Recent Mold Remediation Posts

The Do's & Don'ts Of Mold Removal

1/11/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation The Do's & Don'ts Of Mold Removal Call SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island for any mold issues you may have!

Even if you're a clean person, that doesn't guarantee that you won't have mold issues. Unfortunately, mold, just like bed bugs, DON'T care about your level of cleanliness. Regardless, mold will grow anywhere whenever there has been a water loss issue at your home that wasn't professionally removed. Anyone can have a mold problem in there home or business at anytime. SERVPRO Of East Brownsville & South Padre Island have compiled a handy list of some do's and don'ts you should follow when it comes to mold removal:

Do:

Examine your home or business regularly. Most types of mold share some obvious warning signs. For example, a musty smell in a damp basement usually means there's mold around. Black, gray, brown, or even white clusters of mold on walls, carpeting or flooring are easy to spot with the naked eye. Be observant about your home and check it regularly for mold.

Call a professional. A professional can determine which type of mold you might have, where it originates from, and how to safely perform mold removal.

Don't:

Try the Do it yourself approach. Because some molds are toxic to pets and humans, it's not safe to tackle this problem on your own. The money you think you might save by Doing it yourself isn't worth your health. Mold carries so much health risks.

Wait. Mold can grow quickly and can be dangerous. if you suspect a problem, call it in ASAP!

Make the mold feel welcome. Mold likes the darkness and warm moisture. Fix the leaks, install dehumidifiers and don't ignore the warning signs of more mold growth.

SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Islands Important Advice For Mold Remediation

1/11/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Islands Important Advice For Mold Remediation Mold remediation services available.

Mold is a very serious thing that can lead to many problems like health issues, respiratory issues and even safety issues. In fact, it's sometimes deadly. Its a situation that should never be ignored and be removed right away. When you observe your first sign of mold, Call SERVPRO as soon as possible, NEVER try and handle the mold situation yourself! Being exposed to the mold will pass on some dangerous health problems. Also, we warn you that you should NEVER  touch anything electrical when water is where it doesn't belong. While this might seem obvious, you'd be surprised at the number of people who have a flooded basement and casually wade through the water in order  to turn off appliances or light switches on or off. Just a few inches of water can saturate electrical outlets near a floor. In fact, you should not be there in the first place. We remind you once again, it is very dangerous! Don't let mold remain in your home for too long. This leads to the mold to spread rapidly throughout your home or business. Mold cannot grow without moisture, Therefore, its always good to have a dehumidifier to remove dampness from the air and reduce the threat of mold.

Use your senses if you suspect your house or business has mold. If you smell mustiness, its very likely mold is present. If something looks suspicious, Don't hesitate to have it checked out by SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island. Better safe than sorry.!

Building Material Remediation

12/14/2018 (Permalink)

Remediating fungal contamination that is impacting building materials involves a number of steps that are widely accepted in the industry, and experience has determined that these steps should be performed in a particular order. This method offers the best possibility for removing the visible mold growth and associated debris without cross contaminating surrounding areas. Remediation professionals like SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island use the following steps as a starting point for developing a specific work plan for each project.

