Water, Fire, & Mold Restoration Blog

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The Dangers of Black Mold in the Home

Most experts would agree, black mold is one of the worst types of mold that can be found inside of a house. Not only can it damage property, but it can also cause illnesses for the people living near or around it. It is important to identify the symptoms of black mold so that the proper professional help can be contacted to help with the mold remediation.

There is no reason to wait for mold to cause health problems before you realize it’s even in your home. It is a good idea to investigate any area that is exposed to moisture for mold. Mold is most commonly found in places that have high moisture like basements and places where water is running like leaky pipes under the sink. Catching mold growing in these places before it gets out of hand makes it easier for the professional to clean up the mold problem before it can spread throughout the entire home.

black mold remediation

There are several ways that black mold can damage your home. There are a number of things to look for to check if black mold symptoms are present in the home and affecting the health of any occupants. Some of the most common symptoms reported from mold exposure include headaches, watery and itching eyes, sneezing, itchiness, and skin irritation. These obnoxious symptoms can grow worse the longer the resident is exposed to the black mold.

There have been a number of studies conducted showing how exposure to black mold can cause cancer and other serious illnesses. While it is rare, other serious symptoms like asthma attacks, difficulty breathing, ear infections, sinus infections, nausea, and other major symptoms can occur from long term exposure.

Would you like to read more information about black mold and mold remediation? Visit www.Orange-Restoration.com for more information.

 

 

By |May 14th, 2013|Mold|Comments Off on The Dangers of Black Mold in the Home

Mold in Your Home

Discovering mold in your home is something all homeowners fear. Mold is the common term used to describe a variety of microscopic fungi that play an important role in breaking down organic material. It can be found everywhere, from the fuzzy old bread on your counter to the pile of leaves rotting in your front yard, and is a natural and necessary part of any ecosystem.

Most molds flourish in warm, wet environments. Indoors, this means it is most likely to be found on surfaces that remain damp for long periods of time. Common places to find mold included behind appliances like air conditioners and refrigerators, around leaky windows, doors, or pipes, and in poorly ventilated bathrooms. It is also very common after flooding and can be caused by water damage.

It can sometimes be difficult to differentiate mold from other types of stains, but in general large colonies will have a fuzzy texture and can present in a range of colors from black to yellow to white. Some molds also have a distinctive earthy smell. If you are unsure about possible mold in your home, you should call a mold remediation specialist immediately.

By |April 10th, 2013|Mold|Comments Off on Mold in Your Home

Encinitas Mold Removal

It is common for our company to get calls for mold removal in Encinitas, Carlsbad, Leucadia, and neighboring areas in the San Diego north county coastal area. The reason mold occurrences are especially common that area is the geography of the ocean facing high cliffs, which allow ocean breeze currents to saturate the houses with humidity. One such project Orange Restoration worked on in the last months is a client located in Encinitas whose lower level family room was affected with mold. The area was carpeted, and the mold was found once the homeowner tried lifting the carpet to replace it with hardwood floors. Once the corner of the carpet was lifted and some of the baseboard removed, there was clear evidence of black stains on the back of the building materials.

Naturally this is something that just a regular flooring contractor cannot handle. She called up Orange Restoration to provide her with an estimate for the cost of repairs, and we ended up performing her mold remediation project. She told us throughout our work that she noticed many of her neighbors that had similar age homes were experiencing the same issues of mold in their downstairs ocean facing rooms.

By |August 1st, 2012|Mold|Comments Off on Encinitas Mold Removal

The Basics of Mold for Property Managers

Types of mold can be found anywhere and they can grow on virtually any substance that is organic, as long as there is oxygen and moisture present. Certain types of mold can grow on paper, carpet, food, insulation, and even wood. When excessive amounts of moisture accumulate in buildings, or building materials, mold growth will often occur, especially if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. At Orange Restoration, we complete can help you as a property manager control the moisture levels inside your property.

Here are a few things you should know about mold as a property manager. First and foremost, it has the potential to cause health problems. Molds can produce allergens, (substances that can cause allergic reactions), potentially toxic substances, and irritants. Such allergens can cause hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing and runny nose. Exposure can also irritate the skin, eyes, nose, lungs, and throat of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people.While the research on the health effects are ongoing, it's clear that as a property manager, you do not want any kind of mold in your properties.

