Archive for the 'Black Mold' Category
March 11th, 2011 by admin
Why do we devote so much time and energy to repair water damage? Why is water damage restoration such a big industry in the United States and worldwide? It’s because water contamination poses very real threats to our health. Anyone who watches the news lately can tell you all about the devastating effects of tsunamis and avalanches and floods. These natural water damage events can be catastrophic.
What many people don’t know is that the effects of natural water damage events such as tsunamis and floods can be even more devastating after the water recedes. That’s because when water infiltrates our homes and businesses, if not cleaned up immediately and properly, it will often quickly bring diseases and infections.
Bacteria and fungi love water. Just give them a water source, food source (see drywall water damage) and the right ambient conditions and you’ll soon discover how out of control these growths can get. We deal with water damage mold everyday. Sometimes it just takes a simple fix. Most of the time, however, it takes a keen eye and the right equipment to know which areas — and people — are most at risk for water damage contamination.
If you or your family have been recently affected by water damage, call us. We are water damage cleaning experts. Our black mold removal experts and water removal teams will be on the job within 60 minutes of receiving your call to make sure that you and your loved ones are protected. Black mold and flood water damage are serious issues. Don’t take them lightly. Let us help you assess the water damage situation so you can get your life and property back to normal as quickly as possible.
January 17th, 2011 by admin
If you are currently experiencing a water damage or mold problem in your home or business, you will want to talk with a certified water damage restoration professional about the steps that can be taken to restore your property to its pre-loss condition. Water damage can strike very quickly and extensively. Mold generally starts growing in just a few days. If conditions are right and the primary water damage has not been fixed properly and thoroughly, mold can become a serious problem for your property and your health in less than 72 hours.
Mold removal (also black mold removal) is the process of removing mold from a property. This includes removing mold from the structure, all surfaces (visible and hidden), contents (including personal belongings and furniture) and most importantly the air. Removing mold from the air helps ensure that you and your family will not breathe in harmful microorganisms that can cause serious respiratory and other health issues.
The general process water damage repair professionals follow when conducting black mold removal is as follows. We first make sure that the property is dry and clean. We use water removal (extraction) and specialty drying / dehumidifying equipment to thoroughly clean the property. Saturated contents and building materials are removed from the property, to be discarded or cleaned and repaired off-site. We take surface and air samples from the property and test them in a laboratory through an independent industrial hygienist, who gives us a detailed report indicating the level of contamination by area of the property.
If mold is present in elevated levels inside the property, we section off the building into zones using plastic sheeting and specialty tape. Each zone is highly contained to prevent the spread of mold from one zone into another. We apply anti-microbial agents to every surface in the property. We run HEPA vacuums continuously to filter ambient air while simultaneously HEPA vacuuming every surface in the home. After thoroughly vacuuming the home, we re-apply anti-microbial agents to encapsulate and kill any remaining mold spores. Any contents that have been removed from the property are thoroughly cleaned (same process) of mold spores before they are returned. Finally, the industrial hygienist returns to conduct a clearance test. Any zones that do not pass are re-cleaned and re-tested. Once the property is cleared, any remaining water damage restoration work is completed as quickly as possible so the owners or tenants can re-occupy the property as soon as possible.
December 20th, 2010 by admin
Today we gave a bid for a common occurrence these days — basement water damage and mold damage that occurred as a direct result of an angry homeowner or tenant who sabotaged the property during foreclosure eviction. In this case, the owner was so angry about being evicted from his home that he turned on all the faucets and let the water run in the middle of winter in the greater Salt Lake area in Utah. To complicate matters, the utilities were eventually shut off and the pipes froze before the re-possessing bank reclaimed the property.
This is an unfortunate scenario — one we see all too often as water damage restoration professionals. This property will cost the new owner tens of thousands of dollars to fix. Let’s walk through the process of restoring the property to its pre-loss condition before the water damage occurred.
Cleaning water damage starts with stopping the source of the water damage. We turned off the water at the main valve since many of the pipes were compromised due to freezing and expansion. Next, any water in the property is extracted so it can begin drying. Next, the property is tested for mold to determine how bad the damage is and to understand the level of black mold removal that needs to be conducted. Next, the drywall water damage and carpet water damage is addressed. This means removing all the affected materials from the property and disposing any that cannot be salvaged. Technicians wear personal protective equipment to minimize exposure to any harmful contaminants.
