Return to the Blog Home Page

Naples FL upstairs unit causes mold problems for our client – 34110

Friday, May 7th, 2021

An unattended upstairs unit in a Naples condo complex sprung a leak, causing water damage to 4 rooms and about 350 sq ft of living space. Unfortunately, this leak also spawned mold growth.

Rytech was called to the scene and quickly stabilized the humidity in the condo structure. The water leak was fixed by the upstairs condo owner and Rytech successfully remediated the mold to our clients satisfaction.

Rytech worked seamlessly with the customer’s insurance company, Tower Hill Insurance to ensure all parties were completely satisfied.

Hot water steam leak leads to mold in Orlando FL 32806

Friday, May 7th, 2021

A hot water heater in a back storage room of a commercial client leaked and caused hot water and steam to fill the storage room for several days before it was discovered. In the storage room was containers and medical documents. Visibile microbial (mold) growth was on all surface areas.

Rytech coordinated a contents cleaning and pack-out specialist to packout contents, inventory and clean all of the storage contents. Everything was securely stored offsite Rytech successfully competed the structural drying and mold remediation in the office storage closet and all contents were returned, cleaned, mold free and safe to allow the business to resume nearly uninterrupted.

Rytech worked seamlessly with the customer’s insurance company, Bankers Insurance, to ensure all parties were completely satisfied.

Orlando Mold Remediation completed in 9 days

Tuesday, March 16th, 2021

ORLANDO, FL – Zip Code 32806

Jan 6, 2021

Rytech Orlando arrived at our clients home where water and mold damage was discovered in a closet from a shower pan slow leak. The homeowner moved out some contents and discovered mold growth. 

When the plumber arrived to identify where the leak was coming from, significant mold growth was discovered in the wall and growing on the backside of the shower tile walls.  Rytech performed a mold protocol, along with lead and asbestos testing. it was determined that the two adjacent bedrooms and hallway around the bathroom were all affected with microbial growth according to the mold assessment.  Mold remediation began immediately. The affected areas were cordoned off with poly sheeting to contain the contaminant.  HEPA filters and a dehumidifier were installed to control the environment while demolition of the affected materials took place.

After demolition, a through cleaning and antimicrobial treatment was done to all the surface areas. After several thorough rounds of necessary cleaning and treating, a mold post-clearance test was taken to ensure the areas were successfully remediated. After the mold clearance was achieved, Rytech had the HVAC duct system cleaned to ensure good air quality for the homeowner going forward.  

All claims were filed on the home owners behalf with their insurance company – Liberty Mutual.

What Is Aspergillus Mold?

Thursday, January 14th, 2021
Aspergillus Mold

Aspergillus mold is the most common type of fungus on earth that grows both outdoors and indoors. First identified in 1729, there are now more than 200 confirmed species of Aspergillus mold. However, only three of those species known to thrive in indoor environments like homes and commercial buildings: Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus, and Aspergillus fumigatus.

Where Does It Grow?

Aspergillus mold is a resilient fungus that grows in temperature ranging from 68 degrees up to over 100 degrees, well within the residential range. Moisture from routine indoor sources such as elevated humidity and minor household leaks—or incidents like water damage—plus a food supply such as paper, fabric, or wood building materials, create optimum conditions that support Aspergillus mold growth.

How Does It Spread?

Within 48 hours after contact with water, active mold growth begins releasing microscopic airborne reproductive spores. These spores are carried by air currents throughout the house, spreading contamination to multiple areas inside the structure. Prompt application of professional preventive methods following water damage is critical to prevent widespread mold infection. 

What Does It Look Like?

Contamination may appear as the “black mold” type, or it may look blue-green, gray, or tan, resembling other fungus varieties. This variation in color is a good reason why all mold contamination inside a home needs to be examined and tested by qualified mold remediation specialists.

What To Do About It?

