January 26th, 2017 Update:
Ice Dams, Water
Intrusion in Walls & Attic Ceiling Mold Growth
When there is an unusually cold winter and
frequent heavy snow falls many homes will get severe ice
build-up on their roofs. When the snow on our roof melts, or if
it rains, water will dam-up above the ice build-up along
the gutters. If the roof doesn't have a good quality ice-damming
membrane material installed under the shingles this water will
penetrate to the roofing sheathing below and also pool inside
the soffits. The water will then run down inside your walls
and ceilings. This water intrusion damages wall and ceiling
materials and also leads to aspergillus, chaetomium, penicillium
and stachybotrys mold growth inside our walls and on our
ceilings. Also, wet attic ceiling sheathing
commonly leads to attic ceiling mold. There are certain mold
types that can grow on very cold wet attic ceiling sheathing and
ceiling joists. These mold types can look white, gray or black.
If you have water intrusion into your
ceilings or walls you should have a certified mold inspector
check the wall and ceiling areas with a specialized moisture
meter to see the extent of the moisture intrusion. These areas
of water intrusion will usually need to be removed and mold
remediation cleaning performed inside.
We have many years of experience in
dealing with water damage & mold growth caused from ice-dams. We
are certified in both mold testing and in mold remediation.
- Specializing in Attics,
Basements and Foreclosed Mold Problem Homes ::
If you have noticed a musty, moldy odor from your basement or another area inside your home
this smell could be from mold growth. This is
especially of concern if the basement has a high humidity level during
the spring or summer, has ever gotten wet from heavy rains,
has had recurrent water leaks or got wet from a leaky or burst pipe.
Most molds only need a humidity level around 55% to start
mold growth on most cellulose materials. These include
basement walls, drop ceilings, fixed wooden ceiling joists,
sills, sub-flooring and stored items (especially cardboard
and varnished furniture items). Once rugs or sheetrock walls
have gotten wet, toxic molds start growing on them within 48
hours. * Exterior basement sheetrock walls with insulation
behind them are very difficult to dry. Even if
you had them professionally dried, its common for aspergillus and
even stackybotrys molds to have already spread throughout the
lower wall materials, insulation and into the wall studs.
Have you noticed dark discolorations on your attic ceiling
joists or sheathing. There are multiple types of toxic molds that
will grow on attic ceiling sheathing and ceiling joists. All
it takes for the mold to start growing on the attic ceiling
or sidewalls is for the ceiling to get damp or wet, either during the spring-summer seasons or
during the winter. Some molds are a light gray to dark gray
colored (especially on the ceiling joists). Others
molds are dark
colored or blackish and usually found growing on the attic
ceiling sheathing. The most common cause for attic ceiling
mold growth is from moisture in the rising warm household
air condensing on the cold
exterior attic ceilings and side-walls. This occurs during
the winter. The most common source of
this attic moisture is a bathroom ceiling fan venting into
the attic instead of to the outside. Ice-dams are another common
moisture source. There are also other less common problems
that can cause high moisture levels in attics. When excessive
attic moisture is combined with limited attic venting, mold
growth is all but guaranteed.
We'll check your attic ventilation during our inspection.
Mold Inspection - Detection ::
Finding The Mold:
The first step, as part of our specialized on-site service, includes a visual inspection for black mold or
any other type of mold growing on interior surfaces of your home. If during our visual mold inspection, we detect mold growing in an area,
we can take a direct sample from the area or object and have it tested for toxic mold spores. If you suspect hidden mold in your home or a home you are buying, we can perform environmental air sampling. Note: Air testing for hidden mold is one of the best methods used for detection of hidden mold. Our air quality testing method is used to locate and identify the presence of toxic molds, fungi, and pathogenic bacteria. Mold testing samples will then be taken and are each encoded with a unique number sequence for later test result confirmation.
