Can Air Purifiers Remove Household Mold Spores?
Mold is a common nuisance in many homes and properties. In the past few decades, people have been using air purifiers to get rid of mold allergens. But are all air purifiers efficient at removing mold from the air or can air purifiers get rid of mold in a home? Find out below:
What Are Mold Spores?
Mold is an essential part of nature and can be found almost everywhere. Mold spores are airborne microscopic particles that act as the “seeds” which mold needs in order to spread. While mold spores are also present in homes, the actual visible mold grows only when it has the right conditions. It requires a source of food (such as walls), moisture, and warm temperatures. Unfortunately, most homes meet those requirements, causing the potential for health effects.
How Does Mold Affect Our Health?
Some people are more sensitive to mold exposure than others. The most affected individuals are those who are allergic to mold or suffer from asthma. You should minimize the mold in your home to avoid such health hazards.
What Do Air Purifiers Do?
There are several types of air purifiers, but those that are the most effective at removing mold spores from indoor air are high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) air purifiers. HEPA filters capture 99.97% of 0.3 micron particles, including dust and other allergens, and an even higher percentage of larger particles. Since mold spores are usually about 1-20 microns, the HEPA filter is perfect for extracting mold spores from the air. However, air purifiers should not be used to treat the underlying mold problem.
What Air Purifiers Don’t Do
Although HEPA air purifiers can efficiently filter mold spores out of the air, you need to remove the mold first if you have a mold problem in your home. Air purifiers will remove mold spores, but can’t remove the mold growth which put the mold spores in the air. To get rid of a mold problem, it’s best to call a mold restoration company. These companies use specialized equipment and techniques to detect and remove mold growth, as well as to dry and restore affected surfaces.
The Bottom Line
If you’re allergic or sensitive to mold spores, air purifiers can be a great help. They can filter out mold spores and other allergens from the air. In addition, air purifiers can help prevent mold growth by stopping mold spores from spreading. However, air purifiers won’t kill the mold that’s already growing on surfaces. Remove the mold and fix the moisture problem to get rid of the mold infestation.
Call SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood at 407-830-9899 with any questions and we will be happy to help.
Fire Damage Specialists
No one ever expects horrible things to happen inside their Altamonte Springs or Longwood home. House fires are something that most people think will never happen to them. However, mishaps do take place, and one day it is possible that you have a fire inside your home.
Accidents happen, and many people find themselves in a situation where a minor fire starts in their home. If this ever happens to you, it's a good idea to call SERVPRO's fire damage experts in Altamonte Springs or Longwood. Some people have small fires start inside their home, and they can quickly put it out.
However, even though you may not see an excessive amount of burn damage where the fire started it is still wise to call in SERVPRO to inspect the damage. Many times a fire causes damage that is not in the exact area of the source of the blaze. When a fire burns, it creates an excessive amount of smoke that spreads to all areas of your home.
The smoke a fire produces can cause a surprising amount of damage. It can cause soot residue to build up on surfaces not close to where the fire started. A fire started in one room could possibly create odors that are present in other areas of your home. A fire sometimes embeds an unpleasant burnt smell into contents inside your home.
Any of these issues, if not treated correctly, might result in permanent damage to your home. When you call in the professionals, it is now up to them to figure out every area fire or smoke damage may have affected. Our staff is highly skilled at diagnosing every unique situation. Our experienced team knows how to find things that get ruined in the most unexpected places. Our team also knows the best procedures and practices we can use to mitigate the problem.
We are IICRC certified and skilled in all areas of fire damage restoration. Our team uses the best equipment available in the industry to remove damage caused by the fire.
It is always a devastating experience when a fire starts inside your home. Let our team take some stress out of the situation for you and call SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood at (407) 830-9899 24 hours a day
Fire Safety for the Holidays!
Did you know that 1 in every 3 home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems and that 1 in every 34 Christmas tree fires result in death?
The NFPA and several fire departments in the D.C. area recommend the following safety tips:
- Make sure string lights have no loose connections, cracked lamps or frayed cords.
- Use only a single extension cord that can reach your home's outlet without being too long and being tangled.
- Use UL-approved lights and cords.