Aspergillus mold requires professional mold remediation. This includes identifying the exact type with air sampling and tracking contamination within the house. All growth must be physically removed, followed by sterilization of surfaces where it was present with EPA-approved biocides.

Chronic moisture conditions inside the house that triggered the growth of mold must be identified and corrected. After the remediation procedure, follow-up air samples are utilized to verify that contamination has been  eliminated.

Avoiding Cross Contamination During Mold Remediation

Thursday, November 12th, 2020
Mold Remediation

Inside a mold-contaminated home, microscopic mold spores are often concentrated in the immediate vicinity of contamination. However, efforts to remove that mold runs the risk of dispersing spores more widely. Known as cross-contamination, the process of removing active mold growth may potentially spread contamination to parts of the house not previously infected by mold.

Professional mold remediation services utilize a variety of tactics and equipment to ensure that cross-contamination doesn’t disseminate mold more extensively inside a home during the procedure. Here are some of the methods commonly employed:

  • Preliminary air sampling. Air sampling for spores provides important information about which areas of the home are contaminated versus those that are not. This allows mold remediation technicians to isolate particular target areas while preventing spread to areas that aren’t contaminated.
  • Sealing the area. If the contaminated area is more than 30 square feet, specific techniques are utilized to isolate the area from the remainder of the house. The work area will be air-sealed with sheets of 6 mil plastic barrier, including an air lock to enter and exit the area. HVAC vents in the affected area will also be sealed.
  • Preventing spore spread. To further ensure that airborne spores do not migrate into uncontaminated areas, a negative air machine will be installed to reduce air pressure in the infected area. This device, which includes high-efficiency HEPA filtration, continuously reduces air pressure in the infected area to retain airborne spores.
  • Restricting access. Only individuals who are trained and have proper mold remediation credentials, as well as equipped with proper personal protection equipment (PPE), should be allowed in the contaminated area while mold remediation procedures are underway.  
  • Final procedures. After active mold growth and any infected materials have been removed, and before the containment area is unsealed, the entire area is vacuumed with HEPA-filtered equipment. All surfaces inside the area will be wiped down with an antimicrobial cleaner. HVAC vents are unsealed.
  • Post-remediation air sampling. To verify that mold has been removed from the affected area and all other parts of the house remain uncontaminated, air samples will be taken throughout the home. 

Can You Kill Mold By Drying It Out?

Tuesday, July 7th, 2020
mold issues

No moisture, no mold. It sounds like a simple solution to mold issues in a home. Since mold is a fungus that requires moisture to grow, just drying out mold growth ought to eradicate it in short order. Right?

Like many easy answers to complex problems, it ain’t necessarily so. While moisture is the key factor that triggers the active growth mode that causes mold issues, ironically, the absence of moisture alone doesn’t make mold go away. Here are two reasons why:

  • Mold can exist in more than one living state. Active or viable mold triggered by moisture grows and releases microscopic airborne reproductive spores that spread that growth to other locations in the house. These spores contain mycotoxins that cause allergic reactions or other symptoms when inhaled by certain individuals.
  • In the inactive state, an absence of moisture causes mold to be dormant and cease growth—yet not be technically dead. Inert spores from dormant, dried-up mold can be just as allergenic as active spores from living growth if inhaled. Moreover, moisture from any source such as water damage or leakage—or even simply sustained high humidity—quickly reactivates dry, dormant mold growth and triggers the release of reproductive spores once again. Mold issues then recur throughout the house.

Successful mold remediation isn’t a one-step solution. It requires multi-faceted treatment to ensure comprehensive decontamination.  

  • All mold growth must be tracked down and physically removed from wherever it exists in the house. No existing mold—active or inactive—can be left behind, as any remaining growth may likely reactivate at some later point under certain conditions.
  • After removal, areas of contamination must be directly treated with EPA-approved fungicides to sterilize surfaces and prevent regrowth.  
  • The source of water which triggered active mold growth must be identified and permanently eliminated.
  • If mold growth occurs as a result of a water damage incident, prompt professional water damage remediation includes standardized mold prevention methods like air sampling to detect the presence of spores and proven techniques to locate and remove mold growth and sterilize affected surfaces. 

