Microbial Growth & Ultrafine Particulate Matter Removal

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Ultra Fine Particulate Matter and Microbial Growth size chart comparison to a human hair. As these particles are very small, they can quickly move around the home and impact indoor air quality.

 

Recently, because of the extra rainy season that San Diego has been experiencing, we have been getting reports of more mold in our community than ever. While Orange Restoration is IICRC certified for mold remediation, often times in San Diego homes, they need more extreme mold services. Orange restoration has been performing small particle mold remediation for decades, teaming up with clinicians and hygienists to remediate people’s homes and get back to a healthy life. We have been doing some of the techniques to properly remediate microbial growths of all kinds for well over 10 years and consider ourselves ultrafine particulate matter removal experts.  

Microbial Growth and Ultrafine Particulate Matter Removal

The home is where we hang our hat, so to speak, but mostly we breathe air from this space more frequently than from any other space we are in daily. We may leave the home, but like most homeowners they return at the end of their day to enjoy the peace that shelter provides. If you are a homeowner, you probably are familiar with all the unseen risks associated with any home. To be clear, these unseen risks include water damage, hidden structural damage, asbestos, pests, and finally, microbial growths including: fungi, algae, rusts, yeasts, and bacteria.

So, while there is a lot to visually inspect in your home, getting a professional inspector involved is advisable for the long-term viability and health of your home. Many unseen damages or microbial growths can be lurking in a home, this is partially why so many rules and regulations exist in real estate. Still, just like others have discovered, inspectors can miss something! Home inspectors are often working under deadlines and massive pressure to pass inspections by real estate agents, brokers, and homeowners who want to sell, as well as the new home buyers. This is why we suggest going further to do testing relevant to the health of your home, and your family’s health. 

Normal impacts on indoor air quality that are not associated with the ultrafine particulate matter removal or microbial growths.

The Importance of Air Quality in Your Home

Your guests come to your home for an experience. Your family lives in your home to escape the dangers of the outside world. Even the plan to buy a home was to support the comfort needed to build a healthy life. The time you spent to create this luxury should not be wasted!

So allowing microbial growth to take it all over would be a shame, as simple maintenance can help! Your home should foster a beautiful life and one where your family and guests gain a fresh perspective from your home. No one wants to have a home that gets them sick, takes away from their lives health, or continues to have large financial costs due to mold remediation efforts. 

Does Microbial Growth Impact Indoor Air Quality?

Yes, is the easy answer, but the more complex answer is that microbial growths will almost always impact the air quality if there are spores or moisture. The only way to know for sure is through professional testing. Still, if you do not maintain your home regularly, you and your guests will smell it. So, if the mold is not impacting your health, it will be impacting your comfort.

Also, worth noting, fewer guests will want to visit a second time to see if the musty smell got worse. Also, this would impact your homes value as mold is one of the greatest fears for new home buyers due to the ambiguity of the problem source or resolution. In addition to the mold’s musty smell, this unpleasant smell will attract pests looking for an easy way to get into your home or will sense the mold smell as evidence of access to moisture that they need near their nesting place. 

Air Quality Testing is Becoming More Important in San Diego Real Estate!

As a mold remediation company we are constantly working with an Indoor Environmental Professional (IEP) such as Anna Branch. Anna Branch is known to be one of the best mold experts in San Diego in regards to Mold-Specific Quantitative (MSQPCR) PCR Analysis. This analysis is similar, but more in-depth to the Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI) to create a value for the mold ratio in the air. The ERMI was originally made to help create standard to report and record the ratio of various mold spores to air and other particles. This helps determine how the air may be impacting your family.

For example, households with higher ERMI values are associated with an increased risk of asthma. Home buyers in San Diego real estate market are often very health conscious, meticulous, and have plenty of options for their new home elsewhere. The choice alone to live in San Diego might be about health as many new San Diego home owners claim they made the move for a better healthy life.

Understanding Microbial Growth

Microbial growth refers to the proliferation of various microorganisms, including fungi, bacteria, algae, yeasts, and more, within an indoor environment. These microorganisms can thrive in indoor areas, especially with elevated moisture levels. What makes microbial growth particularly insidious is its ability to remain hidden from plain sight, anywhere in your home or business. These microorganisms can colonize within walls, ceilings, under flooring, or in hidden corners, making them difficult to detect by visual inspection alone.

The need for a professional inspection becomes more evident as microbial growth poses both structural risks to your home and health risks to its occupants. Trained professionals have the expertise and tools necessary to uncover these hidden dangers, allowing for timely remediation to protect both your property and your well-being. Health and home should be your first priority.

mold health affects from microbial growth in home.

Health Implications of Microbial Growth

Exposure to microbial growth in your home can have serious health implications, and even worse if you already have a compromised health. Mold, bacteria, and other microorganisms release mycotoxins, which can trigger a wide range of health problems. Symptoms of exposure to these mycotoxins and source contaminants can vary but often include respiratory issues, skin rashes, allergic reactions, skin reactions such as hives, itchy skin, and eye irritation.