  1. Set up initial engineering controls, including isolation barriers, negative pressure system, and drop cloths necessary to protect the structure during initial response activities.
  2. Remove standing water.
  3. Assess condition of contents, set up appropriate decontamination structure, and remove contents from the mold remediation work area.
  4. Finalize engineering controls for removal of building materials harboring fungal growth. Make sure the setup can accommodate any unexpected hidden growth.
  5. Work with the air flow. Generally, this means that the project should be set up so that mold impacted materials closest to the decontamination unit are removed first. Work then progresses from the decon unit toward the negative air machine.
  6. Remove porous materials with visible growth. Use work practices that minimize the generation of dust. This may include the use of hand tools or power tools to which a HEPA vacuum can be attached.
    7. Enforce work procedures that emphasize a clean-as-you-go approach. Whenever possible, as they are removed from walls and ceilings, cut building materials in sections small enough to fit directly into waste bags. Bag all waste immediately rather than allowing it to pile up on the floor. Change negative air machine and vacuum filters often enough to keep them operating at optimum levels.
  7. Enforce work procedures that emphasize a clean-as-you-go approach. Whenever possible, as they are removed from walls and ceilings, cut building materials in sections small enough to fit directly into waste bags. Bag all waste immediately rather than allowing it to pile up on the floor. Change negative air machine and vacuum filters often enough to keep them operating at optimum levels.
  8. Seal waste bags using the gooseneck technique. Move waste bags into the decontamination unit where the exteriors of the bags are cleaned or they are double bagged prior to movement through unprotected areas of the building.
  9. Determine the remediation approach for semi-porous materials that have visible fungal growth. Depending on the condition of the material some items, such as rotted wood studs, may have to be removed for later replacement. Other semi-porous materials that have not suffered structural damage can be cleaned by scraping, sanding, scrubbing, or blasting. Whenever possible, use tools in conjunction with a HEPA vacuum. Specialty tools, such as the Scravac, are specifically designed for scraping contamination directly into a vacuum nozzle. Make sure that the cleaning technique does not exceed the capacity of the engineering controls. Blasting, for example, may require a substantial increase in the amount of negative pressure and airflow as compared to a standard mold remediation work area.
  10. Clean all non-porous materials that have visible fungal growth. This usually involves damp wiping or HEPA vacuuming.
  11. Using the HEPA sandwich technique, clean the entire isolated work area, including ceilings and non-impacted walls. If there are any bacterial concerns because of gray or black water, incorporate appropriate antimicrobial chemicals into the damp wiping step.
  12. If necessary, dry the remaining material in the work area through dehumidification. Be careful that airflow from fans and dehumidifiers does not impact the integrity of the isolation barriers.
  13. Conduct a thorough visual inspection of the isolated work area. Use the white glove test to ensure that the area is free of dust. Re-clean as necessary.
  14. Conduct post-remediation evaluation sampling. Compare the results to the company’s standards for mold remediation (see box for suggested post-remediation sample criteria). Re-clean and re-sample if necessary.
  15. Coordinate post-remediation verification sampling by a pre-selected third party. Evaluate the results in comparison to the criteria that were agreed upon at the beginning of the project (see box for suggested post-remediation sample criteria). Re-clean and re-sample if necessary. If the building owner chooses to forgo verification sampling, move to the next step.
  16. If included as part of the remediation project, apply an antimicrobial coating to exposed structural members to prevent future mold contamination. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application. Allow all surfaces to dry thoroughly.
  17. Have the HVAC system cleaned following NADCA guidelines.
  18. If included as part of the project, replace and refinish building materials that were removed during remediation.
  19. Remove isolation barriers and remediation equipment. Unless specifically exempted in the remediation contract, repair any damage to finish materials caused by the isolation barriers.

SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island has highly trained and certified technicians to tackle any size Mold Remediation Project.  We work hand in hand with the property owner and Industrial Hygienists to make sure the project is completed promptly and safely.  

HEPA and HEPA Filtration Devices

5/25/2018 (Permalink)

Disaster losses and the facility restoration process commonly involve the release of a wide array of contaminants into the air including microscopic bio-pollutants, larger, visible particles and unpleasant odors. 

Disaster losses and the facility restoration process commonly involve the release of a wide array of contaminants into the air including microscopic bio-pollutants, larger, visible particles and unpleasant odors. Portable HEPA Filtration Devices (HFDs) that can effectively and efficiently capture them can provide one of the most important tools at a remediation contractor’s disposal, with numerous potential benefits, including:

  • Enhanced productivity & work quality
  • Improved work area health and safety
  • Reduced cleanup time
  • Limiting the area of contamination
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Faster job clearance & re-occupancy
  • Reduced risk of re-contamination or call-backs

What Is a "True" HEPA Filter?

HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters, also known as absolute filters, are much more efficient than other types of filters for removing microscopic particles from the air. By common definition a HEPA filter must provide 99.97% minimum efficiency during use. In other words, no more than three out of 10,000 particles (0.03%) of the 0.3-micron particles pulled in can pass through. 

Filters must meet Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (IEST) Recommended Practices that cover filter media, filter media testing, filter design, construction and labeling, and completed filter testing. 

Are All HFDs Equipped With True HEPA Filters?

HFDs and the filters used in them can apparently fall well short of HEPA performance based on various industry studies and in-field testing. The differences can be much larger than they perhaps seem. Compared to HFDs with true HEPA efficiency, a 99%-efficient HFD will have over 30 times more leakage, a 97%-efficient HFD 100 times more leakage, and a 95%-efficient HFD over 165 times more leakage! 

What Causes Less-Than-HEPA HFD Efficiency?

