Mildew Vs Mold Comparison

Mold Vs Mildew: What you need to know (comparison table)

That moist discoloration on the ceiling corner or bathroom walls, is it mold or mildew? A question that taunts every homeowner unless they are experts in mold, mildew and related concerns. Most property owners find it difficult to distinguish mold and mildew.

While the differences between mold and mildew are subtle there are some factors that differentiate the two concerns and govern how the condition should be identified and addressed.

What is mold?

Mold is a form of fungus that develops from the microscopic spores in the atmosphere. There are different varieties of mold in the ecosystem. Some mold types play a crucial role by decomposing the organic matter including dead trees and leaves.

While some mold types can be beneficial to the ecosystem, certain types can be harmful when it grows indoors. These mold types, if left untreated can pose a threat to the health and even the cosmetic and structural value of the property.

What is mildew?

Mildew is a mold type that usually thrives on the flat, moist surfaces. The affinity of mildew towards flat surfaces can be the main differential factor when comparing it with mold.

Mildew usually does not pose a severe threat to the health of the inhabitants, but can damage the aesthetics and structure of the property.

   

Mold Mildew
A type of fungus. A type of mold.
Found throughout the ecosystem. Grows on flat, moist surfaces.
Types thriving indoors can pose health concerns and affect aesthetics and structure of your house. Damage is usually more cosmetics, can be destructive towards plants and animals.
Health concerns in humans are sneezing, runny nose, dry or scaly skin, itchy throat or eyes. Similar to the health concerns due to mold like throat irritation, headache and wheezing.
Can be found anywhere within your house, clothes and even pets. Commonly found in window sills and shower walls.
Mold can appear as long filaments with a fuzzy look. Mildew can appear in powdery or downy texture.
Mold can appear in black, white, gray, blue, green, brown, or yellow color. Mildew can appear in white, yellow, black or brown color.

Both mold and mildew can be identified by a strong musty smell. Preventing mold and mildew can be a challenging task, especially when you reside in coastal areas where the moisture concentration in the atmosphere is on the higher side.

Once mildew or mold growth is identified within your household or any commercial property, it is ideal to consult a mold remediation specialist to get the condition treated efficiently.

Even though you have several DIY tips related to removing mold or mildew, if the condition is not contained efficiently, the chances of reoccurrence are more than 80%. Foresee these possibilities and keep an eye out for mold or mildew growth as the earlier the condition is detected, the easier it would be to eradicate it.

mold removal specialist removing mold in house west palm beach

When to call a mold removal specialist

Commercial or residential property, mold is a major headache for property owners. An ideal means to control mold is to prevent it in the first place.

Once you observing the signs of mold in your house, the next step is to do a thorough inspection to determine whether you need to call a mold removal specialist.

Identifying mold growth and deciding when to call a mold removal specialist can turn out to be a challenging task. This post features some pointers that will help you to make that decision.

Size
If the mold in your house or commercial property appears bigger than a bath towel (more than 10 square feet) consider that as an indicator to call a mold remediation specialist.

Smell

If the indoors smell musty and the smell doesn’t seem to go away even after keeping your windows and doors open for a while you should consider contacting a mold removal specialist.

Air quality

If the air around you feels damp and cold (usually, this comes with the musty smell and a feeling of uneasiness) it can be an indicator of serious mold growth that demands a professional cleanup.

On some occasions, using a dehumidifier can help you alleviate the immediate concern. However, this can be temporary as you need a mold removal specialist to identify what is wrong and implement an effective solution.

Why a mold specialist?

Identifying mold can be a tricky task. Mold identification is a complex process, you need sophisticated or industry-grade tools and systems to identify mold type, the severity of the growth and the infected areas.

This is where a mold removal specialist can have an edge compared to the usual DIY mold remediation tips found on the internet.

Mold colonies can easily thrive behind walls and ceilings, a mold removal specialist uses special tests and tools to identify such unseen colonies and eliminate the respective risks.

You might need professional assistance when it comes to classifying mold and mildew, the treatment for each can vary with respect to several factors.

