Recent Mold Remediation Posts

If Mold is Everywhere, What’s the Big Deal?

3/10/2021 (Permalink)

Mold on the wall Moldy basement wall

Mold is a fungus and it is a natural part of both our indoor and outdoor environments. There are hundreds of different types of molds, all of which thrive in moist environments. In nature mold plays an important part in breaking down organic matter, indoors such a role is not needed.  

Three important things to remember  

  • Not all molds are created equal 
  • Not everyone is affected in the same way 
  • With more exposure you are more likely to develop mold-related symptoms 

The key to mold growth indoors is to control the amount of moisture in the air. Dehumidifiers and air conditioners will help. The humidity needs to be below 60%, between 35% and 50% is even better. Mold thrives in warm damp bathrooms, humid kitchens and damp cellars. If you think you have mold in your home or business and would like to schedule an appointment for an inspection by a professionally trained and experienced staff member call us at SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park.  We will be happy to do a moisture check of your home, don’t delay call 410-647-8181. 

Can Mold Grow in My Car?

11/10/2020 (Permalink)

car floor carpet with mold growth Car Mold

This short answer is yes. Mold can grow anywhere, even in your car! Not only is mold, smelly and gross, but it can cause permanent damage and can be hazardous to your health. 

At SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park we have a cleaning process scientifically developed to clean automobile mold infestations. The general process is as follows:

  • Analyze mold and damage
  • Cleaning process:
    • HEPA Vacuum
    • Wipe down vehicle with EPA Registered Disinfectant
    • HEPA vacuum again to remove any remaining spores
  • Deodorize
  • Dehumidify vehicle
  • Eradicate mold spores

On a scale of gross things that can happen to your car, mold ranks way up there.

The main cause of mold is damp conditions mixed with a warm environment, which can easily occur in your car if you leave your window cracked or your sunroof open on a rainy day, or even spill some liquid on the floor.

Our team at SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park works with car dealerships, auto repair shops, as well as automobile owners to mitigate mold. 

If you go into your car and ask yourself, “What is that smell?”, your car may have mold.

How Does Mold Effect Indoor Air Quality?

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

petri dish with mold in it Mold

SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park performs mold remediation and restoration services. When we get calls regarding odor, allergies, and respiratory issues, we may recommend Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) testing. With any health issues, it’s important to contact your physician first. Allergy testing, for example, should reveal specific allergies.

Molds can be found almost anywhere. They can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is a measure of how clean the air is inside the buildings where we live, work, and play. IAQ is affected by many different things:

  • a building’s ventilation system (HVAC)
  • chemicals or microbes (such as mold) that enter the building
  • chemicals like cleaning products and art supplies that are used in the building
  • chemicals that are created by activities inside the building

Click here to review the Environmental Protection Agency’s Guide to Indoor Air Quality.

If you have concerns about mold or IAQ, contact us or contact Environmental Solutions Inc.

How Do I Detect Mold?

11/4/2019 (Permalink)

wall with mold Mold

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If you suspect your home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

Can Mold Affect My Health?

11/4/2019 (Permalink)

child sneezing Sneeze

Molds spores are everywhere. Many different kinds of molds are present in buildings, and not all molds are as a risk to your health. Molds affects people differently.

Chemical Compounds

Molds produce two types of chemical compounds to which occupants of water-damaged buildings may be exposed:
• Mycotoxins are known to cause health problems in humans.
• Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds (mVOCs) result in unpleasant smells in our

Mycotoxins are poisonous substances. (“Myco” means fungus, so think of mycotoxins as “fungi toxins.”) They are designed for chemical warfare against other organisms, even against other types of molds. Living molds may produce mycotoxins to discourage other molds or bacteria from growing in the same territory. Unfortunately, humans who inhale, ingest, or touch mycotoxins may have a toxic reaction. Not all molds produce mycotoxins; furthermore, molds that can produce mycotoxins do not produce them in all situations.

Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds are called mVOCs. mVOCs are produced by chemical changes that take place during the mold life process. They are waste products given off by actively growing molds. Some mVOCs produce musty and moldy odors. Research has not proven that exposure to mVOCs causes health effects, but the odors from mVOCs may indicate a level of mold contamination requiring remediation. Research is ongoing as to how chemical compounds from mold relate to health effects in humans.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stated that more studies are needed to understand the relation between mycotoxins and health. Also according to EPA, research in mVOCs is still in an early phase.2 Perhaps one of the most extensive studies on mold’s health effects is the report by the Institute of Medicine.

Click here to read how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines how mold and dampness affects your health.

How To Prevent Mold Growth

8/14/2019 (Permalink)


Mold growth is a common problem for homeowners. SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park knows how to stop mold growth effectively and from returning to your home. Mold can occur from moisture, warmth, and a food source. We’re going to share with you some ways to control the moisture that comes into your home which leads to mold.

