The TSC Restoration Blog


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Tips for Cleaning Your Home After Water Damage

Water in unwanted places can cause a lot of damage. Not only can it ruin your prized possessions, but also the house in which they are stored. If you’re able to act quickly, you can minimize the damage and possibly save some of your possessions. Some of your success depends on how long the water’s been around, there might be pieces of furniture that can be saved, and sometimes, even carpet, but any electronics hit by water are probably doomed.

Don’t treat flood water in unwanted places lightly: even if your basement only has an inch of water in it, or is even just damp, it is the perfect breeding ground for mold. Mold growth not only ruins walls, furniture, carpets, flooring, etc., it can lead to poor indoor air quality causing respiratory problems including asthma, and can lead to severe illness. Preventing mold growth is key to keeping your home’s air clean and healthy. So in addition to calling your insurance company, here are a few tips to deal with your flooded basement and minimize the water damage. (Call your insurance company before you do anything, and tell them what you want to do.)

  1. Disconnect the power, unplug any electronics, and remove electronics, furniture and movable items immediately. The faster you get items out of water’s way, the more likely you’ll be able to save them. Definitely move all electrical items first, and if you can, turn off your power leading into the affected area, especially if water rises above electrical outlets. Pull up any carpets (wall to wall and area rugs) and underpadding. You may be able to save the carpet if you get it cleaned and disinfected, however, it may shrink and be better off as an area rug afterwards. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to save the underpadding, which acts like a sponge and absorbs a lot of water.
  2. Get rid of the water. There are several ways to get rid of the water. If you don’t have power, or are worried about loose wires, the old-fashioned, manual way will work. Use old towels, buckets and mops to soak up as much water as possible. As long as sewers in your neighbourhood aren’t backed up, you can pour the water down the drain, otherwise, pour onto your lawn or other permeable surface. A wet/dry vacuum can be used too, note: be very careful to plug it into outlets far away from water. Don’t use an extension cord as the connection could also short out and give you a nasty shock. Water and electricity don’t mix! If your basement or other flooded area is overwhelming and you have power, consider renting (if available) a sump pump from your local Rent-all or hardware stores. Getting rid of all the water and drying out the area is the most important thing you can do to prevent mold growth.
    drywall cutaway, after flood waters are mopped up

    drywall cutaway, after flood waters are mopped up

  3. Dry out the affected area. Once you’ve mopped up all the water, use fans and  a dehumidifier to help dry out the area. If it’s stopped raining, open windows to allow for air circulation and faster drying. You want to dry the area out as soon as possible. If you have a finished basement and the drywall was affected, you’ll probably have to cut away the areas that were touched by water as the drywall will crumble and the paper backing is a good source of food for mold. If you have baseboard trim, take it up first, and if it’s made from pressboard it will likely not be salvageable. If it was wood, you might be able to save it.
  4. Disinfect. After the area has dried out, including wood beams, insulation, drywall, etc., use a good disinfectant to get rid of any bacteria that might have come up through sewers, toilets, etc.Gloves Off Disinfectant, is a non-toxic but powerful disinfectant. Disinfect all areas affected by the flood waters including walls and wood and non-upholstered furniture that sat in flood water.
  5. Prevent mold growth. After you’ve disinfected and let the area thoroughly dry out, apply Concrobium throughout the affected area according to directions. I can’t say enough good things about this product; it is non-toxic, made with distilled water and inorganic salts. You can use it on furniture, walls, floors, basically anything that is susceptible to mold growth. Once a thin layer of Concrobium is applied, let it dry overnight. As Concrobium dries, it forms a thin layer over any mold that may be growing and actually crushes the roots of the spores. Wherever it’s sprayed will prevent any mold from growing, providing continued resistance. If you’re spraying an entire room, you might want to consider renting a mister from a hardware store such as Home Depot. It’s easy to use and very fast.
  6. Dispose of damaged items responsibly: you’ll be tempted to throw everything into a dumpster and send it all away and out of site. But if you can organize damaged goods into piles and take what you can to recycling centres, you will help alleviate the pressure on your local landfill site. Go to your city or town’s waste management website to find out where to recycle old paints, stains, adhesives and other toxic liquids, any damaged electronics from cell phones to TVs and computers, furniture, and even drywall. You can also look through Earth 911 to find recycling centres in your neighbourhood.
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Kill Mold on Drywall, Wood, Carpet and Tiles

Mold on Drywall

If you find mold growing on unpainted drywall in your home you will have to remove the drywall and replace it. Unfortunately there is no way to completely remove mold from unpainted drywall since it is a porous material.

