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Mold on the window that needs to be removed

Common Types of Mold

There are many types of mold that can grow in homes, but some of the most common types include:

  • Aspergillus
  • Cladosporium
  • Penicillium
  • Stachybotrys


Aspergillus is commonly found in homes and is often associated with respiratory problems. It can grow on a variety of surfaces, including wood, paper, and textiles. Aspergillus typically grows in damp or humid environments and can grow on a wide range of materials, including food, plants, and building materials.

Aspergillus Mold spores

Aspergillus typically appears as a powdery substance that is green, black, or brown in color. It can also appear as a velvety or cottony substance that grows on the surface of materials. The mold may also produce a musty or moldy smell, which can be an indication of its presence.

Growth: Aspergillus tends to grow slowly, but it can be more difficult to remove once it has established itself on a surface.


Cladosporium is a type of mold that is highly allergenic and spreads easily, particularly during the warmer months of spring and early summer. People who are sensitive or allergic may experience hay fever-like symptoms, such as a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, red eyes, a sore throat, and sinus congestion. When the spores are inhaled, they can cause respiratory problems in people with asthma or other respiratory diseases, such as wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.

Cladosporium tends to grow more quickly, but it is generally easier to remove.


Penicillium is a type of mold that is commonly found in homes. It is often associated with the spoilage of food, as it can grow on a variety of organic materials, including bread, cheese, and fruits. Penicillium is typically found in damp or humid environments and can grow on a wide range of materials, including food, plants, and building materials.

Penicillium growing on nectarines.

Penicillium typically appears as a powdery substance that is blue, green, or white in color. It can also appear as a velvety or cottony substance that grows on the surface of materials.

Exposure to Penicillium can cause a range of health problems, including allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory problems. Some people may also experience skin irritation or other allergic reactions upon contact with the mold.


Black mold that can grow dangerous if not removed.

Stachybotrys is a type of mold that is commonly known as “black mold” due to its dark color. It grows on a variety of materials, including drywall, wood, and paper, and is often found in homes that have experienced water damage or have high levels of humidity. Stachybotrys is known to produce toxins called mycotoxins, which can be harmful to humans if inhaled or ingested. It is particularly common to find it in homes that have experienced water damage or have high levels of humidity.

What do you do if you have mold?

Mold before being removed from a home.

Click Here for a guide that can help you better identify what type of mold you may have. Any type of mold in your home can be harmful to your health, especially if you have allergies or asthma. If you suspect that you have mold in your home, you need to address the problem as soon as possible. This prevents the mold from spreading and protects your health. It is recommended to seek the help of a professional mold remediation company. CIS Restoration excels at mold cleanup and removal. We use equipment that prevents mold from getting into the air and spreading throughout your home or commercial building. We also work with industrial hygienists to form a plan of attack to remove the mold. Then we have it tested to ensure that the mold has been fully removed. Call us NOW

Moisture Meter being used in a water damaged home

Water Damage Equipment – Moisture Meters

Water can damage just about anything that it comes into contact with, which is why having it dried out is so necessary. Time is ticking as soon as water touches any susceptible materials including those in the walls, floors and ceilings. This is true for not only dirty water, but even clean water.

Water that is not properly dried leads to a variety of problems. Some of the potential consequences of not drying water in your home include:

  1. Mold growth: If water is not properly dried, it can lead to the growth of mold and mildew. These fungi can cause health problems and damage the structure of your home.
  2. Structural damage: Water that is not properly dried can cause damage to the structure of your home, including rot, warping, and other forms of deterioration.
  3. Pest infestations: Standing water can attract pests, such as mosquitoes and other insects, which can be a nuisance and may pose health risks.
  4. Electrical hazards: Water and electricity do not mix, and standing water can create an electrical hazard in your home.

Since you cannot see or feel if the deeper parts of certain materials are dry from the surface, professionals will use a Moisture Meter to measure how much water is in materials.

What is a Moisture meter?

A Moisture meter used to dry water to mitigate water damage
This Moisture meter is both Pinned and Pin-less

Moisture meters are one of the tools used to help track the progress of a dry out after a water-based emergency. Professionals use them to test the moisture content inside of materials. In fact if you have called a company for water based emergencies and they do not use these, its best to get a different company ASAP. Below you will find out how they work, and what kinds there are, and how they are used.

How do Moisture Meters work?

There are two main categories of moisture meters that differ in their method of detecting water.

