Archive for the 'Mold Removal' Category
May 11th, 2011 by admin
Do you have a major flood water damage problem in your basement or office? You’ll be comforted to know that cleaning water damage is our specialty! We have taken care of some of the dirtiest, nastiest jobs you can imagine. Ever seen Mike Rowe in action on TV? Yep, that’s what we do — all the dirty work so you don’t have to!
Our flood water damage technicians are trained to assist you with every possible problem that can arise with water damage repair and black mold removal in your home or business. We come well-equipped to every job. Our trucks are fully loaded with the specialty equipment needed to address water damage and black mold. We have air scrubbers, dehumidifiers, air mover fans, personal protective Tyvek suits, oxygen masks, crowbars, etc, etc. In short, we have you covered!
Is your property currently experiencing a flood? If so, call us immediately so we can help you resolve the problem. Taking care of water damage correctly and promptly is absolutely crucial so you don’t have problems like black mold or mildew down the road. Mold can cause serious health issues, so make sure that the job is done right the first time. Don’t hesitate to call us for a free consultation over the phone or at your home. The initial consultation is always free, so there’s no cost to you. We work directly with all insurance companies.
Flood water damage can be a royal pain. Don’t go it alone. Call the water damage restoration professionals!
March 22nd, 2011 by admin
Cleaning water damage can be a very difficult problem to solve for the average homeowner. Water damage can strike very quickly. When basements, carpet and drywall are involved, matters can become even more complicated.
Water damage is just one of those things that people don’t want to think about. We all hope it never happens to us. But the odds are that it will happen to each of us at one point in our lives. When flood water damage affects you or your family, remember to keep a level head. Responding appropriately to a water damage disaster can make all the difference in minimizing damage and getting your property back into good working order as quickly as possible.
Mold removal and mildew removal are sometimes required after water damage has affected a property. This is because unless water removal is performed quickly and correctly, saturated building materials and contents will create an ideal breeding ground for fungal and bacterial growth. Mold and mildew need a water source, a food source (organic matter) and the right combination of temperature and stagnant air flow in order to grow. Your water damaged property needs to be fixed quickly since mold and mildew can grow in less than 2-3 days, depending on the environmental factors in the affected areas.
If you or someone you know has been affected by water damage, whether in a residential, commercial or industrial property, remember to contact a qualified water damage restoration professional. A qualified professional will help you conduct water removal and, if needed, black mold removal so you and your family won’t be adversely affected. Mold can cause serious health issues, particularly for those who already have compromised immune or respiratory systems, such as the elderly, small children and anyone with asthma.
Get the help you need when water damage strikes. Call us anytime with questions or concerns.
January 27th, 2011 by admin
Spring is just around the corner. We thought it would be good to review a few things you can do to prevent water damage in your home if you live in an area subject to spring runoff.
Freeze / thaw cycles can be very hard on structures. You may have noticed cracks in your exterior stucco during the winter if you live in a cold environment. Those same cracks disappear during the summer. That same expansion and contraction of what appear to be static building materials can also wreak havoc when it comes to water damage.
After enough freeze / thaw cycles, building materials can eventually become fatigued and start to break. One place you’ll notice this is at your exterior foundation. Over time, water saturates foundation coatings and starts to peel them back. You’ll notice pieces breaking off in places where water is most prevalent. You can minimize the likelihood of water damage at these points by sloping the ground away from the house so water doesn’t rest against the foundation. You can also repair any coatings as they break off to form a better seal against saturation.
Another thing you can do as spring nears is make sure that all the shingles / tiles on your roof are in good condition. You might have a few that have eroded over time, especially if you live in an area where it snows a lot. These weak points in your home’s defenses against the elements can cause costly water damage repairs.
Call us if you have any questions about water damage restoration and mold removal. We can help walk you through a few additional steps to ensure that your home is properly guarded against water damage.
January 14th, 2011 by admin
If you are currently experiencing water damage problems in your home, there are a few important tips that could end up saving you a lot of time and money. We are an experienced and certified water damage restoration company. Our technicians have helped countless homeowners repair water damage in their homes.