How to Remove Moldy Drywall

Use a utility knife to cut out any section of drywall with mold on it. You should make sure to cut out an area that covers at least two of the wooden beams behind the drywall. This is so you’ll be able to properly attach the replacement section of drywall onto the two beams.

Next you’ll need to cut out a section of new drywall to replace the drywall you just removed. Use a tape measure to measure out the length and width of the new section of drywall that you’ll need so that it will fit properly. Then use the utility knife to cut out the section of new drywall.

Make sure that the new drywall fits snugly in place and then use drywall screws to attach it to the wooden beams. After this you should apply joint compound (also called drywall compound or mud) and then leave it to dry. Once you’ve left it for 24 hours you can then sand the joint compound down to smooth it out. You can also then paint the drywall if you like.

It’s a good idea to HEPA vacuum the room as well to remove any mold stirred up during the process.

Mold on Painted Drywall

If you find mold on drywall that is painted or primed then the good news is you shouldn’t have to remove the drywall. This is because the mold should be just on the surface and shouldn’t have penetrated into the drywall itself.

Wipe or scrub the mold away using a cleaning product or mold killing solution. You can find some mold killing solutions and directions on how to use them at the Killing Mold page.


 

Mold on Wood

It’s usually safe to keep using moldy wood once you’ve cleaned it up. Although there might be some small amount of mold left below the surface of the wood, it shouldn’t regrow and cause problems provided you keep the moisture in your home to a minimum. If the wood is painted then it’s even better news since the mold probably wouldn’t have penetrated into the surface of the wood.

How to Remove Mold from Wood

To clean moldy wood wipe or scrub the mold from the surface using a sponge, cloth or scrubbing brush, along with some water and detergent, or any other household cleaner. See the Killing Mold page for some effective solutions to remove mold.

You can use a mold killer if you want, such as bleach, although it isn’t necessary as the main goal is just to remove mold from the surface. There are always going to be small amounts of mold and spores in your home anyway, so trying to kill all the mold spores isn’t the aim. Plus dead mold spores are still allergenic.

The same general process for removing mold from wood applies whether the mold is on wooden furniture, wooden walls, wooden beams or any other wood.

Removing Mold Stains from Wood

Once you’ve cleaned mold growth off wood there might still be a mold stain left behind. Don’t worry, this is just a cosmetic problem and the mold shouldn’t regrow as long as your house doesn’t have any big moisture problems. And if you do get moisture problems then mold will grow in your home whether or not there’s a mold stain left behind anyway.

If you don’t like the look of the stain you can sand the wood if you want. This should usually remove the stain, although sometimes the mold stain might run deep into the wood so that it can’t be completely sanded away.

Another way to get rid of left over mold stains is to use a small amount of bleach to fade it away. This could discolor the wood though so it’s a good idea to do a spot test.

Removing Moldy Wood

Another option of course is to remove and replace wood with mold on it. Usually this is not worth the cost and trouble compared to cleaning, but if it’s a situation where the wood is cheap and easy to replace you might decide it’s the best option.

After Remediating Mold on Wood

You’ll need to HEPA vacuum the surrounding area once you’ve removed the mold from the wood. During mold removal it’s inevitable that some mold spores are stirred up and so you need to remove as many as possible by HEPA vacuuming.

After you’ve finished cleaning up the mold problem you might want to coat the wood with a fungicidal sealant or paint so that you know it’s completely safe. This way any mold left in the wood certainly won’t affect you and no new mold should begin to grow on the wood either.


 

Mold on Carpet

If you can see significant mold growth on wall to wall carpeting in your home then you need to get rid of the carpet. Unfortunately there’s no way to completely remove mold from fixed carpeting. And ignoring mold on the carpet will only lead to the problem getting worse.

Wet Carpet

The same goes for carpet that has been soaked right through. Once the padding on the bottom of carpeting gets wet it takes a very long time to dry out, much longer than the 24-48 hours mold needs to grow. Even though the top layer of carpet might seem to dry out fairly quickly, the layer of padding underneath stays wet long after.

Replacing Part of Carpet

If only a small section of your carpet got wet or has mold on it then you can cut out and remove just the affected part of the carpet. When you’re cutting out the carpet make sure to cut an extra 12 inches on each side further than the moldy or wet part. You can then replace it with a new section of carpet, as long as you don’t mind the slight cosmetic difference of having a section which might not perfectly match the rest.