- Make sure lights are off when you go out and before you turn in for the night.
- Make sure all outdoor light connectors are away from metal rain gutters and off the ground.
- Never use candles to light or decorate a tree.
- To lessen the chance of a fire hazard, purchase a freshly cut tree.
- Make sure to keep your tree at least three feet away from any heat source.
- Water the tree every day and remove it from your home after Christmas or once it becomes dry.
- Don't burn Christmas tree branches or wrapping paper in your fireplace.
- Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that could burn.
If you have any questions on further safety tips, please contact your local fire department.
What Kind of Equipment will be Placed in my Home?
When a water damage occurs, it is common to feel blindsided by the many steps involved in the mitigation process. The task of removing the water, drying out the home or business, then putting things back into place can seem a bit overwhelming. That’s where we can help. Our team of highly qualified technicians take great care in walking customers through the steps necessary to dry and repair their property.
There are many different types of equipment utilized in the drying and restoration process. Here is just a glimpse of what you can expect to see:
- Air Mover and/or Axial Fan: Professional grade air movers and axial fans produce more air movement than a standard household fan. The higher volume of air being moved increases the rate of evaporation, helping to dry the structure as quickly as possible.
- Dehumidifier: A dehumidifier removes water vapor from the air by condensing it out against refrigerated fins. The water is stored and then periodically purged from the machine by use of plastic tubing. The tubing will generally be run so that it dumps water down a drain, such as a bathtub or sink, or sometimes out a window or door. Professional dehumidifiers pull much more vapor from the air than a household dehumidifier. In this way they are generally more efficient.
- Air Scrubber: An air scrubber might be used if your loss is a result of water classified as a category 2 or 3 loss; which means that it came from a contaminated source or through building materials. These machines remove airborne particulates by trapping them in HEPA filters. Air Scrubbers are also used in cases where a customer has a health condition that requires the air quality be monitored.
- Specialty Drying Equipment: There are a variety of different tools available to our technicians for use in specialty circumstances.
Many customers are concerned about the cost of their power bill when they see the amount of equipment needed to dry their property. This is an understandable concern. Your insurance adjuster can discuss how to handle this with you.
How often do you take inventory of your home?
Tips for Handling a Flood-Damaged Home
We never know when disaster may strike your home or office. It is important to know what you have and what it is worth.
You never want to wait for a disaster to strike to have to come up with an accurate inventory of the belongings in your home.
You should have a detailed inventory of your contents and your home or office, and it should be kept current annually, or whenever you make a new purchase to your home. Some things you will want to have listed are:
- What it is
- Where it was made (Brand)
- What is its value
- What condition it is in
Be sure to keep this in a safe place, a copy with your homeowners or renters insurance, as well as a digital copy that can be accessed in case something happens to your printed copy.
You will want to have this documented in list form and supported with pictures. You will also want to document your entire home. Pictures will be your best friend when trying to tell your adjuster what condition your belongings were in before the disaster struck.
Tips for Handling a Flood Damaged Home
Floods due to natural disasters such as storms, hurricanes or tornadoes are any property owner’s worst nightmare. The floodwaters can wreak havoc on your Altamonte Springs property and leave it in a miserable state. Apart from the structural damage, floodwaters can cause secondary damage if the restoration is not started promptly.
Thankfully, here at SERVPRO, we have a team of experts who can help you restore your Altamonte Springs home after a flood. Although you cannot be fully prepared for any natural disaster, you can have a plan in place. Here are a few things that you should do, if a natural disaster causes flooding in your home.
Ensure your safety
Your and your family’s safety is the single most important thing during and after a natural disaster.
Always try to stay out of standing water. You never know what bacteria or obstacles are under the water. So stay out of the water as much as possible.
Make sure that you are safe and dry and do not try to do anything that puts you at risk of injury or bodily harm. Safety comes first; everything else can wait.
Contact professionals as soon as possible
Seeking professional help is the next most important thing to do after a flood. Make sure that you have the contact number of SERVPRO handy and contact our expert disaster management team as soon as you can. The best way to limit the extent of damage and ensure restoration is swift action.
As soon as you call us, we will dispatch a team of experts to access the situation and develop a restoration plan. The priority is to get the water out of the property once the water has receded.