Water damage cleaning tip #1: Cleaning water damage correctly can be tricky. That’s because water affects different properties in different ways. Each water damage restoration job is as unique as the property that has been affected. Our first tip is to make sure that you completely and thoroughly fix the originating source of the water leak into the property. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve been called back to the same job site after the water damage restoration work was completed, only to learn that the original leak wasn’t completely fixed. Remember that fixing the leak is up to the homeowner and not the restoration professional, though restoration companies may provide repair professional references upon request.
Water damage cleaning tip #2: Get a lot of fans in there. We’re not talking Facebook fans here. We’re talking about commercial air mover centrifugal fans. These fans will make all the difference drying out that property as quickly as possible. You want to evaporate any water in the property in less than three days to prevent moisture buildup that can lead to mold and bacterial accumulation. Mold removal is expensive and time-consuming. Drying that property out quickly is key to keeping your home or business safe for occupants.
Water damage cleaning tip #3: Water damage mold restoration professionals will also tell you that one of the most important things you can do when cleaning water damage is to make sure that any wet structures or building cavities are opened up so air can circulate and any moisture can evaporate. It isn’t enough simply to run fans all day. You need to expose those wet surfaces and materials so they can really dry out.
January 6th, 2011 by admin
Secondary water damage can be just as damaging to structures and contents as the primary water damage. Primary water damage occurs when property structures and contents make direct, usually unintentional contact with water. Primary water damage typically occurs as a result of flooding, leaking pipes, spills, accidents and negligence (such as when a property occupant leaves the kitchen faucet running), clogged toilets, spring ice melt and runoffs, swelling ground water through basement foundation cracks, and so forth.
Primary water damage can also cause secondary water damage. Secondary water damage occurs indirectly through condensation. Condensation is the process of changing a vapor into a liquid by the extraction of heat. Condensation is generally considered the opposite of evaporation. Evaporation is essential to the water damage restoration process. Water damage is mitigated as affected areas are dried through water removal / extraction and dehumidification.
Dehumidification is critical in water damage restoration, since evaporation of primary water damage leads directly to increased relative humidity without it. Relative humidity is the measurement of the amount of water vapor suspended in the air relative to the amount of water vapor (or moisture) the air would hold it were totally saturated at that temperature. Warmer air holds more water vapor than colder air, so relative humidity can increase either as more water evaporates into the air or as the temperature decreases. Once the relative humidity in a room or air space reaches 100%, the air can hold no more water vapor. This is called the dew point. Maintaining conditions to prevent reaching the dew point is critical for water damage restoration professionals. Thus, temperature and relative humidity must be constantly monitored as water evaporates during the water damage repair process.
The consequences of secondary water damage through condensation include damaged structures and contents as well as fungal (mold) and bacterial contamination. Once mold develops, it can spread quickly through the air through spores. Mold removal often requires extensive and expensive remediation procedures.
January 6th, 2011 by admin
Water damage restoration professionals are accustomed to taking two key environmental readings throughout the water damage cleaning process. These readings are temperature and relative humidity (RH). Temperature and relative humidity are important for cleaning water damage because they give restoration professionals a relative measure of the amount of water vapor that the air inside a property can hold. Understanding the relationship between temperature and humidity is essential to properly restoring your property to its pre-loss condition.
As mentioned, RH gives us a relative measure of water vapor. RH combined with temperature can be used to calculate the specific humidity, vapor pressure and dew point for various areas of the water damage job site. Specific humidity is the actual weight of moisture (vapor) in the air. Vapor pressure is the force exerted by water vapor on the surrounding environment. Dew point is the water vapor saturation point, or the point at which air becomes saturated with moisture vapor. Once the dew point is reached, any decrease in temperature (remember, warmer air can hold more water vapor) or increase in humidity (amount of water vapor in the air) will cause water to literally get squeezed out of the air, which causes condensation and can be very damaging to structures and contents involved in water damage restoration jobs.