Some of the more common causes of reduced filtration efficiency can include:

  • Each completed filter was not individually efficiency-tested. The use of true HEPA media is no guarantee that the finished filter will be HEPA efficient because a large percentage of completed HEPA filters require repairs to fix problems such as media damage or improper sealing between the media pack and filter frame. Without testing these problems cannot be found and corrected prior to filter shipment and use. In particular, a low percentage of the aftermarket filters in use today are individually tested per IEST requirements.
  • The filter was not tested at the proper airflow. Completed filters tested at airflows far below the rated airflow of the device in which the filter is used may not provide HEPA efficiency in use. The fact that a filter meets HEPA standards when tested at 500cfm or 1,000cfm airflow doesn’t mean it will when operated at 1,500cfm or 2,000cfm.
  • The filter was not made with micro-glass HEPA media. Some HFD “HEPA” filters are built with synthetic media that has an electrostatic charge applied to it to enhance initial efficiency above 99%. In-use efficiency can be reduced substantially as moisture in the air begins to dissipate this charge. This can force users to replace a costly filter after (and possibly during) each job.
  • The filter is HEPA- efficient but the HFD still leaks. Use of a less-than-HEPA efficiency pretty much guarantees that HFD performance will be compromised, but use of a true HEPA does not ensure overall HEPA efficiency. Leakage elsewhere can significantly compromise the overall integrity of the device by allowing unfiltered air to bypass the HEPA filter.

What Do HEPA Filtration Devices Do?

HFDs help control airborne contaminants during every restoration job, and are absolutely essential for water loss jobs, particularly those involving black water or structural mold contamination. Their most critical task is capturing microscopic bacteria and mold spores released into the air during the drying process, but can also capture larger particles like drywall dust stirred up during demolition and construction activities and, when equipped with carbon filters, odors off-gassed from microbes, paints and other chemicals. 

Are There Different Types of HFDs?

Yes. HFDs generally fall into one of three design types, all of which can be used to perform the same tasks:

  • ‘Large Box’ Negative Air Machines (NAM) are boxy-shaped units with galvanized steel or rotational molded polymer cabinets mounted on four casters. Designed primarily for use on large asbestos abatement projects, NAM typically provide the most airflow per purchase cost dollar, but are larger, heavier & more cumbersome than other HFD types. They are not well suited for jobs involving movement up or down stairs or in tight spaces.
  • Upright Portable Air Scrubbers are more mobile units with rotational molded polymer or stainless steel cabinets that are moved by tipping them back and rolling them on two large wheels like a hand truck. These devices typically offer more convenience features than NAM but less airflow per initial cost dollar. However, more and more users today find that upright PAS provide the greatest productivity, mobility and ease of use.
  • ‘Small Box’ Portable Air Scrubbers are small, compact devices with rotational molded polymer or stainless steel cabinets and are typically light enough (35 to 45 lbs) to pick up and hand carry. With peak airflow generally in the 400cfm to 600cfm range they are ideal for smaller jobs. However, because multiple units can be used on larger jobs, small box HFDs are also increasingly popular with restoration companies today

How and When Should HFDs Be Used?

HFDs should be put into operation immediately at the start of the job and operated continuously until, and in many instances after, all work is completed. 

The negative pressure containment mode offers the highest level of assurance against contaminants from the affected space escaping into “clean” areas when only a portion of the structure is affected. A physical barrier is erected to seal off the affected area and HFDs are operated continuously within that area to reduce airborne particle counts. Lower (negative) pressure is created within the affected area by ducting air filtered out. This pressure differential helps protect unaffected indoor areas from contamination. 

HFDs are often operated in the recirculation mode whenever the entire indoor space is affected. In this mode no pressure differential is created and there is typically no barrier. The HFD simply continuously filters contaminants from the air to reduce airborne particle counts and exhausts cleansed air directly back into the indoor space. 

How Much Airflow Do I Need?

A common industry design parameter is four to six clean air changes per hour (ACH) or more. More is better, and it’s prudent to increase the design ACH to build in a margin of safety for airflow losses due to factors such as filter loading or exhaust ducting. If you need 5 ACH for example you might design for 6 ACH. Here’s a fast and easy way to figure out the total cubic feet per minute (cfm) of airflow required:

  1. Calculate the total air volume in cubic feet by multiplying the length times the width times the height, all in feet. If there is a contained work area, use the dimensions within that area. If there’s no physical containment barrier the volume of the total space must be used.
  2. Divide the air volume by 10 for 6 ACH, by 12 for 5 ACH, or by 15 for 4 ACH.

