How to Prevent Mold Growth Post-Flood

Monday, October 30th, 2017

There’s not much worse than flooding in your home. Water rushing through your home damages your things, your memories. What’s worse is that after going through a flood, your home is at high risk for mold growth. The last thing you want to deal with after a flood is a mold infestation. How to prevent mold growth post-flood is simple. All you have to do is follow these 5 steps:

How to Prevent Mold Growth Post-Flood

Check Up

After the flooding, there are several reasons for you to get down to the damaged area and check it out, including tax and insurance purposes. You also need to look for electrical, gas, structural and other safety hazards. Once things have been deemed safe, you should inspect the walls, floors, and all items. The general rule is that anything below the line of water should be thrown out. Everything above the water line should be inspected for discoloration, odor, and damage.

Get Everything Out

You can use a pump or wet vacuum to remove excess water left over. The sooner you get it out, the better. After removing the water, you should remove any plaster, drywall, paneling, carpet, wood-flooring, insulation, and all other things below the water line. For insurance purposes, it’s best to keep a record of everything you are discarding. Take before and after pictures to document the damage.

Clean It Up

Investing in a HEPA vacuum will make cleaning up a lot easier. A HEPA vacuum will make sure to suck up all the potentially harmful bacteria in the air and not let it settle back onto clean surfaces. After vacuuming the debris, scrub the framing of your home with mild detergent, then rinse with a low-pressure flushing. Multiple rounds of cleaning may be required until you’re satisfied that no mold has grown and your home is as clean as you like it.

Dry Everything

Mold spores are everywhere and it’s hard to get rid of them all or any potential contaminants. All those spores need to attach to and grow is moisture. To make sure mold doesn’t grow after a flooding, the affected area needs to be dried as quickly as possible.

Keep It Dry

The best rule to keep mold from growing is to keep surfaces dry. If you strive to ensure that your home stays dry, you will lower your chances of mold growth.

If your home has suffered from a flood and you want professional help to ensure that any mold or potential mold problem is taken care of, contact MicroZyme Technologies today at 1-866-920-6653. Our mold experts can help you no matter if you have a mold infestation, or you’re trying to prevent it from happening.

Mold Removal and Tenant Rights

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

Mold is always a concern in homes, but it is a growing concern among renters. Across the country, tenants have won cases against landlords for health issues allegedly caused by exposure to mold. If you’re a renter and think you may have mold growing in your rental, learn the signs and when your landlord might be liable.

Mold Removal and Tenant Rights

Exposure to Mold: Health Signs

The biggest sign of mold exposure short of actually seeing the black or brown spots is health complications. Health issues that can indicate exposure to mold include:

  • Sneezing
  • Running or stuffy nose
  • Cough
  • Itchy eyes, nose and throat
  • Watery eyes
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Headache with light sensitivity
  • Unusual skin sensations, tingling and numbness
  • Shortness of breath

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, your rental unit may have mold growing inside it. You should know and talk about mold removal and tenant rights with your landlord.

Tenant Rights and Landlord Responsibilities

When it comes to the treatment and removal of mold, landlord responsibilities have not been clearly spelled out in building codes, ordinances, statutes, or regulations. There is no federal law which sets permissible exposure limits for mold within a residential building. At the state level, however, a few states have moved toward setting standards, guidelines, and regulations for mold in indoor air quality. These states include: California, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, and Texas. To find more information about mold rules and regulations in your city and state, you can visit your state’s environmental protection or public health websites. However, even if your state doesn’t have specific mold laws, your landlord may still be liable in some cases. Landlords are required to maintain fit and habitable housing and to repair any damages in the rental property, mainly fixing leaky pipes, windows, and roofs – the main causes of mold growth. If your landlord doesn’t fix a leak and mold grows as a result, your landlord may be held responsible for any health issues caused.

For more information on mold and its effects on your health, please contact MicroZyme Technologies today at 1-866-920-6653.

