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Your Most Pressing Questions Regarding Mold, Answered

9/7/2021 (Permalink)

Guy in PPE looking at mold. Mold growth can be a huge pain, but when you better understand it, you're better equipped to deal with it.

There is a lot of mixed information out there regarding mold growth, and it would require a lot of research to set all of the misconceptions to rights. While you could become an expert and read up on all the research, save yourself time and seek answers from your Issaquah, WA, mold remediation specialists. For your convenience, here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.

1. Can You Eat Bread With Mold On It?

It is not uncommon for individuals to cut out the green areas on a piece of bread and eat the rest of it. Doing this does not remove the mold from the slice, as it is likely inside the bread as well. Though most food molds are harmless, because there are a variety of types, it's recommended to steer clear of moldy food entirely. If your immune system is weak, it may respond poorly to foods with mold growth.

2. Where Is It Found?

Typically, mold is found in warm environments with high humidity. If you suspect that your home has it, look in areas prone to moisture, such as bathrooms, the laundry room, and the basement.

3. How Do You Test for It?

Which mold test your water damage remediation team will use on your home depends on a number of factors. Some such factors include the location, the cause, and the extent of the damage.

4. Can It Be Prevented?

You can absolutely prevent mold and the damage it causes by taking a few simple measures, such as fixing any moisture issues as they arise, drying wet areas as quickly as possible, and ensuring your home is properly ventilated.

Mold growth can be a huge pain, but when you better understand it, you're better equipped to deal with it. For more answers to your mold-related questions, reach out to your Issaquah, WA, mold cleanup experts today.

Steps for Cleaning Your Crawlspace

9/7/2021 (Permalink)

Close up of mold growth. Once the area is dry, it still has to be disinfected, as water from storm damage often contains bacteria that you wouldn't want in your home.

A home flood in Issaquah, WA, can affect every inch of your home. Most of the storm damage is easy to see. Some areas, however, such as your crawlspace, may be flooded without your knowledge. After a thorough inspection, if you discover flood damage in your crawlspace, here are some tips for dealing with it.

1. Remove Items

While the name indicates a certain need for openness, in most homes, a crawlspace is not just an open space. Sometimes insulation is added, particularly in colder climates. They may also house parts of your HVAC unit, plumbing or wiring. Some homeowners may even use it as storage for keepsakes or seasonal items. When it is flooded, however, the restoration company you hire to remediate the water damage will need to remove all the items to determine if they can be salvaged.

2. Remove Water

After the space is cleared of items and debris, the next step of home flood remediation is removing the standing water in the space. An industrial sump pump or trash pump is typically used to complete this process. It siphons the water out of the crawlspace into a tank in the technicians' truck. From there they can safely dispose of it in another location.

3. Dry Surfaces

Once the crawlspace is emptied, the remaining surfaces may still be wet. They cannot be left this way or the space may develop a mold problem. Mold can start to grow in as little as 24 hours, so the faster the area can be dried, the better. Technicians may use dehumidifiers to leach the moisture out of the air. High-powered fans can be used to increase airflow across the surfaces and evaporate moisture as the air moves outside.

Once the area is dry, it still has to be disinfected, as water from storm damage often contains bacteria that you wouldn't want in your home. Drying your crawlspace is an important factor in avoiding further water damage during a home flood.

Wading Through the Flood: Water Damage and Restoration Expectations

8/5/2021 (Permalink)

Air mover, drying equipment Storm damage restoration services in Issaquah, WA.

Expectations for Water Damage and Restoration

The damage is done. Whether a burst pipe or torrential rains, a flooded home is a devastating thing to behold. The amount of tear out and restoration ahead may be too daunting to imagine. However, there are three basic steps that can help to guide you through this intimidating process.

Step 1: Remove Excess Water

While getting rid of extra water may seem like an obvious step, many homeowners fall into the trap of believing the water will recede on its own; however, basement floods and many other types of flooding need decisive action to minimize the amount of water damage. To mitigate extensive flood damage, it is imperative to remove water as quickly as possible, which can be done with the use of electric pumps.

Step 2: Tear Out Wet Materials

Mold can develop in as little as 24 to 48 hours; therefore, it is essential to remove all wet materials from the home. This especially includes drywall and insulation. Insulation can often be overlooked because it is hidden behind your walls, but it is the most likely culprit for mold growth after a flood.