Make sure to let the floor dry out properly if it’s still wet before you insert the new piece of carpet. It’s also a good idea to HEPA vacuum too, once the floor is dry, before you install the new section of carpet.

Removing Mold on Rugs and Non-Fixed Carpet

Rugs or carpets that aren’t wall to wall, permanently-fixed carpeting can be cleaned to remove mold. The best thing is to talk to a professional carpet cleaning service or mold removal professional. Make sure they know how to remove mold from carpets or rugs and they have had experience at it. You should be able to remove the carpet and send it to them to professionally clean and dry it to remove the mold.

If you want to try to clean the mold yourself from your rug or non-fixed carpet you should first take it outside. Then spread it out, for example on the driveway, and hose both sides.

Next use a mold killing or cleaning solution on the moldy area of the carpet and scrub the mold away. Some of the most effective mold killers and cleaners can be found at Killing Mold. After you have finished you should rinse the carpet well.

Use a wet vacuum on the carpet, if you have one, to help dry it out faster once you’ve rinsed it. Then let the carpet dry in the sun, making sure both sides get completely dried. Only take the carpet back into your home if it is perfectly dry all the way through.

Once the carpet’s dry HEPA vacuum it to remove any mold spores that might be left in it. Beating the carpet on the line when it’s dry also helps to remove mold spores and other dirt and dust from it.


 

Mold on Tiles and Grout

You’ll often see mold growing on tiles in places like the bathroom. The good news is that mold can easily be cleaned from the non-porous surfaces of tiles.

How to Remove Mold from Tiles and Grout

Begin by scrubbing the mold off of the tiles and grout. You should use a scrubbing brush along with a household cleaning product or mold killing product. There are also commercial tile or grout cleaners you can buy.

After this you’ll probably find there is still mold stains left on the grout. You can use bleach to fade these stains away. Before you use the bleach you should spot test it to make sure that it won’t discolor your tiles. You should also wear gloves to protect your hands from the bleach.

Apply the bleach to the grout and leave it sit for about 10 minutes. Instead of chlorine bleach you can use hydrogen peroxide if you like, or buy a product like Oxiclean which contains oxygen bleach. If you have a septic system it’s better to use oxygen bleach than chlorine bleach.

Another alternative is to use baking soda. Mix it with water to create a paste and then use a toothbrush to scrub it onto the grout.

If you find the stain remains on the grout after bleaching then repeat the process. Afterwards rinse the bleach off thoroughly with water.

If the stains won’t go away you can try using paper towels soaked in bleach. Saturate paper towels in bleach and then stick them to the grout where there are stains. Give it some time and this should fade away the mold stains on the grout.

Grout Sealer

Another thing you can do is apply grout sealer to the grout. This will protect you from any small amount of mold left on the grout and also help to prevent mold growing in the future.

Replacing Grout

You also have the option of replacing the grout all together. First you’ll need to scrape out the old grout. You can use a flat head screwdriver for this. You can buy new grout mixture from the hardware store and apply it yourself. Sealing the new grout with grout sealer afterwards will give you even more mold protection.

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Experiencing water damage?

There are many scenarios that cause water damage to your home or business. TSC RESTORATION knows that water damage emergencies in your home can be traumatic for you and your family. That’s why it’s critical for professionals to immediately address, assess and fix the problem.

Causes of Water Damage

Sometimes appliances can cause more harm than good. When your washing machine, dishwasher, sink or toilet flood, We can be there to fix the problem and restore damage from water quickly.

We have experience with water damage restoration from the following:

  • Leaking or frozen water lines or pipes
  • Overflowing sinks, bathtubs or toilets
  • Backed up sewage and septic tank lines
  • Washing machine or dishwasher overflow
  • Heavy rain or storms
  • Cresting rivers or streams

TSC RESTORATION Water Damage Restoration Services

Paul Davis franchises are always there for you with 24/7 emergency services. Whatever the cause of the water damage in your home or business, we offer a full menu of service options to restore your property, including:

  • Water damage assessment
  • Water extraction
  • Drying of affected areas such as walls, carpet, padding and furniture
  • Cleaning and restoration of possessions such as clothes, linens, books and documents
  • Remediating mold and mildew damage
  • Locating and repairing the source of leaking water
  • Reconstruction services and storm damage repair
  • Assisting with filing insurance claims

Why Call Us for Water and Flood Damage Repairs?