Mold and Property Value – What You Need to Know

Sunday, August 27th, 2017

Are you looking to sell your home and buy a new one? One thing you need to be concerned about for both buying and selling your home is mold growth. Mold and property value are more connected than people know. Think about that beautiful home that you walked through and loved. Would you still love it if you knew it had a major mold problem that the previous owners didn’t take care of? Your love and willingness to buy the house would probably decline. That’s how interested buyers would feel if you had mold in your home you’re trying to sell. Here’s what you need to know about mold and property value:

Mold and Property Value – What You Need to Know

Mold Disclosure

Every state has different rules and regulations when it comes to disclosing the presence of mold in a home that’s up for sale. The simplest way to make sure that you don’t fall into some costly legal issues is to constantly check in with a real estate lawyer for houses you’re interested in.

Attics and Crawlspaces

The obvious places that mold grows are in basements and underneath sinks. Often times, when looking for mold, attics and crawlspaces are overlooked. If mold is in fact growing in these places, it is found when you hire an inspector or appraiser to come look at the house during the sales transaction period. If you are putting your house on the market, be sure to thoroughly check these areas beforehand. If you’re buying a house, make sure your inspector checks these areas for you.

Water Source Problems

Since mold thrives off of moisture, the presence of mold can indicate that there is a water problem within the house. You can have the mold removed, but it will eventually grow back if you don’t fix the water problem. Drywall and carpet that has been exposed to a constant source of water will need to be replaced and can be very costly. When selling your home, you’re going to want to make sure that every water source is working properly and there are no problems such as leaks, otherwise your home will not be very inviting to potential buyers.

Mold and property value has a negative stigma surrounding it. While the presence of mold may lower your want for the house, don’t use it as a reason to walk away. If you really love the house, use the mold as a negotiation tool. Most mold problems associated with the sales transactions of houses are not as costly and difficult to resolve as you might think. You can ask for compensation to remove the mold and fix the water source or negotiate for a lower selling price. If the home you are selling or have recently purchased has mold in it, call MicroZyme Technologies today at 1-866-920-6653. Not only can we remove the mold, but we can tell you what’s causing it, fix it, and get your home “on the market” ready.

 

Health Effects of Mold Exposure

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Mold is everywhere. It’s in the air, it’s on surfaces, and it can even be in your home or business. Depending on the level of severity of mold growth, you might not even notice that you’re being exposed to it, especially if you can’t see it. However, there are health symptoms that can signal that you’ve been exposed to mold growth.

Health Symptoms of Mold Exposure

mold exposure can greatly effect your healthSymptoms of mold exposure are similar to that of a cold and can include:

  • Sneezing
  • Running or stuffy nose
  • Cough
  • Itchy eyes, nose and throat
  • Watery eyes
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Headache with light sensitivity

In more severe cases, symptoms can include:

  • Vertigo, feeling light headed
  • Morning stiffness, joint pain
  • Unusual skin sensations, tingling and numbness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating
  • Tearing, disorientation, metallic taste in mouth

All these symptoms can be a hindrance to your daily activities, but what real health effects from mold exposure are you at risk for?

Health Effects of Mold Exposure

If these symptoms get worse and you find mold in your home, it is recommended that you see your family physician. You are breathing in mold spores which then get lodged in your nasal passages and lungs, causing these minor symptoms. If left untreated, an infection can settle in your lungs, making your symptoms much worse. There is also a potential link to the development of asthma in young children who have been exposed to mold for long periods of time. The longer you and your family are exposed to mold, the worse your respiratory system will get.

If you are seeing the beginning signs of a cold and know that you nor anyone in your family is sick or have been in contact with someone who is sick, you may have mold growth. To reduce your symptoms from becoming serious, call MicroZyme Technologies today at 1-866-920-6653 for expert mold removal services.

Top 5 Mold Myths Busted

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

When it comes to mold, everyone has the same idea: it’s a horrible thing that can be harmful. That is very true, but there are other myths out there that are not so true. While mold should be taken very seriously, here are the top 5 mold myths busted:

Top 5 Mold Myths Busted

Myth 1: Mold has been around for millions of years, all around us, and is harmless

False. Yes it is true that mold is all around us and has been a thing for millions of years, but it is not harmless. Mold has been dated as far back as the old testament as a cause for health problems. Over the years after 1970, differences in construction has resulted in the perfect environment for highly toxic mold to grow because the new buildings are air-tight, but not water-tight and mold thrives on moisture. Also over the years, as we’ve grown accustomed to mold, different fungicides have been used to prevent mold, which means, like other living things, mold changes and adapts in order to continue growing and then we change our fungicides to fight off the new molds. All this does is introduce harsh chemicals into our lives.

