Mold Remediation

How to Prevent Moldy Appliances

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Mold growth in your home is more than merely an unpleasant sight. It is a health hazard to your family, especially to those who are sensitive to it. Learning how to prevent moldy appliances can prevent mold exposure symptoms from mild irritations to serious respiratory and other health problems.

Mold thrives in damp conditions and can grow in the tiniest places within the recesses of the major appliances in your home. It is attracted to moisture and can grow inside your refrigerator, dishwasher, or washing machine without you even realizing it.

While it may seem counterintuitive to clean the machines that clean other items in your home, regular inspection and thorough cleaning of those appliances can prevent the spread of dangerous mold spores.

Washing Machine

Your laundry room presents ideal conditions for mold growth if it is not properly ventilated or left unattended. Moisture and dirt create breeding grounds for mold. Dirty piles of laundry in a warm, damp environment is the perfect home for mold to grow and prosper.

Mold growth on washing machines is easy to identify. Front-loading washers may see mold forming in the door creases or the detergent dispenser, while top loading washing machines are more likely to have mold growth in the drum or interior walls.

Some commonsense ways to prevent Round Rock mold from forming in your washing machine include:

Run Loads Regularly

Dirty, damp clothes left in the laundry room, in hampers, or strewn across a teenager’s bedroom floor will provide the perfect conditions for mold to grow and give residual moisture in the washing machine a chance to create mold growth.

Dry Clothes After Washing

Wet clothes left in the washing machine can begin growing mold in no time at all. If you will not be able to get back to the washer for an extended period, it is better to wait until you return to run the load rather than let the clean clothes sit wet in the washer.

Leave Lid Open After Use

Closing the washing machine lid after running a load or series of loads will slow down the process of drying and increase the chances of mold growth appearing before the next use.

Clean Regularly

Perform monthly inspections on the door creases, drum, and detergent dispensers, and clean out the grime build-up that can be attractive to mold growth. Check the manufacturer’s manual for tips on keeping your washing machine clean.

Dishwasher

Your dishwasher is another appliance that can become a natural breeding ground for mold. Food particles left behind in warm, damp conditions will attract mildew and mold, and left unattended can create major problems for the dishwasher and your family.

Dishwashers have a lot of folds, creases, compartments, and corners where moisture and food gather to form ideal moldy areas. Some ways to prevent mold growth in your dishwasher include:

Rinse Dishes Before Loading Dishwasher

It may be tempting to simply place dirty dishes in the dishwasher and let the appliance do all the work. The problem comes when food chunks get lodged into hidden areas throughout the dishwasher. Food particles will remain in the machine and lead to mold growth over time.

Open the Door

When the cycle is complete and even after the dishes are put away, leaving the door open for a while will help dry out problem areas quicker. This will eliminate excess moisture that can result in mold growth conditions.

Heat Dry Run

Running your dishwasher on the heat-dry cycle will serve to kill bacteria growth on the inside. Leave the door open to dry out all interior areas.

Dry Removable Baskets

Take out, clean, and dry the silverware baskets and any other removable compartments that have creases and folds that hide food particles.

Refrigerator

Refrigerators generate a lot of heat in order to keep your food and beverages cold. The inside of your refrigerator may be the most dangerous and pervasive area for Round Rock mold growth in your home. Leftover food and the moisture that gathers in your fridge present ideal conditions for mold to grow and prosper.

Keeping your refrigerator clean and clearing out old food before it has a chance to become moldy are the best ways to prevent mold growth. Still, it takes more than wiping down the shelves periodically to keep your refrigerator healthy and mold-free.

Clean Up Spills Thoroughly

You should not cry over spilled milk, but you should definitely clean it up quickly and thoroughly if spilled in your fridge. Allowing spilled liquids to become hard and crusty will invite moldy conditions.

Clean Trays, Drawers

The most effective way to prevent mold growth in your fridge is to periodically remove all trays, drawers, and compartments, and give them all a thorough cleaning and scrubbing. Use hydrogen peroxide or vinegar to ward off future mold growth.  

Keep It Dry

Make sure trays and shelves are kept as dry as possible. Wipe down areas of moisture before closing the fridge door.