Fortunately, this property was vacant and empty when the water damage occurred. This made removing the damaged materials much easier. Once the drywall and carpet are out, exposing the framing, the mold remediation process begins. The house is divided up into sections to facilitate containment of the mold spores. All exposed surfaces are treated for mold using antimicrobial agents and HEPA vacuums. Air is vented outside the house using a technique called negative air flow. Finally, the house is re-tested to ensure that the mold removal has been successful. Once cleared, the reconstruction process starts and the home can be quickly restored to its pre-water damage condition.
December 17th, 2010 by admin
Everything is bigger in Texas. Even water damage. Dallas, the third largest city in Texas and ninth-largest city in the United States, is known for big rain storms. Furthermore, since Dallas was originally founded on the Trinity River, many areas of the city also have a high water table. Flood water damage is common in the city and suburbs of the greater Dallas area. We talked to our Water Damage Dallas restoration team about some of the unique considerations for the city.
Water damage Dallas? Talk to an experienced water damage repair and restoration professional. Call our 24/7 Water Damage Emergency Hotline at 1-801-717-7777.
Water Damage Dallas Tip #1: Seal your basement to prevent flood water damage.
Our Water Damage Dallas team tells us that one of the biggest problems in the Dallas involves basements. Basements that have not been properly sealed may allow ground or flood water to seep or spill into the home. You can prevent basement water damage in Dallas by ensuring that the exterior walls of your basement have been back-filled for proper water drainage, that surface water always flows away from the foundation using a slope of earth, and that the interior walls of the basement have been properly sealed to prevent water damage.
Water Damage Dallas Tip #2: Call a professional water damage restoration company before water damage strikes.
Of course, you can’t always prevent water damage. Dallas has big rain storms. When streets are flooding, it is inevitable that some homes and businesses will be affected and will need water damage cleaning. If your Dallas home is currently or has recently experienced water damage, call us. Call us if you live in a high risk area of Dallas or even if you just want to learn a little more about what you can do to prevent water damage before it strikes. You might be surprised that there are a lot of steps you can take today to stop water damage. Save yourself the stress and hassle. An ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of care!
Water Damage Dallas Tip #3: Get that water out!
Dallas water damage can quickly lead to black mold. Black mold removal is expensive and time-consuming. After you have stopped the source of the water damage, make sure you get the water out of your property as soon as possible. This doesn’t mean just extracting water. Perhaps more importantly, it means getting all the hidden water out of your property — the water that often does the most damage. You’ll want to completely dry out carpet, behind drywall, personal belongings and dehumidify the air within 48 hours to prevent mold and bacterial growth — especially in a humid city like Dallas!
Water damage Dallas? Call us today at 801-717-7777 for a FREE water damage repair consultation and/or estimate.
December 14th, 2010 by admin
Anyone who knows Atlanta knows that it rains a lot there! 50.2 inches annually on average, to be exact. Where it rains, there’s water damage. That’s right. Do you have water damage Atlanta residents? We know how you feel. We deal with water damage disasters every day and they can be disheartening even as water damage restoration professionals. Here are a few tips from our Water Damage Atlanta team on how to protect your home from water damage:
Water Damage Atlanta Tip #1: Monitor your home for water damage constantly.
Atlanta has a humid subtropical climate. That means hot, humid summers and mild winters. That also means it’s hard to dry out. Anyone who has witnessed the swelling of the Chattahoochee River during torrential downpours can commiserate. With constant Atlanta humidity comes frequent water damage to building structures and contents. Remember that swelling ground water and leaky pipes are always lurking around the corner. Pay close attention to any damp walls or window sills, where black mold could be growing. Water damage happens even when it’s not raining or flooding!
Water Damage Atlanta Tip #2: Call a water damage restoration professional.
Water damage Atlanta? Don’t go it alone. You don’t need to! Our experienced technicians are available to take your calls, answer any water damage questions you might have and provide FREE ESTIMATES on the job in 1 hour or less. Atlanta’s water damage problems are unique to its geography, topography and climate. Call a specialist who knows the area and who can guide you through the water damage cleaning and repair process with the least amount of headache possible.
Water Damage Atlanta Tip #3: If you do have water damage in your home, dry it out as soon as possible.