Now that you have an idea of the health problems mold can cause, the next step is getting rid of the mold itself. That's when you call the experts at Orange Restoration. Bottom line is that mold will not grow if there is no moisture present. If there is a mold growth problem in your property, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you get rid of the mold and don't fix the water problem, it it most likely that the mold problem will come back. We will dispatch a technician immediately to help you take care of your problem and get your property a step towards a healthier home environment. At the end of the day, your tenants health could be at risk.

Call Orange Restoration and set up an appointment! (858)836-2415

We now service Orange County and the San Francisco Bay Area!

By |May 4th, 2012|Mold|Comments Off on The Basics of Mold for Property Managers

Mold: Good, Bad or Indifferent

Mold. It’s been around since the beginning of time. It survived all the upheavals in the tectonic plates. It sat back and watched evolution take place. It outlived the dinosaurs. It will probably outlive us. It may even exist on other planets. But what is it? How does it get in a house? And, more importantly, how do you get it out so you don’t get sick?

Good mold

Mold gets a bad rap of late, but good mold does exist. Penicillium is the typical “blue” mold found on food. Bread that sat too long in the pantry typically develops penicillium. In fact, as the name implies, the very tasty blue cheese is derived from this particular strain of mold. In this day and age, cheese makers now add a commercially reproduced and freeze-dried culture, but originally, penicillium was procured from dark, damp caves and adding to the cheese. The distinctly blue Roqueforts were then stored and aged inside the same caves. Blue cheese is not alone in the good mold department. Many cheeses have an element of mold to them and, to some food connoisseurs, a piece of cheese is not edible until it has a nice coating of mold on it.

And, let’s not forget the world’s first and best antibiotic: penicillin. Alexander Fleming is credited with discovering that penicillium killed colonies of bacteria in 1929. He learned that it killed many disease-causing bacteria and realized the potential, if it could be mass-produced. That didn’t happen until World War II, when there was an urgency to do so to help the injured troops. By 1948, Andre Moyer was granted a patent to mass-produce penicillin in order to battle a number of diseases.

Bad Mold

If there is good mold, there must be bad mold as well, right? So much more needs to be understood about mold but with all the different strains, that may never happen. There are experts who advise that some mold is fine – harmless, while other molds, particular the infamous “black mold”, is bad. They advise testing to see which kind of mold you are encountering. On the other hand, the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention does not feel that is necessary to test to determine what type of mold you have. They do not see the need to differentiate. In fact, the CDC says all mold should be removed, regardless of the genus.

Aspergillus, Alternaria and Cladosporium are the most common indoor molds. In 2004, the Institute of Medicine released a report that confirmed what many had already suspected: indoor exposure to mold can cause coughing, wheezing and upper respiratory problems in healthy people. Certain populations are particularly vulnerable, including infants, the elderly and those with an already compromised immune system. Aspergillosis is particularly invasive and can be seen on CT scans of the lungs. In acute cases, it spreads via the vascular system and destroys tissue.

Stachybotrys atra. Yes, that’s the one. Black Mold. It’s not as common as the others but it is out there. The greenish-black mold is drawn to high cellulose materials and excessive dampness and humidity, much like the conditions seen in a water-damaged home. Construction materials that have been damaged in a flood or water leak are prime breeding grounds for black mold. The real issue with Stachybotrys atra is that it produces myocotoxins. These are toxic to human cells and have been known to wreak havoc on the vascular, digestive, respiratory, reproductive, immune, urinary and nervous systems.

How Does It Get In?

There are over 100,000 known types of mold throughout the world. Mold and mold spores are everywhere. They can pass through all but the finest air filter. Mold can enter your home through the heating and air conditioning systems, through open windows and doors or by attaching to you, your family and your pets. Once inside, if it finds a moist spot, it will grow. Once it lands, it sets down roots and colonizes. A single spore can rapidly turn into an overgrown colony in no time. Damp pipes, leaky roofs, even house plants are all likely targets. In fact, mold will grow on anything that it can feed on, including construction materials like wood, drywall and carpet.

A secondary issue that is causing the World Health Organization some concern is the fact that both dust mites and bacteria thrive in the same damp conditions. This combination could lead to even bigger health problems in poorer countries.

So, What Can You Do To Remove Mold?

