plumbing repairs, EE&G

These Plumbing Repairs can Lead to Water Damage and Mold Growth

A bathroom remodel can both add significant value to your home and turn an outdated master bathroom into space you enjoy being in every single day. If it’s been a few years (or more like a few decades!) since your bathroom was last updated, it might be a good call to invest back into your home and renovate this space. However, it’s important to do things right: remodeling mistakes can potentially lead to a disaster for your project and your home. In this article, we’ll review some of the most expensive consequences of improper remodeling and plumbing, and when you need to bring in a professional.

Set your limits and stick to them

Many homeowners approach their bathroom to remodel with a can-do attitude and a seemingly simple path to saving money: they’ll do everything themselves. After all, homeowners today have access to online videos, tutorials, and nearly endless information—how hard could it be? While there are parts of your remodel you can take on yourself, such as installing vinyl flooring or repainting the walls, it’s important to recognize when you’re out of your element and you need to bring in an expert.

 

Even incredibly handy homeowners may find themselves not exactly sure how to properly slope a shower or install new wiring for an outlet by the bathroom vanity. Unfortunately, this is a common point at which things go wrong: improper installation of electrical wiring or pipes can lead to disaster. While representing lower stakes, not tiling a shower correctly or installing a vanity wrong just looks shoddy and unprofessional. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is to bring in a remodeling professional to help.

Hire the right professional for the job

Even if you’ve made the right call to hire a pro, you’re not out of the woods yet. You need to put the time, effort, and money into finding the right professional for your project. Hiring the wrong person can result in an expensive mistake: you don’t want your shower to be the first one a rookie plumber has ever worked on. Without researching and vetting out contractors, you may end up hiring someone who is unreliable, unqualified, or untrustworthy. This could lead to things not being done right.

 

So, how should you go about finding the right person to work in your bathroom? First, don’t just go with the lowest bid. Submit multiple bids to multiple companies that have good reviews online. Then, when they call you, ask about their licensing, past experience remodeling bathrooms like yours, and if they have prior homeowners willing to give them a positive reference. If you’re making changes to your bathroom that require local permits, ask them about their process for pulling those and keeping everything in order. Their answers to your questions should give you an idea of whether or not they can be trusted.

What are the consequences of shoddy plumbing?

Regardless of how it happened, improperly installed pipes, fixtures, sinks, and shower drains could lead to an expensive disaster. The two most common outcomes are water damage and mold growth.

Water damage

When plumbing is installed incorrectly, water damage is often the result. Even a relatively minor leak from between two ill-fitting pipes can eventually lead to major issues. The key to water damage is this: time is not on your side. The longer the leak is left untreated, the more extensive the damage will eventually be. Water can damage your home’s structure, walls, floors, furniture, appliances, and more. The stakes are specially raised in a second-floor bathroom, as gravity will carry any water from a plumbing leak to the next level down.

Mold growth

Where there are water and heat, there will inevitably be mold. Mold requires moisture to grow, and a hidden water leak provides more than it needs to thrive. Many people—including those with allergies or breathing conditions—are especially sensitive to mold, and prolonged mold exposure will make most people sick. If you discover water damage in your home, you need to bring in a mold remediation specialist for a closer inspection to make sure there isn’t any mold growth behind your walls. As with most urgent home issues, procrastination and waiting only makes the cleanup more extensive and expensive.

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Here’s what else you need to know about water damage and mold growth

You can’t count on your home’s insurance policy to cover all the damages. While most home insurance policies do cover water damage, it’s only that caused by aging and deteriorating pipes: not as a byproduct of a botched bathroom renovation. Before you start work on your bathroom, be sure to consult with an experienced contractor in your area.

3 Types of Mold that May Be Hiding Inside your Home

3 Types of Mold that May Be Hiding Inside your Home

It is a commonly held belief that mold only affects older homes, but that’s far from the truth. Mold can grow anytime and anywhere, regardless of whether it’s an old home or a new one. It mostly thrives in damp, humid, and moist environments, which make the bathroom, kitchen, and basement the ideal places in your home to be affected by mold infestation.