This might seem intuitive to most people but you’d be surprised how many Atlanta residents we’ve met who had a water damage event and then waited a few days to do anything about it. Time is of the essence whenever water damage strikes. Cleaning water damage safely requires that the property be dried out completely. Since Atlanta is so humid, this means dehumidifying the property with industrial strength dehumidifiers and also running numerous air mover fans for 24-36 hours after water extraction.
Water Damage Atlanta Tip #4: Don’t be afraid to contact your insurance agent.
Our Water Damage Atlanta team often laments that business and home owners are so reluctant to contact their insurance agent when water damage strikes. We understand not wanting to have your insurance premiums go up or coverage be denied as a result from a claim. However, your insurance agent is a valuable resource for you to help you decide whether or not to make that claim and to guide you through the restoration process with a qualified water damage claims adjuster.
Thank you to our Water Damage Atlanta team for their experienced perspective on water damage in the great city of Atlanta! Call our 24/7 water damage emergency hotline if you are currently experiencing flood water damage or any other water damage-related issues in your Atlanta residence or business.
December 9th, 2010 by admin
Drywall water damage is a common occurrence in modern homes. If you notice drywall water damage in your home or business, you may want to consult an experienced water damage repair and restoration professional who is trained to mitigate the damage and prevent black mold growth.
A professional drywall water damage expert will know all about the perils of leaving wet drywall in the property. He or she will have seen the first-hand effects of drywall water damage and how it can quickly morph into something a lot more serious and potentially harmful to you and your family’s health. Drywall water damage is particularly an issue in cities like Atlanta, Dallas and Houston where flooding is common due to torrential rains. High humidity also increases the likelihood of drywall water damage, since the damaged drywall doesn’t dry out very quickly.
One of the reasons why drywall water damage is such a big problem in modern homes is because drywall is so good at what it does. When combined with insulation and frame construction, drywall is an affordable solution for providing properties with protection against the elements. However, when drywall water damage occurs and the drywall gets wet, everything changes. Drywall has a hard time drying since the “rock” inside can’t air out when sandwiched between two paper layers. The drywall also forms a barrier that prevents the pocket behind it from drying.
Mold needs a water source, proper temperature conditions, air and an organic food source. This is why drywall water damage is a real problem. Drywall provides all of the above! The paper on drywall is an excellent source of organic matter for mold spore growth. The drywall is usually insulated within a temperature-controlled home or business property. Thus when drywall water damage occurs, there’s little hope for preventing mold unless the damage is properly treated.
Call our FREE 24 hour national emergency hotline at 801-717-7777 if you ever suspect that drywall water damage has occurred in your home or business. The health effects of prolonged exposure to high concentrations of mold have been well-documented and may result in serious illness for you, your family or co-workers. Don’t hesitate to call for a FREE CONSULTATION even if you aren’t ready to make an insurance claim or work with a qualified water damage restoration professional. Let us help you with your drywall water damage event, even if only by talking you through a few considerations you might not have thought of. We’re here to help! Call us today.
December 6th, 2010 by admin
If you have recently experienced flood water damage in your home or business, understanding how to fix carpet water damage will be essential to doing the water damage restoration job right. We have come across many different kinds of carpet water damage over the years. Here are a few tips on how to make sure that your carpets are cleaned correctly.
Carpet Water Damage Tip #1: First extract as much water as possible.
If you experience basement water damage where carpet has already been installed or if your home’s main or upper floor floods into carpeted areas, you will first want to pull as much water from the floor as possible. If there is any contamination involved, make sure to contact a water damage repair professional immediately to prevent growth of harmful bacteria and/or black mold, which can cause serious health issues.
Carpet Water Damage Tip #2: Dehumidify and air-dry the carpet water damage area.
You will need a commercial dehumidifier and at least a few air movers to get air circulating over the affected carpet water damage area. Provided there is no contamination in the carpet, drying out the carpet is another crucial step to ensure that bacteria and fungi (mold) do not grow as you work to repair and restore other parts of your property.
Carpet Water Damage Tip #3: Trust your carpets to a professional water damage repair expert.
Cleaning carpet water damage is no simple task. Depending on the type of water, duration of saturation, carpet type and condition, your water damage repair professional will be able to recommend a solution that best meets your particular needs. There are lots of variables involved, so make sure you at least talk to a professional before attempting to clean your carpets on your own. If you are making an insurance claim, professional carpet cleaning is almost always covered. A qualified professional will be able to guide you on type of shampoo or steam treatment, how to remove spots and mildew, if any.
