Who should do the cleanup depends on a number of factors. One consideration is the size of the mold problem. If the moldy area is less than about 10 square feet (less than roughly a 3 ft. by 3 ft. patch), in most cases, you can handle the job yourself, follow the Mold Cleanup Tips and Techniques. However:
- If there has been a lot of water damage, and/or mold growth covers more than 10 square feet, consult EPA guide Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. Although focused on schools and commercial buildings, this document is applicable to other building types.
- If you choose to hire a contractor (or other professional service provider) to do the cleanup, make sure the contractor has experience cleaning up mold. Check references and ask the contractor to follow the recommendations in EPA guide Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, the guidelines of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygenists (ACGIH), or other guidelines from professional or government organizations.
- If you suspect that the heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC) system may be contaminated with mold (it is part of an identified moisture problem, for instance, or there is mold near the intake to the system), consult EPA guide Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned? before taking further action. Do not run the HVAC system if you know or suspect that it is contaminated with mold - it could spread mold throughout the building.
- If the water and/or mold damage was caused by sewage or other contaminated water, then call in a professional who has experience cleaning and fixing buildings damaged by contaminated water.
- If you have health concerns, consult a health professional before starting cleanup.
Mold Tips & Techniques
Tips and Techniques
The tips and techniques presented in this section will help you clean up your mold problem. Professional cleaners or remediators may use methods not covered in this publication. Please note that mold may cause staining and cosmetic damage. It may not be possible to clean an item so that its original appearance is restored.
Mold growing on the underside of a plastic lawn chair in an area where rainwater drips through and deposits organic material.Mold growing on a piece of ceiling tile.
- Fix plumbing leaks and other water problems as soon as possible. Dry all items completely.
- Scrub mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water, and dry completely.
- Absorbent or porous materials, such as ceiling tiles and carpet, may have to be thrown away if they become moldy. Mold can grow on or fill in the empty spaces and crevices of porous materials, so the mold may be difficult or impossible to remove completely.
- Avoid exposing yourself or others to mold. See discussions:
- Do not paint or caulk moldy surfaces. Clean up the mold and dry the surfaces before painting. Paint applied over moldy surfaces is likely to peel.
- If you are unsure about how to clean an item, or if the item is expensive or of sentimental value, you may wish to consult a specialist. Specialists in furniture repair, restoration, painting, art restoration and conservation, carpet and rug cleaning, water damage, and fire or water restoration are commonly listed in phone books. Be sure to ask for and check references. Look for specialists who are affiliated with professional organizations.
When faced with the reality of a house fire, one of the hardest things to deal with is the damage to the contents of the home. Pictures, furniture, clothing and other items are part of the memories made throughout the years, and in many cases can be restored as opposed to replaced. Through modern technologies such as an Esporta washing system, ultra sonic machine, and electronics cleaning, many items are able to be restored to pre loss condition. If you are face with horrific nightmare of a house fire give us a call, our highly trained staff can walk you through what can be restored and what needs to be replaced. We understand that your number one goal is the get your home "Like it never even happened."
Property damage caused from fire, water, or wind is pretty obvious. Less obvious is the damage to air quality and indoor air systems. Systems become contaminated by soot, and sometimes, even mold. Air system cleaning is effective to clean air systems, restoring them back to preloss condition.
SERVPRO of Birmingham North is licensed by the State of Alabama to clean air system. We are also certified by the National Air Duct Cleaning Associaion as an Air System Cleaning Specialist, as well as a Ventiliation System Mold Remediator.
But here’s the best part. Air system cleaning can be done anytime! Call your SERVPRO service representative today to schedule your FREE estimate for air system cleaning today. We are standing by and always here to help!
Mold Continuing Education
Every month we host a continuing education course here at our facility for insurance agents and adjusters. They are usually between 2 and 4 hours and listed below is what you would learn if you come to the mold course:
The insurance professional will gain a better understanding of how mold affects today’s society. They will also become more aware of the different entities that participate in the mold restoration industry.
The insurance professional will learn about mold, mold growth requirements and the goals of mold remediation followed by professional vendors. They will also be educated on the science of mold and the dangers/health effects of mold exposure.
Insurance professionals will gain a better understanding of the processes professional vendors use to complete mold remediation projects, including the guidelines recommended by leaders in the mold industry.
The insurance professional will learn the procedures that must take place if any mold remediation is to happen. They will also gain an awareness of common issues related to mold property damages, including education on typical remediation cost parameters and the responses to the mold issue.
Mold Mitigation & Remediation Process Part One
When there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can affect your health and can also cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Birmingham North has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different, requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a “typical” mold removal process.
Call Your Local SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals
The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO’s Call Center or SERVPRO of Birmingham North. A representative will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed.
Inspection & Damage Assessment
Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water which can be hidden from plain view.
Mold Mitigation & Remediation Process Part Two
Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.
Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO of Birmingham North technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.
Removing Mold & Mold-Infested Materials
The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.
Cleaning Contents & Belongings
SERVPRO of Birmingham North can clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. They are also trained to remove odors and deodorize using fogging equipment.
Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet, or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business. SERVPRO of Birmingham North understand mold and mold growth and have the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business.
Birmingham Hotel Water Loss
Back in mid June a very popular hotel called us due to water damage from the 16th floor down to the main lobby. A water heater had malfunctioned, and our priority responder went down to assess the damage. The 16th floor to about the 11th had major damage and then from the 10th down to the main lobby there was not as much that needed to be done. Unfortunately the hotel had to move 50+ people to other areas that were not affected.
Our crews treated all affected areas with antimicrobial and set drying equipment until dry. We removed padding from under carpet, removed the curtains, and wallpaper in the affected rooms and hallways. We also moved contents to dry areas then vacuumed and swept up loose debris.
As of right now this is still an ongoing job that will probably be picked up by our construction department.
Emergency Ready Profile
One of our Sales & Marketing Representatives, Huck, made this list of everything we go over when doing an "ERP" at a facility. It might seem like a lot but it's not very time consuming at all for you if you are the business owner! Plus if anything were to happen to your business you have all this information that is easily accessible.
Facility Phone Number:
Facility Construction Type:
List two contacts if possible
Year remodeled -
Energy Program Certified? -
Multi Tenant Building? -
Blueprint location -
Square footage -
sprinkler vendor phone -
alarm vendor -
alarm vendor phone-
server maintenance/emergency -
Building owner -
Maintenance Director -
Location Info (Do any of these require a key?)
supplemental generator -
Generator backup power -
power shutoff -
water shutoff -
sprinkler shutoff -
roof hatch -
alarm (security) -
Alarm (Fire) -
emergency parking -
entry door -
Are you a first time homeowner or maybe a homeowner with some luck? What I mean is you have been fortunate enough to never have to use a restoration company like SERVPRO.
From my experience of working at SERVPRO of Birmingham North the last two years, I realized how much I didn't know about my home. I am a first time homeowner but I wouldn't know what to do if anything happened! Maybe an appliance starts leaking or water heater bursts, something catches on fire and smokes up the whole house! You honestly never know and can't assume it will never happen to you.
Make sure you are familiar with where things are like your water cut off, keep a fire extinguisher close by and check your smoke alarms every so often. Also, know who you insurance is with and who your agent is! Give us a call if anything happens - we come out and give you a free estimate!