While not all types of mold are harmful, it can become a serious health risk and hazard if it’s left untreated for a really long time. For effective mold removal, it is essential to be able to identify the type of mold that’s lurking inside your home. Mold tends to grow at a very rapid pace, so it is imperative that you quickly recognize the type of mold and be well-informed on its health risks so that you can deal with it immediately.

To help you with that, here are three of the most common types of mold that may be hiding underneath the kitchen sink or the basement ceiling.

1.     Alternaria

This type of mold is commonly found indoors and is likely to grow in damp and dark spaces such as below leaking sinks, showers, and bathtubs. Some of the many health risks associated with Alternaria are adverse allergic reactions, asthma attacks, and numerous asthma-like symptoms.

How to Identify

Alternaria is a type of allergenic mold with a velvety texture and brown or dark green colored little hairs.

2.     Aureobasidium

This is another type of allergenic mold that you are likely to find growing on wooden surfaces, painted areas, or behind wallpapers. Some other less common places include in caulks and around the windows in your home.

Aureobasidium is known to cause more severe reactions as compared to other types of mold eye and nail infection, as well as dermatitis, which is a very serious type of skin rash.

How to Identify

This type of mold initially develops in black, pink, or brown colors and then gradually transforms into a darker shade of brown if it’s left untreated for a long time.

3.     Fusarium

Known as both a toxigenic and an allergenic type of mold, Fusarium commonly grows in wet and cold areas. It most commonly grows in homes with some kind of water damage and tends to target things like the carpets, wallpaper, and other warm fabrics that are similar to a carpet.

In case of exposure to this type of mold, you are likely to experience allergic symptoms such as skin rash, runny nose, cough, itchy eyes, and a sore throat. However, if you are exposed to it for a very long time, it can lead to deadly conditions like brain abscess and bone infections.

How to Identify

This mold adopts numerous colors such as pink, dark red, or white and can have a variety of textures like cottony, flat, or wooly.

Final Word

This list is by no means exhaustive, and there are so many other types of mold that can grow inside your homes.

Regardless of the type, the best to ensure effective mold removal is to call mold remediation services such as EE&G Restoration Services in Tampa that have the best mold-control team and experts on board.

Do Air Purifiers Ensure Effective Mold Prevention?

Effective Ways to Remove Mold from Your Walls

Mold infestation is one of the most common problems faced by many homeowners for which you need to take effective and immediate measures. The best way to get rid of mold spores is to call mold remediation or mold removal service; however, in case of a delay, you should always have tools and supplies ready at home.

Moist, damp, and humid areas in your home are ideal breeding grounds for mold and bacteria, which makes places like your bathrooms, kitchen, and basement the most prone to a serious mold infestation.

In case of a mold problem in your home, the first place you should inspect is the walls in your bathroom. This is because the bathroom, particularly the shower area, is usually always moist and damp, which is practically an invitation for mold, bacteria, and fungus.

Two of the most common signs of mold growing on your walls are cracked, peeling, and bubbling paint, or the growth of brown, black, orange, and green spots or patches.

If you notice either of these signs on the walls in your home, here are some quick and effective ways to remove mold from walls.

Vinegar

This is a common ingredient found in most households and is usually always available. Vinegar works as an excellent deodorizer or disinfectant, which makes it a very effective mold-killer. Take some vinegar and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray it all over the mold patches on the walls and allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes. Once the moldy areas are entirely saturated, use a scrubbing brush and vigorously scrub the vinegar. Repeat the process and let the vinegar sit for an additional 30 minutes. Rinse with warm water and wipe the area clean with a piece of cloth.

The double-action will help remove and kill the bacteria effectively, and will also prevent it from growing again.

Vinegar, Borax, and Water

If you have painted or wallpapered walls, prepare a mixture of vinegar, water, and borax for mold removal. Borax is a powdery white mineral that has been used as a cleaning agent to remove mildew, stains, and mold for decades by a majority of homeowners.

Take 1/4th cup of vinegar, two tablespoons of borax, and mix it with 2-3 cups of hot water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray it evenly all over the affected areas on your walls. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes and then gently scrub with a brush. After scrubbing, wipe the area dry with the help of a clean cloth.

