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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

Do You Need to Test Your Home for Mold?

mold removal sprayMold can damage your property and the structure of your home as well as triggering nasty respiratory symptoms.  If you have mold growing in your home, it’s essential to find and eliminate it as soon as possible to minimize the damage.  If you’ve noticed any of the following, you should consider having a professional test your building.

  • You’ve seen mold

Mold spores are everywhere.  They are harmless until they land on a damp surface and are allowed to grow.  Outdoors, mold helps break down organic matter, but you don’t want it growing inside your home.  If you have, or think you have, mold, we can confirm it, identify the type, and offer recommendations for safe removal.  Some types of mold are more hazardous to your health than others.  If you have symptoms that you think might be caused by mold, you can take our report to your doctor.  Our reports will also detail the extent of the mold and recommendations for repair.

  • Musty or moldy smell, especially if it’s stronger with the windows and doors closed

Visible mold consists of thousands of microscopic spores that love to settle and grow in damp, dark, undisturbed places.  For these reasons, it is likely that you’ll smell mold before you actually see it.  Catching and treating mold now can prevent significant damage to your home and property.

  • You or an adjoining neighbor has has a water leak

Mold only grows in damp conditions.  If have a water leak, it only takes a few days for mold to take hold.  If you live in an apartment, duplex, or other type of connected dwelling and one of your neighbors has had a leak, you can be affected.  It is vital that the leak be repaired and building materials dried out quickly, before mold can grow.  A professional can help you determine the extent of moisture and recommend an effective solution to dry things out, as well as following up to ensure everything is dried thoroughly.

  • Being indoors aggravates allergy symptoms or asthma

Any time you have allergy or asthma symptoms flare up is a good indication there are allergens present.  A professional can test your home for not just mold, but dust mites, pet dander, rodents, and roaches.

  • Indoor air feels damp

If your home feels damp, you could have unseen moisture that could provide a hospitable environment for mold.  We can help you find where the moisture is coming from and suggest strategies you can use to keep mold from settling in and growing.

  • Water condenses inside windows

Condensation on the inside of your windows is a good indication that you have a lot of moisture, or at least humidity, in your home.  We can help you determine where it is coming from and suggest ways to lower the amount of moisture and humidity in your home.

  • Illness in pets

Many pets are just as sensitive as humans to poor air quality, sometimes more so.  If your pet is ill and you can’t seem to determine, you may have mold or other air quality issues in your home.

  • Water tends to puddle against exterior walls

While it may seem like it, the exterior walls of your home are not an impenetrable barrier against the world outside.  Overspray from sprinklers, rainwater that isn’t effectively routed away from the building, and other water sources can all soak into the walls and cause damage to the building material inside.

  • Mold is growing on furniture or stored items

In severe cases, you might discover mold growing on furniture that sits up against the wall, especially furniture that isn’t moved frequently.  Closets are also common places for mold to grow.  Typically situated against outside walls and/or plumbing, most closets have little or no ventilation.  If you have a closet that you use to store rarely used items and don’t clean them out regularly, they could be prime real estate for mold.

  • You are moving

This one isn’t an indication of potential mold growth so much as it is a good idea.  Whether you are buying or renting a new property, it’s a good idea to have it checked out before you sign a lease or contract and hand over your hard earned cash.  We can check the property over for moisture, mold, or other air quality issues so you can focus on the rest of your move.

More about our San Diego mold remediation services.

By |November 28th, 2015|Mold|0 Comments

The Cost of Mold Removal

san diego mold removal servicesLet’s be totally honest here; no one likes mold. No one hopes that their bathroom starts to become covered in the stuff, no one sees mold and thinks that it is perfectly fine to leave it growing there, and absolutely no one goes out of their way to make their home a happy place for mold to live. The trouble is that many people are unwittingly doing all of these things, and the longer that these bad habits go on for, the larger the cost of mold removal becomes.

