Water, Fire, & Mold Restoration Blog

2012, 2015

Things You Should Know about Fire Damage Restoration and Prevention

By |December 20th, 2015|Fire|0 Comments

fire damaged businessIt’s hard to imagine anything more devastating than seeing your house on fire. This kind of event may cause serious damage and destroy your personal belongings. The smoke, odor, heat, soot, and water from a fire can reach hidden areas in your home and affect its structure. The best way to deal with this problem is to contact a professional. You may be anxious to fix your home after a fire, but unless you get expert help, you’ll be wasting your time.

What Is Fire Damage?

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, about 369,500 residential fires and 2,755 deaths have been reported in 2013. Every year, fire damage results in $7.3 billion in property loss. Fire causes over $990 million in damage during the holiday season. The best thing you can do is to prevent fires from taking place. Nobody wants to imagine life after fire.

While you can’t always prevent fire, there are some things that homeowners can do to safeguard their property. To protect your assets, it’s essential to understand the basic characteristics of fire. If your house gets on fire, you may have just two minutes to escape. There is no time to make phone calls or gather your assets. Smoke and heat are often more dangerous than the flames. Most fire deaths are caused by asphyxiation. The odorless fumes can put you to sleep before the flames reach you. Thus, it’s important to leave the building as quickly as possible.

How to Prevent Fire Damage?

Most fires can be prevented. The best way to protect your home is to remove fire hazards and install smoke alarms on each floor. Check the smoke detector every month by pushing the “Test” button. Replace the batteries annually, and the smoke alarm every 10 years. Make sure your house is equipped with fire extinguishers. If you afford, buy an automatic sprinkler system.

It’s crucial to prepare your family for fire damage. Show them how to identify fire hazards and escape the building in case something bad happens. Stick a fire evacuation plan on a wall in the hallway. Have your chimney inspected regularly, throw away old magazines and newspapers in your home, and remove dead tree limbs, twigs, and leaves. Flammable liquids should be kept in well-ventilated areas. These items are a fire hazard.

In case of fire, test the door with the back of your hand. If it’s hot, don’t open it. Crawl on the floor to reduce your exposure to smoke. Sleep with the doors closed as they can hold back fire and leave you more time to escape. Call the Fire Department immediately after leaving the building.

What to Do after a Fire

Fire damage restoration can be physically and mentally draining. As soon as the firefighters clean up the area, contact your insurance agent. Ask him to recommend you a professional fire restorer. To minimize further damage, you should dry wet items as soon as possible. Open the windows and install a fan to ventilate your home. Remove soot from carpets, draperies and other household textiles.

Clean soot stains from walls and vacuum the floor, carpets, and paper materials. Wear rubber gloves during the entire process. If you hire professional restorers, ask them about “thermal fogging,” a procedure that removes smoke odor. Keep in mind that smoke can remain in clothes and furniture unless they are deodorized before cleaning.

For help with fire damage restoration in the San Diego area, call (619) 376-6838

1312, 2015

Why Is Mold Removal Necessary?

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

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

Are Molds Really Dangerous?

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

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

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

How to Remove Mold Safely

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

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

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

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

1212, 2015

San Diego Residents Feel Blowing, Flooding Impact Of Winter Storm

By |December 12th, 2015|Flood, News, Water Damage|0 Comments

A winter storm on December 11 brought strong winds and large waves across San Diego County and snow in the mountains. It was the first snow of the winter and was part of a strong winter system that brought winds up to 70 mph as it passed.

While storms like this aren’t uncommon in the San Diego area, this system is the first of the season. Historically, some homeowners and business owners are caught unprepared for the first major storm system of the winter season.

Visibility in the desert was reduced due to blowing dust and snow made driving conditions hazardous along part of I-8 in the mountains. Perhaps the most devastating part of the system, however, is the coastal flooding and damaging surf from the largest swells. Surf near and south of Carlsbad was expected to peak at 15 feet.