Bleach and Water

Like vinegar, bleach is also very effective for mold removal; however, you should never use it alone to kill mold. The best way is to mix one part bleach with about three parts of water in order to deeply saturate the moldy areas on the walls.

Spray this mixture on the affected areas and allow it to soak for a few minutes. Use a scrub brush and work it all over the walls in rigorous, circular motions. Make sure to open a window or switch on the fan while doing this because bleach tends to produce very unpleasant fumes.

In case these methods don’t work for you, immediately call a mold removal service without any delay because mold grows very quickly and can lead to serious health and structural problems.

Different and Innovative Mold Removal Gadgets In Atlanta, GA

Different and Innovative Mold Removal Gadgets In Atlanta, GA

Mold spores are found almost everywhere, but they are usually in small amounts, so they are basically harmless. However, if there’s mold growing inside your home, you must take immediate, serious action.

From walls and books to clothes and toys, mold can grow in a variety of areas and spaces in your home. The worst part is that once it starts growing, it never stops and continues to grow at a rapid pace until and unless you do something about it.

There are numerous mold removal and mold remediation services that you can call for assistance. These services have so many experts and professionals on board that will help remove a mold infestation from your home. However, it is ideal to be prepared and well-equipped with mold removal tools and supplies at home in case you are dealing with an unexpected mold problem and have to get rid of it urgently.

Apart from amazing natural mold removal ingredients and products, you can now get your hands on handy gadgets and devices for not just mold removal, but also mold prevention.

Take a look at the most useful devices that will make it very easy for you to deal with a mold problem in your home.

Dehumidifiers

These are popular machines for balancing humidity levels in your home, but interestingly, they also a great help with mold prevention.

Mold is highly attracted to damp and moisture-filled areas such as the kitchen, bathroom, basement, and attic. Apart from leaking pipes or an obvious sewage problem, high moisture is also often caused by high humidity levels in the atmosphere. Dehumidifiers do a great job of maintaining indoor humidity levels, which, in turn, helps prevent the growth of mold by keeping the surroundings dry and moisture-free.

Mold-Resistant Drywall

This is quite a new product that has been proven to be fairly effective for preventing the growth of mold. It claims to be highly mold-resistant and works by preventing from moistening the walls in the bathroom or the kitchen, for instance. Areas like bathrooms are kitchens in your home are ideal for using mold-tough drywalls primarily because these two spaces often have the most of water compared to the rest of the house.

Air Purifiers

As the name suggests, Air purifiers are mainly used to purify and filter the air around so that you can breathe in hygienic air. It traps all the dust, mold spores, and bacteria from the surroundings and prevents them from re-entering any indoor space inside your home. Simultaneously, air purifiers also greatly thwart the growth of mold, further preventing any kind of allergies or airborne illnesses. The best kind of air purifiers is the ones that come with an Activated Carbon filter and germicidal UV-C light. The latter stops the reproduction of mold spores while the former helps eliminate mold doors from the environment.

Bottom Line

These devices are extremely helpful, and you need to install either of these in all the mold-prone areas of your home if you really want to prevent a serious mold infestation problem from occurring.

How to Clean Mold in my bathroom

How to Clean Mold in my bathroom

If you’ve never experienced bathroom mold, perhaps you aren’t looking deep enough into the corners of your bathroom. It’s one of the most common problems in any house; it’s also one of the easiest to prevent and cure — as long as you haven’t let it get out of hand.

Common Causes of Bathroom Mold

  • Lingering moisture caused by lack of ventilation
  • Leaky toilets, sinks, and plumbing pipes
  • Damp cellulose materials such as rugs, paper products, wood, wallpaper, grout, drywall, and fabric
  • So how do you know if you have a mold problem? Matt Cinelli, owner/operator of AERC Removals in North Attleboro, Mass., says, “If you can see it or smell it, you’ve got it.”

Finding the Mold in Your Bathroom

Bathroom mold isn’t always obvious. Check out hidden areas, such as under sinks, access doors to shower and bath fixtures, around exhaust fans, even in crawl spaces and basements underneath bathrooms.