  • We respond and work quickly – Depending on the extent of the damage, Paul Davis professionals may be able to restore water damage in your home in as little as three days.
  • We’re experienced – After 50 years in business and millions of homes restored, Paul Davis knows how to handle your water damage emergency.
  • We help with your claims – Working with insurance companies while recovering from water damage is stressful. We can work with your insurance company to settle claims quickly.

For all your water damage restoration and repair needs, call TSC RESTORATION!  We will be happy to get you in touch with an expert in your area.

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Fire Damage Restoration and Smoke Damage Restoration Services

TSC restoration ‘s Fire Damage Restoration Services include

  • Dry Cleaning & pack out of clothing, shoes, bed linens, etc…
  • Rush jobs on important items
  • Cleaning and ozone treatment for smoke odor
  • Non-destructive cleaning and restoration procedures
  • Work with experienced general contractors for structural repairs
  • Structural Cleaning
  • Area Rug Cleaning
  • Furniture refinishing
  • Final cleaning per regular TSC restoration services
  • Additional services as they reflect our core competencies

The TSC restoration Specialist has

  • Hands on restoration experience
  • Specialized tools and equipment
  • Working knowledge of the ANSI / IICRC S-500 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration
  • Full understanding and application of Psychrometry
  • Specialized tools and equipment
  • Prevent secondary damage
  • Follow the IICRC S-500 guidelines without exception
  • Inspect using instruments that determine moisture levels in the air, on surface materials and sub-surface materials
  • Create a detailed drying plan to safely remove moisture as quickly and economically as possible

TSC restoration Fire Damage Restoration Process

Get expert restoration from a name you trust.  When a tragedy like a fire occurs, you can rely on TSC restoration to get your life back to normal and your business up and running. TSC restoration Fire and Smoke Restoration Technicians holds certifications from the IICRC.  As members of the Restoration Industry Association (RIA), we take pride in providing state-of-the-art fire damage restoration services.

Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  The first 48 hours are vital.  Lingering soot or water can cause secondary damage if not immediately addressed by a professional fire restoration company.  Whether it’s midnight on Tuesday or a Sunday afternoon, TSC restoration fire and smoke restoration services are just a phone call away.

1. Inspection and Pack-Out

The fire damage restoration process begins with an inspection of your property to determine the extent of the damage.  Then we will work with you so that you understand the scope of work.  We will list the items that need to be restored.

2. Pack-Out

With pack-out inventory services, we can pack up your belongings, such as clothing, shoes, rugs, and linens, to be dry cleaned.  We can put rush jobs on your important items. We will remove all decor items as well as any other loose contents.  These items will be carefully documented, packed, and taken to our facility to be cleaned by our specialists if needed.  When damage is minimal, items can sometimes be clean on-site.

3. Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration

A pre-cleaning of fire damage will be done by vacuuming or dry brushing to pick up lingering ash or dirt.  Then, wet cleaning of carpets, floors, and walls can begin.  For deep smoke damage, TSC restoration offers smoke damage clean up and structural cleaning.

Our technicians utilize equipment to neutralize smoke odors and eliminate biological and chemical pollutants.  Industrial grade equipment such as thermal foggers, ozone generators, and hydroxyl generators will be used to neutralize smoke odors and eliminate biological and chemical pollutants. Air scrubbers may be used to remove particles, greases, and gasses from the surrounding air.

Fire and smoke damage often carry with them water damage, from sprinklers or the fire department. TSC restoration technicians will extract excess water, measure moisture levels, and apply appropriate dehumidification procedures so that you don’t end up with secondary damage caused by water. If your attic or crawl space has been affected, TSC restoration  also offerscrawl space decontamination.

4. Contents Restoration

Fire damage restoration doesn’t end with walls and floors. TSC restoration offers content restoration services to clean, deodorize, and preserve your furniture and belongings.  Items with strong odors my undergo ozone deodorization to neutralize bad smells.  We finally make sure that your documents, business equipment and electronics are restored if necessary.

Why You Need to Call a Water Damage Company for Assistance

Every home will handle a water damage issue in a different way. Some immediately call a plumber or roofer to deal with the cause of the issue, but they may not schedule remediation services for the water issue. Others may attempt to do all of the repair work on their own. These are only a few of the many ways homeowners respond to water damage in the home. While these are a few options to consider, there are significant reasons why you need to call a water damage company San Diego CA for assistance with your issue.

