Recent Mold Remediation Posts

Preventing mold is cheaper than removing it

1/21/2019 (Permalink)

Preventing mold is cheaper and easier than removing mold. That is why it’s critical to call us right away when you have a water damage in your home or business. Getting to a water damage quickly can save you lots of money in costly repairs and clean up. Not to mention lost time from work or being able to conduct business if the damage is in your office.  Cleaning up only the water that you can see and drying the structure or mitigating behind walls can cost you more in the long run. 

That is why it’s important to call professionals trained in water damage restoration with the right equipment for the job. Our commercial dehumidifiers can reduce the humidity so that the chances of mold growth are greatly reduced. Mold likes 50% humidity or higher to propagate. By pulling water out of the air and discharging warm dry air we can increase the rate of evaporation and therefore prevent secondary damage to your home or business.

Studying air, and its properties is called Psychrometrics. Water vapor pressure, humidity, and temperature are measured and evaluated so that we can create a proper atmosphere for efficient and effective drying to a standard.  We have the right equipment, the right training, and the right people to help you in a time of need. 

The next time you have a water damage before it turns into mold damage or even if it has, call us directly at 336-946-1131. We will make it “Like it never even happened.”

The right equipment the right know how

12/12/2018 (Permalink)

The right equipment and knowledge on using that equipment should be of value to you, the consumer of our services. Our staff is trained in mold remediation to a standard. That standard is called the IICRC S520. This guide give us goals to reach so that you the customer know that we did our job the right. We use third party  air quality tests to give us and you empirical data to know that your home is safe from above average concentrations of mold spores.

The piece of equipment shown is a DefendAir HEPA 500 Air Scrubber. This uses HEPA filter that has an efficiency rating of 99.97% against 0.3-micron oily aerosol particles. Mold spore sizes range from 3-100 microns. This equipment provides air flow of 250 to 500 CFM (cubic feet per minute). We vent this to the outside and create negative pressure on the room by sealing it using plastic as a containment chamber.  All this means is that we bringing the mold count down to acceptable levels without contaminating the rest of your home or business.

If you suspect mold call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to discuss what your next steps are to get rid of it.

It’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131

Where’s the Mold?

10/15/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Where’s the Mold? 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

Preventing Mold in a Bathroom

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

Ahhhh a hot, steamy shower feels good to achy muscles, washing away your cares for a while. And while you’re relaxing and opening your pores in your skin the humidity level in your bathroom is rising, which can create an ideal environment for mold and mildew.

Preventing Mold with a Bathroom Exhaust Fan.
Many people think that the exhaust fan in the bath room is there to remove away unpleasant odors. While they can help with that, these fans actually serve a much larger purpose. Bathroom exhaust fans draw the moisture-laden air that fills the room after a steamy shower or hot bath out of the bath room, bringing the room’s humidity down to a healthier level. This is a vital step in preventing mold growth and averting mold damage.

Your bathroom is an ideal location for mold because it thrives in a humid environment. One way to ensure that if comes on each time you enter the bath is to have an electrician hardwire the fan to the light switch. But for more efficient way of controlling humidity invest in a humidity sensor.

Most people turn the fan on when they enter their bathroom to shower and turn it off when they leave. Unfortunately, this does not always give the exhaust fan enough time to evacuate the steam and humidity. Ideally, the fan needs to run until the moisture level in the bathroom is back to normal. You could just leave the fan running and come back later to turn it off, but you run the risk of forgetting it. This wastes energy and can shorten the lifespan of the exhaust fan. Instead, consider installing a humidity sensor. The sensor will automatically cut the fan off when the correct humidity level is restored. It is an easy way to prevent mold damage.

Dealing With Mold
If you find that you have a mold issue in your bathroom, do not attempt to handle it yourself. Disturbing the mold may facilitate its spread and contaminate other areas of your home or business that can be prevented. Spreading and cross contaminating your home or business could end up costing more money in the long run. Instead, turn to the professionals at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County in Winston Salem NC. Our technicians have the training, specialized equipment, and protective gear to address mold damage. They can inspect the area, identify the source of moisture, contain the mold, remove it, properly cleanse your belongings and restore your home or business to a healthy environment.

