titanwaterrestoration

Measures to Take to Prevent Disasters from Ruining your Home

Water bodies are found everywhere in Florida and watersheds constitute part of every property. Everyone lives downstream and therefore every homeowner shares the responsibility of keeping their water bodies clean and healthy.

Expenses due to water damage issues can be devastatingly high for property owners and therefore it is important to keep an eye open for problems such as the sudden appearance of a moldy drywall, a flooded basement or mildewed grout appearing in the home. Here are some tips to deal with such problems.

•    Dampness is the cause of mildew and mold formation and therefore it is important to control moisture indoors. The problem with crawlspaces and attics is that water leaks are not immediately noticed. Basements can get flooded when the drainage for the foundation is not efficient. Water should, therefore, be routed away from basements and care should be taken to keep the crawlspaces dry at all times. All leaks should be stopped immediately.
•    Remove mold the minute you detect the same. It can be easily removed with detergent and warm water. The surface area should then be left to dry out completely. Alternatively, you can spray the affected area with a solution of 10% bleach with 90% water.
•    Purchase paints with mildewcide as this will help control surface mold in bathrooms and other damp rooms.
•    The best way to solve problems is to address them immediately. Shut off the main water valve and if water has collected above the leak, you can open a faucet to let the water drain out harmlessly instead off from the gushing pipe. Do not walk in water without protective gear and make sure all electricity power are shut.
•    Avoid permanent damage by performing cleanup immediately. If the damage is severe, then it is important not to move things out or get rid of items to claim insurance cover.

Water Damage Causes Mold DamageCall a water restoration company in West Palm Beach to handle the problem. Find a reliable one and you will find that they arrive within 45 minutes of receiving your call. They come armed with protective gear, tools and equipment to care of the water damage and start on restoration works immediately.

Get referrals from friends and family members
Do your homework when you purchase your home and check out the referrals of several water restorations West Palm Beach service providers. You can ask them for free estimates and get them to offer you reasonable rates. Just because a company offers you cheap rates or promise to take care of all problems does not mean that they are licensed and experienced to carry out mitigation and restoration.
A reliable water restoration West Palm Beach company will be able to guide you on using the right construction materials to ensure that you do not face problems with water damage in the home. They will advise you on investing in good quality plumbing materials such as “no-burst” hoses made up of stainless steel for washing machines or faucets.

Another advantage of using a reputed service provider is that they are connected with insurance companies and will help you through the process when you wish to get your claims covered. You can reduce the cost of the damages as the insurance company will compensate you for the loss. Never try to act impulsively as this can cause major devastation and destruction in the home. Rely on the experience of these professionals and you will be able to maintain a home without stress as you know you can call them in an emergency.

Call Titan Restoration Construction in West Palm Beach at 561-345-3751 to handle your water damage problem.

Mold Damage

Prevention of Mold Growth Will Protect Health and Keep Employees Safe

The water damage restoration industry has made progress in recent years thanks to advanced technology. This has helped innumerable people to maintain their homes at reduced costs especially when they have had major issues with water damage due to flooding, rains or a burst pipe or leaky ceiling.

When there is a leak in the ceiling, it is cause for concern as this can harm the outside as well as the interiors of a home. If you think that placing a bucket to call the water will help you solve the localized problem, you have to think again! Your best recourse would be to call a water cleanup Boynton Beach water damage company to stop the leak before it ruins the wall finish and develops rot.

Mold detection

Mold, as we all know, thrives on food and moisture. If a leak appears behind a stud wall that is dry-wall covered, mold will appear. The wood gets wet and starts to rot. When this happens, the structural integrity of the home becomes weak. Termites and rodents find their way into your home and the materials in the home get damaged when the air starts humidifying in enclosed spaces.

When you see this happening, do not hesitate or turn away in the hope that the leak will disappear as the gravity of the situation will only escalate. Get on the phone and call a reputed water cleanup Boynton Beach damage restoration company to fix the leak. You will save a lot of money if you do not delay and get the problem repaired immediately.

A service provider has the right equipment and tools for restoring water damage. They are professionally qualified and licensed and insured to carry out such tasks competently. Select a service provider that can help to quicken the insurance claim process.

Mold in a Room CornerWhen there is water damage, mold growth appears in large patches and keeps growing if not removed immediately. Make sure you fix all plumbing leaks in the home especially when you have faced water damage. Scrub can be removed from hard surfaces with water and detergent, but it has to be dried completely. There should be no visible mold, and the odors should be dispelled, and fresh air should circulate in the room.

If you are an owner of a commercial building, you should ensure that the work environment is safe for the employees, Presence of mold is a health risk, and it is very important that it is removed when first noticed.

Health problems that are related to presence of mold
•    Employees can face allergic reactions which include sneezing, irritation of the throat, nose or mouth, and a runny nose
•    Many people suffer from watery, itchy or red eyes
•    If these allergies persist, other asthma-related symptoms can be triggered which include wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath.
It is, therefore, important to hire a service provider who can take care of all problems connected with water damage and restoration. Sign a maintenance contract once you decide on the best service provider in your area.

Actions to take after a flood
•    Remove all water that has collected
•    Dry items that have become wet
•    If paper, wood or fabric has become wet, it is advisable to get rid of the same
•    Use humidifiers and other blowers to dry the office and furnishings
•    Improve the air quality and get rid of stale air in the workplace

In order to ensure that your property is safe, sign up with the most qualified and professional experts that are certified and licensed to carry out the water cleanup Boynton Beach services. They should be able to work with your insurance company and get them to restore and replace the costs of the damaged materials.

Call Titan Restoration Construction at 561-345-3751 for an appointment with a water damage restoration specialist ready to answer your concerns.

BoyntonBeachFlooding

How to Rebuild Your Home after A Flood Disaster and Learn From Your Mistakes

Once you have undergone a flooding experience, you will be more cautious in the future. You will be traumatized at the disaster caused by a hurricane or a sewer overflow. Your house may be flooded due to negligence and a family member may have undergone a serious health crisis.

Your first duty is to your family members. You should provide support for each one in the house especially after the devastating experience that you have faced together. Stress may be temporary but it can have long lasting effects. Talk to each other and share your stress and anxieties. Talk to your children factually and help them deal with the fear and reassure them.

Take the right steps to provide further damage

It is time to take steps to get your home and property back in order. The floods may have caused major hazards including damage to the structure and electrical power in the home. The first thing to do is to hire an experienced Boynton Beach flooding company to assess the flood damage and make sure you can enter the home.

