1 in 5 Insurance Claims in Florida are from Fire, Is your Business Safe?

1 in 5 Insurance Claims in Florida are from Fire, Is your Business Safe?

According to the Insurance Journal, 75% of businesses in the United States are underinsured, and 40% of small business owners remain uninsured.

On most occasions, these businesses find themselves with no insurance to cover their claims when filed with a lawsuit or disaster.

As per The Hartford, the top 5 insurance claims filed in U.S in 2017 based on the claim amount were as follows:

  • Reputational harm: $50,000
  • Vehicle accident: $45,000
  • Fire damage: $35,000
  • Product liability: $35,000
  • Customer injury or property damage: $30,000

As you can see, fire is a major contributing factor to insurance claims in the U.S.

We have been assisting our potential clients to file commercial insurance claims over five years and we could confirm that Fire has been the most frequent and expensive cause.

This post features a checklist of factors to consider when choosing business insurances and preventive measures while considering commercial fire damage.

Insurance policy selection

Most small businesses struggle when it comes to getting the right advice on fire damage insurance. Fortunately, standard commercial property insurance policies in the United States usually cover fire damages.

While keeping this in mind, consider the following insurance policies to ensure protection from all the possible angles.

Commercial property insurance: With commercial property insurance, you can insure your business in the following two ways:

  • Its replacement value: what it would cost to replace everything with new items or
  • Its actual cash value: what it would cost to replace everything with used equivalents to what you have now

This insurance type if available at different levels and hence considered budget-friendly.

Business owner’s policy (BOP): This commercial insurance type is deemed budget-friendly as it gives the business owners an option to bundle general liability insurance with property insurance. There are certain criteria that you need to satisfy to be eligible for a Business Owner’s Policy. Risk exposure can be a major factor that can influence your eligibility for the BOP.

Business interruption insurance: This policy is a godsend to business owners who are forced to shut their doors due to fire. The policy can cover the rental of the new office and even the salaries of your employees and other ongoing expenses as long as you are unable to operate.

Preventive measures

Fire is an unexpected and unwanted hazard for any business. Make it a point to prepare yourself for this unforeseen hazard by following some basic guidelines. Satisfy the below checklist to keep the concern of fire damage at bay.

  • Train your employees to use fire equipments like fire extinguishers and blankets
  • Periodical fire system inspection which includes fire extinguisher, fire exits and sprinkler system inspection
  • Routine commercial cooking and manufacturing checks
  • Electrical equipment inspections and banning risky electrical appliances

Fire damage in Florida is one of the top five causes for commercial insurance claims both while considering the cost and the frequency of the claims. As a business owner ensure that you do the following three things right to minimizing the possibility of damage and maximizing the odds of recovery:

  • Choose the right insurance policy/ Get the right advice
  • Take necessary precautions
  • Document the aftereffects

Need assistance with finding or filing commercial insurance claims? Talk to us today.

Cladosporium Mold- Microscopic View

Cladosporium Mold Type: What You Need to Know

Mold growth in a residential or office space and disrupt the harmony of your everyday life. It is hard to identify mold growth and it is often harder to detect its effects on your health until it turns into something critical.

Out of the common mold types found in homes and office spaces, Cladosporium is a genus of fungi that can trigger asthma and allergies. This post features some important facts about Cladosporium mold type, allergies, identification, and more.

What is Cladosporium?

Ubiquitous around the globe and with over 300 species, Cladosporium mold type of usually isolated from soil and organic matter. Even though this mold type normally affects your health by triggering conditions including allergies and asthma, on rare occasions, it can trigger infections.

Common types

Common Cladosporium mold types are:

Cladosporium herbarum: commonly isolated from organic matter including woody plants, textiles rubber paper, and dead herbaceous. In an indoor environment, these are commonly found in:

  • Carpets
  • Mattress, Furniture dust
  • Painted walls and
  • HVAC insulation

This Cladosporium mold type can grow in a wide range of temperature and this seconds its extreme commonness.