The National Weather Service indicated that flood damage and wind damage would be possible from the storm, but it isn’t yet known how many homes were impacted by wind and water. And as the storm progresses, light to moderate rain is expected to sweep across the more densely populated areas of the region, bringing the potential for more flood and water damage.

Snow was expected to happen only above 7,500 feet at first but drop to as low as 4,500 feet, with some areas getting as much as 4 inches of snow while lower elevations that see snow may only get a trace. Outside mountain areas, wind and flooding are the primary cause for concern.

Drier times are expected to be short-lived with another storm system on the way. This additional system will only increase water and flood damage and potentially bring damage to additional areas. Flood damage restoration companies like Orange Restoration are already readying additional supplies to respond to the hardest-hit areas.

If your San Diego home or business becomes effected by the wind or high surf, contact Orange Restoration at (619) 376-6838.

1212, 2015

Identifying common causes of mold in your home

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

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/

 

2911, 2015

10 dead as a result of wintry storm in Kansas and Texas:

By |November 29th, 2015|News|0 Comments

car crash in flood10 deaths were reported in Kansas and Texas because of flooding and wintry precipitation. In Kansas there were few single vehicle accidents leading to the death of 5 people. Lt Adam Winters who is with the Highway Patrol of Kansas, said that all the accidents were because of black ice and hazardous conditions.

In Dallas area, 3 people died because of flooding.  The victims included Benjamin Floyd in Garland, Dallas. He was 29. The victim was going to work when his car was swept of the road by raging floodwaters. According the city official the victim could not get out of the car and his car got submerged under water.

According to the emergency management officials of Johnson County, there were two deaths because of flooding.

Ice storms were reported by National Weather Service in Texas Panhandle. On interstate 40, three people died because of a road accident. The accident was reported approximately 45 miles west of Amarillo.

There was a situation in Tarrant County in which at least one person was presumed to be dead after he was missing. But there was a dramatic rescue and the person was saved. The sheriff’s deputy who was caught up by the floodwaters was rescued.

There was another incident in which a vehicle with 70 years old woman got swept away by the high waters according to Terry Grisham spokesman of the sheriff’s department. There was an attempt to rescue the woman in which the Krystal Salazar, the sheriff’s deputy got caught in surging waters. Salazar held on to a tree for about two hours before getting rescued.

A large are of United States has been coping with the weather system that brought freezing temperatures and rain. In Oklahoma about 83,000 people were without power according to OG&E, a utility company. There were also many reports of trees down in Oklahoma. 400 utility crews were deployed and the power to about 50,000 people was restored according to OG&E.

There a warning of ice storm and winter weather advisory for many parts of Oklahoma according to National Weather Service. It is expected that the temperatures will remain below freezing. There is also the possibility of accumulations of ice in some areas. Driving conditions can be very tough and they can deteriorate even further because of freezing fog.

There is a warning by National Weather Service that part of northeast Texas and southeast Oklahoma could experience some flooding. However some advisories of flood were expired.

The flood warnings are still in place in Texas along different parts of Trinity River and also for some sections of Rio Grande. It is expected that the water levels will continue rising along west fork of river.

Difficult weather conditions can continue in Kansas. There can be snow accumulation of about 5 inches in some areas. There is also a possibility of intense snowfall and gusty winds in northwest Kansas.

Drivers are warned to exercise caution.

2811, 2015

Do You Need to Test Your Home for Mold?

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

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.

2811, 2015

3 Quick Tips For Cleaning Up Smoke Damage Yourself

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

Fire Damaged Home in San DiegoAfter a fire, there are some things you can do to minimize damage. Smoke damage is perhaps worse than the fire damage itself and can last forever if you don’t take quick action to save your floors, walls and belongings. The smell could hang around for months, and you don’t want that.