Additionally, mycotoxins are known to be particularly harmful to those with mold sensitivity, leading to more severe symptoms like nausea, headaches, brain fog, exhaustion, and sinus issues. Unfortunately, these symptoms can be subtle, making it easy to overlook the root cause. Often, occupants of the home will attribute these discomforts to other factors, not realizing that the indoor air quality is the underlying factor contributing to the issue. This is why professional inspection and testing are essential in identifying and addressing the problem, ensuring a healthy living environment for you and your family.

What Are The Symptoms of Poor Air Quality In A House?

Contaminates to air quality can produce odors; or can go unnoticed by smell and simply cause symptoms such as nausea, headaches, eye irritation, fatigue, dry throat, sinus issues, and dizziness. Often the homeowners or tenants will notice either the smell from the odor produced by the mold or they will be uncomfortable due to the various symptoms that seem to have no cause, but exposure to the home.

When you have a home with unseen contamination, it is important to make sure to figure out the root cause of the problem, but when you cannot see it, this becomes more difficult. Unseen particles also known as Ultrafine Particulate (UFP) matter, require professionals to get involved. After you decide that your home has contaminated air, you might want to start with actions. Many try to do it themselves because the idea of getting professionals involved is daunting. Trying to fight micro-sized particles in the air seems like a simple fight at first, many will use ventilation techniques and even try to filter it in their own ways. 

removing small mold growth. an example of microbial growth on the walls.

Do Air Purifiers Remove Particulate Matter?

Without going too far into this, the attempt to do anything to clean the air may cause some desired results to occur, but they may not be permanent. So, while the home air purifiers with a High Efficiency Particulate Arrestor (HEPA filter) may scrub the air for any free radicals, the source can not be identified or changed by the use of an air filter.

So, the air purification processing may just be allowing for the mold to slowly grow, making it more powerful each day and eventually, the air filter will need to be replaced. Also, as you allow contamination to spread, the air purification may just be helping mold spores to spread! In addition, it is possible the air purification system will need a full decontamination cleaning after it has done this work. For these reasons, we do not suggest using an air purifier or filtration system to help you to procrastinate fixing your microbial growth problem. 

Health Effects of Ultrafine Particles

Ultrafine particles can impact health in various ways, but a large part of it is the inflammation of airways, lungs, and blood vessels. These issues can cause for other health issue to worsen, making for chronic problems. For example, if someone in the home already has asthma, they will be more sensitive to the particles. This person can have numerous negative health issues while their partners get the same exposure and are not impacted. Often times, this will cause the issue to worsen because the assumption is the problems are isolated to one person and not something coming from the environmental factors. 

Are Ultrafine Particles Bad for You?

Most outside particles gaining access to your lungs are going to be bad for your health. When it comes to ultrafine particles, there is added complexity as these particles begin to disrupt the organ’s function. The 0.1 micro sized particles are capable of entering the bloodstream as they can easily pass through lung tissue. Larger sized particles are capable of getting stuck in the lung tissues and causing blockages or other problems.  

What Does Ultrafine Particles Do to Your Body?

They contaminate the entire body, and sometimes it is irreversible! Ultra fine particulate matter (PM0.1) enters the lungs and can fast track to any other part of the body, often into organs to stick around there. The particles, at the larger sized particulate matter (PM2.5), are often found in the lungs or the heart, and can cause inflammation in both and can be stuck in the lungs for a longer time than the ultra fine particulate matter (PM0.1). This inflammation can lead to various problems and can even cause death for some who have extreme or even particular mold allergies. 

Comparison chart of the surface areas of ultrafine particulate matter, particulate matter and course particulate matter sizes. You can see the amount of surface area is greater with the ultrafine particulate matter, this might add to the dangerousness of these tiny particles.

What are Ultrafine Particles in Indoor Air?

As seen in the chart above, ultrafine particles are the smallest particles on the right side. The larger particles, for example asbestos is between 2.5μm and 10μm, which are very dangerous to our health, while other ultra fine particles can be more troublesome as the smaller the particulate, the more easily it is to travel within the body. Some 2.5μm are known to cause more pulmonary inflammation and are stuck in the lung tissue for longer than the smaller particles. PM is known to enter the body through breathing, so it all starts in the lungs.

How Do You Remove Particulate Matter From Air at Home?

Some may recommend using standard HEPA filters in your HVAC system. This can help improve air quality temporarily, but if you have any real threats to your air quality, you will want to remove any potential microbial growth and other particulate matter sources completely. If you already suspect a mold problem, instead of circulating the air and getting the spores into new rooms and contaminating your entire HVAC system, you should call a professional and get mold testing done.

After testing to confirm the microbial growth or particulate matter, you’ll want to target its source, and work with a professional to remediate it. For the remediation process, professionals will use proper commercial grade dehumidifiers with proper HEPA filters and up to date maintenance to ensure the best results for removal. After having professionals do this work, you may want to upgrade your HVAC air filters to capture any remaining particulate matter to keep your home healthy. 

Call Orange Restoration for any Microbial Growths or Ultrafine Particulate Matter Removal Projects

Our remediation team has been trusted all over! From preserving historical treasures with local Natural History Museum, at Balboa Park, where we decontaminated 1000s of specimens in a 8 month decontamination project. Also, we have worked for local Mira Mar Airforce base that needed specific ultrafine particulate matter removal services at their data center.

