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Other restoration companies want to remodel your home while Rytech wants to keep you safe from mold in Amelia Island Fl 32034

Friday, May 7th, 2021

`A concerned homeowner noticed her front door mat was soaked and started to smell a musky odor in the front room of her newly purchased condo. After a few attempts to locate the source herself, she called a leak detection company for help. The company identified the source as a leak in a pipe in the wall behind the downstairs bathroom. The leak had slowly migrated to the front office and inside the wall leading to the front porch.

A plumber fixed the leak and advised the homeowner to call a water restoration company for a dry out. The homeowner had 2 restoration companies out to assess the job. Neither company had equipment with them when they arrived.

The homeowner said the musky odor was worsening, so she was concerned mold would begin to develop and expressed this to both companies. It seemed they were more concerned with rebuilding her condo – even in areas that were not affected – than drying out the areas that were.

She did not feel comfortable hiring them and decided to give Rytech First Coast a call. Not knowing the backstory to her situation, our crew arrived within hours, prepared and ready to work. The homeowner was impressed with the fact that we didn’t try to “sell her” on replacing “damaged” furniture and renovating areas that were not affected by the leak.

She found comfort in the fact that the focus of our work is water and mold restoration, not build backs or remodeling.

Our technician found high moisture readings in several areas and removed all baseboards and quarter round. A portion of the wood floor and drywall had been removed by the leak detection company. A small area of mold was beginning to appear near the exposed wall.

We throughly cleaned the area and took away all debris. Drying equipment was placed in all the affected areas. A check-up appt. was scheduled for following day.

After 3 days, all areas were dry except for the hardwood floors. Sadly, the floors were buckling and did not appear to be salvageable.

The homeowner was extremely pleased with our service. She said, “Rytech was responsive, reliable, respectful and READY TO WORK.” Our customers are the lifeblood of our business, so this comment definitely made our day! **A thank you to the homeowner’s dog, Sadie, for being a ‘paw’fect Rytech assistant! She has a great sniffer for mold and moisture!

Toilet Flange leak causes problems in Boynton Beach FL 33435

Tuesday, April 6th, 2021

Feb 23, 2021 – A home owner in Boynton Beach called Rytech regarding water and mold concerns in their master bedroom closet wall. This wall was adjoining to the master bathroom and family laundry room. The source of the water leak, and the resulting mold, was from a toilet flange leak in the master bathroom.

An additional leak found once remediation had started. Water clean up and mold remediation was completed within a few days. Rytech processed the claims for the homeowner with Olympus insurance and the homeowner was safe to return to their dry, mold free home in no time at all!

What Is Pink Mold?

Thursday, January 21st, 2021
pink mold

Two fast facts to know about pink mold:

1. It’s often not pink.
2. It’s not really mold.

What is generally known as “pink mold” is a slimy, oozy biofilm that appears in enclosed areas where condensation and high humidity are common. In most homes, that’s the bathroom. Pink mold—its formal designation is Serratia marcescens—is actually a form of bacteria, not a fungus. Therefore, it’s not officially classified as a mold.

Serratia marcescens can range from pink to dark purple to shades of bright orange. As an airborne bacterial species, pink mold feeds on moisture and soapy scum often present on hard surfaces like shower stalls and bathtubs. It may also infect shower curtains and toilet bowls or grow on hard wooden bathroom surfaces like windowsills or moulding.The appearance of this slimy film does not enhance household aesthetics. 

DIY Treatment

Pink mold is resistant to standard household cleaning methods and typically requires special attention to eliminate it. Local occurrence of pink mold totaling less than three square feet can usually be treated by the homeowner with these steps:

  • Mix up a thick solution of water, a cup of baking soda, and a few teaspoons of liquid soap.
  • Use this solution with a soft brush to scrub pink mold contamination and loosen it from the surface.
  • Rinse away the residue with water.
  • After visible growth is removed, the surface must be sterilized to kill residual bacteria. Make a 50/50 mix of warm water and household bleach in a spray bottle and spray all affected surfaces. Allow the mixture to remain for 10 minutes, then scrub lightly with a brush.
  • Wash away the residue with water and dry with a clean towel.

Is Professional Remediation Required?

Where Serratia marcescens bacterial contamination exceeds three square feet, contact a qualified mold remediation specialist about professional treatment to remove this more advanced and extensive growth. 

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.

Water Damage: How to Prevent Mold on Clothes

Thursday, October 1st, 2020
prevent mold on clothes

Since mold is a frequent side-effect of home water damage, considering ways to prevent mold on clothes is a worthwhile preventive measure. Mold grows indoors when moisture and dormant mold spores come together. Fabrics including clothing—especially those made of natural fibers—support mold growth following water damage. Either direct contact with released water, or the unusually high humidity typically present inside a water-damaged house, may be sufficient to trigger mold growth on clothing.  

