Wooden Floor Damage in house west palm beach

Wooden Floor Damage Causes & Solutions

Hardwood flooring is an influential element when considering the aesthetics of any residential property. Being a preferable choice among the modern-day homeowners or builders, its maintenance can be a bit challenging. Unfortunately, this flooring type if vulnerable to water damage, time decay, or even humidity changes.

This post highlights the different causes and solutions to hardwood flooring damage.

Causes

Mold: mold growth can be a prime trigger for your hardwood floor damage. Mold growth beneath the wood surface, subflooring, or framing and sheathing can catalyze the time decay process and make your floor non-usable in no time.

If your wooden floor is mold-infested, you would come across symptoms like the musty smell, which may get stronger with high humidity levels.

Finding, identifying, and testing the mold requires professional testing and handling. If you find mold within the wooden structures after performing a cut test, it would be ideal to hand the situation over to a mold/environmental testing specialist.

Water damage: Water damage to wooden flooring is often hard to prevent. However, smart thinking and quick responses can help you to keep the concern under check on most occasions. Keep an eye out for the following risks related to water damage to wooden flooring.

  • Leaky ceiling
  • Plumbing leaks or a drippy faucet
  • Indoor tracking in of rain or snow
  • Dog water bowl splashes and drool

Using a water-absorbent material or mats on areas vulnerable to water splashes or spills is an ideal means to control the situation.

Using a silicone mat on the area just beneath the kitchen sink and the front door of your house can be a good start. If you have toddlers at home, it is ideal not to feed them near wooden flooring.

Pet stains: pets can contribute in their own way to catalyze wooden floor damage. Pet urine can be strong enough to infiltrate through the wooden layers and reach depths where no amount of sanding will help to remove it.

Additionally, pets with untrimmed nails can be a walking indoor disaster. Drooling can also retain stains on the wooden flooring. When managing pets indoors, prepare a spot for them away from the wooden floor. Consider getting them pet beds and also groom them on a regular basis.

Heavy furniture: heavy bookshelves, sofas, and the dining tables can dent or scratch your wooden flooring. Place them away from wooden floors if possible. Another smart alternative is to use gliders for your furniture.

Work with a professional

Identifying wooden floor damage early can make the fix easier. However, if you overlook the condition and leave it unsupervised for too long, you might end up paying a hefty bill in terms of finance, time and comfort. Consulting a certified wooden floor damage specialist as early as possible can be the key to save money and time on most of the occasions.

Damage to wooden floors from issues like mold infestation can be hard to diagnose. This issue if left to prevail can be equally harmful to your health and the building structure. Foresee these factors and take the necessary steps for long term protection.

Residential-Fire-Damage-United-States-Complete-Statistics

Residential Fire Damage United States: Complete Statistics

A fire breakout is unpredictable. For residential and commercial properties, the potential damage from a fire breakout can be catastrophic. Any victim of fire damage goes through both physical and emotional consequences, in addition to the stress of applying and winning a fire insurance claim.

This piece of content features common causes of fire damage along with the statistics:

Electrical Fire:

As per the National Fire Protection Association’s (NPFA), report (2012-2016), fires from electrical failures and malfunctions were the second major cause of residential fires in the United States.

The local fire department responded to an average of 37630 home fires triggered from electrical malfunction, electrical distribution, and lighting equipment failures during this period.

While these mishaps claimed an unfortunate 18% death rate, the property damage peaked at around 20%.
Nearly 39% of these fires occurred between November – February, surprisingly these were cold-weather months.
In 3 out of 5 homes, the malfunctioned electrical appliances were armed with arcing as the heat source.

Heating Equipment malfunction in united states statistics

Heating Equipment Malfunction:

Heating equipment is another common cause of residential fire in the United States. Heating equipment malfunction contributed to about 15% of home fires in the United States (2012-2016).

Stationary or portable Space was the major heating equipment involved in home fires.

Improper or failure to maintain heating equipment is the major factor that leads to home fires.

Keeping heating equipment too close to combustibles was the major cause of ignition.

Home Fires Involving heating equipment failures in United States

Candle & Grill Fires:

Between 2009 & 2013, the fire department responded to 9300 residential property fires caused by candles. As per the reports, the main areas of candle fire breakouts are bedroom, living room, and bathroom.

The leading factor that contributed to the ignition was the placement of combustible things close to burning candles.

More than one-fourth of the grill fires reported during the period 2012-2016 was triggered due to cluttered or clogged grills.

The main areas of grill fires were balcony or open porch.