Cladosporium sphaerospermum: commonly isolated from soil, air, painted words and walls, this Cladosporium mold variant can trigger allergies and occasional health concerns in humans. This is one of the few Cladosporium mold type that can grow below 0 degrees Celsius and also known for spoilage of meats in cold storages.

Cladosporium cladosporioides: it is a common mold type found both indoors and outdoors. Majorly found in outdoor conditions, this fungi type is responsible for plant diseases and seasonal allergic reactions.

Cladosporium macrocarpum: this Cladosporium mold type is mainly found outdoors and isolated from dead plants, soil and seeds.

Appearances

Cladosporium mold type usually forms dark pigmented colonies the coloration can vary from green to black/brown spots. From the outset, this mold type has a powder or velvety type appearance. The abundant production of conidia contributes to the powdery appearance.

Where can you find

Cladosporium mold is not hard to find if you know the technical know-how. This mold type has an ideal growth temperature range of 18 – 28 degree Celsius. However, some species including Cladosporium herbarum can grow below 0 degree Celsius.

Cladosporium is prominent in areas that doesn’t get enough sunlight and air ventilation. Some common household areas where you can find this mold type are:

  • Wet or damp areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Areas surrounding heating and cooling appliances
  • Wooden surfaces
  • Fabrics
  • Wallpapers
  • Carpets/rugs
  • Window sills
  • Grills
  • Upholstered furniture
  • Faucets
  • Curtains

Health concerns

The health concerns related to Cladosporium can vary from person to person. While some develop allergic reactions to exposure, others may not.

Some symptoms due to Cladosporium exposure are:

  • coughing and sneezing
  • dry skin
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • itchy throat, eyes, and nose
  • watery eyes

Reactions are minor on most occasions, in rare cases, these can elevate to major health concerns that require immediate medical supervision.

If you suspect a severe allergic reaction due to Cladosporium, keep an eye out for symptoms including shortness of breath, wheezing, tightness in the chest.

Who is more likely to develop allergic reaction?

As discussed, some people are more vulnerable to allergic reaction due to exposure to Cladosporium, these people can belong to the following category:

  • Family history of allergies
  • Living or working in damp and poorly ventilated environments for prolonged time
  • Diagnosed with other respiratory conditions like asthma
  • Diagnosed with other respiratory conditions like eczema

Prevention

There are several precautionary measures that can help you keep the consequences of Cladosporium exposure at a minimum.

  • Ensure that your house is properly ventilated
  • Identify water leaks, especially in crawl spaces and fix immediately
  • If any part of your house is damp, use dehumidifiers to regulate the temperature
  • Be on constant look out for mold growth and water damages
  • Keep the gutters clutter free
  • Do not use carpets in crawl spaces or basements

Cladosporium mold type does not pose a serious threat to human health. However, underestimating this mold type, especially for prolonged duration can have serious consequences. It is usually hard to identify and treat this mold type; this is where you need a professional mold removal specialist. You can even send the mold sample to a laboratory for an accurate diagnosis.

Ceiling leak in residential property Jupiter

Ceiling Water Leaks: How to Detect Hidden Leaks & Types

What might start as a slight discoloration in the ceiling can soon become the source of few drops and before you know your ceiling might cave out to your living room, costing you time and money. Ceiling water leaks can question the structural integrity of your property.

Those droplets that you see on the ceiling are a result of water damage or subsequent leaks over months. Most property owners overlook this fact and end up paying a lot more than they should be spending in the first place to fix the issue.

To understand how to fix ceiling water damage, it is important to understand how to detect the leaks, know about the types of ceiling leaks, and also the processes involved.

Types of ceiling leaks:

Plumbing leaks: a common cause of ceiling leaks, plumbing leaks could occur due to the following reasons:

  • Caulk wear off
  • Rusting/wearing of pipes or pipe fittings
  • Sweating pipes in summer or winter

Any plumbing damage, especially in bathrooms can cause the water to drip down and channel through to the ceiling.
If you observe a ceiling leak and if a kitchen or bathroom is located directly above the ceiling, you can expect a plumbing leak.