How to Treat Mold Inside Walls

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020
mold inside walls

Discovering a mold problem anywhere inside a house is never good news. Mold inside walls, however, is particularly problematic. Microscopic mold spores in wall cavities typically remain dormant unless/until moisture triggers the spores into active growth mode. Potential internal moisture sources include seepage from plumbing pipes routed through the wall, water from roof leaks dripping downward into walls, recent flooding or other significant water damage.

What Are the Signs?

A mold problem inside a wall may become extensive before it becomes obvious. Signs of possible contamination include:

  • Persistent musty odor that is strongest in a certain room.
  • Black spotting on walls where internal mold growth has penetrated through the drywall.  

What If You Suspect Mold Inside Walls?

Direct visual examination to confirm a suspected mold problem typically requires cutting access holes of significant size in drywall. Opening a mold-contaminated wall cavity, however, may release toxic spores that spread mold throughout the house.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends engaging professional mold remediation services for inspection and treatment to eliminate a mold problem inside walls.

How Is Mold Inside Walls Treated?

Simply applying disinfectants to an active mold problem is not sufficient. Some spores typically survive topical treatment and mold eventually recurs. All mold growth inside walls must be physically removed and properly disposed, followed by treatment with effective fungicides.

  • The internal wall cavity should be cleaned with a HEPA-filtered vacuum.
  • Infected drywall requires replacement if mold growth is established on the inside surface or has penetrated the material.
  • Fiberglass or cellulose insulation present inside a contaminated wall cavity cannot be effectively disinfected. Insulation should be removed and replaced with new material.
  • If wooden studs or joists exhibit mold growth, the mold must be physically removed. Sanding wooden surfaces may also be required to ensure no residual spores remain.
  • After removal of mold growth, the wall cavity should be sprayed with an EPA-approved antimicrobial disinfectant.  
  • Encapsulating sealant may be applied to surfaces inside the wall. This coating, similar to paint, contains fungicides that kill residual spores as well as inhibit any future mold problem.

Selling Your Home? Resolve Mold Issues First

Thursday, May 7th, 2020
mold problems

If you’re considering putting your home on the market and the house has an ongoing mold problem, what’s the preferred strategy? Should you offer the house at a discounted “as is” price—mold contamination included? Or is it a better idea to take control of the issue and get professional mold remediation now, before trying to attract prospective buyers? Here are some facts to take into consideration when you’re selling a house with a mold problem.

  • You can’t keep it secret. A known mold issue—or even knowledge of conditions that would likely trigger contamination such as water damage—are facts that, in most states, must be divulged to prospective buyers in a pre-sale disclosure. If existing mold not mentioned in the disclosure is discovered after the sale, the seller may be liable for civil damages.
  • In the real estate industry today, the presence of mold is considered a substantial liability. Neglected mold contamination is often a deal-breaker or at least a substantial negative impact on market value.
  • Many qualified buyers won’t make an offer on a house with existing mold issues—at any price. There’s simply less risk and headaches by offering fair market value on an uncontaminated property, versus dealing with potential issues that accompany the moldy house down the street.

Before You Sell

Mold issues resolved by a qualified mold remediation service eliminate the stigma that drags down a home’s value. In fact, proof that a house has been certified mold-free by trained professionals is a positive selling point.

  • If you know or even suspect mold contamination, get testing and inspection by an IICRC-certified mold remediation provider. This includes in-depth visual inspection in areas where mold is likely to occur, air samples to detect mold spores, and attention to secondary factors associated with mold, such as ongoing moisture issues or water damage.
  • If the presence of mold is confirmed, have the problem professionally resolved before listing the house for sale. Once the home is declared mold-free, you’ll have written certification to substantiate that fact as an extra inducement to attract qualified buyers and the most favorable offers.