Step 3: Dry the Remaining Structure

Once the water is gone and the damaged and dampened materials removed, it is time to start drying out your home. More often than not, drying a flood-damaged home will require the use of dehumidifiers and air movers to circulate the air through the home and ensure that there is no significant sign of moisture in the remaining structure.

Step 4: Restore the Home

Then, after the days and possibly weeks of tear out and drying, it will finally be time to make your house a home again. For that, you can do a quick internet search to find a storm restoration specialist in the Issaquah, WA, area. These companies are wonderful support for both your mitigation and restoration needs.

Floods are devastating, but you don’t have to go it alone. If you have water damage in your home, remove the water and wet materials, dry the structure, and contact professionals for help.

Improper Ice Dam Thawing and Its Moldy Aftermath

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a wall Water damage led to mold growth.

The Moldy Aftermath of Improper Ice Dam Thawing

Roof problems are not the only concern to have regarding an ice dam in Snoqualmie, WA. Your business can suffer from water damage and its secondary effects if it’s left untreated. As the roof heats up, excessive buildup seeps water into your property to create a wet environment that’s ideal for mold. Worst of all, the mold growth ends up in places where you may not notice without looking for it. Knowing how to deal with this winter nuisance saves your business from worse problems.

Stop the Dam Before It Accumulates

The drainage obstruction should be prevented to reduce the chance of having to deal with black mold. There are precautions you can take to stop one from forming during winter weather:

  • Ensuring periodic maintenance is done on the roof ventilation
  • Removing debris from drains, downspouts and gutters
  • Removing or relocating any trees that may spill leaves into the drainage system
  • Insulating areas above the ceiling properly
  • Removing snow or ice as it happens with a snow rake or professional service

Inspect Your Property

If an ice dam happens, it is important to know where to look for mold. Its melting makes water trickle and drip down the walls and ceiling. In as little as twenty-four hours, mold can grow between the walls by establishing itself deep in your building’s porous materials.

If your business has an attic, it is a location that should be inspected for mold due to its dark and warmer location. Even if the attic and interior seem clear, mold could still be lurking in less visible places.

Clean Up the Mold

Mold from an ice dam is most often not visible since it is between the walls. This makes it difficult to locate and remedy without the right tools and knowledge. Inspection and mold cleanup is best handled by an expert crew specializing in fixing water and mold damage. With the mold prevented or removed, your business can have a spring forward coming out of winter.

When To Maintain Your Furnace

7/21/2021 (Permalink)

Furnace being repaired by a man. A clean furnace that operates according to specifications can prevent this important appliance in your home from starting a fire.

Maintaining Your Furnace

Keeping the furnace in your home operating at maximum efficiency requires regular maintenance. The following tasks can prevent furnace fires and the need for fire cleaning. You can perform filter checks yourself, but you may want to schedule expert maintenance at least once a year in the fall before the cool weather starts.

Here are several simple maintenance tasks you can perform yourself:

  • Regular filter checks at least every month or two months, especially during the winter
  • Vacuum out dust or debris
  • Check burners for ignition and burner flame
  • Make sure the blower door forms a tight seal
  • Inspect fresh air intake and ventilation systems for any signs of blockage

An expert should perform a more thorough check of the connections, internal components, and outside termination of a furnace vent system once a year. This may lower the risk of furnace fires and reduce the likelihood that you will require fire cleaning as a result of a furnace fire. You may want to rely on an expert to:

  • Check gas pressure, static air pressure, and temperature rise
  • Perform an amp test draw on the blower motor
  • Test combustion gases to ensure that they meet unit specifications
  • Inspect the drainage system and internal hoses for blockage or leakage
  • Make sure the heat exchanger is not corroded
  • Clean the condensate drain and trap, and replace water in the trap
  • Remove and clean the blower wheel
  • Inspect wiring for any signs of damage

On average, furnace experts charge between $80 and $150 for an annual maintenance visit. Lower-priced furnace upkeep packages are not likely to be as thorough or include all of these steps. A clean furnace that operates according to specifications can prevent this important appliance in your home from starting a fire. If you do suffer a furnace fire, contact a residential restoration company in Snoqualmie,WA for both fire cleaning and smoke cleaning services.

