how to protect your home from mold

The growth of mold can take place anywhere, on clothing, carpet, paper, food, and even in those places where you can’t see, like the drywall’s backside, areas inside the walls around condensing or leaking pipes, as well as above the ceiling tiles. Not only is this problem expensive and difficult to fix, but it can also generate irritants and allergens (as well as, toxins, rarely) that might compromise your wellness. For preventing mold, remove moisture and make your house unwelcoming to its growth. Also, check for those areas in the house where there might be high water damage or humidity, like the crawl space or a damped basement.

What are the tools to clean Mildew and Mold?

Here is the list of tools to be used for cleaning Mold and Mildew –

• Brushes and Buckets

• Rubber or Latex gloves

• Sponges or Mop

• Hepa Vacuum along with brush attachment

• Disinfectant chlorine bleach

• Non-Ammonia detergent, soap, or the commercial mildew and mold cleaner

• Furniture polish

How to reduce the mold-friendly conditions?

1. Clean as well as dry the wet areas within 48 hours.

2. Check the pipes in your roof for any leaks and fix them as soon as possible.

3. Daily check your kitchen sink, fridge ice makers as well as other water sources for leaks.

4. Use air conditioners or dehumidifiers to restraint humidity in your house.

How to prevent Mildew and Mold in your bathroom?

Here are some tips for preventing mildew and mold in the bathroom-

• Minimize the containers left in the shower for better circulation and ease in cleaning.

• Hang the towels out after use so that they can dry instantly.

• Use shower curtains that clean and dry easily so that you can avoid soap residue that fosters mold.

• Wipe down your shower with a clean squeegee or towel after the last daily use.

Why is it necessary for improving airflow in your house to eliminate mold and how can you do that?

As the temperatures drop, the air becomes capable of holding less moisture. Without having good airflow in the house, that extra moisture might appear on the walls, floors, and windows. For increasing circulation, move furniture away from the walls, open the doors between rooms, as well as open the doors to your closets which might be colder as compared to those rooms they are in.

Needless to say, mold can damage your possessions as well as the home and that is why you must learn how to protect your house against this issue. When mold attacks the house, it can turn out to be an irksome housemate.

However, mold is a lot more than only an insignificant irritation and its presence can cause problems ranging from minor damage to your property to serious health problems. Follow the right steps to look for mildew and mold, avoid these conditions which might lead to a disaster.

 

Flooded Basement Severe Water Damage

Water damage hits at your house’s core strength, consequently causing severe structural damage. Damp wood results in carpenter ants and termites and, along with this, it causes mildew and mold.

Always remember that water damage is not always caused due to dramatic events such as floods and hurricanes. Houses usually are ruined through pinhole-sized pipe leaks, blocked gutters, the sump pump that won’t turn on or the poorly graded soil.

Safeguard your residential/commercial property against the problem of water damage through the best insurance coverage as well as these useful tips – 

  • Clean Downspouts and Gutters – Make sure to clean the gutters at least twice a year for avoiding ice dams and blockage.
  • Inspect water leaks and fix them – Check for the dark spots under pipes, under the sink cabinets, toilets that rock, stains on the ceilings, and drips.
  • Monitor the water pressure for any leaks – A more credible tactic is to buy an electronic water leak detection system which directly installs on the main water supply line to the house. The sensors monitor water pressure, temperature, and flow.
  • While on the vacation, make it a point that you shut off the water supply to your washing machine as well as never leave the home while the dishwasher or washer is running.
  • Install the gutter guards – Gutter guards are attachments utilized for preventing clogging of roof gutters so that water from the roof can easily flow away from the house.
  • Examine showers, water heaters, toilets, showers, sinks, dishwashers, and tubs annually, as well as have them repaired in case there are signs of corrosion or leaks.
  • Maintain vegetation and trees – It is imperative for minimizing landscaping near the utility pipes or, if needed, removing shrubs and trees which have grown too big.
  • Switch to PEX pipes from copper pipes – Changing out the copper pipes for the plastic corrosion-free PEX pipes makes sure that no pinhole leaks will destroy your home.
  • Inspect the roof for damaged, aging, and missing shingles as well as make the necessary repairs.
  • Change the soil grade – Add soil around the foundation for creating the downward slope away from your house of at least 6 inches covering the 10-foot span.