We are seeking bigger projects like this in the San Diego County as our team is the most equipped local remediation company. If you suspect a project has any PM contamination issues, rather than call a sub-par mold remediator, call one known for handling international projects, local military grade messes, and even fragile projects that require handling specimens from our history. Our expertise is at your service! 

CALL US NOW AT (619) 376-6838

#1 Emergency Water Mitigation Services

best Flood Cleanup Procedures and Emergency Water Mitigation Services

Orange Restoration is known internationally for Emergency Water Mitigation Services as they have served at natural disasters around the globe. If you need mold mitigation or flood mitigation, Orange has seen some of the worst projects in some of the world’s largest disasters! Orange is known for working in many of the past major hurricanes like Hurricane Katrina, but also many of the disaster zones where many do not hear about. Whether commercial business or home flooding, Orange has the experts to manage the flood, the plumbing problem, the electrical issues, and the rebuilding needed to restore it to normal.

Emergency Water Mitigation Services

Given Orange’s extensive work in this niche, they are also great at mitigating the insurance paperwork as well. Many homeowners do not want to manage the insurance claim of their restoration, we understand this headache is a large one. Professionalism from our team comes from our many years in business, but more than one trade. Orange also has experts in specific problem areas such as plumbing, electrical, re-construction, and they do it all with one administration team!

This means that when insurance needs a plumber’s estimate, an electrical estimate and a rebuild estimate Orange Restoration can provide it all in one swoop and the quality of the work is the same, all photos are organized and communications with insurance for any updates are easy. The emergency water mitigation services should be called “Insurance Mitigation services after a Flood” because with out Orange Restoration, you will be stuck managing claims adjusters who strike without warning or mercy.

 

Great Floods Can Be Stopped If Leaks are Spotted in Time!

When the flooding is too great, the first person you want to call is a master plumber! A good Master Plumber can be found if you look hard enough. For example, Pro Plumber San Diego has an exceptional Master Plumber named Corey. Corey, the Master Plumber, mentioned the best way to avoid massive flooding in the home is through regular inspections and leak detection. However, after the flood is already gushing, you may just want to find the master shut off valve. Also, before entering a flood, you’ll definitely need to cut the power!

 

“If you do NOT think you can shut off power or the flow of water, call a professional immediately!” –Pro Plumber San Diego

 

Finding the Master Water Shut-Off Valve

Near most homes’ water meters, you can find the water shut-off valve. This valve looks like a simple handle and when you turn it 90 degrees the water for the home is turned on or off. The master supply shut off valve is probably the best valve to know as a property owner or tenant. After you turn the shut off valve, you can expect a drastic change as no water in the enter home should be running. 

 

Orange Restoration has Electrical Covered!

With Flooding, electrical work is the last thing you want to worry about, but not handling it can be deadly. Before entering a flood, you’ll definitely need to cut the power! If you are a homeowner, you probably know where your master breaker is, but if not, you’ll want to find the main breaker box of the home, usually pretty obvious. Hopefully you will have a flashlight to view around the outside of the home to find this box. 

 

Once you find the box, look for the double wide switch located at top of the panel and make sure it is in the off position. Beyond that, the only real help an electrician can provide is solutions after the flood damage has been mitigated properly by the Orange Restoration’s flood clean up team. Once we have a dry structure and no immediate flooding risks, repairing electrical and restoring power could be the next step. After the flood, some rewiring may be needed, so having an electrician review all your wires, outlets, major appliances and the major electrical panels should be done before restoring power.

Other Plumbing Surprises  

Many emergency water mitigation services just come out to do demolition, remove the flood and create a mess for the next team to clean up. Hiring a company that does it all may help to keep the costs of services down. Many emergency water mitigation services are not conditioned to professional needs for other trades, thus they create new problems. If you work with Orange Restoration, you will get professionally trained mitigation techs who are looking to ease the transfer from one team to another.

Emergency Water Mitigation Services Team 

Our team does this because the next team to the property trained them to look for things and communicate particular issues or conditions so that they are properly managed. The notes from all teams will be accessible easily as one admin team has made sure all note from each technician are properly accessible for the entire site work team. Orange Restoration team is positioned to make sure you have no surprises by professionally connecting you with all the progress and any important details that arise during the emergency water mitigation services to your property.

When Floods Start in the Attic

When water comes from above, you already know you are under water on repairs!! Emergency water mitigation services are going to be essential when the roof leaking causes a major flood to occur in your home. Many things will need to be evaluated before you can access your home again. If you have not already done so, make sure the power is off! Flooding in the attic can lead to a host of unique concerns, making it crucial to address the situation promptly and effectively.

From potential damage to the attic’s structural integrity to compromising insulation and ventilation systems, the consequences of attic floods can be far-reaching. Don’t worry, we have plenty of experience in attics! We also do attic cleaning for commercial and residential clients, and we don’t forget to give the crawlspace attention too!

Flooding can start from above too! If so, you will need emergency water mitigation services before you should call the plumber, we need to protect his safety also.