It is important to check if the structure is sound before you enter the home. Do not enter the home if there is standing water near the outside walls of the home. The front door may be swollen tight or there may be debris behind the door that does not allow it to open naturally. Be careful of mud or water that makes the floor slippery. Many reptiles and rodents may find their way looking for shelter in your home.

Hire the best service provider in your area

Call the Boynton Beach flooding service provider to check all the problems before you bring your family back to the home. You may have to shut off the electricity supply while they check the home. Before you disconnect the wiring you will have to check with the local authorities.

It is important to call the insurance agent to check the damage of the contents in the home. Make out an inventory for filing a claim. As the agent if you can contact the adjuster and get a comprehensive cost for repairing the damage to your belongings in the home.

Use the right materials to repair damages

Sealed Garbage ContainerMake arrangements to get the clean up started by contacting the Boynton Beach flooding service company. Consult the professionals and get expert advice on how to rebuild your home and make it flood proof. They will suggest cost-effective measures that you should heed to ensure that you and your family are protected the next time there is flooding in the area.

Make sure that you use flood proofing materials if you plan to continue living in the same house. You have an option of moving to a safer area. Make sure to follow the local building codes when you reconstruct your home.

Make sure to store garbage far away from water and food in a container with a tight fitting lid in case the pickup truck does not get to the area for a few days. If you notice any animal waste or asbestos anywhere, report this to the city authorities.

Ensure that your family is safe in a healthy environment

Get advice from your service provider on home maintenance and repair. Get referrals from friend and colleagues when you are trying to source out the best service provider in the area. Ask for an estimate and if they offer you a reasonable rate for their service, go along with them. Titan Restoration Construction, a professional company, will be able to guide you on the insurance process and help you rebuild your home with state-of-the art material that will protect you from subsequent flood disasters.  Call us at 561-345-3751 for great results!

Mold Damage

Titan Knows how to Repair Your Home or Business after Mold Damage and Remediation

Mold is a bio-hazard that grows in almost any environment, indoors and out, as long as there is adequate moisture. Because it is found everywhere, it can grow quickly when conditions inside your home are altered because of a broken sump pump, storm damage, or any other reason that permits water to enter into your home. When mold becomes a problem because of overgrowth, it will soon cause damage to a home’s interior structures. After remediation is complete, this damage must be repaired so your home can be restored to its pre-damaged state.

Titan Restoration Construction has a well-deserved reputation for rebuilding and restoring homes and commercial properties at or above local building code requirements. This includes those homes and business sites that have had extensive mold damage in West Palm Beach. After remediation, damaged areas need to be eliminated. This is because spores and mycotoxins can still be present after remediation. Although reduced greatly in number, these substances can still create health effects in individuals who live and work in such locations. Repairs and reconstruction will also greatly decrease the chances of mold growths returning, even if moisture levels become temporarily elevated in the future.

Titan Restoration Construction has the skilled and experienced technicians needed to repair your home the correct way and help you regain the ambiance your home had before. From simple drywall repairs, including tear-downs and re-installations, painting, papering, and trim, such as chair rails and baseboards, to support systems that need to be rebuilt in order to securely support your home’s interior structures, to exterior walls and Exterior Insulation Finishing Systems (EIFS) that have become compromised, we have your needs covered. Repairs are not just completed to the bare minimum, but to regain and restore the look that your family has come to know as ‘home.’ Similarly, if your business has been affected, your customers have come to depend on your physical store’s location, and we will work quickly and efficiently to make sure you are able to reopen your doors as soon as possible.

Vertical Support BeamsWalls must be restabilized on their interiors, through both horizontal and vertical support beams. These need to be solid, with no trace of mold growth, decay or other deterioration. While remediation works well in removing a great deal of mold, spores can still remain and then begin to grow again if moisture is ever introduced to an area occupied by mold. We can rebuild walls, including those with windows of any shape, recessed areas, lighting fixtures, and any other architectural refinements. We finish these to match the rest of the original décor in your home or business, including the minor details that were originally meant to be a part of it.

Interior walls are not the only location in your home or business that have support structures. The load-bearing supports also need to be examined to make sure that there is no issues or problems with their integrity or strength. These rarely need to be replaced, but major problems can arise if they are left in place when they should be removed because of mold damage in West Palm Beach properties.

Floors and ceilings will also need to be replaced at times, and their interior structures will be examined for mold damage. Visible mold growth does not always accurately determine where mold growth has occurred on the interior structures – sometimes mold can be hidden inside, and not show on the floor or ceiling, and at other times, the interior structure will be clean and free of mold.

Exterior walls can also be damaged by mold. The damage can occur at one or more locations, the exterior, the middle, or the interior but exposed side of the wall. These walls that make up our home or business’s exterior are also what others have come to associate you with. This is part of your and your family’s persona and should be restored to its true beauty. We are experts in restoring all types of exterior walls, from the interior side through the insulating components to the exterior face. With businesses, we understand that building components are slightly different and can work with you in regards to any security issues that may need to be worked around as we restore your exterior walls, windows, and other aspects of your business.

Construction is not just an occupation to us, but an art-form that relies heavily on architectural science and technology. At Titan Restoration Construction, we understand the changes that construction has undergone over time, and we can bring that knowledge to your project, regardless of the age of your home or business. This can help protect your investment while ensuring the protective aspects inherent in any home or building are restored to their previous strength.

Many mold remediation firms only provide that service – mold remediation, leaving you with many repairs that need to be completed. While some will remove the mold damaged areas, others will not. Because of this, you need Titan Restoration Construction to make your house a home again. During the process of mold remediation, make sure to call us at Titan Restoration Construction for your West Palm Beach mold repairs. You can reach us at 561-345-3751. If we are out of the office, please leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible.

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Fire Safety Tips to Follow To Save Further Damage and Prevent Injuries

A fire in a home or workplace can start due to carelessness on the part of a family member or employee. Everyone is responsible in a home or office to keep the environment safe. Here are a few safety tips that you should follow to prevent fire damage in Boynton Beach.

  • If you use candles in the home, you should make sure to put off the flame before you leave the area.
  • Some candle holders are not sturdy and may topple over or collapse.
  • Candles should never be kept in an area where there is a draft.
  • Blow out the flame gently without splattering the hot wax.
  • If a candle burns for a long time, there is a likelihood of the wick setting fire in the area.
  • If you are a smoker, you should always make sure to stub out the cigarette before you leave the room or go to bed.
  • Make sure you operate the microwave oven only when there is food inside.
  • All appliances in the kitchen should be checked periodically, kept in a clean condition.
  • The wires should not fray. Change them if the copper wire gets exposed.
  • If you notice the grease pan catching fire, do not try to dowse it by pouring water. Use a lid to cover the pan and turn the stove off.
  • Keep flammable material away from heating appliances and stoves.
  • Shut off the stove if you are leaving the kitchen to attend to something else.