Roof leaks: damaged shingles or roofing tiles can trigger ceiling leaks. Interestingly, these leaks are not confined to just spring or summer season, they can also be prominent in winter.

The continuous freezing and thawing of the snow over the damaged roof let the ice clusters sweep through the roof and eventually leads to ceiling leaks.

Faulty appliances: faulty appliances, especially refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines that have water supply & drain lines attached, can trigger ceiling leaks.

Water accumulates on the floor beneath these appliances before sweeping through the ceiling below.

Burst pipes: frequently changing or extreme weather conditions could lead to bursting of pipes. Usually, the expansion of water, especially in cold and freezing conditions can lead to this situation.

Signs of ceiling water leaks

Saggy ceiling: water sweeps through to the ceiling from the leak source and if the ceiling is coated with waterproof materials or solutions, water accumulates and the coating starts to sag.

Sagging ceiling on drywall and plaster ceilings and can indicate a moderate water leak. A sagging ceiling can develop with time and cave onto your room causing further damage.

Peeling paint: as the water or moisture concentrates on specific parts of the ceiling for a prolonged time, the paint starts to flake or peel off.

Ceiling discoloration: discoloration or water spots on the ceiling are usually formed from inconsistent water leaks. The discoloration usually appears as rings and can be dry to touch at times.

Identifying difficult to find ceiling water leaks

One way of identifying difficult ceiling water leaks is by stimulating a rainstorm. This is a two person’s job, while you use a hose over the roof to channel water onto isolated areas on the roof, your partner needs to stay inside to notify you of any water dripping from the ceiling.

Isolate the areas and conquer small areas for accurate results. Know that this is a time-consuming task and requires careful observation and patience.

If you still cannot identify the leak, you could remove the shingles to track back to the source which, in this case, could be a plumbing or burst pipe leak.

Precautions against ceiling water leaks

Ceiling water leaks are common household issue. As a property owner, you need inspect your plumbing, roofing and potential appliances at least twice every year. Give special priority to your roofing system and include the following areas in your checklist:

  • Roof vents
  • Fix Walls and Dormers
  • Brick chimney perimeters
  • Shingles/roofing tiles
  • Contact specialist

If the ceiling water leak is minor, you can consider fixing it yourself. The trick is to identify the source and fix it. However, this can be difficult, especially when the leak type is inconsistent.

A specialized water damage professional will use pinpoint the exact source, type, and potential consequences of the ceiling leak at hand.

These professionals use industry-grade equipment including moisture meters, dehumidifiers, and exhaust fans to resolve the concern.

Identifying the extent of the situation and considering the potential after-effects like the possibility of mold growth can turn out to be crucial. Quick detection and action is an absolute necessity that can safeguard the property structural integrity and health statistics of the inhabitants.

Water damage specialist usually follows these strategies when fixing a ceiling leak:

  • Identify and fix the water source leak
  • Dry the damaged ceiling
  • Remove ceiling parts which seem beyond repair and could cause further concerns including mold growth
  • Install new ceiling materials
  • Seal and paint the ceiling

Dealing with a ceiling water leak is easy if the concern is identified at the earliest stage possible. Be attentive to anything abnormal including musty smell and water spots on the ceiling.

water damage restoration faq

Water Damage Restoration: 21 Frequently Asked Questions

Residential or commercial water damage is a nuisance that taunts every landlord or property owner. If not addressed quickly, it can lead to major concerns including mold growth and property structural damage in the long run.

As a certified water damage restoration specialist, we come across several questions related to water damage cleanup. This post showcases some common questions related to water/flood damage restoration.

What are the common causes of water damage?

Some common causes of water damage include:

  • Faulty appliances
  • Plumbing mishaps
  • Deteriorating foundation
  • HVAC problems and
  • Natural disasters

What should I do after a flood, or sewage or water leak?