Gas operated grill fires were the major grill type that lead to residential building fire compared to charcoal and other solid fuel.

Natural Causes:

As per the NPFA, lightning strikes contribute to an average of 22,500 fires in the United States every year with estimated property damage of $451 million per year.

Florida is known for many lightning hazards that lead to fire damages on an annual basis, earning it the reputation as the lightning capital of the U.S.

On an average 10 to 13 people lose their life to lightening in Florida annually.

Wildfires are another natural cause that contributes to natural fire disasters to a residential property in the United States.

The damages incurred from fire caused due to these natural causes may be covered by a homeowners’ insurance policy. Some policies even cover temporary living expenses if your family is forced to move out of an area due to the risk of lightning fire or lightning strikes. Ensure that you do in-depth research on these options and foresee the risks and vulnerabilities related to your state and its weather statistics.

Smoking Materials:

An average of 5% of residential fires (2012-2016) was started due to smoking materials.

Smoking materials were accountable for 1in 20 residential property fires in the United States.

Open porch and balconies in residential structures were the common areas where the smoking material fire broke out.

Bedrooms and balconies contributed to the popular areas where the smoking material fire broke out and lead to deaths.

Proper disposal of smoking materials is critical for fire breakout. A fire triggered by an improperly disposed of smoking material outdoors can spread into concealed spaces within the property. Such spread can take it times to do the damage before the smoke triggers the emergency alarm.

home fire in US due to smoking materials

Cooking:

During 2013-2017, the United States fire department responded to 173,200 residential structure fires per year caused by cooking mishaps.

Christmas and Thanksgiving were the popular occasions that contributed to cooking-related home fires.

Electric cooking equipment was linked with higher risks of fire breakouts compared to gas cooking equipment.
Unattended cooking was the major reason that leads to cooking fires and causalities throughout the United States.

Leading factors in home cooking fire

Residential structure fires in the United States have been peaking annually. Improper maintenance and negligence leads to disaster in no time. A yearly fire safety inspection is crucial. Ensure that your residential structure fire amenities and precautions are aligned with the rules and regulations set by the county or state.

Yeast Vs Mold Comparison

Yeast & Mold: How To Tell The Difference

Yeast and mold are the two different forms of fungi that people find hard to distinguish. Fungi can be normal and natural, however, a higher concentration, especially in residential structures, can cause an adverse effect on health and safety.

The ability to distinguish yeast from mold or vice versa has significance when it comes to dealing with the concerns caused by each.

Importance of identifying mold and yeast

The need for identifying yeast is not considered to be critical as it does not pose a real threat to indoor air quality.

Mold on the other hand can be dangerous with respect to the type that you are dealing with. For instance, the most toxic mold found in homes; Stachybotrys chartarum or black mold, can cause severe cough, skin rashes, and chronic fatigue.

This makes looking for signs of mold infestation within your house on a regular basis critical, especially if you live in coastal areas or areas with high atmospheric humidity.

Appearance

Appearance can be one of the major means to distinguish between yeast and mold.

Yeast Mold
Can only appear as white or monochromatic Can appear in a variety of colors from green, pink purple or black.
Smooth to touch Furry to touch
Hard to detect due to the lack of color Individual spores are invisible to the naked eye, colonies are pigmented.

Where do they grow?

Yeast: Growth can be naturally triggered and it can thrive on fruits, plants, animals and soil. You can even notice yeast growth on your or your pet’s skin. They have an affinity towards sucrose-rich products, hence found on fruits and vegetables for the purpose of fermentation.

Mold: Molds are naturally triggered, provided the conditions favor its growth.
Mold growth is supported by a mixture of the following factors:

  • Moisture
  • Warmth
  • Food source (wood, drywall etc)

The fact that mold spores can easily travel between substances and areas within your house contributes to its capability to infect the inhabitants easily.

A pipe burst, flooding in your house, or any other form of water damage can create favorable conditions for mold growth.

Health risks

Yeast: The yeast type: Candida albicans are considered to be good for health, however, a higher concentration of this yeast type in the body can weaken the immune system.

Similarly, people occasionally can even develop an allergy to nutritional yeast, which is usually indicated via hives breakout.

Mold: Health risks associated with mold can be several and it can even vary with respect to the mold type you are exposed to. Some common symptoms of mold infestation are:

  • Itchiness
  • Water eyes
  • Dry throat
  • Persistent coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin infections

If mold spores and inhaled in excess amounts and if it enters your kidney or lungs, it can lead trigger other life-threatening conditions.

Perform a house inspection today to identify mold from yeast and act quickly to get the concern under control. If it seems too much to handle, contact a professional mold restoration company to get the condition handled effectively.