It’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131

Is there a fungus among us

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

Have you ever heard that silly phrase, "There's a fungus among us?"  Well, when it's actually true it's really not silly. In one of our other blogs we discussed mold types, counts and air quality. But where does it live? What conditions does mold like or better yet hate?  Most of us don't realize it but mold is around us all of the time.  It's common and travels easily so it really isn't possible to completely eliminate it from our environment. There are many different varieties of mold.  Sometimes it becomes a problem and something needs to be done about it.  Most health issues occur when there are high concentrations of mold in the house.  Unfortunately mold spores are invisible and can be transported in various ways:  through heating and air ducts, open doors and windows, on pets and even on our shoes. 

To prevent mold from showing up uninvited to your house, make sure you properly ventilate those warm, damp, and humid environments.    

  • Where does mold lurk? 

 Mold thrives in warm, damp, humid places like bathrooms, basements, roofs, pipes, windows and anywhere flooding has occurred.  It likes some of the same environments we humans like.  Mold needs three things to thrive. Some kind of nutrient (like cellulose), cardboard is steroid for mold. Water, to help break down or decay the nutrients. Last mold needs time to be left alone and feed and grow. Can potted plants be a source for mold?  Yes, they add oxygen to our air but also, you guessed it, mold.  The "yuck factor" is mold can grow in all kinds of environments:  wood, wood products, paper, wallpaper, ceiling tiles, drywall, cardboard, carpets, upholstery, paint, insulation and even dust!  Yeah, pretty much everything in your home! The main thing is that if you have a mold issue you probably have or had a water damage issue also.

  • How do you find it?  Usually either smelling its musty odor or finding spots of any color can find mold.  An air quality test can also determine if you have a safe environment in your home or office. Once mold can be identified by sight, smell, or an air quality test its concentration may be high enough to present a health hazard.  That's when something needs to be done.  It's called mold remediation and it's something SERVPRO of West Forsyth County specializes in.  For more information on our mold services call us 336-946-1131 or read more on our website

    It's always best to call us directly 

Mold Damage Cleanup and What to Expect

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

What is mold?

First off Mold is everywhere and not all mold is toxic, but all mold in your home or business should be dealt with.  Mold is a fungus that loves damp and humid conditions.  It spreads by producing mold spores which can survive many harsh environments.  Mold and mildew are most often found in places that have high moisture such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements, crawlspaces, around water heaters or air handlers.  It is not uncommon, however, to also find mold on or between walls, flooring, carpeting, furniture, or textiles.  Often it is a result of a hidden leak, poor drainage or a past water damage. Sometimes the odor will tip you off, but other times it might go undetected until you see it or someone begins showing symptoms indicating possible mold. If water is leaking in between walls spots may form on the ceiling below the source.

Do I need to do a mold test?

Store bought mold tests aren’t terribly reliable. If you can see mold then you can be sure removing it is the only way to prevent further growth and avoid health risks.  If however you suspect mold may be growing out of sight, such as inside a wall, ceiling cavity or beneath the flooring, a good air quality test can be very helpful.  An air quality test will not only identify the specific types of mold but also let you know how much of it is present in the air in specific areas of your home.  SERVPRO frequently recommends a professional air quality test be done prior to mold removal and again after mitigation is complete.  Comparing the results before and after provides an excellent measure to ensure a healthy environment or identify any ongoing issues that need to be addressed. SERVPRO of West Forsyth does not conduct Air Quality tests themselves, we contract an independent third party to provide analysis that we have done a good job.  

What happens if I hire SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to take care of mold in my home?

First we will dispatch one of our certified mold mitigation technicians to complete a visual inspection and initial assessment. 

Our trained technician will try to help you identify and address the source of the moisture problem.  This will help prevent a recurrence of mold or further damage to your home in the future. Not addressing the moisture problem is a guarantee to have a mold issue again in the future. We want to fix the root cause of the problem to ensure a total solution.  

Moisture meters are used to pinpoint exactly what areas are wet – if any. Before mitigation begins, the first air-quality test should be performed by an independent contractor to ensure we have objective data on the type and quantity of mold present.

If mold is found, we’ll set up containment and air scrubbers to prevent spores from contaminating other areas of your home. Next we apply a professional anti-microbial product to kill existing mold spores and help prevent mold from returning.

If necessary, affected porous materials will be sealed in plastic and removed.  Non-porous surfaces are then mitigated accordingly, wiped down and/ or sprayed with an anti-microbial one last time.

Once all debris has been removed and affected areas have been thoroughly cleaned, we’ll suggest a final air quality test.  This final measure will be your assurance that your home is now a clean and healthy environment for you and your family.  If for any reason the affected area does not pass the air quality test, SERVPRO will continue mold mitigation until passing air quality tests are obtained.

