How Dangerous is Mold in Your Home?

Everyone wants the safest, healthiest home environment for their families. You would do anything to protect your loved ones from exposure to any substance that could cause them harm.

One of those feared substances is “mold” and with what you have seen in the news in recent years, exposure to harmful or “toxic” mold has affected the health of countless people — folks just like you.

This brings up the all-important question: Just exactly how dangerous is mold in homes?

That’s a tricky question, because there are many types of mold and mold is virtually everywhere. There is probably a little bit in your basement right now. Your shoes when you came home yesterday no doubt brought in a few mold spores. Mold spores can be in breathable space and travel in the air.

When you step outside, you are surrounded by mold. There’s nothing you can do about that. The main concern is usually what’s in the home, not outside, although if you are sensitive to mold you should avoid all damp areas that could promote mold growth, inside and out.

Some people are affected by even the smallest amounts of mold. They may have nasal issues, watery eyes, coughing and other physical reactions. A smaller segment of the population are very sensitive to exposure to mold, having severe reactions that can be life threatening. Others aren’t affected at all, and can be around and/or exposure to all types of molds with no apparent sensitivities.

The CDC has plenty of information for those concerned with mold in homes. One of the issues they raise is keeping moisture out of homes. “Mold will grow in places with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been flooding,” according to the CDC government website.

The issue is twofold if mold is growing in your home. You must clean it up or have it cleaned up, and you must fix the moisture problem. You can do your research on how to fix the problem, but the best solution is, no doubt, getting expert advice from your professional water damage restoration contractor or mold removal or remediation company. Keep your family safe. Call the experts.

Until Help Arrives

There are many steps you can take as a responsible homeowner when flooding occurs in your home, whether from an overflowing toilet or a failed sump pump. First of all, keep it safe. Do not do anything that can cause physical harm to yourself or your family, which can mean working in areas with electricity that have water damage issues. Pick things up. When water intrudes, picking up smaller items and placing them out of harm’s way is important. For objects you value, normally smaller items, and can get to without danger to yourself, start wiping them off and getting them dry. Although your water damage pro will handle the final cleaning and restoring of valuable objects, you can do much to help the process.
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Fire Prevention Safety Tips

While a water damage occurring in your home from a rain or windstorm, a broken pipe or perhaps an overflowing sink or toilet is a terrible event to experience, virtually nothing is as devastating as a fire. And while statistics indicate a downward trend in house fires, mainly because of better, modern safety protocols, it is still a huge issue that must be addressed. For example, in 2013 there were more than 1,200,000 home fires, nearly 3,500 deaths and 16,000 injuries reported by the National Fire Protection Association. More than half of home fires start in one of your favorite places: The kitchen. That’s right. Cooking is an everyday occurrence and it is the number one cause of fires. Usually on the stove. Other causes include candles, Christmas trees, overburdened electrical cords/outlets, appliance malfunctions and cigarettes or cigars, to name just a few. What can you do to make things safe in your home and protect your family?
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Leaks Happen – Be Ready!

You know the normal sounds your home makes.

The air conditioner kicking on as the dog days of summer begin. The heating system starting up on a cold, winter evening. The creak of a loose floorboard as someone rises early in the morning.

What you don’t normally hear — and you do not want to hear — are the sounds of spraying water from a broken pipe or hose, or a malfunctioning hot water tank or water filter system. Even worse is when this happens when you are nowater-leakst home and upon arrival you wade through inches of water on the floor, or duck from the dripping water from an upstairs leak.

When water damage occurs (and statistics say water damage claims are among the highest with
insurance companies) you need to act quickly. The #1 concern is to think “safety first.” Before entering into any areas of the home that are damage from flood waters, be sure that the power is turned off. Nothing is worth getting an electrical shock!

Next, find the water turn-off valve and stop the flooding. Many homeowners aren’t sure where the water turn-off valve is located. Now is the time to figure that out, and even put a tag on it so it is easy to find, especially in the dark or in the beam of a flashlight. Don’t delay… find that valve and mark it!

It’s always best to be prepared. Contact your water damage restoration contractor and get the info you need to be safe… just in case.

Water Damaged Electronics

It’s a terrible sinking feeling (pun intended) you get when you drop your iPhone, iPad or Android — or other expensive hand-held electronic device — into water, such as a sink, bathtub or (gross) toilet.

When that happens, you respond quickly. You dip your hand into the offending reservoir, grab the device and shake it vigorously, hoping against all odds that you can force all moisture out before permanent damage occurs.

You may even dunk your device into a bag of rice, hoping that online tip you read about rice pulling moisture from electronic devices is true. You may submit it mercilessly to the business end of a hairdryer until it is too hot to hold.

What’s the best thing to do when electronic devices suffer from water damage? Continue reading “Water Damaged Electronics”

The Dangers of Soot

It doesn’t seem that dangerous. It’s just the byproduct of a fire… maybe from a chimney, a furnace puff-back, even an over-zealous gas grill. When the fire is out, you should be able to clean up the soot residue easily, right? Not so fast! Soot has some characteristics that everyone should consider before attempting to clean. Those who perform fire damage work understand the dangers of soot. So do emergency personnel like firemen. In fact, outdoor soot is regulated by the EPA, classified as a criteria pollutant. Consider these facts about soot.
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Closet Cleaning & Organizing

Although traditionally a spring cleaning chore, cleaning and organizing a closet can be done any time of year. And no, keeping the door shut isn’t the best solution to a messy, disorganized closet, although it may give you moments of sanity that quickly disappear when you venture inside for that favorite pair of pants you haven’t seen in months. Here are a few quick tips on cleaning and organizing your closet.
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Hiding in the Shadows

DID YOU KNOW that mold can develop in your home and all it takes are three common things? 

1.    Moisture: Mold needs moisture to grow, which is why you see it all the time in showers and baths… and, unfortunately, in basements. You can clean up the mold in a shower or bath, but when you see it in other parts of the home, it’s best to call a pro.

2.    Food: Mold is alive, and needs to eat. So usually you won’t see mold growing on plastic surfaces in your home. It will grow on wood and other organic surfaces. However, dirt in the carpet or on the floor can be a food source, so keeping your house super clean is smart.

3.    Darkness: Mold likes the shadows of your home, and grows quickly in the dark. That’s why basements are often the first place mold is discovered.

Do-it yourself mold removal?

If you are going to clean up some mold in your house, it’s important to protect yourself. A mold removal specialist knows the dangers of mold, and if you hire a pro, you will see him all suited up and protected against possible contamination.

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Clogged Drain Dramas

It sits in the center of every sink, at the end of every bathtub, and could be anywhere at the bottom of a shower stall… that’s right. You see them all the time. Drains that faithfully work to take away soapy water, food waste and more.

So when they slow down or even quit working entirely, it is very frustrating and annoying.

Your first inclination is to grab a plunger, which might work but more than often… it doesn’t work at all. But you have to try! Sometimes, a connecting drain to the plugged one allows air to escape and the plunging action is worthless. You can plug the second drain with a towel or cloth, and that might help with the plunging action.

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Water, Water Everywhere!

DID YOU KNOW that water is the most essential element of life? That’s right. We all need water. We need it to bathe, to drink, to water plants and the grass, and even to enjoy recreationally, such as in a swimming pool. 

But are there times when you may wish water was scarce? Yes, such as when some water ends up where it shouldn’t be, like on your valuable wood floor.

When that happens, you must clean it up quickly. If you don’t, permanent damage can occur.

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