Recent Mold Remediation Posts

We Offer Air Quality Testing

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

Mike Chrzan is a certified mold inspector here conducting a air quality test at a home in Scranton.

Mold is a living organism and is present everywhere. It has a necessary function in the environment. The goal of mold remediation companies is to ensure that your home or business is safe for living. There are too many strains of mold to mention and some are more harmful than others. That being said, some people are more sensitive to mold than others. The only definitive way to know what type and how prevalent the mold intrusion is, is to conduct air-quality tests. Test can range from hundreds of dollars from an qualified environmental company to several dollars for a home testing kit. Naturally, choose wisely when deciding how best to test the indoor air quality of your home or business. SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge employs a certified mold inspector who can test your home or business for $90.00/test and with very limited interruption. The test are sent to a qualified lab who sends a detailed report identifying the types of spores as well as the amount present. Once the problem is know, a remediation plan can be developed to make your home or business safe. The few hundred dollars is well worth the piece of mind. Call SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge at (570) 235-1646 to discuss having your home or business tested.

Understanding Mold

9/5/2018 (Permalink)

Mold along the baseboard of this Scranton home from a recent flood.

Confusion and misunderstanding surround the topic of mold and mold remediation. Some restoration businesses even make claims to remove all mold from a building. This is a fallacy. Mold spores occur naturally almost everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. These microscopic spores float along in the air and can enter a home or business through windows and HVAC systems. Consider these facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

Mold-The After Effects of Water Damage

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

The effects of the recent heavy rains and floods. When water intrusion is not treated in a timely fashion, mold can be the result.

It’s the beginning of a new school year and nothing has been more newsworthy than schools being delayed or disrupted due to mold issues. The unprecedented amount of rain has certainly been the major culprit of these issues and SERVPRO is on the scene of several schools throughout the Northeast remediating the problem and making the environment safe for both students and staff.

 Mold has become a generic term used to describe any discoloration found and is often misunderstood.  Mold is present everywhere. The only definitive way to know if your building has a mold issue is to conduct air quality testing. SERVPRO employs a certified mold inspector who can test and determine if an issue is present. We supply the results so that all concern have the documentation needed to ensure safety. Air quality testing costs $90.00/test which is extremely competitive considering many companies charge several hundreds of dollars per test. If elevated levels are found we can help develop a remediation plan and will guarantee a clean post test. We will certified all work.

Mold Remedaition

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

Mold is spread through the air. Basement mold can affect the rest of the house if not remediated in a timely fashion.

Mold is everywhere and it is a common problem in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Older homes, some with unfinished basements, some with foundation problems which allow an intrusion of water into them are not uncommon. All of these factors can cause mold to grow and SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge stays busy remediating these basements.

Basements are the most common place for mold to grow simply because they are usually damp, dark and have a lack of airflow.  Since the spores are spread through the air, it is not uncommon for the spores to travel to other parts of the home. HVAC ducts are one conduit in which they travel.

To keep mold from infesting the rest of the home immediate attention to the basement should occur. SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge has the experienced remediation technicians to rid the home of potential harmful mold growth.

As a homeowner there are several steps you can take to reduce the chances for mold to grow. The first and most important thing is to keep the basement dry. if water is an issue, correct it. Always use a dehumidifier and keep the humidity lower than 55%. Make sure there is air flow either with a open window or activity in the basement.

If you see signs of mold growth, call a professional remediation company like SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge.

Certified Mold Inspector

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

Mike Chrzan our certified mold inspector conducting an air quality test for a customer.

Mold is present everywhere. However, the only definitive way to know if your home or business has a mold problem is to conduct an air quality test. Air quality testing will show types/strains of mold and spore counts. Elevated spore counts as compared to a control sample (usually taken outside), will dictate whether a mold problem exists.
SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge employs a certified mold inspector which enables us to better serve our customers. We are a one stop mold remediation company, testing to removing. The biggest advantage is to be able to do post testing. This ensures that the remediation process was successful putting the customers mind at ease.
If you think you have a mold infestation, call SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge, your one stop mold remediation company. proudly serving the Scranton/Lackawanna County area.

Air Quality Testing

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

Our certified mold tester, Mike Chrzan setting up for an air quality test at this property in Scranton.

The only definitive way to ascertain whether a mold issue is occurring is by conducting testing. SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge employs a certified mold tester to better service our customers.

There are several different types of test which a professional remediation company can conduct. As a company we employ the use of the following two.

Air Quality testing: By testing the air quality and comparing the spore counts between the area in question and a controlled sample from outside, we are able to determine if an issue is occurring as well as the type of mold present and spores counts of each strain. Once we have a beginning spore count we are then able to begin the remediation process. A post test will determine whether the air is now clean.

Tape Samples: Tape sampling is used when obvious discoloration is seen. This method will allow the remediation professional to ascertain the type of spores present. This method is helpful in determining the difference between mold and mildew.

SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge is the leading mold remediation company in Lackawanna County. By offering both testing and remediation we are a one stop call. We are proud to serve our local Lackawanna County community.

So You Found Mold, Now What?

9/19/2017 (Permalink)

Mold from a untreated water disaster can be the ideal conditions for mold to grow. here it is manifesting itself onto the walls of this home .

So You’ve Found Mold, Now What?

The first thing you will want to do is determine the severity of the mold growth. The biggest red flag will be a musty or moldy smell. If this odor is present, you have mold. The second and most obvious tell-tale sign will be spotty, mold stained walls, floors, ceiling, etc.

Next, you will want to determine the source of the mold growth. Has a water leak occurred or was the mold as a result of home inactivity? If a water leak has occurred, it must be fixed as soon as possible. If the presence of mold is obvious, the most common practice for real estate agents is to have a third party inspection to assess the situation. Some agents have found it helpful to have the inspection conducted before putting the house on the market. This way, if a mold problem is found, it will give them a chance to properly assess the problem and determine the proper steps to remediate. If you do choose a mold remediation company, always look for qualified specialists that will follow the EPA guidelines for mold clean up. [EPA 402-K-02-003] (Note: It is NEVER recommended to use chlorine bleach (commonly known as laundry bleach) to treat mold growth. Bleach is extremely toxic and will only make the mold return worse than before.) A knowledgeable inspector will recommend cleaning the mold with a non-toxic detergent and then applying a moisture barrier to prevent any future mold growth. I can’t emphasize how important this step is and how it must not be overlooked. Cleaning is NEVER enough with mold. Applying a moisture barrier will keep away further mold growth and protect future homeowners from the many health hazards of toxic mold exposure. In some cases, if the mold has spread into the internal structure of the home, you may need to contact additional services to replace or repair the materials affected.

Review the Following Tips To Reduce Liability and Feel Confident You Have Taken the Proper Steps To Treat Mold

  • During your personal inspection of the home, always pay attention to the presence of mold or mildew odors.
  • Remember, cleaning is never enough! Dead or alive, mold spores can still remain allergenic. Always insist on a moisture barrier that penetrates deep into the cleaned material to protect against future mold growth.
  • Always be weary of an inspector or remediation company that recommends the use of bleach to clean mold. The EPA and OSHA have advised against the use of bleach as an effective means to clean mold. [] []
  • It is always good to insist that a potential buyer have his or her own independent inspection conducted. If it is agreed upon that the buyer will remediate the problem, never settle for the “what if’s” in an unqualified mold remediation company. Educate the buyer! Share your knowledge about the hazards of bleach and help them decide on the proper products/company to use. In some states, real estate agents can be liable for years after the sale of a home. Using the proper products to clean and prevent mold will give you the peace of mind that the job was done correctly and the mold will not return.

Equipped with the basic knowledge of mold and how to properly treat and prevent it, you will be much better prepared to tackle disclosure and possible liability issues.

If you need advice call SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge, Lackawanna Counties premier mold Remediation Company. 

4 Signs You Have Mold

8/29/2017 (Permalink)

Untreated water damage lead to this mold infestation at an unoccupied home in Forrest City.