The mold removal DIY tips often turn out to be a temporary solution. The risk of not clearing mold from your home or commercial property can be major. Inhaling mold-infested or low-quality air can trigger several health concerns with time.

The most dangerous part is that you might not realize the cause of health concerns until it’s too late.
Once you decide to contact a mold remediation specialist, there are several aspects that you need to consider.

Ensure that the specialist is certified and stick to IICRC’s best practices for mold remediation. Go through the reviews and get in-depth knowledge about their service.

It is also ideal to stick with a company that works around the clock with a quick response rate and can assist you with insurance claims if the situation demands it.

Water leak in a house florida

How standing water attracts pests in your house

Water can be inevitable for living organisms. It is ubiquitous and can sustain life in many ways. However, versions of water, especially standing water can make your life a nightmare.

Standing water, if not identified and treated right away can create pest problems that you do not wish to deal with. The concern can be worse, especially during warmer weather. Understanding the hazards of standing water and different means to deal with is important to prevent your house from becoming a hub of pests.

Unattended kitchen counters

If you have the habit of leaving the dishes in the kitchen counter or sink overnight, you are making it easier for pests, especially cockroaches and bugs to feed, thrive and form an army.

Pests, especially cockroaches have a strong sense of smell. The smell of leftovers and even the groceries can lure in cockroaches.

Water leaks

Water damage or leaks within your home can be inviting for pests. All they need is a source of a water leak that is consistent and can provide them with minute quantities of water even if it is in the form of moisture.

Therefore, ensure that you do not let a water leak in your house be permanent. Also, try to keep your house free of the clutter, which usually offers hiding spaces for pests. Your kitchen, bathroom and attic are the places vulnerable to water leaks, it would be ideal to inspect these areas at least once a month.

Pests attracted by water

If you observe the presence of these pests in your house and if the number seems to be increasing, you can suspect the presence of an unsupervised water source.

Cockroaches: as mentioned earlier, two main things that can attract cockroaches are food and water. Most people are unaware of the fact that cockroaches love water, they thrive quickly in damp and warm environments.

Ants: ants are always in a never-ending hunt for food and water. Similar to cockroaches, they find it easy to thrive in moist and damp environment. Any water spill can turn out to be a strong inviting signal for ant colonies.

Earwigs: earwigs colonies seems to be thirsty all day. They are in a constant hunt for moist areas and can invade your house easily through small cracks and ventilators in search of water.

If you end up attracting thirsty and water-loving pests, contact a pest control company at the earliest. However, having known the consequence of pests invaded homes, you do not want the situation to go out of control. This is where foreseeing these factors and ensuring that issues like water leakage are taken care of immediately can turn out to be a life-changing decision. Be prepared to contact a professional water restoration service in cases of major issues like flood damage. On top of all, try to keep your house clean and dry.

Damage in Office Ceiling due to water leak

6 Major causes of water damage in commercial property

Water damage in the workplace can be a nuisance. You can easily come across some minor water leakage issues like leaky faucet or damage sprinkler systems within your workplace compound. This can be in the garage or at the fire escape. It is important to understand that even the minute concerns like these has the potential to bring the business to a standstill over time.

It is certain that unaddressed water damage issues at the workplace can add up to some hefty bills over time. As a property manager, it is your responsibility to understand and maintain the common sources of water damage in commercial properties.

Faulty appliances

Keep an eye out for a faulty dishwasher or a refrigerator with an automatic ice maker. These appliances are bound to break down at some point or the other in response to daily usage. Keeping these appliances in your routine service inspection checklist is a smart move.

Plumbing mishaps

Leaking pipes and plumbing mishaps at workplaces are almost inevitable. In addition to high water bills, these leaks even have the potential to cause some structural damage if it remains unattended for long.
For instance, water damages or leaks in garages often go unnoticed. Over time, these can develop into concrete spalling or concrete cancer.

Concrete cancer is a serious concern characterized by the rusting of steel reinforcing within the concrete. The concrete initially cracks which is called spalling and then the steel rods start to rust.