  1. Pin-type moisture meters: These moisture meters use small metal pins that are inserted into the material being tested. The resistance between the pins is then measured to determine the moisture content of the material. One variant of these are hammer probes which are used to penetrate deep into the surface of whatever you are trying to get a moisture measurement for. This is helpful particularly when it comes to flooring or wood.
  2. Pin-less moisture meters: These moisture meters use electromagnetic fields to measure the moisture content of a material without making any physical contact with it. This is particularly helpful when dealing with items that would be damaged if the probes are

Using a Moisture Meter to prevent further Water Damage

Pin-type moisture meter:

  1. Begin by selecting the appropriate settings for the material being tested. Most moisture meters have adjustable settings for different materials and situations.
  2. Insert the pins of the moisture meter into the material being tested, making sure that the pins are fully seated in the material.
  3. Hold the moisture meter steady and wait for the reading to stabilize. The reading will typically be displayed as a percentage, indicating the moisture content of the material.
  4. Remove the pins from the material and turn off the moisture meter.

Pin-less moisture meters:

  1. Press the ON/OFF button to power up. The LED for the last used scale will light.
  2. To change the scale, press the the Scale Select button until the LED opposite the required scale lights.
  3. Hold your moisture meter directly on the material being tested ensuring both conductive rubber electrodes are fully in contact with the surface.
  4. The meter should be held by the rubber grips when taking readings. (Do not slide the meter across the surface while taking the measurement)
  5. Record the reading, lift and repeat.

Things to Note

  1. Your moisture meter will need to be calibrated every once in a while to insure accurate measurements.
  2. You will need to consult your instruction manual to see what settings and modes are available for your model. You may also need to read the meter differently depending on what materials and mode it is in.

When it comes to Water Damage – Don’t Delay

You can purchase a moisture meter if you suspect there is a water leak in your home, but it’s usually best left up to the professionals. Water can very quickly damage your home. Calling local Emergency Services that specialize in Water Damage such as CIS Restoration. This saves you a lot of trouble in future. At CIS Restoration we use the right equipment for each situation. We have access to charts detailing what moisture readings are considered safely and acceptably dry. This ensures that we leave your home with a clean bill of health.


Mold Removal – Not just about the bad smell

What is Mold?

Black mold that needs mold removal

Mold is a fungus that grows on organic matter, such as wood and paper. You can find mold nearly anywhere. The spores themselves are microscopic, but they can be seen when they grow into colonies of mold on your walls or floors. It’s easy to spot mold when you see its signature green or black coloration, but if you’re not sure what you’re looking at or where it came from, call CIS Restoration right away so we can help identify it and do a complete mold removal before it spreads any further.

Why is Mold a problem?

Protocols for mold removal have been around as early as the bible. That’s how long mold has been known to be an issue. But what exactly makes mold a problem?

It may not present a major problem at first, but when left untreated, mold can begin to spread, eating away at materials and cause serious damage to your property. Even worse, it could be dangerous to your health! Mold is a living thing and its only two skills are to eat and procreate. This means that it will naturally continue to spread if left to its own devices. That’s why it’s important to catch the problem early before it gets out of control.

Health Risks of Mold Exposure

Coughing preventable by mold removal.

Mold can cause health problems to anyone, but most common ones are allergies, eye infections, and respiratory issues. Some medical conditions may be worsened due to exposure to mold; especially people with asthma or allergies. Mold itself produces allergens, irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). This can cause responses including hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis).

Proper mold removal is necessary to keep you and your loved ones safe from its affects.

How to prevent Mold

Mold needs two things to grow, moisture and organic material to eat. While you cant do much about the organic material, moisture can be controlled. Some events that may cause mold to rapidly grow are floods and leaks. The sudden increase in moisture creates a breeding ground for mold. Substances that are carried in by the water itself can bring organic material to feed mold. This is especially true of sewage leaks.

Another scenario is that of a fire. When the fire department comes to extinguish a fire, the water that they use to fight the fire can cause just as much damage as the fire itself. The fire fighters quench all materials exposed to the fire to insure that no flames are left or can reignite.

What can you do?

The CDC recommends action be taken within 24-48 hours of water damage taking place. This means that any time that you have a leak a flood, or a fire, you should have the area dried out immediately. While towels and cleaning supplies may seem like a good enough solution, often times the water has seeped into the walls and the floors. This moisture can settle and be left undisturbed with no real means of escape. CIS Restoration has the equipment and skills to dry out your home or business efficiently, no matter where the water is. The quicker the moisture is removed, the less likely mold will have a chance to grow in the areas, seen and unseen.

Here are a few ways you can prevent mold

  • Keep humidity levels in your home as low as you can—no higher than 50%–all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low.
  • Be sure the air in your home flows freely. Use exhaust fans that vent outside your home in the kitchen and bathroom. Make sure your clothes dryer vents outside your home.
  • Fix any leaks in your home’s roof, walls, or plumbing so mold does not have moisture to grow.
  • Clean bathrooms with mold-killing products.