Drive through any random neighborhood, and you’re bound to come across at least one home with a mold problem. Many people have little or no knowledge about mold. They’re too busy working and raising a family to think about whether or not they have any in their home. Should the problem go unchecked, they may end up with a serious, expensive problem. Don’t let this happen to you. Be aware of the warning signs.

You Recently Had Water Damage

Did you know that mold can appear after water damage as quickly as 24-48 hours? It can! If you recently had water damage, or even a water leak, it’s always a good idea to 1. fix the leak and damage and 2. keep your eye out for mold! Recent water damage might be a sign that you have mold. Be cautious and keep your eyes out.

Allergy Symptoms Emerge From People in Your Household

If a member of your family displays allergy symptoms, this may be a sign that there is mold present in your home. Do their eyes water when they enter a certain room? Have they ever felt listless or congested? When they leave the house, what happens? Many symptoms go away when a person leaves to run errands or work. While it’s possible for someone to simply have a cold, it’s important to pay attention. Don’t dismiss health issues or assume you’re paranoid.

You See Mold

Mold could be anywhere in your home. If you spot a patch out in the open, this is a sign that may you have a big problem on your hands. If mold exists where you can see it, there may be mold in hidden areas. It’s not hard to distinguish mold from soap scum in your shower or bathtub. However, in the basement, cellar, or garage, mold may blend in with the color of the walls or flooring. If you feel you can’t scour the house alone, ask someone to assist. Damp places are a breeding ground for mold, so check in these areas first.

A Strange Odor Is Present

When you step into your home after a long day, do you smell something unusual? You may assume that a skunk is hiding in the bushes near the door. Perhaps you believe that your spouse burned dinner or needs to take a shower. But strange and persistent odors may be a sign that mold hides within the walls or under the furniture.

Don’t assume that mold could never exist in your home. No matter how persistent you are with your cleaning schedule, mold may still grow. Be aggressive when you search and take action when necessary. The health and happiness of your family should take center stage.

SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge is Northeastern Pennsylvania's premier mold remediation company.

Real Estate Agents and Mold

8/29/2017 (Permalink)

Excessive moisture in this home in Dickson City was the cause of this mold intrusion. We were called by the insurance company to remediate it.

As the number of foreclosed homes continue to rise, so does a BIG problem for real estate agents – MOLD.

Foreclosed homes are more susceptible to mold due to the “closed up” conditions the home is left in. In our normal day to day lives, we go in and out of our homes promoting a natural ventilation. This daily ventilation sucks the moisture out of our home up into the attic and out through the roof. This process is known as the stack effect.

Empty homes, on the other hand, are sitting inactive season after season without proper ventilation. If moisture is trapped inside the home, you are sure to have mold growth. If you are in real estate, you are well aware that this has become an increasingly important issue for you for several reasons.

  1. Our modern energy efficient practices. In the 1970’s energy became expensive. So we began to build buildings and homes that were tight, designed to maximize energy efficiency. The down side of this building method was realized fairly soon after. The byproduct of this type of construction was poor ventilation, mold, and problems with indoor air quality. These tightly sealed buildings essentially trap moisture inside, restricting the home from “breathing”, creating the perfect environment for mold growth.
  2. Litigation and liability activity has significantly increased as public awareness of the dangers of mold exposure have grown. Caveat Emptor is all but a thing of the past in real estate. The operative phrase now is “sellers beware” as more and more states are requiring that home sellers provide a potential buyer with a property disclosure form listing any conditions and information known to the seller that often times can hinder a sale. Failure to do so is serious business that could even result in civil or criminal action. If mold damage is on the list, most potential buyers will thank you for your time and move on.
  3. Recent findings suggests apartment rentals are on the rise. Younger people are finding it more appealing to have a landlord remediate a mold/structural issue than to attempt to tackle it themselves.

As we are all aware, the presence of mold within a home will stall the closing process of any home sale and a professional remediation company is needed. Call SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge at (570) 235-1646. We are the Scranton's area leader in mold remediation company.

Bathroom Mold

8/25/2017 (Permalink)

Mold from excessive moisture issue at an apartment complex in the city of Scranton.

Mold is a common problem in households and businesses across the world. No matter where you go, you’re bound to come across mold in some capacity. Bathrooms are a breeding ground for mold due to the high amount of moisture in the atmosphere. But it’s not just about a few green spots on the wall. If left alone, mold may spread to other parts of your home, causing severe health problems. How can you prevent mold from developing?

Allow For Proper Ventilation

If you have a large family, the shower may be used several times a day. Steam may spread to every corner of the room multiple times. If the steam stays trapped in one area, mold has a greater chance of developing. To prevent this from occurring, make sure your bathroom has good ventilation. During the warmer months of the year, consider opening a window. Leave the door open a crack if possible. Encourage everyone in the house to take on this habit.

Run Fans after You Shower

It’s not enough to open a window. If you truly wish to keep mold at bay, run fans in the room and the adjoining rooms. Don’t give water a chance to settle. Fans circulate the air and dry any surfaces. In such conditions, mold has a smaller chance of popping up in your bathroom. If you don’t have a fan in your bathroom, the fans in the other rooms can at least keep the mold from spreading. Do this whenever you shower – even during the summer.

Clean the Bathroom At Least Once a Week

Dust is a food for mold. It’s important to wipe away dust at least once a week. Use an all-purpose cleaner for the best results. Spray the sinks, toilet, mirrors, counter tops, and walls. Don’t forget to give attention to the tiles in your tub. It may take some time to get the job done properly, but it’s worth it in the end. Ask a family member or friend for help if you feel you can’t do it alone.

Mold is a real problem, one that people around the planet deal with on a daily basis. But you don’t have to let the mold take over your bathroom. If you know how to prevent it, you can save yourself from stress. The information above can get you started.

SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge is Northeastern Pennsylvania premier mold remediation company. Remember we also do smoke, fire and water cleanup and restoration.

Mold Infestation-Dickson City

7/18/2017 (Permalink)

This mold infestation in Dickson City was a result of an on-going water leak. We helped make it "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge, Lackawanna County's premier specialty cleaning company does more than just smoke, fire and water cleanup and restoration. We are also the Scranton areas premier mold remediation company.

Since mold is always a by-product of water damage, we have the expertise to not only remediate the mold but to identify why it is occurring. Before any remediation can occur the cause must be addressed or the problem will persist.

In an overall remediation project, an often overlooked area is the HVAC duct system. Mold spores are airborne and once in the duct system can be spread throughout other areas of the home or business. SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge using its portable system of whips and brushes will clean, deodorize and apply an anti-microbial spray to help ensure that the spores are safely removed.

If you suspect mold in your home or business call SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge at (570) 235-1646 to remediate the problem and keep your family, employees and customers safe.

Signs of Mold

7/12/2017 (Permalink)

Mold growth along the baseboard of this business in Scranton, PA. Ground water issue was the ultimate culprit of this issue. SERVPRO to the rescue.

SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area's premier smoke, fire and water cleanup and restoration company, also has the expertise to test and mitigate and potential mold issues. Excessive amounts of mold and certain types of mold may present health concerns. It is essential for the health of you and your family, as well as the protection of your property, to address the issue and arrange for professionals at SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge to conduct mold removal and mold remediation as soon as the presence of mold is identified.

Water damage can cause mold growth in your home or business, therefore it is important to have your water damage cleaned promptly and professionally.

Signs of the presence of excessive mold include:

  • The presence of visible mold.
  • Strong, musty odors.
  • Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth.
  • Excessive humidity.

Mold Damage-Scranton

7/12/2017 (Permalink)

This home in Scranton had a musty odor and a previous water issue, both are signs that mold is present in the home.

SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks-Summit/Old Forge is the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's premier fire, water and mold cleanup, mitigation and restoration company. With the recent extreme weather, broken and frozen water pipes, mold will become an issue for many home and business owners. We are here to help. We offer indoor air quality testing and will professionally remediate the mold.

