Sunday, March 31, 2013

How Duct Cleaning Benefits Your Health

While many homeowners are very good about maintaining other components of their home heating and cooling systems, not very much attention is given to the ductwork. Generally, the ducts are ignored until some sort of problem develops with them. This approach can have a detrimental impact on the quality of the air in the home and on the general health of everyone living in the house.

This is why it is important to have the ducts cleaned from time to time. A proper duct cleaning will help to remove elements that adversely affect air quality and make it a little easier for everyone to enjoy a better standard of health. Here are a few examples.


People who suffer with different types of allergies will experience a great deal of irritation and difficult breathing during certain times of the year. Fortunately the filters in heating and air conditioning systems can help to alleviate the level of allergens that are found in the home. When the filters are changed on a regular basis, it is possible to maintain a certain level of comfort even during seasons when pollen and other airborne contaminants are rampant.

Along with filter changes, cleaning the ducts will also help to provide a greater level of comfort. Over time, outside contaminants will begin to creep into the duct system, sometimes collecting over a period of time. When the flow of air through the ducts is strong, those contaminants then break free and head for the vents. Even with a decent filtration system, some of those accumulated irritants will get into the home. By having the ducts cleaned every year or so, you reduce that collection of contaminants so there is less to break free and enter the home.

Rats, Roaches and other Pests

While many people don't like to think about it, rodents and other pests can find their way into a duct system and never find their way out. What this means is that over time, the floor of the ducts become a breeding ground for the decaying carcasses. The result is more contaminants that make it through the filters and into your home's air. A thorough cleaning from time to time will clear out those remains and make the air a lot fresher.

Colds, Flu and Seasonal Bronchial Problems

Even if you do not have to deal with asthma or have allergic reactions to pollen and other substances, clean ducts can still help you avoid getting sick. Ducts that are flushed and cleaned now and then contain much less in the way of bacteria. This includes bacteria that can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to a number of ailments like the common cold. If your body is able to fend off viruses and the other causes of these ailments, there is a good chance that you will experience colds less frequently. You may also find that the symptoms are not as severe and tend to disappear is a shorter amount of time.

Clean Ducts Mean Clear Air

There is no doubt that regular duct cleaning leads to healthier air in your home. As a result, you and your family will reap the health benefits associated with refreshing air. If it has been some time since your ducts were cleaned, take some time to get in touch with your service company and arrange for an appointment. You will be able to tell the difference as soon as the cleaning is finished.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Water Damage Can Ruin Your Home

It doesn't matter where you live. Have you ever taken the time to learn whether or not you have any water damage inside of your home? Moisture can affect your home in different ways, and it can cause some serious problems with the safety and structure of your home. If left untreated, you could end up with some structural issues that make it very challenging for anyone to live in your home.

It doesn't take much for you to find out if your home has any water damage present. You can contact a company or contractor to come out and inspect your home. If you want to take a proactive approach, you could even learn how to recognize some of the signs of excessive moisture on your own. Take a look at the baseboards around your home. Look for signs of warping or cracks. Feel your walls and see whether or not they feel spongy or soft in any areas. Go into your basement or the lowest part of your home and pay close attention to the walls and the temperature in the space. Do you see little bodies of water anywhere in your home? Pay close attention to areas around your sinks, toilets, and bath tubs. Do you smell any weird odors or hear any odd sounds? Are your walls, floors, and baseboards starting to lose their color and fade? Do you see any peeling paint or drywall anywhere? If you see any of these things mentioned, it may indicate that there is some type of water damage present in your home.

While you may think that all you need to do is wipe up the moisture, you need to understand that this type of problem requires serious treatment. You need to hire a restoration company as soon as possible to come out and service your property. The longer you wait to get professional help, the worse the problem may get. Moisture inside of the home can cause the foundation of your home to weaken. You could end up having to spend a ton of money on future repairs if you ignore the problem now. The worst case scenario is that you could end up losing your home altogether. You are putting everyone's health at risk. Don't forget that excessive moisture can also cause the development of some harmful substances such as mold and other toxins. These can seriously compromise the quality of air in your home and cause some serious health and respiratory problems.

