Had to defer the answer to a structural engineer!
We recently came across a small area of mold found behind a watercooler in an office. It was a very limited case found. So I thought it would be a great idea to educate everyone on mold, the effects of mold, and how to handle it. Often times mold is unseen and can silently affect offices, retail shoppes, and healthcare facilities. So let's dive in!
What is Mold? Well Mold is a fungus that grows in wet or damp environments. In fact Mold has over 1000 species of fungus in the US alone. Mold is technically found everywhere. Ever had rotten or spoiled food?
Mold/Mildew can be found growing on the side of a house giving a discolored appearance. Typically outside is not an issue. That changes when inside a building. Typically mold produces allergens, and irritants to the average person. Some people are more sensitive to mold, and it can even produce toxic substances. It is important to remediate the mold before it becomes an issue.
Instead of talking about the hundreds of thousand types of mold lets talk about what is the main cause. Moisture, water, and dampness found in wet environments breeds mold. This is the most important key. If any moisture is found the cause must the eliminated immediately. If the cause such as a water leak, damp/humid bathrooms, or other causes are not remedied mold will develop again.
When cleaning up the mold a trained building technician can handle any remediation under 10 sf. This translates to roughly a 3 ft x 3 ft area. Anything over 10 sf requires a different approach, and for this instance we are going to focus on the standard 3 ft x 3 ft areas.
When cleaning up a 3 ft x 3 ft area it is important to focus on containment, and preventing spreading any spores. First and foremost it is important to wear gloves, a N95 respirator, and eye protection before remediating any mold as it can cause allergic reactions to some people. To help preventing spreading spores through the air, be sure to setup an air scrubber to filter the air in the vicinity.
After putting on the P.P.E. make sure you the working area will be unoccupied. It is ok to perform the remediation with an adjacent occupied area, but it need not recommended as it is important to limit the disturbance of the mold spores.
Most people like to use bleach or other strong chemicals, but a standard detergent will be effective enough. To ensure stopping spreading the spores, it is important to wet down the surface contaminated with water. Then using the detergent scrub the surface to help remove the mold and wipe off the surface.
The above mentioned process works well on non-porous surfaces. However, surfaces like unpainted drywall, wallpaper, or carpet are very porous and will have roots on the mold. The correct way it to remove the damaged areas and replace. Any damaged items should be bagged immediately as to ensure proper containment.
Below links are for the EPA, OSHA, and CDC.
Feel Free to give us a call if you have any questions.
We all know how messy painting can be when someone is not paying attention, or someone happens to have butterfingers. Here are several rules that everyone can use when painting!
- Watch where you are stepping!
- Do not jump around! You will waste time. If you start cutting in finish cutting in! If you started rolling finish rolling. Starting and stopping is the worst thing that can happen with painting.
- Do not let your paint brushes or rollers sit with paint on them. Either wrap them in plastic, or clean them.
- Watch where you are stepping
Lets go ahead and start applying the paint. Most people will start to just roll a wall but we do not want to start there. Always start with cutting in, or painting the edges, corners, and other areas too small for paint rollers to access. This is very important step as it ensure you dont get paint on light fixtures and baseboards, and other areas with rollers that will make a huge mess. It is very important to always apply two coats when cutting in. Most people always try to get away with only one but later find out they need to apply a second coat.
Lets Get Rolling!
Now it is important to start at one end and work towards the other. Before loading up the roller with more paint it is very important to fade the paint that was just rolled. Fading the paint is when you go back over it to help blend and remove some of the roller marks so the wall looks consistant. It is important to not apply to much paint at one time as you can cause runs. Once dry go ahead and apply a second coat. Be sure to fade/blend the paint to help remove the roller marks.
Thanks for visiting, and up next cleaning!
Now that the tools have been determined, we need to consider the type of paint you want to use. Most people dont realize that the walls of their work, or home has a different sheen than the trim, doors, railings, and other areas.