In case your fridge has a water dispenser or an ice machine, the hose between your refrigerator and the wall must be made of the braided copper as it has greater corrosion and cracking resistance.

Monitor the Water Bill

At times, the single way to know that water is leaking is by taking a closer look at the water bill. In case the usage relevantly jumps from one month to another without any solid reason, put your hat of “water detective” on. Is there any leak in the crawlspace? Or, is it the pipe in the front yard? Ensure the fact that no mystery leaks stay unattended.

Needless to say, water damage comes under the category of the most expensive and common disaster a building can experience that might cost you billions of dollars annually. Follow the above-mentioned tips for preventing water damage and adding years as well as lower maintenance charges to your residential/commercial buildings.

Insurance Claims

As the homeowner, you should know about how to best maximize the water damage claim. Once the ceiling begins dripping or the plumbing starts to leak, you will feel grateful for possessing a house owner’s insurance. The most general reasons for house insurance claims are the problem of water damage.

Without appropriate maintenance, important areas in the houses deteriorate as well as fall apart. Anything can go wrong in this situation, and you would not know about it unless the damage becomes evident. In a situation like this, it is a must for you to know about your insurance claim and maximize the same.

  •     Collect the evidence – For assessing the water claim, the concerned insurance company will need you to show evidence. Thanks to technology advancement, it is simple for documenting evidence with Smartphones. Take pictures of all the damage completely. Also, consider taking a video and generate an inventory of what has been destroyed as well as include each item’s value and the approximate cost for replacement.

How does reporting the damage helps in maximizing one’s claim?

For this, all you need to do is contact the insurance company and it is suggested to do it as fast as possible as any delay will risk the claim. You might be inquired about the policy number, hence keep it with yourself before making the call. You will also be asked to fill the “proof of loss form”. Make sure to have a copy to yourself for future reference and if you want, you can also take the help of restoration specialists for the entire procedure. · Control damage – After realizing that you are facing water damage, you should take steps for limiting the same or else, the insurance company might have the right of refusing part of the entire claim because you didn’t interfere. You can also hire specialists for the same. Windstorm? Board the windows up. Plumbing leak? Turn off the water to your house. Roof leaks? Put up the tarp for temporarily blocking rain from coming in.

Why is it important to mention whether it is water damage or flood damage?

It is imperative for checking the kind of water damage you are encountering with the concerned insurance company as water damage and flood damage are 2 different things to the officials. The former one includes everything else from broken pipes to leaking HVAC equipment while the latter one is caused by nature as well as impact more than a house. Though a majority of the house owner’s insurance policies cover water damage, flood damage is not covered by all. · Hire a public adjuster – The procedure for water insurance can take a bit of time as there are 15 days only for the insurance company to send you the adjuster, who will be examining the extent of the damage. Taking the help of a public adjuster is a better option, specifically, in case, your claim is large. A fair evaluation of the damage is done by them as well as they will only aim at looking for the damage’s cause, rather than focusing on concentrating on minimizing the payout of the insurance company.

In case the insurance firm denies any of the claims, make it a point to ask for the comprehensive, full explanation. Following the procedure of maximizing the claim for water damage can turn out to be quite stressful as well as you could be panicked about doing it alone. In this case, you should take the help of professional water damage experts who will, from the beginning to the end, manage the claim for you.

Mold Cleanup & Remediation

Painting over mold is one of the most usual methods for hiding mold. However, that is the issue, the mold is being hidden temporarily.

A lot of people opt for this situation as it is the instant solution for hiding ugly signs of mold on their walls. Usually, when people go for painting over mold it is due to ignorance.

They are just not educated about the severity of mold in the house. Painting over the mold will only be successful permanently in case you first fix the mold problem’s source.

Along with this, you should purchase the mold killing paint instead of the resistant variety since this is the only method to deal with the existent mold.