 

Prevent Flooding from Above

To mitigate these risks and prevent attic flooding, we offer a comprehensive approach that starts with an Attic Inspection. Our team of experts thoroughly assesses the attic’s condition, identifying vulnerabilities such as large cracks, weakened roofing materials, or leaking pipes that could lead to water intrusion during heavy rainfall or plumbing mishaps. By proactively addressing these issues, we implement tailored solutions to fortify your attic against flooding, ensuring the safety and protection of your property. From reinforcing roof structures to fixing faulty plumbing, our prevention strategies provide homeowners with peace of mind, knowing that their attics are resilient and ready to withstand potential flooding challenges.

Emergency Flood Preparedness & Flood Mitigation

While there are many emergency water mitigation service companies, the best thing a homeowner can do to be ready for a flood is to prepare for it. One preparation may be to have the residents of the household simply know what to do in the case of a flood, fire, earthquake, or otherwise disaster.

Knowing the shut off valve or switch for power and water would be a huge advantage. More advanced options would be probably best to be created by a professional. For example, many things can go wrong with your home, hiring a professional to regularly inspect your home for electrical issues, roof leaks, and any plumbing leaks could be a great solution. Too many try to DIY but they do not always get the best advice on how to complete the task entirely.

 

11 Steps to Fire Damage Restoration Processes

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Fire Damage Restoration Processes and Procedures

If you are experiencing the aftermath of a fire, this can be an overwhelming disaster. No one should have to go through this experience. Handling the aftermath of a fire has been seen through the goggles of far too many trained professionals to not start this blog off with stating most cases of fire and smoke damage should be handled by fire remediation professionals. 

fire and smoke damage repair tips

What is the Meaning of Fire Damage Remediation?

Fire damage remediation is the work that comes after the fire and before the rebuild or fire damage restoration efforts. More specifically, fire remediation is the clean up work after a fire, but this means removal of charred soot damage, destroyed furnishing, and cutting out damaged framework. Also the clean-up associated with after the fire crews have extinguished the fire are included within the fire remediation services. While many might think that all fire remediation companies would also restore the home, only fire restoration companies do the rebuilding or reconstruction. Orange Restoration has 20 years of experience handling massive remediation and fire damage restoration projects.

 

How Long After a Fire Can You Go Back?

Safety is still a first priority after securing everyone from the fire. Let’s make sure no more risks of harm come from this mess by making sure to use proper PPE and making sure to steer clear of any other major risks structurally or otherwise. The environment after a fire is not the same as it was before, the structure found is the remains of a once safe space you may have called “home”, but it is no longer deemed safe by any means. Going back to the property of your home after a fire is not recommended. 

 

 

If you hire a reputable fire damage restoration company, you might be able to go back to the property to view it as their work shows some progress, but always ask a professional before you proceed. Also, when asking for access to a fire site aftermath, make sure to state why you are needing access and what you plan to do. Even while someone may have approved your access to the fire restoration work site, that does not mean it is safe space or safe to breathe!

As a fire restoration company, we often get the question, “when will my home be back to normal?” The answer will always be unique as no fire damage restoration project ever has the same timeline.  

fire damage restoration

How do You Restore After A Fire?

It’s crucial to prioritize safety, make informed decisions, and have a clear plan in place for restoring your home. In this brief guide to the steps, we’ll draw upon insights from experts and experienced professionals to help you navigate the process of fire damage restoration of your home. Here are 11 specific thresholds and tasks of the fire restoration process and what to look for.

Prioritize Safety: The first and foremost priority is safety. After ensuring the safety of everyone involved and mitigating immediate risks, it’s essential to understand that returning to a fire-damaged property is not recommended. The post-fire environment is vastly different and potentially hazardous.

Handling Insurance Claims: We are lucky in California, which has a robust fire insurance system in place. Discuss the following key points with your insurance agent:

1) Referral for a reputable fire restoration contractor like Orange Restoration, ask about us if you like, or see our 5 star Google & Yelp reviews!

2) A detailed list of damages to your property.

3) & the claims release duration.

Hiring A Fire Damage Restoration Expert: Promptly contacting a restoration professional that can help determine the duration needed for the rebuilding process. Also, make sure to determine when their start date will be, until then you may need to secure the property.

Assess the Extent of Damage: Before restoration work begins, a fire damage restoration professional will assess the damage to your property. They will inspect your house for structural damages in components like load-bearing walls, columns, beams, and other critical cornerstone elements. Understanding the extent of the damage is crucial, and these professionals can often connect you with licensed electricians and plumbers to address the damages effectively.

Secure Your Property: Once the restoration work commences, protecting your property from vandalism and accidents is essential. Work with your restoration team to secure the area, which may include measures such as fencing off your land and boarding up windows and doors. If the restoration company cannot start right away, make sure to seek support to handle securing the fire work site.

Structural Repairs: The structural components of your home should be addressed first by professionals. They will replace joists, beams, columns, and other structural components that have been irreparably damaged by the fire.

Electrical System Repair: Before new structures, walls, and appliances can be installed to your home, restoring your utility systems is necessary. The electrical system is particularly susceptible to fire damage. It must be thoroughly inspected, and any damaged components replaced. This inspection includes everything from the power supply to plug-in points, making sure SDG&E knows you are reconnecting after a fire shut off.