Coronavirus-Cleaning-Checklist-Infographics-blog imag

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Cleaning Protocols (Infographic)

We are now offering 24/7 sanitation and decontamination to curb the spread of COVID-19. We are equipped to clean a variety of residential and commercial properties such as offices, schools, churches, etc. If you have cause to believe that your property may have been contaminated by exposure to someone with COVID-19 do not hesitate to contact us. Sanitation and decontamination in a timely manner is vital to limiting the spread of the disease.

This infographic features the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Cleaning Protocols that Titan Restoration Follows:

Covid-19-Cleaning-Protocol-Checklist.

Personal Protective Equipment:

  • Compatible PPE with the disinfectant products used Personal Protective
  • Additional PPE when there is a risk of splash Equipment (PPE)
  • Careful disposal of PPE to avoid contamination of the wearer and the surrounding area

Routine Environmental Cleaning:

  • Prioritization by frequently & minimally touched surfaces
  • Use of EPA-registered disinfectants
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for disinfectants

PPE Disposal & Self Care:

  • Disinfecting Reusable PPE with Detergent & hospital-grade disinfectant
  • Disposing of single-use PPE via ‘double-bagging’ Self Care
  • Using alcohol-based hand rub before putting on & after removing gloves

Titan Restoration Construction Follows IICRC’s Standards to address general work practices related to commercial or residential cleaning, mold remediation and water damage restoration.

Mold-Spore-Colony-under-Microscope

Mold Damage: 41 Frequently Asked Questions

What are molds?

Mold is a type of fungi found in both indoor and outdoor environments. The primary functionality of the mold is to breakdown dead materials. In nature, mold can be found on soil, food, and plants.

What makes mold grow?

Mold can grow abruptly with the following limited resources.

  • Nutrients (organic materials like paper, wood, drywall)
  • A suitable place to grow (basement, bathroom & crawl spaces)
  • Suitable condition (Moisture & Humidity)

How does mold spread?

Molds produce “spores”, a set of microscopic cells that can spread through air, water and insects. Under the right conditions, live spores transported to new areas form mold colonies.

Is inhaling mold spores dangerous?

For people sensitive to mold, touching or inhaling mold spores can trigger health concerns like sneezing, itching, sore throat, runny nose, and skin rashes. These issues can be chronic for people with existing health concerns like:

  • Liver diseases
  • Compromised immunity
  • Asthma and allergies

Infants, children, and the elderly are especially vulnerable to health concerns from mold spore interaction.

Can mold kill you?

No, exposure even to the most dangerous mold types like black mold will not kill you.

How dangerous is black mold?

Even though black mold has been linked to chronic health concerns like cancer and lung diseases, we still have no solid proof to confirm the direct association of black mold with these chronic diseases.

As per the Florida Department of Health, exposure to black mold can trigger the following health problems:

  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Wheezing
  • Blurry vision
  • Itchy eyes

What are the most dangerous mold types?

Some of the mold dangerous mold types are:

  • Stachybotrys (Black Mold)
  • Chaetomium
  • Aspergillus
  • Cladosporium and
  • Fusarium

What are the signs of mold growth?

Some signs of mold in your house are:

  • You are sick and never better
  • Musty smell
  • Bubbly walls
  • Rust

How can I get exposed to mold?

It is impossible to avoid exposing yourself to mold spores due to its ubiquitous nature. It is when the level of exposure elevates, you start observing symptoms. Handling moldy materials or inhaling moldy air often can elevate the concern.

People with existing health concerns start exhibiting systems even with minor exposure levels.

What is the cost of mold removal?

The cost of mold removal or remediation can vary based on factors like the area, location, and type of contamination.

How long does mold removal take?

It depends on your individual situation; however, on average we take 3 to 6 days to restore the conditions based on IICRC best practices for mold remediation.

Can I remove mold myself?

It depends on the mold type and the situation that you are dealing with. You can use DIY tips for everyday mold, which you can often see in the bathroom corners and the kitchen cabinets.

However, when you start observing the other signs of mold like the musty smell and feeling of uneasiness or if you observe a hidden mold colony with size more than 10 sq. ft., you have to consult a mold specialist.

Mold reoccurrence after using DIY techniques is another sign that you are dealing with a strong mold type, which needs to be taken care of by a professional.

Can mold dry out and die?

Mold spores require moisture and food to thrive. However, when the moisture supply is cut off, the spores actually fall into an inactive state. Once they come in contact with moisture again, they start functioning and multiplying.
Some mold types are can stay dormant for years under the right condition.