  • The mold inhibitor paint assists you in preventing mold’s future development, however, it is not the most suitable option for eliminating mold.
  • In case you have decided to paint over the mold or you are suspecting that the walls potentially have mold under paint, there is a high probability of you seeing visible signs in the affected areas.
  • Your wall’s might or might not get affected entirely, however, even the smallest amount of mold can cause a serious issue.
  • The paint would be cracked, chipped, or bubbled and light or white-colored paint will turn yellow or the yellow tinge (a symbol of water damage).
  • In case you have immense mold growth in your commercial or residential property, it should be proactively eliminated with the help of suitable mold remediation, as well as you are required to search for the water source which is the major reason behind the mold.
  • Painting over mold is not only ineffective but by doing this, you could also be creating more expensive and serious problems for yourself down the road.

One of the most important things that many people forget is that mold is the actual microorganism that grows on the walls as well as other surfaces and that is why it can eat through the painted surfaces without any hassle.

You should remove the mold before painting. Feel free to take the help of paint stores and local hardware which sell mold-resistant or mold killing paint.

In case you do the research, you will realize that often, these claims are not true. In case you do not remove the mold before painting, it will keep growing as well as will eat through paint.

Also, make sure to first identify the type of mold you deal with and then start the remediation process as soon as possible.

In case the water leak’s source has not been found, the mold issue can be provoked. As the paint is only the covering for the wall, the mold will gradually show through.

It will grow into the paint and soon be displayed once more on the surface.

If you continue to paint over the same, the spore will still be released into the air as well as spread through the house.

Flooded Basement Severe Water Damage

After a flood, the task of basement cleanup is always considered as the most dreaded one.

However, it is important to get started as soon as possible because it is not only effective but also relevant from a health standpoint.

After you are assured that the flooding is settled, now it is time to begin thinking about the cleanup procedure.

There are a lot of hazards coming up with the cleanup process of a flooded basement, such as gas leaks, electric shock, structural damage, and raw sewage.

Irrespective of the amount of water in the basement, flooding can cause serious safety and health risks for you as well as your family and that is why they should be taken care of as soon as possible.

  • There are several water removal services accessible to hire, but, in case there is the widespread problem of flooding in the area you live, they could not be capable of getting to your house for some days.
  • In case you are prepared to do it by yourself, make sure to get yourself equipped with the important equipment which is not highly expensive as well as is generally available for the temporary utilization from the construction rental store.
  • Those floods which are less than 1 inch deep as well as cover the small amount of space can be dealt with through using a dry/wet vacuum.
  • Large and moderate floods will be required to be dealt with through using the sump pump, or a submersible pump.
  • After the removal of water, it is significant to start the basement cleanup job as quickly as possible so that you can prevent mildew and mold.
  • Always put the safety first as a flooded basement can bring a lot of health dangers into your house.

Wear protective clothing, like rubber boots, overalls, and gloves. In case sewage water was involved, do not forget to wear face masks as well as protective eyeglasses for safeguarding yourself from dangerous gases.

Remove personal belongings damaged by the flood

Remove all the furniture as well as other basement objects which were destroyed by the floodwater. Take all of them outside and then clean the salvageable items. However, most things must be thrown away in case they were in contact with contaminated water.

Remove Basement Sheetrock if contacted the flood water

Now the basement must be empty and that is why you should remove all the basement carpet. Tear out all the paneling or sheetrock damaged by the floodwater.

Disinfect as well as sanitize

Thoroughly disinfect as well as sanitize the entire basement and any articles that you are attempting to save. Be careful while working with the bleach as well as other cleaning supplies as basements generally have the problem of poor ventilation and also, the fumes can turn out to be dangerous.

In case you are searching for an organization to supervise the entire procedure beginning to end, get the help of restoration experts and enjoy peace of mind in terms of managing the flooded basement situation.

Prevent Fire Damage

Your house is the place where you build your life and make memories.

This is the major reason why it is hard to even imagine your house ever suffering from a disaster like a fire.

Losing the house to fire is, needless to say, a scary thought, however, there are many things to be done for preventing fire before it begins as well as keeping the family and house safe.

Most of the people know about the basics of preventing fire damage at home, like installing smoke alarms, not leaving the cooking unattended or beware of the burning candles, as well as keeping the fire extinguisher.