Myth 2: It’s just about mold

Contrary to popular belief, mold is just one of the organisms found in water-damaged buildings that cause respiratory inflammation and irritation. Along with mold there are other bacteria including MARCoNS, actinomyces, viruses, and parasites.

Myth 3: Black mold is the most dangerous

Black mold, scientifically known as  Stachybotrys chartarum (Stachy for short), turns black when using a cellulose, such as drywall, as a food source. Other toxigenic molds can be black too, or white, or green, or any other color on the wheel. Stachy gets the bad name because it produces toxins, but other mold can produce toxins as well. For example, the mold Chaetomium globosum has the same toxic capabilities as Stachy.

Myth 4: It’s only a problem when you see large amounts or smell it

That old saying “What I don’t know can’t hurt me” does not apply to mold. Even though you can’t see or smell it, doesn’t mean that there isn’t a problem. While being able to see significant amounts of mold and being able to smell it alerts you to a mold problem, mold can easily hide in places that are not visible to you, like air ducts. In these places you can’t see, the mold grows and still causes health problems.

Myth 5: The best way to get rid of mold is to kill it

Very false! Dead mold is worse than living mold. When a mold spore dies, it will disintegrate into approximately 500 fungal fragments and then disperse into the air. Toxins are attached to these spores and are still harmful when inhaled. The best way to remove mold is by calling the experts at MicroZyme Technologies today at 1-866-920-6653.

Mold and Your Home’s Plants

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

Having houseplants in your home is a great way to purify your air. The plants take your expelled carbon dioxide, turn it into oxygen, and send that fresh oxygen out into your home for you to breathe. However, like your home, your plants can be terrorized by mold growth which then makes them more of a detriment to the air than a benefit. There are a number of things that can cause mold growth on your plants like overwatering, lack of sunlight, or poor maintenance. Mold growth on the plant itself or the soil can not only be harmful for the plant, but for you and your family. Luckily, there are simple ways of removing the mold from your houseplants.

Mold and Your Home's Plants

Mold in the Soil

The most common mold on your home’s plants is found in the soil. More often than not, the mold is contained to the top layer of soil which means you can easily scoop that layer away. That top layer mold isn’t harmful to you or your family, but if left long enough, your plant is susceptible to root rot. If you find that the mold has gone deeper into the soil than the top layer, it is best to repot your plant. Once the mold is removed or your plant is repotted, let the soil dry out before you start watering your plant again. You should continue to let your soil dry in between each time you water to reduce the chances of the mold growing back. After your soil is mold free, add a natural anti-fungal to it like cinnamon, baking soda, or apple cider vinegar. This will help reduce mold growth in the future.

Mold on the Plant

Mold and your home’s plants can react in two different ways: active and inactive mold. Active mold will appear soft and fuzzy, while inactive or dormant mold will appear powdery. It is best to figure out which mold you have before you begin removing it. Knowing which type you have will better determine how to get rid of it. After identifying the type of mold, take your plant outside in the sun and away from any other trees or plants so you don’t spread the mold. Next you want to dampen a paper towel and begin wiping the mold off your plant. Don’t keep using the same part of the paper towel otherwise you will just be simply spreading the mold instead of removing it. If mold is still visible after wiping off your plant, you will need to cut off the affected branches. Once all the affected areas are removed and the mold is gone, spray your plant with fungicide that can be found at your local gardening store. This will help prevent the mold from growing back.

Mold and Your Home’s Plants: Prevention

The best way to prevent mold growth on your plants is to keep your plants in a temperature around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, let the soil dry at least 3 inches down in between each watering, and keep your plants in an area that has good air circulation.  For more plant mold removal techniques or prevention tips contact MicroZyme Technologies today at 1-866-920-6653.