Address Fire-Specific Damage: A fire leaves behind more than just structural damage. It often leaves soot residue, smoke stains, and contaminated air ducts.

Restoring Room by Room: Restoring an entire home after a fire can be an overwhelming task. To make it more manageable, work with your restoration professionals to tackle one room at a time.

Document Everything: Take photographs, retain invoices, receipts, and all paperwork related to the restoration. Digitalize these records to create a comprehensive folder that can serve as evidence of the extent of the damages, the resources expended, and the professionals involved.

Plan for Costs: The cost of rebuilding a home after a fire can vary widely, ranging from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands. Be prepared for these costs and explore insurance options if you reside in areas prone to wildfires. Also, when discussing the rebuild, if you want modifications to the way things were before, let your builder know, you may need to pay out of pocket to do this, but some changes are worth it.

 

What is the Best Cleaner for Fire Damage?

For each application, there may be a different solution, but most commonly, homeowners asking this are referring to cleaning soot and chard stains on otherwise undamaged remains. For cleaning this mess, we suggest products with trisodium phosphate (TSP) , a very effective, but caustic, burning skin and other organic materials it comes in contact. Make sure to read the safety instructions for any products containing TSP, use proper safety equipment. Before using TSP on a higher priority item, begin working on a test area or with something less valuable to learn how to use the solution. Remember to follow the product instructions first.

Fire Damage Restoration can be done on some fixtures , but often if they were fire adjacent they will have smoke damage and require some real elbow grease in the fire damage restoration process.

Often if cabinets were fire adjacent they will have smoke damage and need to be thrown out or may require some real elbow grease in the fire damage restoration process.

What Should I Throw Away After Smoke Damage?

Anything that can easily be replaced should immediately be removed, cleaning smoke damage is not worth doing if you can replace something new. Another article mentions throwing perishable food items away, but unless the fire damage and exposure was minimal, tossing all food items might be a good idea. Checking with the fire remediation experts may be a good idea to determine what would be safe to keep if restored properly. Later, those that are doing the restoration efforts will determine if they can save the items from the smoke and fire exposure.

 

What Happens if You Don’t Rebuild After Fire?

Homeowners seem to ask this question as if they are obligated to rebuild, no they are not. They may be required to pay off past debts like their mortgage, but they can do as they please, given they have many options. Oftentimes, the life cost of living in temporary housing, moving out and back in are too much trouble. Taking the insurance pay out and starting fresh may be a good idea. It is ok to do that, someone will relish at the opportunity to start fresh building at your old property.

 

Orange Wrap-Up

Restoring your home after a fire is a complex process that requires careful planning, professional expertise, and a focus on safety. While the timeline for each restoration project varies, having a clear plan in place and consulting with experienced professionals will help you navigate this challenging journey. Remember that, despite the hardships, your home can be rebuilt, and with the right resources and support, you can look forward to a brighter future.

Flood Mitigation After Hurricane Threat #1

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News Headlines report California and Mexico in destress from the the hurricane Hilary causing many homes and businesses to be in need of professional flood mitigation.

As the hurricane center has passed and San Diego breathes a sigh of relief, it’s crucial to shift our focus from preparation to flood mitigation. Hurricane Hilary might have spared us the worst, but the potential for flooding remains a concern for homeowners, especially those living near waterways and ocean shores.

In this post-hurricane period, it’s essential to take proactive steps to safeguard your home and property from potential water damage. Any standing water should be removed through professional flood mitigation services as the water inside your home can easily cause mold to form. Here’s a comprehensive guide on flood mitigation strategies to ensure your safety and peace of mind.

As hurricane Hilary has been downgraded to a tropical storm, the threat of flooding and the need for flood mitigation has been reduced.

As hurricane Hilary has been downgraded to a tropical storm, the threat of flooding and the need for flood mitigation has been reduced.

Assessing Post-Hurricane Risks

Although Hurricane Hilary didn’t deliver the feared devastation, some San Diegans now grapple with unexpected post-storm water challenges. The abundance of sudden water was not anticipated by many, leading to the emergence of standing water on certain properties. The presence of standing water can become a breeding ground for pests, elevate indoor humidity levels, and even facilitate the formation of mold spores.

While the hurricane’s impact varied across San Diego county, it’s imperative for affected residents to embark on post-hurricane cleanup efforts. Flood mitigation may be the first step for the recovery for some, while others may just need professional services for drying before the mold begins to form. 

Ensuring Basement and Windows Security

As part of your comprehensive flood mitigation strategy, don’t overlook the importance of assessing basement and windows security. During the pre-hurricane walkthrough, it’s crucial to examine windows and identify any potential vulnerabilities. The basement, often overlooked, demands special attention. Allocating extra time to inspect these areas contributes to reinforcing your home’s flood defenses. Consider the value of a post-hurricane walkthrough as well, allowing you to address any new concerns that might have arisen during the storm.

Maybe doing a post hurricane walkthrough would be a good idea also. While the home is still wet and damp, you can see things that are not obvious when dry. For example, wind has an impact on rainfall. It is easy to say all rain comes down from the sky, but during a hurricane, water is going every way due to the wind storming. Look for where water went around the edges of your home, maybe you can see rain gaining access under the window eaves.