Below-mentioned are some major tips on how to prevent fire damage in your house – 

  1. Inspect all the heating sources – Ensure the fact that air filters are thoroughly cleaned out, and in case you are using a space heater, it should be positioned away from anything flammable.
  2. Test the smoke detectors – Appropriately maintain the smoke alarms through testing batteries once a month.
  3. Remove the lint from a dryer filter after every use – The clogged filters as well as lint traps make the dryer less productive, reduce the needed airflow for keeping heat from building up in the vents, as well as force the lint onto heating coils.
  4. Never leave the food unattended while you are cooking as it is one of the topmost causes of the home fires. Burning the food can be the major reason behind smoke damage as well. In case you are not in the kitchen, make sure to turn off the elements as well as be aware while cooking with oils or grease.

Fireproof the house

It is essential to do everything in your power for reducing the risk of having a fire in the home. It involves checking everything from bedrooms, garage, kitchen, living room, chimney and roof.

  • In case you smoke in the garage, ensure the fact that no flammable material is present nearby.
  • Do not smoke in the home at all.
  • In case you are smoking outside, make it a point that there is no flammable debris that might catch fire from the spark.

Keep the oven and stove clean

Not only food particles are the reason behind a house fire. A pot that is not set right on the burner correctly can cause melting of the pot handle if exposed to the stove flames or, if you leave the cookbook or dishtowel near the hot burner that can also catch fire.

Maintain the electrical cords

Check the electrical cord’s condition regularly and watch out for the frayed wires.

Fireplace safety

In case you have the chimney, make sure to get it cleaned frequently. When the chimney is not cleaned, it can start accumulating creosote which is highly flammable as well as can become the reason behind a chimney fire.

Also during winters, you must make it a point that the heating appliances are not located near anything combustible.

ServiceMaster QRS Flood Restoration Experts

 

 

The process of water damage restoration is thoroughly regulated to make sure that properties destroyed by sewer or flood events can be efficiently restored to the safe space for the building occupant as well as that workers stay protected during cleanup. Water damage that is caused by flooding can turn out to be catastrophic for the homeowner. The reason behind flooding might be burst pipes, heavy rains, sewer back-up, and malfunctioning of the household appliances etc.

It could be a confusing time for deciding what to do next about paying for the price of repair and cleanup. Irrespective of the water damage’s cause, it is vital to feel that you are in control as well as have an idea of what is to be done if the unexpected happens.

Below-mentioned are some steps that the homeowners usually forget after a water damage – 

  • Wear protective clothing – Such as a pair of gloves and rubber boots before re-entering the house.
  • Switch off the power – Needless to say, electricity and water don’t mix. However, in case turning off the power needs you to stand in or enter wet areas, it would be sensible of you to leave it alone as well as calling an electrician.
  • Safeguard precious items – Lift the wooden furniture off the carpeted areas which are flooded as well as put the tin foil beneath the furniture’s feet for avoiding carpet staining.
  • Avoid getting sick by making sure to completely washing glasses, flatware, and dinnerware which could have been caught in the home flood before you utilize the same again.

Dry out the House

Even in case you successfully remove all of the standing water from the house, everything might remain wet and damp, specifically, in case, there is high humidity in the area. In case you have the power, utilize the central air conditioning for assisting in eliminating humidity, as well as keeping the system fan on, not auto but, “on” position.

Call your Insurance Provider

Your house insurance might help in covering destruction caused by the water damage, as per the policies you have.

Decide what to keep and what not to keep

Look for what can be fixed as well as throw away those items which are no longer secure to use or are too damaged.

Repairs

You might need to replace the flooring, fix the broken items, and repair the walls and if you do not have enough time to do all this, ensure the fact that you reach out to a reliable water damage restoration expert.

Expert water damage restoration contractors and companies have the capabilities and training for being able to effectively, economically, and safely undertake the repairing process of water damage. In case you are doubtful of what would be the first steps for the home repairs, it is suggested to go for a reputed water damage restoration company that has expertise and experience in water damage repairs.

