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How to Fix and Prevent Mold Issues: An Interview with Matthew Jerabek of Mr. Dry Out

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Mr. Dry Out offers 24 hours a day water extraction, water damage, structural drying, mold remediation, REO trash outs, interior demolition. To date we have performed 2,673 jobs with no issues, thank God and my employees.

What really makes Mr Dry Out different is we work on referrals, not kickbacks. Many of my water damage and mold competitors pay $1500 cash referrals for work given to them. So if you are looking a huge estimate for services? Just remember that, if you think a price is outrageous or padded? It just may be.

Can you briefly explain what mold remediation is and what the main steps are?

Mold remediation now requires a Florida State license. I was grandfathered in as a reputable mold cleanup business. In my opinion it has cleaned up some bad actors, however many companies work under other peoples license, which doesn't give you the customer the attention to detail that is really needed. Or protect you if the subcontractor doesn't have the $1,000,000 General Liability Policy required by the state. Many companies sell on fear and at best quasi science. I have met customers who have experienced high-pressure tactics, high estimates for very little real work. Also misrepresentation of damage which has the customer who files a claim on their homeowner policy denied coverage.

Mold can be a serious health risk depending on the strain and amount in the closed area. It is best to hire a reputable company. Check them out on the Internet for complaints! In most cases the area should be tested, then damaged materials removed without spreading spores to other areas of the structure, vacuuming of area, treated with antimicrobial chemical designed for mold remediation. Many small issues around windows due to sweating, dew point should be address with hydrogen peroxide, not bleach! Bleach is for cleaning non porous materials, glass, ceramics, stainless steel, kitchen items etc. On surfaces as wood, drywall, carpeting, etc., the chlorine evaporates just like it does out of a swimming pool leaving behind the 97% water! Water and biodegradable material is an ideal place for mold growth. I see this many times around windows, tiled bathroom walls and in laundry rooms, and kitchens.

What are the most common signs that a house or apartment has mold problems?

Most people will smell mold, a musty earthy smell, think about the last time you opened a plastic bag of good dirt from a nursery. That smell. Or when you walk around some decaying plants, leaves in a garden. Mold is very important in nature to help break down materials back into basic dirt. In a home or office, any enclosed or air conditioned structure if humidity is not held low, leaking roofs, plumbing lines, sewage seepage, etc., is not properly addressed there is a good chance mold will start growing. Once the mold gets busy reproducing the gases, the mycotoxins, are released. Most people will find lung breathing issues, stuffy nose when they get up, headaches, skin rashes, but most of all when they are not around! Are on vacation, at work all day they feel fine, return to the problem structure and feel bad or have reactions; it's time to call a professional. Also mold doesn't affect everyone the same, some are much more sensitive than others.

What is one of the top causes of mold that you see in the areas you serve in Florida?

Mold forms only when organic matter is wet or in prolonged high humidity that I am aware of.

In general, can future mold problems be prevented? What's the best way to do that?

The best thing one could do is play inspector in there home or office. Go around each wall, each piece of furniture looking for signs of water intrusions, swollen baseboards, kickplates to vanities and cabinetry, discolored drywall, growth on backs of large furniture that hasn't been cleaned behind for a while. A good spring cleaning of furniture, drapes, curtains, all your clothing, making sure the AC return vents are open, not blocked (cold air can create a moisture problem rotting out drywall around the vent), checking the shut-off valves to toilets, sinks, crimped lines to dishwashers, ice makers, that all toilets flush well and do not run. Many times cluttered or hoarder houses are breeding grounds for mold issues due to there is no clean air flow. Dark areas where no natural light reaches, closets, storage areas, pantries really need to be looked at. Just as in food preparation, when in doubt throw it out! If you find items of great value that are damaged there are cleaning processes available. Not cheap but neither is the item you are wanting to save!

To contact and/or find out more about this company, please visit their services directory profile.

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