Top Ten Things You Should Know About Mold

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Top Ten Things You Should Know About Mold

  1. Mold can be found almost anywhere; mold needs moisture and a food source to grow. Common food sources include wood, paper, carpet, drywall etc.
  2. Mold exposure poses potential health effects and symptoms, such as asthma, allergic reactions and other respiratory complications.
  3. There is no concrete way to eliminate mold all together in an indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control and take care of the moisture issue.
  4. If mold is a problem in your home, you must properly clean up the mold and eliminate the moisture source. The sooner the matter is taken care of the better to prevent it from spreading and becoming even a bigger issue.
  5. Fix the source of the water problem to prevent continuous mold growth.
  6. Reduce relative humidity to below 45% to decrease mold growth by: venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside. Use air conditioners and de-humidifiers to increase ventilation whenever possible. Whenever cooking, dish washing or cleaning use exhaust fans.
  7. Clean and dry damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
  8. Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and borax cleaning solution, and dry completely. Porous materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
  9.  Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces such as windows, piping, exterior walls etc. by adding insulation.
  10. If there is an area with an ongoing moisture problem do not install carpeting.
Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com

Do Not Mistake Soot for Mold

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Do Not Mistake Soot for Mold

One of the most common culprits that can be mistaken for mold is actually soot. Stains from soot particles can come from a variety of sources such as fireplaces, woodstoves and candles. Soot can coat your walls, TV screens and other electronics, as well as carpet, furniture etc. Candles that are scented, in particular, especially when the candle has burned down about halfway, tend to be a perpetrator that goes under the radar. If you are someone who burns candles or has a fireplace, check to see if that is the root of your problem prior to thinking it is mold right away.

In order to tell if it is soot versus mold, check to see where the black substance is in relation to items that produce soot. Soot stains can look like patterned dots and vertical stripe-like patterns on walls, ceilings and smudging on carpet. The stains tend to be the darkest where there is greater airflow such as above ceiling lights and along carpet perimeters.

You can test the stain by rubbing it with a little bleach on a paper towel; if the black color remains, it's soot. If the color goes away, it’s mold. Bleach will change the color of your mold to a clear and/or white color, as it would your clothing. Unfortunately, if it is mold, you have now created a biosphere for the mold to grow in and you may have also possibly ingested the bleach fumes & airborne mold spores (never healthy). Usually, within three to four months, the mold will return and do so with a vengeance. (Please see our blog about the effects of using bleach on mold. Click Here.)

If you are unsure or would like a professional to determine that mold is the source of your problem, please give us a call at 585-235-6182 for us to come out and evaluate your property. 

Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com

Basement Flooding-What To Do When It Happens To You

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Basement Flooding-What To Do When It Happens To You

Finding your basement flooded is a horrible feeling. First, disbelief and panic set in. If you are prepared and know what to do in such a situation, it will enable you to keep a cool head and proceed in a manner that will relieve the stress of such an event. Here are some quick tips to follow during a basement flood:

Tips for Basement Flood:



  • Electrocution is always a danger! Be sure all our electricity is turned off before venturing into the water-laden area.  
  • Call your trusted local plumber.
  • If the flood is severe, call a specialist or your local fire department to help with the water removal.
  • Call your insurance company to check on your flood coverage.
  •  Be sure to dry out all your water-soaked items to prevent any mold growth. This can begin quite quickly if not addressed.
  • Keep an itemized list of your belongings.
  • Wear protective clothing such as masks & gloves.
  • Wash & dry those items immediately after use.
  •  Remove rugs or pull them completely back from the wet area, drying the wet portions of the carpet with a fan or carpet extractor.
  • Rent a carpet cleaning vacuum/extractor that is capable of pulling up all the excessive water from your rug(s).
  • Provide as much ventilation as is possible.
  • Run a dehumidifier immediately and continuously until it is fully dried out. Afterward, your dehumidifier should be set at 35% and run year-round.
  • Be sure there is no structural damage to your foundation.
  • Run fans to assist in drying out the space and your belongings.
Keep an eye on the space for a few weeks to locate any missed areas of concern or continued dampness. Being prepared is helpful but being proactive if this happens to you will save you even worse problems in the future.

Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com

How You Can Prevent Basement Flooding

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How You Can Prevent Basement Flooding

One of the worst feelings is to go down into your basement, only to discover you’ve had a flood and all your belongings are ruined. Comprehensive Mold Management would like to give you some tips on how to prevent this scenario in the first place:

·         Clean your gutters and downspouts after the leave have fallen.
·         Extend your downspouts at least 6 feet from your home’s foundation.
·         Walk around the outside of your home during a heavy rainfall, paying attention to the way the water drains. Is it towards or away from the home?
·         Provide emergency power, such as a backup generator for your essentials (furnace, heat, refrigeration, well pump/sump pump, septic tank pump).
·         Install a sump pump if you don’t already have one.
·         Install a backup sump pump to engage if yours isn’t functioning.
·         Make an emergency family plan.
·         Have flood insurance (you may also want to inquire about mold insurance).
·         Store your most precious/important items on a table or shelf, not on the floor.
·         Keep important phone numbers handy (including your plumber’s).
·         Have a backup plan.
·         Keep important items (pictures, tax documents, wills, passports, etc.) in a sealed, watertight, plastic container.
·         Install a dehumidifier capable of keeping up with your entire home’s space.
·         Have weep holes drilled around your foundation, draining into your floating slab’s trench with diverters in front of them to prevent splashing/overflowing onto your basement floor.
·         Check your drain tile to ensure it is up-to-date (perforated-should not be clay, as it crumbles over time). This is located in your sump pump.
·         Keep all your floating slab trenches clear of debris.

It is always wise to check your basement periodically. During heavy rains or quick thaws, you should be checking it a few times per day. Preventative maintenance can be a lifesaver. 

Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com

When Buying an Existing Home-What to Look For

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When Buying an Existing Home-What to Look For

When buying an existing home, there are a few ways to ensure you aren't purchasing a home that may have a mold intrusion that you may get stuck with fixing yourself:  

·         The primary areas you should have checked for mold are the attic and the basement.
·         Have it Thermal Imaged for insulation quality or lack thereof.
·         Moisture meter readings should be performed. The home should consistently be at 45% humidity or less throughout and a dehumidifier should be being run continuously.  The general, overall materials in the home should have a reading of 11% or under. If it is 14-15% or higher, you have a high risk of mold growth.
·         A damp, musty smell (almost always an indicator of mold growth despite any current weather conditions or if the home has been closed up for a significant amount of time).
·         Basement-There should be a functioning sump pump with an up-to-date, perforated drain tile (not an outdated clay drain-they deteriorate over time and are typically found in homes over 40 years of age), a floating slab and no standing water in the floating slab’s trenches.

Never being afraid to be proactive prior to the purchase or your future home can save you a lot of headaches and money. 

Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com

Mold Contractor Scams-Warning Signs

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Mold Contractor Scams-Warning Signs

The mold industry is filled with many reputable companies. But like any other industry, there are always those out to scam consumers. To help you be an educated consumer, keep warning signs in mind when a mold contractor comes to your home or business to give you an estimate and do possible testing: 

·         Scare Tactics: Saying things like; “You Have A Big Problem Here!”  or “Your home isn't safe or healthy to be in.” before they've even done a thorough visual inspection or tested for mold.
·         Says you should “leave the house immediately”. This is rare and only happens in extremely severe cases or when the occupants are visibly ill and their doctor is recommending the same action. Testing should be done in this case to ensure this is accurate.
·         Contractor comes to your door already wearing a protective suit and respirator before entering your home. (Used frequently to scare the homeowners.)
·         Contractor says they are “100% positive it’s mold” without having tested the area. There are times we can be fairly certain it is mold but can only be 100% positive if testing is done.
·         Discourages you from getting a second or third opinion.
·         Once the contractor leaves, he/she is slow to return your call or you are unable to get a hold of them once you have paid them your deposit.
·         Beware of hand-written estimates, invoices or contracts.
·         Contractor won’t provide references.

