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Mold Blog

What Makes Mold Start to Grow in the Home?

Let’s talk about factors that affect mold growth

The number one factor contributing to mold growth is moisture. Without elevated humidity or direct moisture content, mold will go dormant and will not grow. However, as soon as it touches that extra moisture or comes in a human environment, it springs back to life. So the most important takeaway for any property owner in that case is that if you notice any kind of elevated humidity levels or moisture in your property, address it right away. Don’t sit back and wait. Don’t wait to make decisions based on the fact that they may cost you money to deal with. I can guarantee you that if mold starts growing, the costs will get exponentially higher. Jump on it immediately.

What else can affect mold growth?

Other factors that affect mold growth include the fact that there has to be a food source for mold. It won’t grow unless there’s something for it to eat. Now we know that mold is saprophytic. It eats dead organic material, and our homes are filled with dead organic material. So it’s not hard for it to find a food source to eat.

Other factors include the fact that it does take some time. It doesn’t grow immediately, but it does grow quickly. We find that it’ll start growing usually in about 24 to 72 hours, depending on the conditions. Other conditions and factors include how much air movement there is, how much light there is, and what the temperature is. The ideal condition for mold to grow is in a dark, damp area with not a lot of air movement. You’ve got the food source. You have the mold present. You have the moisture present. It’s dark, it’s damp, it’s going to grow very quickly.

Now when we go into a standard water loss, a lot of times we’ll go in there and the property’s only been sitting there for a couple of days. But as soon as we pull back those baseboards, we notice a lot of mold growth. The reason why is because that is the ideal situation. The food source is the back of the baseboard because it’s not painted over, it’s a raw wood surface. It’s dark, it’s humid in the air, it’s damp. It has its food source, it has the mold present, it has the moisture and it begins growing very, very quickly.

Is mold growing in your home?

So, remember our number one takeaway. Address moisture immediately. Stop the damage from getting worse, and if you need professional help or you want to inquire with Lightning Restoration when it comes to mold removal, water damage, or fire damage, please give us a call. You can reach us at 855-850-LTNG, or you can leave us a message. Be safe out there.

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Mold Blog

What You Need To Know About Mold Blooms

Today I want to talk about mold blooms. So if you’re not living in an area where there’s high humidity, or you don’t have a very tropical environment, you’re probably not very familiar with mold blooms. But here on the Gulf Coast of Florida, we’re very familiar with them, because they’re extremely common. They happen all the time.

Now, what exactly are mold blooms?

Well, imagine going into a property, whether it be a commercial property or residential, and literally seeing mold growing on every surface. It’s in the AC system growing through the ducts. It’s on all the walls growing down, it’s on the cabinets. I’ve actually been in a house before where I saw the actual surface of a metal refrigerator, or steel refrigerator, that had mold growing on it.

Now that kind of contradicts what we know about mold, because we think that in order for mold to grow, it has to have a dead organic material as a food source. Well, I’ll explain that in just a little bit. First, I want to talk about what would actually cause a mold bloom to happen. So typically we have one or two scenarios:

  1. – The first scenario being, we had some kind of water occurrence, some kind of water loss inside that property that went unchecked. And because it went unchecked, we had increased humidity levels in there. And those humidity levels reacted with the actual spores that are in the property. Because if you remember correctly, mold is ubiquitous, it’s everywhere. It’s all in this office here with me. So all you have to do is have that increased humidity and it will react with those mold spores and it will start growing.
  2. – The second scenario is typically where someone is not utilizing their HVAC system at all, or they’re utilizing it incorrectly, and they’re keeping their AC too high, or like I said, they’re not keeping it on at all for longer periods of time, which causes an increase in humidity in that property, which causes the actual mold blooms to grow because there’s all this moisture there, all the excessive moisture.

How do I prevent it?

Typically you want to keep humidity levels in your property below 60%. Anything above 60% relative humidity lends itself to mold growth. The reason why is because it’s so heavy in the air that it literally sticks on all the surfaces. Just like on the outside of a cold Coke can, you get the condensation. Now, if you’ve got that on a surface of a wall, or cabinet, or the refrigerator, what you get is you get sustained moisture. When you have a sustained moisture problem over a long period of time, you get bacteria growth. Then when that bacteria grows in that water, it lives, it dies, it eats…all those things. That actually becomes the food source for the mold problem, which allows it to grow on any of those surfaces.

