Recent Mold Remediation Posts

Pets Affected by Water Damage and Mold

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

This cat surveys the recent, unplanned changes to his home from a frozen pipe.

Did your house recently have a water damage? Have you considered the affect it could have on your pets? Any time a structure has a water damage the potential for mold growth exists. Water caused the ceiling to collapse in this home after a pipe broke. The homeowner was out of town for several days before the water damage was discovered. This was long enough for microbial growth, including mold to grow on many of the home's surfaces.

This photo shows part of the home from our initial inspection. You can see the homeowner's furry friend is still not sure how to respond to the change in his home. The mold growth can reduce the air quality in the home and while this cat may not be able to say it verbally, he is affected by the mold growth just as much as his human companions.

Both the customer and his feline friend were able to breathe much easier when our crews completed water mitigation and mold remediation.

Microbial Growth on Contents After Water Damage

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

The mold in this photo started growing after this end table was left in a water damaged basement for a week while the homeowner was out of town.

Microorganisms can grow very quickly in the right environment. One microorganism you might be familiar with is mold, which can grow into very large colonies on a variety of surfaces. There are hundreds of different species of mold and each has its own preferred environment. Most like warm, wet environments, but you can have microbial growth even in colder climates like your refrigerator!

Just like mold can survive in a variety of temperatures, it can also survive on a variety of surfaces. Some mold grows best on materials such as drywall and carpet, others grow best on fruits and food like bread. Most are not very picky and will make due with what they can get. The mold in this photo started growing after this end table was left in a water damaged basement for a week while the homeowner was out of town.

Mold Damage Cleanup Techniques

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

Black mold on shower tiles.

Monitoring the level of dampness in your property is the key to stopping mold damage. Mold development is common in wet walls, attics, basements, and crawlspaces. Making sure your attics are well ventilated, stopping leaks, and directing water away from your building's foundation can help in preventing such experiences. We are going to cover some of the cleanup and repair procedures that our team performs when dealing with such incidents.

There are several techniques that our SERVPRO technicians use when addressing mold damage removal.  The technique we choose is usually determined by the surface that is infested by the mold. If we are removing the mold from non-porous surfaces such as tiles, glass, tubs, and sinks, then we can scrub with an antimicrobial cleaner. The same procedure cannot work when we are dealing with porous surfaces such as drywall and carpets. We understand that mold can cause health effects, so we wear face masks, gloves, and other protective equipment when scrubbing the mold.

Dangers Of Mold

10/4/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Growth in Kitchen.

At SERVPRO of Benton, Jasper, Newton and Southern Lake Counties we care about the health of those in the community.  Mold in a home is more serious than just an ugly problem. 

According to the CDC by definition, actively-growing mold damages the material it lives on, thereby impairing structural integrity. In addition, mold is associated with some health effects in humans, including allergies and infections. Some health effects attributed to mold may in fact be caused by bacteria, dust mites, etc., found in mold-colonized environments.  Therefore mold growth in homes, schools, and businesses should be eliminated for the sake of human health, structural integrity, and quality of life.

If you suspect that you have mold in your home, call the professionals of SERVPRO of Benton, Jasper, Newton and Southern Lake Counties at 219-779-7577!  Our technicians are highly trained to perform on site mold testing and remediation.  

Mold after a Storm Situation in Florida

4/18/2018 (Permalink)

As winter and winter storms come to an end in Northwest Indiana, we are reminded of a storm situation in Florida. SERVPRO of Benton, Jasper, Newton, and Southern Lake Counties was again able to help! Our crews traveled to Florida to help the residents of that state. Hurricane Irma put many Florida residents in need of water mitigation. We were happy to help them!

In Jacksonville, Florida, a home flooded because of storm surge from Hurricane Irma.  Mold was visible on all drywall throughout the home.  Drywall, plaster, tile, and insulation were removed. Air scrubbers, dehumidifiers, and air movers were used to dry the home after the nonsalvageable building materials had been torn out. The home was stabilized for reconstruction.

SERVPRO of Benton, Jasper, Newton, and Southern Lake Counties was able to help dozens of homeowners after Hurricane Irma. Please call 219-779-7577 for all of your mold remediation needs! We are able to immediately assist in emergency storm situations!