Also, you can check to make sure there is not any excessive standing water. As you did before the storm, check weather stripping to see how it performed. Often, weather stripping can become damaged or simply be improperly installed. If you discover any issues in your post hurricane walk through, call Orange for any assistance!

Flood Mitigation and Restoration

If water is standing after hurricane Hilary, you’ll want to call us immediately. We can rapidly come to your home and begin the flood mitigation process. The quicker you move to remove standing water the better as the issue can evolve into a mold problem. It is much easier to restore your home if we can get the water removed before the mold begins to form. After we have mold, we need to get mold technicians involved to test, remove, and make sure the environment is safe before you can return to your home.

We can rapidly restore a home with only recent flooding damage because we use professional drying tools and air moving machines that will get the job done quickly. If there is mold forming, you are going to need to take action. Mold is a major health risk to your family, but also a risk to your home’s value. Flood mitigation is something you want to move rapidly on, and we are standing by prepared to rush to your home for any of our flood mitigation services. 

Strengthening Your Home’s Defense

Drawing from our pre-Hurricane Hilary advice, which delved into effective sandbag deployment, consider this an extension of that guidance. Implementing plastic sheets to augment the sandbag’s functionality as a water barrier is a recommended enhancement. If you observed instances of excessive water accumulation during the storm, it’s wise to undertake measures to clear drains and strategically redirect water flow toward these drainage points.

If you are experiencing any flooding due to leaky roof, water coming from ceiling, water coming from a wall or moisture in a normally dry interior space, you may still need flood mitigation professionals to help you out. 

Future Preparations

Put your hands together, we have all survived San Diego’s first hurricane in nearly a century! San Diego is no place for hurricanes! San Diego County is a beautiful vacation destination and we are accustomed to 72 degree weather. This storm may have brought a touch of fear to our locals, but with prevention we can build. Preventative actions to protect your home are never a waste. Your home is worth protecting as it should last for generations to come.

If you are seeking to be more preventative for mold, electrical or plumbing issues, the best thing to do is plan how to make yourself feel more confident. A home’s needs can be overwhelming if you do not organize all the details and plan to properly maintain every aspect of your home. We suggest you look into doing regular self inspections of your home. You can always add in a professional inspection of spaces you do not wish to go, like the attic and crawl spaces. Look for a simple self check list like this one. Plan to inspect your home as often as it makes you feel confident of the home’s safety, but be prepared to do it at least once a year. 

Restoring Home to Pre-Hurricane Summer Times

Following the storm, as you embark on the process of restoring your home to its pre-hurricane state, pay attention to the measures you took for flood mitigation. For those who followed our recommendation to elevate electrical appliances and systems, it’s now time to return them to their initial positions. This action aligns with the revised flood warning status and ensures that your home is well-prepared for future challenges.

Documenting and Being Prepared

If you took photos and prepared your essential documents for this hurricane scare, do not feel disappointed, they can still be good to have secured. Just as we were announcing the hurricane hitting SoCal, Los Angeles had a 5.0 earthquake! Keeping your important documents in water sealed containers is still a safe move, having an emergency kit and a family plan are great tools for home safety.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Hilary, the threat of flooding still lingers. By following these flood mitigation strategies, and working with flood mitigation experts you can take proactive steps to protect your home, belongings, and loved ones. Whether it’s elevating appliances, using sandbags strategically, or ensuring proper sealing, these measures can make a significant difference in safeguarding your property. Stay prepared, stay informed, and stay safe in the face of future challenges.

San Diego Prepares for Hurricane Hilary

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San Diego is Expecting a Hurricane?

A CNN article published last night showed the Hurricane will most likely cause significant flooding in San Diego. The idea that a hurricane is brewing south west of San Diego might create some fear among residents. While San Diego is in the path of Hurricane Hilary, it should die down before it reaches our homes. However, homes near the ocean shores may see a change in tides. Homeowners near the beaches and other waterways should consider preparing for flooding and water mitigation. 

Also, in desert areas they are making flash flood warnings as this may be a shock to the desert communities. We have not seen a hurricane in San Diego since before they had begun naming hurricanes

Map of Hurricane Hilary’s Approach to San Diego

Map of Hurricane Hilary: The predicted path of Hurricane Hilary's approach to San Diego and other SoCal cities. Hurricane Hilary Photos were pulled 8:28 am 8/18/23 from the National Hurricane Center website.

This graphic shows an approximate representation of coastal areas under a hurricane warning (red), hurricane watch (pink), tropical storm warning (blue) and tropical storm watch (yellow). The orange circle indicates the current position of the center of the tropical cyclone. The black line and dots show the National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecast track of the center at the times indicated.