How Mold Affects Clothing

  • Staining. Mold contamination may discolor fabrics with dark or purple-colored stains.
  • Odors. Clothing contaminated by mold will have a persistent pungent smell very noticeable to the person wearing the clothes as well as others nearby.
  • Physical symptoms. Individuals with a sensitivity to certain types of mold may experience allergic reactions such as respiratory symptoms or skin rash due to inhaling mold spores from contaminated clothing.

Ways To Prevent Mold On Clothes

  • Clothing affected by water damage should be machine-washed ASAP with laundry soap and bleach at the hottest water setting the fabric is suitable for. Run clothes through two full washing cycles.
  • If clothes cannot be exposed to bleach, add a cup of vinegar to the first wash cycle, instead. Vinegar has anti-microbial properties that help prevent mold on clothes. In the second wash cycle, add half a cup of baking soda to neutralize odors associated with mold.
  • Air-dry outdoors in sunlight, if possible, to prevent mold on clothes. Ultraviolet rays present in sunlight destroy mold.
  • If certain fabrics must be dry cleaned instead of washed, place the clothes in a plastic bag and seal it. Inform the dry cleaner that mold is an issue and point out any specific mold stains you are aware of.  
  • To prevent mold on clothes in seasonal storage, consider the potential for water damage and/or chronic moisture. Certain areas such as the basement or attic may be at greater risk for water damage and/or are chronically damp and contaminated with mold spores. Store clothes in a location with favorable air circulation and relative humidity no higher than 60%.  

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.

Can Mold Dry up and Go Away on Its Own?

Tuesday, January 28th, 2020

Any type of mold in the home is a concern and may be linked to certain physical symptoms and/or chronic illness. Mold growth generally requires specific conditions to remain active and spread contamination.  Homeowners often ask a very good question: If we simply eliminate these conditions, won’t existing mold in the home just die and go away by itself?  

What Mold Needs

Mold is a fungus that prefers a particular temperature range, a dark environment, a little bit of microscopic food (usually cellulose of some sort) and moisture.  Of these ingredients, moisture is generally considered to be the definitive trigger that promotes active fungal growth. No moisture—no mold.

Dormant vs. Active Growth

Visual evidence of existing mold growth doesn’t tell you everything you need to know, however. Moisture-deprived mold may indeed appear dried-up and lifeless. In a sense, it is: without moisture to keep it active, the mold fungus mass stops growing and becomes inert. However, while the fungal mass is dead, microscopic spores that trigger regrowth and contamination aren’t.  In dry conditions, spores go dormant until exposure to moisture recurs. Once that happens, spores rapidly activate and begin spawning mold growth again, including airborne reproductive spores that spread contamination and may cause physical reactions in susceptible persons.

What To Do About Dried-Up Mold

  • Not everything that looks like mold is mold. Sampling and testing by a qualified mold remediation specialist is required to confirm the presence of dormant or active mold as well as determine the type. Air samples are also taken to identify airborne spores and estimate the extent of active contamination.
  • Proven mold remediation techniques utilized by professionals include physically removing active or dormant growth, then sterilizing affected surfaces with EPA-approved fungicides. In cases where mold has penetrated certain building materials, these materials may be cut out and replaced to totally eliminate growth.
  • Reducing moisture is also vital to prevent recurrence of mold in the home. Plumbing leaks, roof leaks and other moisture sources must be resolved. If chronically high indoor humidity is an issue, installation of a whole-house dehumidifier is also recommended. 

Moist Home? Your Health May Be At Risk…

Thursday, September 5th, 2019

Excessive moisture can turn your home into an unhealthy—not to mention uncomfortable—living environment. Chronic indoor dampness may simply result from high levels of water vapor in the air or from persistent sources of moisture that aren’t properly identified and resolved. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that indoor humidity should ideally stay below 50% most of the time and never exceed 60%.  When indoor dampness frequently rises above that level, the risk of certain health issues likewise increases.  

Some of the health-related consequences of a damp house include

  • Mold and mildew. Fungus including toxic mold and mildew require moist conditions to activate and spread. Airborne spores released by growing mold fed by high indoor moisture levels may trigger allergies and even serious illness when inhaled by occupants.  
  • Dust mites. Tiny dust mites thrive in moist indoor environments where humidity reaches 60%. Easily stirred up into the air by human activity, these insects are a frequent cause of nagging allergic responses.
  • Pests and vermin. Many unwanted and unhealthy creatures are attracted to chronically damp conditions inside a house including disease-carrying rodents, mosquitoes and parasitic worms.  