Have your home inspected by a water damage company, and allow them to stop this situation before it progresses any further. Save a ton of money, and ensure the safety of your family by making sure your home is not a haven for excess moisture.

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Why Mold Remediation Specialists Are Necessary

When some people think of mold remediation services, they see them as a way to get rid of a horrible culprit that can cause health problems. Now, this is important to note and it should actually be the main reason that people should want to have this treatment done on their homes. However, there's also another reason why this process is so beneficial and it has to do with aesthetic appeal.

One of the worst things about this particular substance is that it can create a visible stain on walls and ceilings. Therefore, it's very easy for people to see, especially visitors. It could cause them to misjudge someone and think they aren't really neat and clean. Just think about it.

Imagine that you are inviting a group of co-workers over for dinner. You have a beautiful dining room area that you have set up nicely for your guests. You have brought out your fine China dishes and your most expensive tablecloth. You've spent hours preparing and cooking the food. Then, you spend another 30 minutes to an hour setting the table, making it look nearly perfect. A few minutes after you are done everything, your guests ring the doorbell.

You all decide to sit in the living room and chat for a few minutes, before heading into the dining room area. As soon as everyone walks in they see the extravagantly set table, but it's not long before the mold stain on one of the walls quickly distracts them. They try to pretend as if it doesn't bother them, as they sit down to eat. They try to pretend that they don't see it, but in their minds they are thinking all types of negatives things about you and your level of cleanliness. For some people, the sight of the stain could cause them to lose their appetite. In this case, a mold remediation service could have easily gotten rid of the problem. Therefore, you wouldn't have had to worry about guests feeling grossed out and distracted by the spot.

Now, this isn't to say that the only reason that you should hire a mold remediation service is, because you want to please or impress other people who come to your home. In actuality, and as previously mentioned, having this issue can also cause health problems. Therefore, getting the help of a mold remediation specialist, does more than some people may think. Not only does it improve the aesthetic appeal of their house, but it also helps to make their homes safer.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

The Various Effects of Fire Damage

Fire damage causes so many unpleasant effects inside of a building. When a home or business building has experienced a burn accident, there are professional services to provide the proper cleaning and restoration. One may think that infernos are totally destructive. In reality many things are recoverable and with the proper tools, people can be back in their buildings in no time. No one can get through these situations alone. A building is unsafe after suffering destruction from flames. It is essential to take the right steps following a burn. This way, further damage can be prevented and repairs can be made.

Not all fire damage is the same. The extent of destruction is unique to each and every accident. But there are common forms of harm that most burn events suffer. One main obstacle is the smoke and residue that is left behind. The items that are burned can leave behind deposits and other particles. Smoke also leaves a strong odor. Depending on what has been scorched, clean up can be simple or difficult. Objects such as paper produce very small elements that are easy to clean but will leave behind an scent if not cleansed the right way. The residue and particles can become trapped in the walls. Burns that come from food can leave a thicker, greasier residue that is harder to remove on one's own as well. These are situations in which professional services are needed.

Everyone knows that water is used by firemen to extinguish unruly flames. Water is also used by individuals who attempt to put out the flames on their own. But once that inferno is put out, this water remains. And this water can cause extensive damage to the building as well. It's as if the building has suffered both an inferno and a flood in one day. When this happens, professional fire damage services can extract this water as safely as possible. No matter how much water exists, no task is too big or too small. With top-notch drying tools, the building can be restored in no time. Depending on the extent of the damage, carpet can be easily dried. Taking the proper measures to remove water and dry the building can prevent mold formation.