Consider these three tips if you’re planning to clean up smoke damage yourself:

  1. Use effective cleaning products. Air fresheners from a discount store won’t do the job because they just add more smells. Clean walls with a solution of baking soda and vinegar mixed together in a pale. Vinegar is a mild acid that will break down a smoky smell, and the smell of the vinegar will soon fade away with no residual odor. Setting out activated charcoal in bowls around the area can also help, as can bowls of straight vinegar.
  1. Deep clean furniture and soft furnishings. After smoke damage, upholstered items will need a deep clean if there’s any hope of them returning to normal. Mixing two parts water with one part white vinegar in a spray bottle and lightly spraying all upholstery surfaces may help. You can add lemon zest for some freshness if you like. Clothing can be washed if the smoke smell is light, but always add vinegar to eliminate the smell. If clothing smells really bad, however, it can make the machine smell bad for weeks or months.
  1. Use HEPA filters. HEPA-style air filters can do a lot to eliminate a smoky smell. They get small odor particles right out of the air, but you’ll need to clean air filtration systems and replace filters often. Consider using an ionic air filtration machine that adds helpful ozone to the air to get rid of odors. Just remember that smoke particles that have already settled can’t be removed with air filters.

Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? If you don’t want to deal with DIY fire damage restoration and instead want the speed, certainty and ease of professional fire damage and smoke damage restoration, call us at (619) 376-6838. We have powerful and effective tools and equipment that we can put to work for you.

2711, 2015

3 Dead, 1 missing because of flood water

By |November 27th, 2015|News|0 Comments

Car Under WaterThree lives were claimed by floodwaters as 5.5 inches rain fell in North Texas. Another person was presumed to be dead after he was missing in high waters.

Body of Benjamin Taylor Floyd was found inside a submerged car, in Garland. According to a spokesperson of the Fire Department, the victim tried to drive through the high water. The victim was 29 years old. It was not clear since how long the vehicle was underwater when a search and rescue team was called at about 8.30 am to check, on the Campbell road near the Brand road.
33 years old Sandra Jones was found dead in her car. The car was swept off the road by raging waters flowing over banks of Rock Creek west of Burleson.

48 year old Jose Vargas also died in a flood related incident. The victim’s body was found near Mansfield after deputies of Johnson County’s sheriff tried to rescue him and two other people who were in a pickup. Jose Vargas could not be rescued while the other two people survived.

A deputy of Tarrant County sheriff escaped death as she was trying to save a 70 years old woman in Burleson. Krystal Salazar, the sheriff’s deputy was swept away on Oak Grove road near the Interstate 35W. She held on to a tree for nearly two hours, before she was rescued. The old woman which Salazar was trying to rescue could not be found.

In Dallas, there were 27 rescue calls related to flooding after vehicles stopped in high waters. Luckily no injuries were reported. There were also 83 different traffic accidents to which Fire-Rescue crew responded.

There was an accident in South Dallas in which two children died. A speeding SUV rear ended the car carrying the family of which these children were part of.

Aylin who was 1 year old and Yahis who was 12 years old were ejected from car as a result of collision and they died. The parents of the two and another child suffered minor injured. The SUB was being driven by Kelvin Walker, who was held at Dallas County Jail. Walker 23, might be charged with manslaughter.it was being investigated by Sheriff’s department, if alcohol played a role in crash.

Rick Mitchell, meteorologist at KXAS-TV (NBC5) urged the people to respect the flood warnings. He said that ground was saturated and because of that even light rains would continue to cause problems. He further said that one should be especially cautious, when sun goes down as one cannot tell if road has water on it or not.
According to Jamie Gudmestad of National Weather Service with recent rains, 2015 has become wettest year in North Texas. The total rainfall recorded throughout the year has been 56 inches. The previous record was of 53.5 inches, in 1991. More rains are expected to fall in coming days.
The temperatures fell from 65 to 42 while the normal high for the month of November is 64.

1811, 2015

Washington State – Emergency declared by Governor after 3 dead because of flood and storms

By |November 18th, 2015|News|0 Comments

winter flooding in OregonA state of emergency was declared by the Governor, Jay Inslee in Washington State on 18th November 2015. The state of emergence was declared after the state was struck by series of storms starting from 13th November. The storms also affected Oregon State.