New HEPA Vacuums Arrive

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Benton, Jasper, Newton, and Southern Lake Counties is adding new equipment to our inventory. Upgrading inventory means that we are able to help more customers more quickly. Recently, two new backpack HEPA vacuums were purchased. The HEPA vacuums are used in mold remediation to remove tiny spores that aren’t visible to the naked eye. Mold can be harmful to the occupants of the building and to our employees during remediation.

We make sure that all of our employees take every precaution with the customers’ health, as well as their own. All employees wear tyvek suits and respirators during mold remediation. Our employees have increased movement and agility with the backpack HEPA vacuum. This allows them to treat mold in attics, crawlspaces and other tight areas.

The health and well-being of our customers and employees is very important to us! If you need help with mold remediation, call 219-779-7577! SERVPRO of Benton, Jasper, Newton, and Southern Lake Counties is ready to help!

What is Indoor Air Quality?

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Benton, Jasper, Newton, and Southern Lake Counties is here to help you with your Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). The air in your home, building, structure is referred to as Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).

Different pollutants can affect the IAQ of your home.  Dust mites and other allergens are only a few examples. Mold also can affect your IAQ.

While it is possible to control some pollutants on your own, calling in professionals can give you peace of mind. SERVPRO is here to help!

Mold and mold spores are hard to contain and/or eliminate on your own. You can be assured that SERVPRO professionals are able to eliminate mold quickly and efficiently.

Identifying if you have mold is the first concern. SERVPRO uses an IAQ agent to determine if mold is present. This picture shows the bubbling reaction that occurs when our special agent and mold interact.

Call SERVPRO of Benton, Jasper, Newton, and Southern Lake Counties for all your mold remediation needs! We will be happy to help! Call us at (219)779-7577.

Creating your Non-Salvageable List after Mold

2/21/2018 (Permalink)

In this home, the mold spores spread to the contents of the room.

SERVPRO of Benton, Jasper, Newton and Southern Lake Counties is available for mold remediation in your home or business. Not only can mold affect the structure of your home, it can also affect the contents in your home. 

SERVPRO can help! Total loss items are items that cannot be restored to their original condition before mold growth. For instance, you could have clothes that are covered in mold. Restoring your clothes to their original condition would be impossible due to the porous nature of the material. They would then be classified as non-salvageable or total loss items. If your item is deemed non-salvageable, we will designate that in your inventory. 

With our inventory software, we are able to separate your items into different groups to help facilitate your claim with your insurance company. We are able to create an inventory of your non-salvageable items to help you receive the compensation needed.

SERVPRO of Benton, Jasper, Newton and Southern Lake Counties is available to help! Call us at 219-779-7577 for all your mold remediation needs!

Mold on Kitchen Cabinets

2/9/2018 (Permalink)

Visible mold inside the vanity of a home after flooding.

Mold can cause serious damage to your home or business. The photo shows mold that has grown on the bathroom cabinets from a recent project. Mold is capable of growing on most building materials. Left unaddressed, mold will eventually destroy everything it grows on. Delayed or improper treatment of mold issues can multiply repair costs exponentially. Mold growth is caused by elevated moisture levels. The first step to removing mold is to correct the moisture problem. In the photographed case, the moisture came in from a hurricane. Crews worked quickly to set dehumidifiers to reduce the humidity in the building. Then they removed the affected building materials. Finally, they treated the framing and subfloors with an antimicrobial to eliminate any remaining mold and microbial growth.

What is Mold?

2/9/2018 (Permalink)

This photo shows several different types of mold growing on the subfloor.

Mold is a type of fungi, organisms that have characteristics of both plants and animals. Most types of molds are harmless but many can cause illnesses, particularly in people who have sensitivities. There are thousands of types of mold out there and often more than one type will grow in the same area. Mold is incredibly small, but the colonies can grow to be huge. It is particularly dangerous because it can grow undetected for long periods of time under floors, in wall cavities and in ductwork. SERVPRO of Benton, Jasper, Newton and Southern Lake Counties often discovers mold in the middle of cleaning up after a water damage because it tends to grow on the inside of walls before it is visible on the outside. 