How to Avoid Mold

 

 

After a hurricane blows through as well as heavy rains retreat, your issues might be just starting.

Water damage can instantly result into mold that causes grave health concerns.

Whether you are allergic or non-allergic to molds, its exposure can irritate the skin, eyes, throat, lungs, and skin.

Mildew and mold can begin growing within 24 hours after the flood, as well as can slink throughout a house, from the crawl spaces and basement to the attic.

The most suitable defense is to dry, clean or, as the last resort, dispose of the damaged items.

What are the steps for preventing mold growth?

1. Immediately dry the areas.

2. After cleaning as well as drying, stay sensitive to the musty odors in the impacted area.

3. Check the exterior of buildings and homes daily for the accumulation of groundwater.

4. Remove the damaged materials.

How long should the dehumidifier stay running after the flood?

Possibly, run the dehumidifier until the porous surfaces in your space have completely dried out.

It can take anywhere from 3 days to 1 week for drying out the flood-damaged building.

Materials such as insulation and plaster will take a very long time to get dried, so replacing them entirely might be a better option.

Until everything gets dried, mold can keep damaging the building.

How to prevent mold in your kitchen?

You should –

• Turn off specific appliances in case you witness moisture on the windows as well as other surfaces.

• Utilize exhaust fans for moving moisture outside (not into the attic) while you cook, clean, or wash dishes.

• Empty as well as clean the refrigerator drip pans, if needed.

What kills the mold after a flood?

In terms of killing mold after a flood, your first choice should be to go for commercial mildew and mold removers.

If you want, you can also choose tri-sodium phosphate (5 Tbsp. every gallon of water) or washing soda.

Last but not the least, the solution of water and bleach can also be picked (1-quarter cup of the laundry bleach per gallon of water).

Make sure to use proper precautions as well as security equipment for the mold remediation process while cleaning with tri-sodium phosphate, bleach or any other heavy-duty cleaners.

What to do for preventing mold in crawl spaces and basements?

1. Make sure that the crawl spaces are well-ventilated by having vents installed in the outside walls and using fans if required.

2. Put plastic covers over the dirt in the crawl spaces for preventing moisture from coming in from the ground.

3. Contemplate painting the concrete floors as well as utilizing area rugs rather than wall-to-wall carpet in the basements.

4. Get the basement floor checked for any cracks as well as have them repaired, if necessary.

In case you are replacing drywall, consider picking the board that contains moisture and mold inhibitors.

A lot of people are sensitive to this issue and it can prove to be a major health issue.

Ensure the fact that you stay cautious while checking for mold specifically if it is your first time dealing with water inside your building or home.

 

 

 

 

Water Damage Restoration

Water cleanup which includes soaked carpet, drywall, and pad can usually be restored as well as won’t require replacement. It results in the lower associated prices for the loss, and it permits the occupants for returning to their normal life with far less interruption and much faster.

After a flood, it is imperative for drying water-damaged contents and properties as rapidly as possible. Gone are those days when the contractors for water damage restoration had few alternatives available to them while performing their job. Today, the “science of drying” has been better significantly. With the help of modern equipment, one can restore the water damaged contents and properties with minimum intrusion.

How LGR dehumidifiers help in the Water Damage drying process?

Utilizing LGR dehumidifiers, the technician can decrease relative humidity to as minimal as 10%. These tools hold the ability to remove a maximum of 16 gallons of water from the air every day. The older dehumidifiers were capable of reducing the humidity to just 40%, eliminating about 5 gallons of water regularly. This disparity displays a huge improvement in efficacy, which results in quicker drying times i.e., 24-48 hours as compared to 4 days or more than that with the older equipment.

Why is it recommended to use advanced drying tools for the prevention of mold?

Thanks to instant drying, mold as well as other fungi has a lot less time for development. This aids in reducing possible health issues, like allergic reactions and respiratory discomfort, which can be caused by fungal contamination. Along with this, mold can also weaken the structural materials, like wood framing and drywall, to a point where they should be replaced. Utilizing advanced dehumidification systems eliminates moisture and thereby assists prevent mold growth. With a bit of or no moisture present, mildew and mold either don’t start or die very rapidly.