Your Action Plan for Fixing Broken Pipes

7/14/2021 (Permalink)

Microscopic spores Mold reproduces by spreading microscopic spores throughout your home.

If you are like most homeowners in Fall City, WA, your home is your most significant investment. Not only do you expect your house to appreciate over time, but you also want it to be a comfortable place. As you probably know, few things can ruin the value and comfort of your home faster than a broken pipe. While bursting pipes require immediate attention, you must also take certain steps to contain secondary damage.

Water Gets Everywhere

Water is a liquid that has the potential to infiltrate virtually all parts of your home. Even if a broken pipe sprays water for just a few minutes, you could sustain damage to the following:

  • Drywall
  • Tile
  • Carpeting
  • Furniture
  • Personal belongings

Plumbing Systems Break Down

Nothing lasts forever. Just as you must occasionally replace appliances, furniture and other things in your home, you must swap out old pipes for new ones. While you may be able to fix a broken pipe, you may also want to replumb your entire house to avoid future breaks.

Flooding Often Causes Extensive Damage

Some of your possessions should stay dry. If bursting pipes soak your belongings, you may need to throw them away. They may be salvageable, however. Before you toss your keepsakes into the trashcan, consider contacting a flood restoration service. Professional technicians have the equipment, knowledge and skill to analyze water damage and recommend a plan.

Mold Grows Quickly

Finally, you must think about post-flood mold growth. Mold reproduces by spreading microscopic spores throughout your home. As such, mold can show up within just a day or two of a flood. Fortunately, the same restoration service that can clean your personal belongings can likely remove mold from your home.

To preserve the comfort and value of your home, you must keep it dry. While bursting pipes can cause extensive damage, you can protect your home by acting quickly. With the right team, you can limit damage and make repairs quickly.

Are Your Smoke Detectors in Need of an Upgrade?

7/14/2021 (Permalink)

Close Up Of Replacing Battery In Domestic Smoke Alarm Batteries in a fire detector can last up to 10 years.

These days it seems like everything's changing. Your phones want to be upgraded every year or two. Familiar logos become less familiar with each new rendition. Even that smoke alarm hanging in your kitchen may be in need of an update. As technology continues to improve, experts have found new and better ways to keep you and your family safe from home fires.

Modern Smoke Detectors

Did you know there are several types of detectors?

  • A heat detector is the oldest model. It sounds an alarm when the element inside reaches a specific temperature or when there's a rapid spike in temperature. These are generally not recommended for use in homes anymore because they don't sound an alarm quickly enough for residents to get out of the home.

  • The second type of smoke detector is the ionization alarm. This device contains a tiny bit of radioactive material. When smoke passes through the ionization chamber, an alarm sounds. This type of detector works well for fast-moving fires.

  • A photoelectric smoke alarm works by using a special light sensor. When smoke moves across the path of light, the alarm is activated. This detector is best for smoldering fires that take a while to develop.

  • Happily, there are combination alarms that combine the properties of ionization and photoelectric smoke detectors.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends putting both types of detectors in your home, whether you choose models of each of the combinations.

Variations in Battery

There are also differences in where detectors get their power. The most common type of fire detector is the type that runs on 9-volt batteries. These batteries generally last for many years, in some cases up to 10 years, depending on the type of battery. Other alarms are interconnected and are powered through the same source.

Each smoke alarm in your home is a vital component in your family's fire prevention and safety system. Learn more about how and where to install alarms in your home by contacting a fire damage restoration company in Mirrormount, WA.

How to Protect Your Business From Water Damage During Construction

7/14/2021 (Permalink)

The question What is your action plan? The best way to prevent your business from becoming flooded during construction is to plan ahead.

Doing construction on your business in Preston, WA, is exciting but can come with its own set of issues. Water damage can be one of these, but there are things you can do to help avoid water pipe repair and other causes. Follow these guidelines while construction is happening in order to reduce your chances of flooding.

Plan Accordingly

The best way to prevent your business from becoming flooded during construction is to plan ahead. This is something that you should do with your contractor before the crew begins work. Locate all mechanical and electrical equipment and move them away from high-risk areas. This is also a good time to check that the external walls have appropriate drainage planes. Obtaining a copy of the building plans can help with the planning stage.

