3 Categories of Water Damage
According to IICRC Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration (IICRC S500), there are three categories of water that cause damage in buildings. They are summarized as follows:
Category 1 Water – That which is clean at the releasing source and does not pose a hazard if consumed by humans. Category 1 water may become progressively contaminated as it mixes with soils on or within floor coverings or building assemblies (walls, decking, subflooring). Time and temperature, which promote the growth and amplification of microorganisms in water can cause Category 1 water to degrade. Examples: burst water pipes, failed supply lines on appliances, vertically falling rainwater.
Category 2 Water – That which begins with some degree of contamination and could cause sickness or discomfort if consumed by humans. As with Category 1 water, time and temperature can cause Category 2 water to become progressively more contaminated.
Category 3 Water – That which is highly contaminated and could cause death or serious illness if consumed by humans. Examples: sewage, rising flood water from rivers and streams, ground surface water flowing horizontally into homes. There are two ways in which water enters a building as a result of wind storm damage:
Do you have hidden mold in your home?
You may suspect hidden mold if a building smells moldy, but you cannot see the source, or if you know there has been water damage and residents are reporting health problems. Mold may be hidden in places such as the back side of dry wall, wallpaper, or paneling, the top side of ceiling tiles, the underside of carpets and pads, etc. Other possible locations of hidden mold include areas inside walls around pipes (with leaking or condensing pipes), the surface of walls behind furniture (where condensation forms), inside ductwork, and in roof materials above ceiling tiles (due to roof leaks or insufficient insulation).
Investigating hidden mold problems may be difficult and will require caution when the investigation involves disturbing potential sites of mold growth. For example, removal of wallpaper can lead to a massive release of spores if there is mold growing on the underside of the paper. If you believe that you may have a hidden mold problem, consider hiring an experienced professional. Call our Disaster Recovery Team today – 781-769-9125!
Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture. Can mold cause health problems? Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. The key to mold control is moisture control. It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors; some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in house dust. The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors.
Do You Have Mold?
Do you think that you may have mold in your home or place of business? While mold spores exist naturally everywhere high levels in contained spaces can cause serious health issues. Mold spores are airborne particles which can be eliminated by creating a negative air chamber. One piece of equipment that we often use is the DefenderAir HEPA 500 is ideal for handling indoor air-quality needs on every restoration job. This unit address these air-quality issues quickly and effectively, helping you to maintain a clean indoor environment. The DefendAir has an efficiency rating of 99.97% against 0.3-micron oily aerosol particles and meets first-pass filtration requirements for even the most sensitive jobs. If you think that you may have an infestation of mold give our Disaster Recovery Team a call today!
What Are the Potential Health Effects of Mold
According the CDC mold exposure does not always present a health problem indoors. However some people are sensitive to molds. These people may experience symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation when exposed to molds. Some people may have more severe reactions to molds. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. Immunocompromised persons and persons with chronic lung diseases like COPD are at increased risk for opportunistic infections and may develop fungal infections in their lungs.
In 2004 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people; with asthma symptoms in people with asthma; and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition. The IOM also found limited or suggestive evidence linking indoor mold exposure and respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children.
Water Main Run Off
What would you do if a water main burst and covered over 30,000 square feet of your warehouse with almost an inch of water? You would want someone to arrive onsite fast and remediate the entire problem, not just the visible water, but also the excess moisture that could ruin a product line with mold and mildew. That is exactly what happened to a local sporting apparel manufacturer. From Air Movers to Dehumidifiers, Generators to Power Distribution Boxes we have access to a wide array of water remediation equipment and the certified technicians to get the COMPLETE job done right! We began the drying process in the middle of the week and completed it by the very next weekend. All of our equipment was removed over that weekend and the warehouse space was ready to receive deliveries that very next Monday morning. How are we able to accomplish this, we offer our commercial clients flat rate pricing which allows our technicians to take whatever steps necessary to expedite the drying process with minimal disruption to business operations. Does your commercial property need remediation services? Call our disaster recovery team today!