Concrete cancer once formed is really hard and expensive to alleviate. It spreads slowly but consistently making the structure weak with time.

Deteriorating foundation

Irregular maintenance of gutters can result in clogging and the water to channel through from the roof to the foundation. Consistent water leaks like this can cause the foundation to deteriorate over time. A good sign of a weak foundation is the formation of puddles and wet framings.

HVAC problems

HVAC systems responsible for heating and cooling regulations in the workplace can wear out over time and get damaged.

The HVAC condensate water which is a byproduct of the temperature regulation process gets collected in the collection pan. Since the HVAC systems are usually associated with several ducts throughout the structure, it can lead to corrosion and damage.

Sprinkler system leaks

Keep an eye out for wet drywall and carpets even if it cannot be directly related to a sprinkler on the roof, it might be from a duct leading to it. The moisture and dryness in the ceiling or drywall can create the perfect condition for mold growth, which can add to the headache.

Natural disasters

The unexpected and unwanted nuisance like flooding or a thunderstorm can never be off the charts. This is something that you can hardly prevent but can prepare for. Hiring a professional water damage restoration service is critical to ensure that your business is back on track in no time and doesn’t lose too many dollars.

Conducting regular checkup that relates to all these systems are the prime means of ensuring that you are one step ahead when it comes to dealing with water damages. Foresee these concerns and act accordingly to save both time and money.

mold-on-Blue-denim-bottoms

Mold and Clothes what you need to know

There is no doubt that mold is a major annoyance. You might have heard about mold beneath the ceiling and walls, have you ever heard of mold on clothes?

Dark patches on the wall and that musty smell, all these can be signs of mold in your house. There is a misconception that mold only grows on walls, floors and ceilings.

Your clothes, shoes; mold can infest any surface. With the ability to destroy and deteriorate any fabric, mold can be equally hazardous for your health and possessions.

This blog features insight into mold and clothes.

Appearance

Mold on clothes usually appears different compared to mold on walls and ceilings. Mold usually appears in different colors: black, purples, orange and white.

Mold on clothes is nothing but a strain of aspergillus and usually appear in white and greenish-black.

Growth

The main reasons for mold growth on clothes are humidity variations and lack of ventilation. Mold requires organic substances like drywall, wood and fabric to thrive.

The dampness of wet clothes can attract and house mold colonies. Mold can thrive in 24 to 48 hours, if your clothes remain wet for a prolonged period, they can easily attract mold growth.

Mold types

Black and white mold are the mold types that usually grow on clothes. Black mold is extremely toxic and is a rarity on fabric; however, it can thrive under the right conditions.

White mold can be flaky and hard to detect on lighter surfaces. Both white and black mold can deteriorate the surface if not attended to as soon as possible.

Identify mold on clothes

The smell is the primary giveaway for mold on clothes. Look for that earthly or musty odor. Check for that flaky substance on your clothes which can feel slimy or fluffy to touch.

Health hazards

Prolonged exposure to mold can have adverse effects on your health. Though the seriousness of the health concern is directly proportional to the amount of mold you are exposed to, mold growth should not be ignored.

Even if the mold growth in your house looks mild, bear in mind that mold can thrive and spread quickly. Some common health concerns of mold growth are:

• Rashes
• Watery and itchy eyes
• Coughing and sneezing
• Fatigue
• Headache
• Weakened immune system

Removing mold from clothes

Removing mold from clothes can be a tricky task. A solution of baking soda and vinegar can be effective for removing mold on clothes. However, if the mold problem seems extensive, bear in mind that any of the DIY mold removal solutions or tips that you come across can be temporary.

It is important to deal with the issue from the source up to alleviate the concern from scratch. This is where a mold remediation specialist can be a godsend.

To prevent mold growth on clothes, ensure that you store the clothes in cool and dry areas. Ensure that you do not leave your clothes in the washing machine or dryer for too long. Mold on clothes can be a sign of bigger issues to come or already prevailing. Consider this as a major warning to act quickly and smartly.

