90 SE Bridgeford Blvd, Bend, OR 97702 (541) 385-0752

How to Identify Black Mold
In most cases, black mold isn’t terribly hard to identify. Its appearance matches its name. However, it is usually present in dark, unventilated areas in walls, ceilings or on floors. Sometimes it can be hidden inside drywall and on wood framing as well. The common denominator between all places where black mold is found is that they are moist, usually from a leak or humid air. If certain rooms possess a musty smell, this could also be an indication that there is some sort of mold growing. This can sometimes be the only way to discover black mold in a room if it is hidden from sight. 

The Health Risks of Black Mold
If you discover black mold in your home, you should not hesitate to get rid of it as soon as possible. All mold possess toxins that can be harmful to your health. However, black mold has been identified as the most toxic. When the toxins are inhaled, they usually cause irritation and fever. In extreme cases, they can actually cause brain and nerve damage. 

How to Remove Black Mold
The CDC recommends removing black mold by physically scrubbing it with water and detergent. Many people have the misconception that they should use bleach, however this will only kill the mold on the surface. If you don’t kill all traces of the mold, then it will only temporarily be gone. Eventually, it will grow back just as it was before. If black mold grows on porous materials where it is extremely difficult to remove all traces of the mold, it is suggested that you throw it away and replace it with new material. 

How to Prevent Black Mold Growth
The best way to prevent the growth of black mold is to make sure all rooms have proper ventilation to prevent humidity. Additionally, if you notice any leaks make sure to take care of them quickly. Black mold needs wet environments, so if you keep your home dry then it will not have the proper conditions to grow. 




Mold, Preventative
Basement Leaks Stopping a basement leak can be as simple task, as long as you know that the problem isn’t more serious. Here are a few relatively easy DIY solutions you can use to fix a leaky basement from the inside and outside:
  1. Replace Window Wells: Replacing old or rusted window wells will give water one less possible point of entry and keep the soil away from your window openings.
  2. Clean Gutters & Adjust Spouts: “Clean your gutters and extend downspouts to keep roof water far away from the foundation. You won’t want to rely on this alone to keep your basement dry,” says Finch.
  3. Install a Dehumidifier: A dehumidifier won’t stop basement leaks, but it will remove any excess moisture from the air.
  4. Regrade Your Soil: Regrading the soil surrounding your foundation will help divert ground and surface water downhill, instead of into your basement.
  5. Plug Tie Rod Holes: If you’re certain your leak is coming from the tie rod holes in your wall, all you need to do is plug them using a compressed swell plug.
There are a number of fixes that your contractor may recommend, including:
  • Waterproofing Membranes: Your contractor may recommend installing a waterproof coating or membrane on either side of your foundation. According to Finch, this “helps prevent moisture and humidity from passing through. This will also improve the appearance of damp, stained, chalky, or flaky walls.”
  • Exterior French Drain: Exterior French drains redirect surface and groundwater away from a basement. However, these drains are difficult to install with already-built houses as it requires digging up the perimeter of the home and working around utility lines.
  • Interior Drain & Sump Pump: A more permanent solution for chronic leaks is to install interior drains under your basement floor. These drainage systems are often paired with a sump pump that pumps the water out of your basement.
These solutions for basement seepage involve more time and money, but they all offer long-term fixes for weeping walls and other basement leaks. A good contractor will walk you through the project beforehand and answer any questions you have regarding costs and timing. No matter how frustrating the repair process gets, remember that afterwards you’ll have a nice, dry basement to enjoy.

Mold, Preventative

Choose Mildew-Resistant Paint

After you enjoy a steamy shower, your bathroom walls absorb the lingering moisture, which can spur the growth mold or mildew. Choose a paint that resists mildew, or one that has a mildew-resistant additive mixed into it, to give your walls an extra measure of protection.

Keep It Well Ventilated

Mildew thrives in damp places, which makes the notoriously wet bathroom a prime breeding ground. To eliminate excess moisture, turn on the exhaust fan while you’re showering and let it run for 30 minutes after you shut off the water. This ensures that the walls and ceilings will dry properly. If you have a window in the bathroom, open it a crack to air out the room as well.

Let In Light

Mildew loves darkness, so homeowners should think twice before shutting off the bathroom lights directly after showering. Leave curtains open whenever possible or even put the lights on a timer to ward off the pesky fungus.

Mop Up Water

Nip mildew in the bud by getting rid of excess water as soon as possible. After a bath or shower, grab the squeegee to take care of drips on the tub or tiles, and mop up puddles with a towel.

Fix Leaks

You may be great about cleaning up the obvious pools of water by the sink and shower, but don’t forget to deal with smaller drips as well. Take care of leaks under the sink or by the toilet as soon as you notice them. Putting off repairs lets more moisture into the room and can over time turn a small mildew problem into an even bigger headache.

Seal Grout Lines

Constantly exposed to water and porous to boot, grout is extremely hospitable to mildew. Scrub your grout every few weeks to keep mildew at bay, and reseal it annually to help it stand up to water.

Clean Items Around the Shower

It’s not enough to just mop the floor and scrub the tiles. You also need to pay attention to items that are kept around the shower. Clean underneath shampoo bottles, regularly toss the shower curtain and hand towels into the wash, and replace your loofah often. Mildew loves to hide in these neglected places.