  • Turn off water supply to your house
  • Disconnect electrical appliances in the affected rooms
  • Move furniture or other perishable possessions from the affected area
  • Take photos and videos during the different stages for insurance claim purposes
  • Call a water damage restoration specialist

How do certified technicians typically handle water damage?

Certified or experienced water damage technicians start with a detailed assessment using industry-grade equipment, which includes moisture and humidity level checks.

Determining the severity of damages to possessions like carpets or drywall is a crucial step. Any possession beyond repair is removed from the property to prevent any concerns of mold growth.

The next step is to dry and disinfect the water damaged areas using tools including humidifiers and Wet/Dry Shop Vac.

Some water damage specialists can also assist you in claiming the insurance.

Will my homeowner’s insurance cover water damage?

This depends on the policy you have chosen. Usually, homeowners insurance covers for water damages that seem to be sudden or spontaneous. Gradual water damage like damage from a leaking pipe is not covered.

How bad is water damage to a house?

The effects of water damage can be severe and can go unnoticed until it’s too late. It can trigger gradual structural deterioration and mold growth, which in turn can cause health concerns.

What happens when water gets in your walls?

Once water gets into walls, it starts deteriorating the wall structure and gradually gives way to the formation of mold colonies.

Mold formation is accompanied by a strong musty smell and additional mold spore generation which turns ubiquitous and starts infecting other possessions including dresses and furniture.

Mold infected drywall in Office in Jupiter Florida

How can you tell if your house has water damage?

  • High utility bill
  • Musty smell
  • Mold growth
  • Outdated water supply system
  • Appearance changes to ceiling, walls, and flooring

Learn the details about each here:

How do you tell if there is a leak behind a wall?

Look for the following signs to identify leaks behind walls:

  • Discoloration of walls
  • Peeling and bubbling
  • Musty smell
  • Warped walls
  • Staining


How can you tell where a water leak is coming from?

You can check the water meter for signs of leaks and do a thorough inspection. However, identifying the water leak source can be tricky, especially when you are dealing with multiple leaks and leaks in inaccessible areas.

This is where a trained specialist who uses sound equipment, charging pipe strategy, locator clamps, and other advanced tools can make a difference.

How long does it take to dry a flooded house?

It depends on the severity of the damage. On average it can take from 12 hours to a few weeks.

How long does it take for mold to grow in wet drywall?

A drywall is highly porous and suitable for mold growth. Under the right conditions, it can take from 24 to 48 hours for mold growth on drywall.

Does drywall need to be replaced after water damage?

Due to the porous nature, drywalls accommodates water easily. Given the condition, drywalls are replaced on most of the occasions after water damage. Since they are not load-bearing, you do not have to be concerned about the structural integrity of the property.

What are the consequences of Water Damage in Office Buildings?

With commercial water damage, you risk the following:

  • Business coming to a standstill
  • Damage and replacement of office equipment
  • Destruction of documents or paper records
  • Cost based on severity and response time to the mishap

What kind of damage is caused by floods?

  • Sewage and bacterial infestation
  • Damaged natural gas lines
  • Sinkholes
  • Property structural damage
  • Mold growth

Can electrical wiring be water damaged?

Exposing electrical wiring to water or excessive moisture can make the internal components vulnerable to mold growth and corrosion. This is prominent with low quality or poorly maintained wiring. We recommend performing an electrical and water supply system inspection for your house or residential property at least once a year.

Can water damaged carpet be saved?

Water damaged carpets are not unfixable; however, it is important to consider the severity of the damage. There are some potential risks which makes reusing water damaged carpets not a smart move.

Will wet carpet smell go away?

The carpet smell can be removed, provided, each and every inch of the carpet is dried under the right conditions. A carpet that is not properly dried can second mold and mildew growth.

How do you fix the water damaged wooden floor?

Fixing waterlogged wooden floors can be tricky as wood is a good water absorber. Depending on the severity of water absorption, which is determined via advanced moisture meters, we can choose between replacing and restoring.
When it comes to replacing it is ideal to replace the wooden boards that were affected by water.