You can find other recommendations from the CDC regarding mold here

Mold Remediation

The good news is that, even if you have mold, it can be removed. The CDC advises that “Mold can be removed from hard surfaces with household products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of household laundry bleach in 1 gallon of water.” While small areas can be “cleaned up” it may be indicative of a much bigger problem. A colony of mold may have already spread much further into hard to spot places. This includes the walls or underneath built-in furniture like cabinetry.

You should call a professional if you suspect that this may be the case. A pro will have the tools and knowledge to be able to remove the mold safely. Be sure that you hire someone who is certified. They will have a much deeper knowledge of how to remove the mold safely. In the case that substantial damage was done, it would be better for them to be a licensed contractor. That way, they can apply for the required permits to do the rebuild work. This insures that your home or commercial building is put back to how it was.

Do you think you have mold?

Cis Restoration Mold Removal

At CIS Restoration, we understand how to best take care of mold. We also recognize that mold can be a serious problem for your health, home, and even your wallet. That’s why we offer the best mold remediation services in the Tampa bay and St Pete areas. We work together with industrial hygienists to form the best plan of attack to complete the mold removal.

During the process, CIS Restoration creates a barrier to isolate the affected area and uses specialized machines to scrub the air as the mold is removed. This suctions and strips the air of any spores released in the process, preventing them from spreading onto other surfaces. Afterwards, our partners test to establish your homes clean bill of health. Don’t delay in calling us now. The sooner we can handle the mold removal the faster we can get your home safe or your business back up and running.

Click here to Contact us now

Smoke damage that needs to be cleaned and restored
Fire, Uncategorized

Smoke and Soot: Fire Restoration Services

When it comes to fire and smoke damage removal, we’re your professional partner. We know what it takes to make a space safe again after there’s been fire or smoke damage. Don’t let the unpleasant odors or the unsightly appearance of your home linger after the flames have been extinguished. Let us help you remove the last signs of fire and smoke from your home or professional building.

Smoke damage and soot in a kitchen area, requiring cleaning and restoration.
Not much damage from the fire directly, but the smoke damage is immense.

How bad is smoke damage?

The first thing to keep in mind is that smoke damage is often more extensive than the actual fire damage. Even when it comes to small fires much smoke can travel through tiny cracks and crevices, in your walls, furniture, and floors, penetrating deep into the structure of your home. This can cause intense smells that can be hard to get rid of, discoloration of materials, and corrosion. As a result, the restoration process can be quite involved if tackling it by yourself.

Often, smoke and soot from a fire affects the following

  • Carpets
  • Curtains and upholstery
  • Appliances
  • Furniture

Not only can the smoke and soot from a fire cause damage to your home and belongings, it also has an impact on your health.

The soot and dirty water left behind from from extinguishing the fire may contain things that make you sick. Microscopic particles from smoke can get into your eyes and respiratory system, where they can cause health problems such as burning eyes, runny nose, and illnesses such as bronchitis. Fine particles also can aggravate chronic heart and lung diseases.

Fire Cleanup and Soot Removal

Smoke damage in affected bathroom in need of repairs.
damage causing smoke can affect a much wider area than the flames that produce them

The above points make it easy to see that removing the damage cause by smoke and soot is just as important as handling the fire itself. You need qualified professionals to determine what is salvageable and what needs to be removed. Having the right equipment for cleanup is also vital since working around these harmful substances disturbs and introduces them to the air if done without the proper tools and machines to prevent this.

Deodorizing after smoke and soot

Even if all looks well, the smell from smoke and soot can still remain. Professionals are able to take care of this by removing the materials affected and encapsulating structural surfaces so that the molecules that would normally carry the odor and harmful affects out of the are no longer able to do so.

In the meantime, we use specialized machines, such as air scrubbers, to clean the air and rid it of harmful chemicals and substances. This is pivotal to keeping your family safe while removing and fixing any damage.

Acting immediately is the key!

At CIS Restoration, we have years of experience in dealing with all types of fire damage, including damage caused by smoke and soot. We will work quickly and efficiently to assess the extent of the damage and develop a plan to restore your home to its pre-loss condition. We will also work with your insurance company to make sure that you get the coverage you deserve.

Some of the issues that we can fix are:

  • Staining and discoloration on walls, flooring, wood, and other surfaces.
  • Smoke trapped in the AC system.
  • Electrical, plumbing, framing, and insulation damage.

If you’ve experienced fire damage, don’t hesitate to call CIS Restoration. We are here to help you through the difficult times that fires create and get your home back to normal as quickly as possible.

Contact us Now

Fire damage debris removal

Winn Dixie Fire

While most of out projects are water related, we are also fully able to handle fire related ones as well. This 42,000 vacant commercial building was previously a Winn-Dixie. It had been vacant since a few months before one morning catching on fire possibly due to an electrical issue. Thankfully local fire rescue departments were quick to respond and able to control the fire.

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