 Excessive amounts of mold and certain types of mold may present health concerns. It is essential for the health of you and your family, as well as the protection of your property, to address the issue and arrange for professionals to conduct mold removal and mold remediation as soon as the presence of mold is identified

Molds are naturally present in wood, cellulose, and paper products. When these items are exposed to moisture, molds can flourish and grow. The most important safeguard against mold growth is to remove excess moisture. Also, excessive moisture should not be allowed to remain in a building over a long period of time. To prevent mold growth, the moisture-affected area must be dried within 24 to 48 hours. Before beginning a mold remediation project, the source of moisture must be eliminated.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 92 million people live in places where their air quality does not meet the standards to which they should be living at ( Because mold spores are in the air around us at all times, we must have a plan to prevent them from colonizing in our homes and businesses.

Health concerns may arise when excessive mold has grown indoors. Concerns are more likely to arise when “at risk” individuals are exposed to mold. “At risk” people can include immune suppressed or compromised individuals, young children, and individuals with chronic inflammatory lung diseases such as asthma or severe allergies. Some types of mold may cause a runny nose, eye irritation, cough, congestion, and aggravation of asthma, headache or fatigue. In some situations, there may be more serious health concerns.

Preventing indoor mold growth includes things like making sure the ground slopes away from the home, keeping the home or office free from water, maintain the humidity below 60%, venting the clothes dryers to the outside and keeping areas well ventilated

Should you suspect a mold issue (visible signs, a musty odor or previous water issues), please call (570) 235-1646 for an evaluation.

(CNN) Mold Linked to 5 Deaths at Pittsburgh Hospital

1/30/2017 (Permalink)

Mold growth can pose a health risk. Should you discover mold it is always recommended that you speak with a professional mold remediation company.

The following article from CNN outlines the dangers of untreated water issues which lead to mold growth. Articles like these are important to educate the public.

Should you discover mold in your home or business it is recommended that you speak with a professional mold remediation company like SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge to discuss options.

(CNN)Heavy mold growth was found in the linens used at two University of Pittsburgh Medical Center hospitals where five mold-infection-related deaths occurred since October 2014, according to a report.

The report, which the medical center received in May 2016, was filed January 19, 2017 with the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas in two wrongful-death lawsuits brought against the hospital system by the families of the deceased. 

Fungi-A By Product of an Untreated Water Disaster

11/14/2016 (Permalink)

Fungi growing inside a room at a commercial structure in Scranton, Pa.

SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge was recently called to this commercial structure for a mold remediation project. The building had experienced internal flooding from a leaking foundation which was left untreated since the room was unoccupied.
Upon arrival SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge discovered not only a prevalence of mold growing on the walls but also this fungi growing on the carpet. The wet, warm and dark environment were a perfect growing environment for the fungus to thrive.
When your home or business needs to be restored following a smoke, fire or water disaster, SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge is available 24/7/365 to "Help make it like it never even happened". Call us at (570) 235-1646 proudly serving Scranton and the Lackawanna County area.

HEPA Vacuuming Mold

9/30/2016 (Permalink)

A SERVPRO trained tech using a HEPA Vacuum to clean the walls of a local business.

HEPA Vacuum During Mold Removal and Remediation.

HEPA vacuuming is an important part of mold removal and remediation. SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge trained mold remediation technicians use powerful HEPA vacuums when they are removing mold. The hepa filter ensures that the mold spores are contained and do not spread.

Here SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge technicians are using a HEPA vacuum to clean the walls and ceilings of a structure. This specialized piece of equipment prevents the spores from being stirred up and dispersed airborne during the cleaning process.

If your home or business has a mold intrusion call the Scranton area leader in mold remediation at (570)235-1646. We are an IICRC certified firm with the specialized equipment to remediate and clean any size mold problem.

Commercial Mold Remediation

9/26/2016 (Permalink)

Mold infestation at a property in Scranton. No job too big or too small!

Mold can spread quickly through a property if left untreated. SERVPRO of Carbondale / Clarks Summit / Old Forge can respond quickly, working to first contain the infestation to help prevent its spread to other parts of the building. Next, we will begin the remediation process, working safely and effectively to manage the situation. We have the training, experience, and equipment to contain the mold infestation and remediate it back to a safe and healthy living and working environment. 

SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge through its network of local partners has the capability to remediate any size loss. If your home or business has a mold intrusion, call Lackawanna County's leader in smoke, fire, water mold and biohazard cleanup and restoration at (570) 235-1646. We are an emergency services company responding 24/7 to your smoke, fire, water or mold disaster.

Understanding Mold

9/22/2016 (Permalink)

Mold infestation at a residence in Scranton.

Mold can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods, and insulation. Molds reproduce by making spores that usually cannot be seen without magnification. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When
mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on. Bacteria can start to grow within hours and mold can start to grow within days. Mold spores can lay dormant for years until an ideal growing condition develops, in which they start to flourish. Especially during the summer, the warm humid conditions are a perfect micro-environment for mold growth. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth will often occur—particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. It is impossible to eliminate all molds and mold spores in an indoor
environment. However, mold growth can be controlled indoors by controlling the moisture.
Many types of molds exist.
All molds have the potential to cause serious health effects. Molds can produce allergens that can trigger allergic reactions or even asthma attacks in people allergic to it. Others are known to produce potent toxins and/or irritants. Potential health concerns are an important reason to prevent mold growth and to remediate and clean any existing mold growth indoors.
The purpose of mold remediation is to remove the mold to prevent human exposure and damage to building materials and furnishings. It is necessary to clean up mold contamination, not just kill it. Dead mold is still allergenic, and some dead molds are still potentially toxic! Applying the appropriate restoration procedures within the first few hours of a water loss can save
thousands of dollars in secondary damage. Before the growth of mold becomes visible, there will be a faint musty or earthy smell. In time, mold will appear on the outside of the wall as a stain or discoloration. In a standard situation, SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge can
examine the structure for any visible signs of mold and remove the mold growth and excess spores returning the area back to normal levels. Some situations require the assistance of an Indoor Air Quality/Environmental Professional (IEP) with specialized equipment and services needed to assess and/or repair the structure. IEPs can test and clear a structure for mold
by collecting air and surface samples. Then they can determine whether the mold has been successfully decontaminated.
If you suspect mold is an issue in your home or business call the Scranton areas leading mold remediation specialists at (570) 235-1646. SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge handles mold remediation work on a daily basis and know when prompt action is required to prevent further
mold growth. We are an IICRC certified company available 24/7 in the Lackawanna County area.

Secondary Damage - Mold

8/6/2016 (Permalink)

Mold is a secondary effect from water damage if left untreated.

Timely mitigation is the key to reducing secondary damages from any water damage. This is an example of what happens when the damage goes untreated. Last week's heavy rains caused this building to take a foot of water into the structure. Unfortunately, it went undiscovered, resulting in this mold growth (secondary damage). There was so much moisture in the room that the ceiling tiles were sagging. SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge was called by the building's owner to help dry the structure and remove the mold growth so that he could continue to operate his business in a safe and healthy manner. SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge is the Scranton area's leader in smoke, fire and water restoration. We help business owners restore their properties to safe environments for both employees and customers. If your home or business suffered flood damage, call Lackawanna County's premier smoke, fire and water cleanup and restoration company at (570) 235-1646. We are an emergency services company available 24/7.

Mold Damage

8/3/2016 (Permalink)

Mold damage is indicative of a water issue.

Mold is a by-product of water damage. The mold on this wall started from mold spores growing on insulation next to a sewer pipe. Mold becomes more problematic when the source is from category 3 water (sewage). The continuous dampness of a leaking pipe and a food source (insulation) make an ideal situation for the spores to spread. The spores spread through the air, looking for a food source (the sheetrock on the adjacent wall). SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge was called by the insurance company to both dry and disinfect the structure as well as remediate the mold, helping the homeowner return to a safe and healthy living environment. If your home or business has experienced water damage, call the Scranton area's leader in smoke, fire, water and mold cleanup at (570) 235-1646.

Untreated Water Damage

6/10/2016 (Permalink)

When water damage is not professionally dried, mold growth is a potential byproduct.