What are the precautionary steps that I should take after a hurricane?

Find some important steps to consider here.

How much does it cost to repair water damage?

It varies from the type of property and the extent of water damage; we offer a free inspection and bill the insurance career for the water damage repairs.

How do you restore flood-damaged clothes?

Flood-damaged clothing can be infected with bacteria and fungi. Soaking the clothes overnight in oxygen-based bleach followed by washing it with normal water and detergent is an ideal strategy. Also, ensure that the cloth is dried in the highest drying heating level possible.

Water damage to residential or commercial property can have major impacts. Foreseeing the possibilities and taking precautionary steps are the key to making sure that things are in control or you know what needs to be done when the unexpected happens.

Home Reconstruction & Insurance Coverage Things to Know

Home Reconstruction & Insurance Coverage: Things to Know

Losing your home to a fire, flood or other natural disasters can be heart-breaking. To add to your misery, what if you do not receive the expected coverage from your insurance career? nothing worse, right?

Natural disasters are always unpredictable, with one on the radar; you do not have any other option rather than leaving the comfort of your home to a safer place. Damages to properties, especially houses are inevitable during natural disasters.

Once the chaos dies down, you should be certain about engaging in some level of residential reconstruction work. This is where you would look at different options regarding insurance coverage, their policies, exclusions, and inclusions.

This post will feature some residential insurance coverage regulations worth understanding.

Insured value assessment

Once residential reconstruction is on the charts, the first step is to compare the reconstruction estimate with the insured value. Any damage to residential properties is often marked as emergency situations.

With a non-functioning house, you might not have a place to stay; this is where you might be compelled to reconstruct the property as quickly as possible while overlooking the price of necessary raw materials. If you do not take some time to foresee the financial aspects and compare the insured value against the reconstruction estimate, you will always end up paying additional amount to the insurance carrier.

Coverage type

It is mandatory to look into the insurance cover type when choosing a package. The commonly chosen standard insurance cover might not cover everything that your property needs.

For instance, standard residential insurance cover usually covers fires, hail and windstorm damage, but something like an earthquake and flood coverage can come as ‘optional’.

Prepare an estimate

An accurate reconstruction estimate can do wonders when it comes to ensuring that the whole process progresses smoothly. Consider getting multiple quotes prior to putting pen on paper.

Factor in any additional cost aspect which is not covered under insurance. For instance, before the reconstruction work starts, you need to clean your house and perform some inspects like mold or mildew. These costs are usually not covered under standard insurance packages.

Collect evidence

It is recommended to take pictures and compiling an inventory of the contents in your house to be provided to an insurance assessor if you decide to claim.

Reconstructing your house can be a painful task. You need a considerable amount of effort to get the insurance paperwork right. Choosing a reconstruction company that can assist you with insurance paper works is another smart way of tackling the situation. Always stick with a professional company that abides by the standards like IICRC best practices and have significant certifications and reviews.

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.

home-insurance-paperwor

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.

Mildew Vs Mold Comparison

Mold Vs Mildew: What you need to know (comparison table)

That moist discoloration on the ceiling corner or bathroom walls, is it mold or mildew? A question that taunts every homeowner unless they are experts in mold, mildew and related concerns. Most property owners find it difficult to distinguish mold and mildew.

While the differences between mold and mildew are subtle there are some factors that differentiate the two concerns and govern how the condition should be identified and addressed.

What is mold?

Mold is a form of fungus that develops from the microscopic spores in the atmosphere. There are different varieties of mold in the ecosystem. Some mold types play a crucial role by decomposing the organic matter including dead trees and leaves.

While some mold types can be beneficial to the ecosystem, certain types can be harmful when it grows indoors. These mold types, if left untreated can pose a threat to the health and even the cosmetic and structural value of the property.

What is mildew?

Mildew is a mold type that usually thrives on the flat, moist surfaces. The affinity of mildew towards flat surfaces can be the main differential factor when comparing it with mold.

Mildew usually does not pose a severe threat to the health of the inhabitants, but can damage the aesthetics and structure of the property.

