Water, Fire, & Mold Restoration Blog

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Mold Damage in Carmel Valley

Even in new homes, a steady stream of water under a floorboard or a buildup of moisture from unvented steam after a shower can lead to mold damage in Carmel Valley. If your home has suffered fire damage, the water and extinguisher foam used to fight the blaze can provide a fertile environment for mold to develop over time. Spores can germinate after only 12 hours and some can grow in 24 to 48 hours, due to certain conditions. It’s very important to contact a mold remediation specialist once you suspect that your home has been invaded by mold. If left unchecked, mold can spread at a rapid rate. Mold remediation is definitely a task you should never take on yourself – leave that to the specialists!

Mold damage in Carmel Valley can cause a host of different heath problems from exacerbating allergies and asthma to lowering your immune system. And you don’t always know that mold is growing and spores are traveling through your ventilation system. Sometimes you can smell a moldy odor, but by that time the mold has significantly proliferated throughout your home. This is the time to contact a mold remediation specialist to halt the progress of the mold, sparing you and your family further health problems – which will be costly as well!

In addition to impacting your health, mold can weaken and eventually destroy materials, causing structural problems on a grand scale. Mold can form around floor and ceiling joists, causing those areas to warp and sag. Eventually the floor or ceiling simply collapses altogether. Those materials will have been completely destroyed and will have to be replaced. Also, be aware that although not porous, metal can still be a carrier for mold growth. If mold is found on aluminum, copper, steel and other metals, it can spread to surrounding materials like wood or drywall. Imagine if you had contacted a mold remediation specialist when you first sensed the unpleasant odor of mold? Ignoring mold formation is costly in the long run: to your own health as well as the structural integrity of your home…and your pocketbook.

If you are experiencing mold damage in Carmel Valley do not hesitate to call Orange Restoration! We are open for emergency water damage services 24/7. Our highly experienced team is able to handle any size job and we will get you back in your home or business in no time!

By |December 28th, 2016|Mold|0 Comments

Mitigating Mold Damage in Del Mar

It’s pleasant living near the ocean, but with so much marine layer moisture coming in, mold damage in Del Mar can happen. Also, flooding from torrential rains and leaky plumbing can bring mold into your home. Once you are aware that mold has invaded your home, you must contact a mold remediation specialist to handle the problem before the situation worsens. You must understand, however, that it’s not possible to remove all of the mold, since it is naturally present in the atmosphere. The best mold remediation specialists can do is remove enough mold and mold spores to keep their number at healthy levels.

Health Problems

Mold and mold spores are responsible for exacerbating allergies and asthma, causing severe respiratory problems that can affect your health over time. Excessive amounts of mold is known to suppress the immune system, so people with weakened immune systems are highly at risk. It is imperative that should you notice mold growth in your home to contact a mold immediately. Mold doesn’t go away on its own.

Structural Damage

Mold is almost as destructive to your home as it is to your health. Materials such as wood can become completely damaged by mold and replacing it is the only option. Water, which is usually present with mold, can destroy other materials. Wet or damp areas are the perfect breeding ground for mold, so if you have experienced water damage, mold growth is sure to follow. When this happens you’ll have two expenses, dealing with water damage and the subsequent mold removal. Unfortunately, these two conditions go hand and hand.

How much will this cost?

If mold damage in Del Mar goes undetected for an extended period of time, the infestation become widespread and that can adversely affect the cost of removal. This is why it is important to consider the possibility of mold after even minor water damage.

Ultimately, mold remediation is worth the expense when compared to any adverse effects to your long term health. Again, remember that mold is a naturally occurring element in the environment and thus is impossible to completely eradicate from your home. Any restoration company who boasts that they can remove every spore is not being truthful.

If you are experiencing mold damage in Del Mar do not hesitate to call Orange Restoration! We are open for emergency water damage services 24/7. Our highly experienced team is able to handle any size job and we will get you back in your home or business in no time!