When approaching mold clean up a lot of people wonder which method is best, “Dry Blast” vs “Sand Blast”, The answer is neither , the reality in today’s world is this is unnecessary because; dry ice is costly, it only removes surface mold, and porous materials require a deep cleaning. SERVPRO technicians use anti-fungal and anti-microbial treatments that kill mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming
When tackling mold we make it a priority to set up containment. All remediation companies will set up containment, but when and how is the issue. We set up containment prior to applying the “eyeball test”. Which is as follows
- The “Eyeball Test” – Assessing the Environment
- Has there been a previous water damage
- Do you smell musty odors of mold
- Do you see areas of mold contamination
- Our competitors cut 4 x 8 holes in the wall from the ground up
- We cut a 2 x 4 in the center of the wall
What is Mold?
What is mold? Mold is a fungus that grows in the form of multicellular filaments called hyphae.. This means that, like you and I, mold is a living organism. Mold spores are microscopic in size and, believe it or not, they exist naturally everywhere. Removing all traces of mold from a home or business is impossible. In actuality, mold testing is not done to determine if mold exists, but rather, to determine if elevated levels of mold exists. Proper mold testing consists of comparing indoor air quality to the air quality of the surrounding external environment.
Three conditions must exist for mold to cultivate. The first would be the availability of food. Any organic, carbon based, porous material is the only source of food mold spores require. The second would be having an appropriate temperature. Contrary to popular belief, mold can grow in any temperature above freezing, for example have you ever found moldy food in your refrigerator? The ideal temperature for mold to grow is in between 59° F – 86° F. Lastly having a considerable amount of moisture is a condition necessary that supports mold. It does not take long either; when all three conditions exist mold infestation can begin in less than 48 hours! The good news is that eliminating any one of these three conditions will ensure be mold free environment.
The not-so-good news is unfortunately, ninety percent of building materials used can serve as food for mold. Temperatures in New England during late spring and summer months are perfect for mold growth. Lastly, leaky roofs, improper bathroom ventilation, or poorly installed finished basements are just a few of the many issues that will cause the increased levels of moisture needed to stimulate mold growth. We cannot change the materials used to build our homes or the temperatures outside but we can control moisture. The good news is as humans we actually prefer humidity levels that are well below the critical relative humidity necessary for mold growth. That means, in most situations, the simple purchase of a dehumidifier is all the protection needed to mitigate mold growth.
But, what happens when disaster strikes and a simple dehumidifier is not enough? Up next – Why Call SERVPRO.
April showers bring May Flowers. Unfortunately, those same showers also may bring flooded basements. Immediate action is crucial when dealing with water damage. Luckily, SERVPRO franchises are strategically located to allow our technicians to arrive faster to any size disaster. As a leader in the water remediation industry our technicians receive advanced structural drying training and IICRC certification. Furthermore, we document our entire drying process in order to validate that all moisture, visible and hidden, has been removed and that the structure is completely dry. Generally basements are areas of high moisture, as such any amount of additional standing water exponentially increases the risk of mold infestation. Do not let water wreak havoc to your home or place of business. Call our Disaster Recovery Team today!
The Air Max
Drying a structure requires more than simply removing the visible water. Elevated levels of moisture in the air can lead to mold infestation. Circulating air reduces escalated moisture levels. The Air Max is unlike traditional, “whistle”, air movers. This rugged unit has 3 airflow positions – horizontal, vertical, and side allowing for maximum air flow and the most complete structural drying possible. Combined with its vented bottom housing, the trying capacity of the Air Max is unparalleled! In addition, its small footprint allows us to install the Air Max virtually anywhere and the non-marking, anti-skid rubber feet help us to leave no trace left behind. Call our disaster recovery team today to learn more about the Air Max and how we can properly remediate water damage in your residential or commercial property.