   

Mold Mildew
A type of fungus. A type of mold.
Found throughout the ecosystem. Grows on flat, moist surfaces.
Types thriving indoors can pose health concerns and affect aesthetics and structure of your house. Damage is usually more cosmetics, can be destructive towards plants and animals.
Health concerns in humans are sneezing, runny nose, dry or scaly skin, itchy throat or eyes. Similar to the health concerns due to mold like throat irritation, headache and wheezing.
Can be found anywhere within your house, clothes and even pets. Commonly found in window sills and shower walls.
Mold can appear as long filaments with a fuzzy look. Mildew can appear in powdery or downy texture.
Mold can appear in black, white, gray, blue, green, brown, or yellow color. Mildew can appear in white, yellow, black or brown color.

Both mold and mildew can be identified by a strong musty smell. Preventing mold and mildew can be a challenging task, especially when you reside in coastal areas where the moisture concentration in the atmosphere is on the higher side.

Once mildew or mold growth is identified within your household or any commercial property, it is ideal to consult a mold remediation specialist to get the condition treated efficiently.

Even though you have several DIY tips related to removing mold or mildew, if the condition is not contained efficiently, the chances of reoccurrence are more than 80%. Foresee these possibilities and keep an eye out for mold or mildew growth as the earlier the condition is detected, the easier it would be to eradicate it.

mold-on-Blue-denim-bottoms

Mold and Clothes what you need to know

There is no doubt that mold is a major annoyance. You might have heard about mold beneath the ceiling and walls, have you ever heard of mold on clothes?

Dark patches on the wall and that musty smell, all these can be signs of mold in your house. There is a misconception that mold only grows on walls, floors and ceilings.

Your clothes, shoes; mold can infest any surface. With the ability to destroy and deteriorate any fabric, mold can be equally hazardous for your health and possessions.

This blog features insight into mold and clothes.

Appearance

Mold on clothes usually appears different compared to mold on walls and ceilings. Mold usually appears in different colors: black, purples, orange and white.

Mold on clothes is nothing but a strain of aspergillus and usually appear in white and greenish-black.

Growth

The main reasons for mold growth on clothes are humidity variations and lack of ventilation. Mold requires organic substances like drywall, wood and fabric to thrive.

The dampness of wet clothes can attract and house mold colonies. Mold can thrive in 24 to 48 hours, if your clothes remain wet for a prolonged period, they can easily attract mold growth.

Mold types

Black and white mold are the mold types that usually grow on clothes. Black mold is extremely toxic and is a rarity on fabric; however, it can thrive under the right conditions.

White mold can be flaky and hard to detect on lighter surfaces. Both white and black mold can deteriorate the surface if not attended to as soon as possible.

Identify mold on clothes

The smell is the primary giveaway for mold on clothes. Look for that earthly or musty odor. Check for that flaky substance on your clothes which can feel slimy or fluffy to touch.

Health hazards

Prolonged exposure to mold can have adverse effects on your health. Though the seriousness of the health concern is directly proportional to the amount of mold you are exposed to, mold growth should not be ignored.

Even if the mold growth in your house looks mild, bear in mind that mold can thrive and spread quickly. Some common health concerns of mold growth are:

• Rashes
• Watery and itchy eyes
• Coughing and sneezing
• Fatigue
• Headache
• Weakened immune system

Removing mold from clothes

Removing mold from clothes can be a tricky task. A solution of baking soda and vinegar can be effective for removing mold on clothes. However, if the mold problem seems extensive, bear in mind that any of the DIY mold removal solutions or tips that you come across can be temporary.

It is important to deal with the issue from the source up to alleviate the concern from scratch. This is where a mold remediation specialist can be a godsend.

To prevent mold growth on clothes, ensure that you store the clothes in cool and dry areas. Ensure that you do not leave your clothes in the washing machine or dryer for too long. Mold on clothes can be a sign of bigger issues to come or already prevailing. Consider this as a major warning to act quickly and smartly.