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Air Sampling for Mold: How it Works and Why it’s Necessary

We’ve discussed on this blog how the damage caused by mold can go largely unseen. Mold can hide in places that the average homeowner may not even think to look. Well, rather than inspect every inch of a home in search of mold spores there is a more efficient way to determine whether or not mold is present. This way is by sampling the air in the household in question. This is often a wise step to take after a home has suffered from some severe form of water damage caused by a backed up sewer, storm or aftermath of a fire. Air sampling for mold is one of several tools we use here at Conejo Restoration. So that you will know more about this process here is some general information about air sampling for mold.

How Air Sampling for Mold is Done

There are several methods for collecting air samples in order to test for mold. These include Impaction sampling – which takes a calibrated air sample and injects captured spores on a slide for examination with a microscope. Single-use cassette samples which also use forced air to collect samples and Particle collectors which can trap mold on a dish to be examined later. There are two important things to remember however. First, air sampling for mold should be done by processionals. Second, mold can be anywhere in a home so multiple sites must be examined in order for any test for mold to be truly revealing.

Guidelines for Mold Air Sampling

  • We pay attention to the number and location of samples: As we have stated, in order for any testing to be meaningful multiple samples must be taken in multiple locations. We make sure that samples are taken in the complaint area and that a control sample is taken in an area that has not been affected by mold. (For example, a sample can be taken outside in the winter, etc.)
  • We explain the goal of sampling: We address any questions you may have about mold sampling, the procedures we use and the actions that we advise are taken once the results are known.
  • Make sure the data is interpreted accurately: We use thorough testing methods to ensure that the results we get are accurate and complete. This is the only way that your family and home can be protected against the health dangers posed by mold.air sampling
  • We know the limitations of air sampling: Finally, we understand that air sampling is only one component to a battery of tests that must be taken once mold is suspected. We visually inspect the area and conduct other tests as well.

Finally, as we have already indicated hidden mold is not always easy to detect. For that we use our years of experience in water damage repair. We know the places that mold is likely to form and our team can handle all kinds of water damage in Thousand Oaks.

Ways to Prevent Mold after Water has Damaged Your Carpets

Drying a carpet after a flood should be done immediately. If you do not act quickly, mold could form doing irreparable harm to your carpet and endangering the health and well being of the people in your household. Despite this fact, some people delay or take the wrong measures when a large area of their carpeting has been soaked with water. Don’t be one of those people. It is important to know how to prevent mold growth on your carpet after it has become saturated with water. Here is some of our best advice.
• Remove water as quickly as possible: There is commercially available equipment that will help you remove some water from small carpets but for large jobs you should contact a water and smoke damage remediation company like ours. We have industrial strength equipment that will safety remove water from your carpet without causing it further damage.
• Minimize traffic on the wet carpet: If at all possible, keep people from walking on your wet carpeting. This will prevent it from becoming further damaged.
• Use fans to speed up the drying process: There is good news and bad news about using fans to help dry your carpet. The good news is that they can help air circulate over your carpet expediting the drying process. The bad news is that this method can take some time. You can rent high-power drying fans from a home improvement store but again, our experts have experience handling such machinery.
• Use a dehumidifier to dry out the room: Cool, dry air helps inhibit the growth of mold and mildew. Moreover, a humidifier will help to speed up the time your carpet takes to dry out. This will mean that mold and mildew will have less time to establish a foothold in your home.water damage
• Sanitize walls and baseboards: This may come as a surprise to most homeowners but anything that comes into contact with a s carpet that is also saturated with unhealthy water can also become contaminated. This is why it is advisable to clean all walls, hard-surface floors and other household surfaces with soap and water.
It is a feeling that can only be described as somewhat sickening. This is the feeling one gets when handling a carpet that has been saturated by water from a burst pipe, storm or the aftermath of a fire. The correct course to take at the end of the day is to hire restoration water damage experts to salvage what can be salvaged of your carpet. Water extraction carpet cleaning can remove black water –sewage water that may contain feces, harmful microbes, urine, etc – and its contaminants from your carpet that could lead to the formation of all kinds of mold.

Top Causes of Holiday Fires

Several posts ago we discussed some general fire safety tips to follow during the Christmas season. This time we’d like to discuss some objects that are the cause of holiday fires. Some of these items may or may not surprise you.

  • Candles: Candle-based fires occur four times more often during December than any other month. Unfortunately, some people leave candles unattended or they place flammable objects too close to this common source of holiday fires. Experts recommend that you blow out candles before you go to bed and that you consider using flameless LED candles.
  • Christmas Trees: According to the Building and Fire Research Laboratory of the National Institute for Standards and Technology, Christmas trees, even ones that are watered frequently, are nearly explosive when they catch fire. Experts recommend that consumers buy artificial trees that are made of flame-retardant materials.
  • Fireplaces: Experts recommend that you have your chimney inspected each holiday season to be sure that it is not blocked by soot or other obstruction.
  • Space heaters and radiators: As the temperature drops, it is only logical that people seek to warm themselves by using various heating devices. The problem comes when people ignore the safety rules that are included with these devices. Experts recommend that you keep objects at least 3 feet away from objects that may burn.
  • Lights: Everyone enjoys a nice light show at Christmas. The problem is that they can quickly ignite nearby objects or catch fire themselves depending on where they are placed and how they are used. As a reminder, never use string lights that appear damaged, cracked, or frayed.
  • Pots and pans: Naturally, most people log in quite a few kitchen hours during the holiday season. Be sure to have at least one operational smoke detector and fire extinguisher near the kitchen area. Also never leave foods unattended while you are cooking.holidays

As we said, some of these fire sources may not seem all that surprising but they are all worth monitoring to make sure that you have a safe holiday season. As a company that specializes in fire damage repair, we can tell you that it doesn’t take long for home fires to start and that once they do they can start a chain reaction of fire damage to your house, smoke damage, mold and water damage etc. Be safe this holiday season and use good sense and follow the directions that come with these common devices.

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