Tips for Mold Prevention

  • If you see water, inspect the area to make sure there is no continuous drip or leak.
  • Check your pantry cabinets to make sure you have no damp food. Check fruits often to make sure there is no fuzzy mold.
  • Make sure your exhaust fan is clean and working. Turn on the phone every time someone showers or uses the bath to reduce the moisture left in the air and on the walls.
  • Keep your home clean and disinfected.
  • Allow air to circulate within your home.
  • If you keep your AC cool this will make mold less likely to form due to the temperature.

If you do find Mold within your home, Call us SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park at (410) 647-8181.

Gardening to Prevent Flood Water in Your Home

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

Water Garden

It’s that time of year! Spring is teasing you with warmer temperatures and you are ready to get your hands in the soil and start your Summer garden.  What kind of plants can you use and how can you layout your flowerbeds to prevent water from getting into your home?  Gardening doesn’t have to be all about “curb appeal”, it can also be functional.  Here are a some quick tips to help prevent water from getting into your home.

Create a water garden. A natural-looking water garden should have sloped sides with planting terraces that step down toward the deepest area of the pond. This allows you to plant a diversity of plant material and create different habitats and keeps water drainage to one area.

Plant native.  Using native plants can help prevent soil erosion.  Here are a list of wild flowers you might consider: black-eyed Susan, Foxglove Beardtongue, Cardinal Flower, and Butterfly Weed.  

Use mulch. Covering the bare areas in your lawn or garden with mulch or straw is an effective method for preventing erosion from rain. Mulch spread over the surface of the soil reduces the impact of raindrops striking the soil.  Using mulch in landscaping and on bare spots near your home keeps water away from your foundation.

TIP: Always wear a mask when spreading mulch. It contains mold spores that can irritate your throat, nasal passages, and lungs.

Install rain barrels. Did you know that up to 40% of total water use during the summer can come from watering lawns and gardens? Rain barrels are an effective way to capture rain water to use in lawns and gardens.  Rain barrels can be attached to storm drains to catch runoff from your roof.  The water you collect can then be reused to water your lawn and garden. For more information on rain barrels, contact The Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Grade your yard. To avoid incoming water, the ground should always slope away from your home in all directions surrounding your perimeter. You’ll need to understand the high and low points of your home, and use extra dirt to slope accordingly. Have a plan in place or work with a professional to make sure vents, basement windows, pipes, drains, and other areas aren’t negatively impacted during the grading process. 

The first day of Spring is March 20, 2019. Be ready for April showers by landscaping your lawn to prevent water damage to your home.

Mold Found in Severna Park Home

11/29/2018 (Permalink)

Mold caused by hot water heater

Mold found in Severna Park home basement was caused by a hot water heater leak.  The SERVPRO Annapolis/Severna Park team arrived after the homeowner replaced the hot water heater.  However, the area in the basement was still wet despite the homeowner’s efforts to dry it out.  Our team dried the area around the hot water heater as well as the hallway for 3 days and treated it with an anti-microbial.  It was determined that the mold was caused by a pin-hole leak in the hot water heater that occurred months before the actual unit was replaced.

Water heaters that are not cleaned out periodically can build up sediment in the tank. Here are some hot water heater maintenance tips you can use

Salt and other chemicals in the sediment may lead to premature rusting or corrosion inside of a water heater and eventually cause pinhole leaks to form. Once a pinhole leak is opened up, the pressure of the water inside the tank forcing its way through the opening will cause the leak to get larger over time.

The best solution for this problem is to replace the tank with a new unit. A leaking tank is an obvious sign of a water heater needing to be replaced. Normally, replacing a water heater should be done by a professional.

Another tip, to prevent the pink-hole leak is to test the pressure-relief valve located on the top or side of the water heater. Click here to read more tips by The Family Handyman.

Bottom line, mold can grow on almost any surface. Mold likes moisture and heat. This makes the hot water heater and surrounding area the perfect environment for mold. Take some time to maintain your hot water heater.

House Overcome With Mold

11/5/2018 (Permalink)

Severe Mold Case

After a long hospital stay, an elderly home owner returned to his home to find it filled with mold.  Unfortunately, there was a water leak in the basement that sat for approximately 2 months.  SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park was called to remove the water and mold.

When our SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park team first arrived to assess the flooded basement, we provided water removal.  However, removing the water was just the first step.  There entire basement and main level of the house was covered with surface mold. There was mold on the furniture, walls, and ceilings.

In order for the mold remediation to be effective, our team removed all porous materials, including drywall, carpet, flooring, insulation and more.  The first floor contents, including the kitchen cabinets and wall studs, will be treated as well. This process includes pre-treating the contents with a hepa vacuum which removes 99.97% of all particulates including mold, sewage, and soot.  Next, the contents are disinfected with an anti-microbial, and then, treated again with the hepa vacuum.

