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.

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.

Wall of a house in florida infsted with black mold

5 Things That Causes Mold in Homes

Mold can be one of the biggest nuisances for homeowners. Once diagnosed, removing mold can be a difficult task and the possibility of mold reappearance will be always on the cards if you do not keep certain things under check.

Mold growth is supported by a mixture of the following factors:

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

Poor ventilation is one of the major reasons for mold growth. You might have observed the areas like bathroom, basements and crawl spaces are more vulnerable to mold growth. This is due to poor ventilation and when you do an inspection for mold growth, these areas should be the priority.

Make sure that venting systems in these areas are functioning properly. Check for clogging due to dust or any other particles. Cracking open a window in your bathroom after the shower will help you to alleviate the concern of moisture formation.

Investing in an air purifier is another strategy to capture mold spores and to inhibit mold growth.

Humidity

Keep an eye out for the weather, especially when it’s humid for a few days. You can also observe that mold growth is common during the rainy season. Living by the coast or near a large water body can directly impact mold growth. These conditions can second mold growth and make it a recurring concern.

Drying clothes indoors can raise the humidity levels in your house and keep it prolonged for a long time. The HVAC system in your house can also raise humidity while it heats and cools the air artificially.

Water leaks

Water leaks can feed mold growth. Keep an eye out for water stains on flooring and ceiling to identify water leaks, in fact, these signs can even give away the age of the water leak.

Overlooking a water leak can turn out to be bigger concern as it produces mold spores that can eventually spread and flourish in other areas within your house.

On some occasions, water leaks can be hard to identify, especially in areas like basements and other crawl spaces. The only option to keep this under check is to do regular inspections.

Flooding

Hurricanes and flood-prone areas are vulnerable to mold growth. When your house is flooded, everything will be wet for days and it will take weeks until everything is dry again. Since mold requires 24 hours to thrive on damp surfaces, the risk for mold growth is huge.

Mold growth due to flooding can be serious as it can produce toxic mold types like Stachybotrys chartarum which requires the surface to be wet for several days to thrive.

Damp basement

A damp basement can be a haven for mold to grow. The lack of ventilation and appropriate humidity level makes them the perfect place. Additionally, a water leak in any area within the house can end up in the basement.

Removing mold from your house as soon as possible is very important as prolonged exposure to mold can cause health concerns like asthma and other respiratory issues. If you feel that the situation is beyond control, consider hiring a mold removal specialist.