Water-damage-in-apartment-wall

Apartment water damage: Things to consider

Water damage can have a drastic and lasting impact on apartments. If the water damage is severe, it can even affect your neighbors. As a tenant, it is your duty to inform your landlord immediately and you should be aware of some rights when dealing with the water damage.

As a tenant or owner of the apartment, there are several factors to consider when there is a water damage situation in your apartment.

Prompt action

If you are the tenant, you need to contact your landlord or the maintenance team immediately. Delay in reporting the damage increases the likelihood of property damage and even eviction.

If you are the property owner, it is important to contact a water restoration specialist as soon as possible. It is ideal to consider a water restoration specialist that provides assistance with insurance documentation.

Identify the source

Even though the likelihood of you needing a water removal specialist to efficiently resolve the situation is more, it would be ideal to try and identify the source of water damage.

There are several possible sources of water damage within apartments, which are listed below:

• Leaky/broken faucet
• Leaky refrigerator
• Flooded toilet

Faulty appliances, broken faucets are the major causes of water damage in apartments. Overlooking the possibility of an overflowing bathtub or forgetting it completely can easily lead to a water damage situation. Bear in mind that this can happen to your neighbor as well.

Document the damage

Ensure that you take videos and photos of water damage as early as possible. This will come in handy when documenting files for renter’s insurance or even communicating with a water restoration specialist. It is ideal to keep these files for at least a year.

You can even consider documenting the procedures carried out by the restoration specialists. Keep notes of the process and other aspects like the call logs and what was initially agreed upon.

Contacting a water restoration company

If you are just the tenant of the apartment and would like some immediate response in cases where the landlord is taking his time, you can consider contacting the water damage specialists directly.

On most of such occasions, the company will refuse to carry out the restoration process unless they get approval from the landlord. Under such circumstances, be prepared to require the company to contact the landlord directly.

Who pays for the water damage?

As just a tenant, your landlord is responsible for water damage repair costs to the apartment. However, bear in mind that any damage to your personal belongings is your own responsibility. Foresee this and make sure that you prioritize the task of moving your belongings to a safe area during water damage or instances like flooding.
However, if the damage to your possessions seems to be due to the negligence of the landlord and if you can prove it, you can get some compensation.

It is critical to act quickly and smart in case of water damage irrespective of whether it’s contacting a restoration company, informing your landlord or moving your belongings to a safe area. Foresee these caveats to ensure that you make the right decisions without any delay.

Brown and Beige Wooden Barn Surrounded With Brown Grasses Under Thunderclouds

5 reasons why you should hire a water removal specialist to handle flood damage

Water damage can be mild or disastrous. As a property owner, it is your duty to foresee different aspects within your house and the environment which can lead to water damage or flooding.

Being a common cause for property damage, water damage is something that most property owners lament on.
You can easily find several DIY tips to alleviate the concern of flood or water damage within your household or commercial property. However, there are several factors that seconds hiring a water removal specialist for handling flood damage.

Leak source and hidden water damage

On occasions finding the source of water damage can be tricky. People overlook the possibility of multiple water leak sources and end up fixing the most evident source. Hidden mild leak sources can turn out to be disastrous with time. Mild water leaks sweeping through walls, ceilings or even a crack in the foundation can endanger the structure of the property.

Professional water removal specialist have industry-grade tools to detect water damages that can go undetected until its too late. Their experience can play a crucial role in identifying water leak sources quickly.

Water extraction

With respect to the severity of water damage or the amount of water involved, you might need water extraction or pumping. This is where water removal specialists with professional water extraction tools can be handy.

These tools can perform the much-needed work of pumping out large quantities of water in a short period. This can be crucial when it comes to saving time, money and other priceless possessions.

Mold

Once your house or commercial property is affected by water damage, it is vulnerable to mold growth. Mold makes life within the affected property a nightmare. Mold can start thriving in 48 to 72 hours post-water damage. This is why a quick response water specialist can turn out to be crucial when it comes to addressing any additional threats.

