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Mold and mildew are naturally occurring micro organisms that exist everywhere in our environment, but when the amount of mold in your home exceeds what is normal, it can affect the health of your family and even the structure itself.
At Pacific Restoration staffs are trained and certified in mold remediation. Proper qualifications and certifications are essential for addressing mold problems in order to ensure that removal is done correctly and completely. We work with the problems, crises and challenges that occur to property and that are caused by water, fire and storm damage.
Our mold removal services include:24/7 emergency services – onsite and assisting you within a few hours
Prompt assessment as to the extent of the mold infiltration from trained professionals
Industrial grade water extractors, dehumidifiers, air movers and other equipment used to efficiently remove excess water
Efficient containment of affected area and removal of contaminated materials
Assistance with the insurance claims process
Unlike plants, fungi cannot produce it own nutrients through photosynthesis. Molds grow best in warm, damp and humid conditions. Mold and mildew both reproduce by tiny spores that require moisture and nutrients to grow. Mold spores drift through the air continually and can survive harsh, dry conditions that do not support normal mold growth. Mold spores will often land on wet indoor surfaces and begin to grow by digesting the wet material.
Since every person reacts differently to mold exposure, it is best to consider all molds in any building as potentially dangerous and most likely be properly remediated by a qualified restoration contractor. Mold spores (the seed-like structures that mold are germinated from) are very hard to kill. Many people experience re-growth of mold after they treat the areas with mold killing sprays like Tilex or bleach
Toxic black mold or black mold is a name commonly used for Stachybotrys chartarum. It is one of the most infamous toxic molds because it can grow in houses and is extremely dangerous to humans.
Aspergillus is a group of molds, of which about 200 species have been identified. Aspergillus molds are found throughout the world and are the most common type of fungi in the environment. About 16 species of Aspergillus molds are known to be dangerous to humans, causing disease and infection.
Since Aspergillus spores are everywhere, we are constantly breathing them in. However the amount of Aspergillus spores in the air is usually within our natural tolerance levels and hence does not affect our health. If you have Aspergillus mold in your home or environment, however, the increased amount of airborne spores can lead to negative symptoms. The three main types of symptoms are:
Allergic symptoms. Exposure to large amounts of Aspergillus spores can cause allergic reactions. People with severe asthma are often sensitive to Aspergillus and can suffer asthma attacks because of the spores.
Toxic symptoms. These are caused by the mycotoxins produced by some species of Aspergillus, especially Aspergillus flavus. One such mycotoxin is aflatoxin, a very potent carcinogen.
Infection. Aspergillus species can infect people and animals and begin to grow inside them, especially in the lungs. Usually only people with weakened immune systems are susceptible to infection by Aspergillus. Aspergillus infections are categorized in the group of diseases called Aspergillosis
If you have noticed a black pepper type substance growing in your toilet tank, it is most likely Cladosporium, the most common of all molds. It is categorized as Black Mold and the genus is Cladosporium, which includes over 30 species. The differences can only be detected under a microscope. Mold spores live indoors and outdoors, and are an airborne allergen. Cladosporium mold is commonly found, in dying and dead plants, in the soil and on food. It thrives in a damp, dark, nonporous environment such as window frames and the inside of refrigerators. It will also multiply in houses with poor ventilation and in straw roofs built in low damp areas. Samples from fuel tanks, face creams, paints and fabric reveal the presence of Cladosporium
Cladosporium is one of the molds that cause the most allergy symptoms, producing a positive skin reaction in allergy-sensitive individuals. In certain people, a high concentration of mold is not needed to trigger a reaction. Those most at risk to develop allergic reactions are infants, children, pregnant women, and the elderly.
Symptoms most common to Cladosporium mold are: congested or runny nose, sinus problems, red and watery eyes, skin irritation, fatigue, sore throat, cough and hoarseness. Over time, more serious symptoms may develop such as, ear inflammation; nose bleeds and joint pain, without swelling.
Penicillium is green bread mold but also grows in other places of the house, such as in an AC system, at leak areas, and flood areas where humidity has been elevated for an extended time, on shoes and furniture in a damp basement, etc.
Penicillium may cause hypersensitivity pneumonitis, asthma, and allergic alveolitis in susceptible individuals.
However, it does have the ability to produce mycotoxins.
Ideally, the affected areas should be sealed off from the rest of the building using heavy plastic sheeting and “negative air” should be established with HEPA filtered air scrubbers.
Pacific Restoration has trained individuals that can properly identify potentially contaminated areas and devise a remediation plan. We can inspect the interior and exterior of the building for both known and unknown sources of moisture intrusion and areas in need of repair. Pacific Restoration can recommend a course of action to elevate the problem. We use state of the art equipment to determine the moisture content in the building and the extent of water damage and potential mold infestation. Our inspection equipment allows us to see inside wall cavities, under cabinetry and other inaccessible areas without doing expensive destructive testing.
Pacific Restoration uses a certified and trained San Diego mold remediation manager on all mold projects, large and small. The manager develops a remediation plan and may vary greatly depending on the size and complexity of the problem. The size of the affected area, the building materials contaminated by mold and the loss of use by the occupant all play key roles in the remediation plan. The plan should also include a resolution to the source of moisture intrusion to the building.
After the remediation plan is prepared, the manager and property owners coordinate the logistics of the project. Careful isolation of the affected areas prevent cross contamination of other areas of the property. This important step called “containment or critical barriers” establishes a safe work environment for technicians to effectively remove the contaminated building materials and properly bag for disposal. HEPA air scrubbers and ducting establish “negative air” pressure inside the contained areas. After contaminated building materials are removed and sealed for disposal, all structural components are treat with biocides. All debris is HEPA vacuumed. It is important that there is no dust or debris left inside the containment, therefore all vertical and horizontal surfaces are “wet wiped” several times during the mold remediation.
OSHA, EPA, American Industrial Hygiene Association and other regulatory bodies have established mold-sampling protocols and should be performed by professionals who have specific experience in this area. Currently, there are no widely accepted regulations regarding mold testing.
Air sampling (viable and nonviable) is the most common form of testing to determine mold levels. Indoor air concentration levels are often compared to outside levels. A spore trap cassette is connected to a vacuum pump and captures airborne particles to be sent for lab analysis.
Surface tape lift or swab type sampling is used to determine and identify molds on a specific surface. Surface samples can often identify molds that have not yet become airborne.
Bulk sampling involves collecting visibly moldy materials such as drywall, baseboards or carpet. Usually, a 2” by 2” sample is collected for laboratory analysis.
Effective and safe mold removal is a complicated procedure that should only be undertaken by qualified individuals. As with all restoration projects, the most important decision the property owner faces is deciding which contractor he or she should hire to perform the work. Pacific Restoration has successfully performed over 600 San Diego mold remediation projects in the last 14 years. We care deeply about the health and safety of both the occupants and the restorers and we know how to do it correctly.