Example: The minimum airflow required to maintain 6 ACH in a 30 ft. x 20 ft. x 10 ft. contained work area would be calculated as follows: 
Volume = 60 ft. x 20 ft. x 10 ft. = 12,000 cu. ft. 
Airflow Required for 6 ACH = 12,000 / 10 = 1,200cfm 

HEPA filtration device can help mitigate a lot of problems. Do your homework, select them carefully, and use them properly and you, insurers and their customers can all benefit.  SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island has wide selection of HEPA Filtration Devices to tackle any size job.  We have trained IICRC technicians with experience in everything from Mold Remediation to Bio Hazard Cleanup.

Methods for Proper Mold Removal

5/25/2018 (Permalink)

The IICRC S520 establishes the standard for microbial remediation, which lays out general work practices and methods. While this document is considered the standard and may be considered the Bible for remediation companies like SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island, there are additional effective work practices. At the end of the day, safety to our workers and customers is the top priority.

Below are five methods employed by SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island to safely and effectively remove mold.

Establish Critical Containments

Before you do anything, make sure to mitigate the spread of spores by establishing critical containments upon arriving at the loss. Typically, we will seal off the visibly affected areas with plastic and tape. This helps contain the spores to the affected area and will impede the migration to other areas of the property. Adding a dehumidifier to control the humidity will also help to stop the occurrence of secondary damages caused by the elevated humidity, should there still be moisture present.

Slow Things Down to Speed Things Up

Common mistakes made by technicians are often a result of their tendency to hurry through a job. The more time they put into establishing an effective containment and employing dust free work methods will result in safer and cleaner jobs, with less call backs and re-cleans. Adequate measures should be taken to see that the walls don’t collapse, such as using the correct tape and staples where necessary. Dust free practices should also be used, such as saws equipped with vacuum attachments. Lastly, technicians should avoid kicking, smashing or any other aggressive methods of building material removal.

Proper PPE and Fit Tests

We all know how important it is to protect our workers when performing mold abatement; however, it is also important to make sure that the worker is physically able to perform the work. Before entering containment and donning a respirator, every worker should pass a respirator fit test and pulmonary physical examine. Fit tests can be performed by someone in your company who is a certified fit test instructor; however, the pulmonary physical examine should be performed by a medical professional. Together these tests will ensure that the workers are safe to be performing work in contained environments and under the physical stress of PPE.

Scrub Mode vs. Negative Air

Scrub mode and negative air are both effective methods of filtration. When technicians are working in the containment, it is standard practice to establish negative pressure, which helps mitigate the spread of mold spores to the outside of the contained area. When workers are not onsite, air filtration devices can be set to scrub mode. I recommend using lay flat ducting to route the exhaust air back into the containment. Furthermore, I would also recommend routing the ducted exhaust air to the opposite end of the containment, allowing for the path of air to travel across the affected areas. This will help pick up any mold spores that may be lingering. Should there be additional equipment available, adding extra air scrubbers to the inside of the containment will allow for even more filtration. Some experts may believe this is overkill, but I always recommend this practice in order to ensure a pass on the microbial clearance test.

Angle Grinder with Wire Brush Attachment

Traditionally, we are taught to sand the affected framing to remove surface mold, which is still an effective method; however, it is more effective and efficient to use a grinder with a wire brush attachment. With this attachment, technicians are able to complete jobs much faster and with fantastic results. Technicians also prefer the wire brush method to the sanding method due to ease of use. If done correctly, after the wire brush treatment there will be no visible indications of mold and sealing the building materials should not be necessary to pass a microbial clearance if the surfaces have been properly cleaned. 

SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island is a certified Mold Remediation Company.  We can handle any size loss both Residential and Commercial.  If you suspect you might have a mold issue, call us for a free inspection.

The Importance of Containment in Restoration

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

As a newcomer to the restoration and remediation industry, you quickly learn that remediation gets rid of the bad stuff while restoration replaces the good stuff. But often, little mention is given to the first part of the disaster relief team – containment. Yet, proper protocol says to first contain, then remediate and restore.

So what is containment and why is it important? Specifically, containment is preventing something from escaping. The restoration professional is likely to encounter substances like mold, microbials (naturally occurring micro-organisms), toxin-producing pathogens, friable lead and asbestos. Most of these toxins are very small and can easily hitch a ride on normal air currents found in most buildings. Without containing these potentially toxic substances, at the source and within a confined area, they are likely to end up creating a significantly larger mess than first encountered and quickly saturate the air being inhaled by workers, homeowners and occupants of the affected buildings.