Why you should get the help of professionals rather than doing the same on your own for Water Damage?

One of the major mistakes made by homeowners are attempting to manage water damage on their own. Now, the problem is that they do not have the appropriate tools to take out all moisture from inside their homes or commercial space. Even when they believe that they have removed it all, a lot of it remains in those places where they can’t see, such as inside walls or under carpets. Hiring experts help in preventing this from happening. The problem of water damage is an ever-increasing issue for those people who reside in the flood plain areas. Thanks to the Internet, plenty of online water damage repair firms provide advanced drying methods that return houses and businesses to normal in just a matter of time.

What are some of the latest drying technologies for Water Damage?

The latest drying technologies include – 1. Desiccants 2. LGR Dehumidifiers 3. Rescue Mat Systems 4. Intra-wall Drying

Other advantages of instantly removing moisture include prevention of the irreversible swelling in the porous materials like wood and paper, shrinkage in fabrics (like drapes and upholstery), damage to the electronic equipment and rust on the metals.

Frozen Burst Pipes Damage

How To Keep Pipes From Freezing

 

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you experience water leakages from pipes in your house? What might have been the cause and how did you deal with it? This is among the few problems most residential people encounter in their homes. It is a cause from the bursting of frozen pipes. This is a problem especially during the winter season in Chicago.

During the winter season, water pipes in vacant houses tend to clog the plumbing system. These, in turn, cause bursting of the system that result in spillage. To rectify such damages, it creates loose in cost and time. You will also need knowledge about water damage restoration, emergency flood cleanup, water removal services, and sewage cleanup. Such information you can always get from expert plumbers. The average cost of pipe repair would not be below $2, 500. This article will give you tips on how to prevent pipes from freezing in vacant houses.

1. Set Your Thermostat accordingly

It is essential that you set your thermostats to at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit. These will prevent water from freezing. Having that this is just a general recommendation, there still is a need to adjust the temperatures with time as per the change in seasonal weather. When the temperature goes too low, raise the temperature thermostat to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit. It is advisable to consult an expert in plumbing to help you with this if required.

2. Increase Insulations around Pipes

Attics and basements of pipes commonly come with insulations around them. You need to pay special attention to these areas and if possible increase the insulation where required. You can use a unique form of a sleeve made from fiberglass or foam rubber. These two work best for insulating your pipes.

3. Prevent Draft around Pipes

It is good to always check for any draft especially in the attic and basements. If you feel any, immediately seal it since it lets in air that condenses your pipes. Also, note that cracks in houses let air in the house that exposes your pipes to cold hence causing freezing. Keep your pipes warm always.

4. Keep Doors inside House Open

Keeping doors open inside the house causes free air movement. When interior doors are kept open hot or cold air dissolve leading into a homogenous air condition. Also if you have pipes inside cabinets, it is good to keep them open as well. All these ensure a harmonized air condition in the rooms hence no freezing can easily erupt.

5. Drain pipes

You need to turn off water from the meter area. By doing these help avoid chances of leakages in flowing water. It is also crucial to drain off water in all pipes and let them stay dry. Dry pipes will not experience freezing due to the lack of water expansion.

6. Install Alarm and CCTV Cameras

Responding to an emergency case requires something that will quickly notify you when it happens. In this case, it is good to install an alarm in your house. An alert will inform you of any spillage from burst pipes. Also, a CCTV camera will help you in monitoring. You will on a daily basis take a look on CCTV footage about the condition in your house and act accordingly. Further, if you are not available, it is good to have a trustful person to make a quick checkup in all the rooms and report the feedback to you. These can be done once or twice in a week.

7. Keep garage Doors Closed when not in use

Sometimes the garage door seems to be an extension of the living space, but it’s an outdoor space that can let in extreme cold if not monitored. Keep your garage doors closed when not in use, and you can even buy a device called a TTC, it’s time to close, which will automatically close your garage door if left open for the pre-set amount of time. Any person, experiencing and paying the cost to repair burst pipes and clean the house, realizes that it’s very annoying and inconvenient. It is therefore vital to prevent such expenses through proper home and water pipe management.

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