Move Fridge Yearly

Condensation build-up underneath your refrigerator can lead to mold problems that you are not able to see. Moving out your refrigerator and cleaning underneath and behind it will work to prevent mold growth over time.

Round Rock Mold Removal Professionals

Mold growth in your home is inevitable on some level. While it is impossible to completely eliminate mold in your home, following these simple, common-sense tips will work to prevent mold from growing in the major appliances throughout your home.

There are times when mold can get out of hand despite your best efforts to contain and prevent it. Leaky pipes and moldy water lines can lead to major mold growth that can only be remediated by the professional mold removal experts at All Nation Restoration.

Get Started with All Nation Restoration

Contact All Nation Restoration today for complete information on our Round Rock mold removal and water damage services.

All Nation RestorationHow to Prevent Moldy Appliances
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Case Study IX | Behind this Normal Looking Kitchen

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Case Study Information

We received a call from the home owner in a panic as she had just seen the damage to her rental property. The tenants had moved out  a few weeks prior and when she went to take a look she noticed the musty odor throughout as well as some visible growth on the back of the kitchen wall. What she did not know is just how bad this microbial growth or mold had been growing behind the cabinets. As it turns out, the water source was caused by a leak in the supply line to the sink.

The Solution

We contained the affected area to prevent cross contamination into unaffected areas of the home. Then, we began with our mold remediation process. All affected drywall and cabinets were discarded. The remaining wood framing was sanded and the entire area was detail cleaned with HEPA Vacuums and the room was placed under negative air to capture the mold and mold spores to return home to favorable air quality and begin reconstruction.

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Mold Remediation Article : A Cold Jet Case Study

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Mold is a problem that impacts consumers and businesses alike as it grows and spreads throughout homes, apartment buildings, courthouses and medical facilities. Mold problems can be brought on by flooding, roof or plumbing leaks, damp basement and crawl spaces, or anyplace where moist air is left to condense on cold surfaces. Mold will most likely be found where there is water damage, a high relative humidity or dampness.

Mold in small amounts should not cause home and business owners to panic; however, mold should never be allowed to multiply.  When it is found in large amounts, mold can cause health problems, odors and damage to building and home materials, and even structural damage to wood.

Challenge: Mold Remediation

With the mold problem evident, the biggest challenge for consumers and businesses has been the traditional methods of remediation, which are time consuming and expensive. There are a number of different methods used by contractors to remove mold, from wet vacuums and hyper-sanding to wiping down with water and a detergent.

Below is an example of traditional mold remediation process:

  1. Containment – Critical step to prevent mold from back drafting into the rest of the house or contaminated property. This is achieved through plastic barriers over all windows and attic “openings” and then utilizing a negative air system to direct the “moldy” air outside. Should the project be an attic, the removal or protection of the insulation is recommended as well.
  2. Vacuum – Initial process of removing any loose mold spores and dust.
  3. Biocide – This application must dry for 24 hours
  4. Sanding and scraping – For a 650 square foot contaminated surface, process can take upwards of 3 days to complete. The sanding was done both manually to get into the tight corners and with power sanders for the more open areas.
  5. Vacuum – Remove secondary waste produced from sanding process
  6. Biocide – Help kill live spores that may have escaped during the aggressive sanding process
  7. Encapsulation – Chemical application that prevents moisture from activating mold spores

In addition to being tedious and slow, oftentimes these methods are limited in their effectiveness by tight angles and confined space, which make it difficult to ensure complete remediation. As noted above, a common part of the mold remediation process employed by cleaning contractors is the use of biocides. These solvents are typically registered as pesticides and are potentially harmful to those using them. While they help kill germs and also prevent the health risks associated with the mold once the cleaning is completed, biocides do not always fully remove the metabolites in spores that seep into the materials the mold is attached to, and which are the core cause of allergic reactions and health problems.

To enhance the speed, effectiveness and safety of the mold remediation process, contractors across the country are turning to dry ice blast cleaning; a non-abrasive media blasting process that uses recycled CO2 in the form of dry ice pellets to clean surfaces contaminated by mold.