While both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention both suggest removing small areas (less than 3’ x 3’) of mold with an application of bleach, it is always advisable to be cautious. Use gloves, protective clothing and a mask to protect yourself. Do not assume that what you see is the only mold. It could be under the tiles on the floor. It could be in the insulation behind the wall. And, while bleach is recommended by those in the know, they fully admit that it may not kill all the spores. The mold may return. A better idea would be to hire a professional. Professional mold removal is referred to as mold remediation.

The chief concern of everyone involved is those spores. The general public may just think that removing mold is as simple as donning a drywall mask and physically carrying the affected material outside to an awaiting dumpster. Remember: mold is a survivor. The spores will once again become airborne and find another spot to set down roots – another plant, the carpet, your lungs. As in any sort of remediation process, it needs to be removed carefully to prevent further or recurrent damage.

The Real Estate Market

The struggling economy and weak housing market has led to an explosion in both foreclosed homes and the mold population. Banks and other lienholders have hired management companies to clean and lock their investments up tight. But, in doing so, they have inadvertently caused unimaginable damage. Most people assume that if the house water supply is shut off then the mold problem is circumvented. Nothing could be further than the truth. Dampness and moisture are a concern but the bigger culprit is ventilation. A house needs to breath. Every home has moisture in the air naturally and, once a house is shut tightly, the mold can grow.

In fact, more than half the foreclosed homes on the market today have mold damage. The numbers are only expected to increase. Depending on which reports you read and what market you are referring to, there is a 6 month to 24 month supply of homes for sale. Many of those are foreclosed and locked up tight with little ventilation – a perfect breeding ground. Wise realtors now require that clients and co-workers sign waivers before entering homes – just in case.

Prevention is the Best Medicine

Obviously, preventing mold from gaining a foothold in the first place is the best option. It is not as hard as would be expected. The CDC makes the following suggestions for preventing all types of mold in your home:

  • Do not install carpet in bathrooms;
  • Remove any wet or flooded carpets as soon as possible;
  • Always clean bathrooms with mold-killing products;
  • When re-painting, look for new products with mold-inhibitors added;
  • Be sure you have proper ventilation, including attic vents and exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms;
  • Use a dehumidifier when it is humid outside;
  • Keep the humidity level of your home between 40 – 60%.

No one has all the answers regarding mold, not even the CDC or the WHO. It will come in your home. And, without proper humidity levels and adequate ventilation, it will take hold. Know the facts and take action before it gets unmanageable.

By |October 24th, 2011|Mold|Comments Off on Mold: Good, Bad or Indifferent

Mold Damage Repair

Mold is everywhere in the air. When it lands on a damp environment it can grow quickly and become a health hazard. Sometimes leaks can occur in a home or a commercial building and go unnoticed for a period of time. When that's the case, mold damage can grow out of control and release dangerous spores into the air.

When mold is proliferating in your property, it's time to call a mold damage specialist. Mold is one of those things that's better to have a professional deal with. Mold specialists have the appropriate gear and tools to remove mold safely and efficiently. Mold remediation is not a DIY project! There are rules and procedures recommended by the  Environmental Protection Agency and the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration that need to be followed for correct mold removal.

We at Orange Restoration have the appropriate tools and specialists to deal with mold remediation safely and efficiently. Call us whether you know you have mold or just think you do. We will send out a specialist for free to inspect your property.

Check out our awesome reviews on YELP!

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By |September 1st, 2011|Mold|Comments Off on Mold Damage Repair

Water Damage and Restoration Rescue

When a pipe explodes in your home, you need to be rescued. When a toilet overflows and water spreads throughout your home, you need to be rescued. When sewage backs up in your home, you need to be rescued. No one plans on needing a water damage and restoration company, but it's always good to have one on speed dial in case of an emergency.

When any of these things happen to your home, you need to find a reputable company fast. What makes a company reputable? Well, you want to confirm the company you are looking at is insured. You probably want to go to YELP and see reviews from other people saying good things about the company you are interested in.

You should also look through their website and confirm that they will help you throughout the process. It can be very stressful to have to repair your home after a disaster. Financial costs, the stress of not having your home, potential mold problems are all reasons to be kind to yourself and find a water restoration company that will do the bulk of the work for you. Find a company that works 24-7 and is able to dispatch someone immediately. You need to feel like you're in good hands. Confirm that the company will handle your insurance claim so you have one less thing to worry about.