To insure that mold spores are removed from the air, air scrubbers will run for approximately 3 days to clean any mold spores in the air.

This is a severe case of sitting water that resulted in a mold infestation.  If you ever find flood water in your basement or have water damage, it’s important to stop the flow of water and get it removed right away.

How Can I Protect My Property From Mold?

11/5/2018 (Permalink)

Mold in Home

One of the most frequently asked questions SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park hears from Anne Arundel County homeowners, landlords, and tenants is, “How can I protect my property from mold?” We’ve come up with a top 5 list of mold prevention tips.

Tip 1. Get to Know Your Weaknesses. Look around your home or office and identify areas where moisture comes in or collects. Frequently, we see moisture near/around windows.

Tip 2. Dry Wet Areas Immediately. If you see water collecting in your office or any other rooms, clean it up immediately. After a heavy rainfall, you may find some water in your basement. Dry that water up with towels and call us to make sure we get the area completely dry so mold doesn’t become a problem.

Tip 3. Direct Water Away from Your Home. There are many landscaping tricks you can install to track water away from your home. Installing something as simple as a French drain can reduce the amount of water coming near your house.

Tip 4. Prevent Mold with Proper Ventilation. It may be that your routine activities are encouraging the growth of mold in your home. Make sure an activity as simple as cooking dinner, taking a shower, or doing a load of laundry doesn't invite mold by providing proper ventilation in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and any other high-moisture areas. Vent appliances that produce moisture — clothes dryers, stoves — to the outside (not the attic). Use AC units and dehumidifiers (especially in Maryland), but make sure they don’t produce moisture themselves by checking them periodically and cleaning them as directed by the manufacturer.

Tip 5. Clean or Repair Roof Gutters. A mold problem might be a simple matter of a roof that is leaking because of full or damaged gutters. Have your roof gutters cleaned regularly and inspected for damage. Repair them as necessary and keep an eye out for water stains after storms that may indicate a leak.

Does Your Home or Business Have a Mold Problem?

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

Is this mold or mildew?

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both indoors and outdoors, in Maryland. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent to minimize the chances of mold growth.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 410-647-8181

Are you drinking mold in Crownsville?

4/4/2018 (Permalink)

Have you seen mold in your coffee? If so call SERVPRO.

I was away on Spring Break in North Carolina when someone began talking about mold in coffee.  Those two words together caught me by surprise because I LOVE coffee and I work in the mold remediation industry. The story that was being shared was about mycotoxins that can be present in coffee, which can come from molds found in the coffee beans before processing.  Most of us would agree that the thought of ingesting mycotoxins, mold or any chemicals can be harmful, so I did a little digging when I got home.

There are several websites that say any amount of any toxin is harmful to humans.  Many other websites debunk this as a myth, explaining that many foods have insignificant amounts of “toxins” in them and coffee is no different.  My take away was that, I will keep drinking my coffee unless I see Green fuzzy mold on top!!  You can research the web and decide for yourself.

If there is mold in your home, car or office you should just call SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park at 410.647.8181

Mold Madness in Severna Park

3/8/2018 (Permalink)

Sinks, washing machines,and ice makers are just a few places slow leaks can lead to mold growth in your Severna Park home.

We hear about mold all the time on the news, on buildings (got mold?) and after all the major flooding incidents.  You might be wondering if it really matters to you.  The answer is YES! 

Mold or fungi are microscopic organisms that can be found just about anywhere and everyone is exposed to natural mold daily. Molds are usually not a problem indoors unless mold spores land on damp or wet surfaces and begin to grow.

Your home, office and schools all have water sources that can create extra moisture and allow mold to grow.  Dishwashers, refrigerators, leaking water pipes, hot water heaters, toilets, sprinkler systems,  can all be quick or slow culprits that create an environment ripe for mold growth.  Checking your appliances and potential water sources regularly can help find moisture situations before they get out of control. 

This kitchen sink is a perfect example of a slow leak that allowed for mold growth all the way under the flooring and down to a basement wall.  If you suspect water damage, it is best to call a local professional who can mitigate to prevent this situation from happening to your Severna Park or Crownsville home.

Old vs. New Homes and Mold in Annapolis

11/17/2017 (Permalink)

Restoring historic properties is important to our team.

SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park recently worked with the City of Annapolis and its KEEPING HISTORY ABOVE WATER conference in October and continues to support the City of Annapolis and its Weather It Together initiative.

Part of SERVPRO’s involvement with Weather It Together (and I urge you to visit their website) is because, of course, we love the history and community that is Annapolis but mostly, as a SERVPRO owner, I am keenly aware of preservation and restoration.  After all, our motto is, “Like it never even happened.” ... not tear it down and start over. 