This is a picture of a current mold remediation project that SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge is working on at a business in Scranton. This intrusion was a result of untreated water damage. Water damage if left untreated may turn into mold, so always be sure to have your structure dried properly.

SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge is available 24/7 to begin the process of safely restoring your home or business following a disaster so this does not happen to you. If you suspect mold has intruded into your home or business call us at (570) 335-2143, and let our professional mold remediation technicians take care of the problem. We are Lackawanna County's premier smoke, fire, water and mold cleanup and restoration company. We are an IICRC certified firm, so we dry and restore your structure to a high set of standards.

Excess Moisture

4/25/2016 (Permalink)

Rusty air duct vent is a sign of excessive moisture in the air. Excessive moisture can lead to mold growth so an air duct cleaning is recommended.

Rusty air duct vents are an indication of a high moisture content inside a home. This much moisture is never good and could lead to other issues like mold.

SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge was called to this residence in Scranton, PA for a mold remediation project. Included in the remediation was an air duct cleaning. If the origin of the mold was unknown, this vent would have been a great clue. To alleviate excess moisture inside a home or business, utilize a dehumidifier. SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge was able to stabilize the environment through its use of dehumidifier, and the homeowner was able to maintain it afterwards. SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge is the Scranton area's leader in smoke, fire, water, mold and air duct cleaning. If you have an issue within your home or business call us at (570) 235-1646.

Got Mold?

4/22/2016 (Permalink)

Mold infestation from untreated water damage in a home in Scranton, Pa.

The first thing you will notice when you have a mold problem forming in your home or office is that stale musty odor. Most mold forms when you have a leaky pipe or water is coming in from outside. The first and worst thing you can do when you find visible mold is put bleach on it or a fan. All this does is get the mold airborne and spread it. When you attack mold with bleach it sets off the mold releasing micotoxins into the air, and if you have mold on one side of the wall most times its growing in the space behind the drywall. The guide lines set up for the clean up of mold understand that no two people react to mold in the same way. Be cautious of mold but don't let the internet scare you into thinking mold will automatically wreck your health. 

This home in Scranton, had an on-going water leak which resulted in this mold infestation. The homeowner was away for a period of time only to come home to this mess. Mold this prevalent certainly needs to be remediated by a professional cleaning company to avoid additional secondary damage and to return it to the home to pre-loss condition. SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge can help asses your home or business as to the best strategy for eliminating the moisture and mold. We are an IICRC certified firm with the trained technicians and specialized equipment to remediate mold in a safe manner. We are the Scranton's area leader in mold remediation. If you suspect a mold infestation call us today for an estimate (570) 235-1646

Mold Remediation Process

4/1/2016 (Permalink)

Project Manager Mike Chrzan at a mold remediation project in Scranton, Pa.

Every mold infestation is different. They vary from the amount of mold, to the types of materials affected. Each scenario requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge's process for a “typical” mold remediation infestation:
Emergency Contact - (570) 235-1646
Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
Mold Containment
Air Filtration
Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
Cleaning Contents and Belongings

The picture below is of a current mold remediation project at a home in Moosic, Pa. The home sat idle for an extended period of time with high moisture and limited air movement, resulting in this mold infestation. Pictured is the containment to stop the spreading of the air bourne mold spores and the air scrubber working to clean the air. A dehumidifier was also employed to address the moisture problem.The air duct system will also need to be cleaned to ensure that the spores are not spread throughout when the system is operating.

SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge uses the latest techniques and equipment to address a wide variety of mold situation and to ensure the home or business owner returns to a safe living environment.

If your home or business has a mold issue call the Scranton areas leader in mold remediation at (570) 235-1646.

Crawlspace Mold

3/25/2016 (Permalink)

Mold within a crawl space in Dunmore, Pa.

Your Crawlspace And Mold:
What You Should Know

The unfinished crawlspace is rarely an appealing place to visit. These dark, cramped spaces are often inhabited by various species of rodent, an arsenal of poisonous insects, and not to mention the numerous airborne hazards as a result of mold, dust and feces/urine buildup. To complicate matters, it is often poorly designed making it hard to access and easily forgotten. It’s no wonder most homeowners delay treatment and inspection.

For better or worse, the crawlspace is part of many home designs and does require attention to help reduce common issues that can plague the crawlspace. In this article, we’ll review some basic facts about the crawlspace and provide proven techniques to help treat and prevent these problems.

First, What Is A Crawlspace?

The crawlspace is a shallow area beneath the home constructed for the purpose of creating a foundation between the ground and the bottom of the home.  Depending on your region, the crawlspace can offer many advantages over the traditional basement. Some crawlspaces may have been built to save on cost or to help prevent infestations in termite prone areas. Some say an additional advantage is the ease of accessibility when accessing pipes, plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems. That being said, the crawlspace can also dish out a host of disadvantages for the home. This leads us to one of the most common and yet avoidable problems in the crawlspace - mold and structural rot, due to poor moisture management.

Why So Prone To Mold?

Several species of mold growing in a ventilated crawlspace.

Understanding how mold works is the key to understanding how to properly treat and prevent it in your crawlspace. So let’s go over the basics…

Mold is a type of fungi that scientifically, is neither plant nor animal. Unlike plants, mold is lacking chlorophyll and cannot derive energy from the sun. Therefore, mold is an opportunistic organism, routinely dispatching its spores through the air, always seeking a habitable environment for reproduction and growth. Once it has located the few requirements it needs to thrive - water, food source, and warm temperatures, mold can begin to grow remarkably fast, sometimes within 24-48 hours. 

The open or unfinished crawlspace is probably one of the most convenient areas for mold to flourish. Since mold does not require sunlight to grow, it tends to prefer these dark, moist areas of the home. Spores can enter through the open vents, and enjoy a banquet of organic materials to feed on, including the many materials that make up your home. So how does the moisture get in? Here are the biggest contributing factors that allow moisture to intrude on the crawlspace…


 Originally, building code required the crawlspace to be ventilated to use outside air as the main source of moisture control. The theory was to allow an outlet for excess moisture to evaporate. Unfortunately, in some areas of the country (especially the southeast), ventilation can actually make a mold problem much worse. This is because the air inside the crawlspace tends to be much cooler than the outside air. In warmer months, this becomes problematic due to the fact that warmer air is constantly flowing into the ventilated crawlspace. Basic science tells us that when warm moist air comes in contact with cooler air, the warm air cools, releasing moisture in the form of condensation. This continuous source of moisture, humid temperatures, and a steady food source (the building materials in your home), creates the perfect environment for mold/mildew to flourish. 

Rising Damp:

 Rising damp is basically moisture moving from the ground, traveling upward. This can be a major problem for a crawlspace that has not been encapsulated and protected with a vapor barrier. This natural flow of moisture can begin to effect the subfloor, beams and foundation allowing water to rise through the foundation and eventually into your home. Additionally, the habitually wet environment encourages many types of wood-decaying fungus. If left untreated, this fungus will gradually rot and destroy the material on which it is feeding, eventually leading to sagging floors, structural damage or eventual collapse.

Penetrating Damp:

Even the encapsulated or “closed” crawlspace can be affected by penetrating damp. This is simply moisture that has made its way into your crawlspace from another source including plumbing leaks, walls, even from mechanical or HVAC failures within or above the crawlspace.


What To Look For - Crawlspace Mold

Unfortunately, a large majority of homeowners are unaware of the potential hazards to the home when living with an unfinished crawlspace. Over 60% of your crawlspace air flows throughout your home so a seemingly isolated mold issue in the crawlspace can compromise your indoor air quality. For early detection of crawlspace mold, it is imperative to know what signs to look for. 

  • Any signs of water stains or green/pink/black spots showing up around the baseboards are a clear indication of a moisture intrusion.
  • Another sign of mold/fungi is the deterioration of the home structure itself. As previously mentioned, warped saggy floors, bubbling wallpaper, and a moldy smell that just won’t go away are all warning signs of a hidden mold concern.