To get a handle on dampness, consider these frequent contributors to unwanted indoor moisture:

  • In locales where outdoor relative humidity frequently exceeds 50%, excess humidity may infiltrate the house through structural cracks and gaps.
  • Rooms that produce high water vapor such as the kitchen and bathroom require exhaust fans to remove damp air.
  • A professional roof inspection of the exterior of the roof as well as inside the attic can identify hidden leaks that cause chronic moisture.
  • Ongoing leaks in plumbing lines routed through areas such as the crawl space or basement can create a continuous source of dampness.  
  • In locales with a high natural water table, rising groundwater can keep the crawl space chronically wet or push water into the basement through foundation cracks.
  • Air conditioner issues such as short-cycling, low airflow or insufficient refrigerant charge may inhibit proper extraction of water vapor from the air.

Why Summer Can Mean More Indoor Mold and What to do About It

Thursday, June 21st, 2018

indoor moldMold doesn’t take a summer vacation. In fact, it’s the time of year that provides ideal conditions to trigger dormant mold spores into active mode. Daily summer high temperatures in more than half the U.S. are within the mold-preferred range of 77 to 86 degrees, Fahrenheit. In about 40 states, relative humidity readings exceed 60%, the EPA-recommended upper limit to inhibit mold, for at least some portion of a typical day during June, July and August.

You can’t do much about the outdoor climate that nurtures mold. However, it’s possible to control the indoor environment to reduce the likelihood that mold will gain a foothold and contaminate your house. Here are some season-specific suggestions to prevent mold growth during a long, hot summer.

Your HVAC System Is Your Friend

A fully-functional, efficient HVAC system not only keeps you comfortable all summer, it’s a vital ally to inhibit indoor mold growth.

  • Hot weather outdoors tends to push indoor temps up, too. Set your A/C thermostat to maintain temperatures in the low- to mid-70s to suppress mold growth. Keep indoor conditions consistently cool, even if you leave home for a few days.
  • Water vapor extracted by the A/C evaporator coil reduces indoor humidity that feeds mold. Make sure the air conditioner is operating up to specs by getting manufacturer-recommended annual preventive maintenance to support optimum humidity extraction.
  • Mold prefers stagnant conditions. Maximize cool HVAC airflow throughout the house by changing the system air filter every month all summer long. A fresh, high-quality pleated filter also helps reduce the airborne mold spore count.

Eliminate Other Moisture Sources

  • Indoor humidity equals the outdoor relative humidity plus the amount of extra water vapor added by activities such as cooking and bathing. Vent humid rooms such as the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry room with powered vent fans that exhaust moist air outdoors.
  • Keep up with home maintenance. Leakage into the attic during summer storms provides a perfect environment for mold growth. Make sure the roof is professionally inspected for leaks every three years. Also have any plumbing leaks or seepage repaired promptly.

Natural Ways To Prevent Mold In The Bathroom

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

bathroom moldDoes your home include a space suitable for conducting scientific mold experiments? As it turns out, most residential bathrooms provide the perfect controlled environment for mold contamination: high humidity, chronically moist surfaces, warm temperatures, limited air circulation and little natural sunlight. Airborne mold spores circulate everywhere, outdoors and indoors. Without positive intervention, the ideal conditions present in a typical bathroom will trigger dormant spores into active mode that spawns mold growth.

Here are some natural methods that interrupt the cycle of bathroom mold contamination:

Fresh Air Treatment

Bathroom humidity from showering or bathing rises well above the 50% level that triggers active mold growth. Ample air circulation lowers humidity as well as rapidly drying surfaces where mold-friendly condensation forms. Open a bathroom window to let in fresh air and sunlight. If a ventilation fan is installed, ideally it should be timer-actuated. This allows the fan to continue running for several minutes after bathroom use in order to completely remove residual humidity and moisture. Fully extend the wet shower curtain—a mold magnet—to quick-dry in circulating air.

The Vinegar Approach

Mold is acid-averse. Common vinegar is a natural, non-toxic source of acid you probably already have in your home. Vinegar is known to kill over 80 percent of mold species when topically applied. Spray it full-strength on any suspect spots of mold (or its second cousin, mildew) on bathroom surfaces or infecting grout between tiles. For mold prevention, routine vinegar application about once a week to bathroom surfaces helps keeps the environment acidic and mold-resistant.

Vodka. Yes, Vodka

Naturally-occurring ethanol in fermented alcoholic beverages is known to be particularly toxic to mold and mildew. A readily available source of purified ethanol is vodka. Budget-priced brands of 80 proof vodka—containing 40% ethanol and 60% water—are cost-efficient for spot-treating incipient mold contamination. Pour it (straight) into a spray bottle and spritz it directly on signs of developing mold or mildew. Wait about 10 minutes, then wipe away the residue with a wet sponge or cloth.