Many of us do not realize that for mold to be happy enough to grow, all it needs is the slightest bit of moisture, and the smallest amount of heat. That is literally it – and that means that there are very few places in your home that mold will not feel happy in! The vast majority of people assume that bathrooms and kitchens are the most likely places that mold will start growing, and although those are often the first places, they are definitely not the last. Bedrooms, lounges, and even your attic could right now be places where mold has set up shop.

The reason that the cost of mold removal can often end up being so high is because the mold that you can see is probably only half of the story. That is because mold can dig itself into walls, and so the damage may go much further back than you can imagine. You will also need to add on the cost of drying out your home, in order to prevent mold from being able to quickly grow back again before you know it. These processes can take an awful long time, and will almost definitely necessitate a professional – which of course just increases the price that you will have to pay for letting mold grow in your home.

Few people consider the damage that mold can do to your furnishings, but that cost must be added to the final number as well. Your curtains, blinds, carpets, and rugs could all be damaged beyond repair if mold really gets out of hand, and so too could your soft furnishings like sofas and cushions. Many people do not realise that mold has got into their wardrobes until it is too late, and many of their clothes have been completely destroyed and have to be thrown away. Sometimes the mold takes sentimental items that you just simply cannot replace, like the soft toys of your children, or the love letters that your partner sent you years ago.

Getting rid of mold has to be a completely forceful event, to make sure that no mold is left – even a small amount that survives can continue to breed and survive, causing exactly the same problems a few months down the line. But the cost of mold removal is not small, and it may increase the longer you do nothing about the mold that is in your home. That is why if you are going to act against mold, you should act now.

Thankfully, the cost of mold removal is one that you probably do not have to bear on your own. Most insurance companies will cover the cost of mold removal, leaving you free to enjoy your mold free home without the burden of a huge financial commitment. If you realize that mold is starting to grow in your home, and you are concerned that your insurance may not be prepared for the cost of mold removal, then you should contact Orange Restoration at (619) 376-6838, who can work directly with insurance companies, minimizing the hassle for you entirely.

By |October 3rd, 2015|Mold, News|0 Comments

Sensible Tips For Preventing And Controlling Water Damage And Reducing Mold Growth

Mold Damaged wallThere are situations like natural disasters and water main breaks when water damage is inevitable. But mold growth may not be. And there are time when you can prevent water damage altogether.

Here are some useful pieces of advice for preventing and controlling water damage and mold growth:

Clean up leaks and spills quickly. Even a small amount of water can do damage if it gets into the right place or causes mold to grow.

Check and repair gutters regularly. Damaged or clogged gutters can be worse for your home or business than having none at all. Keep water moving away from your home by making sure gutters work as they should.

Keep the ground sloping away from the foundation. Don’t let the addition of an outbuilding or landscaping changes cause water to flow toward your building. This can damage the foundation and lead to water damage, mold growth and more.

Check those AC units. A common cause of mold growth and sometimes water damage to the ceiling or floor is air conditioner drip pans and drain lines that aren’t clean and well-maintained.

Check humidity and keep it low. Indoor humidity should remain below 60 percent to prevent mold growth and damage to some kinds of building materials. Check with a simple and inexpensive humidity meter, then use the HVAC system or a portable dehumidifier to take action.

Take note of condensation. Condensation or moisture that collects on pipes, walls or windows can be evidence of high humidity. And high humidity can lead to mold growth and other serious consequences. Work to reduce humidity as quickly as you can. In some cases, opening a window for ventilation in the evening may help — if the humidity is lower outside at that time.

Vent heat-producing and moisture-producing appliances. This includes things like clothes dryers and stoves as well as kerosene heaters and other similar devices. Venting to the outside decreases moisture inside the home or commercial structure and improves the safe operation of the unit.

Use those exhaust fans. When exhaust fans are present in bathrooms, kitchens or utility rooms, use them. They help vent smells as well as humidity.