Prevention Is The Key To Long-Term Results

Mold can grow virtually anywhere as long as moisture is present. Therefore, the key to controlling the mold, is to control the moisture. There are many differing opinions on the proper methods to completely eliminate the occurrence of moisture intrusion in the crawlspace. For this article, I’ve included the long time, trusted advice of Mr. Paul Hardy (The Pest Control Expert), a pioneer in crawlspace restoration with over 50 years of experience. The following steps should be taken to waterproof your crawlspace and help prevent complications from excessive moisture.

A properly encapsulated crawlspace can ensure long-lasting protection against moisture intrusion.
  1. First, you will want to determine how much room your crawlspace will allow you to work. Some crawlspaces are designed extremely tight and do not allow for much wiggle room. Try to do as much prep work as possible outside the crawlspace to help avoid awkward working conditions down below. When you do return to the crawlspace, always remember to wear Personal Protective Equipment such as, gloves, safety glasses and a dust mask.
  2. Before you begin the encapsulation process, now is probably a good time to address any structural issues, loose wires or leaky pipes. You’ll also want to look for areas where water may have accumulated or is visible under the foundation. If needed, install a sump pump to remove any excess or standing water.
  3. After the crawlspace has dried, it must be cleaned out. If the area has been used for storage, all items should be removed including any garbage and animals/insects. Once it is clean, you will now be able to level the ground.
  4. If mold has begun to colonize, it will need to be removed. This does not mean disinfecting it and moving on. Mold must be removed from a porous surface or it will come back. Using an oxygen-based cleaner is your best bet to properly remove the mold from the substrate. Treat all surfaces (including the subfloor, foundation walls etc.) even if you don’t see mold. This will ensure that all hidden mold is properly treated. Rinse as needed and let dry.
  5. Once the crawlspace is clean and dry, it needs to be protected from future moisture intrusion. The understructure should now be treated with a Moisture Barrier, plus a Termite Control Product. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! Most homeowners don’t realize that mold is often accompanied by termites. Why? Because they both thrive in a moist environment! The UltraBan-PRO/Bora-care combination will provide your home with long-lasting protection from both costly enemies and prevent the need for routine mold removal. The entire understructure should be treated, including foundation walls and supports. Once again, let the product dry and you are ready to move on.
  6. The final steps in crawlspace encapsulation is to apply a vapor barrier to the entire surface of the understructure. You will want to choose a strong clear polyethylene. This will allow your pest control company an easier termite inspection. All vents should be sealed as well as the perimeter beams, walls and foundation piers will need to be covered and seams sealed together. (Please note: We do not recommend the use of spray adhesives to adhere the polyethylene to the wall. Spray adhesive is not only extremely flammable but is highly toxic to the applicator. There are many types of specialized tapes available that can be used as a safer alternative.) 
  7. Finally, depending on your region, you may want to install an industrial dehumidifier with a sump pump. This will help with any additional moisture condensation.

The crawlspace may be dirty, cramped and infested with all manner of critters but the potential risks to health and home are no laughing matter. If you do suspect a mold issue in your crawlspace, don’t hesitate to act. Contact a certified inspector and do your research. You can follow this link for a list of certified mold inspectors in your area. By treating a mold/moisture problem before it occurs, you can save yourself a world of frustration in the future.



2/24/2016 (Permalink)

Mold issue in a home in Scranton, Pa.

What Makes Mold Grow and What Steps Can Be Taken to Prevent Mold Growth

In order for mold to grow and colonize, it needs the proper environmental conditions and for there to be food, moisture and a place for it to grow.  Many types of building materials can be a food source for mold, such as wood, carpet, food, paper, insulation, wallpaper, paint, wallpaper glue, plasterboard, fabrics, cotton, books, leather, chipboard, furniture, dust, ceiling tiles, inside air conditioners and almost any other organic material.

Moisture in home allows mold to grow.

Moisture and/or high humidity can facilitate mold  growth.  A critical factor in stopping mold growth indoors is to control the amount of moisture in the environment and to maintain an environment with humidity levels below 60%.   Moisture can be present in a home as a result of a number of factors including, but not limited to, a plumbing leak, water permeating the structure from the outside as a result of a flood, roof leak, faulty door or window seals, shower steam, improper ventilation in the kitchen when cooking or boiling water which causes condensation, drying wet clothes indoors, over watering house plants or water accumulation at the foundation of a home .  When water stands, for as little as 24 hours common molds can begin to grow.  There are a number of steps that can be taken to prevent mold growth:

  • Clean up and dry and spills immediately and ensure all standing water or other liquid has been completely dried up
  • If building materials (e.g. drywall, cabinetry, carpets, furniture, etc.) get wet, make sure to start the drying process promptly and definitely within the first 24 hours of their becoming wet.
  • Use the air conditioning system or a dehumidifier to control the moisture in the air and keep the relative humidity below 60%.
  • Put vent systems in areas where water can accumulate, such is bathrooms or cooking areas.

    Mold Growth in Bathroom

  • Do not carpet bathrooms or the basement because carpet retains water.
  • Close all windows during rain storms or when humidity levels outside are elevated.
  • Allow sunlight into home by opening shades or drapes during the day.
  • Minimize the number of naturally occurring mold spores in a home by cleaning, dusting andvacuuming frequently.

Further information about what causes mold damage can be found on the Environmental Protection Agency’s website,

Microbial Contamination

12/30/2015 (Permalink)

Mold remediation project in Tunkhannock, Pa.

When visible microbial growth has occurred in a structure, mold remediation practices must be properly employed to address the situation, and containment procedures may be necessary to prevent spreading spores to uncontaminated areas.

Remediation requires:
Removing porous materials exhibiting extensive microbial growth
Physically removing surface microbial growth on non-porous surfaces (including wood) to typical background levels
The removal of settled spores
Reducing moisture to levels that do not support microbial growth

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) states that the "Effective remediation of a water damaged or microbial contaminated building involves (a) the use of appropriate techniques to promote rapid drying and (b) complete removal of contaminated materials rather than the application of biocides without these steps."

SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge follows all IICRC standards in its mold remediation process. It should be noted that fast, effective drying of a wet structure reduces the chances of mold growth. These two facts are reasons to call a professional mitigation company for any water or mold issues that occur in your home or business.

SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge is Lackawanna County's premier smoke, fire, water and mold remediation company. We are an emergency services company available 24/7 to meet any disaster in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area. Call us at (570) 235-1646 for fast, professional assistance.

Moisture - A Must for Mold

12/11/2015 (Permalink)

A Mold remediation project in an attic in Dunmore, Pa.

The most critical requirement for fungal growth is moisture. Moisture is essential for the metabolic activities of fungi. If you have visible mold, you have a moisture problem.

Spores remain dormant when materials are dry and the humidity is below 60%. Most residual odor problems occur from incomplete drying and fungi are the major cause. Dry rot is the result of mold damage after the moisture is removed. Microbial contamination is a moisture control problem. Insuring that materials are dried rapidly is one of the best ways to reduce or retard mold growth indoors. Control the moisture content of air spaces, wet surfaces and organic food sources and you control the problem.

If you see visible mold in your home or business, call a professional. The cause of the problem must be identified and remedied before the mold can be remediated or the problem will be recurring.

SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge is Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's leading mold remediation company. We are an IICRC certified company and follow all of the industry standards in the remediation process. We will identify the problem and provide you with ways to fix it. Since 2010 we have been helping homeowners and businesses improve their indoor air quality and have a safe and healthy place to live and work. Call us today for an estimate. (570) 235-1646.

Mold - Organic Food Source

12/10/2015 (Permalink)

Wood is a great organic food source. This basement door was at a home in Clarks Summit, Pa.

Most fungi grow best while feeding on organic materials. They cannot manufacture their own food source, so they use plant products for food. Since organic food source is one necessary requirement for mold to breed it would benefit us to know what exactly is an organic food source?  

The word organic by definition means -"relating to, or derived from living matter". So what sources in the home or business are such?

Here is the issue. Many buildings are constructed of WOOD or WOOD PRODUCTS. Most Fabrics are of COTTON, WOOL and HEMP. A CARPET secondary backing is an excellent nutrient source.. So is the ADHESIVE  that bonds wall coverings to the structure. DUST and LINT are largely organic. While this list is not all inclusive, they are common problem areas we all have in our homes and businesses.