Call your insurance company
Take many pictures of your flooded home, if you can, and contact your insurance company. You can ask your insurance adjuster about the things that are covered under your policy. SERVPRO technicians can help you with documentation and protocol.
Call SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood at (407) 830-9899 to talk to one of our technicians to discuss your situation. We are here to help you get back in your home as soon as possible.
IICRC Certified Firm
SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.
IICRC Certified Firms must
- Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
- Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
- Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up to date on the latest changes in the industry.
- Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
- Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.
The IICRC Develops the Standards for The Restoration Industry
The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.
Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.
About SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood
SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Mold is a Four-Letter Word!
Mold is a four-letter word… the very mention of mold stirs negative feelings. Yet mold is a necessary part of life. Bread makers, and people who make wine, beer and cheese also rely of mold and yeasts, all part of the fungi kingdom. Molds are part of our eco system. Saying mold is bad is not a realistic statement. Tens of thousands of different molds have been identified and studied. Only a few produce negative effects on people. Tell a baker, wine maker, brewer or cheese maker that molds and yeasts are bad, and your will get a funny look.
What gives mold a bad reputation?
There are molds that are able to produce tiny spores that become airborne and these spores can pass through our respiratory system and into the Alveoli sacks in our lungs and cause toxins to enter our blood stream. Infants, seniors and anyone with a compromised immune system are susceptible. These molds are called, “toxic black mold.”
The problem is that a majority of molds are black in color. Mold could come in just about every color including white, yellow, green and pink; however black is the most common color. People hear about “black toxic mold” and then equate the black mold that they see on a window frame as being this potentially harmful variety of “toxic mold”. There are contractors who make a living playing off of the public’s fear and lack of knowledge about mold. They charge big fees to remove mold of any variety, harmful or not.
For realistic information about mold, one of the best sources to learn about mold is to visit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website using mold as a search phrase. You will get easy to understand information about mold. Another thing to do is to give us a call. SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood (407) 830-9899.
When should I get my Air Ducts Cleaned? (HVAC Clean)
Just like everything else in your home, your Air Ducts or your HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning) System should be cleaned on a routine basis, though not quite as frequently as most other things in your home.
The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) recommends getting your air ducts cleaned every 3 to 5 years.
However, the frequency in which you may need to get your ducts cleaned relies on many different factors:
- What part of the country do you live
- Are there animals in the house
- Do you smoke in the house
- Residents with allergies or asthma who might benefit from a reduction in the amount of indoor air pollutants in the homes’ HVAC system.
- and more...
You may also want to consider having an HVAC clean if any of the following has occurred, even if you are not due for cleaning your ducts for another few years.
- A water damage occurs
- A smoke or fire damage occurs
- Microbial Remediation
- Home renovations
- Prior to moving into a new home
- and more...
If you have any additional questions or would like to schedule to get your ducts cleaned, please call us today! We look forward to serving you.
Did you know there are different categories of water?
There are 3 different categories of water.
Category 1 Water – That which is clean at the releasing source and does not pose a hazard if consumed by humans. Category 1 water may become progressively contaminated as it mixes with soils on or within floor coverings or building assemblies (walls, decking, subflooring). Time and temperature, which promote the growth and amplification of microorganisms in water can cause Category 1 water to degrade.
Examples of category 1 water are:
- burst water pipes
- failed supply lines on appliances
- vertically falling rainwater (water that does not hit the ground before entering the structure)
Category 2 Water – That which begins with some degree of contamination and could cause sickness or discomfort if consumed by humans. As with Category 1 water, time and temperature can cause Category 2 water to become progressively more contaminated.
Examples of category 2 water:
- Washing Machine Overflow
- Water from dishwasher
- Used bathwater
Category 3 Water – That which is highly contaminated and could cause death or serious illness if consumed by humans.
Examples of category 3 water:
- rising floodwater from rivers and streams
- ground surface water flowing horizontally into homes
There are many different factors that could contribute to the category of water, it may not always be clear. If you have any questions be sure to always ask a qualified professional. SERVPRO of Altamonte Springs/Longwood would be happy to assist you with any questions you may have.