Is DIY Mold Removal Ever Safe?

Thursday, February 27th, 2020
DIY Mold Removal

Is DIY mold removal safe? It depends. Will it fully eliminate mold contamination from a house? Probably not.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, mold contamination larger than 3 feet by 3 feet should be left to qualified mold remediation professionals. If a very limited area of mold growth on a non-porous surface is all you’re dealing with, put on gloves and eye protection. Mix 1/2 cup of household bleach with a quart of water, saturate a rag and wipe away the mold. Leave the surface wet and open windows to ventilate fumes until it dries. You’re done. Or are you?

What You Don’t See

Superficial mold is often only the visible evidence of more extensive, covert contamination you can’t see. Mold flourishes in chronically damp and dark spaces of a structure not frequently (or easily) accessible. From that primary focal point, active mold releases airborne reproductive spores that spread contamination throughout the house. DIY mold removal such as wiping away a very limited spot is well and good—if you’re careful. But, it doesn’t address the comprehensive problem in a contaminated house, nor potential hazards that come with removing it.  

How the Pros Stay Safe

Professional mold remediation teams arrive fully trained and prepared to locate and safely neutralize all mold growth inside a house, wherever it may be. Teams typically include a designated health and safety technician specifically certified by the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning Restoration and Restoration Certification) to assure the safety of mold remediation workers. Crews are also specially equipped to reduce hazards when working around mold, including:

  • Full face mask with a filtered respirator
  • Protective overalls and booties
  • Rubber or nitrile gloves
  • Air exchangers to vent spore-contaminated air from the structure and induct fresh filtered air during the project
  • HEPA-grade air scrubbers to capture airborne spores in the indoor environment
  • Specially formulated antimicrobial chemicals to sterilize contaminated surfaces

Established safety procedures and specialized equipment for comprehensive mold remediation are beyond the scope of the average DIY-er. For anything beyond the most minor contamination, follow EPA recommendations and call a professional.

How Does Household Mold Affect Asthma?

Tuesday, February 18th, 2020
household mold

Household mold and asthma frequently develop under the same roof.  Asthma is a sensitivity in the air passages leading to the lungs. By itself, the asthmatic condition is frequently silent until some specific “trigger” is inhaled. Typically beginning with shortness of breath and tightness in the chest, an asthma attack can result in a variety of acute symptoms, including wheezing, coughing, a sensation of straining for air and excess congestion in the lungs.

It’s In The Air

Indoors, asthma may be triggered by a variety of airborne irritants: dust, pollen, lint, pet dander, cigarette smoke, and air pollution. A common asthma trigger is spores released by household mold. Airborne mold spores contain mycotoxins that are a known respiratory allergen. In outdoor air, the concentration of mold spores is usually very diluted and does not cause symptoms in humans. Inside an enclosed structure, however, levels of these toxic microscopic particulates may become elevated to an extent sufficient to trigger a reaction in individuals with a predisposition to asthma.

Finding Mold And Fixing It

Effective asthma prevention includes reducing exposure to triggers in the indoor environment. An elevated spore count is one indicator of active mold growing somewhere inside the house that may be responsible for asthma reactions in occupants. The presence of chronic moisture that promotes mold growth is another red flag.

Professional mold remediation utilizes a proven treatment sequence to eliminate contamination:

  • Air sampling to determine spore count and estimate the extent of mold growth inside the house.
  • Locating all active mold growth and testing to establish the specific type.
  • Removal of active mold and sterilizing surfaces where mold growth occurred with EPA-approved fungicides.
  • Identifying and resolving ancillary causes inside the house that promote mold growth, including prior water damage and ongoing moisture issues such as plumbing or roof leaks.
  • Controlling indoor humidity to maintain safe levels that do not support mold growth.
  • Conducting one or more follow-up air samples inside the house to ensure that remediation is effective and mold growth has not recurred.