By taking corrective action, you can prevent fires in the home or workplace. It is important to plan ahead in case a fire breaks out in the house.

  • Make sure to plan an escape route and go through the drill with all the family members.
  • Close the bedroom door when you go to sleep. You will not be exposed to smoke and heat in case a fire breaks out.
  • Instruct family members that it is important to crawl under the smoke and escape by dropping to the ground in case there is a fire.
  • Instruct family members to call the fire department or dial 911 in case of fire.
  • Try to use the neighbor’s phone to call the fire damage Boynton Beach responders as it is highly unsafe to enter a building that is burning.

Once you move into a new apartment or home, one of the first things to do is to identify the emergency responders for fire, water, and other damages that can occur in the area. Keep the list handy or punch it into your phone so that you can speed dial them in a case of emergency. Fire damage restoration is a complex task that can be handled only be fire damage professionals. Care has to be taken especially when toxic gases are released.

Use the services of a recommended service company

Do not hesitate to call the restoration company and get the experienced professionals to come to your rescue. The professionals you select should be certified and competent to carry out the tasks. Most of these companies are directly connected to insurance companies, and this helps to hasten the process and get past the red tape. Experiencing fires can be devastating experiences especially when you see something you covet go up in flames.

Stay calm and do not create a panic especially if there are other people in the building. Call Titan Resoration Construction to restore your fire damaged home or office at 561-345-3751.

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Precautions to Take When Your Home Has Been Damaged Due To Floods

Flooding in the area where you live can pose a serious problem for homeowners as it brings on health risks. One of the leading causes for weather- related deaths in America is flash flooding.

There are certain measures you can take to protect your property when there are flooding.

Safety and security is important when anticipating floods

It is always advisable to secure your home against flood damage. The first precaution to take is to ensure that you do not build your homes in areas that may be high-risk. Check out the regulations and avoid flood zone areas. Make sure that there are no cracks or crevices in the walls as this could allow the water to get into the home. Make sure to seal them well.

Get your property insured against floods

One of the most important steps to take is to obtain the appropriate coverage for flood insurance. One should never under estimate the power of flowing water as it moves faster than it appears and can even carry a person away. Make sure to explain dangers associated with flooding to your employees or children. Make a note of the West Palm Beach Flooding company and let the family members know how to get in touch with them in an emergency.

Keep abreast with the media

You should talk to your neighbors and share any information and experience that you may have and be prepared for the same. Remove all debris and fallen leaves from storm grates, flap gates and street drains to avoid clogging. If you have evacuated from the premises and are returning to your home after the flood, make sure to check for structural damage before you enter the home. Look out for gas leaks, live wires and electrical shorts.

Take precautions when re-entering the home after a flood

There may be a gas leak so be careful and use only flashlights when you re-enter the home.

Call the gas company if you find that the gas is still switched off. Get a professional from the West Palm Beach flooding company to check if the heating system and other appliances, including the electrical panels are working properly.

Call your West Palm Beach flooding service provider and let them know the problem you are facing. You should also:

  • Move all the valuable items in the home to a higher level.
  • Place plastic sheeting or sandbags in front of the doorways.
  • Prevent the back-flow of sewer water by sealing off the sewer lines to the property.
  • When you install electrical boxes, water heaters, furnaces and washing machines, make sure to elevate the location to a place where there are less chances of flooding.

Here are some safety tips to help you clean up after there has been a flood:

  1. Clean the walls and floors with hard surface using soap and water. Add a disinfectant to the water.
  2. Wash all your clothes including linen in hot water and dry them out thoroughly.
  3. Disinfect all surfaces that may come in contact with children including their play areas.
  4. Dry out large mattress and furniture that is upholstered in the sun.
  5. Carpets should be steam-cleaned.
  6. Replace fiberboard and all fibrous insulation if it has been contaminated with floodwater.
  7. This should also be done if sewage water has made contact with the air conditioning system and heating.
  8. Do not walk in this water without wearing protective gear.
  9. Discard material than cannot be salvaged or dried thoroughly.

Boil the drinking water and throw out all food that has been lying in the refrigerator.

We want you to be able to return to your normal work schedule and activities as soon as possible. Floods are quite traumatic enough, and we know that when you don’t have access to your home or office, you’re losing income. Call Titan Restoration Construction at 561-345-3751.

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Problems Caused By Water Damage and Ways to Control the Situation

Properties in Florida have escalated in value as many people prefer to relocate to the sunny state and enjoy the three seasons. Many homeowners sign up with a public adjuster or a reputed service provider for water damage restoration to ensure that they remain protected against the problems arising from water damage Palm Beach gardens.

A water damage restoration service will inspect the damage using probes and other water sensing equipment such as infrared tools to determine the extent and source of damage. They are expert in drying out the structures, sanitizing contaminated areas and deodorizing all materials in the area. They bring in dehumidifiers, air movers and scrubbers and equipment to dry out the floor and floors. They may take about three days to complete the restoration work and will then assess the situation and make a reevaluation of the damages.

Water damage can be categorized in three ways:

  • Water damage Palm Beach Gardens identified from a sanitary source which can flow from a broken water supply line such as a tank, faucet or even bottled water. Depending on other factors such as temperature and time, contamination may build up when items come in contact with water.
  • Water flow from toilet overflow or from washing machines and dishwashers. Here again, this type of water damage can cause certain types of illness especially if urine or dirty water comes in contact with certain areas in the home and get contaminated due to temperature or when water remains stagnant for a long time.
  • When there is a flooding from streams or rivers or if a toilet trap is broken, stagnant water containing feces, urine and dirt from outside can cause microbial growth than results in grave illness and sometimes death.

How to check for mold in the home

Mold generally appears as a fuzzy growth and will appear on ceilings and walls in various shades ranging from gray, black, green, brown or yellow. The growth may appear smooth and velvety or rough and leathery and these signs are generally noticed where there is standing water, a water leak, stain or when there is condensation. The other areas that attracts mold are drain lines, furnaces and air conditioners.

How to guard against mold when there is water damage in the building

The first step is to ensure that the quality of air indoors is clean. When there are leaks or flooding, moisture enters and triggers different types of allergic reactions and disease. The members of the family can suffer health-risks long-term if the mold formation is not controlled quickly.
Remove all traces of standing water found in the house. Materials that have become wet due to flooding or leaks should be removed from the area.
Use protective gear when cleaning or trying to remove mold.
Points to consider when hiring a professional service company to take care of the water damage restoration:

It is very important to check if the service provider is licensed and qualified to try out techniques with the right equipment. It is in your right to make a background check and get referrals before signing the contract. Ask your friends, family members or colleagues if they can recommend the best service provider for handling water damage Palm Beach Gardens.

