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Blog & Reviews

Date: 6/23/2017 12:20 AM EDT

Improper Remediation

There are many different mold remediation techniques being used today in the market place. Just because there are different approaches does not mean that they will not be successful but each process must be performed properly. 

A big concern today as a mold remediator is that clients are not receiving proper services from the contractors they hire. Mold remediation is an art, there is a correct way to do things and a wrong way to do things. Competition in this industry is not bad and there are many companies we view as colleagues even though we compete in the market place. 

With that said, there is no place for the "Splash & Dash" or fly by the seat of your pants remediators. Recently (today), we performed a post test on an attic that was "Remediated" 6 months ago. The company hired did not do any of the necessary work to correct the issue or even clean the attic they were hired to take care of. The client spent almost $2000 CASH and nothing was done right. They went in a sprayed their "Magic Elixir" and said things were fine. Fast forward 6 months and the clients go to sell the home and there is still major mold present in the attic. The home inspector (thankfully a calm and intelligent person) pointed out this issue without making it a deal breaker but what heart break for the client (seller). 

The previous mold remediator left the attic looking like this - 


If this area had been treated properly the client would have received the services they paid for and the area should have look something like this - 


Make sure you are working with a true professional when dealing with mold. Cutting corners or cost can end up costing a lot more down the road.
 

Posted by Jon Mitton | Post a Comment

Date: 6/6/2017 12:18 AM EDT

Rubber Floor Tiles
 
Rubber floor tiles can be a great tool when used properly but.... you must be careful where you use them in your home. 
 
The primary concern is that these tiles when used in a large pattern or throughout an entire room is that they can trap moisture beneath them. Overall they act not only as a cushion but can also be a vapor barrier trapping condensation beneath the tiles resulting in water condensation and potential mold growth. This condition is especially a concern when used in basements directly over a concrete floor.
 
Concrete, by nature, is porous and water travels through it via capillary action. In basements, there is always some moisture or condensation in the area, most of which comes through the concrete. If this moisture is trapped then mold growth can occur. 
 
You can absolutely use these tiles but they have to be done in small areas where airflow can still pass beneath them. Most of these tiles are raised up slightly and as long as they do not go up against the walls all the way around then air will flow beneath them. If in doubt, don't do it. 
 
  

Posted by Jon Mitton | Post a Comment

Date: 5/25/2017 10:13 PM EDT

Before & After
 
A little before and after in Duxbury. Great example as to why the bathroom exhaust fan should not be vented out through the soffit. Good news was the mold was minor and contained so a pretty simple remediation.


Posted by Jon Mitton | Post a Comment

Date: 5/21/2017 9:38 AM EDT

Angie's List Review

– Sheryl L.

Attic looks brand new. The crew was professional. They came in and did the job. When they left, you would never know they were in the house. Easy to talk with and work with.

Posted by Jon Mitton | Post a Comment

Date: 5/1/2017 9:40 PM EDT

Air Quality Concern?

Sometimes indoor air quality is a direct result of how we live and not an environmental concern. Today we were at an inspection with complaints about potential mold and how it is making everyone in the home sick. Naturally we take these calls very seriously because what we breathe can affect our health, BUT........

When you enter a room and look at the living room ceiling fan (above) or dining room fan (below) there may be some other issues going on. Not everyone can or even has the time to maintain a spotless home but the first step in make sure the home is safe is a good general cleaning. Sometime the contaminants that are causing discomfort are right in front of you (or above you). With a good thorough cleaning of your conditioned living area you can take the first step towards improving the air quality in your home!
 

 

Posted by Jon Mitton | Post a Comment

Date: 4/25/2017 10:27 PM EDT

Franklin Mass April 17
 
A quick before and after photo from a recent job. 
 
 

Posted by Jon Mitton | Post a Comment

Date: 4/24/2017 10:07 AM EDT

Improper Application of Encapsulation

Encapsulation is a mold deterrent coating applied to the wood surface after remediation (if desired). This coating is basically designed to seal the pores of the wood and deter future mold growth.

It is very important that encapsulants, if being used, are applied to wood properly. Otherwise they will not perform as designed. 

Here are a couple of examples of encapsulation done wrong. 


 

Posted by Jon Mitton | Post a Comment

Date: 4/18/2017 10:47 PM EDT

Interesting Project
 
Basement project today was a great example of mold that may not be visible. More than half of the basement had paneling over drywall. In general the basement looked OK with minor surface growth but air quality testing indicated substantial mold present. Further moisture testing indicated more going on than meets the eye. 
 
Paneling prior to removal

Substantial mold behind the paneling

The good news was that the exposed surface mold can be treated without the removal of the wall board. All of the paneling had to come down but the area can be saved. 

More info to follow soon.....
 

Posted by Jon Mitton | Post a Comment

Date: 4/3/2017 9:24 PM EDT

Importance of Post Testing
Post testing after a mold remediation is by far the most important step. Why is post testing important? Well to put it simply, no one is perfect and no one (or no company) is going to get the job right the first time every time no matter how hard we strive to reach that standard. Post testing provides a confirmation that the services requested have been provided and have been successful in removing mold from the environment being treated. 