What does it mean to be a SERVPRO certified mold mitigation technician?

All SERVPRO technicians are certified through the IICRC.  Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration is the standard setter for the mitigation industry and considered the authority in mitigation by most insurance carriers.

In addition SERVPRO offers on-going training to all of its employees, enabling them to remain up to date on current mitigation and restoration practices and provide you with answers you can rely on.

As the preferred mitigation specialist for most major insurance companies; SERVPRO staff are experienced at communicating with you and your insurance company to assist in all steps of your insurance claim process.

Each SERVPRO employee is dedicated to ensuring your home is restored to its preloss condition and to your full satisfaction.

It’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131 SERVPRO of West Forsyth County.

Air Quality Testing Why Do I Need It?

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Air Quality Testing Why Do I Need It? Air Quality Results Before / After

In every home in Winston Salem there is a certain amount of mold. It’s everywhere the problem comes into play when it is in concentrated doses, and we spend more than 85% of our time concentrated indoors. If you want to know exactly how much, and what types there are in your home you should have an air quality test.  There are a couple of types of tests, one available readily even on the internet is a swab test. Although economical, it only tells you if the presence of mold is present on the surface area that you swab. It does not however tell you the amount of spores in the air that you are breathing. That is why we recommend an aerosol canister test that draws air from the suspected room and is sent to a lab for analysis. Why is it important to get an air quality test? Did you know that 40% – 60% of the air you breathe is from your crawl space? When was the last time you were in your crawl space? Was there water standing? Is your sump pump working properly to keep it dry?  With recent rains it may overwhelm your sump pump and cause it to fail. You should check it regularly in order to prevent fungal growth. With the heavy rains Clemmons and surrounding areas have had it could be a safe haven for mold and fungal growth.

 There is no standard set by the government for what is acceptable limits of mold. But the EPA does state. “Sampling for mold should be conducted by professionals who have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods and interpreting results. Sample analysis should follow analytical methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other professional organizations.”  An EPA guide to mold can be found here.

SERVPRO felt like that there should be a standard and that standard is governed by IICRC . It is called the ANSI/IICRC S520 Mold Remediation Guide. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County does not conduct the air quality tests themselves. We do this for our reputation and to ensure that there is no conflict of interest. We would caution you to have independent third parties conduct the test and share the results with us and perspective clients. We work with and can recommend environmental hygienists with great reputations.

 In the picture there is a before and after air quality test report for a basement that was remediated for mold in Rural Hall NC. The standard is that mold count should be below 500. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County tries very hard to get the counts below 300. This is how you know that a remediation expert has done the job properly. An air quality test and proper mold remediation services can give you peace of mind and keep you and your family safe.

Should you suspect that you have a mold issue, it’s best to call us directly at

336-946-1131 SERVPRO of West Forsyth County.  

What is Mold? How should I deal with Mold?

10/16/2017 (Permalink)

What is mold?

Mold is a fungus that loves damp and humid conditions.  It spreads by producing mold spores, which can survive many harsh environments.  Mold and mildew are most often found in places that have high moisture such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements, and crawlspaces, around water heaters or air handlers.  It is not uncommon, however, to also find mold on or between walls, flooring, carpeting, furniture, or textiles.  Often it is a result of a hidden leak, poor drainage or a past water damage. Sometimes the odor will tip you off, but other times it might go undetected until you see it or someone begins showing symptoms indicating possible mold.

Do I need to do a mold test?

Store bought mold tests aren’t terribly reliable. If you can see mold then you can be sure removing it is the only way to prevent further growth.  If however you suspect mold may be growing out of sight, such as inside a wall, ceiling cavity or beneath the flooring, a good air quality test can be very helpful.  An air quality test will not only identify the specific types of mold but also let you know how much of it is present in the air in specific areas of your home.  SERVPRO frequently recommends a professional air quality test be done prior to mold removal and again after mitigation is complete.  Comparing the results before and after provides an excellent measure to ensure a healthy environment or identify any ongoing issues that need to be addressed.

What happens if I hire SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to take care of mold in my home?

First we will dispatch one of our certified mold mitigation technicians to complete a visual inspection and initial assessment. 

Our trained technician will try to help you identify and address the source of the moisture problem.  This will help prevent a recurrence of mold or further damage to your home in the future.