During the restoration process, the technicians should move the equipment to different areas that are affected and monitor the working to ensure that each area is dry. Since each case of water damage is unique, it is important that they review the situation and make the right decision on restoring the damage.

If you have water damage, call Titan Restoration Construction at (561) 345-3751 so we can begin the restoration process.

Water Damage

Water Damage

Do you have a backed up drain, water supply that is leaking, or has your neighborhood flooded into your home?

We quickly remedy all of these issues as well as leaking roofs, shower pans, toilets, flooding from a storm, or damage from a ceiling fire sprinkler system, as well as any other sort of water damage risk a home or business owner may encounter. Rest assure that Titan Restoration is more than equipped to properly extract, cleanup, & properly rebuild and reconstruct what ever damage there has been due to water.

We offer 24 hour & emergency services for water cleanup, extraction, and emergency repairs including Insurance claims and personal pay.

More Information on Water Damage

Water damage restoration is the process of restoring a property back to pre-loss condition after sustaining any level of water damage. While there are currently no government regulations in the United States dictating procedures, two large certifying bodies, the IICRC and the RIA, do recommend standards of care. Most companies use the IICRC procedural standard, which is the S500. It is based on reliable restoration principles, research and practical experience with extensive consultation and information gathered from numerous sources. These include the scientific community, the international, national and regional trade associations serving the disaster restoration industry, chemical formulators and equipment manufacturers, cleaning and restoration schools, restoration service companies, the insurance industry, allied trades persons and others with specialized experience. The S500 water damage guide is subject to further revision as developments occur in technology, testing and processing procedures.

The IICRC S500 provides a specific set of practical standards for water damage restoration. It does not attempt to teach comprehensive water damage restoration procedures, rather it provides the foundation and basic principles of proper restoration practices. Prior to specifying the job scope and procedures, the S500 must be reviewed. This is important so that the individual circumstances of each restoration job is taken into account. Users of the S500 must be in pace with technology and follow all rules and regulations of a country whether it may be federal, state, provincial or local law. Federal, State and local laws might also determine who can do the water damage restoration assessment and who can authorize remediation procedures. In British Columbia (Canada) the Insurance Council of British Columbia has determined that an Insurance Adjuster working for an Insurer (to mitigate a loss or potential loss) can authorize restoration efforts on private property even though it may not be a covered peril; but, the Adjuster is not accountable for the outcome of any restoration effort, even if the Insured party was, or could be, knowingly placed in harms way. Each case of a water damage may be unique and common sense may require deviation from the S500.

Loss assessment and evaluation

A professional water damage restoration service will document the materials which were affected by the water damage and refer to industry standard pricing guides in order to determine the proper value of the residence’s materials lost and their service.

Water damage services include the inspection of the affected area(s) with water sensing equipment such as probes and other infrared tools in order to determine the source of the damage, and possible extent of area affected. Restoration services would then be rendered to the residence in order to dry the structure, sanitize any affected or cross contaminated areas, and deodorize all affected areas and materials. After the labor is completed, water damage equipment including, but not limited to, air movers, air scrubbers, dehumidifiers, wood floor drying systems, and sub floor drying equipment is left in the residence. After a period of two to three days after the labor is completed, a reevaluation of the residence is taken to monitor the drying process, and any equipment not further needed is removed as to keep the charges under control.

Categorization

Water, under the IICRC’s S-500 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration, has been broken off into three categories. These categories are based upon the level of contamination present, or presumed present, in the source water.

Category 1 is water from a clean or sanitary source. Previously known as clear water, this descriptor has since been removed to reduce confusion. These can include water from broken clean water supply lines; clean water from toilet tank or bowl; faucets; and bottled water. Although the source may be from a clean source, category 1 water can quickly degrade into category 2 or 3 depending upon such factors as time, temperature, and contact with contaminants.

Category 2 is water with some level of contaminants that could cause discomfort or illness if ingested. Previously known as grey water, this descriptor has since been removed to avoid confusion. Sources for category 2 water may include washing machine overflow; toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces; dishwasher overflow. Category 2 water can quickly degrade into category 3 depending upon such factors as time, temperature, and contact with contaminants.

Category 3 water is grossly unsanitary, and could cause severe illness or death if ingested. Previously known as black water, this descriptor has since been removed to avoid confusion. Sources for category 3 water include, but are not limited to, sewage; flooding from rivers or streams; Wind driven rain, water from beyond the toilet trap; water from the toilet bowl with feces; and standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

Classifications

Water damage is classified into one of the following classes:[1]

  • Class 1 Water Damage – (least amount of water, absorption and evaporation): Water losses that affect only part of a room or area, or larger areas containing materials that have absorbed minimal moisture. Little or no wet carpet and/or cushion are present.
  • Class 2 Water Damage – (large amount of water, absorption and evaporation): Water losses that affect at least an entire room or carpet and cushion(pad). Water has wicked up walls less than 24”. There is moisture remaining in structural materials (e.g., plywood, particleboard, structural wood, concrete).
  • Class 3 Water Damage – (greatest amount of water, absorption and evaporation): Water wicked up over 24″, or water may have come from overhead affecting ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, cushion and sub-floor. The entire area are saturated.
  • Class 4 Water Damage – (Specialty Drying Situations): These consist of wet materials with very low permeance/porosity (hardwood, plaster, brick, concrete, stone). Typically, there are deep pockets of saturation, which requires very low specific humidity.

Principles in drying

Structural and contents consideration

When working within a residence, it is often the case that those who are performing the water damage restoration must work with and around the contents of the home. This includes, but is not limited to, furniture, electronics, books, and any other materials that may have been affected by the water damage. The moving around of the said contents is often referred to “contents manipulation.” Water damage restoration firms often bill content manipulation on a per hour basis.

Contents may also require treatment due to the effects of water damage. This may include, but is not limited to,sterilization, sanitization, deodorization, drying, and storing of said contents. Other contents may simply be unsalvageable or the cost of having it salvaged would exceed its current value. In these cases, the contents would be discarded.

Monitoring

It is important to be proactive in the monitoring process. Many questions have to be asked and answered: Is the drying equipment set up properly? Are the personnel qualified to adjust equipment placement and conduct new techniques? Are the machines in good working order and are they maintained properly? Perform a background check and ask for references prior to hiring a contractor to restore your dwelling back to its pre-loss state.

