Mold Removal for a Healthy Home

Mold Removal for a Healthy Home…

Exposure to mold can cause cold-like symptoms, respiratory problems, nasal and sinus congestion, watery eyes, sore throat, coughing and skin irritations, and can trigger asthma attacks. Because some mold spores are very small and can easily be breathed deeply into the lungs, it is not safe to live in houses with high mold levels. Exposure to high mold spore levels can cause development of an allergy to mold. People can react to mold whether it is living or dead.

Everyone should minimize their exposure to mold. Children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with existing respiratory sensitivities are at higher risk for adverse health effects from mold. Some people are affected when exposed to very little mold, while others may show no adverse health symptoms when exposed to mold.

If you can smell a musty odor or see mold, you have a mold problem. Reliable sampling for mold can be expensive since it requires special equipment and training. Testing is not generally recommended as a first step.

Where to Look for Mold

Mold grows on organic materials, such as paper, dirt, wood and soap scum. Mold grows on moist materials, so mold growth is likely in areas wet by water leaks, flooding, humidity levels above about 70 percent and condensation. Any flooded area that was not completely dried within about one day is likely to have mold growth. Walls need to be opened and rapidly dried to prevent mold growth. Any area that is stained from water should be examined for mold growth. Peeling paint may be an indication of wet walls.

Moisture seeping through concrete walls and floors will cause moist conditions likely to cause mold growth on or in walls, carpeting and materials stored in the basement. Mold often grows under cabinets, behind base-boards, inside walls, in carpet padding and under vinyl wall coverings.

An unvented clothes dryer creates a very humid, warm environment conducive to mold growth. Closets may have mold growth if clothing is damp or if there is a cool outside wall in the closet. Also, there is a chance mold might be growing behind furniture, particularly against an outside wall.

Mold will not normally be found in furnace or air-conditioning ducts unless they were flooded because the heated or air-conditioned air is very dry.

Moisture coming through a basement floor or wall may deposit a light-colored salt and other minerals that are sometimes thought to be mold. The deposits should quickly dissolve and disappear when wet with water if they are a salt.

Mold Removal

Since people react to mold whether it is living or dead, the mold must be removed.

Take steps to protect your health during mold removal. Use a mask or respirator that will filter out mold spores. Usually it will be designated as an N95, 3M #1860 or TC-21C particulate respirator. Wear eye protection, rubber gloves and clothing that can be immediately laundered.

Dampen moldy materials before removal to minimize the number of airborne mold spores.

Mold can be removed from hard surfaces such as hard plastic, glass, metal and counter tops by scrubbing with a non-ammonia soap or detergent. (Do not mix ammonia and bleach; the fumes are toxic.)

It is impossible to completely remove mold from porous surfaces such as paper, Sheetrock (drywall) and carpet padding, so these materials should be removed and discarded.

Scrubbing may not completely remove mold growth on structural wood, such as wall studs, so it may need to be removed by sanding. Wear personal protective gear and isolate the work area from the rest of the home.

After the mold is removed, disinfect the area using a bleach and water solution or another disinfectant. The amount of bleach recommended per gallon of water varies considerably. A clean surface requires less bleach than a dirty surface. A solution of 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup bleach to 1 gallon of water should be adequate for clean surfaces. The surface must remain wet for about 15 minutes to allow the solution to disinfect. Concentrations as high as 1½ cups of bleach per gallon of water are recommended for wood and concrete surfaces that could not be thoroughly cleaned. Provide adequate ventilation during disinfecting and wear rubber gloves.

Finally, rinse the entire area with clean water, and then rapidly dry the surfaces. Use fans and dehumidifiers or natural ventilation that exchanges inside air with outside air

Preventing Mold Growth

The moisture problem must be fixed to prevent future mold growth. Since there are some mold spores everywhere and since mold grows on any wet organic surface, the only way to prevent mold growth is to keep things dry.