“It could be starting in the bathroom but actually forming in another room,” says Cinelli, adding that lack of proper ventilation is the biggest culprit for mold growth.

Here are some tips for Preventing Mold

  • Use your bathroom ventilation fan when you shower or bathe, and leave it on for 30 minutes following the end of your bath; if you don’t have an exhaust fan, install one.
  • Keep household humidity levels below 50%; an air conditioner or dehumidifier can help.
  • Use a mildew-resistant shower curtain, and wash or replace it frequently.
  • Don’t keep bottles of shampoo or shower gel, toys, or loofahs in the shower, as they provide places for mold to grow and hide.
  • Wash your bathroom rugs frequently.

Getting Rid of Mold

What do you do if mold growth is already a problem? As long as the infestation isn’t large, you can take remedial measures yourself:

  • Strip away and replace any caulking or sealant that has mold growth.
  • Clean your bathroom with mold-killing products, such as bleach, vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide. Just don’t mix those products; mixing can cause toxic reactions.
  • Open windows and doors while cleaning to provide fresh air and help dry out the mold.

If you have a problem area bigger than 10 square feet, refer to guidelines from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or call in a professional.

“When you see it creeping into walls and insulation, you need a professional,” says Cinelli, who notes that tearing out walls (which may be necessary for a big problem) can release mold spores into the rest of the house and create an even bigger issue.

“The idea is to kill it and then remove it,” he says. “And the most important thing is to figure out why you have it before you clean it up.”

Can a color be used to identify the type of mold

Can a Color be Used to Identify the Type of Mold?

Can a color be used to identify the type of mold?

You cannot positively determine the exact type of mold based on the color. To determine the specific type of mold, you’ll need mold testing. However, color can be used to rule out certain types of mold. For example, Stachybotrys is always black. If you find white mold growth on a pair of shoes, you can rest assured it is not Stachybotrys. The same is true of chromium and a number of other mold types.

Unfortunately, many types of mold such as Cladosporium and Penicillium/Aspergillus come in a variety of colors. These molds can appear in everything from white or green to brown and black. This limits our ability to determine the exact type of mold by simply assessing its color. To fully identify the species or genus of the mold a sample must be collected and sent to a lab for analysis.

A tape lift sample is often the best method for determining the type of mold growth. In the photo below a sample of white mold is being taken from attic sheathing. Lab testing determined the growth was Acremonium.

Tape lift sample of white mold growing in the attic.
Tape lift sample of white mold growth.

Is white mold dangerous?

Many molds can provoke allergic responses in sensitive individuals. No area of significant mold growth within the home should be considered safe. Proper identification of the underlying cause, removal, and cleanup should be performed regardless of the color of the mold growth.

What tests are used to identify white mold?

Direct mold sampling can be used to identify the species of white mold. Types of direct sampling include tape lift, swab, and bulk samples. These samples are collected by a technician and sent to a laboratory for analysis. The lab will first determine if the suspect’s growth is mold, and if so, what species of mold.

Are there any special concerns for mold remediation when dealing with white mold?

Your approach to mold cleanup should remain the same regardless of the color. Remember, many types of molds, even non-toxic molds, are capable of causing an allergic response. Because of this, the color of the mold is inconsequential. Many non-allergenic molds are white, as are a number of allergenic molds. Confusing the issue, even more, is the fact that we simply don’t know the allergenic capabilities of the vast majority of molds. Conclusion = treat them all the same.

white mold

What is White Mold and How to Prevent it in Atlanta, GA

White mold growth, while a common problem in residential homes, does not receive the same attention as the black mold. Primarily this is due to the fears surrounding more well known black molds, such as Stachybotrys. However, many white molds are still capable of producing negative health effects and should be dealt with promptly. Curious what kind of white mold you’re dealing with? Read up on mold testing before hiring a pro. It may seem like mold in Atlanta grows more rapidly during the cold winter months. This is only because the conditions in winter are ideal for the growth of mold. Many of us tend to close ourselves into our homes when the temperature starts to drop. As a result of all the requirements for energy efficiency, our homes are tightly sealed during winter. This can result in trapping of indoors and the rise of humidity levels.