After the water has been extracted and any non-salvageable materials have been removed, water damage professionals should place drying equipment according to industry guidelines for capacity in the affected areas. Industry standards state that drying vendors should return to the residence at regular time intervals, preferably every twenty-four hours, to monitor the equipment, temperature, humidity, and moisture content of the affected walls, contents, or other affected materials. Should one area be dry and another affected area still wet, the firm will relocate or remove equipment accordingly.

Completion

Once the temperature, humidity, and moisture content is deemed acceptable and safe according to industry standards, the water damage restoration equipment would be removed and the water damage restoration process would be complete.

Some homeowners, property managers, building maintenance operators use their own personnel to perform water damage restoration to save on the growing costs, it is prescribed to hire a professional water damage restoration company to perform these services since there are defining criteria and methods to be used for assessing water damage and establishing restoration procedures. Because of the unique circumstances of every water damage restoration project, it is impractical to issue blanket rules intended to a situation. In extenuating circumstance, deviation from portions of the S500 may be appropriate. In performing a job, carelessness is never acceptable and common sense should always prevail.

References

  1. IICRC S500 standard for Professional Water Damage Restoration.

Mold Remediation

Molds are ubiquitous in nature, and mold spores are a common component of household and workplace dust. However, when spores are present in large quantities, they are a health hazard to humans, potentially causing allergic reactions and respiratory problems.

Some molds also produce mycotoxins that can pose serious health risks to humans and animals. The term “toxic mold” refers to molds that produce mycotoxins, such as Stachybotrys chartarum, not to all molds.[1] Exposure to high levels of mycotoxins can lead to neurological problems and in some cases death. Prolonged exposure, e.g., daily workplace exposure, can be particularly harmful.

Symptoms of mold exposure

Symptoms of mold exposure can include:[2]

  • Nasal and sinus congestion, runny nose
  • Eye irritation, such as itchy, red, watery eyes
  • Respiratory problems, such as wheezing and difficulty breathing, chest tightness
  • Cough
  • Throat irritation
  • Skin irritation, such as a rash
  • Headache
  • Sneezing/Sneezing fits

Health effects linking to asthma

Infants may develop respiratory symptoms as a result of exposure to a specific type of fungal mold, called Penicillium. Signs that an infant may have mold-related respiratory problems include (but are not limited to) a persistent cough and/or wheeze. Increased exposure increases the probability of developing respiratory symptoms during their first year of life. Studies have shown that a correlation exists between the probability of developing asthma and increased exposure Penicillium. The levels are deemed no mold to low level, from low to intermediate, from intermediate to high.[3]

Mold exposures have a variety of health effects depending on the person, some people are more sensitive to mold than others. Exposure to mold can cause a number of health issues such as; throat irritation, nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, cough and wheezing, as well as skin irritation in some cases. Exposure to mold may also cause heightened sensitivity depending on the time and nature of exposure. People at higher risk for mold allergies are people with chronic lung illnesses, which will result in more severe reactions when exposed to mold.

There has been sufficient evidence that damp indoor environments are correlated with upper respiratory tract symptoms such as; coughing, and wheezing in people with asthma.[4]

Causes & growing conditions

Molds are found everywhere inside and outside, and can grow on almost any substance when moisture is present. Molds reproduce by spores, which can be carried by air currents. When these spores land on a moist surface that is suitable for life, they begin to grow. Mold is normally found indoors at levels that do not affect most healthy individuals.

Because common building materials are capable of sustaining mold growth, and mold spores are ubiquitous, mold growth in an indoor environment is typically related to water or moisture indoors. Mold growth may also be caused by incomplete drying of flooring materials such as concrete. Flooding, leaky roofs, building maintenance problems, or indoor plumbing problems can lead to mold growth inside. Interior moisture vapor commonly condenses on surfaces cooler than the moisture containing air which enables mold to flourish.[5] This moisture vapor passes through walls, ceilings and condenses typically in the winter months in climates where the heating cycle is extended. Floors over crawlspaces and basements (without vapor barriers or with dirt floors) are also problem areas. (The “doormat test” is very good at detecting moisture vapor emanating from under concrete slabs that are missing a sub-slab vapor barrier.[6] )

For significant mold growth to occur, there must be a source of water (which could be invisible humidity), a source of food and a substrate capable of sustaining growth. Common building materials, such as plywood, drywall, furring strips, carpets, and carpet padding are food for molds. In carpet, invisible dust and cellulose are the food sources (see also dust mites). After a single incident of water damage occurs in a building, molds grow inside walls and then become dormant until a subsequent incident of high humidity; this illustrates how mold can appear to be a sudden problem, long after a previous flood or water incident that did not produce such a problem. The right conditions reactivate mold. Studies also show that mycotoxin levels are perceptibly higher in buildings that have once had a water incident (source: CMHC).

Although this home suffered only minor exterior damage from Hurricane Katrina, small leaks and inadequate air flow permitted this mold infestation.

Spores need three things to grow into mold:

  • Nutrients: Cellulose is a common food for spores in an indoor environment. It is the part of the cell wall of green plants.
  • Moisture: Moisture is required to begin the decaying process caused by the mold.
  • Time: Mold growth begins between 24 hours and 10 days from the provision of the growing conditions. There is no known way to date mold.

Mold colonies can grow inside building structures. The main problem with the presence of mold in buildings is the inhalation of mycotoxins. Molds may produce an identifiable smell. Growth is fostered by moisture. After a flood or major leak, mycotoxin levels are higher in the building even after it has dried out (source: CMHC).

Food sources for molds in buildings include cellulose-based materials, such as wood, cardboard, and the paper facing on both sides of drywall, and all other kinds of organic matter, such as soap, fabrics, and dust containing skin cells. If a house has mold, the moisture may be from the basement or crawl space, a leaking roof, or a leak in plumbing pipes behind the walls. People residing in a house also contribute moisture through normal breathing and perspiration. Insufficient ventilation can further enable moisture build-up. Visible mold colonies may form where ventilation is poorest, and on perimeter walls, because they are coolest, thus closest to the dew point.

If there are mold problems in a house only during certain times of the year, then it is probably either too air-tight, or too drafty. Mold problems occur in airtight homes more frequently in the warmer months (when humidity reaches high levels inside the house, and moisture is trapped), and occur in drafty homes more frequently in the colder months (when warm air escapes from the living area into unconditioned space, and condenses). If a house is artificially humidified during the winter, this can create conditions favorable to mold. Moving air may prevent mold from growing since it has the same desiccating effect as lowering humidity. Molds grow best in warm temperatures, 77 to 86 °F (25 to 30 °C), though some growth may occur anywhere between 32 and 95 °F (0 and 35 °C).[7]

Removing one of the three requirements for mold reduces or eliminates the new growth of mold. These three requirements are:

  1. Moisture
  2. Food source for the mold spores (dust, dander, etc.)
  3. Warmth (mold generally does not grow in cold environments).

