I smell musty odor or rotten smell and am suspecting mold. What should I do?
First, investigate thoroughly for mold, especially in an areas where moisture may be. Even if you cannot find visible mold, we strongly recommend purchasing a home test kit for airborne mold from any hardware store in addition to visibly inspecting for mold.
Most mold goes undetected, because it does not often grow in openly visible areas. Triple R Mitigation offers a mold inspection where we use our experience to examine your home and investigate areas we feel are most likely to harbor mold. We also examine the home for proper ventilation and areas of frequent water intrusion. We can use moisture detectors to detect if elevated levels of moistures are present within all cavities. We can also look behind drywall and behind baseboards without being so invasive that additional repairs would be required. We will provide you with many helpful tips to prevent mold growth, and if mold growth is found we are prepared to quickly remediate to prevent future damage.
Do you test for mold?
Triple R Mitigation offers a visible mold inspection, where we check hard to reach and unusual areas that frequently harbor mold. We do not test for airborne mold due to a conflict of interest. We strongly recommend purchasing a home test kit for airborne mold from any hardware store in addition to visibly inspecting for mold. Triple R Mitigation recommends an independent third party for airborne testing. Industrial Hygienists, such as WeeCycle, can also be used for testing. It is important that both pre-remediation and post remediation tests are conducted.
I have a new home. Do I need to worry about mold?
Unfortunately, yes. Mold and fungal colonies most often form rapidly due to environmental factors which can be present in any age home. During new construction, we frequently remediate mold in areas that have been exposed to excessive moisture or improper ventilation during the construction process. Although the rest of your home may not have been exposed to a high concentration of mold spores yet, you may still have mold in your crawl space or attic from when it was exposed during the construction process.
It is always a good idea to test your home for mold and radon prior to moving in, so that you have the peace of mind knowing that you and your family are living in a clean environment.
Is there a guarantee or paperwork provided with mold remediation?
Absolutely! Triple R Mitigation will provide “Mold Disclosure” documenting the mold remediation. A PDF of this document is emailed to the party invoiced upon receipt of payment.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to guarantee future fungal growth will not occur. Conditions that may promote future fungal growth, such as water intrusion, elevated humidity, and proper ventilation should be monitored and controlled.
How long will my crawl space or attic mold remediation take?
Mold remediation is usually a three day process. Depending upon the situation (see your estimate for details), local containment will be set up as needed, air scrubbers will be used if necessary, and the fungal colonies will be removed using Shockwave antimicrobial disinfectant. The Shockwave needs to dry for a day before we return to seal with the Microban anti-fungal sealer to help prevent future mold growth.
What is radon? Is it “real”?
Radon is an odorless, colorless, cancer-causing, radioactive gas found in many homes all over the US. According to the US EPA and the Surgeon General, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer deaths in the US today, and is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. The EPA has set the acceptable level for radon to be, at most, 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/l) in breathable air. Radon levels in homes are especially important, because we spend so much time inside of them.
Radon comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. Radon seeps up through porous building materials or unsealed entry points in the foundation of a home. In homes and buildings, radon gas can build up to higher and hazardous concentrations that it ever would disseminating in the outside air. According to the US Geologic Survey, “most houses draw less than one percent of their indoor air from the soil; the remainder comes from outdoor air, which is generally quite low in radon. Houses with low indoor air pressures, poorly sealed foundations, and several entry points for soil air, however, may draw as much as 20 percent of their indoor air from the soil”. A radon mitigation system minimizes the indoor air in your home from the soil.
I think my home has been tested for radon before. Do I need to test it again?
If your home hasn’t been tested recently, we encourage you to test for radon. Although radon levels typically do not fluctuate dramatically, if the last test was exposed to outside air (a widow open etc.) the results may not be accurate. Radon testing is extremely affordable. A $10 test kit could stop you and your family from being constantly exposed to the second leading cause of lung cancer deaths in the United States.
I have a new home. Do I need to worry about radon?
Unfortunately, yes. The age of the home is not related to the concentration of radon in the soil it was built on. We work with many local contractors to build mitigation systems into new homes in the Gallatin Valley during the construction process. Test your home to see if your radon levels are unhealthy.
What is a radon mitigation system?
A radon mitigation system minimizes the indoor air in your home from the soil. Radon seeps up through porous building materials or unsealed entry points in the foundation of a home. During radon mitigation, we target areas of radon penetration, seal them as much as possible, and use a fan to create constant vacuum and redirect the soil air outside of the home. If you have a crawl space in your home, your crawl space will be covered and sealed with a thick plastic membrane designed to combat radon penetration and reduce crawl space moisture intrusion. If you have a concrete slab foundation, we will drill through the foundation. Piping will then be installed underneath the barrier or in the slab, so that the soil air can be continuously vacuumed out by a small fan in the attic or on the outside of your home. Radon mitigation systems require no maintenance and are almost invisible.
How long will the radon mitigation take?
Depending on your home, different crews and technicians will be needed to complete mitigation. Most frequently, we complete systems within two visits.
Is there a guarantee and documentation provided with radon mitigation?
Absolutely! Please see your radon proposal for more details. We guarantee that your radon mitigation system will bring the radon level in your home at or below the EPA safety standard of 4.0 pCi/L. Once installed, the systems require little to no maintenance, if not tampered with. Radon mitigation fans have a five year warranty, but normally last 15-20 years. We have been installing radon systems in the Gallatin Valley for over twenty years, and will continue to be here to provide any service work if necessary.
Is there any maintenance or anything I need to do once the radon mitigation system is installed?
No! Once installed, the systems require little to no maintenance, if not tampered with.
I already have a vapor barrier or plastic in my crawl space. Do I still need to have your membrane installed? Can you just cover the existing vapor barrier?
The membrane (plastic) we use is made for radon mitigation and is much stronger material than the black vapor barrier installed in most new homes. The standard vapor barrier is designed for reducing crawl space moisture, not radon gas intrusion. The plastic tears easily and does not hold up over time, and no caulks or adhesives will stick permanently to this product. We have had to repair or re-install systems for clients who have used this inferior black plastic for radon mitigation purposes. If you have an existing barrier, we will simply cover it with our membrane for a second layer of protection. We use a cross-laminated white membrane that bonds well to our specialized polyurethane caulk. Our membrane provides a longer lasting radon mitigation system.
In my Radon Proposal, it says the perforated pipe may be placed under or over the footings?
In some cases, when running perforated pipe under the footings, the soil composition (large rocks, clay, etc) does not allow for easy penetration. In this case, we would run the piping over the footing instead.
What is the gauge on my radon mitigation system? What is a manometer?
The gauge is a manometer, which measures the vacuum level of the fan. This gauge allows you to monitor you radon system with a quick glance. Regular monitoring is not necessary, but if you see levels at or close to zero, please call us for service.
My contractor said he roughed in a pipe during construction. Will that lower the cost?
Depending on the design of your radon mitigation system and the location of the pipe, the existing pipe may be used in your radon mitigation system. The benefit of using the pipe is that this will allow the pipe to be concealed in a wall cavity, making the system completely unnoticeable. Unfortunately, the single pipe does not significantly lower the cost of the radon mitigation system.
Radon fan placement options.
Usually, there are multiple placement options for you to choose from prior to installation. Ideally, if possible, the (new) homeowner has input in this initial design decision.
For safety, radon mitigation fans can only be placed in the attic or outside of the home, as per code. The reason is that if the fan were to malfunction and leak radon gas, the radon gas would not be leaking into or near a living space. The radon gas would then dissipate in the attic or the outside air.