While you can get water damage from any type of leak, there are some leaks that are worse than others. Of course, we’re talking about sewage leaks.
While it’s pretty disgusting to think about toilet water leaking into your home, it is not a good time to panic. Usually, when panic sets in, mistakes are made. If you have them available, you should wear thick rubber gloves as well as rubber boots during the cleanup to keep from getting exposed and possibly sick.
What Is So Bad About Toilet Water?
Toilet water can make for a much worse situation than regular water leaks because of the abundance of bacteria in the water. It is very important that the leak gets taken care of right away. If at all possible, you need to stop the water flow that is feeding the leak. Turning off your water supply will make it stop the quickest, but depending on what was in the pipes when the leak started, and what floor in your home the leak is located on, there might be quite a bit of water that will push its way through before it stops gushing out.
This is especially the case when there is a clog in your main sewage line, and a lower floor toilet starts gushing out water. If the upstairs bathroom and shower were used, all that water is going to come out before it slows down.
Cleanup Takes Time
Cleanup of contaminated water is a messy business, and you want to make sure that you don’t leave bacteria-infested water in your home. This means that bleach is going to be your best friend. Cleaning all surfaces that had sewage water on them with bleach will kill the bacteria. You should also do the same with any mops, buckets, and tools you use for the cleanup. The recommended mixture for this type of cleaning is one cup of bleach to one gallon of water.
If you want professional help with the cleanup, give us a call and we will be there as soon as possible.
When it comes to mold growth, it is important to remember that it doesn't just start from major events or in damp basements. There are also some things that we all might be guilty of that could end up being a problem. Let's just consider a few of them and what action would be a better option.
Wet Clothes And Mold
We all end up with wet clothes in our home at one time or another. Maybe we get caught out in the rain, maybe we have some clothes that we don't want to run through the dryer, or maybe we have worked out really hard and got sweaty clothes that we got out of. While this isn't a problem in itself, they should never be piled up somewhere where they will take a long time to dry. It could provide mold with the perfect location to start growing. Instead, you should hang up your wet clothes in a spot where they get good ventilation, or you should wash and dry them right away. Procrastination is not going to be helping you in your fight against mold.
Spills Need to be Cleaned Up Right Away
It's easy to do it - you are gesturing while talking to your friends, and you knock a glass over. If you have carpet in your home, it might not even be noticeable after a short while, but that doesn't mean that everything is ok. Mold can start growing, even underneath your carpet, and not be detected until it's a serious problem.
This is why you should clean up spills quickly. If necessary, using a steamer on your carpet can help to minimize the risk of mold growth in your home. While there are some liquids that have a higher risk for starting mold growth, you should be concerned with spills no matter what the liquid is.
Be Careful With Your Plants
If you have a lot of live plants in your home, it is important to remember that water from an overwatered plant can leak onto the floor. Since the water will take a while to run through the dirt, you should get used to stopping watering earlier than you might expect to be needed. Keeping a saucer underneath the plant pots as well can be an added layer of protection.
These were just a few situations where you should consider whether what you are doing is going to encourage mold growth. It all comes down to the basics. Avoid moisture and have good ventilation. On the other hand, if the problem is from a major event, like flooding and big leaks, you would do well to contact us to take a look at the possible damage to your home.
Whether the cause is flooding, storms, rains or a busted pipe, dealing with large amounts of water in your home is not for the faint of heart. There are many issues that can crop up after the fact if water remediation isn't done properly. This could either mean costly repairs further down the line, or worse, health problems that linger for years to come. This is why water remediation is important, but some might wonder exactly what is involved in the process.
That is what we're here to tell you.
First - Inspect the Water Damage
For anyone doing water remediation, it is important to have a proper mix of technology and experience to be able to do the best job possible. There are modern tools to asses the state of a building, such as moisture meters that will tell you how much damage the water intrusion in your home has caused. Naturally, a tool is useless unless it's in trained hands, and that is what we provide. We will also check to make sure that there is no active source of water intrusion, since it is meaningless to do the remediation if there still is an active leak. We can assess the work that is needed and then provide an estimate of time and cost to you.
Next - Dry It Up
The first part of water remediation is always going to be water removal. The longer water is left in your home, the more damage it will cause. Using pumps and vacuums, we will make sure that the water is removed from your home as soon as possible. After it is gone, more tests will be performed to get a more complete picture of the situation we're facing.
After this comes the drying phase. We use commercial grade dehumidifiers to ensure that everything is as dry as possible. When that is completed, everything needs to be cleaned. While there are certain situations where there is a higher risk of contaminants in the water, such as sewage backup, there will always be a need for cleaning and sanitizing.
Finally - Restoration
After all these steps have been completed, it's time to perform the actual restoration. There might be a lot of material that needs replacing, especially if the water has been standing for a longer period of time. It's not always easy to tell beforehand how much of the home needs to be replaced, but rest assured that we will do our very best to make sure that your home will look as if nothing ever happened.