Why You Need a Fast Response

Timing is critical when you are dealing with free-flowing water in your rooms. Water typically will be absorbed by most of the surfaces it touches, such as your carpeting and padding, your wood furniture and flooring, your cabinets, your drywall and more. This can cause a soppy mess, but more importantly, it can damage these surfaces through staining, deterioration, warping and more. The longer it remains in the home, the more significant the damage can be and the more likely you are to have mold growth. A water damage company can more quickly extract the water and dry out the home than you are able to on your own. this can limit the extent of damage and keep repair costs at bay.

Why You Do Not Want to Repair the Damage on Your Own

Even when the water has been fully removed from the home, you will still have water damage to contend with. This may include staining on various surfaces, a foul or musty odor throughout your rooms, destroyed drywall, warped cabinets and wood floors and more. In many cases, it can take a homeowner many months to fully restore the home, and the results generally are not professional-grade. This lengthy period of time can cause you stress and can impair the daily lifestyle of the family until the work is completed. In addition, because the results may not be professional-grade, the condition and the value of the home may be impaired. This ultimately affects your personal finances.

Why You Should Call Our Water Damage Company San Diego CA

We are a water remediation team that offers fast, professional service for minor and more significant water issues throughout the San Diego area. Our reputable and carefully selected team understands how important it is for you to get a fast response, and we offer overnight and weekend services to meet your needs fully. We use advanced equipment to quickly remove water and moisture from your home, and we also use superior-grade materials and quality workmanship to restore the home without delay.

While you may think that you would save money by addressing the water damage issue on your own, you can see that this is not necessarily the case. You can enjoy superior results when you put TSC Restoration to work for you. To set up an appointment in your home, contact TSC Restoration today!

What To Do When You Experience Water Damage in San Diego CA

Water is a benign and life-sustaining element that you need access to in the home on a regular basis. It is used daily for activities such as cooking, drinking, cleaning, personal hygiene and more. However, it must be properly controlled through the use of tubs, sinks, pipes and more, or it can cause significant damage to the home. Water damage is most often caused by flooding from a bad storm as well as leaking pipes, a hole in the roof, broken water-based appliances and other similar issues. If you have discovered a water issue in your home, we are the company to contact for water damage San Diego CA services.

An Important Step to Take Before Calling Use

While your initial impulse after seeing water damage in your home may be to panic, you should take a deep breath and think through the situation fully. More water may continue to enter your home unless you take immediate action. Therefore, your first step to take before calling us for cleanup and restoration services is to determine where the water is coming from and to stop additional water from passing into the home. As an example, if your washing machine is broken and is causing water to leak across the floor, turn off the water supply valve located behind the washing machine. You may also need to call a repair specialist to address that broken item before you call us for assistance.

Why You Should Call Our Team for Help

Most homeowners will be able to address their water damage issue temporarily by following the first step, and your next step should be to contact us immediately. Water issues are emergency situations that require a fast response, and you can expect speed from our team. We will not delay getting right to work extracting water from your space, and we also take the next important step of de-humidifying your space. Water can cause humidity levels to escalate, and this moisture could cause mold growth. We deal with the both the water and moisture before restoring the home to its former condition.

What You Can Expect From Us

Water damage San Diego CA is a serious issue that requires skilled, experienced restoration experts to repair the home. Damage can impact your property value and condition, and you need all signs of the water issue erased. We have the knowledge and expertise necessary to deliver professional results in your home. More than that, we also work directly with insurance companies, and this can save you time and energy if you are filing a claim related to your water issue.

It may be easy to lose your cool upon discovering that your home has been damaged by water, but it is critical that you remain calm and follow through these important steps. Doing so could ultimately limit the amount of time and resources it takes to restore your home. After you have dealt with the cause of your water issue, contact our office to set up restoration service for your home.

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Five Steps To Proper Mold Remediation

Mold has had its 15 minutes of fame over the last few years. Though the hype has died down, mold is still an important issue. Customer complaints require home builders to have a fast action plan; both to clean up the mold problem and to show customers a quality home builder is looking out for their health and safety and the durability of their home.

There are two important things to remember about mold: prevent it by doing things right the first time and when you do face mold, take care of it immediately. Ensuring that your warranty team follows a process for mold remediation will take care of the latter.

The following steps, which can be adapted to fit within your company’s policy, serve as a basic process for quickly remediating mold problems.