So as you can see, there are many examples of organic food sources in the indoor environment that fungi can eat, grow and spread. Knowing this can help a homeowner identify and prevent possible mold issues. When in doubt always consult a indoor environmental professional. 

An organic food source is only one of the the five factors that need to be present for mold infestation. The others are temperature, moisture, darkness and air flow.

SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/old Forge is a mold remediation company. We follow IICRC standards in the remediation process. We do not do mold testing but will happily provide an estimate if mold is determined to be present. Call us today at (570) 235-1646 if you have any questions. We do more than just smoke, fire and water cleanup and restoration. We are Lackawanna County's premier specialty cleaning company.

The 5 Growing Conditions for Mold

12/9/2015 (Permalink)

Visible mold growing on an organic food source (wood) in a basement in Scranton, Pa. Ideal conditions.

The 5 growing conditions required for mold growth:
1. Organic food source
2. Moisture
3. Stagnant air
4. Temperature
5. Darkness

Removing or altering any of these conditions can best eliminate infestation.  However, because of the health concerns associated with mold, a professional remediation company is recommended. Unfortunately, it is not as easy as wiping the mold away since what you see is not the mold itself but the gases that it produces. The spores are embedded into the food source and are spread through the air. The spores must be removed or encased to stop the growth.

The only way to positively confirm that your home or business has a mold issue is to have it tested. (We do not do the testing since it could be construed as a conflict of interest) There are home tests you can purchase, however a professional hygienist is recommended. The tests are not all that expensive (ranging about a few hundred dollars) but will outline the levels as well as the types of mold spores that are present.

SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge is the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre leading mold remediation company. We are an IICRC certified firm and follow their guidelines in the remediation process. Should you have a mold issue call us at (570) 235-1646. We serve Lackawanna, Wyoming and Susquehanna Counties.

Microbiology Associated with Water Damage

12/8/2015 (Permalink)

Exposure to ideal conditions and failure to timely and professionally treat a water issue causes mold infestation in this home in Hamlin, Pa.

Controlling and subsequently eliminating the growth of mold during and after completion of restoration is a vital component of total water damage restoration. Prolonged exposure to excessive moisture enables microbes to flourish. If a water damaged environment is not promptly restored, many environmental microbes, such as odor causing bacteria and fungi, will colonize, grow and amplify on building materials. These microbes will eventually contaminate the indoor air and may cause health effects.

Mold spores are microscopic and have no odor. bacterial action on the wastes excreted by mold gives off the odor. It is also the waste that becomes visible.

SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge is the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area's leader in mold remediation. We follow all IICRC standards in this process to ensure proper remediation techniques. SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge, a emergency services company, proudly serves Lackawanna, Wyoming and Susquehanna counties. If your home or business has a mold exposure problem, call us today at (570) 235-1646.

Mositure and Mold

11/20/2015 (Permalink)

Moisture issue left unaddressed in a home in The Hideout (Hamlin, Pa.) caused this mold problem.

Moisture is one necessary element for mold infestation. This summer home in Hamlin, Wayne County was left unattended without a proper working dehumidifier causing this bio-hazard situation. Mold spores can begin to grow as little as 48 hrs once the relative humidity in the structure climbs past 60%. if your home has a moisture issue, a dehumidifier can help remedy the problem.

Mold growth to this extreme is a health hazard and a dangerous situation. The homeowners cannot sell it as planned all because it was not attended to when left for the year. The poor real estate agent went have an open house and immediately called SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge since we follow IICRC standards in mold remediation jobs.

If you have a mold infestation problem and need remediation, cal us at (570) 335-2143. We are an emergency services company. 

Hepa Filters

9/29/2015 (Permalink)

Using a hepa filter to purify the air in a manufacturing facility which required air quality testing in Scranton, pa.

Non-HEPA vacuum cleaners don't help with mold problems. Mold spores are too small to be trapped by the filters in non-HEPA vacuums. Most mold spores simply end up passing through the vacuum, out the exhaust and into the air.

This can even make things worse since mold spores that were on the floor get blown into the air. This is why many people's allergic reactions actually increase after vacuuming with non-HEPA vacuum cleaners. Make sure especially to never vacuum over mold growth with a non-HEPA vacuum.

One exception where vacuuming with a non-HEPA portable vacuum cleaner can help is if the vacuum exhausts its air outside the home. Central vacuuming systems that exhaust the air outside also remove mold spores from the home.

if you experience a mold issue call the professional at SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge at (570) 235-1646. We use IICRC standards in our process. We are the leading mold, water, fire, smoke and bio-hazzard cleanup and restoration company in Lackawanna county. We service all of the Scranton/Wilkes-barre area. 

HEPA Vacuums

9/28/2015 (Permalink)

Using a Hepa Vacuum to clean mold spores as part of a mold remediation project facility in Scranton, Pa.

High-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA), also sometimes called high-efficiency particulate arresting or high-efficiency particulate air, is a type of air filter. Filters meeting the HEPA standard have many applications, including use in medical facilities, automobiles, aircraft and homes. 

HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) vacuums differ from conventional vacuums in that they contain filters that are capable of trapping extremely small, micron-sized particles. A true HEPA filter can trap 99.97 percent of all airborne particles larger than 0.3 microns.

The HEPA filter traps the fine particles (such as pollen, mold spores and dust mite feces) which trigger allergy and asthma symptoms. 

Mold- Repairing the Damage

9/24/2015 (Permalink)

Before you can treat the mold you must find the source of the moisture.  Mold thrives in a moist environment. If you control the moisture, you control the mold. Leaks will need to be repaired, flood water dried, and fans should be installed to alleviate poor ventilation, etc. No matter how hard you clean, if you don’t eliminate the water source, the mold will come back.

After you control the moisture, the mold needs to be removed. Mold roots much like a plant into a porous surface. Mold remediation requires the mold to be removed, not simply disinfecting the surface.

If professional help is required call the leading mold remediation company in Northeastern Pennsylvania. SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge (570) 235-1646.

Protecting your home from Mold

8/24/2015 (Permalink)

Mold in a home in Forrest City, Pa.

Great information from the Insurance Institute via Olsommer-Clarke Insurance:

Protecting Your House From Mold


When it comes to keeping your home mold-free, a strong offense is definitely your best defense. To prevent mold, eliminate moisture from your home and be on the lookout for signs of possible growth, such as musty smells or watermarks on walls and ceilings.

Caught early, mold can usually be removed by a thorough cleaning with bleach and water. To prevent mold from re-growing, however, it is essential that the source of the moisture be eliminated and the affected area properly dried, cleaned, and if necessary, replaced. Also, remember to bag and dispose of any material with moldy residue such as rags, paper or debris.

Mold, like rot and insect infestation, is generally not covered by a homeowners insurance policy. Standard homeowners policies provide coverage for disasters that are sudden and accidental. They are not designed to cover the cost of cleaning and maintaining a home. If, however, mold is the direct result of a covered peril such as a burst pipe, there could be coverage for the cost of eliminating the mold.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mold is everywhere. It grows year-round and can be found both indoors and outdoors. Outdoors, mold is commonly found in shady, damp areas and in soil. Indoors, it can be found where humidity and moisture levels are high, such as in basements, kitchens, bathrooms and on ceilings and wall interiors where water from leaky pipes, roofs or windows can accumulate. While most molds pose no threat to humans, the CDC warns that certain molds can produce hay fever-like allergic symptoms. If you or your children have symptoms associated with mold, see a physician. Keep in mind, that many symptoms associated with mold exposure are common to other illnesses.