Take care when showering. You can dramatically increase the humidity in a bathroom from a single shower, and the effect over time can cause mold growth. Open a window or use the most powerful exhaust fan you can find for better ventilation.

If you find mold growing in your home or office or believe you have water damage — even if you aren’t sure of the source — contact Orange Restoration for a quick response. Some water damage remediation and mold removal requires a great deal of time and effort to resolve, so it makes sense to get started. And the quicker the remediation process is started, the more likely you are to prevent complicated-to-repair and expensive damage.

So what are you waiting for? Contact Orange Restoration at (619) 376-6838 for water damage remediation and mold removal services you can trust at prices you and your insurance company can afford.

By |September 28th, 2015|Mold, Water Damage|0 Comments

6 Tips For Safe And Effective Mold Remediation In Your Home

mold damageIf you have mold in your home, you need to take quick action. This fungus loves to grow in warm, moist environments, and you must take action to make it go away. In most cases, mold won’t go away on its own — and the longer it remains in your home, the more likely you and your family are to experience health problems.

Mold also destroys materials on which it grows, so leaving mold unchecked is nearly as bad as allowing termites or other pest infestations to go without treatment.

In most cases, it makes the most sense to choose a professional mold remediation company to deal with mold because it can grow back quickly if it isn’t properly eliminated.

Here are six tips and techniques than can help you deal with mold infestation in your home:

1. Stop the source of moisture. Whether it’s a leaky roof, a plumbing leak or water damage from a flood, you must stop the source of moisture or you’ll never be free of mold. Then make sure you dry everything that has been impacted. Drying doesn’t eliminate all mold and can’t save all kinds of items, but it’s always the next step after stopping the moisture.

2. Take care of hard surfaces. Mold on hard surfaces can best be eliminated by physically scrubbing it away with water and a special fungicidal detergent. Remember, all attempts at mold remediation release mold into the air unless special precautions are taken. If you are especially sensitive to mold, you don’t want to be around while this is being done.

3. Throw away things that can’t be cleaned. Porous and absorbent materials can’t always be properly cleaned and may need to be thrown away. This includes carpet, ceiling tiles and drywall. Mold can grow in voids and crevices in porous materials, so throwing the stuff away is the best way to ensure it doesn’t give you any problems in the future.

4. Use protective clothing. If you’re doing mold remediation yourself, use protective coverings over your clothes, wear gloves and use something to keep you from breathing in the airborne mold. A respirator is the best choice, but a mold-proof facemask may be good enough for smaller jobs.

5. Don’t paint over mold. And don’t caulk over it either. Clean and thoroughly dry moldy surfaces before you consider repainting. Paint doesn’t necessarily block all the harmful health effects of mold and it tends to peel off anyway. Painting over mold is a waste of time because it will need to be redone soon.

6. Get pro help. For cleaning sentimental or expensive items, turn to professionals. And get professional help with large mold remediation jobs too. It just makes sense since pros can do the job quicker and with fewer health risks for you and those around you.

In damp climates, it’s impossible to remove all mold from a home permanently. But at Orange Restoration, we can perform mold removal to make your home safe and completely livable again. See what can we do for you – (619) 376-6838.

By |September 27th, 2015|Mold|0 Comments

Mold In Your Home Or Office Has Serious Health Effects But Can Be Eliminated

black mold on wallIf you have visible mold in your home or office, you have a serious problem. But you can call on professionals who can take action to solve the problem and improve your indoor air quality for months and even years to come.

Actually, most air has some mold spores in it. Those spores seem to be everywhere. But when they’re around in large quantities, they can be harmful to humans and pets, causing respiratory problems, allergic reactions and more.

Symptoms of mold exposure start mild and get worse, in many cases. They include:

– sinus problems like a runny nose as well as nasal congestion
– irritation of the eyes, including itchiness and redness
– breathing problems like wheezing or chest tightness
– coughing
– burning, tingling or itching of the throat
– rashes or other kinds of irritation of the skin
– pain in the head
– uncontrollable sneezing
– asthma
– and more.