Be sure to ask for references from previous customers who have had similar work performed. You should also check with your local Better Business Bureau for the company’s rating and possible complaints. Contractor should ALWAYS give you a full visual inspection which should include moisture meter readings & moisture content of the home’s air. Even better would be if thermal imaging was performed, along with a thorough indoor and outdoor investigation. Your home is your haven and being an educated consumer will keep you from falling into the trap of scare tactics and contractor scams.

Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com

Ways to Reduce Humidity in Your Home

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Ways to Reduce Humidity in Your Home

High humidity levels in your home will almost always lead to mold issues. Below we have listed a couple ways to reduce your humidity levels:
·         Use exhaust fans in your kitchen, laundry and bathrooms
·         Vent gas burners, clothes dryers, etc. outside
·         Properly adjust humidifying devices such as furnaces and humidifiers to 35%
·         Air out your house for a short period of time on low humidity days, if weather permits
·         Improve the drainage around your foundation
o   Extend downspouts away from your foundation
o   Regularly clean out your gutters and downspouts
o   Try to not overwater foundation plants
·         Fix any leaking outdoor faucets
·         If you have central air conditioning, install an air conditioner vent wherever there is a humid space in your home, with returns.


Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com






Condensation and Mold on the Inside of Your Windows

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Condensation and Mold on the Inside of Your Windows

When there is an excessive amount of humidity in your home, you may get condensation on the inside of your windows during the colder seasons. This occurs frequently in the early morning hours when dew points tend to be higher. The windows are many times not the cause of condensation. The reason it builds on your windows is due to the fact that excess humidity collects in the form of condensation on the coldest area of the wall.
Below, we have listed a few tips and tricks to improve your window condensation issues:
·         Replace your old, drafty windows. This will help to reduce air flow, which will make your home tighter. Be sure to keep a close eye on your humidity levels, as they tend to rise in tighter homes. (Tighter homes can be havens for mold growth.)  Ideally, your humidity level in your home should be 35%.
·         Install a dehumidifier capable of handling your living space’s your humidity. Be sure to check out our blog about dehumidifiers: (http://compmold.blogspot.com/2013/09/dehumidifiers-considerations-when.html)
·         At night, when there is a larger fluctuation in temperature between indoor and outdoor air, running a ceiling fan to move the air is helpful, especially in rooms with large amounts of windows.
·         Open window coverings that are not made of breathable materials to allow air circulation and evaporation of moisture.
·         Regularly wipe down the accumulated moisture on the window’s surface and the window frame. Cleaning of the surface, if mold growth has begun, may be necessary. This can be done with Borax and hot water. Do not use bleach solutions. They exacerbate the problem.

Once warmer temperatures begin, condensation should be of lesser of concern to you.

Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com

Building a Home-How To Mold-Proof It

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Building a Home-How To Mold-Proof It

When building a home, it is very important to be diligent and observant during the construction process. Many times, homes will be saturated with rain before the roof is put on. This potentially can lead to mold growth on all plywood and supports. If you suspect that you have mold during the construction process, you should contact your builder to have it inspected by a certified mold professional.
How Can I Prevent Mold In My New Home?

·         Installation of a proper dehumidifier for the size of the house to control the moisture levels
·         Proper drainage systems on the inside and outside of the home. We highly recommend the installation of “dimple board” to the outside foundation walls prior to back-filling of the foundation. This provides a water-proof barrier of those outer walls. A French drain system on the inside and outside around the foundation’s perimeter is also very important.
·         Proper grading with a positive pitch away from the foundation.
·         Application of mold-proof coatings on potential surfaces for mold growth (i.e.: plywood and supports, framing, basement block walls).
·         Calculating the amount of roof square footage you have to determine the correct size gutter and down spouts for your house. Don’t rely on the builder for this. Have a professional gutter company review the plans of the home to determine the correct sizes you need. A minimum of six foot extensions for your down spouts is recommended.
·         Ensure your builder or contractor is following all insulation and ventilation codes for your area. Call your local town code enforcement office for this information.
·         Hire an independent inspector for each phase of work throughout the building process. Our company had a six year old home that was infested with mold due to the lack of knowledgeable contractors.  The picture shown here is of the same 6 year old house with mold growth on the plywood roof decking.  This was due to the insulation contractor not insulating the roof area correctly. There were no baffles installed for the proper air flow to the ridge vent.    