 As we got more involved in the conference, my staff and I learned a few things.  My team researched building materials and recreated structural samples spanning from pre-Civil war to the present day and how they have changed.  A question presented itself.   Why, for example, is mold so much more of a problem now with assumingly better modern-day materials?

In the 1920’s, indoor plumbing was introduced (great source of moisture).  Builders moved from plaster and lath to drywall and from solid lumber to composites.  In the 50’s, along comes air conditioning and the 60’s brought us updated HVAC systems.  Buildings became more comfortable and energy consumption increased and we end up with an energy crisis in the 70’s!  Energy efficiency became a priority and building design changed to reduce energy consumption.  Construction became “tighter” reducing heat flow and air movement and more importantly, reducing drying potential of a commercial building or home.  In the early 80’s, energy efficient structures were being built in quantity and by the late 80’s, health complaints start being connected to tight buildings and interest in mold problems began to grow.

So, for those of you who love vintage and historical properties, commercial or residential, you will be happy to know that older structures typically dry out better with less demolition than modern structures.

Calling SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park when your commercial or residential structure needs attention is your best bet!

Where did mold come from?

11/10/2017 (Permalink)

Mold under the microscope can look pretty. Not in your Cape Saint Claire home.

Molds or fungi are microscopic organisms that can be found just about anywhere and anyone can be exposed to mold almost daily.  Molds are usually not a problem indoors UNLESS mold spores land on damp or wet surfaces and begin to grow.  Elevated moisture/humidity levels create a flourishing breeding ground for molds to produce the allergens and irritants that can make a person sick.  As long as moisture is not present, mold cannot grow.  You must discover the reason for elevated moisture levels (leaking pipe, hot water heater, toilet, etc.).  When water leaks indoors – respond quickly!  If you can dry the affected area within 24-48 hours, in most cases mold will not grow.

If you “SMELL” mold, remember that the mold may be hidden atop ceiling tiles, or by wallpaper or paneling or inside ductwork.  Use caution if you are investigating the “Smell/Odor” yourself as the simple act of pulling away wallpaper can release spores and NEVER turn a fan on to hasten drying as it will most likely blow those pesky spores around, causing more damage.

The area SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park services is surrounded by water!  We’ve remediated hundreds if not thousands of mold projects over our 40 plus years.  Most property managers or homeowners call us frantically when they believe they may have a mold problem but it is not alarming to us as we are educated and trained.  A mold situation is fixable if properly remediated. 

Hiring a Professional for Mold Remediation is Essential

11/7/2017 (Permalink)

We can treat residential and commercial mold in Anne Arundel County.

Once you suspect you have mold you should call the SERVPRO professionals who have a proven process when dealing with mold infestation. Containment is the first step to prevent mold spores from cross contamination into other areas of the home. Air ducts need to be sealed as well since they are pathways to other rooms.  Once sealed off our crews remove all active mold by cleaning the surfaces and using HEPA vacuums to extract the spores.  Industrial sir scrubbers are used to cleanse the air.

Maintaining a low humidity and dry environment is the key to keeping mold growth from forming.  We can show you how to do this using dehumidifiers and air movers.

Our commitment to returning you to a clean and safe home is what drives each step of the process.  If you have any questions about our process or suspect you have mold, call 410.647.8181 today. 

Anne Arundel Residents battling dampness and mold- You are not alone!

7/10/2017 (Permalink)

Mold growth after a small bathroom leak. High humidity in an un-ventilated bathroom can lead to this.

Summer humidity in our area can lead to a constant battle against dampness in your home.  As the peak of summer hits and temperatures in the high nineties and one hundreds, with humidity levels over 80% this is the time to make sure you are on top of the situation.   Failure to control the moisture in your Annapolis, Arnold, Severna Park or Millersville home can lead to ideal conditions for mold to grow.

 Steps to Control Moisture

  1. Air Conditioning the home
  2. Dehumidifiers in basements, that are particularly damp
  3. Promptly fixing any leaky roofs, windows or pipes
  4. Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding
  5. Ventilating showers, laundry and cooking areas

If you suspect that you have mold SERVPRO of Annapolis/ Severna Park is available to help remediate, you are not alone!

Call 410.647.8181 to schedule our IICRC Certified technicians.

Learn more about our mold services HERE

Annapolis/Severna Park Residents:  Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

7/21/2016 (Permalink)

Be careful! Without proper training, you could be spreading mold throughout your home.

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

·         Stay out of affected areas.

·         Turn off the HVAC system and fans.

·         Contact SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

·         Don’t touch or disturb the mold.

·         Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.

·         Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.

·         Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 410-647-8181