Our Case Studies

Mold in the Crawlspace- Home sale on the line

PROBLEM: The owner lived in the home for a few years. It was a nice home but small and kind of far from his work location. The home met his and his wife's needs until the second and third baby came along. Mom and Dad had worked hard, saved a little money and made some improvements to the house. But they never went into the crawlspace. When they were ready for a little larger house, a little more conveniently located, they put their home on the market and quickly found a buyer. Buyers want home inspectors to reassure them that there are no problems or large costs when they first move into their new home. (Image 3) The home inspector looked into the crawlspace and found mold on the floor joists. Because the insulation hid it, he didn't identify the larger mold issue on the subfloor. Fortunately Dad called AdvantaClean and we were able to provide the mold removal service right away. The buyers were happy and the closing date was kept.

SOLUTION: Here's how the project progressed. (Image 4) We removed the insulation and vacuumed the entire crawlspace with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter to remove the mold spores. We wire brushed and treated the wood structure with an anti-microbial to remove the staining and to reach the mold in the pores of the wood. (Image 5) We applied a white paint like covering. It is an encapsulate coating for the clean wood structure. The encapsulate will help prevent the recurrence of mold growth. (Image 6) Our final step was to reinstall the insulation. The sale closed and Mom and Dad were happy to be in their newer, larger home.

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Crawl Space Encapsulation

Location: Manassas, VA 22309

Problem: Wooden floor boards in the home were warped because of moisture from below. An inspection of the crawlspace revealed water coming in from vents and major mold contamination. There were other problems, such as soaked insulation gets too heavy and falls. Crawlspace had hills and pits and less than 21 inches of clearance.

Solution: Stop the bulk water from entering the crawlspace. (Seal, Vapor Barrier) Drain the water that does enter. (Drainage system, sump, pump) Ensure humidity stays low to prevent mold and to protect the floors. (Dehumidify)

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Air Duct cleaning in Fredericksburg Location: 22401 Problem: The family has a child with breathing difficulty and asked to have their air ducts cleaned. They had lived in the home for 10 years and had never had this service. The air conditioning system was well maintained and they faithfully replaced the air filters every 3 months. Although the house was clean and well maintained, when we looked into the air ducts, we could see that they were due for a cleaning. Solution: Our technicians are Air Systems Cleaning Specialist certified by NADCA. It took almost four hours to clean both systems. The tenant was very happy.

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Air Duct Cleaning - Relief from allergens

Problem: Our air duct cleaning service addresses much more than your dirty registers. We use a combination of air sweeps and a vacuum collection unit to clean your air ducts. Our vacuum collection unit has four stages of filtration including a HEPA filter to collect all that dirt, dust, debris, mold and pet dander in your air ducts. We check your air filter and vacuum the evaporator coils as a standard part of our service. Its not an add-on that increases the cost of the service. Its included in the cost.

Solution: Here are some photos of a recently cleaned system after a discount air duct cleaning company finished their work. Image 1 - That's mold and dirt on the underside of the evaporator coils. The home owner knew something was wrong when her allergies continued to get worse after the discount air duct cleaning. Image 2 - This is what the evaporator coils are supposed to look like after being cleaned properly. We always vacuum the coils but occasionally, we need to use an alkaline cleaner and water to get the deep dirt and growth. It costs a little extra but the cost is more than made up by increased efficiency of the HVAC unit and the positive health impact.

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Mold Remediation & Water Damage

Location: Catlett, VA 20119

Problem: Roof leaks and failed flashing resulted in mold in the attic and ceiling throughout the home. The Property Manager became concerned about the health impact on the tenants and asked for a Professional Inspection. AdvantaClean offers free visual mold inspections by IICRC Certified Mold Inspectors. Our inspection found more than just a few spots of mold. Although there was some mold in each room, the situation could be corrected and the home made safe again. Mold removal was performed due to the extent of water damage.

Solution: The protocol for mold removal requires us to remove contaminated material if we can. We removed the contaminated ceiling revealing mold contamination in the attic behind the insulation. The water damage and microbial staining on the roof sheathing here was a surprise. We had a little extra work to do. We spoke with the Property Manager right away so that he knew the project was getting larger. Since we couldn’t remove this contaminated material, we had to use mechanical (wire brush) and chemical (industrial strength hydrogen peroxide) cleaners to pull out the mold spores from the wood and to remove some of the staining. The After photos show that the mold was removed, the stains were lightened but not removed. The overall appearance improved to a much cleaner, healthier look. The rooms were ready for a drywall contractor to put the ceiling and insulation back in.