Do You Have Attic Mold? 5 Signs to Look For

Friday, June 16th, 2017

Mold is not a fun addition to have in your home. First off, it looks disgusting. Big, black splotches covering your home doesn’t exactly scream “welcome to my beautiful home.” Secondly, mold can cause some pretty bad health issues if it is not taken care of right away. Have you been feeling sick lately and have no idea why? Runny nose and congestion? You haven’t come in contact with anyone who has been sick, but somehow you are. Well this could be because you have mold somewhere in your home and that place could likely be your attic. Many people forget about checking their attic when looking for mold, but attics are just as likely as any other part of your home to get a mold infestation.

Do you have attic mold? Here are 5 signs to look for:

Do You Have Attic Mold? 5 Signs to Look For | Microzyme

Colored Spots

Like any other place in your home that could be infested by mold, your attic will show signs of large, colored spots. Usually the spots will be brown, green, white, or orange and pretty easy to spot. If you find mold in those colors, you’re still alright, but if you find colored spots in dark gray or black, your attic mold is toxic and it will start spreading fast.

Odors

Not every attic smells like a meadow. In fact, it’s rare that one actually does, but when your attic has mold growing in it, you will be able to smell it. Attic mold usually has a musky scent and can smell like old urine. If you’ve ever had wet old newspapers sitting around, it starts taking on a distinct smell. Attic mold will start to smell just like that newspaper.

Patterns

While a lot of mold will just show up as big splotches, something to look out for is a pattern of mold. Black mold tends to grow in a near-perfect circle or crescent moon as it spreads. If you see this pattern, you know you’re not dealing with regular mold.

Location

Mold likes to grow in damp, cool places and your attic is chalk full of those. Mold also likes to work its way into soft materials like wood. Most attics are constructed with wood, and the damp coolness of attics make it the perfect place for mold to start growing. There are also pipes that run through your attic which can sometimes have small leaks. Look for any leaky pipes because mold thrives off of moisture.

Allergy Symptoms

The biggest sign that you have attic mold can be that your allergies have really kicked into high gear, but it isn’t allergy season. Mold can cause allergy-like symptoms that include runny nose, itchy eyes, and congestion. If you don’t normally have allergies, but are experiencing these symptoms, you might want to check your attic for mold.

If you think you might have attic mold, but aren’t sure, call MicroZyme Technologies today at 1-866-920-6653 for more tips on what to look for.

 

Mold’s Impact on Your Kids

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

Mold awareness has increased exponentially in the last few years, but there are still many people who are affected by mold and think they are only suffering from a cold. This is especially true for kids. Kids come in contact with so many germs on a daily basis that it can be hard to determine if they are in fact just battling a cold, or if it is something more serious. Children are the most vulnerable when it comes to the negative effects of mold because their immune systems are not yet fully developed. If your child is sick for no apparent reason, they haven’t been out that much or haven’t come in contact with other sick children, you are almost definitely looking at mold sickness.

Mold’s Impact on Your Kids | Worcester MA | Microzyme

Signs of Mold’s Impact on Your Kids

The most common signs and symptoms of mold’s impact on your kids include:

  • Respiratory problems. When children inhale mold spores, they will experience symptoms along the lines of seasonal allergies. This can include shortness of breath, wheezing, runny and itchy nose, nasal congestion, sore throat, coughing, and sneezing. If your child has asthma, inhalation of mold spores will trigger more frequent attacks.
  • Neurological problems. Since children’s immune systems aren’t fully developed, inhalation of mold spores can damage neurons in the brain and impair it’s function. Symptoms include disorientation and confusion, short attention span, dizziness, headaches, memory problems, anxiety, trembling, and slowed reflexes.
  • Skin irritation. Just like with adults, children will experience skin irritation. Their skin, however, is much more delicate and sensitive so their irritation will be worse and be in the form of large, noticeable rashes.
  • Eye irritation. Mold spores cause eye inflammation which result in watery eyes, itchy eyes, bloodshot eyes, and blurry vision.