We're not saying we do all of these things (okay, we do). Ultimately we want you to hire someone that will do the job right the first time and minimize the amount of work you have to do to make your home feel like home again.

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By |August 31st, 2011|Fire, Flood, Green, Mold, Newsletter, Tricks and Tips|Comments Off on Water Damage and Restoration Rescue

We Want to Be on Your Emergency Speed Dial

Dear Property Manager,

This letter is specially written for you.

We at Orange Restoration want to be on your emergency speed dial.

Look at the list of things we specialize in:

1. Water Restoration

2. Mold Removal

3. Fire and Smoke Damage

4. Flood Remediation

5. Air Duct Cleaning

We are also available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We want to make your job simpler. We want to do the legwork with the insurance company and make sure your claim goes through hassle free. Our many years of experience have allowed us to build relationships with insurance agents that we use to make life easier for you.

Ultimately, beyond our references, our excellent reputation, we can promise you prices that no one else can. We are affordable. We streamline our business practices to carry the savings to our customers. Give us a call, you won’t regret it!

Check out our awesome reviews on YELP!

San Diego Carpet Cleaning and Water Restoration Experts

By |August 1st, 2011|Carpet, Fire, Flood, Mold|0 Comments

What Effect Does Mold Have on YOUR Health?

The previous blog discussed the origins of mold. To summarize, mold is a fungus that is nearly impossible to eradicate completely.

Fine then. Give me a fierce shrug. Make it fierce. Good. Now, ask me.

“Okay Orange Restoration blogger, if I can’t get rid of mold completely, what effect does it have on my health? Why all the panic about mold if it’s everywhere?”

Good question!

Since we are around mold every day and it’s impossible to completely eradicate it, we need to be aware of its effects and be proactive about eliminating it.

If you or someone in your house has asthma, mold can be a real problem. Exposure to mold can exacerbate symptoms for asthma sufferers who tend to be more sensitive to the effects of mold. Mold itself isn’t the problem; however, it produces substances that potentially carry health risks. Some people may experience fever, shortness of breath, eye irritation, rashes, and stuffy nose. If you are experiencing any or all of those symptoms it could be useful to check your home for mold.

Reactions to mold are individual. Some people have allergic reactions to mold and some people don’t. Now, that doesn’t mean you should allow it to proliferate in your house. Although you are always exposed to mold, there is a difference between a small exposure to it and a large exposure. While a small amount might not do anything to you, a large amount can set off an allergic response. And honestly, what is a small amount to one person can be a lot to someone else. So it’s really important to destroy all of it growing in your home.

One of the best ways to prevent mold from growing is to keep the moisture levels in your home between 40 -60%. Also, checking your home for mold or having an expert check your home will keep you and your family safe.

Don’t be shy. Give us a call. We are here to help you. And no worries if we can’t find any mold, we’d rather find nothing than have you potentially suffer a negative response from finding any hidden within your home.

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By |July 24th, 2011|Mold|0 Comments

Where Does Mold Come From?

Mold is everywhere.

There is no way to completely eradicate mold from your home since it exists naturally.

From an environmental perspective, molds are eukaryotic micro-organisms that are necessary to help break down dead organic matter, i.e., dead trees, fallen leaves and dead plants. But where does mold come from?

Mold spores travel by air currents and are only visible by microscope. They float easily through the atmosphere landing haphazardly. If the environment is appropriate they will begin to grow immediately. Within a matter of days a small colony of mold can expand to become a large colony of mold enveloping a large area in your home!

Mold spores can survive environments that are poor for mold to grow, waiting for all the right conditions to occur together.

Indoors, mold spores are only a danger if they can find a wet surface to land on. Mold cannot grow without water or moisture. Moreover, mold needs a source of food (wood, paper, drywall, adhesives, pastes, paints), oxygen and a temperature between 40 – 100 degrees F. Even though mold cannot create nutrients from inorganic material (concrete,metal, glass and plastic) they can grow on any dirt/dust that may lay on these materials. Indeed, even if these materials are not damp, mold can grow if there is enough moisture in the air.

Mold is a potential danger that can never be fully eradicated.

If you think you are having a mold problem, please contact Orange Restoration for help.

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By |July 20th, 2011|Mold|0 Comments