The Solution – Dry Ice Blasting

Dry ice blasting works somewhat like sandblasting or high-pressure water blasting, without the structural damage that commonly happens to the wood’s surface beneath the mold. Using pressurized air stream, the dry ice pellets are accelerated at supersonic speeds to lift the mold off the wood. The combination of dry ice blast cleaning kinetic energy and thermal effects breaks the connection between the mold and the surface.  The dry ice blasting process is non-toxic, non-corrosive, and non-conductive. As the dry ice particles impact the surface being cleaned, they sublimate leaving no additional waste. Since there is no secondary waste stream, the only thing left to do is vacuum the residual mold that was removed during the blasting.

Dry ice blasting has shown to completely remove mold spores from wood surfaces in less time and with less effort than other cleaning methods. With dry ice blast cleaning systems, cleaning contractors can get in between beams and into roof sheathing, allowing for complete mold spore removal and helping to reduce, and in some cases, eliminate the need for biocides and encapsulation.

With dry ice blasting the traditional method of mold remediation can be replaced with a much simpler and efficient cleaning process. For example:

  1. Containment
  2. Vacuum
  3. Sanitize (As desired for precaution)
  4. Blast – For a 650 square foot contaminated surface, it will take less than a day
  5. Vacuum – To remove residual mold and wood that was removed during the blasting
  6. Sanitize (As desired for precaution)

According to Benjamin Haugh, owner of All Nation Restoration and a Cold Jet contractor, “Dry ice blasting gets it right the first time, which is critical when you’re dealing with a toxic substance. The fact that dry ice blasting removes virtually 100% (or 99.9%) percent of the spore is also important, as the home or business owner will know that their home or business is safe again. Combine these benefits with the fact that dry ice blasting is an environmentally responsible method that helps support the recommendations of the EPA regarding the use of chemical agents, and it is fairly obvious to see why it is becoming a popular mold remediation solution.”

Results: Benefits of the Cold Jet Solution

According to Cold Jet, the global leader in dry ice blasting technology, cleaning contractors have been able to dramatically reduce their labor time and costs by using the company’s dry ice blast cleaning systems. For example, a contractor in Cincinnati, Ohio was able to reduce what had been a 10 day job with traditional cleaning processes to three days, while also reducing the number of workers on site from six to two. On average Cold Jet has found that dry ice blasting reduces cleaning time up to 70 percent, labor costs by 90 percent and project costs by up to 85 percent. The time and costs savings are then passed on to the home or business owner who benefits from the speed and efficiency of the advanced cleaning process.

Cold Jet’s systems also improve the effectiveness of the mold remediation process by allowing contractors to clean in between beams and sheathing, as well as around nails, which helps provide as close to 100 percent spore removal as possible. The same Cincinnati contractor reported that following the cleaning job, its customer reported its first “zero” spore count. Across the board, dry ice blasting reduces the need for encapsulation and biocides, ensuring a more environmentally friendly and safer working environment.

Dry ice blasting provides an effective mold remediation solution that helps to completely eliminate mold from contaminated areas in homes and businesses. While saving time and money for homeowners and businesses, dry ice blasting eliminates the challenges of traditional cleaning techniques and increasing the number of mold remediation projects a cleaning firm can perform.

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Mold Threatens Rare Book Vault at the University of Texas at Austin Library

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The Damages:

  • An HVAC leak caused water damage to rare book vault
  • 1500 square feet of infected area containing 5000 volumes of rare books
  • Commercial carpeting and drywall inundated with mold
  • Microbial growth visible on the surfaces of the books

AllNation’s Response:

  • Work area placed under containment and negative pressure protecting the rest of the property from cross-contamination
  • Book stacks wrapped during demolition to prevent further contamination
  • Carpeting removed and flooring treated with an antimicrobial agent
  • Contaminated drywall removed, sub-surfaces cleaned, disinfected and encapsulated
  • All surfaces HEPA vacuumed, wiped and HEPA vacuumed again to remove mold spores
  • Worked with UT’s Book conservator to tailor a cleaning process for the rare books that would be effective and cause the least amount of damage
  • HEPA air filtration used both inside and outside containment areas
  • Commercial dehumidification units employed to control humidity level and return room to functioning, safe level

Rare books at the prestigious University of Texas at Austin were threatened by a severe case of mold contamination. All Nation was called, and with our immediate response and sensitivity to the situation we were able to restore not only the space itself, but the irreplaceable books it housed.

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