This helps you avoid the "Splash & Dash" where a service provider may come in an spray down affected surfaces and make them look good but not actually remove the mold. When this happens it is very common for the mold to return in approximately 21-28 days (depending on the time of year and environmental conditions).

There are many different mold remediation techniques and mold remediation products out there now days (and more seem to come out daily). This can only create more confusion as to what approach or technique is the most effective. Post testing allows all remediation to be held to the same standard or at least tries to hold work to the standard (some companies use different acceptable levels when it comes to clearance testing).
Whether testing is performed by an independent inspector, lab or even the Mold Remediation Contractor is must be done. If the Mold Remediation Contractor is performing the sampling then the lab samples must be analyzed by a third party accredited laboratory to provide proper clearance. There are many opinions about who should perform the post testing but the most important aspect is the independent laboratory analysis.
The real message is, whenever you are contracting a mold remediation contractor make sure post testing is either included or discussed to confirm that you are truly getting the services you paid for!
 

Posted by Jon Mitton | Post a Comment

Date: 4/1/2017 12:27 AM EDT

Ozone vs Hydroxyl

Great article and worth sharing.

 As an advocate of ozone solutions, it is possible to be closed minded about something that compete's with ozone.  However, the premise is "Environmentally-Smart Solution" rather than one idea that ignores all else. In fact, I have tried to be open-minded about all non-chemical solutions to the common problems we face.  In the debate between corona and UV ozone generators, it has been our stance that both are great systems, but corona delivers more bang for the buck, while UV offers a better output of nitrous-free ozone. 
To start with, a hydroxdyl is formed in a generator using a specific type of 254 nm ultraviolet light shining on a titanium oxide surface.  They not only work well in high-humidity, it has been suggested that misting be added to improve the hydroxyl output.  
One of the distinct advantages of a hydroxyl generator is the ability to run the uni while people are still in the building.  This is something you cannot do with serious ozone generators.  
Take note that the UV light and hydroxyl reaction happens in the chamber in a split second as hydroxyls are made.  A hydroxyl has a very short life span, whereas ozone stays active for at least twenty minutes.  It is reported the hydroxyl will leave the unit in the treated air, it is the general consensus that the reach of hydroxyl units are limited.  You typically find a very strong fan in a hydroxyl unit to create massive air flow for best results.
Some comments on ozone versus hydroxyl are:
Kent Berg of NIDS says: "Ozone is a very effective tool for odor removal but of course has its downsides related to health and safety as well as damage potential to certain items. Hydoxyl generators are new and the technology has not yet produced an efficient machine that can compete head-to-head with ozone, but I'm sure it's coming. People who don't like Hydroxyls have issue with how slow they are, the limited treatment areas, and the expense. Some who don't think they work often don't realize that they work best when placed in humid environments (hydroxyl generators need H2O and O2 to create the hydroxyl radical)."
Michael Tillman of BDA says:  "Hydroxyl is known to damage DNA. Of course anyone who sells a hydroxyl generator will deny it. Just Google “DNA damaged by hydroxyl.” "
If you check around you will find a common theme.  "Ozone is more effective and efficient, and hydroxyl is effective but takes longer"  I think this is as fair as it gets.  The advantages of hydroxyls are: 1) No strong odor, 2) works in high humidity.  Because "Time is Money" and ozone equipment will do the job more quickly, the majority of odor issues are done with ozone machines.
The difference may lie in the fact that ozone does "Reach Out and Touch" every part of the room.  The 20 minute lifespan of ozone allows it to stay in place and oxidize odors and contaminants for a longer period,  Whereas, hydroxyls do not last that long.  The goal of the hydroxyl units is to use massive air flow to treat as much air as possible with the expectation that the constant introduction of hydroxyls will match ozone's reach.  The price you pay for ozone, is the need to vacate the trated areas and a libering ozone smell that dissipates in about 24 hours although you always air-out the room after the treatment allowing the ability of people to return to the building.
Let, he add the rest of the story.  It is not smart to rely on just tool in a world of such diversity.  While I would start my business with several ozone generators, I would certainly add in some hydroxyl generators as the business grew.  If you are in the south where there are high temperatures and high humidity, hydroxyl generators may be more popular.  However, oxygen-fed ozone generators are still gaining ground as a highly effective tool in odor removal, unattended death, and hoarder situations.
In summary, I like all these ideas.  UV ozone generators, corona ozone generators, and hydroxyl generators.  Which will dominate?  It is likely to be the one that does the best job at permanent odor removal.

Posted by Jon Mitton | Post a Comment

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Eliot: We had mold that had been caused by a bathroom fan being vented in the attic. We needed to treat the attic mold ASAP due to a pending real-estate transaction. Indoor Environmental quickly came and assessed the situation, treated the mold, and confirmed the mold was treated (air test) with very fast turn-around.

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