Finally, once your carpet water damage has been fixed, you can use a variety of carpet fresheners and/or air fresheners to mask any lingering smells resulting from the affected rooms.
December 3rd, 2010 by admin
There’s a lot of misinformation out there about mold and mold removal. Let’s discuss briefly the hard facts about health issues associated with mold and why mold removal is a crucial aspect of water damage cleaning and restoration.
Is mold harmful?
Mold is a fungus that feeds off of organic matter and grows when activated by water and water vapor within a temperature range that varies by species. Thus, mold is more prevalent in warm, humid environments such as in Dallas, Houston, Atlanta and Los Angeles. Research on the health effects of toxic molds is still ongoing and therefore not conclusive. However, it is generally understood and accepted that when present in unusually high concentrations, toxic molds such as black mold can pose a health hazard to humans.
Mold-related Health Symptoms
Unless mold removal is conducted properly in home and office environments, concentrated toxic mold can cause allergic reactions by producing mycotoxins and/or fungal infections. These reactions can lead to asthma episodes, sinus congestion, irritation to eyes, throat and lungs, and other respiratory problems. Individuals who are exposed to toxic mold over long periods of time have heightened risk for contracting bronchitis and other more severe respiratory infections. These infections can become serious health hazards and lead to death in extreme cases. Small children, the elderly and anyone with a pre-disposition to respiratory infection may be particularly susceptible to mold-related health issues.
For these reasons, it is highly recommended that mold removal — especially black mold removal — be conducted by a skilled professional who has been properly trained and certified in mold removal and remediation. The primary challenge we face as water damage restoration professionals is helping our clients understand that the health risks associated with mold are not only real but also vastly heightened if mold removal is not conducted properly.
Mold removal that is performed improperly or incompletely means that mold has been left in the affected water damaged property after remediation. This is the worst case scenario for mold disasters, since the unabated mold will continue to grow potentially for years without anyone realizing that it needs to be removed. As noted, prolonged exposure to toxic molds like black mold creates the mold-related highest health risks. We encourage our clients to always work with a qualified water damage and mold removal specialist when dealing with flood water damage, basement water damage, carpet water damage or drywall water damage. Cleaning water damage is a critical task that may prevent serious health problems for your family.
December 1st, 2010 by admin
Water damage is the primary cause of remediation-level mold growth in residential homes. Mold removal is a highly-skilled endeavor that requires substantial training. The process of removing mold from a home entails various procedures, supplies and equipment that range widely depending on the specific situation encountered by the water damage restoration professional involved. Let’s walk through an abbreviated example of what might happen if you had a water damage event and needed professional black mold removal assistance, for instance.
Water Damage Mold Remediation Step #1: Water Removal
The professional inspecting your property would first verify that the root cause of the water damage has been properly addressed and, if possible, fixed to prevent recurrence of the problem. Any remaining water would be extracted from the property using a portable or truck-mounted water extraction unit.
Water Damage Mold Remediation Step #2: Demolition and Dry-Out
As part of the water damage mold remediation process, after the water has been safely extracted from the property, demolition of any saturated walls would begin. Don’t worry; that sounds worse than it is! In short, the water damage mold restoration crew will remove any walls or materials that can’t be salvaged and that would otherwise accumulate mold or mildew if left in your home. The crew would also remove any furniture or belongings from the affected areas. If already affected by mold, some personal effects may need to be “scrubbed” for mold at an off-site location. The crew should take extra care to remove any personal effects in carefully marked and numbered boxes. They should provide you with a list of everything that was removed from the home so you can be sure it was all returned properly. After demolition and item removal is complete, the crew will set fans and let them run typically for a few days to make sure that the property dries out.
Water Damage Mold Remediation Step #3: Test for Mold
If the water damage mold restoration crew notices any evidence of mold, they should bring in an industrial hygienist to take samples for laboratory testing. The hygienist should provide a written copy of the report to you verifying the property’s interior and exterior test results. If an elevated level of black mold, for instance, is discovered inside the home (relative to the outside of the home, which establishes the “normal” baseline for your area), it may be necessary to start black mold removal procedures.