By |December 22nd, 2016|Mold|0 Comments

Mold Removal Mistakes To Avoid [Remediation Tips]

By |September 23rd, 2016|Mold|0 Comments

Mold Removal Cleanup Process [Remediation Tips]

By |September 16th, 2016|Mold|0 Comments

DIY Mold Removal [Remediation Tips]

By |July 22nd, 2016|Mold|0 Comments

Documenting Mold Damage for Insurance

photo of Black mold on boardFiling an insurance claim for mold damage can be complicated (which is why we usually handle it for our clients). Generally speaking, for mold that is caused by a burst pipe or flooding, the damage is likely covered. If, however, the mold is caused by neglect, such as a damp basement or attic, or a leaky pipe, that damage will most likely not be covered. Some insurance companies are beginning to strictly limit, and even explicitly exclude, coverage for mold damage, even if the mold is caused by an event that is otherwise covered.

While there is no substitute for prevention when it comes to mold, sometimes things happen that are outside of your control. When mold damage does occur, thorough documentation of the extent of the damage, the cause of the mold, and remediation efforts will improve your chances of having the damage covered.

When you experience sudden water damage, the first thing you need to do is stop the flow of water and remove as much water as you can. Remember, most insurance companies will not cover mold damage if they can prove that it was caused by any neglect on your part. The next thing you need to do is immediately contact your insurance adjuster and be sure you know exactly what they require of you.

Get a notebook and use it to document everything that occurs in relation to your water and mold damage. Start with the details of the event that led to the damage and all of your cleanup efforts, starting with removing the water.

As you go, also be sure to document every communication with the insurance company, including date, time, who you spoke with, and the content of the communication. Keeping a detailed log of everything will keep you focused and organized, and make sure you don’t forget any request made by the insurance company or what information you’ve provided them.
Remove all undamaged or repairable items and move to a safe, well-ventilated, and dry place. Your insurance company may require you to hold off on permanent repairs until they can evaluate the damage, but they will want you to take reasonable steps to prevent further damage. Make lists of all damaged items and take plenty of photographs, whether items are salvageable or not. In order to prove losses, you may want to hold off on discarding unsalvageable items until cleared by your insurance adjuster.

Get an envelope, and put all of your receipts in it. Your insurance company may require you to not make permanent repairs until they have assessed the damage, but you may need to make temporary repairs in order to prevent further damage. You’ll need your receipts to prove these expenses.

Insurance companies are notorious for finding reasons to deny claims. By thoroughly documenting every step of the process, you’ll arm yourself to negotiate successfully, or to file a legal suit if your claim is still denied.

If you are in the San Diego area, and would like help documenting your mold damage, and dealing with insurance, call us at (619) 376-6838

By |March 2nd, 2016|Mold, News|0 Comments

4 Signs of Mold in an Investment Property

Property Owner Wearing a Mold MaskMold can cause serious damage that can significantly decrease the value of your investment property. Professional mold inspectors can find mold, determine the extent of said mold, identify the strain, and test air quality… however, professional mold testing isn’t always practical, especially when it comes to prospective investments or rental properties with tenants. Fortunately, there are a few signs you can look for to determine whether you may have a problem.

Musty smell in any part of the building

Mold has a distinctly musty odor. If you notice such a smell anywhere in the building, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have mold, but you could. Even if there is none present, a musty smell could also mean a moisture problem that needs to be remedied before the mold actually starts to grow. If there are no immediately visible signs of mold, check under carpeting, behind drywall, around windows, and above ceiling tiles. Don’t forget the basement, as it is typically the dampest area of a building, and the attic, as a leaky roof could create a perfect environment for mold growth. If you still can’t find the source, check the heating and cooling systems. HVAC systems can have condensation and may be dusty, a perfect environment for mold to grow. If you don’t see mold, you may want to consider collecting a sample of the dust and sending it for testing.

Visible discoloration on surfaces that may be exposed to moisture

Mold loves damp, porous surfaces, especially those in dark, forgotten spaces.Wood, fabric, paper, and dust are all excellent food sources for mold. Look at drywall, carpets, carpet padding, ceiling tiles, and other porous materials that may be exposed to moisture. Look under kitchen and bathroom sinks, under and around refrigerators, around air conditioners, and don’t forget basement, crawl spaces, attics, and closets. Be sure to check rooms that may not be used often and may have had the air vents closed off, lead to restricted airflow.

Tenants with allergy symptoms

If the building is occupied and tenants mention experiencing upper respiratory infection, allergy or asthma symptoms, or sinus trouble, especially if symptoms are better when away from the building, there is a good chance the building has mold.