Use Protective Coverings

Open areas are particularly vulnerable during construction. Using a protective tarp can help shield them from bad weather conditions. It is also a good idea to cover important documents and machines that are near the construction zone. In order to be extra cautious, you may want to consider getting waterproof containers for some of those essential items.

Perform Inspections

There should be a designated inspector to monitor the project throughout the day and go over the construction site each evening. This person is responsible for ensuring that protocol is being followed. If the weather is cold, there is a chance that you could end up with a broken pipe, so the person monitoring the site needs to make sure that they are all properly insulated, or you could end up having to do a water pipe repair.

Taking precautions goes a long way in preventing water damage, but it can still happen. If you do find yourself in this situation where you need a water pipe repair done, you should consider calling a professional mitigation company in Preston, WA to assist you. Getting the problem handled immediately can help keep the project on schedule.

Tips for Preparing Your Business for Storm Season

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

Flash flood Flash flooding

Prepare For Storm Season

When it comes to dealing with the negative effects of storms in Issaquah, WA, it’s best to be proactive rather than reactive, meaning the best time to prepare for storm season is before it occurs. There are plenty of ways to prepare your business for events such as:

  • Flood water
  • Power loss
  • Structural damage

Keep on reading for some tips on readying your business to weather the storm.

Waterproof Flooring
Many businesses are located in areas that do not have adequate drainage, making them prone to problems associated with flash flooding. Flood water that is able to make its way into a building can cause widespread damage.
Businesses that have experienced water damage thanks to a flood in the past should consider renovating to include materials that are less susceptible to damage. This can mean swapping carpet, which can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew if wet, for materials like vinyl flooring and tile that are less likely to be damaged and require replacement after a flood event.

Data Backups
Many businesses rely on their computer systems to store important information. These systems are almost always threatened in a flooded building. Water can soak components and make data unrecoverable or cause electrical problems that damage computer equipment.
To safeguard your data against flood water, invest in an offsite data storage solution. Cloud storage is a particularly good option in these scenarios, as it guarantees that data is being stored completely separated from any hardware that could be damaged in a storm.

Restoration and Cleanup
Despite all the preparations you undertake, the unexpected could still happen, leaving your business in need of post-storm restoration services. Knowing who your local storm cleanup specialists are is the first step in getting your business back to running “Like it never even happened.”
There are many ways to prepare your business and safeguard it against water damage caused by storms.

5 Facts About Mold in Your Crawlspace

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

Workman with protective suit crawing under house from crawlspace underneath a wooden deck - only his legs and feet showing Mold in your crawlspace is a big problem

Mold Beneath Your Home Is Something To Worry

Not only is mold in your crawlspace an eyesore, but it is also a big problem. Because it is so common, homeowners must read up on this fungus. Here are some crucial facts that can help you prepare for finding mold beneath your home.

1. Signs That You Have Mold
Detecting mold in your crawlspace early is the key to preventing an outbreak. Therefore, you need to regularly look for signs that you have active spores, such as visible growth and standing water.

2. Any Mold Is Too Much
When it comes to your crawlspace, a little mold is too much. Because this is where your house's structural support is located, the goal is no mold. This fungus eats the organic material it grows on, such as the wood your house is made of, meaning you can end up with serious structural damage due to an outbreak.

3. White Mold Facts
One of the most common types of mold in homes in North Bend, WA, is white mold on the floor joists. While it is uncommon in colder weather, be on the lookout for it during warmer months because it can do a lot of damage.

4. Remove Mold Quickly
Often, DIY tricks can provide temporary relief, but you will want to have a mold remediation company do the hard work. The professionals have the training and experience necessary to remove mold spores for good.

5. Cost of Removal
Depending on the extent of the outbreak and damage, you could pay a few hundred or several thousand dollars for remediation. Fortunately, if the mold stems from flooding or water damage covered by your insurance, you won't have to pay for this out of pocket.
Mold beneath your home is something to worry about. Looking for signs of moisture or patches of growth can give you a heads-up so you can take steps to protect your house. Take action quickly because even the smallest amounts of growth can cause serious mold damage. Prompt remediation by a professional is often covered by insurance companies and is the best course of action.