Does mold come back after remediation?

Yes, mold can reappear after the remediation process.

Moisture problem is the main reason that drives mold re-growth.

Professional remediation services can reduce the probability of mold reoccurrence to 10%.

As per our observation, the probability of mold reoccurrence increases by 40% if DIY techniques were initially used to address mold growth.

Can I use bleach to kill mold?

Using bleach does not kill the mold. The chemical composition of the bleach takes away the color of the mold and creates an illusion of a mold-free surface. The fungi present can continue damaging your property.

Furthermore, the overuse of bleach can also cause permanent damage to residential possessions like furniture or marble.

Can I paint over mold?

Have you observed bubbling on newly painted walls after a couple of months? Painting on molded walls without properly addressing the concerns can lead to this situation.

Painting over mold can delay the inevitable, but you are certain to face the following:

  • Personal & family health concerns
  • Property damage
  • Hefty mold remediation bills
  • Property value depreciation

Does painting or using caulk over mold kill it?

The short answer is ‘No’.

There are several mold killing paints and coatings available in the market today. However, if you do in-depth research, you can easily challenge these claims.

Mold colonies on walls or other surfaces have to be properly addressed prior to painting.

You can easily see surface mold. However, on most occasions, the problem sits deeper within your walls. If you suspect that there is mold beneath your painted walls, hire a professional mold remediation service.

Commercial mold remediation service can access the mold growth, identify the extent of damage, and recommend a plan of repair.

What are the signs of mold growth under the paint?

  • Paint appears chipped, bubbled, cracked
  • Wall discoloration, especially a tinge yellow color that signifies water leak
  • Wall surfaces appear irregular

What does mold smell like?
Mold smell can vary, some are:

  • Musty
  • Meaty
  • Earthy
  • Wet socks or rotten wood

Why are some mold types hazardous to others?

Mold types producing the chemical: ‘mycotoxins” are considered toxic. However, no research has so far linked toxic mold types to unique health concerns.
All mold types in properties should be treated and eliminated the same.
If my air conditioning system is contaminated, can I still use it?
Any systems that regulate airflow in your house or office should not be used if it is suspected of mold contamination.
Using a contaminated air regulation system seconds quick and effortless spread of mold spores.

How can I prevent mold growth?

  • Use dehumidifiers or air conditioner to maintain the humidity level in your property around 50%
  • Dry any spills or wet surfaces in 24 hours
  • Do not use carpets in bathrooms, basement and crawl areas
  • Address water leaks as quickly as possible

How much mold exposure does it take to make me sick?

This depends on your health statistics and age. Infants and the elderly are more vulnerable to mold exposure.

A 2012 study conducted on infants and young children across 289 homes, found that group exposed to mold had increased risk of developing asthma by the age of 7.

The bottom line is mold exposure will trigger major health concerns in the long run.

Does homeowners insurance cover mold?

Homeowners insurance covers mold damage, provided it is included in the ‘covered peril’.

Homeowner insurance covered perils is a list of damages that makes you eligible to file a claim. The covered peril can vary with the insurance type and other factors.

The main cause of mold damage is water leak or damage. To understand whether mold damage is covered in your home insurance, you need to initially understand what lead to mold damage.

The following can be included in a home insurance policy and related to mold damage:

  • Water damage due to faulty appliances
  • Water damage due to attempts to control fire b firefighters

Can mold ruin my house?

Mold can take its toll on any property made of wood. Look for decay and rotting wood in crawl spaces and basements.
Mold takes its time to inflict serious damage to the structural integrity of your house. This is why we recommend early detection and regulation of mold damage.

If I engage a contractor for structural repair, will I address any mold issues?

Performing a structural repair on your mold-infested property does not guarantee that mold will not re-occur. For the best results, mold has to be eliminated at its root prior to performing structural repair.

Can I sell a house with mold?

You can sell a house with mold, but, disclose any history of water leaks or mold growth that you have addressed or any present related concerns that are not fixed.

For instance, if you fixed a faucet leak, which was not mentioned during the property handover.

If the buyer finds a major mold outbreak behind the faucet wall and the present situation demands him to replace the cabinets completely. He can request you to pay for the damages and even sue you and the realtor.

How does mold inspector check for mold?

A licensed mold removal technician uses a variety of industry level equipment to test, remove and prevent mold contamination. Some tools that we use are:

  • Moisture meter
  • Infrared or thermal imaging camera
  • Rotameter
  • Borescope
  • Humidity gauge

How do I find hidden mold in my house?