It's no secret that fire damage can affect all of the items within the affected building. This includes clothing. It is very important that each individual have clothes. Besides, no one can leave the house undressed. Instead of completely replacing the soot-filled clothing, individuals should use the qualified dry cleaning services offered by a flame repair company. This can save families tons of money that can be used in better ways. There are people who specialize in removing impurities from materials like carpet and furniture. Even more expensive items can be made as good as new. However, it is impossible to restore these items on one's own. Professional services are necessary. Fire damage repair services are available at all hours on every single day. Accidents can happen at any time. The right steps can prevent further harm and restore the entire building.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Benefits Of Hiring A Restoration Professional

When a disaster has struck your home and family the last thing you want is people entering into your space disturbing it even more. In these moments after fires, floods, weather related damage home owners and business owners are distressed and worried about how long until life is back to normal again. They are usually concerned about finances and the costs of a cleanup effort verse insurance coverage. The loss is burdensome and often home owners believe if they begin the restoration process on their own they will somehow relieve some of the burden they are feeling.

This could never be further from the reality of the situation. It is never recommended that any restoration including fire restoration, flood restoration or mold restoration be attempted by anyone other than an emergency disaster restoration service professional. It may seem as though money could be saved by attempting the disaster cleanup on one's own this in not the case. Many times home owners find half way through the project that it is more than they can handle and abandon the effort and call in the professionals. Often damage that is irreversible has already occurred and will in turn cost the home owner more that calling the disaster professionals in the first place.

A professional fire and water restoration company will have several years of experience with disaster clean ups of all kinds. This will have given them valuable knowledge to know the exact techniques to use on your homes clean up. The learning curb you will have tackling your own homes restoration will be costly in terms of time and finances. The most effective way in which homes are restored is if work is begun immediately and carried out by professionals with in the restoration business. Most restoration companies have many crews meaning one will be available to help with your homes restoration immediately.

Another advantage to hiring a professional company verse carrying out the restoration project on your own is the limited resources in equipment you will have in comparison to a restoration firm. Crews will come in many sizes from anywhere between two to six people working on your homes restoration. Man power in unison with proper equipment makes for a quick clean up.

Restoration companies also help home and business owners in working with their insurance company. No matter how large or small the damage was to the home most insurance companies will be involved in some manner. Filing a claim with most insurance companies is a long impersonal process. The last thing you are prepared for after an emergency has taken everything familiar and misplaced it. Many times insurance companies will try to undercut the value of the restoration and property destroyed. With the help of an emergency disaster restoration team you will have professional on your side helping you with the fairness of any and all claims and offers by the insurance company.

To me the most important aspect in hiring a company to provide the cleanup effort in your fire or water restoration is the fact that you will be able to focus on getting on with the basics of life. You can continue on with as much of a daily routine as allowed during any difficult time while they are busy restoring your peace of mind.

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Servpro of Fairfield understands how devastating a home disaster can be.  Let us help you through this difficult time in your life. When you need us, we can provide Emergency Services 24 hrs. per day, 7 days per week, 365 days a year. We offer a full range of services including Emergency Board-up and securing of your home, deodorization, complete cleaning, rebuilding, and restoration of your home and contents to their original condition.
(707) 207-0122

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Why You Need Professional Carpet Cleaning

Whether you are considering residential or commercial carpet cleaning, professional services are always an excellent option. While the do-it-yourself expert will talk about how much money you can save by renting a cleaner and doing it on your own, professionals will do the job right. Indeed, there are many great reasons why you need professional carpet cleaning including access to better equipment and enhanced knowledge of cleaning techniques.

Indeed, professional carpet cleaners must maintain the very best cleaning equipment in order to remain competitive in their field. Not only do they often have state-of-the-art carpet cleaners, but professionals are very careful to ensure that their equipment is in good working order. This means they will often do a much better cleaning job than you can by renting or buying a carpet cleaner of your own. In fact, equipment you see advertised at your local supermarket or hardware store likely cannot compare with the cleaning power of industrial carpet cleaners. As you can see, even just based on equipment alone, professionals will do a much better job.