To help prevent the growth of mold in your home, the I.I.I. suggests the following:

Reduce Humidity In Your Home

  • Keep the humidity level in your home between 30 percent to 60 percent by using air conditioners or dehumidifiers.
  • Put exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Don’t install carpets in damp areas such as basements or bathrooms.
  • Don’t let water accumulate under house plants.
  • Use Mold-Reducing Products

  • Clean bathrooms with bleach and other mold killing products.
  • Add mold inhibitors to paints before application.
  • Keep Your Home and Belongings Dry

  • Inspect hoses, pipes and fittings - Consider replacing hoses to major appliances like washer and dishwasher every five years. A typical water hose costs $5-$10
  • Refrigerator ice maker and water dispenser
  • Water heater
  • Washer
  • Dishwashers
  • Kitchen and bathroom sinks
  • Bathroom toilets
  • Keep gutters clean of leaves and other debris.
  • Maintain your roof to prevent water from seeping into your home. 
  • Be Careful After A Flood Or Other Water Damage

  • Properly dry or remove soaked carpets, padding and upholstery within 24-48 hours after a flood to prevent mold growth. Anything that can’t be properly dried should be discarded.
  • Remove standing water as quickly as possible. Standing water is a breeding ground for microorganisms, which can become airborne and inhaled.
  • Wash and disinfect all areas that have been flooded. This includes walls, floors, closets, shelves, as well as heating and air-conditioning systems.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge at (570) 235-1646 for an estimate. We are the Scranton/Wilkes-Barres leader in mold remediation.


    Mold in Attic

    7/22/2015 (Permalink)

    Mold in an attic in Dunmore, Pa

    It only takes a small water leak, or even excess humidity, for mold to form in your Scranton home or business. Then, mold can spread quickly through the property in as little as 48 hours. Mold can produce allergens and irritants, and it has the potential to cause other health effects. If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation

    SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge is the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre areas leader in mold remediation.

    Untreated Water Loss

    7/17/2015 (Permalink)

    Mold infestation from an untreated water loss.

    Wide spread mold growth is the result of untreated water loss. This home in Waverly, Pa was unfortunately unatteneded when the loss occurred resulting in the mold inestation. A complete gut of the homes basement will be required to properly remediate this situation. 

    Understanding Mold

    5/11/2015 (Permalink)

    Mold growth at a commercial property in Carbondale, Pa.

    Understanding MoldWhen water intrudes into your property, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. Consider the following mold facts: Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.Mold spores are microscopic, float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants. Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.Mold often produces a strong, musty odor, and that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas. Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
    SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge is the Scranton/Wilkes-barre area leader in mold remediation. We proudly serve all of Lackawanna, Luzerne, Wayne and Susquehanna counties.

    5 Signs Your Home May have Mold

    2/5/2015 (Permalink)

    Understandably, most people don’t want to talk about mold. It’s icky. Unrecognized, undetected, or simply ignored, mold can be an enormous health concern for you and your family – even your pets. For those who are suffering the health effects of exposure, mold can be life altering. As awareness grows, many people are making the connection between mold and their illnesses. Tragically, mold related illnesses are misdiagnosed because the symptoms of mold exposure often mirror common respiratory issues such as asthma, wheezing, or bronchitis. In reality, mold is often the hidden culprit behind these illnesses.

    Molds reproduce through microscopic spores which float through the air. Mold begins growing inside the home when mold spores settle on wet surfaces. While there are numerous types of mold, none of them can reproduce without moisture.


    Mold can often only be detected if a building, or a particular room or area in a building, smells moldy. You may not actually see the source. It will hide under carpets, beneath paneling and dry wall, or inside walls beside pipes which may be leaking or wet with condensation.


    A buildup of condensation in your home, such as on window surfaces, is a sign that you have conditions which often lead to mold. It might be indicating that there is a humidity problem. Mold will grow wherever condensation builds up and collects. Rusted pipes under a sink, or in the basement, are another signal to be looking for.

    Stains and discoloration

    If you notice water stains or discoloration on ceilings, walls, or floors, take steps to find the source and correct the problem because mold may be growing behind or within the material. Also, look for peeling wallpaper or cracking paint, or the presence of dampness in any of these areas. One of the worst things that you can do is to cosmetically cover up these stains.

    It’s possible to see some mold and not recognize it for what it is. You can easily mistake minuscule mold growth for a speck of dirt. In fact, mold can appear in many different colors, not necessarily black or gray. If you see something that doesn’t look right, or seems out of place, always search the area for any other signs that it could be mold. Even the tiniest indication of mold growth is evidence of a much greater problem ahead.

    History of problems

    Did your basement ever flood? Did a water heater burst? Was there a major leak under the kitchen sink? These areas in your home need to be periodically checked for hidden remnants of mold symptoms. You should particularly check for evidence of mold under floors or cabinetry. As we previously stated, mold could remain hidden, making your family sick while growing out of sight.

    Mold is a poison

    Imagine feeling better away from your house than in it. Sometimes, the first evidence that there is a mold problem in your home comes from recognizing that the health of your family improves when they are away. Any symptoms of a cold flaring up only in the home are a common sign of health related mold issues. Common allergic reactions to mold include sneezing, sore eyes and throat, and a runny nose or nasal congestion.

    Of even greater concern would be symptoms of any neurological disorder. Nosebleeds, headaches, problems with memory loss, concentration, or dizziness are all evidence of a toxic mold presence somewhere in your house. This is especially true if you, or a family member, have these experiences at home.

    You should also watch for signs of abnormal behavior in your pets. Often, like the canary in the coalmine, our beloved animals become the first indicators that the toxicity of mold is present in the home.

    Know what to look for. Live mold free. If you notice one of these signs call SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area premier mold remediation company.

    How to reduce mold in your basement

    1/22/2015 (Permalink)

    Basement mold problem in Carbondale, Pa.

    For many homeowners, moisture problems in basements are an everyday situation. While many consider this to be a nuisance and a financial burden, it needs to be regarded as something far more serious. When basements are finished off to be used for living, office, or bedroom areas, moisture problems are not only annoying and uncomfortable, but can lead to significant health concerns. Mold and mildew can grow in damp carpets and behind the walls. Finishing a basement without resolving moisture problems beforehand will inevitably lead to health problems for your family and major repair costs in the future.

    Remedial steps to alleviate health hazards must be absolute. Remember that any mold growing in your house, even if it isn’t in a living area, poses an eventual long-term health risk. The best approach for dealing with basement moisture problems, then, is to identify, and then block the source of the problem.

    • Sources of moisture in the basement

    First, the simplest approach is to remove any source of moisture which might be present in the basement, such as humidifiers and stove tops. Any kind of cooking in a closed space will increase moisture. All bathrooms and clothes dryers must be properly ventilated. Any cause for warm and humid conditions must be eliminated. This includes keeping windows closed in the summer, when hot and humid air can flow inside. If a cold cement floor meets warm, moist air, the floor will become slick with moisture.

    • Moist air seeping inside

    We’ve known since childhood that warm air rises. This can cause a kind of vacuum effect in the home. As a result, warm and moist air will be drawn into the house, seeping into the basement through cracks in the foundation and porous concrete. A sub-slab depressurization system is the ideal solution to this problem. This will draw moist air lurking under the slab, reducing the amount of vapor entering the home. It will also control the seepage of radon and other soil gases. Cleaning away old mortar and cracks, and filling with fresh mortar, will also help. Check your duct system for air leaks, and avoid too much clutter in the basement, which would impede proper air flow. If there is a sump pump in your basement, make certain that it has an airtight cap, or it, too, will draw damp air inside.

    • Soil saturation

    If water is leaking into the basement, it may be because the ground surrounding your home is saturated. Eventually, the water has to go somewhere.

    Review all grading around the house, and check that all gutters and downspouts are dispersing rainwater effectively, and far enough away from your foundation. Make sure that the ground slopesaway from the house. Sloped concrete walkways will redirect runoff. Downspouts should have extensions of four to six feet beyond the house.

    Dehumidifiers are a popular method for reducing the effects of humidity in a basement, but it is an imperfect solution, at best. They can, in fact, exacerbate the problem. As the air dries, moisture may be drawn into the basement more rapidly. This often results in efflorescence, a powdery build-up on concrete and other surfaces.