Hidden mold is difficult to diagnose. You need advanced tools like a digital hygrometer, moisture meter, and humidity gauge to identify hidden mold.

Do air purifiers help with mold spread?

Yes, an air purifier can prevent mold spore spread, provided they are armed with:

  • HEPA filter: captures airborne spores and prevent reentry
  • Carbon filter: alleviates mold odor
  • UV-C light: prevent mold reproduction

Note that, existing mold colonies is not destroyed even though reproduction might be prevented. In such cases, mold can enter the dormant state and continue to exist in that state until it encounters a favorable condition to reproduce.

Is there a device to check for mold?

There are several mold test kits available in the market to test for mold.

Will moldy food make me sick?

Yes, moldy food can trigger allergic reactions and respiratory issues. Some mold types can produce mycotoxins, ingestion of which could make you sick.

Will mold only occupy the food surface?

No.

You might have observed pigmented mold or dusty spots on edible substances like bread, cheddar and fruits. Mold has root threads that invade deep into the surface of contamination. Therefore, removing the pigmented moldy spots on the food surfaces does not make it safe.

Can I use DIY mold removal tips to kill mold?

We do not recommend DIY Mold removal tips, provided you are unaware of the mold type you are dealing with. Here is why.

How does mold differ from mildew?

Mold differs from mildew in some aspects; find a detailed comparison table here.

When should I call a mold removal specialist?

The area of mold contamination, the air quality within your property and reoccurring health concerns are some signs that you should call a mold removal specialist.

Can my clothes get contaminated with mold?

Yes, learn more here.

What are the best practices to consider while removing mold?

It is recommended to align your removal efforts alongside IICRC’s on 5 major principles for mold remediation:

  • Provide the safety and health of workers and occupants
  • Document the conditions and work progress
  • Decontamination during remediation
  • Contamination removal
  • Contamination prevention

There are several consequences of not abiding by these principles.

What are the common types of mold found in homes?

  • Alternaria
  • Aspergillus fumigates
  • Aureobasidium
  • Chaetomium
  • Cladosporium

Learn more about each of these mold types here.

What to expect from a commercial mold removal services?

A commercial mold removal service is licensed and uses industry-grade equipment to test, remove, clean up and prevent mold contamination.

They also align their work process along with IICRC’s best practices for mold removal and foresee different situations and ensure the safety of both workers and inhabitants.

Mold growth is easy to prevent if you remain vigilant and invest time and effort to maintain your property consistently.

Paint Peel on Water Damage Wall in a residential property west palm beach

The 3 Categories of Water Damage and Considerations

Flooding in your property can cause serious damage. Irrespective of how well you are prepared, flooding or water damage can produce unforeseen scenarios and threats.

Minor property water damage incidents can be restored via the DIY checklist. However, sever water damage cleanup or restoration requires professional supervision and industrial grade tools & machinery.

Identifying the water damage category is the first step to water damage restoration. Water damage restoration professionals customize their restoration process based on this information for an effective and timely recovery.

This post features the three categories of water damage and the respective considerations.

Clean water or Category 1

Category 1 water damage is water damage from broken pipes, overflowing sink, or rainwater. Health risks associated with category 1 water damage is low, provided, you respond to the situation in less than 48 hours.

On most occasions, overlooking the fact that water damage can cause major headaches if left unattended escalates the situation.

Category 1 water damage if left untreated for more than 48 hours gets exposed to different contaminants which can turn it into category 2 water damage.

Greywater or Category 2

Some common sources of greywater are equipment discharges, chemical wastes like detergent, laundry, and soap. Category 2 water damage can pose mild to severe contamination risks. Greywater can promote microbial growth and the severity of the condition usually escalates with time. Both direct and indirect exposure to greywater damage can affect your personal health and property.

Blackwater or Category 3

Waters from sewers or water containing grease, oil, urine, etc are ideal examples of black water. Presumably, this water type hoards bacteria, viruses, and other toxic allergens, which makes it contagious.

The vulnerability of getting an infection or illness post direct or indirect exposure to black water is more than 90%. It is mandatory to exercise special caution when dealing with black water.

Paint Peel on Water Damage Wall in a residential property west palm beach
Considerations

Health and safety of occupants: When facing water damage, the priority is to consider the health and safety of the occupants.

Irrespective of the type of water damage you are dealing with, if the situation seems going out of control, moving your family away from the site should be your first step.

Contain the damage: If it is possible, try to locate the source of the water damage and contain it. For instance, if the culprit is a broken pipe or a leak in the ceiling, you could use waterproof tape to contain the damage temporarily and prevent further damage.