Specific humidity provides us with a more reliable basis, compared to relative humidity, for making decisions about the conditions and methods that should considered when drying a property. By lowering specific humidity, we can dry the property more efficiently and quickly. Specific humidity is directly correlated with vapor pressure. In other words, as specific humidity rises and falls, so does vapor pressure. Like specific humidity, as vapor pressure decreases in a room, the faster the structure and any contents can dry.
Cleaning water damage is no simple task. There is a tremendous amount of research and education that goes into each and every water damage repair job. Please call us if you have any questions or concerns about water damage restoration, mold removal, water removal, drywall water damage or any other related issue in your home or business.
January 4th, 2011 by admin
If you are currently experiencing water damage or if you have recently experienced water damage in your home or business, you may want to contact a professional, certified water damage restoration professional. A certified professional can help you determine the extent of the water damage and guide you through the restoration process even if you’d like to do some of the work on your own. Whether or not you call a professional, you should consider the following before proceeding with any water damage cleaning project.
Water Damage Health Risks: Does any resident have any known allergies?
You should consider any known allergies before proceeding with water damage repair. Water damage easily leads to mold and bacteria growth if given the right conditions, which include water source, food source (organic matter), proper temperature and air conditions. If any residents have allergies, it is advisable not to be in or around the water damage restoration area. Mold spores can aggravate allergic conditions and cause serious health issues.
Water Damage Health Risks: Does any resident have any sensitivity to chemicals?
Any heightened sensitivity to chemicals may cause health issues during the water damage cleaning process. Mold removal and water damage restoration professionals often use anti-microbial agents to fight mold both before it starts and after it has already started. These agents are applied to water damage areas, including drywall, carpet, floors, ceilings, walls, etc. Some people will develop reactions to these agents. If you are sensitive to chemicals or if you experience any discomfort after chemicals have been applied to your property, consult a health professional immediately.
Water Damage Health Risks: Other health concerns
In addition to allergies and sensitivity to chemicals, you should also discuss the following with your water damage restoration professional before any mitigation work is conducted in your property. Is any resident under the care of a physician? Are any residents under the age of 6 or over the age of 60 years old? Are there any residents with respiratory problems? Do any residents have deficient immune systems?
December 30th, 2010 by admin
There are many steps that you as a homeowner or business owner can do if your property has been affected by water damage. As water damage repair professionals, we deal often with flood water damage and many other kinds of disasters. Cleaning water damage is no easy task but these simple steps can help significantly as you work with a qualified water damage repair team to restore your property back to its pre-loss condition.
1. Remove water as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Water removal is the most important step in getting your property back to its former condition. Simply running fans or opening windows isn’t nearly as effective as extracting the water thoroughly using commercial water extraction units. Water should be removed from carpet and hard flooring first. Wet furniture or other personal items should be removed from the affected area. Any other saturated materials where the water cannot be extracted should also be removed from the area, including wet drywall.
2. Apply antimicrobial agents to inhibit the rapid growth of bio-contaminants such as mold. You will need help from a qualified, licensed water damage repair professional to do this step properly. A certified water damage specialist can apply the right agents on walls and ceilings to help slow the growth of any contaminants in your property.
3. Introduce rapid air movements into affected cavities and open spaces to increase the rate of evaporation. Remember not to run household fans, as they are not made for the often extreme water damage conditions associated with water contamination. You will need commercial-grade air mover fans to do the job right. These fans are specially made to work in water damage environments and will make a significant difference in drying your property out quickly before mold and other harmful fungi start growing in your house or office space.
4. Keep the relative humidity inside your property between 25% and 45%. This is considered a normal range for maintaining proper indoor air quality. Once the relative humidity inside a property reaches 60% for an extended period of time, the odds of getting contamination inside increase dramatically. Mold removal can be very time-consuming and expensive. These steps can make a big difference as you repair water damage in your home or business!