Another reason you should seek professional carpet cleaning is knowledge of carpets. There are many different carpet types, and each of them may have special cleaning requirements. A professional carpet cleaner will not only know more about your carpet, but s/he will also know the best way to clean it. In addition, their enhanced carpet knowledge will ensure that your floors are not damaged or destroyed during the cleaning process. Professionals will use the right type of cleaner and equipment for your carpet. For optimum cleaning, professional services will consider your type of carpet and the amount of traffic in the area to make sure that your rug or carpet is cleaned thoroughly and all dirt and allergens are removed.

Finally, many do-it-yourself cleaners will not consider the type of cleaning solution they use. In fact, if you've ever cleaned your own carpets, you probably can relate to heading down to the supermarket and buying whichever carpet cleaner they have on the shelf. If there are multiple options, you may not know which one is most suited to your carpet or the cleaning job at hand. Moreover, some commercially available carpet cleaners may not be up to the task, especially if you have stubborn carpet stains. Professional cleaners can actually help improve air quality in your home by ensuring that your carpets are completely cleaned. This means they often utilize special detergents or spot removers that not only remove dirt, mold, and bacteria, but leave your carpet looking like new.

Indeed, hiring professional carpet cleaners can be costly, but it could actually save you a great deal of time and effort. Professionally cleaned carpets need to be cleaned less often as they are cleaned more meticulously using the correct equipment and cleaners.

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Fairfield-Suisun Chamber Evening Mixer Is Tonite At Integrity Auto Collision Center

Happy St. Patrick's Day Celebration Mixer
Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce at:
Integrity Auto Collision Center Inc.

March 14th, 5:30 - 7:00 pm

Appetizers by Azevedo's
Green Drinks
Have Fun! Wear Green!!

If you would like additional exposure for your business, please feel free to bring a raffle prize with your business card on it to the mixer. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Benefits of Air Duct Cleaning

Every homeowner wants to come home to a clean house. To do that, they maintain the interior, exterior and even hire services to repair any broken appliances or units that can affect the quality of the home. Unfortunately, one thing homeowners neglect or do not even realize is the fact of air duct cleaning. Cleaning contains numerous benefits and is an integral part of routine home maintenance.

How Often Should the Cleaning be Done?

Air duct cleaning is typically done once every three to five years - depending on the current condition of the home and the HVAC unit used. Older units can cause more debris and build-up over time, while newer units do not have the same amount of dust, debris and openings to allow vermin to enter.

Cost Savings

Though cleaning is a big upfront price tag, it is important to remember that it is done only once every three to five years; therefore, it pays off overtime. Furthermore, air duct cleaning allows air to move more freely through the ventilation system, which means less strain on an HVAC system and less energy costs to operate it.

Longer-Lasting System

HVAC units will break if they are not regularly maintained. Part of their maintenance is using cleaning services to remove debris and build-up that makes an HVAC machine work harder. With the rising cost of replacement parts or services, it is imperative that homeowners maintain their system to prevent having to repair or even replace an entire HVAC unit down the road.

Air Quality Improvement

With less dust, debris, dander and particles floating through the air, the air will be cleaner, crisper and easier to breathe. This is especially important for individuals who suffer from asthma or allergies and need cleaner air. Members of the family who do not have allergies can still suffer from allergy symptoms when the air is riddled with dust and debris.

Odor Removal

As dust, mold and mildew build up in ventilation and return systems; the home can start to have a stale, musty odor. By cleaning out the ducts using air duct cleaning, these smells are eliminated and often the air cleaning service will utilize a deodorant and disinfectant to make sure the smells stay away after the initial cleaning.

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Mold - Frequently Asked Questions

Why does mold form and what makes it grow?

Mold likes dark and humid spaces and most often develops as a result of standing water and high levels of moisture. Whether the water damage comes from a leaking pipe or a stormy night it often leads to mildew, which can be very smelly and unattractive. Most importantly, mold grows fast and can replicate at staggering rates. Standing water can start producing dangerous mold in as little as 48 hours.