Air Cleaners

Air cleaners will not solve a mold problem. A high-efficiency air filter that removes mold spores may reduce the number of spores in the air, but mold spores rapidly settle onto surfaces, such as the floor, where air filters cannot remove them. Filters may reduce the number of mold spores in the air but are not substitutes for removing the mold. Air cleaners that produce ozone are not effective at eliminating mold. Ozone is a lung irritant that should not be in an occupied space.

Kenneth Hellevang, Ph.D., Engineer, NDSU Extension Service

24/7 Water Extraction Services Now Serving Los Angeles County and Surrounding Cities

Water Damage Zone and Restoration Inc., is a full service Water Extraction, Water Damage Repair and Restoration Company providing 24/7 water extraction, water damage and flood cleanup emergency services to Los Angeles County and surrounding cities

Call Toll FREE: (877) 209-8347

Water Extraction and Water Damage Services for Los Angeles County Include:

* 24 Hour Emergency Service
* Residential Water Damage Loss
* Water Damage Mitigation and Restoration
* Basement Drying
* Crawl Space Damage Cleanup and Drying
* Flood Damage and Cleanup
* Water and Sewage Extraction
* Sewage Cleanup
* Mold Remediation
* Structural Drying
* Disinfection & Sanitization
* Pack-out/Pack-back Water Damage Repair
* Surface Area Drying
* Decontamination & Sanitation
* Disinfecting
* Dehumidification
* Damaged Carpet Removal
* Direct Billing to Insurance

Water Damage Zone and Restoration is Insured, Licensed and Bonded. Providing 24/7 emergency water damage, water extraction and flood cleanup services to Los Angeles County.

24/7 emergency services! Call to schedule an appointment for a free estimate or immediate service: (877) 209-8347.

Visit our Website ( for more information about our company and services. Don’t hesitate to call us if you have a question. Our family owned and operated company strives on customer satisfaction.

12 Water Damage Do’s and Don’ts in Case of Emergency

What to Do in Case of a Water Damage Emergency…

Water damage will be found in 3 dimensions. Water always seeks equilibrium with its environment and wet always goes to dry, if it can. Just finding the extent of water damage on the floor isn’t enough. The water damage needs to be mapped to determine how far up the walls it has wicked, and how far down into the substrate the water damage has gone, including possibly entering the crawlspace in a conventional foundation. This can’t be done by touch. Very specialized water damage inspection tools and meters will be required, and every water damage professional has them.

A thorough understanding of water damage demands every water damage contractor be familiar with the “science of drying” also called psychrometry. Ask your water damage contractor what the dry standard is of each structural component suffering potential water damage. With proper water damage inspection tools and water damage experience, he should be able to tell you on a scale of 100 points the moisture content of the water damaged materials. If he can’t, call a different water damage restoration professional. Make sure your water damage restoration contractor draws a “moisture map” of the affected areas showing the full extent of the water damage migration, and that he updates the map regularly to show the progress of the water damage/structural drying project.

12 Water Damage Do’s and Don’ts in Case of Emergency:

  1. Remove as much water as possible by mopping or sweeping
  2. Wipe furniture dry and block it up to allow the base to dry
  3. Lift draperies off the carpet, loop through a coat hanger, and place the hanger on the drapery rod
  4. Remove wet area rugs or other loose floor coverings
  5. Open furniture drawers, closet doors, and luggage to enhance drying
  6. Move photos, paintings, and art objects to a safe, dry location
  7. Remove wet fabrics and dry them as soon as possible
  8. Remove damp books from shelves and spread them out to dry
  9. Do not use ordinary household vacuum to remove water
  10. Do not use electrical appliances while on wet carpet or wet floors
  11. Do not go into rooms with standing water if the electricity is still on
  12. Do not lift tacked down carpet without professional help. Lifting the carpet incorrectly could damage the backing

A professional water damage restoration contractor should select the structural drying equipment in a scientific method based on materials, size of the water damage area, and the class and category of the water damage. At the very least he should be certified in applied structural drying and water damage restoration.