Common locations for white mold growth
Each type of mold has a preference for certain conditions. For example, Stachybotrys often prefers highly saturated materials, such as sheetrock after a flooding event. Because of these preferences, white mold growth is often found in the same location. Below are the most common areas.

Furniture
Mold growth on furniture is often white in color. Additionally, the mold typically has a 3 dimensional, fuzzy growth aspect.

Clothing & Textiles

Clothing, shoes, backpacks – when mold attacks contents within the home, it’s often white or light green in color. This is especially true for leather items. The good news? It’s easier to remove white mold than black mold. While the latter often leaves behind permanent stains, white mold can often be fully removed.

Attic sheathing and framing

White mold tends to grow in high humidity environments rather than areas suffering from total saturation. This is why it’s less common to see mold growth on base trim after a flooding event. The vast majority of attic mold is caused by humidity, which is why white mold growth is common here.

Crawlspaces

White mold is often found in two locations in a crawlspace, exposed soil and the lower portions of the floor joists. In cool climates, mold growth on floor joists is rare. But when it occurs, it’s often white in color.

In wet climates, exposed soil in a crawlspace will often propagate mold growth. Typically this is due to a missing or incomplete vapor barrier. The combination of an organic food source (dirt), excess moisture and limited airflow creates the perfect conditions for mold growth. In nearly all cases, white rather than black mold grows in the soil.

Does white mold lead to wood rot?

In short – no. Rot (dry rot, wet rot, white rot, brown rot) is caused by wood decay fungi. These are distinct from molds and are relatively small in number in comparison to molds. They require much higher levels of available water to grow. The name ‘dry rot’ is a complete misnomer, as all rot requires elevated quantities of moisture. If you find white mold growing on building material, it will not morph into rot.

However, this doesn’t mean your wood won’t rot. If you have a high quantity of moisture, eventually wood decay fungi will take over. This will happen regardless of whether or not you had any mold growing beforehand.

How can I tell the difference between white mold and efflorescence?

White mold growth provides an additional challenge because it is often confused with efflorescence, a crystalline growth structure found on concrete and masonry surfaces. Efflorescence occurs when water moves through a masonry structure, bringing unbounded salts to the surface. When the water evaporates, a white, fluffy structure is left behind. This growth, while harmless, can appear very similar to white mold growth.

White mold can be found anywhere conditions conducive to mold growth are present. Common areas of white mold growth include attic sheathing and crawlspace framing.

A trained mold inspector can readily determine if the growth structure is from white mold or efflorescence. Additionally, efflorescence will typically dissolve under the application of a water mist, while mold growth will not. Other helpful distinguishing characteristics include the material of the substrate. Efflorescence will only occur on concrete, brick or other masonry structures. If you find a white mold-like substance on sheetrock or wood, you can certainly rule out efflorescence. Another indication, though imperfect, is the presence of a mold smell. Efflorescence is odorless, while mold growth often produces a musty odor.

  • Warm conditions resulting from the turning up of our thermostats in winter make the indoor home environment perfect for the growth and proliferation of mold.
  • Decaying matter around the home resulting from fallen leaves and dead plants results in the release of mold spores into the air. These are spread and settle indoors where they grow.
  • Increased humidity as a result of the wet winter conditions provides ideal conditions for the growth of mold.

1. Keep the surfaces in your home clean and dry.

Don’t give mold spores the chance to settle and grow.

2. Ensure that there is adequate circulation of air.

Open a window when cooking, washing dishes or taking a shower. You can use an exhaust fan if you have one. This will prevent condensation from building up in the home and therefore keep humidity levels low.

3. Ensure that leaky plumbing is fixed in good time.

Ensure that you get a plumber to inspect any leaky pipes or drains. This will ensure that water is not leaking within the home and therefore keep moisture levels down.

4. If you have a crawl space, ensure that you spread a moisture barrier over the soil.

This can take the form of a plastic film or roofing paper made of polyethylene. This barrier will prevent moisture from the crawl space rising and penetrating the floor. This moisture can result in the rise of indoor humidity levels and encourage the growth of mold.