What should I do if I discover mold?

If you discover mold, the best thing to do is call a professional. The professional will be able to locate the source of the mold problem and using proper equipment and tools remediate the mold. If the mold problem is very minor and you decide to clean it up on your own, make sure to wear goggles, gloves and some form of breathing protection. Seal off the mold infected area from the rest of the property and immediately dispose of all mold infected materials. Finally clean, clean and clean again and check back again to make sure that mold has not returned.

What are some of the misconceptions about mold?

One misconception about mold is that it can be removed with high heat, dry air and sunlight. Although these solutions may make sense considering they are the opposites of what actually causes mold, they are not powerful enough to completely get rid of the mold. The proper sure-free way to clean up mold is to use strong detergents. Mold remediation should be done by professionals using proper equipment and safety measures.

Does bleach kill mold?

Contrary to what you have probably heard, bleach cannot kill mold. It can be used to remove mold, but it will only work successfully on hard surfaces. Bleach not only fails to kill mold, but can actually enable it to grow faster as it is primarily composed of water.

How can I keep my property mold free?

There are several steps you can take to ensure that your property stays mold free. First, you must make sure there are no water problems. Open windows and doors for good air flow and, if needed, use a fan in kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms. Attics and crawl spaces should be properly insulated and ventilated. Another key step is to vacuum your property regularly to remove mold spores. Finally, check windows for condensation and wipe away any water droplets you find.

How are people exposed to mold?

People are usually exposed to mold by breathing in spores or other tiny fragments of it. Exposure can also occur through skin contact or by swallowing it.

Can mold make me sick? What makes a person more susceptible to becoming sick from mold?

Yes, mold can make you sick and will pose health risks especially to people who are at high risk for sickness and allergic reactions. This includes infants and children, the elderly, people with respiratory infections and asthma and people with weakened immune systems due to other medical conditions. Other factors include a genetic predisposition to allergies, people working in an occupation that consistently exposes them to mold, people living in a house with a wet basement or high humidity and people living in newer houses.

Why are people who live in a newer home at high risk for mold exposure and sickness?

Newer homes are built extra air-tight to promote energy efficiency, which means that indoor moisture can easily become trapped inside and prevent proper ventilation. Damp areas are particularly vulnerable to mold growth such as kitchens, basements and bathrooms.

What health problems can be traced to mold?

Mold can cause the following health problems:

  • Allergies and asthma attacks
  • Infections
  • Irritations of mucous membranes in eyes and respiratory system
  • Decreased attention, disorientation and dizziness
  • Suppression of immune system
  • Higher susceptibility to cancer
  • Headaches, tremors and nausea
  • Infertility
What should I do if I think I am sick from mold exposure?
Go to your primary care physician who will determine whether you need to see a specialist for the problem. The specialists your PCP may refer you to include allergists or infectious disease physicians.

What are the treatments for people who are sick due to mold?

Treatment may include the use of antihistamines, decongestants and/or nasal sprays. Asthma attacks due to mold may be treated with inhaled corticosteroids and bronchodilators (seek the advice of a physician).

How can mold problems be prevented?

One key step for prevention of mold is immediate clean-up after water damage. Paying close attention to damp areas such as basements or places of pipe leaks is also extremely important. The use of a dehumidifier is a good idea in any part of your property that smells damp or musty. Humidity should be kept below 50 percent.

Here are some additional ways to prevent mold growth:
  • Use the ventilation fan for an additional 30 minutes following a shower or bath.
  • Clean bathroom and basement walls regularly with a bleach solution.
  • Clean gutters often to promote ground water drainage away from the property.
  • Sleep with your windows closed at night so that damp air does not enter.
  • Wear a mask when raking leaves or mowing the grass.
What other places have a high risk for mold exposure?

There are several places outside your home or place of business that can foster mold growth. These places include antique shops, greenhouses, saunas, farms, mills, construction areas and flower shops to name a few.