Water removal specialists can use advanced drying techniques and dehumidifiers to maintain air quality to hinder any possibilities of mold growth.

Insurance assistance

Professional water Restoration Company can provide assistance with insurance claims. These people are mostly experienced in handling the respective documentation and have come across multiple cases with different scenarios.

This contributes to successful documentation and application with a high percentage possibility of success rate.

Additional care

Water damage specialists can always look for additional risks and vulnerabilities based on the water damage type. For instance, flood water can be grossly unsanitary and requires special/professional cleanup with additional chemical or cleanup procedures.

A professional water damage restoration company can assess the situation at all stages and act accordingly for the much-needed results.

When the water damage at your property seems to be the next level, it is recommended to contact a water damage specialist. Never overlook the possibility of mold growth and act quickly to get the concern under control.

Garbage on still water body

Health risks associated with stagnant water

Stagnant water is standing water that is trapped or sits undisturbed for hours/days. Standing or stagnant water is usually a result of flood and water leaks. Basements, crawl spaces, and bathrooms are common areas where you can find standing water.

Plumbing leaks within the house or rainwater leaking through roof or windows can also be some of the main cause of stagnant water. While these can be clean sources of standing water, sources like flooding and sewage backups can be the contaminated source of standing water.

As a property owner, it is your duty to check for standing water within your property or compound, especially after events like floods or storms. There are several health risks associated with standing water, the dangers of which can grow worse over time.

Mold

Standing water saturates the floors and walls, this, in turn, can create support mold growth. Involvement of sewage or other contaminants in stagnant water catalyzes the possibility of mold growth. For instance, under favorable conditions and with clean water, mold requires a maximum of 72 hours to thrive. However, if contaminants are involved, it can thrive in 24 hours.

Structural damage

A crack in the foundation can turn out to be deadly with a condition like standing water. Water can easily sweep in and the damage can go unnoticed until its too late. This is something that can seriously affect the structure of your property.

Stagnant water can slowly but definitely dissolve and deteriorate drywall, flooring, carpeting and cabinets.

Insects and rodents

Standing water can be a good breeding source for insects like mosquitoes. This gives way to problems like malaria and dengue. Zika virus and West Nile Virus can be bigger or serious concerns that can even lead to fatality.

Similarly, mice, rats and possums can always be on the lookout for watering holes. They can spread diseases and consider your house as the perfect place to thrive.

Some of the health risks associated with standing water are:

• Malaria
• Rotavirus
• Fungus
• Dengue Fever
• Entamoeba
• Zika fever

Stagnant water is often hard to detect and goes unnoticed especially in areas like crawlspaces and lawns. Preventing standing water is the key to alleviating related health hazards. Once you find stagnant water within your property, it is ideal to get it inspected by professional water removal specialists, especially if the source seems old and involves sewage.

One way of telling whether the standing water is old is by the smell of it. Standing water involving sewage can start smelling with time and look for the smell of rotten egg. Ensure that your lawn has proper drainage and get your water and plumbing systems in your house checked at least once a year.

fire damage professional fixing a fire in house florida

Why do you need a professional fire restoration?

A fire damaged house or property can house hazardous chemicals and post-event residues. A fire restoration process refers to cleaning such residues and restoring the fire damage structure to its prime condition. The restoration process also entails foreseeing future hazards like mold and mildew and ensuring that any chemical fire suppressants or water used is removed completely.

It is always ideal to understand the Dos and Don’ts of fire damage smoke cleanup. This post will highlight key pointers that will underline why you need to seek the assistance of a professional fire restoration company irrespective of the size of the blaze and the extent of the damage.

Why fire restoration is not a DIY

Home or business owners tend to take up the task of fire damage cleanup. Most of these people are unaware of the consequences or health hazards related to such tasks.

The chemical composition of in-house fire extinguishers can trigger conditions like sinuses, eye and skin irritations. Even if you resort to professional gears like a mask and resistant clothing, the household chemicals or detergents might be ineffective in removing the chemicals in question.