If the situation seems serious, it is ideal to contact a water damage restoration professional to how severe the damage is, especially if the area in question is near drywalls and crawlspaces.

Move your belongings: relocating your belongings like the furniture, bed, and clothing to a dry place is another important aspect to consider. Most of these belongings when wet or when subjected to high moisture content can become a haven for mold growth.

Dealing with water damage can be a tricky task. The key is to take action within the first 48 hours and to keep the microbial growth under constant check. This is where water restoration specialists can play a crucial role.

Mold-inside-the-drywall-in-a-house-in-Jupiter

What to Expect from a Professional Mold Removal Service

If not handled properly, mold growth in houses and offices can be a recurring problem. Incidents of mold growth disrupting the lives of people have increased in the past two years.

With the rise in indoor fungal and bacterial contaminations, the task of finding a professional mold removal services has become a challenge.

Once you observe those obvious signs of mold growth in your house or office and feel that things are getting out of hand, you need to hire a mold remediation specialist.

The checklist below will provide you a snapshot of how a professional mold removal service operates.

Assessment Checklist

Since mold growth is usually visible, your remediator will start with a visual assessment to understand the extent of mold contamination.

The specialist can also use high powered light sources coupled with fiber-optic borescopes to survey hidden areas like cavities.

Additional industry-level tools/equipment will be used for the assessment; which will be discussed later in this post.

A mold removal specialist can also interview the occupants of the building to understand the following:

  • The extent of mold contamination
  • Events of water incursion in the past, if any and the pertinent details like how, where, type and how long
  • Whether infected areas have been covered in the past with paints, sealants or other coatings
  • The history of the building (this information will come in handy for the documentation process, which will be discussed later.)

detailed picture of mold inside drywall
Mold equipment

Mold assessment and removal equipment used by mold cleanup services. Following factors will influence usage of equipment in this list.

  • Geo location
  • Structure type, age, materials involved
  • Mold contamination level

Assessment/inspection equipment: Your mold remediation specialist should use some or all the below listed equipment to analyze and document the status of the structure, infected area and systems during remediation.
A professional mold removal company uses the same assessment tools and equipment at the same geo-location to ensure the following:

  • Consistent data collection
  • Accurate project forecasting
  • Accurate budgeting and post-cleanup evaluations

Moisture sensors: Moisture sensors are used to determine the moisture levels in multiple materials. The device has multiple pins that penetrate the material to provide moisture level readings audibly or visually. These sensors help remediators to identify things that are beyond repair.

Moisture meters: Mold specialist uses moisture meters to review the moisture levels of materials with known or acceptable moisture content.

The result from the moisture meters are compared with the acceptable moisture content in materials and used to set target drying goals.

Thermo-hygrometer: professional mold specialists will use the same thermo-hygrometer to read determine the temperature and relative humidity in the contaminated area.

Environmental conditions are documented before, during and after remediation. If fluctuations in readings indicate conditions that support microbial growth, remediators take preventive measures.

IR Thermometers & Thermal imaging devices: IR Thermometer and imaging devices are used to detect moisture level fluctuations on material surfaces.

IR and thermal devices cannot provide moisture readings within the material. These tools list the materials eligible for a moisture meter check.

Supplemental systems: heating systems, air conditioning equipment and power generators can fall under supplemental systems.

Remediators use these systems when gas, fuel oil and electrical systems need to be disconnected as part of remediation efforts.

Any supplemental mechanical system used should adhere to the local laws and regulations set by the federal, country or the state.

Removal materials/equipment: a professional mold remediation service will strategize the remediation process using the following removal equipment.

6-mil polyethylene sheets/ bags: uncontaminated or occupied areas in the building are separated from the contaminated area using 6-mil polyethylene sheets.

Materials beyond repair are securely sealed using 6-mil polyethylene bags and discarded in composing landfill rather than recycling landfill.

Antimicrobial coatings and sealants: Water-based coatings and sealants with a standard permeability rating of minimum 1.0 perms as per ASTM D-1653 should be used.

Low odor, low volatile organic compound-driven and the ones that don’t create a vapor barrier are usually preferred.

Chemicals: A mold removal specialist will only use chemicals or antimicrobials in conjunction with proper cleaning standards.

The source removal of mold contamination is always the priority. Indiscriminate use of antimicrobials, coatings, and sealants can trigger health concerns like asthma, headache, and itchy eyes.