Step 1: Learn about moisture

Assessing mold growth involves more than just looking at what’s visibly growing on the walls or in a corner. Mold can be an invisible intruder, growing behind and around what you first see. Such devious behavior requires inquisitive thinking. First, understand that behind all mold growth is a water or moisture problem. Second, become a master of moisture — know where moisture comes from and how it gets into the home. The ultimate goal of these two steps is for warranty representatives to identify a moisture source and use its location to help locate all mold growth, not just what’s immediately visible.

Step 2: Document the mold problem and create a remediation plan

Before you begin remediation, document the mold situation with writing, photos and video. The warranty team supervisor will use the documentation to develop a remediation plan, which typically answers questions like when work is slated to begin, when that work is scheduled to be completed, who will be performing the remediation, any testing that should be done, and if homeowners will be temporarily relocated. In the longer term, the documentation can help manage liability for your company or point to larger trends in mold growth.

Step 3: Calculate the extent of the contamination

Mold may not always grow in one area, so you need to figure out how much contamination you’re really looking at. Calculating the extent of the contamination will impact how you approach mold removal and clean up. The goal of mold remediation is to clean up mold growing within the home, and to avoid exposing homeowners to large amounts of mold. The New York City Department of Health (NYC DOH) has developed guidelines for cleaning up mold contamination. These guidelines are widely used in the construction industry and recommend six levels of mold remediation based on the square footage of the mold and whether or not the mold is located within the home’s HVAC system.

Step 4: Remediate mold contamination

Remediation will always involve cleaning up existing mold while avoiding exposure to oneself as well as homeowners, as well as preventing new growth by addressing the moisture source. Based on your calculation of the contamination area, determine if you’re working in an area up to 30 square feet (approximately the size of a full sheet of drywall). If so, you’ll be following the guidelines for remediation levels 1 and 2. Level 1 remediation is used for small, isolated areas of mold up to 10 square feet and Level 2 remediation covers square footage from 10 to 30 square feet.

The clean up process is the same for Level 1 and Level 2 mold remediation and comprises these steps:

  • Repair the water problem. This will help prevent new mold spores from growing.
  • Isolate the contaminated area. Close all doors and windows between the contaminated area and other rooms of the home for both levels. For Level 2 remediation, also cover all doorways and any other openings with 6 mil polyethylene sheeting. Seal all seams of the sheeting with duct tape and slip openings in the sheeting to enter the contaminated area.
  • Suppress dust. Do this by misting the contaminated areas.
  • Remove materials. Remove all wet and mold-damaged porous materials. Check with your supervisor and reference the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) document, Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings,  if you’re not sure which materials to remove.
  • Place materials in plastic bags. Discard all wet and moldy materials in plastic bags that are at least 6 mil thick, double-bag the materials, and tie the bags closed. The bags can be disposed of as regular trash once the outside of the bags are wiped with a damp cloth and detergent solution prior to leaving the contamination area.
  • Clean. All non-porous materials and wood surfaces that are moldy must be cleaned. Use a wire brush on all moldy surfaces and then wipe the area with disposable wipes. To dispose of as regular trash, discard wipes in 6 mil polyethylene bags, double-bag and tie closed. Finally, scrub all moldy surfaces using a damp cloth and detergent solution until all mold has been removed and rinsed cleaned surfaces with clean water.
  • Clean the affected area and egress. The process for Level 1 differs from Level 2 at this point. For Level 1, clean with a damp cloth and/or mop with detergent solution. Level 2 requires you to vacuum all surfaces with a HEPA vacuum, and then clean all surfaces with a damp cloth and/or mop and detergent solution. Discard wipes as described above.
  • Visibility test. All areas should be visibly free of contamination and debris — no dust and dirt means no mold.
  • Dry. Cleaned materials should be dried to allow leftover moisture to evaporate. To speed up the drying process, use fans, dehumidifiers or raise the indoor air temperature.
  • Replace. All materials that were moved should be replaced or repaired.

Reference the remediation plan during the actual remediation to make sure it’s being followed. If additional mold is discovered during the clean up, the warranty supervisor should update the plan.

For contamination areas greater than 30 square feet, many builders hire outside mold remediation firms to perform the clean up. In this case, you and your team switch from actually performing mold remediation to supervising a qualified contractor. Having a general understanding of the proper procedures an outside company should be following is useful. The NYC DOH guidelines address such procedures for Level 3 contamination and above.

Step 5: Determine if clean up has been successful

Just because the mold is gone and there’s no dirt or dust doesn’t mean that you’re done. Your last step is to determine if your clean-up efforts have been successful. While this last step is a judgment call, there are some options and guidelines to follow.

