Recent Mold Remediation Posts

Mold in the Desert?

11/9/2022 (Permalink)

black toxic mold Black mold on walls in an indoor setting should be removed.

Buildings in a Desert Climate Can Have a Mold Problem Too!


In the center of the desert, only a short distance from the Mexican Border the temperatures can get extremely high. One would think it’s too dry to have mold problems. Mold problems happen in our homes and commercial structures, and when they do, the problem will often spread quickly.

While many molds have adapted to low humidity and the elevated heat of the desert, these are not usually the molds that typically cause problems for building interiors or are problematic to people. While average outdoor humidity in the Yuma area is around 40% there are three months of the year when our desert has elevated humidity and is more supportive of all kinds of mold growth. For your information, molds that can cause health effects for people require relative humidity above 60%.

The so-called black mold, Stachybotrys, and others can threaten humans because they produce fine airborne spores that can quickly enter our respiratory system. These molds find enough locations in the desert with adequate moisture to support their growth and survival year-round and benefit from the Monsoon rain season. Trust us when we say, “airborne mold spores will find their way into wet or damp indoor environments.” Since these molds prefer 60% relative humidity (and above) and temperatures in the 70F to 85F range they will thrive in a damp indoor environment. Remember, most indoor environments are air-conditioned to this temperature range. Once an indoor environment is wet by a plumbing mishap or groundwater flooding, the interior humidity will quickly elevate to 60% RH and above. Unless HEPA filtration, the HVAC system will move spores throughout the ventilation system. Even if an HVAC system has advanced filtration to capture mold spores the system will blow and move the air in rooms and that can spread the spores around causing some of them to settle on wet portions of walls and other surfaces such as paper, cardboard, leather, and certain fabrics such as cotton. These surfaces named, are considered food sources for mold colonies.

Ideal Food Sources for Mold:

Paper

Cardboard

Softwood

Decaying food

Leather

Cotton fabric

As we have explained, mold can indeed become a problem in desert community homes and buildings just like it can become a problem in a temperate or tropical climate. The reason, no matter where we live, our homes and their interior atmosphere are similar and plumbing leaks, water flooding, and other issues can quickly raise indoor humidity to a level where mold can grow and spread spores.

If you suspect your home or building has a mold problem, please call SERVPRO of El Centro and Salton City. We are always happy to talk with you and/or make a site visit. If remediation services are required, we may introduce you to an Industrial Hygienist (third party) who can provide a written scope about the remedy. SERVPRO understands how to safely remove mold by following EPA and OSHA guidelines.

How Come the Mold Came Back?

4/12/2022 (Permalink)

Mold on wall under a window A common place for mold colonies to form on a wall is below a window.

Fix the Moisture Source to Prevent Mold from Returning

Many homeowners tell us that they removed the mold from their bathroom walls, but it returned several days later. They ask why? Our response is based upon the science of drying and years of experience concerning working in damp or wet structures to perform mold remediation. Here’s our answer, “Mold requires moisture to grow. There are always mold spores in the air in both the outdoors and within our indoor environments. When a surface becomes damp and when the relative humidity of the indoor air reaches 60% or higher, mold will grow.”

Why Does Mold Return to the Same Location?

This is another common question and there is a logical reason why mold first grew on a certain location and why it returns to that location even after being removed. It’s because the conditions were ideal for mold growth in the first place. The air-movement in the room carried mold spores to a certain location where the texture, temperature, and moisture conditions were perfect for a mold colony to develop, These locations are often found on outside facing walls and usually above or below windows. Bathrooms and kitchens produce steam and are the usual rooms in which mold can become a problem. 

It’s easy to remove mold patches, but if the moisture conditions are not corrected, new airborne mold spores will settle in the exact locations. There are ways to prevent this cycle from repeating:

  • Ventilate kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms so moisture doesn’t exceed 60% RH.
  • Use dehumidifiers and HVAC system as necessary
  • Install and use powerful exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms
  • Be sure that exterior walls are properly insulated
  • Inspect for exterior leaks, including pipe leaks that could dampen a wall
  • Maintain indoor temperature so condensation doesn’t collect on exterior walls

SERVPRO of Yuma East, Foothills has observed that most interior mold is caused by lack of ventilation. That means opening doors, and window to ventilate and operating exhaust fans in damp rooms to prevent mold growth.  Anytime you need advice about a mold problem or require mold remediation, we are here to help. Our experienced team can be reached at: 928-247-1180

How do I Clean Up Mold?

12/16/2021 (Permalink)

EPA Mold booklet The EPA has produced an informative free booklet about moisture and mold in your home.

Mold, Moisture, and Your Home

The EPA has published a helpful mold guide for homeowners to understand why mold might be growing in our homes and how to remove it. The booklet, Mold Moisture, and Your Home is available as a PDF download from the EPA.

In this article, we have quoted several key areas of information from the EPA mold guide to provide you with a quick review of the information. However, we recommend that you download and read the entire booklet!

  • Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing.”
  • The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors. If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem.”
  • 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, following the guidelines below.”

The EPA booklet warns homeowner against self-do-it-cleaning if the mold source was contaminated with sewage, if you suspect the HVAC system is contaminated, and if there is a quantity of mold more than 10 square feet. The booklet then provides two pages of instructions about how to safely and properly clean moldy surfaces. The instruction discuss how to safely use bleach (if, and when it may be needed).