Mold inside piping system in a house in Jupiter

Safety work practice checklist

A professional mold remediation service adopts the best workplace safety precautions. Some of these restrictions or precautions are:

  • Enforce wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and a daily inspection before use
  • Electrical safety practices like using Lock Out, Tag Out (LOTO)
  • No edible consumables or smoking in contaminated area
  • Proper containment of PPE before moving from one area to another
  • Enforcing the use of multiple gloves to address the concern of personal injury
  • Adhering to buddy system while working in isolated or high heat workspaces
  • Daily standup meetings to track progress, layout deadlines and review safety concerns

Project documentation & record keeping

How many of you have thought about checking whether your mold removal specialist keeps a record of the recent remediation work? If yes, do you know how detailed their documentation is? Are the same person involved in the future remediation work if mold reoccurs?

A perfect mold project document and recordkeeping are critical for successful execution and completion of the remediation project. This documentation becomes inevitable in cases of mold reoccurrence.

Perfect project documentation will have the following:

  • The complete list of readings and observation for all materials and areas involved
  • Documentation of important communication
  • Pictures of previous conditions
  • Strategies used to decontaminate for e.g. use of specific chemicals, sealants etc.
  • A detailed work/activity log that lists the technicians involved in specific activities, how long, the outcome and any potential risk identified but not resolved during the project

Identifying a professional mold removal specialist is a tricky task. Review this checklist and ensure that the specialist that you hire has experience with all the pointers listed above. This can be your starting point.

Mold in residential property ceiling west palm beach

Mold Can Affect More Than Your Carpets & Drywalls

Mold infestation is a collective non-scientific name that pins different types of fungi. These unpleasant fungi types can be found both indoors and outdoors.

Mold growth has been increasingly becoming a major headache for both residential and commercial property owners, especially in Florida.

Research by Hindawi 2016, on economic costs of certain health issues caused by exposure to indoor dampness and mold in the U.S estimated the following annual costs:

  • Allergic Rhinitis: $3.7 billion
  • Acute Bronchitis $1.9 billion
  • Asthma Morbidity $15.1 billion
  • Asthma Mortality $1.7 billion

These statistics make a point, it’s just not your carpets or drywalls that are affected by mold, but these fungi types hoard some serious concerns.

Mold infestation on clothes

Mold can easily find its way to clothes and take its time to inflict some damage. Some mold types can go unnoticed and create the following health concerns:

  • Rashes
  • Watery and itchy eyes
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Fatigue
  • Headache

The possibility of mold infestation on clothes is usually overlooked and turns out to be a mistake in the long run.

Health hazards

Mold on carpets and drywalls are often just the beginning. Usually, mold takes it time and starts affecting your health. The irony is that most symptoms are hard to link to mold growth and hence the core problem remains at large.

Allergy and asthma: respiratory issues are the most common aftereffects of mold infestation. Black mold spores can trigger respiratory concerns like shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing.

These conditions, if unchecked, with time can develop to chronic asthma and other serious respiratory issues.

Memory loss and concentration: Mold also has the potential to thwart the smooth functioning of the brain. Mold spores can make you feel sluggish and create a foggy feeling.

Weakened immune system: being sick all of a sudden and on a consistent basis can be linked to inhalation of mold spores. Such situations lead to a weakened immune system, which can make you vulnerable to any other health concerns.

Mold infected drywall in Office in Jupiter Florida

Structural damage

Mold growth can impact the residential or property structure. Mold growth in areas like behind the drywalls and ceilings usually go unnoticed.

More often property owners fail to notice the different signs of mold growth. Such situations can escalate in a couple of years and have a bigger impact on the structure of the property.

Properties made of organic or cellulose dominated materials like wood, drywall, etc can feed mold and deteriorate over time. This leads to situations like collapsing walls and roofs.

This is why we recommend inspecting your property for water and mold damage inspections at least twice every year.

Mold growth is easy to prevent, it’s just that you need to invest some time and effort to ensure that everything is under control. If you find any signs of mold infestation at your house, make it a point to contact a certified mold remediation specialist as soon as possible. It is also wise to ensure that your mold remediation specialist abides by IICRC’s best practices for mold remediation.

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Fire Safety & Shopping Centers: Things to Consider

Shopping centers are responsible for fire protection; however, there are certain boundaries and handing over the responsibilities that every shop owner or tenant must be aware about. For instance, if you enter the confines of an individual shop in a shopping mall, the fire protection is the responsibility of the shopowner.

As a shop owner, you can expect such scenarios and policies penciled down on your lease agreement, ensure to double-check the pertinent conditions before you put pen on paper. This post will feature some common things to be considered while ensuring fire protection in shopping centers.