    • Plumbing and DIY remodeling mistakes

    Sometimes, homeowners can be their own worst enemy. If you are finishing your basement, remember that walls must be dry before installing insulation. Slab floors must be warm and dry before they can be carpeted. Finally, check all plumbing, particularly pipes from water heaters and central air conditioners. A tiny leak will lead to a huge problem. Your home is your castle. Keep the moat outside.

    SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge is the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre premier mold remediation company.  Disaster are why exist and should you experience one call us immediately. On all mold estimates we will offer free estimates. Serving all of Lackawanna, Luzerne, Wayne and Wyoming counties.

    Where does Mold Grow.

    1/5/2015 (Permalink)

    Mold growth on a ceiling ion a home in Honesdale, Pa.

    If you have mold on the walls in your home then it's usually easy to remove. If the wall is non-porous then you can simply wipe the mold away using a wet cloth. You can also use a mold killing product if you like.

    However, if the wall is porous, such as unpainted drywall, then you will usually need to cut away the wall where the mold is growing. This is because mold grows inside the material, instead of just on the surface, and so you can't remove it completely. 

    Mold on Drywall Walls

    Because drywall is a substance high in cellulose, it is one of the most common materials mold grows on in the home. As there is no practical way to completely remove mold from drywall, you will have to cut out and dispose of any drywall you discover which has mold growing on it.

    Mold Growing Behind Walls

    Mold commonly grows out of sight behind walls in the wall cavities. These spaces often contain pockets of humid, moist air. Mold can also grow hidden behind wallpaper. Wallpaper glue can hold organic debris, which can then become a food source for mold growth.

    To find hidden mold behind walls you need to use invasive inspection methods and, optionally, mold testing. It's best to talk to a professional mold specialist in this case.

    Mold on Ceiling

    If you see mold on the ceiling in your home then you probably have a humidity or condensation problem. It is also possible that the mold is caused by a water leak above the ceiling. 

    Like with mold on walls, if the ceiling is made of a non-porous material then you can usually just wipe the mold away with a wet cloth. You can use a mold-killing product like bleach if you like too.

    If the ceiling is made of a porous material though, like unpainted drywall, then you may have to cut away the material where the mold is growing since the mold has probably grown inside the material.

    Mold Growing Above Ceiling

    Just as mold grows behind walls you can also sometimes find mold growing on the other side of ceilings. Mold colonies growing above ceilings are usually fed by water from a leaking roof.

    For clues that mold could be growing above the ceiling in your home look for signs of water damage in the ceiling. Small patches of mold growth visible from under the ceiling can be a sign that there is a large colony of mold on the other side.

    Mold in Floor

    Mold can grow beneath the floor in your home just like it grows above ceilings and within wall cavities. Dirt and dust, which fall under the floor, become trapped, along with moisture, leading to perfect conditions for mold growth.

    Tiles and especially carpets trap large amounts of dust and can become a haven for mold growth. Carpets hold moisture particularly well, taking a long time to dry out, which means they can very easily foster mold growth if there are spilled liquids, water leaks or floods.

    Mold in Insulation

    Insulation can be a reservoir for mold. Any insulation, which you can see exposed in your home, should be checked thoroughly for mold, especially if there was once a water problem in that particular room, or if there was once mold growth anywhere in the room. Even if the insulation looks clean at first glance make sure to thoroughly examine and inspect it.

    If you do end up finding any mold in the insulation inside your home you will have to remove and replace the affected insulation as it will be impossible to completely clean all the mold out from it.

    Mold in Air Ducts and HVAC

    Unseen mold could also be lurking in vents; ducts, air conditioning and heating systems in your home so don't forget to check inside these areas when you're looking for mold.

    Mold on Clothes

    Mold can grow on the clothes in your home if they've been left wet for a long period of time. Clothes sitting in a wet pile for more than a day after being washed, or damp clothes left wet for more than a day while waiting to be washed can become moldy.

    Mold Growing in Basement

    Out of all the rooms in the house the basement is usually the most likely to contain mold growth. Because the basement is usually lower than any other room in the house it is often damp from water leaks flowing down into it. The cold temperature of the basement can also create a lot of moisture from condensation. To add to this basement is often dark, is rarely attended and the air in the basement is usually stagnant from poor ventilation.

    Mold often grows on the wooden walls, posts or building frames in a basement. From there mold can spread along the wood and up into the other rooms of the house. Over time the mold can also weaken the frames and beams, which it grows on and slowly eats away at.

    To check if there's a mold problem in your basement look for signs of water or dampness. Also if flooding has occurred or there are water leaks in or near your basement then there's a high chance mold could soon begin to grow.

    SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge is Northeastern Pennsylvania's leader in mold remediation. We proudly serve all of Lackawanna, Luzerne, Wayne and Wyoming Counties. 

    What is Mold?

    1/5/2015 (Permalink)

    Mold growing in an attic in Tunkhannock, Pa from a leaking roof.

    Molds are organisms which are neither plant nor animal. They are part of the fungi kingdom.

    Unlike plants, molds do not get their energy from the sun through photosynthesis. In fact the sun's ultraviolet light inhibits mold growth.

    Molds also digest or "eat" the material they are growing on. The role of mold is to break down decaying organic matter such as dead plants, leaves or dead animals.

    Outdoors, you can find mold growing in places like soil, wood, decaying plants and dead animals.

    Some places where mold likes to grow in the home include carpet, paper, clothes, leather, drywall, wood, insulation and food.

    Besides oxygen and organic materials containing carbon to provide nutrients, the other main requirement mold needs to grow is moisture. You can find mold growing almost anywhere provided there is enough of a moisture source for it.

    Mold problems cannot develop in houses unless there is a moisture problem. The moisture accumulation might be caused through humidity, condensation, or water intrusion from leaks, spills, floods, etc. Most molds only require suitable materials to be wet for 24-48 hours before they can grow.

    Molds that can survive using only humidity as their moisture source are called Xerophilic, whereas other molds require an accumulation of moisture to grow. Indoors the best way to prevent mold growing is to limit moisture.

    Why Mold is a Problem During Winter

    12/17/2014 (Permalink)

    Mold from a roof leak.

    Why Mold is a Problem During Winter

    Several factors lead to increased concerns about mold during the winter months. For one thing, moisture conditions indoors can lead to the growth of molds and mildews. While it's true that forced heating systems make indoor air drier overall during the winter months, certain areas of the home may experience intensified levels of humidity because of a lack of ventilation. Bathrooms and kitchens are particularly susceptible to this problem. Steamy showers in small bathrooms spell trouble, as does the accumulation of steam from washing dishes and cooking in the kitchen. Because of cold weather, windows aren't usually open, and condensation collects on indoor surfaces such as cold walls or windows and their frames, often creating ideal conditions for mold growth. 

    In addition, outdoor exposure is also common during early winter months when piles of leaves collect and absorb moisture. Cold, damp air promotes mold growth in many additional outdoor locations during this time of year as well. Mold thrives in dead vegetation, and is not killed by winter frosts. In fact, many molds can become dormant during the winter only to grow on plants killed by the cold when springtime arrives - making mold a year-round allergy trigger. 
    Any disturbance to an outdoor mold source, such as can occur when raking leaves or tending to a compost pile, disperses mold spores through the air, exposing individuals to varying levels of mold inhalation.

    How to Identify Mold Problems

    Obviously, if you notice visible mold or mildew growing in a certain area of your home, it is clear that you have a mold problem. You will need to identify the source of the moisture and remedy the problem at the source. For instance, if you discover mold growing under your bathroom sink, look to see if there are leaky pipes that may be dripping water and repair them.
    However, though you may not notice mold growth in certain area, this does not mean that mold isn't present or that it won't grow if you don't take action. Indications such as condensation forming on window panes or peeling paint on window sills suggest moisture buildup that makes the area susceptible to mold growth. Water stains likewise indicate a moisture problem and a potential hotspot for mold growth. Any area where water sits or steam collects, such as in shower stalls or bathtub rims, (particularly the area around toiletry bottles and the like) is also a place to keep an eye on.

    SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge is Northeastern Pennsylvania's mold remediation company proudly serving all of Lackawanna, Luzerne, Wayne, Wyoming and Susquehanna Counties.