The dot indicating the forecast center location will be black if the cyclone is forecast to be tropical and will be white with a black outline if the cyclone is forecast to be extratropical. If only an L is displayed, then the system is forecast to be a remnant low. The letter inside the dot indicates the NHC’s forecast intensity for that time:
D: Tropical Depression – wind speed less than 39 MPH
S: Tropical Storm – wind speed between 39 MPH and 73 MPH
H: Hurricane – wind speed between 74 MPH and 110 MPH
M: Major Hurricane – wind speed greater than 110 MPH

NHC tropical cyclone forecast tracks can be in error. This forecast uncertainty is conveyed by the track forecast “cone”, the solid white and stippled white areas in the graphic. The solid white area depicts the track forecast uncertainty for days 1-3 of the forecast, while the stippled area depicts the uncertainty on days 4-5. Historical data indicate that the entire 5-day path of the center of the tropical cyclone will remain within the cone about 60-70% of the time. To form the cone, a set of imaginary circles are placed along the forecast track at the 12, 24, 36, 48, 72, 96, and 120 h positions, where the size of each circle is set so that it encloses 67% of the previous five years official forecast errors. The cone is then formed by smoothly connecting the area swept out by the set of circles.

Ledged for the Hurricane Hilary map showing the different classifications of the hurricane and the colors associated with the map.

The map and map legend were provided by the National Hurricane Center

How to Prepare for Flooding from Hurricane Hilary

If your home sits near waterways or the ocean, you may want to barricade the water from your home with sandbags or other means. Before the risk of flood from Hurricane Hilary, have a talk with the household about emergency procedures. Make sure all household members know where the power shut off switch is, gas shut off, and the water shut off valve. Assemble a cache of essential battery-powered emergency tools, including flashlights with spare batteries, basic tools, and protective gloves, to swiftly navigate through challenging situations.

Use sandbags to channel excess water towards the nearest optimal drain, minimizing the risk of water accumulation from Hurricane Hilary. 

Use sandbags to channel excess water towards the nearest optimal drain, minimizing the risk of water accumulation from Hurricane Hilary. 

Prepare Your Home For Flooding

If you can place sandbags as a barricade to prevent water from getting to your property. Utilize sandbags strategically as a protective barrier to deter water infiltration. Enhance the effectiveness of sandbag placement by layering plastic sheets beneath the lower stacked bags, subsequently adding bags on top to secure them in place. Clear drains near your home, and work to use sandbags to guide water to the best drain close by. Employ sandbags ingeniously to channel excess water towards the nearest optimal drain, minimizing the risk of water accumulation from Hurricane Hilary. 

Capture Comprehensive Documentation: Take photos of your home before the storm, for insurance purposes, you can take photos of all your belongings and also of your prevention tactics. Make sure your important documents are safe, in a water tight container. Make sure your emergency items you prepared are ready to access when needed. If there are any areas of the home that are at risk of severe flooding, you may want to consider a sump pump to mitigate the flooding in an emergency. 

Secure Basement Windows and Doors: If your home has a basement, ensure that windows and doors are adequately sealed and reinforced. Installing window well covers and weather stripping can help prevent water intrusion and reduce the risk of flooding in your basement during heavy rainfall or flooding events. All windows of your home should also be closed during the rainfall and if possible, weather stripped prior to the rainfall to keep water out. 

Elevate Electrical Systems: Elevate your home’s electrical systems, including outlets, switches, and circuit breakers, above potential flood levels if at all possible. Weather stripping electrical boxes or around any housing for electrical systems that could be at risk of getting wet. This precaution can significantly reduce the risk of electrical damage and hazards in the event of flooding. 

Elevate Appliances: Elevate major appliances such as water heaters, furnaces, and laundry machines on raised platforms or sturdy cinder blocks. Raising these appliances above potential flood levels can prevent damage and enhance their functionality during and after flooding events. In the case of Hurricane Hilary, we hope flooding levels will not get this high for anyone. 

Minor Flooding of a San Diego Home as we prepare for Hurricane Hilary.

Water Mitigation and Flood Damage Restoration

As water mitigation experts, our team is ready to help you right here in our home base of San Diego! If your home has flooding, we are here to help 24 hours a day! Our team can be at your home rapidly here in San Diego to help combat whatever hurricane Hilary brings us in rainfall. 

Do not procrastinate, if you have any standing water on your property and want it removed, call us! The longer water is sitting, especially within your home, the more likely you are to experience mold spores that rapidly grow and spread. While we do handle mold removal and restoration, the Orange Restoration team is here to make it so you never have to experience this disaster. Mold removal is very costly and requires professional involvement. Please do not let your flood turn into a breeding ground for mold. 

Orange Restoration Wrap Up 

San Diego is about to experience the first hurricane since the late 1930s, with that many homeowners may be shocked. If you are in San Diego and have a risky flood area due to nearby waterways, you should prepare for fluctuations in the water flow due to Hurricane Hilary and use tips to prevent flooding in your home. Sandbags might be something you consider buying before the Hurricane Hilary gets too close as they may become harder to find.

If you have others living with you, be sure to prepare them for the possibility of flooding and discuss emergency procedures including location of shut off valves and power shut off. If you already have flooding, call Orange Restoration today to help remove this risk from your property. 

Mold Remediation After A Rainy Season San Diego

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Mold Remediation starts with proper cleaning equipment and some hard work. Mold Damage Removal may require more than the surface cleaning, it may be deeper.

San Diego homeowners rarely discuss rainy season mold, but this winter and spring saw the highest rainfall in a decade! From February to October, San Diegans experience summer-like weather as part of their routine. However this year, San Diego County received more rainfall than Seattle, Washington. These conditions are perfect for mold and often lead to an up-tick in mold remediation services.