The EPA document, Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, is a great resource that provides guidelines for helping you complete your clean up efforts. Some of these guidelines include:

  • The moisture problem has been fixed. Verify this by revisiting the home soon after remediation — you shouldn’t see any signs of recurring water damage.
  • No sign of visible mold, mold-damaged materials or moldy odors.
  • Homeowners should be able to occupy or re-occupy the home without physical symptoms or aggravated health complaints.

Depending on your company and the specific details of a mold problem, additional testing by an environmental testing company may be performed after the clean up to verify that all mold has been removed.

When it comes to mold, the key is to implement a comprehensive moisture management strategy. Potential liability and health issues from mold can be dramatically decreased by doing it right the first time. Clean up must be immediate and thorough, following a process like the above steps. It may sound over-simplified, but the primary failure in response to homeowner complaints is simply the fact that builders don’t respond fast enough, or with the emphasis that the issue is potentially serious.

Minimum personal protection equipment for levels 1 and 2 remediation includes an N95 respirator, eye goggles without vents and rubber gloves that extend to mid-forearm.

Got Mold?

Following an immediate and thorough remediation plan is essential for getting rid of the mold and showing your customers you’re committed to acting quickly.

Before entering a home to assess a mold growth situation, make sure you have the necessary personal protective equipment.

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What is Water damage ?

Water damage describes a large number of possible losses caused by water intruding where it will enable attack of a material orsystem by destructive processes such as rotting of wood, growth, rusting of steel, de-laminating of materials such as plywood, and many others.

The damage may be imperceptibly slow and minor such as water spots that could eventually mar a surface, or it may be instantaneous and catastrophic such as flooding. However fast it occurs, water damage is a major contributor to loss of property.

An insurance policy may or may not cover the costs associated with water damage and the process of water damage restoration. While a common cause of residential water damage is often the failure of a sump pump, many homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover the associated costs without an addendum which adds to the monthly premium of the policy. Often the verbiage of this addendum is similar to “Sewer and Drain Coverage”.

Those individuals who are affected by wide scale flooding may have the ability to apply for government and FEMA grants through the Individual Assistance program. On a larger level, businesses, cities, and communities can apply to the FEMA Public Assistanceprogram for funds to assist after a large flood. For example, the city of Fond du Lac Wisconsin received $1.2 million FEMA grant after flooding in June 2008. The program allows the city to purchase the water damaged properties, demolish the structures, and turn the properties into public green space.

Causes

Water damage can originate by different sources such as a broken dishwasher hose, a washing machine overflow, a dishwasher leakage, broken/leaking pipes, and clogged toilets. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 13.7% of all water used in the home today can be attributed to plumbing leaks. On average that is approximately 10,000 gallons of water per year wasted by leaks for each US home. A tiny, 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can release up to 250 gallons of water a day.According to Claims Magazine in August 2000, broken water pipes ranked second to hurricanes in terms of both the number of homes damaged and the amount of claims (on average $50,000 per insurance claim[citation needed]) costs in the US.Experts suggest that homeowners inspect and replace worn pipe fittings and hose connections to all household appliances that use water at least once a year. This includes washing machines, dishwashers, kitchen sinks and bathroom lavatories, refrigerator icemakers, water softeners and humidifiers. A few US companies offer whole-house leak protection systems utilizing flow-based technologies. A number of insurance companies offer policy holders reduced rates for installing a whole-house leak protection system.

As far as insurance coverage is concerned, most damage caused by bad weather is considered flood damage and normally is not covered under homeowners insurance. Coverage for bad weather would usually require flood insurance.

Categories 

Category 1 Water – Refers to a source of water that does not pose substantial threat to humans and classified as “clean water“. Examples are broken water supplylines, tub or sink overflows or appliance malfunctions that involves water supply lines.

Category 2 Water – Refers to a source of water that contains a significant degree of chemical, biological or physical contaminants and causes discomfort or sickness when consumed or even exposed to. Known as “grey water“. This type carries micro organisms and nutrients of micro organisms. Examples are toilet bowls with urine (no feces), sump pump failures, seepage due to hydrostatic failure and water discharge from dishwashers or washing machines.

Category 3 Water – Known as “black water” and is grossly unsanitary. This water contains unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness. Type 3 category are contaminated water sources that affects the indoor environment. This category includes water sources from sewage, seawater, rising water from rivers or streams, ground surface water or standing water. Category 2 Water or Grey Water that is not promptly removed from the structure and or have remained stagnant may be re classified as Category 3 Water. Toilet back flows that originates from beyond the toilet trap is considered black water contamination regardless of visible content or color.