Doing these preventive measures can save you a lot of money and potential health issues, not to mention headaches in resolving unnecessary problems with your brand new home. Your best interests for you and your family should always be the top priority.

Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com

Attic Ventilation and Insulation

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Attic Ventilation and Insulation

How important is attic ventilation and insulation? Let me explain:
Let’s start with the ventilation:
·         In the summer, improper ventilation can cause attic heat to reach 160˚F. This can lead to cracking, warping & the breakdown of wood framing. Premature aging of your roofing system, such as curling of the roof shingles, damage to siding, exterior & interior paint and wallpaper. Believe it or not, a roof shingle warranty can be voided if it’s discovered you don’t have the proper ventilation.
·         In the wintertime, you can have warping of the wood frame, mold growth & buckling of shingles.
·         Industry standards say that for every 150 square feet of heated ceiling space, you need one square foot of ventilation between the soffit vents and either a ridge vent or box vents on the outtake. In the winter time, warm air will migrate to the attic. When it mixes with the cold plywood surfaces, it forms condensation. If the condensation sits on the plywood for too long, it will start to form mold growth on the plywood and supports. With the proper air flow in the attic, it will keep the plywood dry and free from moisture and mold growth. Remember; more ventilation is always better than not enough.  
·         Be sure your soffit vents are not blocked by your attic insulation. This will prevent proper air flow.
·         You may also want to check your bath fan venting. Is it run up and out of your roof or did the installer simply and improperly vent it directly into the attic? (This happens much too frequently.) If it is incorrect, call a mold remediator to not only rectify this but also to check your attic for possible mold growth.
Insulation and air sealing:
·         In most areas, code requires at least an R-50 insulation value. If you have less than that, consider upgrading your insulation. When you don’t have enough insulation, excessive heat loss in the winter can cause excessive amounts of condensation in the attic. Even the best air flow and ventilation will not dry the attic out in a timely fashion. Air gaps from plumbing, electrical wiring and recessed lights are a few of the problem areas for heat loss in attics. Make sure they are properly sealed off.

Preventative measures can save you time and money when it comes to how you insulate and vent your attic. It also will save you money by keeping your house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.  Also, be sure to take a look in yours to ensure all the proper steps have been taken and that there is no mold growth.

Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com

Indoor Air Quality

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Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air quality is important for our health. Understanding what is ideal for the air you are breathing is essential. You and your family should strive for the best possible conditions and educating yourself is the first step. Let’s look at each area of your home to determine how to achieve for those ideal conditions.

Your Attic:
·         In most cases, the attic air does not affect the air quality of the living space in your home, especially if you have a hatch entrance through your ceiling. The only exception to this is if you have a forced air heating/cooling unit in your attic.
·         For attic entrances that originate as a pull down walk-up staircase & are used mainly for storage or possible living space- the design of such an entry will allow much more attic air to emit into your living space area. Also, the belongings being stored here may contain mold spores if you have a mold issues here.