Where should I check for mold?

When dealing with mold, there are several places on a property that are extra susceptible to mold growth. Here are some key places to check when you suspect that mold is present
  • Bathrooms and kitchens
  • Carpeting
  • Pipes, faucets and ductwork
  • Basements
  • Attics
  • Window sills
  • Garage
  • Walls
Are there any uses for mold?

Although everything so far has focused on the negative side of mold, there are actually uses for it. Here are some ways that mold is important to the environment:

The mold penicillium is used to make the antibiotic penicillin. Other types of mold are used to make cholesterol lowering medications.
Mold is used to make foods such as cheese, sausages and soy sauce.
Some compounds and enzymes are formed by mold such as citric acid, gluconic acid and riboflavin.

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Restoration From Floods and Water Damage

Water damage is one of the most common disasters that any home can face. Whether it be from a leaking roof, backed up plumbing, broken pipes, or any other form of a natural disaster, water damage can cause problems with flooring, walls, upholstery, and even the structural integrity of a home. Unfortunately once water damage occurs, you basically have only two options. You can either grab a bucket and start scooping out the water yourself, or you can hire a professional restoration company to come out and pump all of the water out as soon as possible.

There are many factors that affect the expediency of any restoration job. The type of water is one of the most important. Water quality is usually evaluated in three tiers of classification, clean water that will not cause illness or disease being the first. This water strictly damages by being where it shouldn't be, i.e, on your floors and walls. Most water will not stay this way for long, however, depending on where and how long it lingers. The second category is for water that can cause illness or disease, including water that may have been contaminated with urine and dishwasher or washing machine overflow. As with clean water, this condition can devolve if left untreated. Category three is water that can cause severe illness or death and includes water contaminated with feces, sewage, river runoff, and water with bacterial growth. This is obviously a very serious condition and though possible potentially anytime, can most often be seen after natural disasters like hurricanes and floods. Fortunately, most restoration companies work on an emergency 24-hour basis to assist in issues such as these.

Flooring can also be an issue with the severity of damage depending on whether it is a carpet or any other type of flooring that can get damaged easily with excess water issues. That it why it is a great idea to hire a restoration company that also works as a carpet cleaning company because they utilize most of the same equipment, however, a carpet cleaning company also carries the supplies with them that will deodorize and sanitize the carpet as well.

Floods or leaks are a major concern in any home, and should be taken very seriously. If left untreated, the damage can take a home from comfortable to unlivable. Mildew and mold spores that can grow make even breathing the air dangerous, and water damage can erode floors and walls to the point of collapse. If this level of damage were to accumulate, the costs, in time, effort, and money can increase exponentially over getting it dried, cleaned and restored immediately. Be sure to hire the right crew for the job and make sure that they are equipped with the right tools necessary to get the job done correctly.

Properly equipped companies utilize their truck mounted equipment to vacuum out all of the water and dirt and drain it out properly in a disposal facility. They also cut out all of the affected dry wall and even check the structural wood behind the walls to ensure that they are not rotten or damaged, replacing as necessary. Air movers, industrial driers, and dehumidifiers are used to get the moisture out of a space as quickly as possible.

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Monday, March 4, 2013

Why is Mold Removal Important?

When you have a black mold problem, the time to start a thorough mold removal program is now. If not, you're risking both the integrity of your home and the health of your family.

Here's a brief description of the problems you'll run into if you don't enact a mold removal program as soon as possible:

Your Family's Health. If a mold problem gets too intense, it can pose health risks to both humans and pets. In mild cases, people living with black mold might experience allergy symptoms and headaches. But severe cases can cause intense coughing fits, which often cause respiratory passageways to bleed.

Your Home's Structural Integrity. More commonly, homeowners might see structural damage from mold infestation. The most damaging type of household mold, Stachybotrys, can usually be found in the parts of the building you don't see every day: Structural supports, load-bearing beams, or basement corners. If the mold gets into a porous surface like wood or concrete, it can bore itself in until there's nothing left.