  • Avoid breathing in mold or mold spores. In order to limit your exposure to airborne mold, you may want to wear an N-95 respirator, available at many hardware stores and from companies that advertise on the Internet.
  • Wear gloves. Long gloves that extend to the middle of the forearm are recommended. When working with water and a mild detergent, ordinary household rubber gloves may be used. If you are using a disinfectant, a biocide such as chlorine bleach, or a strong cleaning solution, you should select gloves made from natural rubber, neoprene, nitrile, polyurethane, or PVC.
  • Wear goggles. Goggles that do not have ventilation holes are recommended. Avoid getting mold or mold spores in your eyes.
  • Cleanup and Biocides. Biocides are substances that can destroy living organisms. The use of a chemical or biocide  that kills organisms such as mold (chlorine bleach, for example) is not recommended as a routine practice during mold cleanup. There may be instances, however, when professional judgment may indicate its use.

The EPA booklet asks an important question, how do I get rid of mold? Here is their answer:

  • "It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors; some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in house dust. The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors. If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold, but don’t fix the water problem, then, most likely, the mold problem will come back."

We can’t say it enough about, Mold, Moisture, and Your Home. It is an outstanding resource. We strongly encourage you to get a personal copy.

Please, understand, SERVPRO of Yuma is expert in resolving moisture and mold issues in homes and public buildings.  

We can be contacted at 928-247-1180

What are the Different Types of Mold?

12/14/2021 (Permalink)

Mold technician in Tyvek suit Some mold projects are simple, others require more effort.

Mold is Part of the Fungi Kingdom

Mold is part of the fungi kingdom. Many people equate fungi to mushrooms. However, the fungi kingdom is more expansive than that. Fungi have a different cell structure than plants or animals. Fungi typically reproduce through spores which are tiny, microscopic cells that can survive through harsh conditions and sometimes replicate to produce more genetic copies. This ability to easily reproduce and survive harsh conditions is why mold is so hard to get rid! Mold comes in more than 100,000 species. Specific molds can survive in every climate and molds are found everywhere on our planet from rainforests to deserts, and beyond.

If You See Mold, Don’t Panic!

There are stories told about “black mold”, these people are talking about a specific mold named  Stachybotrys Chartarum. However, just because a mold is black doesn’t mean that it’s Stachybotrys Chartarum. There are one-hundred-thousand different kinds of mold and they come in all colors even pink, yellow, and blue!  Don’t automatically assume your home has Stachybotrys Chartarum.

However, if there is visible mold in your home (no matter the species) you will want to remove it or have professionals such as SERVPRO of Yuma assist you with the remediation (safe removal).

Once visible mold has been remediated the problem is not always solved. Unless, the cause of the mold growth is addressed, the mold will probably return in time. And the cause of mold growth is triggered by dampness and elevated humidity. These issues can be fixed. Often, it’s a matter of employing proper insulation, heating, or ventilation.  SERVPRO of Yuma and East Foothills understands how and why mold grows. We can provide a total remediation service:

  • Address the cause/source
  • Remove the mold

We perform inspections and provide quotes for the appropriate services. If you are concerned about, or suspect your home has mold issues please, contact us at: 928-247-1180

Is mold a problem in Yuma?

12/9/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growing on two walls. The mold on these two walls was growing behind a dresser and a bed headboard.

How Can Buildings in a Desert Climate Have a Mold Problem?


In the center of the desert, only a short distance from the Mexican Border the temperatures can get extremely high. One would think it’s too dry to have mold problems. Mold problems happen in our homes and commercial structures, and when they do, the problem will often spread quickly.

While many molds have adapted to low humidity and the elevated heat of the desert, these are not usually the molds that typically cause problems for building interiors or are problematic to people. While average outdoor humidity in the Yuma area is around 40% there are three months of the year when our desert has elevated humidity and is more supportive for all kinds of mold growth. For your information, the molds that can cause health effects for people require relative humidity above 60%.

The so called black mold, Stachybotrys, and others are the types of mold that can pose a threat to humans because they produce fine airborne spores that can easily enter our respiratory system. These molds find enough locations in the desert with adequate moisture to support their growth and survival year around and they benefit from the Monsoon rain season. Trust us when we say, “airborne mold spores will find their way into wet or damp indoor environments.” Since these molds prefer 60% relative humidity (and above) and temperatures in the 70F to 85F range they will thrive in a damp indoor environment. Remember, most indoor environments are air-conditioned to this temperature range. Once an indoor environment is wet by a plumbing mishap or groundwater flooding, the interior humidity will quickly elevate to 60% RH and above. Unless HEPA filtration, the HVAC system will move spores throughout the ventilation system. Even if an HVAC system has advanced filtration to capture mold spores the system will blow and move the air in rooms and that can spread the spores around causing some of them to settle on wet portions of walls and other surfaces such as paper, cardboard, leather, and certain fabrics such as cotton. These surfaces named, are considered food sources for mold colonies.

Ideal Food Sources for Mold:

Paper

Cardboard

Softwood

Decaying food

Leather

Cotton fabric

As we have explained, mold can indeed become a problem in desert community homes and buildings just like it can become a problem in a temperate or tropical climate. The reason, no matter where we live, our homes and their interior atmosphere are similar and plumbing leaks, water flooding, and other issues can quickly raise indoor humidity to a level where mold can grow and spread spores.

If you suspect your home or building has a mold problem, please call SERVPRO of Yuma. We are always happy to talk with you and/or make a site visit. If remediation services are required, we may introduce you to an Industrial Hygienist (third party) who can provide a written scope about the remedy. SERVPRO understands how to safely remove mold by following EPA and OSHA guidelines.

Our business phone: 928-247-1180.