Classes[edit]

Class of water damage is determined by the probable rate of evaporation based on the type of materials affected, or wet, in the room or space that was flooded. Determining the class of water damage is an important first step, and will determine the amount and type of equipment utilized to dry-down the structure

Class 1 – Slow Rate of Evaporation. Affects only a portion of a room. Materials have a low permeance/porosity. Minimum moisture is absorbed by the materials.

Class 2 – Fast Rate of Evaporation. Water affects the entire room of carpet and cushion. May have wicked up the walls, but not more than 24 inches.

Class 3 – Fastest Rate of Evaporation. Water generally comes from overhead, affecting the entire area; walls, ceilings, insulation, carpet, cushion, etc.

Class 4 – Specialty Drying Situations. Involves materials with a very low permeance/porosity, such as hardwood floors, concrete, crawlspaces, plaster, etc. Drying generally requires very low specific humidity to accomplish drying.

Restoration

Different removal methods and measures are used depending on the category of water. Due to the destructive nature of water, chosen restoration methods also depend heavily on the amount of water, and on the amount of time the water has remained stagnant. For example, as long as carpet has not been wet for longer than 48 hours, and the water involved was not sewage based, a carpet can usually be saved; however, if the water has soaked for longer, then the carpet is probably irreparable and will have to be replaced.[8] Water damage restoration can be performed by property management teams, building maintenance personnel, or by the homeowners themselves; however, contacting a certified professional water damage restoration specialist is often regarded as the safest way to restore water damaged property.

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Water Damage

Water Damage

Water mitigation is the process of reducing or preventing the amount of water damage that happens after a flood or a permeating leak. It prevents additional damage by taking fast, appropriate actions.

Water mitigation is needed after plumbing failures or when storms cause water to rush into your home. Soaked rugs, damaged walls, warped flooring and ruined furniture are only the beginning if mitigation is not engaged quickly.

Specific steps are taken to reduce property destruction, to prevent further water damage and to restore your property to its full value.

When to Call For Water Mitigation

Seeping water damage is progressive, pervasive and can mean valuable objects may become permanently damaged – especially if emergency response is delayed beyond the first 48 hours.

Water damage is usually caused by a plumbing failure. When moisture seeps into anything of value there are immediate steps that can be taken to reduce the amount of long-term damage that results.

Steps to take as soon as you detect flood damage:

  • Remain calm so your thinking stays clear
  • Close the water main or shut off any water source so flooding stops
  • Shut down the electrical breaker in damaged areas before unplugging or removing any electrical devices from the wet carpet or submerged areas.
  • Put aluminum foil under legs or feet of any furniture in contact with wet carpet or water to prevent permanent staining
  • Lift any curtains or draperies away from wet carpet or water
  • Lift and tack up any upholstered furniture skirts
  • Remove books, papers, fabrics, shoes, potted plants or other items that are able to stain wet carpet

Avoid doing these things:

  • Use your home vacuum – electrical shock can result, as well as damage to the equipment
  • Place newspaper in traffic areas to walk on – newspaper ink transfers easily to wet carpet fibers which results in permanent staining
  • Walk on carpet any more than necessary – this keeps damage from spreading to unaffected areas
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Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration

Our technicians and customer service staff understand the stress fire and smoke damage can cause, so we respond quickly in an emergency, using our technical expertise to save as much as we can with efficient fire and smoke restoration techniques.

A fire loss is very complex because of the unique behavior of smoke. For efficient fire restoration, it is important to have trained technicians at the fire scene quickly.

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows through plumbing systems, using holes around pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke will greatly affect the restoration process.

The first step at a fire scene is to calm the fears of those affected. Then we move quickly to determine which of the following types of smoke exist – a crucial step for every professional smoke damage restoration process.

Types of Smoke

  • Wet Smoke – Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary.  Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
  • Dry Smoke – Fast burning at high temperatures.
  • Protein Smoke  – Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes.  Extreme pungent odor.
  • Fuel Oil Soot – Furnace puff backs cause fuel oil soot.

  • Other Types – Fire extinguisher residue is among the other types of smoke residue we find.

After the type of smoke is known, pre-testing on the property is performed to determine the following:

  • What can be restored versus what can be replaced
  • The most effective cleaning method
  • Conditions to the property before the damage occurred
  • The full extent of the loss
  • How can we eliminate needless replacements