The Value of Effective Containment

For the homeowner:

Lessened health consequence

Less likely to be displaced

Shorter restoration time

Less property damage

No lost income

For the lessor:

Reduced liability

No loss of rental income

Lower repair costs

Property not devalued

For the insurer:

Lower liability

Reduced A.L.E.s

Lower cost of restoration

Quicker repair times

For the restoration company:

Showing you care drives sales

Helps manage work load

Lowers risks to employees

Lessens liability

Allows for faster turn times

Provides visible proof-of-work

May minimize re-clean, re-test

Within the protocols we use, there should be a very high value on containment because it alone has the ability to prevent further damage to health and property. It keeps a bad situation from getting worse. It puts a lid on it. Everything else addresses the aftermath.

Containment is typically broken into two types: source and area containment.

In talking about source containment, I often use the example of a broken water pipe. With water spewing everywhere, nobody in their right mind would even think about fixing and cleaning up the mess until the water valve was turned off first. That is source containment.

For area containment, think of a quarantine room where someone sick is isolated. The point is not necessarily to keep the person inside, but to keep the pathogens contained and from escaping.

In the first example, the water is quite visible. In the second, the pathogen is microscopic – invisible. This cloak of invisibility is probably the main reason some professionals don’t take containment so seriously. It is the perception that if you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist.

But it does exist. And in the case of some molds, just a slight breeze or vibration and they go into survival mode – spewing hundreds times more spores into the air. Without proper containment, the cost of the loss can increase dramatically. But it seems to me the greater cost is in the potential health issues by carelessly allowing cross contamination. According to industry expert Michael A. Pinto of Wonder Makers Environmental, “Medical research continues to tie exposure (to toxins) to significant health effects.”

Reducing the impact of tiny invisible airborne contaminants is exactly why containment is a valuable part of the protocol.

If you will, picture each part of the mold protocol being a person, a specialist in charge of part of the disaster medical team. You would have a first responder (containment), a surgeon (remediation) and a physical therapist (restoration).  Each is tasked with a special function. The first responder stops the bleeding and gets the patient to the surgeon, who cuts away the damaged tissue and does the necessary surgery. The physical therapist gets the body working right again.

Let’s continue by considering a real medical containment scenario – the Ebola virus. World health experts know how critical it is to contain this deadly virus. Anyone who might come into contact with Ebola knows the likelihood of survival is slim. To prevent any direct contact with Ebola, rigid environmental controls are put into place including the use of personal protective clothing, decontamination rooms and a buddy system for removing clothing. In the event of a containment breach, quarantine quarters are mandated for 40 days. With few cures, the focus must be on effective containment.

Granted the Ebola illustration is an extreme circumstance, nonetheless, preparedness for everyday “disasters” means having the right tools on hand, being up-to-date on best practices for doing source and area containment and being ready from the first moment you address the problem to respond in a way that reduces the health risks and property loss.

It is very encouraging to observe the growing interest in effective containment. As the above list shows, stopping toxins in their tracks benefits everyone in the mix.

It is not uncommon to hear concern about reduced cleaning revenue due to better containment, but omitting something to jack up income is just unethical and shortsighted. Don’t do it ever! Not only is great containment going to endear you to your customer (future referrals) but the insurer and adjuster will appreciate that you prevented displacement which can cost them thousands of dollars.

As a restoration professional, containing the site should be of utmost concern for you and your employees. A safer work site always benefits the worker and the employer. Think lower workers compensation costs and liability costs.

By effectively reducing the volume of mold spores by the use of source containment, testing is more likely to pass the first time out – reducing the cost of re-cleaning and testing a second time. The same holds true for effective area containment.

While on this subject, the sequence of source containment and then area containment is important. By securing the site rapidly with source containment, you are avoiding mass propagation of mold spores while erecting area containment. There has already been some level of cross contamination prior to your arrival that will be addressed during remediation. Also, do not make the mistake of only source containment, as what’s behind the moldy surface will need to be contained when the wall is opened up. Don’t skip steps in protocol.

SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island constantly trains with the latest containment procedures and materials in our Industry.  We are licensed Mold Remediation Contractors and have extensive experience in containments.  I’ll end with this thought. Be prepared, be alert and contain the problem as if someone’s life depended on it – as it very well may.