Water Damage Dangers and Health Risks

Water damage can be caused by a lot of reasons, even the small, mundane leaks from your bathroom is more than enough to damage your property and belongings. On the flip side, it can also be catastrophic such as flash floods which can really bring danger not only to your property, but also to your life. The dangers of water damage can be categorized into two major categories which are health related water damage risks.

Health Related Water Damage Risks

Water damage that is sourced from contaminated or dirty water can be very dangerous to a person’s health. This type of water is a potential breeding ground for microorganisms and bacteria which would lead to sickness and diseases. Dirty water can come from sewage water or polluted sea water.

Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew thrives on damp and humid conditions, which can be brought about by water damaged property. Inhalation of large amounts of mold and direct exposure can cause immune disorders, cancer and other pathogenic diseases. Molds can also cause bleeding of the lungs, which is a sign of lung damage.

Keep in mind that children who are constantly exposed to molds have higher chances of developing asthma when they grow up.

There are many types of exposure to molds and they are: direct physical contact, ingestion and inhalation. Some molds have the ability to give off toxins which are called mycotoxins. These are clinically proven to be hazardous to a person if he is exposed to high levels of the said substance.

Molds only need 24-48 hours to accumulate and survive in humid conditions. In order to eradicate the dangers of this substance, it is better to respond quickly and efficiently in order to eliminate the problem.

Allergic Reactions

Exposure to water damage, mold and mildew can also instigate the onset of allergic reactions which would lead to nausea, dizziness, diarrhea and difficulty of breathing which can cause an asthma attack. Allergic reactions can also lead to chronic fatigue, vision and sinus problems, mood swings and vertigo.


Diseases that are caused by molds are usually respiratory problems which happen when a person inhales a large amount of the substance.

Exposure to contaminated water can also give water borne diseases to a person.  Examples of which are: ameobiasis, cholera, dysentery and typhoid fever.

Ameobiasis is an intestinal infection caused by an amoeba. It is usually transmitted by contamination of drinking water. Cholera is an infectious gastroenteritis caused by bacteria which is transmitted by intake of contaminated food and water. Dysentery is an infection of the digestive system that can result to severe diarrhea and presence of blood in the feces. Lastly, typhoid fever is a sickness caused by a specific kind of salmonella bacterium. It is very common worldwide and is transmitted by ingestion of food or water contaminated with feces that came from an infected person.

Resource: Read FULL Article:

Be SMART – 4th of July Fire Safety Tips

4th of July Fire Safety Tips…

There is roughly more than $35,000,000 per year in fire damages nationally. These fires are due to fireworks, and decorations that are accented with fireworks. This ends up being expensive, not only for the government, and insurance companies, but also families who lose everything due to a fire. Even with insurance, families lose their private positions that may not be replicable or their lives.

Under California law, illegal fireworks include sky rockets, bottle rockets, roman candles, aerial shells, firecrackers and other miscellaneous types that explode, go up in the air, or move about the ground in an uncontrollable fashion. Those convicted could be fined up to $50,000 and sent to prison or jail for up to one year.

In 286 communities in the state, “safe and sane” fireworks are permitted. However, State fire officials want to remind those who choose to purchase legal fireworks this year to make sure they purchase only those with the “Safe and Sane” State Fire Marshal seal they are only used in the community where they are purchased. It is illegal to sell, transport, posses, or use any fireworks in areas where they are not allowed. Even “Safe and Sane” fireworks can be dangerous if used unsafely.

Severe burns, amputations, blindness, and, in some cases, deaths are often the result of 4th of July celebrations. CAL FIRE’s Office of the State Fire Marshal has the following tips:

  • Always read directions.
  • Always have an adult present.
  • Use fireworks outdoors only.
  • Never use near dry grass or other flammable materials.
  • Light one at a time. Keep a safe distance.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Never experiment with fireworks.
  • Have a bucket of water and a hose handy.
  • Never attempt to re-light or “fix” fireworks.
  • Do not wear loose fitting clothing.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pockets.
  • Fireworks are not toys.
  • Use only State Fire Marshal approved fireworks…

4th of July Fire Safety Resources:
Communities Permitting State-Approved Fireworks

List of 290 Communities Permitting State-Approved Fireworks:

24/7 Emergency Fire Damage and Smoke Cleanup Services Now Available in Malibu, California

Water Damage Zone and Restoration Inc., is a full service Water Damage, Fire, Smoke Cleanup and Restoration Company, providing 24/7 water damage and fire, smoke cleanup emergency response and immediate services to Malibu, California and surrounding cities.