Your Living Space:
·         Generally speaking, we want mold spore counts (spores/m³) to be less than outdoor measurements.
·         Certain types of mold should not be present in your home (Aspergillus, Penicillium, Cladosporium, Stachybotrys & Chaetomium-for more detailed information about these mold species, please read our blog http://compmold.blogspot.com/2013/09/top-five-types-of-mold.html) These all tend to grow due to high moisture and food source content.
·         Air testing-This is completed with different types of machines. At Comprehensive Mold Management, we BioPump pulls air through it and any particulate that is in the air attaches to the sticky tape that is inside of the air cassette, located on the top. There is a new air cassette used for each air test. The lab tests this for anything that has attached itself to the tape.
BioPump
use one called a Bio Pump. The
·         Each time air testing is completed, we calibrate the machine using a Rotameter. We ensure the Bio Pump is at 15L of air/minute (the industry standard).  
·         Generally, we run a minimum of four air tests, so that comparisons can be made against one of those samples that have been run outdoors as a baseline or benchmark test.
·         Certain times of the year, mold spore counts may be higher due to conditions such as fall, when there is a higher level of moisture and decay. This can cause higher mold spore count readings and a greater sensitivity to mold and other allergens.
·         Mold spore disbursement can also be exasperated by mold in basements that has been disturbed (i.e. attempted cleaning of mold incorrectly, moving moldy objects, etc.). If your furnace or air conditioning units are running while the spores are disturbed, they run the risk of being sent through your entire home, via that unit.
·         Another great tip is to have your duct work cleaned. This can keep the air you breathe much cleaner.
Rotameter
Whatever is in the air, you are aspirating directly into your lungs. We here at Comprehensive Mold Management regularly work with the folks at Indoor Environmental Air Specialists. Check out their website at www.indoorenvironmentalair.com.
Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com

Basement Mold-What’s Lurking Down There?

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Basement Mold-What’s Lurking Down There?

One of the most asked question I get is, “Why do I get mold in my basement?”

There are usually two main reasons homeowners get mold in their basement:  One is a basement that has an overall relative humidity above 45%. The other is ground water intrusion/drainage issues.

Let’s start with the relative humidity: We advise our customers to keep the levels below 45% through the use of a good dehumidifier. Frequently, this is followed up with a great question:  “Do I need to run my basement dehumidifier all the time?” The answer is, “Yes.”  A good quality dehumidifier, like the Santé Fe Classic, (see our blog on dehumidifiers: http://compmold.blogspot.com/2013/09/dehumidifiers-considerations-when.html) can be set to a 45% relative humidity level on the unit. Once the humidity level is set, the unit will shut off when it doesn't need to run. When you don’t run a dehumidifier in your basement on a regular basis, it allows all of your belongings in the basement to take on that moisture. With the lack of air flow and the high moisture content in them, you will start to get a musty smell and mold growth on these items.  It’s also important to have a large enough dehumidifier in the basement to accommodate the space and the amount of belongings you have.  At Comprehensive Mold Management, we can determine the correct size dehumidifier for your basement to help keep it dry and at the perfect levels.

The second leading problem is the lack of good drainage around the foundation of the house. Ineffective drain tile, the lack of a sump pump and/or drain tile, clogged gutters, or the negative pitch of the soil to the foundation are just a few issues. Using the proper coatings on the block walls is just as important. They should be guaranteed mold-proof. Mold needs two things to grow: a food source and moisture. If the wrong type of coating is on the block walls and there is poor drainage, mold will grow on the block walls. This is due to the fact that the improper paint becomes a food source for the mold, which is brought on by the excessive moisture behind it in your walls or floor. You may also incur peeling paint due to the product being applied onto the wet walls. The drainage issues should always be addressed before mold-proof coatings are applied.

We, at Comprehensive Mold Management, also advise limiting the amount of belongings being stored in your basement. Limited airflow may occur, making it much more difficult to remove moisture. In addition, if they already have mold on them, it can raise mold levels to a much higher rate.

You should also be advised that, if those existing mold spores in your basement are disturbed (ie: moving boxes, attempting to clean the mold yourself) without proper containment & negative air being run, you risk cross-contaminating your entire home, via your furnace, air conditioning unit or just by walking those items or moldy boxes up your stairs for disposal. It is always better to ere on the side of caution and call a mold expert to evaluate your basement before moving or cleaning anything.


Having proper dehumidification, water drainage & limiting stored belongings in your home is the key to keeping mold out of your basement area and off your valuables. Preventative measures go a long way in keeping your home’s environment safe and healthy.