Lets go ahead and explain:
Flat paint is great for areas where you do not have a of traffic. These are best used on interior walls and ceilings. They hide the small imperfections of the surface, and touches up very well. However this sheen is not great for cleaning.
Matte paint is sometimes considered the same level if not the same level as flat if not spoken interchangably. Again it has the same qualities as flat paint.
Egg-Shell paint has about 25% more sheen than flat paint. This is the sheen level used in most if not all homes and offices.
Semi-Gloss paint has a stronger more durable finish once it has cured. However it will show more imperfections. Often times these are used on more doors, door frames, and even walls in commercial environments. Hospitals, schools, and high traffic areas are prime candidates for these paint sheens.
Gloss paint has more durable, and great for use in again high traffic areas. But they will show the imprefections of the surface. A high gloss sheen is very useful for reflecting light, and can often be used in low light areas to illuminate the space.
Paint and Coatings Types:
Wow all I can say is there are so many paint types and uses that are used vs 10 years ago, and are continuously being improved. Before you paint anything, I am a firm believer of talking with a Paint and Coatings Rep. Also don't talk to just one talk to two or three as the pros and cons to help understand just how improtant utilizing the correct product.
Primer paint are used to ensure adhesion of the correct paint. I will even admit that I have tried to use paints with a primer additive, and still had issues with adhesion. Note the surface that is being painted will require different primer. For example, drywall, masonry, and metal all have different primers that used.
Water based paints or commonly referred as Latex, or Acrylic paints are the standard interior paints used in all homes, offices, and businesses. The beauty of these paints are that most of them are Low VOC and odor. This is important as in most office's work interuptions are highly frowned upon due to the time and money lost from down production.
Enamel paints are often times oil based. However new products have emerged that are a waterbased enamel which are great for Low-VOC areas, which is great for hospitals, healthcare, and schools. These are also great for repainting cabinets.
Epoxy coatings are typically used on concrete, metal, and other surfaces required to have a strong, and durable surface. This durable surface is achieved by mixing two products creating a chemical reaction stronger than most paints. These are used in heavy industrial areas.
Elastomeric coatings are used in an exterior of homes, office, and many industrial buildings. These coatings are often times used on EIFS, brick, concrete, and even foam. Most elastomeric coatings are used to protect from water penetration. This is a great product for humid, and storm ridden areas of the US. Please understand that Elastomeric coatings can last a very long time, but it does come with a price.
So next time before you pull the trigger on your next project please do the research to understand the requirements of your project.
Now that prep is out of the way let’s focusing on the tools. I cannot stress enough of: DO NOT PAY FOR CHEAP PAINT BRUSHES, ROLLERS AND OTHER PAINTING TOOLS. This will keep you from having to buy double the amount of brushes or rollers.
- Brushes: I recommend getting an angled and normal brush. 3 Inch brush is a good area to start. These are great for cutting in the tight spaces and corners.
- Rollers: if you are not covering a large amount of space an 18 inch roller is fantastic to use as it can cut down the amount of time in half. Be sure to pick up the standard 9 inch roller as well.
- Paint Trays: Everyone has bought the cheap throw away paint trays, but I cannot stand them. They are flimsy, easy to break, and I feel like a waste of money. Please get a good tray with a tray cover. This cover makes clean up a breeze. When done throw it away and you still get to keep the paint tray. Note: 18 inch rollers require a much larger paint tray and insert.
- Drop Cloths: I personally love thick and durable drop cloths. Often time’s people will use sheets, or towels. Those are great for the do-it-yourselfers, but for contractors it is a must to have a thick drop cloth to prevent any chance of the paint splatter from bleeding through
- Painter's Rags: This is where anyone is allowed to go cheap. Since these are designed to be thrown away after cleaning up mistakes, go cheap.
- Painter's Plastic: Often times these are used to cover furniture. .31 Mil painters plastic is a great type for covering furniture.
- Keep it simple: If you’re looking at specialty tools, think simple. Nothing needs to be complicated. Make sure you are going to save time when going with a specialty product.
Till next time guys!