HVAC systems can create all three requirements for significant mold growth. The A/C system creates a difference in temperature that allows/causes condensation to occur. The high rate of dusty air movement through an HVAC system may create ample sources of food for the mold. And finally, since the A/C system is not always running – the ability for warm conditions to exist on a regular basis allows for the final component for active mold growth.

Because the HVAC system circulates air contaminated with mold spores and sometimes toxins, it is vital to prevent any three of the environments required for mold growth. A) Highly effective return air filtration systems are available that eliminate up to 99.9% of dust accumulation (as compared to 5% elimination by typical HVAC air filters). These newer filtration systems usually require modification to existing HVAC systems to allow for the larger size of electrostatic 99.9% filters. However, thorough cleaning of the HVAC system is required before usage of high efficiency filtration systems will help. Once mold is established, the mold growth and dust accumulation must be removed. B) Insulation of supply air ducts helps to reduce or eliminate the condensation that ultimately creates the moisture required for mold growth. This insulation should be placed externally on the air ducts, because internal insulation provides a dust capture and breeding ground for mold.

Assessment

The first step in an assessment is to determine if mold is present. This is done by visually examining the premises. If mold is growing and visible this helps determine the level of remediation that is necessary. If mold is actively growing and is visibly confirmed, sampling for specific species of mold is unnecessary.[8]

These methods, considered non-intrusive, only detect visible and odor-causing molds. Sometimes more intrusive methods are needed to assess the level of mold contamination. This would include moving furniture, lifting and/or removing carpets, checking behind wallpaper or paneling, checking in ventilation duct work, opening and exposing wall cavities, etc.

Careful detailed visual inspection and recognition of moldy odors should be used to find problems needing correction. Efforts should focus on areas where there are signs of liquid moisture or water vapor (humidity) or where moisture problems are suspected. The investigation goals should be to locate indoor mold growth to determine how to correct the moisture problem and remove contamination safely and effectively.

Sampling

In general the EPA does not recommend sampling unless an occupant of the space is symptomatic. When sampling is necessary it should be performed by a trained professional who has specific experience in designing mold-sampling protocols, sampling methods, and the interpretation of findings. Sampling should only be conducted to answer a pertinent question: examples “what is the spore concentration in the air”, or “is a particular species of fungi present in the building.” The following additional question should be asked before sampling: “what action can or should a person take upon obtaining data.”

The sampling and analysis should follow the recommendations of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA). Most importantly, when a sample is taken the proper chain of custody should be adhered to. The AIHA offers lists of accredited laboratories that submit to required quarterly proficiency testing.

Three types of sampling include but are not limited to::

  • Air sampling: the most common form of sampling to assess the level of mold. Sampling of the inside and outdoor air is conducted and the results to the level of mold spores inside the premises and outside are compared. Often, air sampling will provide positive identification of the existence of non-visible mold.
  • Surface samples: sampling the amount of mold spores deposited on indoor surfaces (tape, and dust samples)
  • Bulk samples: the removal of materials from the contaminated area to identify and determine the concentration of mold in the sample.

When sampling is conducted, all three types are recommended by the AIHA, as each sample method alone has specific limitations. For example, air samples will not provide proof of a hidden source of mold. Nor would a tape sample provide the level of contamination in the air.[9]

Though it may not be recommended, air sampling following mold remediation is usually the best way to ascertain efficacy of remediation, when conducted by a qualified third party.[10]

Remediation

The first step in solving an indoor mold problem is stopping the source of moisture. Next is to remove the mold growth. Common remedies for small occurrences of mold include:

  • Sunlight
  • Ventilation
  • Wall insulation/Dry Wall
  • Non-porous building materials
  • Household cleansers
  • Dehumidifiers

There are many ways to prevent mold growth; see heating, ventilating, improved insulation and air conditioning. There are also cleaning companies that specialize in fabric restoration – a process by which mold and mold spores are removed from clothing to eliminate odor and prevent further mold growth and damage to the garments.

Improper methods for cleaning mold include exposure to high heat, dry air, sunlight (particularly UV light), ozone, and application of fungicides. These methods may render the mold non-viable, however, the mold and its by-products can still elicit negative health effects. As noted in following sections, the only proper way to clean mold is to use detergent solutions that physically remove mold. Many commercially available detergents marketed for mold clean-up also include an anti-fungal agent.

Significant mold growth may require professional mold remediation to remove the affected building materials and eradicate the source of excess moisture. In extreme cases of mold growth in buildings, it may be more cost-effective to condemn the building rather than clean the mold to safe levels.

The goal of remediation is to remove or clean contaminated materials in a way that prevents the emission of fungi and dust contaminated with fungi from leaving a work area and entering an occupied or non-abatement area, while protecting the health of workers performing the abatement.[11]

Cleanup and removal methods

The purpose of the clean-up process is to eliminate the mold and fungal growth and to remove contaminated materials. As a general rule, simply killing the mold with a biocide is not enough. The mold must be removed since the chemicals and proteins, which cause a reaction in humans, are still present even in dead mold.

Evaluating mold exposures

Before beginning mold remediation you should make sure you assess the area infected with mold to ensure safety, you clean up the entire moldy area, and properly approach the mold.[8]

  • Assess the area infected with mold, checking for any hidden mold
  • Fix moisture problems before you remove and clean up the moldy area to prevent future mold growth issues
  • If the area of mold is large you should get a remediation manager to properly dispose of the mold
  • Be sure to identify the source of water or moisture that caused the mold growth to begin with
  • Check all air ducts, ventilation systems and air handling units so that the mold problems do not persist in the indoor environment
  • Consult a qualified professional if you have any problems or if you are not confident that you can properly remove all mold or sources of mold growth

Cleaning recommendations

These steps should always be done by a trained professional.[12]

  • First, make sure to remove any object near the insulation system that may have been contaminated from floodwater. Properly dispose of the contaminated materials according to your local, state, and Federal regulations. (The insulation you might removed may be contaminated with asbestos. Always make sure to call a trained professional to avoid serious injury or death)
  • Make sure to remove the contaminated HVAC filter media to ensure your HVAC system is not bringing in contaminated air. Make sure to dispose of it reading the same regulations listed above.
  • Remove any debris and insulation; clean all components of the HVAC system to ensure nothing becomes contaminated and/or more contaminated from floodwater. Use a HEPA-filtered vacuum, cleaner to make sure you get rid of all the debris, dirt, and microorganisms. Pay special attention to the drain pans, filter areas, curves, and air ducts since debris often collects in these places.
  • Disinfect all components of the HVAC system after turning off the HVAC system. To clean use 1 cup of normal household chlorine bleach mixed with a gallon of water, do not mix this with cleaning products containing ammonia.
  • Be sure to use fans to create filtration by blowing the contaminated air outdoors, to protect the health of the workers.
  • After cleaning all components with bleach rinse with clean water to eliminate the potent bleach smells.
    • Important: You must remove and properly discard the HVAC components that are contaminated with floodwater to prevent the growth of mold if it cannot be cleaned, and replace them with new components.
  • After the HVAC has been properly cleaned and disinfected, replace the insulation in the HVAC system with an external, smooth-surfaced insulation to prevent future floodwater contamination.
  • To ensure safety have your HVAC system tested by a qualified professional before you begin using your HVAC system again.