In Southern California, the relatively short rainy season brings about high levels of humidity and moisture, which can contribute to the growth of mold. The extended rainfall of 2023, combined with the added humidity in SoCal and the lack of homes designed for heavy rain, creates favorable conditions for mold growth. Mold can lead to health risks such as allergies, breathing discomfort, and other respiratory issues. Beyond your health, it has the potential to cause permanent damage to your home and valuable belongings. In this blog, we want to arm SoCal homeowners with resources in mold mitigation and prevention. 

Mold Prevention Tips, Mitigation Tips and Early Mold Detection Resources

For comprehensive mold prevention, education, and DIY mitigation resources, check out our previous blog articles:

How Mold Impacts Your Life

How to Detect Mold

Causes of Mold

Mold Remediation in Particular Parts of Your Home: 

When Mold Remediation is needed, call an expert! this image shows mold in the edge of a window panel and the wall.

Mildew and Mold after Rainy Season

What is mold? Mold is a type of fungus that thrives in damp, moisture rich, and warm environments. Enclosed areas with elevated humidity levels, like walls, crawl spaces, and attics, are common sites where mold is often discovered. While mold can easily attach to walls and wood, it also can be found on fabrics, carpets, and other materials. Oftentimes, window curtains can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Fabrics can become damp either due to open windows or condensation on windows and window sills caused by trapped hot moisture in the gap between the window and curtains.

What is Mold Remediation 

Identifying and addressing mold sources that can be easily cleaned and restored to their intended function are essential preventive measures before resorting to extensive mold remediation or professional services. Make sure to inspect areas that might have accumulated excess moisture during the rainy season and require cleaning before the heat and humidity facilitate further spread or growth of mold. Mold may also be found on the shower curtain, or in the bathroom, these issues can easily be address with basic home cleaning but it an essential part in avoiding serious needs for mold remediation services. 

What Is Mold?

  • Mold is a type of fungus that grows in damp and warm environments.

  • Mildew and mold can cause health issues such as respiratory problems and allergies.

  • Mold can be found in many different colors, shapes, and sizes.

  • The mold left as is in your home is a threat to your home’s health, structural integrity and value!

Mold Remediation & Prevention in the Rainy Season

The increased humidity and temperature during the rainy season provide ideal conditions for mold growth. The accumulation of water in dark and damp areas can be a breeding ground for mold. These mold conditions are perfect in San Diego because of the recent rainfall and the current warmth! Mold can spread quickly in the rainy season due to the high humidity and warm temperatures.

Mold can be found around your home, at work or at a local small business, and this small exposure to mold can cause spreading by wind, moisture, and direct contact. This threat is microscopic, so even properly detecting the mold spores is practically impossible. Maintaining a mold free environment is truly an ongoing process of maintenance and mold remediation prevention. When mold has already begun to sink in and create damages, this is when you may need to consider hiring a professional mold remediation team to remove and restore your property to before the mold exposure conditions.

Mold Remediation Services

Mold can come in many different colors, shapes, and sizes, and can cause health issues if not properly removed and treated. It is easy to feel intimidated by mold or the mold remediation work needed to restore your home’s smell, safety and comfort. Mold remediation services can help to remove the mold, treating the affected area and preventing further damage to your home and belongings. Mold remediation is essential to maintaining a healthy home and protecting your family from the potential health risks of mold.

 

Prevention Against Mold in the Rainy Season

The rainy season can create ideal conditions for mold growth, so it is important to take preventive measures and constantly maintain a dry status condition for the home. To stop mold from recurring in your home, it is important to regularly inspect your home for signs of moisture, leaks, mildew and any signs of mold growth. Always remove standing water and stop the source of the water from leaking into your home. If you have had standing water in your home, after removal of the water, you may want to use dehumidifiers to reduce moisture build up in your walls or flooring. Be sure to dry all areas after a leak or exposure to water. Make sure to fix any leaks or water damage to prevent mold from growing.

 

Regularly inspecting your home and fixing any leaks or water damage can help prevent mold growth. Given the potential health risks associated with mold, it is crucial to promptly address any water leaks or water-damaged walls, ceilings, or floors. These preventative and anti-mold conditions may work as your first barrier to needing mold remediation services that can be costly and invasive of your lifestyle. 

 

Orange Restoration Wrap Up

Mold remediation services can help to get rid of existing mold and prevent future growth. Utilizing the expertise of a professional who possesses experience in mold remediation is essential to effectively eliminate mold from your home. Mold removal services can include cleaning, fogging, and dehumidifying the area to stop the growth of mold. Additionally, they can also inspect the crawlspace and attic for any hidden mold and provide advice on the best course of action. With the right mold remediation services, you can be sure that your home is safe and free from the health risks associated with mold.

 

Attic Mold Removal

attic mold

Water Leak Detection is Essential

Water Leak Detection is Essential

Repairing Mold in Crawl Space

Finding Mold in Crawl Space may be hard for non-professionals to access and actually do the work. This photo shows the difficulty of getting into the crawl space.

4 Signs Mold is Affecting Your Health

Mold can negatively impact the health of your family and guests if not mitigated properly.