Mold Testing &
Laboratory Analysis ::
Is it toxic? Air testing and direct sample cultures are sent out to a certified third party laboratory in MA qualified to process viable and non-viable fungi cultures. Mold testing air samples are
analyzed for the presence of over 18 different types of molds. If a risk is identified, a mold abatement plan is then discussed with the client.
Mold Remediation ::
contain the work area, remove and dispose of all contaminated materials. Then, our Mold Remediation Technology is
performed by trained, professional technicians.
(See Remediation Page)
Post - Mold Testing ::
Is it gone?
How do I know? After a mold remediation job has been completed, our company can perform additional mold testing to the treated areas in the environment where the risks were identified and a mold removal procedure was performed. These can be either indoor air testing or direct sample re-testing. Data analysis from these new culture surveys is made available to the client on a confidential basis. At that point we can provide a scientific-based before and after evaluation of our work to demonstrate and to provide assurance that the building is safe.
Mold Prevention ::
How can I stop mold from returning after I have had a mold remediation treatment
Find the moisture or water intrusion source(s) and correct them.
If the mold problem
was in the basement:
Make sure gutters take roof water at least 10 ft. away
from exterior foundation
Seal any foundation or basement
barriers in crawlspaces
remediation, run a self-draining de-humidifier
the mold problem was in the attic:
Winter ice dams on the roof - properly install an ice
the upstairs bathroom fan is venting outside - not
inside the attic
the attic soffit vents - make sure they are not covered
should have ridge vents with functional soffit vents
If soffit venting isn't possible - powered side gable
venting is an option
4/14/2015 Attic Ceiling Mold
Update: This past winter's weather was very cold with deep
snow and severe ice build-up. Rising
air inside homes with poor attic ventilation caused widespread problems with mostly aspergillus and
cladosporium mold growth on the attic ceilings. These molds commonly start
the lower soffits, or on the north side of homes. If left to
grow, they can spread down your walls if you get a winter
7/1/2016 Attic Ceiling Mold Update:
Even though the the winter of 2015 - 2016 was much warmer
than usual many homes with limited attic ventilation still
grew attic ceiling mold. We saw many cases of a light colored
mold on rafters in attics and many more with black attic
mold growth on the exterior attic sheathing. There are many
types of black mold growth on attic ceiling sheathing.
Out of the 20 types of mold growth we test for, the most
commonly found mold types in attics are aspergillus,
Notes for Attics:
The period between 12/1/2015 and
3/15/2016 had the worst ice-dams in recent history. If your
attic didn't have proper ventilation and your attic ceiling
got wet from ice-dams you probably got mold growth on your
attic ceiling. The mold usually looks whitish grey on the
ceiling rafters and dark grey to black on the exterior
ceiling sheathing. The mold usually starts growing on
the north side lower attic sheathing and spreads from there.
This mold growth and water damage is commonly covered by
insurance, but not always. You'll need to call your
insurance company and have them send out an adjuster to see
if your covered.
Notes for Basements:
The floods we had in Massachusetts between
2/18/2010 and 3/15/2010 wet many basements. If the basement walls stayed wet, or
damp, for even 3 days, black stachybotrys or aspergillus
mold growth usually developed. Also, aspergillus mold
could of started to grow on the basement ceilings. This mold
usually looks like a gray film on the ceiling joists.
Much of this mold growth is usually hidden on
the backsides of the basement walls. When the basements finally
dried, this mold growth didn't die. The mold spores just
became dorment. The spores still exist and are still viable.
The spores can live for up to 10 years without moisture. If the walls get
damp from high spring or summer humidity, or wet again from
any of the heavy summer and fall downpours we had in 2011,
the dormant mold spores will quickly start growing new mold.
A mold smell is often detected when the moisture rises high
enough again for dorment mold spores to reproduce. The
smell often fades away again when the wall, and or, ceiling
materials dries out again. Dorment mold spores still cause health
problems (mycotoxin production), but the health problems are much worse when the
humidity rises above 60%. This is when new mold growth
occurs producing more mold spores and much more mycotoxins.
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