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Using Scaffolding For Mold Containment System

Location: Spotsylvania, VA 22551

Problem: Roof leaks and failed flashing resulted in mold in the attic and ceiling throughout the home. The Property Manager became concerned about the health impact on the tenants and asked for a Professional Inspection. AdvantaClean offers free visual mold inspections by IICRC Certified Mold Inspectors. Our inspection found more than just a few spots of mold. Although there was some mold in each room, the situation needed mold removal for the home to become safe again,

Solution: The protocol for mold removal requires us to remove contaminated material if we can. We removed the contaminated ceiling revealing mold contamination in the attic behind the insulation. The water damage and microbial staining on the roof sheathing here was a surprise. We had a little extra work to do. We spoke with the Property Manager right away so that he knew the project was getting larger. Since we couldn’t remove this contaminated material, we had to use mechanical (wire brush) and chemical (industrial strength hydrogen peroxide) cleaners to pull out the mold spores from the wood and to remove some of the staining. The after photos show that the mold was removed, the stains were lightened but not removed. The overall appearance improved to a much cleaner, healthier look. The rooms were ready for a drywall contractor to put the ceiling and insulation back in.

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Mold Remediation Leads to Air Duct Cleaning

Location: Fredericksburg, VA 23452

Problem: Metal Collar, connected to the external vent going through the side of the home, was not properly mounted. The extra long collar was not supported and with the added weight of the flex tubing (that runs to the dryer), collar tube separated from external vent. This caused inefficient exhausting of the dryer lint and moist dryer air, most of which blew back in to the basement.

Solution: Reconnected Metal Collar Tube to the external vent using screws and UL listed metal tape. Supported distal end of Collar Tube with zip ties mounted to sub-floor and joists. Completed standard dryer vent cleaning, which included thorough HEPA vacuuming of the back of the Dryer Unit, as well as the inside of all the ducting.

After vent Before vent


Mold Remediation Due to Respiratory Illness

Location: Lorton, VA 22079

Problem: A home owner said he had been having lots of trouble with respiratory infections and suspected there was something in the house that was wrong. It was an older house purchased a few years ago and there were lots of things that weren’t quite right. He asked for a free mold inspection and here is what I found in the attic. Heavy mold growth on the roof sheathing and on the rafters. There seemed to be enough insulation but closer inspection showed two layers of batt insulation and the vapor barrier was so old, it crumbled when touched. The attic was poorly ventilated with only a couple of small gable vents and no eave vents. The bathroom exhaust fans moved the wet air from the shower into the attic. The attic had 1200 square feet of floor space. In order to properly remediate the mold and improve the health of the family, we would need to remediate the mold and remove and replace the insulation. For protection, we suggested encapsulation of sheathing and rafters. The encapsulation deters mold growth for years.

Solution: We hand-removed the insulation and vacuum all the surfaces with a HEPA filtered vacuum. We applied a stain lightener and chemical cleaner as well to pull the mold spores out of the pores of the wood. With the mold gone, we applied the encapsulant. We used an airless sprayer to apply a protective layer to the roof sheathing and rafters. We then replaced the insulation with blown insulation.

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Crawlspace Mold Remediation

Location: Lorton, VA 22079

Problem: The home owner complained about frequently having a stuffy nose that cleared up when she went to work or away for a few days. She asked for a free mold inspection. I saw no visible mold in the house but found it when I entered the crawlspace. The crawlspace was poorly ventilated, had a partial vapor barrier, and less than 22 inches of clearance in much of the area. There had been plumbing leaks although they were repaired prior to our inspection. Partial vapor barrier, previous water issues, microbial growth on the floor joists and support beams. Wood rot was starting to appear (mold causes wood rot).

Solution: We used a multistep approach. The first step is the bulk removal of the mold spores using a HEPA filtered vacuum. We followed that with a chemical treatment to lighten the microbial staining and to pull the mold spores out of the pores of the wood. We followed this by wiping the surfaces with an anti-microbial solution.With the mold gone, we could apply the spray on encapsulation. The encapsulant offers protection for the home owner by changing the conditions of the wood and the amount of moisture adsorbed from the air. The next step was to add insulation. The heating bills prior to this were outrageous. We also replaced the vapor barrier which required removing a large amount of debris.

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Beware Small Water Intrusions

Location: Fredericksburg, VA 22401

Problem: Even small water intrusions can cause big problems resulting in mold growth hidden in your home.
The owner saw a little mold behind a bookshelf in the basement. He called AdvantaClean for a free inspection and estimate. It seemed small enough but the moisture readings of the wall gave a different story. Only a quarter size amount of mold was visible but there was an area of 8 feet by 8 feet that was not visible until AdvantaClean of Lorton, Manassas, Fredericksburg started the mold remediation.

Solution: We got rid of all the mold and also helped identify the small crack in the foundation that led to the damage. There is a spot of mold in the corner on the baseboard of the first photo. The containment system shown in the second photo stops the mold spores from contaminating the rest of the home while we work.

Working with our partners who do the drywall repairs, the room was back to normal, or better than normal because the mold is gone.

black mold behind the drywall mold found on the structure of the home

black mold behind the drywall attached to the structure of the home AdvantaClean mold removal in Fredericksburg VA.

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