Moisture meters are used to pinpoint exactly what areas are wet – if any. Before mitigation begins, an independent contractor to ensure we have objective data on the type and quantity of mold present should perform the first air-quality test.

If mold is found, we’ll set up containment and air scrubbers to prevent spores from contaminating other areas of your home. Next we apply a professional anti-microbial product to kill existing mold spores and help prevent mold from returning.

If necessary, affected porous materials will be sealed in plastic and removed.  Non-porous surfaces are then mitigated accordingly, wiped down and/ or sprayed with an anti-microbial one last time.

Once all debris has been removed and affected areas have been thoroughly cleaned or remediated, we’ll suggest a final air quality test.  This final measure will be your assurance that your home is now a clean and healthy environment for you and your family.  If for any reason the affected area does not pass the air quality test, SERVPRO will continue mold mitigation until passing air quality tests are obtained.

What does it mean to be a SERVPRO certified mold mitigation technician?

Our SERVPRO technicians are certified through the IICRC.  Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration is the standard setter for the mitigation industry and considered the authority in mitigation by most insurance carriers.

In addition SERVPRO offers on-going training to all of its employees, enabling them to remain up to date on current mitigation and restoration practices and provide you with answers you can rely on.

As the preferred mitigation specialist for most major insurance companies; SERVPRO staff are experienced at communicating with you and your insurance company to assist in all steps of your insurance claim process.

Each SERVPRO employee is dedicated to ensuring your home is restored to its preloss condition and to your full satisfaction.  

It’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131

Why should my water damage be professionally dried?

10/16/2017 (Permalink)

If you’ve recently had a severe water intrusion due to leaking pipes, storm flood or other causes, you might be thinking that you can handle it on your own. Keep in mind, though, that cleaning up water damage goes beyond wiping away the residue and letting everything dry. While we understand that you want to save money and maybe you’re a DIY type of person.  But water damage can cause serious health problems if not cleaned properly.  It can also cost more money if not done properly when you toss in mold remediation costs.  And then there is the problem that you can’t see beyond the baseboards and carpet to get the water you’re missing?

The following are some of the advantages of hiring SERVPRO of West Forsyth County.

Safety

A lot of people fail to realize how dangerous standing water can be. Depending on the source it could contain bacteria and pathogens, causing you to get sick just by touching it. You could potentially contaminate unaffected areas of your home or business by walking through contaminated water damaged areas.

Hiring SERVPRO of West Forsyth County is a smart choice since we have been trained to know what needs to be done and how to do it safely by IICRC standards. In addition to that, we have the necessary equipment and experience to get the job done right. Getting it done right is important because getting it done wrong or incomplete could cost more money down the road.

Mold prevention

Hiring the professional services of SERVPRO West Forsyth is beneficial, as you can be sure that the cleanup will be done properly. This gives you an assurance that you will not face any issues later on.

Mold growth is one of the biggest problems with water damage. Any dampness left in porous materials can create an environment that is susceptible to mold growth. Protect your home from the development of mold by hiring professionals, and having it dried properly.

We use hydrosensors, moisture meters, and infrared cameras to assure we find all the wet materials created by a water damage event.  Routinely check common areas that could potentially leak water, such as around the water heater, under sinks, and around toilets. Especially for areas that are not used routinely. Notify a professional if you find areas of concern.

Fast service

Clean up should be done immediately, preferably within the first 24 hours. Be aware that mold can start to grow within 48-72 hours after porous material are water damaged. Your home can even be a breeding ground for bacteria, mildew and other contaminants if surfaces stay wet for over 48 hours.

In the event of water damage, it should be in your best interest to hire a professional company as soon as possible. Water damage problems can become very serious if left untreated.  Our phone 336-946-1131 is monitored 24/7/365.  We will call you back within an hour and be on site within four hours for emergency services.

Protect your belongings

Water from leaks, pipe bursts or floods can easily destroy your belongings, furnishings and even your home. While some of your things may be destroyed by water almost immediately, hiring SERVPRO of West Forsyth increases your chance of saving more of your belongings. We know that some things insurance money could not replace. We have restored items as common as the carpet saving you money on a claim, to one off painting of a family member generations removed from today.

For a free copy of a helpful brochure on “what to do until help arrives” call us at 336-946-1131

SERVPRO of West Forsyth County serves Winston Salem, Lewisville, Clemmons, Rural Hall, Pfafftown, Tobaccoville, and surrounding area.