The storms resulted in extreme rainfall and high winds, resulting in saturated soils, major flooding, landslides, stream slope and bank erosion, uprooted and broken trees, fallen tree branches and flying debris.

3 Deaths due to storms:

The havoc created by the storms lead to the death of 3 people. All the three deaths were caused because of wind damage. There was widespread damage to property as well. Thousands of businesses and homes were left without power as winds of 70 miles per hour (113 kph) blew across the area. Because of strong winds a number of business and homes saw structural damage. Many trees were uprooted or broken. The storms also lead to the closure of different important roads and rail roads. There was also significant damage to public utilities and public facilities.

After widespread damage, state of emergency was declared for all the counties in the state of Washington. The state departments and agencies were directed to make use of the state resources for helping in the affected areas.

Governor’s Statement:

According to the statement of the Governor, the storms caused injuries to many citizens and resulted in major power outages, temporary closure of roads, evacuations, closure of rail roads, and cancellation of airline and ferry system. It was also mentioned in the statement that as a result of storms, there was extensive damage to businesses, homes, public facilities, public utilities, infrastructure, electrical power systems and property.

Wildlife Damage made the flooding worse:

There are also concerns that landslides, erosions, and flooding during harsh weather was exacerbated by the wildfire damage. Various areas of Washington State got affected by major damage from wildfire between the months of July and September (2015). The wildfire resulted in large areas being cleared off from trees and plants.

Rainfall

According to NWS Seattle on 17 November record levels of rainfall were recorded. It was tweeted on their Twitter account. It was mentioned by them that on 17th November record rainfall of 2.08 inches (60mm) was recorded, while the previous record was 1.61 inches, it was in 1959.

The rainfall at Sea-Tac airport on 17 November was also record breaking 30mm (1.16 inches). The previous record was 1.06 inches which was in 1982. In Astoria, Oregon State the recorded rainfall was 2.6 inches (68mm) on 17 November 2015.

River Levels

NWS issued flood warnings for a number of rivers in Washington State. The rivers for which flood warnings were issued included Snohomish in the Snohomish County, Skagit in the Skagit County, and Green and Snoqualmie rivers which could affect different parts of the King County.

Warnings for strong winds were also in effect for the coastal areas of the two states, Oregon and Washington.

2610, 2015

Mid Klamath Watershed Council Changing Wildfire Management Techniques Across The Nation

By |October 26th, 2015|News|0 Comments

california wildfireA new fire training exchange program is changing how fire management is handled in the Klamath Mountains area. Coordinating with agencies that include the Forest Service, the U.S. Fire Learning Network, CAL FIRE and more, the Mid Klamath Watershed Council is hoping to increase the number of planned burns every fall and use more local resources in fuel reduction efforts.

Hiring locals could mean a savings of up to 90 percent. But a new fire exchange training program was necessary to get locals ready. Agencies have already worked together to create a strategy that includes a system for reducing fuel for fires. The effort started in 2011, and training started in late 2012. In 2014, the program began to catch on and expand. There is now interest in the innovative program from around the nation.

In 2014, the program impacted almost 240 acres on 19 properties and near 150 homes in locations that include Salmon River, Happy Camp and Orleans. Because last year was successful, more funding is coming in.

Now, about 100 participants are involved in the program, many of whom are local.

The overarching purpose of the program couldn’t be simpler, organizers say: to do something regarding wildfires that actually makes a difference.

The simple goal after the training is for people to think about fire in a different way than before they participated in the program.

If the weather cooperates, the next burns as part of this program will happen in the timeframe from September 30 to October 11, and the goal is to involve the community as much as possible in the effort. When everyone gets involved, fire prevention efforts take a larger and more meaningful place in the community, and that benefits everyone.

Orange Restoration sees first hand the devastating impact of fire and supports efforts to prevent it from impacting homeowners and business owners in our state and beyond.