Basement Carpet = High Mold Risk
The first thing to keep in mind is that there are some locations where carpets are an even worse choice than others. Take your basement for example. While the cold cement floors there might make you want to have carpet installed to make it more pleasant and to improve acoustics as well, there are many sources of moisture there that easily could provide fertile ground for mold to start growing. If you are set on having carpet in the basement, you should do everything you can to prevent water intrusion.
Simple Mold Prevention In Your Home
As for the rest of your home, you should be aware of the risk of mold growth. This means that when you spill any liquid on your carpet, you need to clean it up right away and get the carpet as dry as possible immediately. Having a wet vac is a great investment for any homeowner with carpet. This will help you clean up spills of liquids that can increase the risk of mold growth.
Another thing to avoid is putting wet clothes on the carpet and letting them sit there for a longer period of time. This is the case whether it is sweaty exercise clothes, clothes straight out of the washer, or just something you wore when you got caught out in the rain. Hanging wet clothes up in an area where they can dry (not over the carpet where they can drip) is going to be the best solution if you can’t get them into a dryer (We do not recommend doing this with your sweaty exercise clothes. You should wash those first.)
Just remember that just because the carpet doesn’t appear to have mold growing underneath it, the signs could be invisible to the naked eye for a long time until it becomes obvious to the homeowner.
If you find out too late, and mold already got the better of your carpet, contact us at Hero Remediation, and we will help you get the mold issue taken care of.
At one time, builders thought insulating the crawl space with fiberglass batting was a good practice. Time has shown us that this is not the best idea. It frequently comes loose and falls out of place, which is frustrating and wasteful. It’s not insulating anything when it’s falling to the ground.
Batting absorbs and holds water, like a sponge. Since this sponge batting is attached to your joists, beams, and subfloor, the moisture can affect these wooden pieces. Over time, if the fiberglass batting absorbs enough water, it can become too heavy for the fasteners and fall out of place.
Reasons to Use Spray Foam Insulation
Cons of Using Spray Foam
Any mold professional should be able to explain your mold removal project in plain English. If a contractor is unable to explain the basic processes and steps of mold remediation and mold removal in layman’s terms, be very wary.
Once in the home, here’s what to expect from a professional:
How Do You Prepare for Mold Remediation in Your Home?
1. Isolate the Area
If you notice mold in your home, try to identify the source of moisture coming in your home and block off that area as well as you can to prevent spores from spreading any further. This can be done by covering air vents and doorways leading to the infested area with large plastic sheets. This will prevent the mold from having extra room to grow until the professionals can get the job finished.
2. Avoid Extra Ventilation
Mold requires moisture and airflow to grow. Fight your urges to try and dry out a moldy area by opening the windows or using fans. Flowing air will allow the mold spores to spread, giving them the potential to invade more areas of your home.
3. Leave It Alone
You may be tempted to get out the bleach and cleaning materials when you notice a patch of mold, but it is best left alone. Cleaning can cause more mold particles to become airborne and may even thrive from left-behind moisture. Some may think that removing the wall will fix the problem, but, since mold moves through the air, this can move it further into your home. Trust the mold remediation.
Diverting water away from the home can prevent a number of problems in your house. Foundation erosion, basement flooding, and soil and grass deterioration to name a few. As your home foundation wears down water can seep into the walls and cause mold and dampness.
Paying attention to water around your home is critical and drawing water away from the structure is one of the most important steps you can take. Here is a list of ways to direct water away from your home:
Lawn Grading and Swales
When a home is constructed, the land around it is chosen or shaped to allow for a natural diversion of rainwater. The hills and slopes of your lawn are natural drainage areas called swales. If your lawn isn’t graded properly—changes in construction, changes in neighboring drainage, increased rainfall, etc— and water pools and flows where it should not. Left unattended, poor grading can lead to areas washing out, ruining your lawn, worsening your drainage problem, and possibly damaging the structural integrity of your home.
It’s not enough to simply have downspouts installed to control the flow of water from your roof—you want to manage where that water is heading once it reaches the ground, too. A downspout in the wrong place can overcome whatever natural protection against drainage problems your lawn grading may have.
Grass Barriers and Rain Gardens
Lawn grading isn’t the only aspect of landscaping that can help divert water away from your home. The plants and grass present in your lawn can do much of the heavy lifting when it comes to water management. Install the right grass or plants in your yard, and water will be diverted away or blocked accordingly. Install a rain garden in a problem area, and suddenly water pooling in that area becomes a bed for thirsty plants you couldn’t easily maintain otherwise.
Gravel Drains, Stone Driveways, and Artificial Streams
Gravel allows water to pass through it more easily than dirt without washing it away easily or creating unsightly drainage paths or ditches of mud and bare ground. A ditch full of gravel will guide water naturally wherever you want it to go, and it can look great if you plan it right. Similarly, you can turn a driveway or footpath into a similar drainage system by using looser stone construction instead of less permeable materials.
If the water falling into your lawn can’t be guided to better areas of your yard naturally, then it may be time to consider installing full drainage lines to carry away the excess water. Experts will be able to look at your lawn and determine the best combination of drainage systems—lawn grading, drains, pipes, culverts, the options are endless.
