Mold Inspection, Removal and Remediation

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Mold Inspection, Removal and Remediation 2017-07-10T20:40:03+00:00

Take Out Mold Before it Takes Over Your HomeInstascope logo

We hear a lot about mold these days, the dangers and the risks. Mold not only causes unhealthy conditions, but can also cause structural damage. At ServiceMaster of Seattle, we’re always looking for ways to help you, your family and your home. Our newest example is InstaScope® airborne mold detection, a mold inspection instrument that provides real-time results, allowing you to take action sooner if elevated airborne mold levels are found. This state-of-the-art system allows our restoration professionals to scan the air in your home room-by-room and instantly help locate harmful, hidden airborne mold. If remediation is required, you can have the peace of mind knowing our restoration specialists have you covered. We can work with you to remove the problem, while protecting surrounding areas from the spread of mold spores.

Don’t wait for mold to create damage, or worse, an unhealthy living environment. Get your home tested for airborne mold using the detection power of InstaScope. To schedule your InstaScope mold assessment, call your local ServiceMaster Restore at 800-767-2332.

Structural Damage

Molds gradually destroys the items they grow on and can grow anywhere:

  • Foundation
  • Roof
  • HVAC system
  • Drywall
  • Gutters
  • Furnishings and more

Health Problems

In your home, all molds have the potential to cause side effects:

  • Headaches
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Skin irritation
  • Allergic reactions
  • Aggravation asthma symptoms

How does mold impact you, your family, or your home?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), mold has the potential to cause health issues, including headaches, breathing difficulties, skin irritation, allergic reactions and aggravation of asthma symptoms. Additionally, mold can cause structural damage to your home, potentially resulting in significant repairs and lowered value. That’s why the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that any mold must be removed, no matter the type.

Introducing InstaScope. Instant results. Scientific precision.

InstaScope is a new airborne mold–assessment system only available from select ServiceMaster® brands that immediately delivers scientifically accurate, room-by-room results. Using InstaScope, a certified operator can instantly differentiate between:

  • Rooms with normal airborne mold levels that need no treatment
  • Rooms with elevated airborne mold levels which may require a simple cleaning by a mitigation professional
  • Rooms with higher airborne mold levels and an active mold source that may require targeted remediation.

The quicker you know the results of a mold inspection, the sooner you can start taking action to address the problem.

What’s the science behind InstaScope?
To create a state-of-the-art instrument like InstaScope, we needed a partner with the high-tech resume to make it truly revolutionary. That’s when ServiceMaster Restore joined forces with Droplet Measurement Technologies (DMT), the world leader in cutting-edge technology for measurement of aerosol and cloud particles. DMT serves a broad range of institutions, from Harvard University and The University of Tokyo to GE and Boeing all the way to the United States military and NASA.

Once InstaScope was created, we engaged a team of scientists at the University of Colorado. Led by Dr. Mark Hernandez, an internationally recognized expert on the biological aspects of air pollution, this team was assigned to validate and test the new technology. Needless to say, it passed with flying colors. Together, we were able to create a new mold–assessment system for commercial customers that, unlike any other method or device, can deliver scientifically accurate, area-by-area results—and do so instantly. So when you consider all the risks of mold, InstaScope is a vital tool to help ensure the health of your home and the health of your family.

Dr. Mark Hernandez

Dr. Mark Hernandez, a registered professional engineer and an internationally recognized expert on the biological aspects of air pollution.

FAQs

Q: What is mold?
A: Mold is a microscopic fungus that is part of the natural environment and necessary for our ecosystem. While it is necessary in the outdoor world, too much mold inside a structure can be dangerous and unsanitary. Mold produces spores as part of its lifecycle, and these spores float through the air both inside and outside.

Q: Why is mold a problem?
A: Many people aren’t aware that mold can cause serious structural damage to homes, which, if left undetected, can cause a property to lose value and/or require significant repairs. If you have ever suffered from allergies, exposure to molds can often cause nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, skin irritation or even more severe reactions.

Q: What does mold need in order to grow?
A: Mold needs a moist environment, temperatures above freezing and a food source, which could be leaves, paper, dirt, wood or other building materials. Mold is more likely to be found in damp, dusty spaces or areas with stagnant air.

Q: How can I tell if I have mold?
A: If you see mold growth or water stains, a mold test can help identify related microbial activity. You can also look for areas where water leakage has occurred, such as roofs, pipes, ceilings or walls. Musty smells may also indicate the presence of mold. Unseen airborne mold can be detected by InstaScope.

Q: What can I do to prevent the growth of mold in my home?
A: The most effective means to keep mold in check is to keep the humidity level of your home at 40–60 percent, use an air conditioner and/or dehumidifier during humid months and in damp spaces like basements, always utilize exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens, along with dryer vents outside your home. Lastly, if there are any leaks in your roof, walls or plumbing, it is important to repair them as soon as possible.

Q: When does mold need to be handled by a professional remediation company?
A: Where there’s mold, we can help. Most experts recommend a professional remediation company when elevated mold levels are detected. Remediation professionals are specially trained to isolate and treat mold-affected areas to avoid contaminating adjacent spaces.

Q: How is a traditional mold test conducted?
A: Most mold testing is done as a comparison between mold levels outside the structure and inside the structure. Traditional mold testing typically captures samples that are placed on slides, taken to laboratories and manually inspected under a microscope. A report indicating the findings is typically released several days later and may provide an incomplete look at the mold conditions.

Q: Some molds have the reputation of being more dangerous than others. Is identifying the mold important?
A: Sometimes you will hear terms like “toxic mold” and “black mold” used to refer to molds. While identifying the type of fungus or mold may be interesting, it doesn’t affect the course of action. If mold is present, the CDC has strongly recommended that it be removed, no matter the type.

Q: How does InstaScope differ from typical mold detection?
A: Unlike traditional methods that require several days of lab processing, InstaScope can instantly calculate airborne mold levels and provide an in-room average during the time of the scan. It can also help in the identification of mold sources.

Q: What’s the science behind InstaScope?
A: InstaScope uses optical detection and identification technology originally developed for detecting biological aerosols. It detects and identifies particles one at a time, much like a microscope would and then applies advanced algorithms and analysis to the results.

Q: Will an InstaScope mold assessment be disruptive to my family?
A: Not at all. InstaScope can scan a 2,000-square-foot home and deliver a report in just one brief visit.

Q: How long does it take to scan my home?
A: InstaScope can scan a typical home and deliver a report in just one visit.

Q: Is InstaScope mold detection expensive?
A: A mold assessment is more reasonable than you might expect. It’s often no more than the cost of professional carpet cleaning or a home inspection. Contact your local ServiceMaster Restore professional for an estimate today.