December 17th, 2010 by admin
Water removal, mildew removal and mold removal are three important aspects of water damage repair and restoration. Mildew can often be found growing in bathtub and shower enclosures in any home. That is because molds, which cause mildew growth, like damp, warm, poorly lit areas with plenty of organic matter to feed on (soap scum, check). Bathrooms are the perfect places for mildew growth. Mildew removal almost always starts there. We have compiled a few tips for homeowners looking to do their own mildew removal. If you suspect that mold is growing in your home, we encourage you to contact us at 801-717-7777, via email or the web so we can help you determine if professional attention is needed.
Mildew Removal Tip #1: Understand the conditions that lead to mildew growth.
Mildew removal starts with prevention. You can remove mildew before it ever happens! As mentioned previously, mold and mildew need the right conditions to flourish. Those conditions include the right combination of humidity, warmth and organic matter.
Mildew Removal Tip #2: Reduce the relative humidity of the affected area.
You can reduce the humidity of a bathroom or room or basement by using a dehumidifier. A commercial dehumidifier is an essential tool in conducting professional mildew removal.
Mildew Removal Tip #3: Keep things clean.
Soap scum and other organic matter that accumulate as materials get dirty are the feeding ground for mildew. Just keeping your home clean will go a long way toward reducing the likelihood of needing to conduct serious mildew removal or mold removal. Not only will there be less matter for the mold and mildew to feed on but you will also more readily see fungi growing and thus be able to address it.
Mildew Removal Tip #4: Circulate fresh, dry air.
This is another important step in conducting mildew removal. Mold likes damp areas where the air is not re-circulated. Circulating fresh air dries mold spores, slowing their growth and reproduction.
Mildew Removal Tip #5: Call us if you have any questions.
It can be very difficult to determine what is simple mildew and what is more serious mold contamination that could affect your family’s health. Our certified mold removal specialists are trained and experienced. They can help you make the determination and potentially save you a lot of health problems if your property has been contaminated with harmful black mold spores.
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 2nd, 2010 by admin
We recently had a large residential water damage restoration job where a simple leak led to a full-scale mold removal project. As we often say, cleaning water damage isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes tedious, meticulous attention to every detail. Let’s review this particular job to illustrate why.
Cleaning water damage, preliminary assessment. The job started routinely with a call to check out a water leak that had taken place behind the washer in the laundry room on the main floor. Unfortunately, the leak had taken place several weeks earlier when the house was vacant. So no one knew exactly how long the leak had been seeping down into the basement.
Cleaning water damage, step 1. Our first step was to determine the extent of the damage without disturbing the affected areas too much. Cleaning water damage requires patience and a keen eye for small, seemingly insignificant details. Being too hasty to repair water damage can lead to more serious problems, like inadvertently spreading mold spores through a property.
Cleaning water damage, step 2. We pulled back the washer and inspected the drywall through invasive (using a probe that goes into the drywall to detect water content) and other non-invasive methods. Knowing that the property had been vacant for a few weeks, we suspected that mold removal would be needed. The occupants had already reported feeling ill on our initial survey, so we sealed off the affected areas to minimize the spreading of and further exposure to any mold.
Cleaning water damage, step 3. We called our industrial hygienist, who came promptly to take samples for laboratory testing. The results came back positive for very high levels of mold not only in the area affected (laundry and basement) but throughout the entire house. We immediately contacted the property owners and informed them of the situation. They arranged for alternate living accommodations through their insurance agent and our crew went to work cleaning water damage and remediating for mold.
Cleaning water damage, step 4. Our team of highly-trained water damage restoration professionals boxed and recorded every article in the home, which we removed to the garage for cleaning. We partitioned off sections of the home to contain the mold by area and then began cleaning every surface of the home with sporicide to kill the mold spores. We ran air scrubbers continuously to extract the mold spores from the air and HEPA vacuumed every inch of the home twice to ensure that the home would pass the industrial hygienist’s final clearance test.
After a week of meticulous cleaning and double-checking our work, the home passed the final lab test and we were able to move the furniture and belongings back into each room. The damaged drywall was repaired and painted and the owners were able to get on with their lives as quickly as possible given the scale of the effort. Cleaning water damage is certainly no easy task, especially when mold removal is involved, but it is very rewarding to know that families can resume normal life activities without the worry of mold-induced illness.
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!