Mold can be especially dangerous for infants, the elderly and people who have existing immune system problems. In general, the symptoms of mold exposure can vary from person to person and can grow rapidly worse. People with heart and lung problems may be susceptible to mold-related health problems even when others exposed to the same environment don’t develop problems.

Fortunately, mold remediation is possible to clean up mold infestation and improve indoor air quality. This process starts with removal of the source of the moisture that is allowing the mold to grow. Then, prevention of future mold growth is undertaken. Finally, existing mold must be cleaned up. You’ll find mold remediators that focus on all aspects of mold cleanup, including fabric restoration and restoration of the building’s structure.

Mold remediation is a process that can release more mold into the air if done incorrectly, so it makes sense to leave this process to professionals. The chemicals that cause human reactions to mold exist even after the mold has died, so cleaning it away is essential.

Mold remediation often involves the following things:

– evaluation to see what needs to be done and how cleanup can be accomplished safely
– HVAC cleaning to remove mold from ducts as well as heating and air equipment
– use of protective clothing, including respirators, to protect workers
– dry brushing or agitation to get mold off porous surfaces
– dry-ice blasting to get rid of mold on wood and cement
– wet vacuuming
– damp wiping
– HEPA-filtered vacuuming
– and more.

At Orange Restoration, we use proven techniques and our team’s experienced judgment to decide what San Diego mold remediation processes are best for you. You can be sure that when we handle your mold removal, your home or business will be safer, cleaner and ready for full use as quickly as possible.

Nothing means more to us at Orange Restoration than doing your mold removal job right. Why not contact us right away at (619) 376-6838 so we can get started for you? Working with us is a smart decision for your home or business — and your health — that you’ll never regret.

By |August 25th, 2015|Mold, News, Tricks and Tips|0 Comments

Proper Mold Remediation Involves Specific Equipment And Procedures

mold removal siteSo how does mold remediation work? It’s a complicated process that involves many steps. Those steps are customized to every job, so there’s no firm answer to exactly how mold removal is done. But here is some general information about how the process can be accomplished.

First, it is imperative to remove the source of moisture that is allowing the mold to grow. New mold can begin to grow on a moist and porous surface within as little as a day or two. But it can be prevented by stopping the source of water or moisture. Once this is accomplished, additional actions can be taken.

The safest and most effective way to clean up mold is to physically remove it with a detergent solution. There are commercially available products for this purpose. To be effective, the product used by you or your professional mold remediators needs to contain an antifungal agent approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

When mold growth is widespread and in significant quantity, the best bet is to have experts do the job for you. When you try to tackle it yourself, you may not get it all and may end up spreading spores into the air. In extreme cases where mold grows throughout a building, the most cost-effective way to get rid of the problem may be to condemn the building and start all over.

But that probably won’t be necessary at your home or office. Instead, professional mold removal specialists can take actions that involves some or all of the following:

Throwing away items that can’t be saved. When an item is thoroughly contaminated, the best idea may be throw it away. There’s simple no better way to get this mold source out of the way.

Cleaning items that can be saved. There’s a process for cleaning almost any kind of material. For example, some mold remediators specialize in fabric renewal.

HVAC system cleaning. Mold spores in heating and air conditioning ductwork can spread the infestation throughout a building. While mold occurs in low concentration in most air, it’s important to remove as much as possible from your home or building’s ducts for the best possible indoor air quality.

Dry agitation. Simply brushing or sanding, dry agitation is used to get rid of microbial growth on solid surfaces that are porous, like wood.

Dry-ice blasting. Used primarily for concrete and wood, dry-ice blasting can release mold into the surrounding air so it is most often used outside and not always the best choice when mold containment is required.