Water damage or plumbing issues

Mold is common after water damage, flood damage, and plumbing issues. Water from leaks, damage, or other sources can find its way to hidden areas under flooring and inside walls, allowing mold to grow unseen. Water damage doesn’t automatically mean mold, but should be a red flag warranting further investigation.If you see signs of water damage, such as a line of discoloration on an exterior wall, or water marks on ceiling tiles, you may want to take a closer look for other signs of mold.

If you suspect that your San Diego investment property may be sustaining damage from mold, call us at (619) 376-6838 for a free evaluation.

By |February 23rd, 2016|Flood, Mold|0 Comments

El Niño Mold Prevention Involves Common Sense And Careful Action

Mold in a edge of a roomWinter during an El Niño year brings plenty of reasons for serious concern to southern California homeowners and business owners because of the potential environmental concerns related to all the extra moisture. While rain is great for plants and helps with the ongoing drought, every action possible must be taken to keep the moisture and humidity outside of our structures. Mold is stealthy and invasive, but there are actions you can take to make a real difference.

Areas that experience a lot of rainfall are always at risk for mold and the many problems it can bring to a home or business, but we’re pleased to offer some tips on preventing El Niño mold infiltration into your San Diego structures. And it all starts with keeping the water out in every way possible.

Here are some specific tips for dealing with the El Niño mold issue:

  1. Good building or home maintenance is the best defense against mold growth. Keeping up with your maintenance costs a lot less than mold remediation after you have a problem, and it prevents the loss of important possessions and equipment as well.
  1. Inspect and repair rain gutters, making sure they’re always clean and that downspouts don’t allow water to pool near the building’s foundation or anywhere near the structure where it could eventually find its way back inside. Water should be directed well away from all buildings.
  1. Get roof leaks fixed quickly. If you noticed leaks — even small ones — recently, get someone out to take care of the problem right away. Once the rain starts, it’s too late. And El Niño water and mold damage often comes with wind, which can make roof problems worse.
  1. If there are any surface drains, check them to make sure they’re functional. They serve a vital function in protecting your home or business and surrounding property.
  1. Take a look at ground slopes and make sure they’re all still sending water away from the building. Construction, repairs or landscaping can change slopes in ways that aren’t good for the building.
  1. Seal up windows and doors using standard, recommended procedures to prevent costly and damaging water intrusion. Simple caulking can go a long way — and keep those windows closed as well. Check for cracks or damage frequently.
  1. Consider unoccupied guesthouses or unused rooms in your home or business. They should be heated and checked for excess humidity to prevent condensation, one of the many causes of indoor mold. If there’s a musty odor, mold may have already started.
  1. Have sandbags ready if your building is on a lot that frequently floods. You need to be able to create an impenetrable water barrier system to protect your home or business. If your structure is located in a floodplain, this is especially important.
  1. Take immediate action if you notice water intrusion. Your insurance company may not be able to immediately return your call, but you must mitigate damages. The best first step is to contact a professional drying and mold remediation company as quickly as possible to stop problems from getting worse.

For a free telephone consultation without obligation or pressure, contact Orange Restoration San Diego right away at (619) 376-6838. We’ll work quickly to clean up water and mold and put things back like they should be. It’s what we do in and around San Diego every day. And we expect to be doing a lot more of it during this El Niño winter.

 

By |January 10th, 2016|Flood, Mold|0 Comments

Why Is Mold Removal Necessary?

mold testing sampleHave you seen any traces of mold in your home? Are you worried about your health? It’s absolutely normal to be concerned about mold exposure. These microorganisms are found virtually everywhere and may cause serious health problems, such as allergies, fungal infection, and respiratory problems. Some produce mycotoxins, which make people sick. The only way to prevent these issues is to remove mold from your home or office.

Are Molds Really Dangerous?

Molds are types of fungi that grow on wood, leaves, foods and other organic materials. They can be found both indoors and outdoors. These microorganisms produce spores that are transported by air, water, and insects. When inhaled or ingested, molds cause allergic reactions, throat irritation, cough, sneezing, wheezing, nasal congestion, and breathing difficulties. Research indicates that exposure to mold may worsen asthma symptoms.

