged and sanitized. All affected items deemed salvageable are sanitized and deodorized using specialized solutions and equipment. Contents go through an extensive inventory process ensuring all items are accounted for and stored in a secure location.
Is Your Washing Machine Leaking?
Don't let your washing machine cause water damage in your home.
- Replace water supply hoses – Water supply hoses can become brittle and burst. Check them periodically and replace your old hoses with a new hose that consist of flexible plastic tubing encased in a stainless steel braided exterior. Purchase an auto-shut off hose protector that protects against catastrophic water damage by automatically shutting off. If excess water flow is sensed the water supply to the washing machine will turn off.
- Get a washer floor tray – Replace or repair your leaking washing machine right away to protect against future leaks, slide a water catching tray under your washing machine to catch drips and leaks. It’s an inexpensive way to prevent water damage to your floor from a leaking washing machine.
- Purchase a single-lever shut off valve – Turn the water off after each load of wash. Replace your dual faucets with a single-lever which control both hot and cold water simultaneously.
- Flood protection device – An automatic water leak detection device prevents flooding by immediately shutting off both the hot and cold water supply to the washing machine when sensors detect a water leak. These devices are quick and easy to install by homeowners and provide 24/7 protection against water damage caused by washing machine floods. Some flood protection devices sound an audible alarm.
- Automatic Washing Machine Water Shutoff Valve and Leak Sensor – The shut off valve protects against catastrophic water damage. It allows water to flow when it senses that the washing machine is turned on, and stops water from flowing if the machine is turned off. It also stops water from flowing if it senses excessive water flow or detects a leak.
Smoke Odor Damage
Areas of a Home Commonly Affected by Fire Damage
The level of damage varies depending on where a fire originated. An enclosed space typically will not have as much smoke damage as a large, open room with multiple appliances and a lot of wiring in the walls. Additionally, certain parts of a room may experience more damage than others.
Hot air rises, the highest concentration of smoke residue is commonly found directly above where a fire started - usually on the ceiling above the point of origin. Nail heads in the ceiling (and walls) can also attract smoke particles, which appear as an outline of a ring around them.
When smoke particles are ionized - or have an electrical charge - they are attracted to certain surfaces. Smoke produced by burning plastic carries a stronger charge than smoke from wood, paper or cotton. This causes smoke residue to form in clusters that look like cobwebs in the corners of rooms where walls and ceilings meet.
Walls & Windows
Windows and exterior walls are normally cooler than the center of a room and because smoke travels to areas with a lower temperature, it's common to find smoke residue on outside walls and in spaces behind drapes and blinds, even more so than surrounding surfaces.
If you notice a lingering smoke smell in your home or business call SERVPRO at 303-576-6868
What To Do After A Fire
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
- Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
- Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
- Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
- Change HVAC filter.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.
What NOT To Do After A Fire
- Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting us.
- Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
- Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
- Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.
Do You Have Moldy Books?
Save your books from mold!
Every Colorado book lover knows that their collection in precious. Not everyone realizes that books are at risk of fungal growth, especially when they are packed or stored away to make more room in the home, or before moving house. Mold thrives in the dark, damp environments, and many storage spots such as attics or basements fit that description. The fungus also needs a natural material to use as a food source – and paper is an ideal snack. SERVPRO recommends taking simple steps to protect your library from mold damage when packing or storing it.
Most book lovers need to move or store their collection sometimes, and that is when books are most susceptible to mold damage. Thankfully, there are several easy things you can do to keep your library safe from fungal growth.
Always store books in a cool, dry place. Books can survive mold-free for far longer in a dry place because the fungus requires moisture to grow. Check out your proposed storage location and if it is damp, consider choosing another place. You might also use dehumidifiers to lower humidity in the air.
Clean your books before wrapping them. Books are easy to clean using a small firm-bristled brush, such as a paintbrush that you can purchase at any hardware store. Brush page edges and covers, and flick through the book to see if any individual pages need brushing. Do not use any damp cleaner or wipe with a damp cloth. SERVPRO can offer a freeze-drying and cleaning process in certain instances to remediate mold growth on pages or the pasted bindings.
Books that smell musty should be left to air dry for a while before being stored.
Do not pack books too tightly. Storing them too close together might contribute to ideal mold-growing conditions. Pack your favorite tomes in a rigid box that is strong enough to protect them from dents, bumps and bent covers. Place all the books carefully in the box either flat atop one another or standing side by side. Do not leave so much room that they could fall or get dented, but do not pack them too close together either. Ensure that air circulates adequately to prevent moisture buildup.
SERVPRO is on hand to help with any mold problems you have in your library. Our IICRC-certified technicians have the skill and equipment needed to remediate mold.
Do You Understand Mold Removal and Remediation ?
What’s the Difference?
Since microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors, removing all mold from a home or business is impossible. Many restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold. We understand mold and mold growth.
When water intrudes into your property, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic, 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 that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
- Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
The Mold Remediation Process
Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. Learn more about our mold remediation process.
- Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
- Mold Containment
- Air Filtration
- Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
- Cleaning Contents and Belongings
Contact us at 303-576-6868