Severe Mold Impacts of Your Kid’s Health

Regular mold will cause all of these health issues, but they can be treated, it is when your mold turns to black mold that the impact on your kid’s health becomes severe. Black toxic mold produces mycotoxins that are severely harmful to children and can result in death. The mycotoxins create an irritated burning sensation in the mouth, throat, and nasal passages. If these mycotoxins get stuck in the sinuses or the lungs, it can cause severe breathing problems and even bleeding of the lungs. It is important to stay proactive when looking for mold. Constantly be checking your home for it, especially in areas with high moisture. If you find even the slightest amount of mold, call MicroZyme Technologies to come and remove it. Your children’s health depends on it. Call us today at 1-866-920-6653.

Mold in the Workplace: What You Should Know

Saturday, May 20th, 2017

If you are a business owner, building owner, or any kind of employer, “mold” is one word you absolutely fear. It is common for lawsuits to arise out of a mold problem and claim “sick building syndrome.” Because public awareness about mold is increasing, hysteria surrounding it will also increase, and it is likely that lawsuits will also increase in number. Workers who believe they are working in an environment exposed to mold may not want to work, their productivity may decline, and they may file for worker’s compensation. As an employer, there’s a lot about mold in the workplace and what you should know to limit your legal liability as much as you can.

Mold in Your MA Workplace: What You Should Know | Microzyme

Look for Signs

No matter how much we want it to be untrue, mold is always in every building. It’s a normal and common thing. However, it’s the type and size of the mold spores that matters. If the mold is allowed to grow into a large enough concentration, it can become toxic. Although the severity of mold’s effect on health is in debate, it is known that exposure to mold can cause irritation. Watch your employees and look for signs of eye, nose, and throat irritation; respiratory complaints; skin irritation; nausea; dizziness and fatigue. If you are an employee and are experiencing any of these symptoms, tell your HR department or office manager right away so they can investigate the possibility of mold in the workplace.

Advise Your Employees

If you do happen to find yourself dealing with a mold problem, keep your employees informed on the steps you are taking to rectify the issue. Concern and anxiety are likely to fill your employees and keeping them up to date will help ease some of that. If you have hired professionals to remove the mold, ask them for a write-up of the steps they are taking so you can circulate that amongst your employees. That way, your employees know how they are being protected. Whatever you do, don’t keep your employees in the dark. If you do and someone has serious health issues and later finds out there was a mold problem, a lawsuit is definitely in your future. Plus it’s better they know right away so they can take their own precautions and still remain a productive employee.

For more information on mold in the workplace and what you need to know, contact MicroZyme Technologies today at 866-920-6653.

Mold 101: How Mold Poisons Your Body

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

When you find mold in your home, you know there are going to be some problems. Not only does it look gross and make your home appear unclean, but it can also make you and your family sick. Everyone knows that mold can cause health problems, but how it does that exactly is a whole other question. Mold releases something that is known as a biotoxin. A biotoxin is simply a poison produced by a living organism, which mold is. When you ingest a biotoxin and it gets into your system, it can trigger a process of events that can cause serious health issues. That is how mold poisons your body.

Mold 101: How Mold Poisons Your Body | Worcester MA | Microzyme

Biotoxin Invasion

Your immune system is your body’s first line of defense against any foreign substance, including biotoxins. In many cases, when your immune system registers the presence of a biotoxin, it will attack it, break it down, and properly remove it via your liver. The gene HLA-DR forms antibodies that attack biotoxins and, if your body doesn’t have a sufficient supply of that gene, complications can arise when trying to fight off a biotoxin invasion. Now the biotoxin is free to roam through the rest of your body and make you sick.

How Mold Poisons Your Body Through Biotoxin Illnesses

As the biotoxin travels through your body, it attaches to your pain receptors and generates an inflammatory response. The resulting symptoms of this attachment can include headaches, fever, and an inability to focus on anything. During the binding of the biotoxin to your receptors, it suppresses the production of an alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH). When your body has low levels of MSH, you can develop symptoms that include insomnia, leaky gut syndrome, infections, excessive thirst and urination, and high blood pressure.

Be Safe

If you find signs of mold, even the smallest amount, you need to call MicroZyme Technologies right away. The sooner you call us, the sooner we can remove the mold from your home and keep your and your family healthy. Don’t let mold poison your body. Call us today at 866-920-6653.