Some people are more sensitive to mold exposure than others, and can develop severe reactions. The risk is higher for those with chronic lung disorders and poor immunity. Individuals who live in homes with mold are more likely to develop bronchitis, systemic mycosis, and digestive tract infections. If you’re constantly exposed to mold at work or at home, you may experience asthma attacks, watery eyes, and runny nose.

It’s unknown how many species of fungi exist. Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Cladosporium are some of the most common indoor molds. These microorganisms grow in warm, humid conditions, and can survive extreme heat and cold. Outdoors they can be found in shady, moist areas, and places where leaves are decomposing. Molds can enter your home through windows, air conditioning, and heating systems, or grow in humid areas, such as the bathroom and kitchen sink. Large mold infestations are the easiest to detect.

How to Remove Mold Safely

Mold can cause permanent damage to your health. In rare cases, mycotoxins can cross into your brain and affect every system in your body. Fortunately, you can prevent these problems by controlling moisture in your home. These fungi can be removed from hard surfaces by using a bleach solution, soap, or commercial household products.

Since these microorganisms grow in humid areas, you can stop them from spreading by controlling moisture. Start by fixing plumbing leaks and repairing damaged roofs. Remove visible mold with commercial cleaning solutions. Change towels frequently. Dry the affected area within 24 hours to prevent mold growth. Have your heating and cooling system checked by a professional to make sure it works properly.

The best way to prevent mold growth is keeping indoor humidity below 60 percent. Discard mold-contaminated materials, such as carpets, ceiling tiles, and plaster. If mold has infested porous surfaces like rugs or wallpapers, throw them away. In case of severe mold infestation, hire an expert to clean the area. Extensive renovations may be required. Doing this job yourself can do more harm than good. After removing the mold, clean the area with a HEPA vacuum. Keep in mind that mold exposure can affect your health on long term. This problem requires immediate attention and shouldn’t be overlooked.

For immediate mold removal assistance in San Diego, call (619) 376-6828.

By |December 13th, 2015|Mold|0 Comments

Identifying common causes of mold in your home

The right conditions

There are many things that can cause the right conditions for mold to begin to grow in your home. To grow mold needs to have a food source, darkness, heat source, oxygen, water and very little time.

Humidity

It only takes a few days of humid weather to cause mold to begin to grow in as little as 2 days! Rain fall on all kinds of surfaces including walls and fencing can lead to mold growth and of course spores which can easily be transferred to the home.

If you dry your clothing indoors using clothes horses or similar then the damp from the clothing gets into the air leading to humidity. Using a dehumidifier can reduce the chance of mold forming to keep the humidity lower than 55%.

Leaks

Even the smallest leaks can cause mold to grow, which usually goes unnoticed until items are disturbed or the mold becomes so bad it is clearly visible on walls, floors or furnishings.

Condensation

Floors made of concrete can become extremely cold even if carpet has been laid on top of them, the same goes for walls. When the house is warmed up again condensation can form which is an ideal breeding ground for mold.

Inadequate ventilation

Not having enough ventilation will make the air flow poor and even create stagnant areas. When water evaporates into steam it makes it humid and another ideal place for mold spores to grow and spread. In places where water is commonly used such as the bathroom and kitchen ventilation is extremely important.

Damp clothing

If you have ever left your swimming costume or trunks in a bag and forgotten about it, you may have noticed mold starting to grow on the item. The same can happen if clothes are washed and perfectly cleaned but left in their wet state for just a few days, so ensure laundry is completed before going away for the weekend.

Flooding

Floods can cause some of the most dangerous forms of mold, especially if the flood has been caused by outside influences such as sewerage or even the washing machine dirty water. This is because the water contains contaminants that can grow with the mold and be breathed in or accidentally ingested.

Under house water

Water can easily collect under the house, in basements and even in the houses foundations. Think about the layout of your garden and see if it slopes towards the house, if it does then you may need to rethink the landscaping to prevent water collecting around and eventually inside of the walls and house allowing mold to grow. Check regularly for holes in the structure of your home to prevent water from entering and keep an eye on guttering for cracks and blockages to keep water away from the house as much as possible.

If you have a basement check regularly to ensure that it is not damp down there and where possible keep a humidifier down there to keep the air fresh, especially if there is no ventilation by way of windows.

For more home maintenance advice, visit http://sandiego.housingcollaborative.org/maintenance/

 

By |December 12th, 2015|Flood, Mold|0 Comments