Water Damage Mold Remediation Step #3: Mold Removal
Mold abatement starts by partitioning off sections of the affected structure so that each section can be treated like an independent “clean room.” The water damage mold removal team will then HEPA vacuum every surface and item in each room, sometimes two or three times, and apply an anti-microbial agent or sporicide. The crew should wear Tyvek suits and respirators. You as the property owner should not be allowed into the property without the same protection. Once each section of the house has been cleaned, the industrial hygienist will return and conduct a clearance test, which will certify the water damage mold remediation process. If one or two sections of the property fail the clearance test, only those rooms will need to be cleaned.
November 30th, 2010 by admin
Black mold removal isn’t as simple as spraying household bleach on it and walking away. Black mold removal involves a meticulous, highly-detailed remediation process that should only be conducted by a trained water damage professional who specializes in projects like water damage repair and black mold removal.
Black mold removal starts with isolating and addressing the root cause of the problem. In homes, the root cause is typically a broken pipe that froze during the winter or leaked over time. Another common cause is flooding where water entered through a basement window well. It is critical that property owners address this problem, whatever the cause, so that it won’t recur in the near or distant future. Once the root cause is addressed, black mold removal can begin in earnest.
Any damp building materials or furniture must be removed from the affected area or allowed to dry. Certain materials like drywall typically can’t be dried once saturated. Therefore, materials such as wet drywall and carpet pad must be removed from the property and discarded. Carpet can stay in the property as long as black mold hasn’t accumulated on the surface. Black mold removal from carpet can be challenging depending on the type of carpet and extent of the mold damage. Wet carpet should be dried in place (once the pat has been removed) using a commercial-grade water extraction unit and high-power commercial air movers provided by a water damage restoration specialist.
Removing cabinets, furniture and any saturated drywall from the affected water damage areas allows air to circulate. While air circulation is critical to drying out mold-affected areas, it can also cause another problem: spreading mold. Black mold removal means extracting mold both from surfaces as well as from the air. A HEPA vacuum is needed for removing black mold from these two areas. There are two primary types of HEPA vacuums used by water damage restoration companies — backpack vacuums for removing black mold from surfaces and air scrubbers for filtering airborne mold.
Your water damage repair professional will need to HEPA vacuum every affected surface (including household items and furniture) and the air in every affected room of your property, so the more black mold can be contained, the better. Black mold removal is no simple task and should therefore be handled by a trained black mold removal and water damage restoration specialist.
November 30th, 2010 by admin
Black mold is a dangerous form of fungus called Stachybotrys atra or Stachybotrys chartarum. It grows in humid and damp micro (behind the drywall after your basement flooded, for instance) and macro (humid cities like Dallas, Atlanta and Miami) environments.
Black mold may be caused by a variety of environmental conditions, including relative humidity of the air, presence of water in enclosed areas or structures, temperature, type of materials exposed to the water source, etc.
Exposure to the mycotoxins in black mold can cause numerous health issues, including but not limited to fever; eye irritation; irritation to mucous membranes of the nose, throat and mouth; sneezing; chronic fatigue; headaches; asthma; urinary tract infections; bronchitis; rashes and chronic coughing. Some severe cases have, particularly when exacerbated by allergic reactions, caused symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and bleeding in the lungs and nose. Respiratory bleeding can be fatal to infants.
Black mold removal should only be done by a qualified water damage restoration professional. Black mold can be spread through the air and across surfaces. Mold is highly aggressive when it has a water source. Furthermore, black mold doesn’t die but rather hibernates when the water source runs out. Once the water source returns, for instance after your basement floods for a second time or that suspect kitchen faucet leaks again or you experience a natural disaster which re-exposes a previously-affected area, the mold starts growing again.
A highly-trained black mold specialist has the tools and equipment to conduct thorough water damage remediation to eradicate the mold permanently from your residential or commercial property. The black mold removal and water damage restoration process will involve laboratory testing to be conducted by an industrial hygienist. An industrial hygienist will take surface and air samples from inside your property and compare them to exterior samples, both before and after the remediation process, to make sure that the property is cleared for future occupation.
Remember that black mold loves warm, damp environments — particularly areas that are impossible to see without the proper tools or possibly a small degree of demolition. Cabinets, drywall, furniture can potentially all mask the real problem lurking behind or underneath them!