Wet vacuuming. Approved by the EPA, this is simply a way of sucking up wet material and containing it before disposing of it properly.

Of course, dry vacuuming and simply wiping a surface down is also among the tools of mold remeditators.

If it’s time to tackle the mold problem at your home or office, call Orange Restoration. With a team of professionals and the very latest equipment, we can put and end to your mold problems and also handle water damage restoration and many other things for you. What can we do for you? Call (619) 376-6838

By |August 18th, 2015|Mold, News, Tricks and Tips|0 Comments

Remove Small Mold Patches With Simple Solutions

mold damage areaIf mold is present in only one small location in your home and doesn’t involve any porous materials, you may be able to remove it yourself using one of several home remedies and natural solutions. But use caution: you can subject yourself to additional mold exposure and cause mold to go airborne in your home if you do the mold remediation incorrectly.

Plus, you need to be absolutely certain that the small patch of mold you know about is actually the only one present. Otherwise, you could be killing and removing an obvious bit of mold while allowing a larger and unseen growth of mold go unchecked.

If you’re sure you want to tackle your project yourself, consider one of these cleaners:

Bleach. While mold remediators will often tell you that bleach only decolorizes mold rather than killing it, it may be all you need for small areas of mold. It works great on non-porous materials like bathtubs, tile, countertops and glass but does not penetrate well. It isn’t a good choice for drywall or wood. Since bleach produces harsh fumes, make sure the area in which it will be used is ventilated well. Wear gloves too. A cup of bleach per gallon of water should be more than enough, then spray or sponge on and wipe away. There’s no need to rinse since bleach inhibits future growth. Remember, it will decolor fabric and some other materials too.

Borax. A natural product that isn’t even toxic if swallowed, there’s no toxic smell or fumes when you get rid of mold with borax. This simple white powder — actually a naturally occurring mineral — is similar in many ways to baking soda but cleans better. Create a solution using a cup of borax in a gallon of water. Vacuum away lose mold first with a vacuum that has a HEPA filter and then scrub the mold away. Wipe away any powdery liquid that remains and vacuum again if necessary. There’s no need to rinse unless a white residue is left behind.

Vinegar. Also generally non-toxic, vinegar kills most — but not all — kinds of mold. But it’s safe, non-toxic and the smell isn’t harmful like the bleach smell is. Plus, vinegar is cheap and available in all supermarkets. Spray it on full strength, let it sit an hour and then clean the area. The remaining vinegar smell will go away within a few hours.

There are other cleaners that can be used for small patches of mold remediation too. These include:

  • ammonia, a harsh chemical with toxic fumes that works on non-porous surfaces
  • hydrogen peroxide, a safe compound that kills bacteria, fungus and more
  • baking soda
  • tea tree oil
  • grapefruit seed oil

You can even remove small amounts of mold with mild detergent and water. But how can you be sure you’re getting it all with any of these methods? For the very best results, contact Orange Restoration at (619) 376-6838 for professional mold remediation by experts who make sure they complete the job.

By |August 11th, 2015|Mold, News, Tricks and Tips|0 Comments

Do Your Own Mold Removal — If You Dare

mold on ceiling and wallsAccording to United States Environmental Protection Agency, you may be able to do you own mold cleanup if the area impacted by the mold is less than 10 square feet. If you aren’t sure how much of your home is impacted by mold or you don’t feel competent to do a thorough and complete job, then it’s best to leave this complex task to mold remediation experts.

Which choice you make for small jobs is up to you. But for larger job, your home’s structure and your family’s health are too important to try to do the job yourself.

If you decide to do the work yourself, however, be sure to go by the following guidelines from the EPA:

Follow the rules. The EPA publishes specifications for how mold remediation should be done in schools and commercial buildings, and it makes sense to follow similar rules and specifications when working on any kind of building. In addition, guidelines are published by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists and other governmental and professional organizations.

