Mold Remediation as A Solution to The Growing Mold Problems

Molds are types of fungi that usually grows on surfaces inside one’s property due to water interaction or excessive moisture. 

However, although some types of mold are normally harmless, there are some types that can cause severe health issues in anyone. According to the EPA, one of the most common causes of molds are allergies and can be a top reason for asthma symptoms. Furthermore, molds in one’s property might also lead to irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat and, worst can also cause serious lung issues even if the person involved is not allergic. In line with this, mold growth in the house or property should be treated as a serious issue and should not be, in any way, ignored.

As for the fact that molds can be found everywhere, the problem of its growth arises, most especially when the growth begins inside the house. This is usually caused by the moisture that the mold spores found to begin to grow. The extremely common reasons for mold growth inside one’s property are roof leaks, pipe leaks, high humidity levels, and floods.

Mold requires spores (serves as their ‘seeds’), favorable temperatures, nutrient supply, and moisture. Molds, like plants, grow by spreading and releasing its mold spores. However, if the conditions for the molds are unfavorable, mold will be dominant and release spores into the air to find a suitable environment for their growth and survival.

Moreover, these conditions can lead to mold growth subjected to water damages within the span of 24 to 48 hours. The affected materials or appliances should be dried as quickly as possible to prevent germination and subsequent mold growth. This mold growth can result from inadequate design, installation, and operation of materials and appliances used, maintenance of the structure and lack of adequate ventilation in the building. Among the conditions mentioned, moisture is the only condition a homeowner can really control.

Mold Remediation: The Basics and Process

Molds should be removed by a trained professional accredited by organizations such as RIA, IAQA, and IICRC. However, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) any area subjected to mold growth less than ten (10) square feet (or about 3 feet by 3 feet) can be remediated by the homeowner. If the affected area succeeded the 10 square feet policy, the homeowner or the building administrator must contact a mold remediation contractor.

On the off chance that the mold growth occurs inside a homeowner’s property that requires larger immediate removal or mold remediation, it is important for the homeowner to know the basics of mold remediation.

Basic Mold Remediation Directions:

  1. Determine the size of the area that will need to be contained. Set up your containment using zip walls and 6-mil poly sheeting.
  2. Determine the size of air scrubber needed (4-6 air exchanges per hour).
  3. Install air scrubber into containment, duct clean air from the scrubber out of the containment area to keep the containment under negative pressure.
  4. Vacuum all surfaces in the containment area using a HEPA vacuum.
  5. Remove all porous surfaces (drywall, carpet, etc.) with mold contamination. The material that is being removed should be placed in contractor bags and disposed of in normal garbage receptacles (e.g., dumpsters). Bags should be sealed before leaving the containment area.
  6. Vacuum all surfaces in the containment area using a HEPA vacuum.
  7. Physical mold removal:
  1. Using a cleaner, all surfaces with visible mold should be scrubbed or sanded to remove some of the mold stainings. Without heavy sanding, some of these stains might not be removed. Staining is not an indication of active mold growth.
  2. Using a disinfectant, wipe or spray all surfaces to ensure any remaining (hidden) mold is dead. This will not preclude any health problems from the mold, but it will keep it from further growth.
  1. Again, vacuum all surfaces in the containment area using a HEPA vacuum.
  2. A mold-preventative coating can/may be applied to further ensure no future mold growth.
  3. For larger jobs (over 32 sq ft of contamination) it may be required to:
  • Have a controlled egress area.
  • Have an independent hygienist write a protocol.
  • Have an independent hygienist do post clearance testing.

With regards to the increase of mold growth in the house, EPA provided the necessary simple steps or process of mold removal or mold remediation.

Process: Steps to Mold Remediation

  1. Containment and Ventilation. This is the first step, and probably the most important step in the process of mold remediation. The installation and use of adequate ventilation and air filtration devices (AFDs) including air scrubbers are required to keep and ensure that the existing mold spores that are disturbed and become airborne will not be spreading to any uninfected area through the air.
  2. Cleaning and Disinfection. Next is the stage that includes the actual remediation, removal, and disposal of materials subjected to molds—the cleaning and disinfection stage. Where the trained professional or technicians will apply biocide, fungicide or moldicide solutions to the infected areas.
  3. Fixing the Source of the Mold. This is where the technicians will address any moisture or humidity concerns that cause the growth of molds within the property or area. This includes a loose bathroom fan duct that is running into an attic, in this case, the broken fan duct may be fixed. For cases with more involved repairs, the mold remediation company could hire a sub-contractor to recommend to the homeowner.
  4. Encapsulate the Unremoved Molds. Molds that are not removed through the process of mold remediation should be encapsulated by paint or a similar material. The encapsulation process is an approved method for dealing with mold in a house.