When mold grows on every single surface, there’s going to be a lot of things that we can save and a lot of things that we can’t. But either way, it becomes an extremely expensive process, whether it be through replacement or through the remediation and cleaning of everything.

Call Lightning Restoration

So our objective always is to save and salvage as much as we can. So we do exactly that without putting anybody in that property at risk from future mold contamination and mold damage. If that’s something you have questions about, or anything that you want to inquire with Lightning Restoration when it comes to mold removal, water damage, or fire damage, please give us a call. You can reach us at 855-850-LTNG, or you can reach us on the web leave us a message. Be safe out there.

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Mold Blog

Lightning Restoration Can Sanitize Your Home or Business

This is Scott DeMalteris, with Lightning Restoration. As a family man with 3 kids and elderly parents, we are taking the Coronavirus issue very seriously.

Every day, our company works in the homes and offices of our community to help restore properties suffering from water, mold, fire and biohazard damage. We have one primary goal, to give our community members the best service possible, and bring their homes and offices back to a healthy environment. This year, we are all dealing with something that most of us have never seen before…a worldwide virus pandemic.

People are getting sick and dying, and the impact on our economic culture is devastating. As a business owner, responsible for the economic stability of our staff members and their families, this is a truly concerning time. We take this matter very seriously and we are taking the steps to ensure a healthy working environment for our staff and our customers.

Per the CDC, the incubation for the CoronaVirus is up to 2 weeks in any individual. In a lot of cases, the infected carrier isn’t aware of it. When it comes to materials in our homes, offices and content, the virus can remain viable (alive) anywhere from 2 to 9 days.

In consideration of this, Lightning Restoration has taken extra precautions with our office, equipment, vehicles and staff members homes. We have treated these spaces with a commercial-grade disinfectant that is EPA registered and certified to kill 99.99% of all bacterial and viruses, including Coronavirus.

We have been contacted by different businesses, property owners, property managers and such to make plans to treat their properties in the same manner.

The concerns are the health and safety of their staff and residents, lost production in businesses, and the loss of customers. All of these are key ingredients necessary to sustain a healthy personal and business economic position. Right now, our primary objective is to take care of our community that has taken care of us during our 14 years in business. Over the last few days, we have researched how the restoration industry as a whole is addressing this process, and with our experience in biohazard remediation and help of industry professionals, developed a program for treatment of homes, offices and commercial space.

At Lightning Restoration, we are not trying to turn some great profit and take advantage of the hardship that our community is suffering from. We want to help our friends and neighbors, while financially supporting our staff and their families. That is why we have decided to offer this service at a significant discount rate for members of our community. Discount amounts will vary, according to multiple factors, giving the largest discounts to residential homes.

If you are interested in learning more about this process and the very affordable costs for treating your office and home, please give us a call.

May God Bless & Keep You All!

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Mold Blog

Mold: Who Is At Risk?

The CDC stated the best…”most people will not be harmed by most molds; however, some molds will harm anyone, and some people can be hard by any mold.” What that means is that some mold species are extremely toxigenic. This can include, but is not limited to: Penicillium, Aspergillus, Fusarium and Stachybotrys. Even the healthiest person can be harmed by these highly toxigenic mold species. On the flipside, most people will not be harmed by the less or non-toxigenic mold species.

People who are most susceptible to mold and reasons:

  • Young Children: A child’s respiratory system is not fully developed until after the age of two. That means that if they are exposed to high mold levels, that mold can do permanent respiratory and nervous system damage.
  • Elderly: The elderly have very low immunity systems which makes them very susceptible to the adverse health effects of mold exposure.
  • Anyone with lowered immunity systems will be more susceptible. This can include pregnant women, anyone who’s had recent surgery, anyone with an immune deficient illness such as HIV, or anyone with the genetic these disposition towards allergies such as asthma.

If you fall in one of those categories, mold can be quite harmful. Mold should always be taken serious, no matter what category you fall in. A quick and decisive action up front can prevent medical problems and extensive property damage later. As always, it costs nothing for Lightning Restoration to come out and do a free evaluation of the property to determine if further action is needed.