Fire extinguisher maintenance

Fire extinguishers can vary from size to type. For instance, you have water, foam, powder and Co2 fire extinguishers. You need to talk to a specialist when choosing the right one for your retail shop as your selection should be based on the type of store, the storage commodity and more.

Service fire extinguishers on a regular basis and consider it mandatory to have them serviced annually to ensure that they are in compliance.

Fire alarm maintenance

Even though the shopping centers will have centrally controlled fire alarm systems, you are responsible for the ones that are within the confines of your shop.

Service and test these fire alarms as per your council’s requirements and ensure that you have the respective logbooks updated.

Fire signage

A fire and evacuation diagram can turn out to be a lifesaver. This together with other fire safety signage can be critical when the unexpected happens. Position the signage ideally to map out the escape routes for your customers, who might not have any idea about the compound layout in case of emergencies.

An ideal means to ensure that everything looks good is by checking whether you can see a fire exit sign wherever you are within your shop.

Emergency lighting

Emergency lighting is another important fire safety measure that should meet the compliance. A fire breakout can easily sabotage the lighting circuits. As precautionary measures, the fire safety officers tend to disconnect the electric supply to any property under fire. Foresee such scenarios and ensure that you have proper and efficient lighting within your property which can guide yourself and the emergency service team.

Fire training

Fire training should be mandatory for staff in your outlet. Train yourself or at least one staff within your establishment about evacuation procedures and setups within the shop. Electing a fire warden can help you to alleviate stress and chaos in case of any emergencies.

Moreover, consider engaging in some fire mock drills to ensure that everything goes as planned in case of emergencies. You might be surprised to learn that most people are unaware of how to use a fire extinguisher in case of emergencies. Even with clear instructions marked on the product itself, the stress and the chaos that the situation creates can make it difficult for your function normally. This is where mock drills can come in handy.

Ensuring fire safety within your shop can be challenging and requires careful planning and thought processes. For practical assistance, consult with fire protection, inspection, and maintenance service.

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What does home insurance usually cover?

Most people underestimate home insurance, while some consider it a luxury, others overlook it completely. In the real world, home insurance is never a luxury but a necessity.

The fact that there are several home insurance providers and different respective schemes can be a bit intimidating. Often, a homeowner with limited experience finds it difficult to differentiate the right plan from a dodgy insurance scheme for their home. This facilitates the thought process and the actions from a homeowner’s perspective to overlook home insurance as such.

This post features the standard 3 essential home insurance coverage types and some additional related pointers worth understanding and acting on.

Actual cash value

The actual cash value is the cost of replacing any damaged or stolen property minus the depreciation of the respective property at the time of loss.

Literally transformed, it is the actual value for which the property can be sold at that time and condition and it’s always less compared to the cost of replacing it.

Replacement cost

Replacement cost is a preferred insurance scheme that covers the actual cash value of your home and without considering any deprecation.

This scheme essentially lets you reconstruct or renovate your home or damaged property to the actual value.

Guaranteed/or extended replacement cost/value

This coverage scheme factors in the inflation-buffer and pays the policyholders to rebuild or repair their home, even if the costs exceed the policy limit.

The fact that this scheme offers compensation that exceeds your policy limit makes it popular and usually, insurance providers set a cap limit which is 20 to 25% higher than the actual policy limit.

Whats usually covered

Homeowner insurance in the United States usually covers the following:

  • Damage to your house and any adjacent properties like the garage or other buildings
  • Loss of personal possessions and belongings example: furniture due to incidents like theft
  • Coverage incurred as extra living expenses for incidents where you are forced to move out of your house temporarily due to incidents like flood or storm damage

What can you include in your coverage schemes?

You may decide to include coverage for the following with your homeowner’s insurance scheme:

  • Property damage or third party physical injury caused due to negligence
  • Accidents in your name, in and away from your home
  • Personal properties in storage
  • A limited coverage for possessions like gold, jewelry and antique collections

What are the key takeaways to consider when home insurance policies?

Homeowners’ insurance policies usually cover damage/loss of the possessions and both the interior and exterior damages to the property.

The three basic levels of home insurance coverage to look at are actual cash value, replacement cost and extended replacement cost/value.

The rates of the policy chosen are calculated based on the following factors:

  • Your historical claims related to home, possession damages/loss
  • The condition of the house

Trying to resort to a professional insurance provider should be your priority. In cases of a loss or damage to your property, presenting your claim professionally is crucial to ensure that your insurance provider is not underpaying you. This is where dealing with professionals like Titan Restoration Construction can be a remarkable decision.