Ultrasonic Cleaning

4/18/2017 (Permalink)

These contents were just cleaned with our ultrasonic system.

Ultrasonic cleaning is used to clean many contents after they have been in a fire, smoke, water or mold damage. At SERVPRO of Benton, Jasper, Newton and Southern Lake Counties we have a 4 part system. The first tank is our prewash tank which uses compressed air and chemicals to remove the bulk of debris on contents. The second tank is our ultrasonic tank which uses two generators to create very tiny bubbles with sound waves. When those bubbles collide with the contents they collapse and suck the dirt, soot or debris off of the content. The third tank is a rinse tank with deionized water which removes the chemicals used for cleaning. The fourth component of our system is a drying cabinet which is powerful enough to dry electronics before they rust. With our ultrasonic system, we are able to process a higher volume of contents more quickly than our competitors. If you need your contents cleaned, call us at 219-779-7577!

Personal Protective Equipment for Mold Remediation

4/12/2017 (Permalink)

This SERVPRO of Benton, Japser, Newton and Southern Lake Counties technician is ready to take care of mold in this Saint John, Indiana home.

Mold remediation is often necessary after water damages that sit undiscovered for a length of time. Mold can grow quickly on damp or wet building materials provided the right conditions are met. There are hundreds of different species of mold and each species requires different conditions to thrive. While most mold species prefer warm, humid environments with little to no air movement; certain mold species can grow in cooler and drier environments. Some molds produce toxins which are harmful if breathed in or ingested. Our crews wear special personal protective equipment while remediating mold to reduce their exposure.


In the photo to the right, you can see one of our crew members dressed to do mold remediation. He is wearing a Tyvek suit and gloves which are puncture resistant and can be disposed of after he finishes working. He is also wearing a full face respirator which will filter the air and prevent him from breathing in mold spores while he works. At SERVPRO of Benton, Jasper, Newton and Southern Lake Counties we take mold and safety seriously. We always recommend that our customers stay out of the work area while mold is being remediated. If you think you have mold in your home, call us at 219-779-7577 to take care of it for you.

10 Tips for Removing Mold and Mildew

3/2/2017 (Permalink)

If you see mold near water pipes, waste lines, ice maker lines or plumbing fixtures, chances are the mold is feeding off a nearby leak.

Although we would prefer to call the pros, SERVPRO of Benton, Newton, Jasper & Southern Lake Counties, here are some DIY hacks that you can use to remove mold and mildew.




  1. Check for Plumbing Leaks


    If you see mold near water pipes, waste lines, ice maker lines or plumbing fixtures, chances are the mold is feeding off a nearby leak. Let the water run while you check the pipes and surrounding area for damp spots. Remember that water can travel in any direction—down, sideways or even up when it wicks into absorbent material like drywall—so the actual leak may be some distance from the mold.




  2. Don't Ignore Mold 


    Mold can be an early warning sign of a moisture problem inside walls or ceilings that could cause an expensive problem like wood rot. Avoid the temptation to just wipe the mold away and forget about it—find and stop the water source.




  3. Look for Outside Leaks


    If mold is growing on an exterior wall or ceiling, first look for a leak in the wall or roof. Measure from the moldy area to a reference point like a door, then find the spot on the other side of the wall or ceiling. Closely inspect nearby vents, roof flashing, decks, window wells and anywhere wood is rotting. Look for ground sloping toward the house and downspouts emptying next to the wall. If the ground around the house gets too wet, moisture will wick into the foundation or slab and become persistent dampness. Make sure you properly install flashing when you're fixing the leak.




  4. Inspect the Ductwork 


    If mold forms on the ceiling under a duct or register and there's no sign of a roof leak, badly insulated ductwork may be the cause. Warm, moist air condenses and forms water on ducts carrying cold air through the attic or crawl space. The condensation is a sign that the duct is uninsulated or missing a vapor barrier. Eventually the water saturates the insulation and drywall and mold spores (which are everywhere) take root. In cold weather, the reverse happens. Moisture forms anywhere warm air escapes—for instance, at unsealed joints between duct sections.