If you’re building a new garage it’s important to use materials that mold will find unattractive. Constructing a garage with metal studs instead of wood is a great idea.
Choosing materials other than wood for your new garage will not only eliminate the possibility of mold growth but you’re also preventing wood-eating pests that can damage your new garage. Pre-coated aluminum and vinyl siding is the best idea for garage walls.
How to Prevent Mold in Your Existing Garage
Your highest priority should be reducing the moisture content of the air as much as possible. Start with getting a good air dehumidifier. Ensure that your garage is well ventilated, this is a good step to take to prevent mold.
Water entering through the roof of the garage is a sure way to grow mold. Keep your garage roots in good shape. Fresh, circulating air and a well-maintained garage should be enough to prevent garage mold. Sunlight will also help mold from growing. Try keeping your garage door open for a few hours a day to prevent mold in your garage.
Removing Mold in the Garage
Removing mold in the garage is a generally less complicated issue than in other areas of the home. The biggest issue with mold removal besides proper precautions and disposal methods is ensuring that the mold is removed. Mold can hide behind garage walls, so it’s important to locate and remove the mold. Getting professional help to remove the mold in your garage is advised.
It’s a smart decision for any homeowner to take a good look at the conditions in your garage. You can assess the potential threat of mold growth. Not doing this could result in a costly cleanup process. Maintenance, regular cleaning, and controlling humidity in your garage are key to putting an end to mold in the garage. All of these small steps can help with solid mold prevention in your garage.
Humidity in Florida. Always a perfect recipe for mold problems. Mold in the house and on the furniture. Is there any possible way to avoid mold in my house. There is a culprit lucking in the home that can contribute to mold. It’s important to focus on the temperature setting of the A/C.
A/C Temperature Settings Matter!
Incorrect air conditioner fan settings can contribute or help prevent mold. Such a simple little setting can cause a big problem! How can this problem be avoided. Make sure you’re a/c fan is set to “Auto.” The “auto” setting allows the thermostat to turn on the a/c when it reaches the set temperature. So, if your thermostat is set to 75ºF, when the inside air temperature reaches 75ºF the a/c will kick on, cool the house and pull moisture out of the air. The moisture is funneled out of the house via the drain line. The Auto setting also uses less energy because the fan only runs during the heating or cooling cycle.
If the fan is set to the “on” position, the fan runs constantly, circulating warm dry air. In Florida, it circulates warm moist air, which can spawn mold growth. When the temperature reaches 75ºF, the a/c will still kick on and cool and reduce the humidity. But until it does, the fan is blowing humid air throughout the house. The moving air holds a temperature longer, even though it's higher in humidity, so the cooling/drying cycle rarely kicks on. You may begin to notice a stuffy” smell in the house. The constant air movement can clog the air filter faster, making the air handler work harder when it does cool.
In Florida, it’s recommended to use the Auto setting and leave a ceiling fan or two running on low. This combination provides the best airflow and humidity control to prevent mold in your Florida home.
Keep The A/C Unit Running
Run Your AC. Mold prospers in wet, moist spaces. Many homeowners don't realize this but the ac unit was developed to dehumidify spaces. So, while Florida rain showers may bring cool winds, don't allow that to entice you into leaving your home windows open. This allows the moisture and an opportunity for leaks to escalate.
Check the condensate drain pipeline of your AC unit to ensure it’s trickling regularly. If it isn’t, the pipeline is blocked and water may be building up inside the unit– or on your flooring. To stop clog and mold accumulation, pour a mug of bleach blended with water down the drain each year.
Monitor Indoor Climate and Humidity
Keep your home temperature at around 80 degrees when you are away from home. Many times we bump the thermostat up to 85 degrees, or turn off the AC when we’re away. This raises temperature and humidity, which creates the ideal home for mold. Certain species of mold can begin growing when it is above 70% humidity, so you also need to monitor the indoor humidity.
The EPA suggests keeping your indoor humidity levels between 30% and 50% to prevent mold growth and discourage dust mites from reproducing
A recurring chore in keeping your home clean is vacuuming the floors, but few homeowners ever enjoy this task. Hauling the vacuum from room to room and moving furniture can be quite irritating. Not to mention having to change the vacuum attachments in order to reach the hard-to-reach places.
A central vacuum system can make it much simpler to clean your floors. But it does have a few drawbacks as well.
A central vacuum cleaner keeps a canister receptacle and the motor in a single location and usually, it’s in the basement or garage.
Some systems are designed to spin air in a canister and exhaust it outside the home. While other systems will collect dust and debris in a canister or a bag that needs to be emptied from time to time.
Pros of a central vacuum system:
The cons of a central vacuum system:
So as with most things, there are the ups and downs to a central vac, but is the system worth the money for your household?
There are several reasons why you should consider a central vac system.
So basically, most people either love or hate central vac systems. About 50% of homeowners say they would never build without a central vac system while the other 50% say they don’t care for the system.
Stay well informed do your research and then you can make an informed decision on whether the central vacuum system is right for your family.
HERO Remediation is Central Florida's premier flood and water damage restoration company. Fully licensed and experienced.