Keep It Clean

The best way to prevent mildew is to clean your bathroom regularly. If you don’t clean often enough, you’re encouraging mildew to grow and creating more work for yourself down the road.

Cleaning, Mold

Deep Cleaning Checklist for Your Kitchen

Useful Deep Cleaning Supplies
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Oven cleaner
  • Microfiber cloths
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda

What to Clean Every Week

  • Countertops: Spray down with all-purpose cleaner to keep stains and germs at bay. If you have stone countertops, use mild dish soap and water instead.
  • Floors: All you need is a bucket of dish soap and water, and a good mop.
  • Microwave, Stovetop and Cabinets: Wipe down each surface with an all-purpose cleaner or dish soap and water (test cleaners in a discreet spot on your cabinets first).

What to Clean Every Month

  • Cutting Boards: Use a small amount of vinegar, then hydrogen peroxide to sanitize your board. Rinse it off, then cut one lemon in half and rub across the board to eliminate any lingering odors. Condition your wood cutting boards with olive or mineral oil to extend their life and keep them looking spiffy.
  • Garbage Disposal: Place 1/2 cup of baking soda into the drain, then pour a cup of white vinegar on top. Let sit for 10 minutes before rinsing with hot water while the disposal is running.
  • Dishwasher: First, make sure there’s no detergent in your dishwasher to avoid making a bubbly mess. Then, fill the dispenser with 1 cup of vinegar and 1/2 cup of baking soda and run it empty. This will clean up any grime or grease inside the appliance.

What to Clean Every Three Months

  • Coffee Pot: Pour equal parts white vinegar and water into the reservoir, then run until half empty and switch off for 30 minutes. Turn it back on until the reservoir is empty. Fill it up again with clear water and let it run with a new filter.
  • Oven: Either use your oven’s “self-cleaning” feature (if you don’t mind smoke and burning odors) or scrub with a combination of baking soda and vinegar.
  • Refrigerator: Remove all containers, throw out expired food and wipe down shelves.

Deep Cleaning Checklist for Your Living Room

Useful Deep Cleaning Supplies
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Duster
  • Vacuum
  • Paper towels
  • Glass cleaner
  • Squeegee
  • White vinegar

What to Clean Every Week

  • All Surfaces: Dust bookshelves, light fixtures and ceiling fans.
  • Carpets and Rugs: Simply run the vacuum over them, making sure you get the corners of the room.
  • Wood Furniture: Clean with a damp cloth dipped in a mild soap, wipe down with a clean cloth to dry and then apply a wood polish to help protect your furniture from stains.

What to Clean Every Month

  • Baseboards, Molding and Ceilings: Wipe down with a damp cloth or use the wand attachment on your vacuum.
  • Couch: Use your vacuum’s upholstery attachment to clean under and on top of couch cushions.
  • Windows: Spray with a glass cleaner and wipe down with a squeegee, following a reverse s-pattern. Make sure to wipe the dirt off the blade after every pass.

What to Clean Every Three Months to a Year

  • Under Furniture: Clean or vacuum the floor underneath your furniture.
  • Curtains, Drapes and Blinds: Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for washing curtains and drapes. Clean your blinds using a cloth dipped in equal parts vinegar and water.
  • Carpet: Why carpet twice? While you should vacuum your carpets at least once a week, you should also steam clean them at least once a year to extend their life and improve air quality.

Cleaning, Mold

Your bathroom may be your spot to relax in the tub after a long day, but with all that plumbing, humidity, and other business going on in there, the location’s full of unexpected hazards



Mold Will Cause Secondary Damage

Mold remediation is expensive so it is important to know humidity levels in your home, especially with the snow still on the ground and the heat from the sun warming up the inside of your house. It is not just your building you have to worry about when you have high humidity but all of your content as well. If your furniture or belongings are sitting in a room that is all fogged up then they are going to have a film that will permit mold to grow. Your fabrics such as sheets and clothing will also be an excellent place for mold to develop. If you understand about vapor pressure then you will know that if you have a low humidity outside and high humidity inside then it would generally be a good idea to open the windows and “burp” out the wet air. We would not automatically recommend to open the windows on all flood jobs because the reverse is also true. If the humidity is higher outside and you open the windows more moisture will rush into your water damage problem. We recommend that every time there is a water problem that you would want to have a controlled environment where it is possible to dictate the relative humidity, air movement and possibly temperature in a particular area. We would call that a drying chamber. If we can set up a controlled environment on the water job we can prevent not only high humidity but also secondary damage as well.  


Get Rid of Attic Mold for Good

This is a great video on how mold grows in an attic and how to get rid of it for good. This video shows one of many of the methods that we use to clean up mold. This Old House showcases the step by step process to mold removal using one of the most aggressive methods. This method is very effective in eliminating both the surface spores and hyphae found in mold spores. At Spectrum Building & Restoration, we use a similar methods to eliminate mold spores.  

  When Mold Becomes a Problem As you can see, molds play an important and friendly role in maintaining a healthy ecology. But they can, at times, become a foe instead of a friend. While mold spores are everywhere, when the kinds, location and quantities reach levels that have the potential to cause harm to humans they become a foe. The potential adverse reactions from exposure to molds include sensitivities, allergies, asthma, disease and toxic reactions. Read More Here: More About Mold