  5. Is it Mold or Dirt?


    Most mold is unmistakable, but sometimes small or largely hidden growths just make a surface look dirty. For a quick test, dip a swab in diluted bleach (1 part bleach, 16 parts water) and dab it on the wall. If the spot quickly lightens (or keeps coming back after cleaning), assume it's mold. Mold test kits are available that detect the presence and identify the type of mold, but they won't help determine the cause or what to do about it.




  6. Use an Antimicrobial Spray


    Once the moisture has been dried up, clean and spray the area with an antimicrobial treatment to prevent mold from coming back. In basements or other larger areas with musty odors, it may be more effective to fog the entire room. (Concrobium Mold Control is an antimicrobial treatment available at home centers and hardware stores that can be dispensed by spray or with a fogging machine.)




  7. Use Mold-Resistant Building Materials


    If you need to build or rebuild an area where moisture has been a problem, use materials that resist mold growth and aren't affected by water. Construct walls with pressure-treated wood and rigid insulation and cover the walls with paperless drywall, which has nothing for mold to feed on.




  8. Use Paint With Mildewcide


    In areas where mold might grow, such as basement walls, spray the surfaces with an antimicrobial treatment. Paint walls with mildew-resistant primer and paint or add mildewcide to your paint.




  9. Missing Insulation Feeds Mold


    Warm air seeks gaps in the insulation, and when it hits colder surfaces as it flows out of or into the house, water condenses—which then feeds mold. These spots often occur on outside walls near floors or windows, at corners and around outlets and lights. If the mold disappears after cleaning it and lowering indoor humidity with a dehumidifier or vent fan, just keep an eye on it. If it recurs, open the wall and fix the problem.




  10. Win the War Against Bathtub Mold 


    To prevent mold around the tub or shower, spray the wall with an antimicrobial treatment, then seal the grout with two coats of grout sealant to keep water from wicking in. If the mold is extensive and tiles come off, rebuild the wall with cement board tile backer and new tile. If the wall is sound but the mold stains won't go away, try regrouting. Scrape out the caulk and stained grout, spray the wall with antimicrobial treatment, regrout and caulk, and then coat the whole wall with grout sealant.



Can Mold Damage in Southern Lake Counties Attics Be Treated?

2/22/2017 (Permalink)

Can Southern Lake Counties Attics with Mold Infestation be Remediated?

If you have identified black mold in your attic, you’re bound to be wondering what your options are. Some companies will tell you that the only way to fix the problem is to replace a large portion of the roof. Others will tell you that the whole roof is unusable.

The reality is that, without a full and professional inspection, there is no way to tell for sure. SERVPRO has repaired and restored some of the most severe cases of mold damage in Southern Lake Counties homes. In our opinion, the damage has to be very extreme for a roof replacement to be the only viable response.

You are strongly advised to hire a remediation specialist first so that you can avoid the huge expense of a whole new roof.

Treating the Source of the Problem

The thing that you must remember about mold is that you can’t simply clean it away. The spores must be neutralized or the problem will come back. It doesn’t matter if you’ve spent hundreds of dollars on a new roof or not; if the spores are still active, the mold will reappear. SERVPRO uses high strength drying machines to fix the source of the damp before carrying out cleaning and neutralization procedures.

Containing the Spread of Spores

When you see mold growing on wood or other surfaces, you’re not really seeing the heart of the problem. It is the spores which spread the mold to other parts of the house. They move on draughts within the air and on clothes and other items if disturbed. This is why SERVPRO always sets up a containment area when dealing with mold damage. We use polyurethane sheets and air moving devices to prevent the spores from leaving the attic.

Neutralizing the Threat

After an inspection has been carried out, we’ll be able to tell you exactly how severe the mold damage is and how much of the attic can be saved. Usually, this is all or most of the roofing materials. Only in cases where the wood is extremely rotten will we advise you to think about a replacement. The likelihood is that we’ll be able to apply oxidizing chemicals which react with the mold and render it inert.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

At SERVPRO of Benton, Jasper, Newton & Southern Lake Counties, we are committed to delivering the most cost effective repairs and mold damage solutions. We don’t want you to splash out on costly renovations if a remediation process is the better option. Call us 24/7 on (219) 779-7577 to arrange an inspection and get some answers.