Basement mold-Before
Basement Mold-After
Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com

Mold Removal-Containment & Negative Air

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Mold Removal-Containment & Negative Air

When mold is being removed from your home or business by Comprehensive Mold Management, LLC, our protocol is based on industry standards and should be followed by any reputable mold remediation company. Part of this protocol includes containment and negative air.What does that mean? 
  • Containment-Any indoor area that we work in, we will seal off from the other areas that we are not working in. We do so with 6 ml plastic. We then create an entrance with double-flapped plastic door, so that we have a negative pressure seal as we enter and exit the containment area. 

  • Negative Air-Negative air is calculated by the industry standard of four air changes/hour within the containment area. This is calculated by cubic feet, which is determined by the amount of air your negative air machine will move and how big the space is. It is imperative that you have enough return air coming into the containment area to maintain oxygen levels for the workers. 

Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com



How Does Comprehensive Mold Management Dispose of Moldy Materials?

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How Does Comprehensive Mold Management Dispose of Moldy Materials?

When we at Comprehensive Mold Management, LLC come to your home or business to remove the mold, we want to ensure that we dispose of the moldy materials in the proper manner. When these materials are not removed properly, it can cause cross-contamination anywhere throughout the building we are working in. Mold spores can spread to areas that have the correct conditions for mold growth, such as those that are dark or moist, including furniture, duct work, air conditioning units and furnace filters. Thus, our following industry protocol, is extremely important to you & your family's health.

Our crew removes the mold in a contained area while negative air is running. Once the materials, such as drywall and plywood are taken down, they place them in a tightly sealed, thick contractors' 6 ml garbage bag. They then wipe it down with an antimicrobial wash and then dispose of the bag once it is thoroughly
cleaned. 
  
Our crews also HEPA vac and remove their Tyvek suits, gloves, respirators and booties before leaving the contained area, again, as not to cross-contaminate the non-affected areas. The goal when doing mold removal work is to make the health of the inhabitants affected by mold and the building itself as ideal as is possible. You should feel confident the work is done properly and that the mold issue is resolved.


Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com

Mold Certifications and Proper Insurance Coverage

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Mold Certifications and Proper Insurance Coverage

When looking for a mold contractor, there are a few vital things you should look for;  are they certified mold experts and do they have adequate insurance coverage?

  • Mold Expert Certification:  Check to make sure they have a certification from a reputable source, such as NAMP (www.moldpro.org) with the certificate number
  • An Environmental Education Certification
  • A Accredited Lab Certification for training on proper mold sampling, molds’ health effects & data interpretation
  • Insurance Coverage-Contractors working in your home should always carry Workers’ Compensation and Liability (ask for their certificate, sent by their carrier). Mold removal contractors should also carry additional mold insurance coverage.
If you do not receive insurance certificates from a contractor working in your home, you may be liable for any injuries incurred on your property. Be sure to protect yourself and your assets.

Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com

Reviews & Testimonials-How To Tell If They Are Real

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Reviews & Testimonials-How To Tell If They Are Real

When asking your mold contractor or anyone proposing work on your home, you should ask for references from previous customers. But how do you know they are reliable & honest? There are several ways you can ensure they are real. The following indicators should make you question their truthfulness:

  • There are no specifics about the job and how it was execute
  • Overly enthusiastic reviews on a constant basis
  • When contacting the references, they should be willing to share photos of the completed work
  • Perfect wording
  • Mass testimonials in a short span of time, sometimes all on the same day or week
  • Contractor that is unwilling to share his customers’ contact information
  • Check their BBB or Angie’s List rating. Does it match their presented reviews & testimonials?
You may also want to contact your state’s Attorney General’s office to check on any outstanding legal issues or complaints about the contractor/business.

Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com

Weep Holes For Cinder Block Walls

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Weep Holes For Cinder Block Walls

  Why do we suggest and drill weep holes in your basement cinder block walls? Ground water from outside sources penetrates the block. Sometimes this fills up the cavities of the blocks. Weep holes on the inside of the basement at the floor line allow the drainage of the blocks below the floating slab down to the drain tile. This keeps the walls dry when there is a ground water or a high water table.


Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com


Power Ventilation in Your Attic-Why It’s Needed

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Power Ventilation in Your Attic-Why It’s Needed

  Sometimes in attics, regardless of the amount of ventilation and insulation, roof power venting is required. This forces the airflow from the soffits, out through the power vent. It is important to install a power vent with both a humistat (regulates the moisture levels) and a thermostat, which is set at 110˚F). Mold growth occurs in attics, in most cases, during the winter months. Warm air migrates from the house to the attic where it mixes with the cold air. This forms condensation on a variety of materials, including the plywood and supports. A humistatically controlled power vent will turn on automatically when moisture levels exceed 45% to remove the excess moisture. This is why we recommend a power vent in certain circumstances, such as multiple roof angles that can reduce natural airflow.


Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com


Dehumidifiers-Considerations When Purchasing

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Dehumidifiers-Considerations When Purchasing

When purchasing a dehumidifier, there are a few things to consider:

Energy Efficiency & Strength: 

The more efficient the unit, the more moisture it will remove from your air with less of a draw on your electricity. If your dehumidifier is running all day/night & is never able to achieve a 45% or less humidity level, you have an energy hog. Think of it this way: If you have a home that you would like to have air conditioning in, you would never expect one window unit to cool your entire home at a reasonable energy consumption rate, let alone cool it comfortably. Most units you can purchase at your local hardware store are not capable of controlling an entire home’s humidity level. Look for an Energy Star Logo & rating on the unit you purchase. Click on this Energy Star link for specs they must meet to receive this rating:http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=find_a_product.showProductGroup&pgw_code=DE

Features:

Auto Restart: This allows the unit to restart at the original settings after a power outage.

Low Temperature Operation: – The unit should be engineered for basements
& the temperature and airflow issues that they present. Many conventional dehumidifiers stop removing water from the air in these conditions.

Air Filtration: Any dehumidifier you choose should have a HEPA filter. It captures particles (including mold spores). Ideally, they should be 1 micron in size, post filtration. This level of air filtration will allow the dehumidifier to work at peak efficiency for longer than your usual dehumidifiers.

Warranties: You should minimally look for a manufacturer’s 1 year, all parts and labor, 5 years on the sealed refrigeration system when at all possible.


We here at CMM recommend the SantaFe Classic Dehumidifier to our customers with homes that are 2500 square feet or less. It is the one product we have found is consistently a great performer & has meets all our criteria of what our customers or the average consumer is searching for. Here is their link: http://www.santa-fe-products.com/products/classic.html


Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com

Mold Remediators: The Best Fit For You

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Mold Remediators: The Best Fit For You

  When choosing a mold remediating contractor to rectify your mold and moisture issue, there a few things you should look for. You must also feel a level of comfort and confidence. These are recommendations that may help you make your decision on whom to hire:
·         Look for companies that are licensed to do mold assessments and mold remediation work.
·         Ask for references from previous customers who have had similar work done on their homes
·         Check reviews from places such as the Better Business Bureau (http://www.bbb.org/) or Angie’s List (www.angieslist.com). They should have “A+” or “A” ratings. If not, inquire as to why.
·         Check the company’s website. Is it thorough? Does it have good resources, testimonials or can they provide you with their mold licenses?
·         Will the company work with you to rectify the moisture intrusion & mold issues? Do they do all the work?
·         Does the business have any outstanding lawsuits or liens that have been filed against them? You can check with your state’s Attorney General’s Office(http://www.justice.gov/ag/)
·         Are there constant complaints that are consistent in nature?
·         Is the contractor available for any concerns or questions you may have? Do they return your phone calls in a reasonable amount of time?
·         Do they seem knowledgeable and honest?
·         Is it low pressure-no time constraints on the pricing or “special deals” if you sign the contract in a said amount of time?
·         What are their warranties on their work and are there caveats that make it unenforceable?

·         Go with your gut. Does the contractor make you feel comfortable with the work he/she is proposing?

Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com