What to wear when removing mold

When cleaning up mold it is important to avoid breathing in mold or mold spores, as this can have major health implications. To avoid airborne mold exposure you should wear a respirator to protect your lungs. Half-face or full-face respirators have removable cartridges that will stop the mold spores from entering your nose or mouth. A full-face respirator will also protect your eyes. Be sure to follow the directions carefully, if it does not fit properly or is not put on correctly it may be ineffective.

Filters used with the respirator should ideally be rated P-100. Some cartridges also come with an activated carbon element. The carbon helps to remove the odor given off by mold and mildew.

Protective clothing should also be worn. Disposable hazmat coveralls are available to keep out particles down to one micrometer. Protective suits keep mold spores from entering any cuts on the skin.

Next be sure to wear gloves to ensure protection from mold. You should wear gloves made of rubber, nitrile, polyurethane, or neoprene so that no mold or disinfectant materials get through to your skin.

If a half-face respirator mask is used, goggles should be worn to keep mold spores from entering the mucus membrane and propagating. Appropriate goggles should not have ventilation holes so that no mold particles will get in. Full face respirators have an advantage here as the air breathed in is directed to the inside of the lens first which keeps it from fogging as you work.[8][11]

Dry brushing or agitation device

These systems are known for the removal of the biological material in the ductwork that the mold spores feed upon. A good brushing or agitation machine will break the static bond and remove the hard and soft debris in the ductwork. Dry brushing introduces nothing foreign into the HVAC system and is the only system that sweeps all surfaces.

Dry ice blasting

Recently, some companies have begun using dry ice blasting to remove mold from suitable surfaces, such as wood and cement. Soda Blasting is also a good method to remove the mold. Media Blasting, which removes mold is a preferred method to encapsulation, which only cover the mold.

Vacuum

Wet vacuum cleaners are designed to remove water from floors, carpets and other hard surfaces where water has accumulated. Wet vacuuming should only be used on wet materials, as spores may be exhausted into the indoor environment if insufficient liquid is present. After use, this equipment must be thoroughly cleaned and dried as spores can adhere to the inner surfaces of the tank, hoses, and other attachments.

Damp wipe

Damp wipe is the removal of mold from non-porous surfaces by wiping or scrubbing with water and a detergent. Care must be exercised to make sure the material is allowed to quickly dry to discourage any further mold growth. With surfaces such as metal, glass, hardwood, plastics, and concrete, mold should be scraped off as much as possible. Then, scrub the surface with a moldicide or fungicide cleaner.[citation needed]

HEPA vacuum

High Efficiency Particulate Air filtered vacuum cleaners are used in the final cleanup of remediation areas after materials have been thoroughly dried and all contaminated materials have been removed. HEPA vacuum cleaners are recommended for the cleanup of the outside areas surrounding the remediation area. During this process the workers wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent exposure to mold and other contaminants. The collected debris and dust should be stored in impervious bags or containers in a manner to prevent any release of debris.

Disposal of debris and damaged materials

Building materials and furnishings contaminated with mold should be placed into impervious bags or closed containers while in the remediation area. These materials can usually be discarded as regular construction waste.

Equipment

Several types of equipment may be used in the remediation process and may include:

  • Moisture meter: a tool that measures the moisture level in building materials. It can also be used to measure the progress of the drying of damaged materials. Pin moisture meters have a small probe that is inserted into the material. Pinless moisture meters usually have a flat sensing area that is pressed directly against the material’s surface. Moisture meters can be used on carpet, wallboard, woods, brick, and other masonry.
  • Humidity gauge: measures the amount of humidity in the indoor environment. Often gauges are paired with a thermometer to measure the temperature.
  • Borescope: a hand-held tool that allows the user to see potential mold problems inside walls, ceilings, crawl spaces, and other tight spaces. It consists of a camera on the end of a flexible “snake”. No major drilling or cutting of dry wall is required.
  • Digital camera: used to document findings during assessment.
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE): includes respirators, gloves, impervious suit, and eye protection. These items can be used during the assessment and remediation processes.
  • Thermographic camera : Infrared thermal imaging cameras are often used (and effective) in addition to moisture meters to double check moisture meter findings, and look at the broader picture. They help mainly in identifying auxiliary points of moisture intrusion.

Protection levels

During the remediation process, the level of contamination dictates the level of protection for the remediation workers. The levels of contamination are described as Levels I, II, III, and IV. Each has specific requirements for worker safety. The levels are as follows:[13][14]

Level I

Small Isolated Areas (10 sq ft (0.93 m2) or less) for example, ceiling tiles, small areas on walls.

  • Remediation can be conducted by the regular building staff as long as they are trained on proper clean-up methods, personal protection, and potential hazards. This training can be performed as part of a program to comply with the requirements of OSHA Hazard Communication Standard ( 29 CFR 1910.1200).
  • Respiratory protection (for example, N-95 disposable respirator) is recommended. Respirators must be used in accordance with the OSHA respiratory protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134). Gloves and eye protection should also be worn.
  • The work area should be unoccupied. Removing people from spaces adjacent to the work area is not necessary, but is recommended for infants (less than 12 months old), persons recovering from recent surgery, immune-suppressed, or people with respiratory diseases.
  • Containment of the work area is not necessary. However, misting and dust suppression is recommended.
  • Contaminated materials that cannot be cleaned should be removed from the building in sealed impermeable plastic bags and disposed of as ordinary waste.
  • The work area(s) used by workers for access/egress should be cleaned with a damp cloth or mop and a detergent.
  • All areas should be left dry and visibly free of contamination and debris.

Level II

Mid-sized Isolated Areas (10-30 sq ft) – for example, individual wallboard panels.