There's a Solution. These problems are scary, to be sure. But they generally only occur in the most advanced stages of a mold infestation - the stage you reach without a thorough mold removal effort. If the mold is confined to a flat-nonporous surface, like a tile floor or shower wall, you're in luck - mold removal is simply a matter of getting a strong cleanser and rough sponge. But if you think the problem might be worse, call a certified mold inspector. If he or she deems the problem is severe enough, you'll need a professional team of mold removal experts. Here's what they'll do:

Identify. Your mold removal team's first order of business is to find out where the mold is, and what caused the conditions that allow it to thrive.

Marginalize. The second step is to cordon off the affected area, often with plastic sheeting and tape. This way, the cleanup effort - which involves much blowing of spores and dust -- won't spread mold debris to other parts of the house, where they can potentially take root.

Remove. The final step is the actual removal. Your mold removal team will use high-pressure hoses to clear the entire area of mold - and they'll vacuum up the particles that escape into the air.
In advanced cases, mold removal is a job best left to the professionals. It's a serious problem that many homeowners face - but only the smart ones tackle it head-on.

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Friday, March 1, 2013

Mold Remediation In Homes and Buildings

Mold remediation is the process of removing mold from a home or building. Mold remediation should only be conducted by trained professionals, as mold can cause health problems in individuals. If you suspect mold growth in your home in places such as in between walls on in areas that are inaccessible, call a professional to give you a mold assessment.

Everyone has seen mold, usually in the bathroom when tiles haven't been cleaned in a long time, but mold can grow in many different places, for example wet or damp clothes that have been left where they can't dry for several days or in homes where a water pipe has been leaking or pipes have burst. Flooding is another cause of mold growth. Even something as simple as building over damp concrete can cause mold to thrive.

Mold grows when spores attach to a suitable surface such as a damp one. Here mold is able to proliferate and if unchecked, can cause problems similar to allergy reactions in humans and pets. Minor symptoms include things like itchy throat and eyes, sneezing and coughing. Respiratory problems are also a concern. Mycotoxins are types of mold that produce toxins. While the CDC says there is currently no conclusive evidence of harmful human effects, some people believe that neurological problems can occur or even death.

Home sickness was a popular term several years ago and can occur when mold begins to grow in heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC systems). Newer homes are built with air-tight footprints, meaning that unlike older homes that 'breathe' naturally through cracks in windows and doors, new homes get no outside ventilation other than opening and closing doors or windows. If mold grows in these HVAC systems, the spores are then blown into the home and can cause skin and respiratory irritations.

Mold can also be caused by pipes bursting in apartments or buildings that share walls. If there is a leak in a home or apartment, be sure to have the walls inspected to ensure no mold is growing in between the walls in unseen areas. Flooding and leaking roofs can also be a source of dampness and mold growth.

How does one deal with mold problems? The best resolution for any problem is prevention. If a pipe has burst and been left unattended for more than 48 hours there is a good chance that mold has started growing. Carpet will need to be pulled out and replaced. Drywall should be tested for mold, often by cutting out a piece of the wall to ensure mold isn't growing behind the wall. Check for damp warping or water stains to indicate areas that may be problematic. Mold can grow under tiles if they aren't properly grouted. If the leak is caught as it is happening, dry the air thoroughly with professional grade fans and dryers.

If you see a small amount of mold, often it can be cleaned with a bleach solution, but if you see extensive mold, call in a professional. Mold remediation requires wearing a full face respirator, protective clothing and gloves. HVAC systems should be thoroughly inspected and if needed, removed. Those removing mold will properly dispose of items contaminated with mold like carpets, wallpaper and upholstery.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, dampness can also cause dust mites and microorganisms such as bacteria to proliferate. Roaches and rodents tend to thrive in damp areas as well as mosquitoes.

Be sure to call a professional if you find mold before there are any health repercussions. Mold remediation should only be undertaken by a trained and licensed professional.

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