Molds are complex. It may start from a small area but can form larger colonies indoors under appropriate conditions. It is important to not ignore the significance of a proper building or house maintenance at all times.

How do Professionals Restore Fire Damaged Home

Restoring a home that was damaged by fire is a very challenging task to do. The problems that were manifested by fire do not only end after extinguishing the fire itself. The steps required to restore your fire damage property needs appropriate equipment and skills to fully repair your home.

Before going back to your home, all problems or potential problems should be remediated to make sure that your home is safe and free from any danger.  Professionals follow certain procedures.

As a homeowner, it is best that you understand how professionals restore your fire-damaged home. An immediate call is vital for this kind of disaster.

  1.    Fire Damage Assessment

Once a restoration company receives a call from a customer, they will then visit the site and inspect the extent of the damage. This step also includes investigating how the fire started, traveled and the impact of the damage. It is a very crucial step as professionals will determine a plan that is suitable in dealing with the restoration. Remember that any certain damage requires a unique approach. That means they might follow a certain standard but repairs may differ depending on the damage.

Before professionals would go to the next step, they have to present an accurate cost of how much you will be spending and estimated time of how long they will deal with the process.

  1.    Board Up and Roof Tarp Service

Water and fire definitely have compromised the structure of your home, weaken the walls and damaged the roof, windows, and doors. Because of this any further damage or risk for property loss might occur, such as a theft gaining access to your property.  It is important to address any potential problems as quickly as possible. In this stage of the process, professionals will strengthen and cover unsafe areas and make sure that any open parts of your home are protected against any elements.

  1.    Water Removal and Drying out the Area

Water played a big role in extinguishing the fire. However, if standing water remains in the area it can accumulate further damage. Water can soak into various absorbent materials and will eventually invite mold to grow in the area. It is vital to take care of this problem as soon as possible. Professionals will use state-of-the-art equipment such as vacuums and dehumidifiers to properly remove the water and quickly dry out the affected area.

  1.    Smoke and Soot Removal

Aside from water and burned materials that are present after a fire disaster, soot and smoke are also the important elements that have to be removed in your property. They can be seen lying on your floors, wall, furnishing, and ceilings.  Leaving the soot unaddressed will eventually cause further damage and will add up to your expenses. The smoke that is still present in your property can cause harm to human’s health. This is another important issue that has to be addressed in a short period of time because your home won’t be the same if the odor caused by the fire is still lingering in your house.

During this time, professionals will use air-scrubbing technology to clear out an extensive odor that is left behind after a fire.

  1.    Deep Cleaning and Sanitizing

This step includes removing unsalvageable materials such as upholstered furniture, burned appliances, wood materials, and others. Professionals will discuss to the owner which of those damaged personal belongings can be salvaged. There will be some cases that the best solutions for fire damaged belongings are to be disposed and replaced. However, when professionals determine that certain items can be salvaged, they will be cleaned and sanitized. The whole area will be deodorized and sanitized to prevent mold growth.

In case of fire damaged carpets and draperies, they have to be thoroughly shampooed. But in most cases, they can’t be salvaged.

  1.    Complete Cleanup, Repairing, and Renovation

Restoration is the complete process of cleaning, repairing and renovation if needed. The professionals will make sure that your property is in its full normal state. They have to assure that all the aftermath and effects of fire are removed and that there are no signs of fire damage.  All parts of your home are fixed, repaired and even replaced. This may also include repainting or reconstruction of walls, ceilings and other surfaces of your home and refurnishing of wooden materials.

 

Leave the work to the professionals

A professional fire restoration company has all the knowledge, skills and specialized equipment to deal with the cleanup process. They use advanced equipment such as humidifiers and vacuums. They will handle all aspects of the cleaning, repair, salvaging materials and bringing back your property to its pre-loss condition.  They can also help you with the insurance claims.

 

Choose us!

We assure you that we respond to any emergencies right away, is available 24/7 and have readily available equipment to handle the situation. We, at Superior Restoration Temecula, are always ready to help you with the restoration process.

Worried About Water Damage? Secure Your Crawl Space!

Water damage is not an easy thing to handle. It can cost you hundreds and thousands of repairs and could even affect your health condition. That is why protecting your home from any flood or standing water is really crucial.