The post-fire soot and ash can be impossible to remove using your household vacuum, even if you might have some initial success, sooner or later, you will find that these substances can easily cling on to different surfaces or can get airborne easily and might be impossible to remove using the normal cleaning methods or strategies.

The normal fire cleanup procedure won’t help you to capture invisible airborne particles or the chemical residues post-fire. Exposing yourself to these health hazards for a longer duration can lead to conditions like asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

The professional checklist

A fire restoration process engages in the following tasks to ensure that your house is sound, safe and restored back to its original condition if not a better one.

• They use the industry-grade vacuums to remove even the last traces of chemical, smoke, soot, and ash.
• They use odor eliminators to ensure that any potential odor of smoke, chemicals and burnt substances like plastic, wood are contained.
• Removing excessive moisture content in the air after performing a humidity check and using standard dehumidifiers.
• Performs inspection to identify and safely remove the salvageable or the items damaged beyond the scope of repair.
• Replacing the removed items like drywall, studs, subflooring, and window panes to kick off the process of restoring the property structure.
• Fire restoration specialists will also take necessary steps to ensure that the area under construction or renovation is sectioned off using plastic sheets or other protective gear.

All these aspects point out the importance of resorting to a fire damage specialist when it comes to restoring your house or commercial space. Consider the hazards of performing a fire cleanup even after a small fire. You should be aware that even a small fire extinguished using a fire extinguisher leaves the probability of extinguisher chemical lingering in the air. Such odors usually go undetected.

Removing asbestos in a house in Florida

Asbestos Poisoning: How Serious can it be?

Asbestos is a deadly substance known to cause thousands of deaths worldwide. Naturally occurring fibrous silicate materials are collectively known as asbestosis. It was widely used for construction purposes until the late 1980s.
Asbestos in its naturally occurring state can be harmless until it is damaged. When damaged or during deterioration, it can start producing powdered asbestosis fiber that can trigger health concerns if inhaled.

Risk of asbestos

Asbestos can trigger the following health concerns:

Asbestosis: a chronic lung disease triggered by the inhalation of asbestos fibers. The condition at its latter stage leads to lung tissue scarring, chronic cough and shortness of breath. The individual diagnosed with this condition might not exhibit the symptoms until many years of consistent exposure.

Mesothelioma: a rare cancer type caused by Asbestos. The condition affects the protective membrane called mesothelium that covers the majority of the internal organs. The mesothelium of the lungs is more vulnerable to this condition. The condition is incurable if not diagnosed at an early stage.

Lung cancer: people that are diagnosed with asbestosis are vulnerable to lung cancer. The condition might take years to develop.

Factors that drive health concerns:

The fact that asbestos can trigger serious health concerns without any warning or signs/symptoms is something that makes it deadly. The following factors contribute to the risk of a health concern trigger from inhaling asbestos fiber particles:

• The density of airborne particles
• Frequency and duration of exposure
• Time elapsed after the first exposure
• Size of the particles inhaled

Defining the fine line between normal and abnormal levels

As per the EPA and the Department of Health and Human Services, there are no safe levels when it comes to asbestos exposure.

Any scenario where the asbestos within the structure of your house is disturbed can start triggering the risk of exposure. For instance, mice or rodents can dig through the walls insulated with asbestos. They are more likely to dig a hole through to your kitchen in search for food. This can turn out to be critical as they can spread the asbestos powder in a place where you store food.

A simple task of drilling a hole in your wall to hang a picture can turn out to be a mistake too. The only safe means to avoid health concerns from asbestos might be to live in a house that does not have any.
How to do an inspection for asbestos in your house.

Identifying whether your house contains any materials made of asbestosis can be a hard task. If your house was built before the 1980s, it is more likely to contain asbestos. Some of the common areas where asbestos can be involved are:

• Textured paint
• Flue pipes
• Cement pipe columns
• Hot water pipe insulation
• Cement and brick claddings

Removing asbestos is also a task that needs to be considered seriously and done efficiently. It is ideal to engage with a qualified professional to perform an asbestos inspection and get it removed from your house.