Think about the HVAC system. If you have a mold problem, there’s a good chance that the HVAC system may be contaminated as well. The EPA publishes guidelines about when air duct cleaning is a good idea, but it’s absolutely necessary if you suspect contamination. Stop running the system until you’re sure the system is clear or it has been cleaned. Running it could make the problem worse by spreading the mold within the building.

Think about other kinds of contamination. If your mold or water damage is caused contaminated water — like that from a sewer, for example — the job may be beyond what you can tackle on your own. You need to call on a professional mold remediation company because you need special experience in getting rid of other contaminants and fixing damage to the building’s structure caused by other contaminants. Never just assume there isn’t a problem because there’s no smell or discoloration. Not all kinds of materials leave telltale signs.

Consider your health. If you’re susceptible to health problems or have allergies to mold, you need to leave the cleanup of even small patches of mold to professionals. And you should think about being out of the building while cleanup is happening. There’s no reason to risk your health doing a job that others have the equipment and expertise to do better and without impacting anyone’s health negatively.

And remember that if you have a mold problems, nothing is more important than acting quickly. Damage from mold can grow and spread quickly — within a matter of a day or two. The longer it remains untreated, the worse the problem will be and the more expensive and time-consuming the repairs will be.

At Orange Restoration, we’re prepared to take on mold remediation projects of any size. Just ask us what we can do for you to restore comfort, safety and functionality to your home or business. We handle projects large and small for clients of all kinds every day. So what can we do for you today? Call (619) 376-6838.

By |August 4th, 2015|Mold, News, Tricks and Tips|0 Comments

How Can I Get Rid Of Mold?

san diego home with mold damageWhen you have mold in your home, you have a problem with moisture. This could be the result of too much humidity, but it’s more likely that the problem is a leaky pipe, flood damage or another source of infiltrating water that must be eliminated.

The first step to eliminating mold is to locate the source of the moisture, promptly fix the problem and then immediately dry out the area. Mold can start within just a day or two, so quickly drying the area is crucial. And thorough drying can actually take several days to complete.

Mold isn’t just black and can be white or many other colors. So don’t assume that a patch in your home that isn’t black isn’t mold.

Outdoors, mold usually isn’t a problem because it’s a natural part of the environment. It plays an important part in decaying organic matter like fallen trees and dead leaves. While mold spores are often in the air inside, mold has no place in a home, and efforts should be made to eliminate any patch of it that starts growing. Mold spores are invisible without a microscope, so you wouldn’t necessarily know its in your home until it starts to grow.

But is there any harm from mold inside a home?

There can be. Mold can have a number of potential health impacts. Mold produces substances than can cause allergic reactions as well as irritants and mycotoxins. In people with sensitivity to mold, inhaling or touching it is enough to set off a reaction. The reaction can be a runny nose or skin irritation or perhaps a sore throat. But it can also be serious respiratory problems and other more serious complications.

Plus, mold gradually and continually destroys the things it grows on. This includes home furnishings like paneling, furniture and even your clothing. And this includes the home’s structure itself. Eliminating mold as soon as it is discovered allows you to save the money it would cost to replace items on which mold grows.

So how can I get rid of mold?

That depends on how much there is. In some cases when you have very little mold, you may be able to scrub it away yourself using borax, vinegar or baking soda. Bleach can be used as well, but the fumes from bleach are toxic.

But you can’t be sure you’ve gotten all the mold when you scrub it away yourself. For the best possible job of getting rid of mold from your home, you need to call a professional mold remediation company. Mold removal companies have special tools and time-tested techniques for mold removal.

Ready to get rid of the mold problem in your San Diego home? If so, it’s time to call Orange Restoration, a company with the experience and expertise necessary to do a great job. Don’t delay any longer. The longer you wait for mold removal, the more damage there will be to your home — and your health. Call (619) 376-6838.

By |July 30th, 2015|Mold, Tricks and Tips|0 Comments