Secure Your Crawl Space

Your crawl space is one of the areas in your home that is often overlooked, due to the thinking that this is not an important room of your house. Let us remind you that a crawl space is also a room for many important details of your home, such as electric wires and pipings. It is also important for any maintenance and helps in promoting healthy air circulation in your home.

What Makes Water Get Into Your Crawl Space?

  • Improper Grading on your Property  

One of the leading causes of water standing in your crawl space is the improper grading or slope surrounding your home. If the land is not properly sloped, the tendency is, groundwater or rainwater has its chance to enter to the bottom part of your home, ruining its foundation and will eventually travel to your crawl space, making it their home.  

  • Clogged Downspouts or Gutters

Gutters and downspouts are used to carry out water to the drainage, but if any of them are clogged, water will just travel at the base structure of your home. And, if a large quantity of water is collected, it will then penetrate to your crawl space.

  • Over-watering Your Plants and Shrubs

Aside from the fact that over-watering can kill your plants and shrubs, and when grading system is also poor, over-watering your shrubs and plants could lead water to overflow to your crawlspace. In the end, you will just notice that you’ve got a pond in your crawl space.

  • Broken or Leaking Water Lines

Your home is surrounded by different water lines. Wherever the location of the broken line is, water can flow down to the base part of your home, and will eventually live in your crawl space.

 

How to Secure Your Crawlspace

Remember that your crawl space is an important part of your home. Thus keeping it in its operational state is vital. Crawl space flooding can be prevented when certain measures are done. Such as

Outside of Your Crawl space

Make Sure Your Gutters and Downspouts are Working Properly

Your gutters and downspouts play an important role every time it rains. They are used to properly flow water away from your home and prevent water to damage your foundation, ending up pooling around your crawl space. Make sure that they are both properly working and installed. Check and clean them at least once a month.

For better drainage system, downspouts should be extended at least three feet from your home or you can bury downspout extensions six feet or deeper into the ground and cover it with topsoil.

Install A French Drainage System

French drains are one of the most effective ways of channelling standing water in the basement of your foundation to the street or a dry well. It may sound fancy, but in reality, it isn’t. Moreover, they are also useful for homes that are situated in a flat or oddly shaped lot, making water to flow directly to your home.

Properly Grade Your Lawn

Proper grading is vital in keeping the drainage of water away from your house foundation. Aside from the fact that proper grading can prevent water to sit in your crawl space, it can also prevent leaking, cracking your foundation and rotten any wooden structure of your home. And, even prevent you from costly foundation repairs.

Ideally, the soil around your home should slope away at least three feet from your home.  

Inside The Crawl Space

Install A Crawl Space Vapor Barrier

Though the vapor barrier doesn’t have anything to do in preventing crawl space to get flooded, it works in controlling moisture issues in your crawl space. Addressing the issue is important in the mitigation process. It is something you can do with your own hands, but if you feel like you can’t do it effectively, you may ask professionals to do it properly.

Install A Sump Pump

Sump pumps are useful in removing accumulated water in your crawl space and even in your basement. They collect the groundwater that is pooling around the area and pump out the water away from it. This machine is really effective in preventing water damage in your crawl space, that is why it is important to make sure that they can function properly when in need. Moreover, use alternative power supply and test it occasionally.

How Can Flooded Crawl Space Damage Your Home?

Below is the list of the downsides of a flooded crawl space.

  • The water that pools in the crawl space can get contaminated and could cause musty odor.
  • A flooded crawl space can damage fibreglass insulation. When the humidity level is high, the moisture will drench the fibreglass and will eventually lose its capacity as insulation.
  • A flooded crawl space, together with moisture and darkness can attract insects and pests to live in your crawl space, infesting and rotting wood and other materials.

Already has Water Damage?

Don’t take it for granted. Act fast. Ignoring the damage could not only result in severe water damage but could also lead to mold growth, which is really harmful to your health. Need help with the water damage recovery? Contact Superior Restoration Temecula.

Places in Your Home for Mold Growth

UNDERSTANDING MOLD

Molds are beneficial to the environment as they rotten dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, however, mold in your home should be prevented. Molds travel by air and can get into your home through windows, open doors, vent, and can stick to people and pets. Any areas of your home are not restricted to mold growth as long as it has enough moisture or the humidity of the area is perfect for molds to grow.   When molds land to a damp spot, they begin to grow – as easily and quickly as they can.