  • Remediation can be conducted by the regular building staff as long as they are trained as for Level I. Respiratory protection, occupation of the work and adjacent areas, and handling of contaminated materials are the same as for Level I.
  • Surfaces in the work area that could become contaminated should be covered with sheet(s) of plastic that are secured in place. This should be done prior to any remediation process to prevent further contamination.
  • Dust suppression methods, such as misting (not soaking) surface prior to remediation, are recommended.
  • The work area(s) used by workers for access/egress should be HEPA vacuumed and cleaned with a damp cloth or mop and a detergent.
  • As with Level I, all areas should be left dry and visibly free of contamination and debris.

Level III

Large Isolated Areas (30-100 sq ft) – e.g., several wallboard panels

  • Industrial hygienists or other environmental health and safety professionals with experience performing microbial investigations and/or mold remediation should be consulted prior to remediation activities to provide oversight for the project.
  • It is recommended that personnel be trained in the handling of hazardous materials and equipped with respiratory protection (N-95 disposable respirator). Respirators must be used in accordance with OSHA respiratory protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134) Gloves and eye protection should also be worn.
  • Surfaces in the work area and areas directly adjacent that could become contaminated should be covered with a secured plastics sheet(s) before remediation to contain dust/debris and prevent further contamination.
  • Seal ventilation ducts/grills in the work area and areas directly adjacent with plastic sheeting.
  • The work area and areas directly adjacent should be unoccupied. Removing people from spaces adjacent to the work area is not necessary, but is recommended for infants (less than 12 month old), persons recovering from recent surgery, immune-suppressed or people with respiratory diseases.
  • Dust suppression methods, such as misting (not soakings) surface prior to remediation, are recommended.
  • Contaminated materials that cannot be cleaned should be removed from the building in sealed impermeable plastic bags and disposed of as ordinary waste.
  • The work area/areas used by workers for access/egress should be HEPA vacuumed and cleaned with a damp cloth or mop and a detergent.
  • All areas should be left dry and visibly free from contamination and debris.

Level IV

Extensive Contamination (greater than 100 contiguous sq. ft in an area).

  • Personnel trained in handling of hazardous materials and equipped with:
    • Full face respirators with HEPA cartridges
    • Disposable protective clothing covering the entire body including the head, shoes and hands
  • Containment of the affected area:
    • Complete isolation of the work area from occupied spaces using plastic sheeting sealed with duct tape ( including ventilation duct/grills, fixtures, and other openings
  • The use of an exhaust fan with a HEPA filter to generate negative pressurization, a decontamination room, and airlocks
  • Contaminated materials that cannot be cleaned should be removed from the building in sealed impermeable plastic bags and disposed of as ordinary waste.
  • The contained area and decontamination room should be HEPA vacuumed and cleaned with a damp cloth or mopped with a detergent solution and be visibly clean prior to the removal of any isolation barrier.

In conclusion, after the moisture source has been eliminated and the mold growth removed, the premises should be revisited and then re-evaluated to ensure the mold growth and the remediation process was successful. The premises should be free of any moldy smells or visible growth.

Mold prevention and control

In order to avoid mold from growing in your home one should do the following:

  • Clean and repair roof gutters on a regular basis so that moisture will not seep into one’s house from the gutters
  • If one is using an air conditioning machine one should make sure to keep drip pans clean; also make sure the drain lines are not being obstructed by anything so that it can flow properly
  • Humidity in the indoor environment is a major problem that can lead to mold growth if it is not kept below sixty percent. If one is not certain what is the humidity level in your home one can purchase a humidity meter at any hardware store.
  • If one sees any moisture or condensation, one should act quickly by drying the wet surface and find the water source so it can be avoided in the future.
  • Any exposed structural wood or wood framing should be encapsulated with an EPA approved fungicidal encapsulation coating after pre-cleaning methods have been applied. Areas of typical concern can be found in homes that have a crawl space and unfinished basement. Attic’s with poor ventilation can have spikes of high humidity throughout the year and can benefit from using an EPA approved fungicidal encapsulation coating.[8]

Hidden mold

After a major storm or flood one should look out for any signs of hidden mold growth. One can detect mold by the smell and any sign of water damage on the walls or ceiling. Mold can grow in many places that are not visible to the human eye in the indoor environment. Mold is often found behind wallpaper or paneling, the topside of ceiling tiles, back side of dry wall, or the underside of carpets or carpet padding. Piping inside the walls may also be a source of mold growth since pipes often leak and cause moisture and condensation. One must also check in roof materials above ceiling tiles since roofs often leak and water collects inside the walls and insulation. If one is suspicious about mold growth one should investigate with caution to prevent exposure to mold.[8]

Fire Damage

Different restoration methods and measures are used depending on the type of fire damage that occurred. Fire damage can be performed by property management teams, building maintenance personnel, or by the homeowners themselves; however, contacting a certified professional fire damage restoration specialist is often regarded as the safest way to restore fire damaged property due to their training and extensive experience.[29] Most are usually listed under “Fire and Water Restoration” and they can help speed repairs, whether for individual homeowners or for the largest of institutions.[30]

Fire and Water Restoration companies are regulated by the appropriate state’s Department of Consumer Affairs – usually the state contractors license board. In California, all Fire and Water Restoration companies must register with the California Contractors State License Board.[31] Presently, the California Contractors State License Board has no specific classification for “water and fire damage restoration.” Hence, the Contractor’s State License Board requires both an asbestos certification (ASB) as well as a demolition classification (C-21) in order to perform Fire and Water Restoration work.[32]

Protection and prevention

Wildfire prevention programs around the world may employ techniques such as wildland fire use and prescribed or controlled burns. Wildland fire use refers to any fire of natural causes that is monitored but allowed to burn. Controlled burns are fires ignited by government agencies under less dangerous weather conditions.[27]

Fire fighting services are provided in most developed areas to extinguish or contain uncontrolled fires. Trained firefighters use fire apparatus, water supply resources such as water mains and fire hydrants or they might use A and B class foam depending on what is feeding the fire.

Fire prevention is intended to reduce sources of ignition. Fire prevention also includes education to teach people how to avoid causing fires.[28] Buildings, especially schools and tall buildings, often conduct fire drills to inform and prepare citizens on how to react to a building fire. Purposely starting destructive fires constitutes arson and is a crime in most jurisdictions.

Model building codes require passive fire protection and active fire protection systems to minimize damage resulting from a fire. The most common form of active fire protection is fire sprinklers. To maximize passive fire protection of buildings, building materials and furnishings in most developed countries are tested for fire-resistance, combustibility and flammability. Upholstery, carpeting and plastics used in vehicles and vessels are also tested.

Where fire prevention and fire protection have failed to prevent damage, fire insurance can mitigate the financial impact.