EPA Registered Chemicals in Flood Losses

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation EPA Registered Chemicals in Flood Losses Pump Sprayer

EPA Registered Chemicals in Flood Losses

Flooding and water damage can be a devastating event. Taking immediate action can help save your property from mold, mildew and moisture damage. Mold & mildew can start growing within 24 hours after a flood, as the excess moisture and dampness are perfect conditions for mold to grow. In addition, flood waters contain bacteria and other micro-organisms which can be hazardous to human health. Cleaning items exposed to floodwaters removes visible contamination yet invisible microorganisms are left behind. All flood-dampened surfaces should be cleaned, dried, disinfected and sprayed with a mold inhibitor as soon as possible. There are many products available that claim to control mold after flooding but how do you know which are really effective? An EPA registration listed on the product label helps you answer this question.  SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island only uses EPA registered chemicals in their product line.

With mold or the potential for mold growth, the EPA requires that all products that claim to kill mold or inhibit mold must be first registered with the EPA before these claims can be made. Registering with the EPA means that a product has passed their required tests for pesticide claims with an independent laboratory. The EPA classifies mold claims such as ‘kills or inhibits’ as pesticidal claims. Mold Stain removal or products that claim to remove the stains caused by mold are not considered pesticidal and do not require an EPA registration. After flooding you need a product that kills and inhibits mold, so you should use an EPA registered product to ensure the product actually kills and inhibits molds. The EPA registration outlines the proper uses and approved claims manufacturers can make about the product. It outlines proper usage, application areas, contact times, safety and general instructions. An EPA registration provides a sense of security, knowing that the claims on the label are backed by EPA testing and protocols.

In addition to mold, flood waters may carry bacteria and viruses. Products that claim to kill bacteria and viruses must also be EPA registered. The common terms found on the labels are disinfect and sanitize. The two terms are often used interchangeably but there is a difference. Disinfectants are products that destroy all organisms in 10 minutes during the AOAC Use Dilution Test, a test regulated by the EPA. Sanitizers destroy 99.999 percent of bacteria in 30 seconds during the Official Detergent Sanitizer Test (a public health test).  Sanitizers are typically used around food or in kitchens due to the speed needed to destroy bacteria on dishes and glasses as it makes the surfaces safe for contact quickly. Disinfectants are used around all other places to destroy microorganisms because they are stronger.

How do you know what products kill or inhibit mold and other microorganisms? Check the label for the words fungicide, mildewstat, disinfectant and deodorizer. These terms identify the claims and the performance of the product. Here is what those terms mean: (1) fungicide (cide = kills) so this means kills mold & mildew (2) Mildewstat (stat = inhibit) so this means inhibits mold growth. (3) Bactericide (cide = kills) which means kills bacteria.  (4) Virucide (cide = kills) so this means kills viruses. The back label will list the various organisms the product kills or inhibits. Be sure to find these terms listed on the label of the product you purchase if you want to kill mold, mildew, bacteria and viruses, all which are found in flood waters. By using an EPA registered product, you know it met the EPA protocol to kill and inhibit mold and mildew.

SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island recommends that once you’ve found an EPA registered product, take these key steps to flood and water clean-up:

  • Be sure to wear protective clothing including goggles and rubber gloves.
  • Open windows and dry areas thoroughly. Place moisture absorbers in small enclosed spaces like closets and bathrooms to help eliminate excess moisture and dry out the area. Moisture absorbers are a natural way to attract and trap excess moisture to eliminate and prevent musty odors and moisture damage. They do not require electricity and work well in small spaces.
  • Discard any water damaged materials that are porous and can trap mold. This includes books, paper, ceiling tiles, cellulose insulation, fiberglass insulation and soft surface items. Be sure to photocopy any valuable important papers and documents. Place the items in sealed bags before placing in trash containers.
  • Carpet and backing may be wet vacuumed and dried with fans or dehumidifiers. Clean carpet and window drapes. Apply a fungicide and disinfectant product to kill mold, mildew, bacteria and viruses. Be sure to use a bactericide and virucide to kill bacteria and viruses.
  • All hardened non-porous surfaces or objects that have come in contact with flood waters must be cleaned, disinfected and treated with a mold killer and inhibitor. Dry and clean the surface and apply a fungicide and disinfectant product to kill mold, mildew, bacteria and viruses. Be sure to use a bactericide and virucide to kill bacteria and viruses.
  • Protect against future mold growth. Use a product that contains a mildewstat to inhibit the growth of mold and mildew.
  • Check for odors. It could mean you have mold and mildew behind walls. Find the mold sources and treat them as described above.

Using mold products that are registered with the EPA as a fungicide and a mildewstat ensures that the products meet the EPA requirements to kill and inhibit mold. A product that is a fungicide, mildewstat and a disinfectant saves you time because it kills and inhibits mold and disinfects in one step.  This is by far the more popular chemical used by SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island in their efforts to remediate mold affected materials.