Aside from being unsightly, it can be a wrecker to your home as it can damage your walls and floor, can cause unpleasant odor and can even lead to health issues such as nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, or, in some cases, skin irritation. In addition, it is most sensitive to people who have allergies or respiratory illnesses.  As a homeowner you want to keep your home healthy for the whole family, so knowing the common areas where mold grows is vital. Let’s talk about the most common places where mold usually lurks.

Bathrooms

Bathrooms are one of the greatest areas where mold can easily grow because it is normally wet and humid. Bathrooms that have poor ventilation can attract mold colonization. Shower tiles, sink, toilet, shower, bathtub, in the walls and on the floors are the areas in the bathroom where mold can grow. It is essential that you keep your bathroom well-ventilated during and after showering to prevent mold to grow. It is also important to keep the area clean and dry.

Kitchens

There are plenty of surfaces for mold to grow in your kitchen from walls, windows, left-over foods and even dishes that pile up in the sink or clean food storage. Kitchens are generally hot and humid, thus it attracts mold to grow easily and quickly. Generally cleaning the area and providing proper ventilation while cooking or cleaning the dishes can prevent mold to thrive in your kitchen.

Attic, Basement, and Crawlspaces

These are the areas in the home that are not frequently visited or checked. Yet, these are also the areas of the home that are prone to mold growth due to their poor ventilation, which can generate moisture. Leaky foundations (such as roof or pipes) or condensation from appliances are the main sources of moisture. You can prevent mold to grow in these areas by making sure they are well ventilated. Keeping these areas clean and dry prohibit mold to thrive.  

Doing a regular inspection of the common areas where mold can thrive is the best preventive measure a homeowner can do.  Making sure all the areas of your home are well ventilated and dry prevent mold to begin.

If you can see any signs of mold in your homes, do not ignore. Seek professional help if needed. Square One is just around the corner to help with your concerns. Contact Superior Restoration today.

Understanding Fire Damage and its Causes

Fire damage is defined as the damaged caused to the property by fire. As a homeowner, fire is the last thing we want to see at home. Fire causes massive destruction to our property, leaving our home with smoke, dirt and damaged furniture and equipment. Moreover, fire constitutes dangers to human. According to a research made by the National Disaster Education Coalition, In the United States, a home fire is the fifth greatest cause of death and injury and is also listed as the first cause of deaths for children below 15 years old.

It is extremely vital to understand the causes of fire damage. Superior Restoration is here to educate you of the common causes of fire damage.

COMMON CAUSES OF FIRE DAMAGE

A home fire can be generated in different sources. The most leading source of home fires and home injuries are cooking fires. NFPA reported that U.S. fire departments attended to approximately 172,100 home structure fires each year from 2012 to 2016 due to cooking activities. Leaving food neglected while cooking may overheat cooking equipment such as pots and pans, and could lead to home fires.

It is important that as a homeowner you are cautious of your surrounding and the sources of heat. Moreover, cleaning or wiping out any spilled grease or fat on your counter is also a vital preventive measure in avoiding cooking fires.

 

  • Home Heating Equipment

 

Placing the heating equipment close to materials that can catch fire, such as wood furniture or clothing items (curtains, mattress and more), is the primary factor that could lead to heating equipment fires.

It is recommended that a homeowner should never leave any heating equipment unattended. Provide a three-foot radius to your heating equipment from anything that can catch fire and is flammable. Moreover, frequent cleaning of the heating equipment, including chimneys, can prevent home fires.

 

  • Electrical Equipment

 

Electrical fires can be formed in many categories. Some examples of these are, using an appliance with worn and frayed cords or using outdated wirings. Plugging too many on one outlet at the same time, inappropriate use of extensions and faulty lighting fixtures add up to the category of the causes of electrical fires.

Have a thorough check of your wirings, cords, and circuits. It is also wise to avoid overloading your outlets. If you are not sure about your electrical wirings or lighting fixtures, seek professional help.

 

  • Smoking

 

One key factor that contributes to the smoking fire is when a person smoking fell asleep or passed out in a bed or upholstered furniture. Upholstered furniture can easily catch fire and fire can spread quickly.

Another factor that contributes to smoking fire is the improper discarding of cigarette butts. Butts can contain its fire even after a few hours.

Refraining yourself or other people from smoking inside your home and properly disposing of smoking materials can prevent fire.

 

Most of the causes of fire damage in homes can be prevented. Yet, if life throws you lemons, Superior Restoration is here to help you restore your properties. We respond as quickly as possible and available 24/7. We have all the means you need for your home restoration or reconstruction. For further information, please contact Superior Restoration today.