Call TOLL FREE: (877) 482-8937

Fire Damage and Smoke Cleanup Services for Malibu, California Include: 

•  24 Hour Emergency Service
•  Assessment of damage and inspection of structure
•  Smoke Removal
•  Soot Removal
•  Additional Substance Removal
•  Inspection of Contents
•  Contents Restoration
•  Odor Removal
•  Removal of Acidic Smoke from Surfaces
•  Debris Removal
•  Content Pack Out & Storage
•  Board Up
•  Clean and Deodorize Clothing and Other Items
•  Sanitation
•  Direct billing to Insurance

Water Damage Zone and Restoration, Inc. is Insured, Licensed and Bonded. Providing 24/7 emergency fire damage and smoke cleanup services for Malibu, CA.

Call to schedule an appointment for a free estimate or immediate service: (877) 482-8937

Visit our Website ( for more information about our company and services. Don’t hesitate to call us if you have any questions. Our family owned and operated company strives on customer satisfaction.

The Cause and Effects of Fire Damage

The Cause and Effects of Fire Damage

Fires that raze through homes and guts through buildings usually have their origins as follows:

Smoking Cigarette related fires are attributable to cigarette butts which are not put out properly and thoroughly.  This includes having fallen asleep holding a smoldering cigarette and using flammable materials and items as ashtrays.

CandlesFires that originate from candles start when the flame, caught by a draught leads to the burning of nearby combustible objects like curtains, rugs, papers, etc.  Some similar causes of candle related fires are when candles tilt from candle holders which are inappropriate for placing candles on or in.

Electrical – Most fires are caused by failed electrical connections in the form of overtly warming wires and defective fuses.  Often electrical fire related incidents start from sparks which do not produce any flames.  It is best not to underestimate the risk that comes from electricity even through the wires, plugs and sockets are correctly installed.

To be able to discern the root causes of fire within a home structure, it very informative to know the subsequent causes of fire that originates from room to room:

Bedrooms – Fires which begin inside bedrooms are often due to the improper utilization of electrical devices.  The overloading of extension cords, use of electric warmers, electric blankets that were not tested for quality upon released from the factory or manufacturing plant can overload the circuits.  During winter season, heaters that are carelessly positioned near flammable materials, clothes and linens generally cause fire.

Kitchen – Of all the rooms within a house, the kitchen is probably the room where most electrical appliances are found.  As such it has many fire hazardous elements and materials within in the form of open fire on stove, grease due to cooking, electrical tools and devices for preparing and cooking food.  Grease fire that comes from frying pans is quite dangerous since it can cause the entire kitchen to be consumed by fire.  The kinds of kitchen fire which are easy to control are the oven fires and dry cooking fires because they are unlikely to cause damage.  It is also best to maintain all kitchen appliances well so as not to be a source of fire.

Fireplace and Heating Devices – Heating devices and fireplaces are designed to create heat and could pose as fire risks if they are not correctly maintained.  Combustible things around the heater in the form of curtains, clothes or wall paper must be removed and placed at a safe distance.  Fireplaces that do not have a screen allow sparks from the fire to fly into the room where it is situated. And that can cause fire once the embers land on items or materials that can easily burn.

Fire damage requires doing a very grueling cleanup aside from necessitating the correct tools and equipment to do the restoration procedures.  It is recommended that a professional fire damage expert company is hired in order to do the task of cleaning. This is to be able to establish or segregate the items which could be repaired or changed.  All items that can be restored will be cleaned and brought back to its pre-fire damage state by professional fire cleaning experts to the best of their ability.

Read FULL Article: