How Heaters can cause Mold In Winter

Young Woman Checking Air Conditioner In House

Winter is a time where it is cold and dry outside for most people. What many don’t realize is that heaters inside of homes provide the optimal conditions for mold growth during the winter season. Mold needs a source of water and a source of food, organic materials, in order to live. Mold likes to grow on any surface where water may sit for a long period of time. Homes get mold because of leaks, floods, clogged pipes, bad air circulation, and high humidity.

Prevention of Mold

Heaters in the home can be managed so that they don’t create situations where mold gets out of control. Making sure that these systems are operating correctly ensures that these scenarios don’t occur in your home. If you see water accumulating on your walls, then you should look into getting a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier will ensure that your home stays dry in areas where mold loves to grow.

Ensuring Proper Air Circulation

By opening up windows during the day and turning fans on around the house, you can make sure that all of the home receives fresh air. This will prevent mold spores from building up in certain locations and beginning to grow. Make sure that the air is dry though, rainy weather can add moisture to the air that will make it more humid.

Keep Track of Your Home’s Humidity

You can easily keep track of the humidity inside of your home by buying a moisture meter at a local hardware store. The EPA recommends that you keep the humidity in your home between 30% and 60%. You will be able to determine the likeliness of mold growth in a room by measuring the humidity. If it is above 60%, the chances of mold growing go up significantly. Also look for the accumulation of moisture in areas that have pipes or windows.

 

Call Water Damage Zone today (877) 520-1923  your future bills may be a lot smaller, if you follow these simple tips. You can also visit our sister company for further information on restoration services at Best American Builders.

We specialize in the following services:

  • 24/7 Emergency Response, Water Extraction, Water Damage
  • Direct Billing to Insurance, Locally Owned and Operated
  • Water Cleanup, Water Dry outs, Visual Mold Inspections, Sewage Damage Cleanup
  • Sterilizing & Odor Removal, Licensed & Bonded #963976, Reputable Los Angeles based company
  • Image from depositphotos, ID 15892692
  • Shutterstock Sequence Number: US-041C159DA-1

Water Damage Zone, Inc.
Corporate Office
15115 Califa St. Ste. C
Van Nuys, CA 91411

How to Prevent Mudslide Damage

 

IMG_8498

Mudslides occur frequently in Southern California because vegetation in the region often gets destroyed by brush fires. Without the vegetation, the areas become prone to flash flooding that carries down soil, rocks, trees and brush. Once these things gain momentum they can easily cause damage to your home.

Direct Debris Away from Your Home

By using sandbags and lumber you can create a wall to direct the flow of debris in the case of a mudslide. This is an important step to take because without anything directing the flow of water, your home will easily become flooded. If you can control the flow of water, a mudslide will likely follow the same path and be diverted away from your home.

Board Your Windows

If you know that flash flooding or mudslides are possible, board up your windows that are at ground level. Debris will quickly enter the structure through the windows of the home. By boarding up the windows you will be adding extra support to them and prevent debris from getting into the home.

Protect Your Home

Protecting your home is the most important thing to do in the event of a mudslide. Other parts of your property such as pools, gardens, sheds, and other areas may require too much effort to save. By sticking to a plan that will protect your home, you will save yourself valuable time and energy in the event of a mudslide. You have to accept the reality that if a mudslide occurs, your property will endure some damage. The most important thing to protect is your own home.

IMG_8633

Contact Professionals

If a mudslide causes damage to your home don’t hesitate to call professionals like Water Damage Zone to inspect your property. We will assess the damage to your home and come up with a restoration plan to restore it to its former condition. We have specialists that are trained in dealing with the damage from flash floods and mudslides. If these conditions are not dealt with effectively and immediately they will most likely lead to more damage in your property over time. Trust the experts when it comes to the restoration of your home.

What are some precautions that you take against mudslides? Let us know in the comments.

 

Call Water Damage Zone today (877) 520-1923  your future bills may be a lot smaller, if you follow these simple tips. You can also visit our sister company for further information on restoration services at Best American Builders.

We specialize in the following services:

  • 24/7 Emergency Response, Water Extraction, Water Damage
  • Direct Billing to Insurance, Locally Owned and Operated
  • Water Cleanup, Water Dry outs, Visual Mold Inspections, Sewage Damage Cleanup
  • Sterilizing & Odor Removal, Licensed & Bonded #963976, Reputable Los Angeles based company
  • Image from depositphotos, ID 15892692
  • Shutterstock Sequence Number: US-041C159DA-1

Water Damage Zone, Inc.
Corporate Office
15115 Califa St. Ste. C
Van Nuys, CA 91411

How to Fix Moldy Caulk

93156365

The bathroom is easily one of the most humid rooms in the home, with steam lingering long after hot showers. The accumulation of moisture is one of the easiest ways for mold to start growing and one of the first places it likes to grow is caulking. Eliminating mold at first sight is the best way to prevent it from spreading and damaging your home. We will go over how to properly clean mold and also how to replace caulking in more serious cases.

Properly Cleaning Mold Off Caulk

1. Find a bathroom cleaner that is effective against mold and pour some in a bucket with hot water.

2. Using a soft cloth, rub the mold off of the caulk with this solution.

3. Clean the caulk with fresh water from the sink.

4. Pour or spray undiluted bleach onto the caulk and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. This will allow it to remove any extra mold spores and also help by lightening the caulk itself.

5. Brush the caulking with a soft bristled brush by making circular motions.

6. Rinse the caulk again with fresh water.

Mold in fiberglass shower

Replacing Damaged or Old Caulking

Over time caulk will take damage from mold and it will age. Eventually, the caulking will need to be replaced and if you’re facing a situation with a lot of mold its absolutely necessary. In order to get rid of large mold infestations in shower areas, it needs to be removed at the root. By replacing the caulking you will ensure that mold doesn’t return to your shower after it has been cleaned.

1. Use a utility knife to cut the top edge of the caulk and then cut the bottom edge. After this you should be able to pull the caulking off.

2. Cut any remaining caulk out.

3. Clean where the caulk was removed with isopropyl alcohol. This helps get rid of remaining caulk and any mold spores still in the area.

4. Make sure that the area is allowed to dry completely.

5. Read and carefully follow the caulk instructions on your specific product to prepare it for application.

6. Apply a small line of caulk to any area it was cut from.

7. Wet your index finger and push the caulking into the cracks.

8. Wait the amount of time that is stated on the packaging for the caulk to dry before using the area again.

Call Water Damage Zone today (877) 520-1923  your future bills may be a lot smaller, if you follow these simple tips. You can also visit our sister company for further information on restoration services at Best American Builders.

We specialize in the following services:

  • 24/7 Emergency Response, Water Extraction, Water Damage
  • Direct Billing to Insurance, Locally Owned and Operated
  • Water Cleanup, Water Dry outs, Visual Mold Inspections, Sewage Damage Cleanup
  • Sterilizing & Odor Removal, Licensed & Bonded #963976, Reputable Los Angeles based company
  • Image from depositphotos, ID 15892692
  • Shutterstock Sequence Number: US-041C159DA-1

Water Damage Zone, Inc.
Corporate Office
15115 Califa St. Ste. C
Van Nuys, CA 91411

Protect your Documents from Water Damage

Living in a world that is more dependent on a paper trail for our lives and verification more than ever before, it is essential that people understand how to best protect their documents from water damage.  People need to be assured that if they are faced with an issue such as flooding or other forms of water damage that their documents will be safe for review by insurance agents to get their lives back on track.

 

One of the easiest things that people can do is seal their documents through lamination.  A reliable laminator can be purchased at any office supply store for a reasonable price.  Why is laminating a solid option?  Laminating protects by completely encasing your document in a plastic sleeve.  If the seal is solid, then there is almost a zero chance that when faced with water damage that your document will be affected.

 

A second option is the use of waterproof sprays.  While these are not as good as a laminated copy, these sprays can provide a level of security that will protect your papers and documents.  Spraying is best done in layers with the optimum being three to four layers.  Spray once, allow to dry completely, and then spray on the next layer.  This application process will give you a better form of protection.

 

A third option is a product similar to Aquaseal.  These product the paper with a clear coating, and the benefit to these products is that the papers can be folded, unfolded in order to use the material.  This is a tremendous advantage over lamination, yet aquasealants need the material to be a laser or professionally printed material for best results.  If you use your home printer, which will probably be an inkjet, then the ink will run and smear ruining the document.

Another suggestion would be to use waterproof paper, which can be used with inkjet and laserjet printing.  Waterproof paper can also be used for handwritten documents, so it has a wide variety of uses.  These are great for camping or any excursion out into nature.

 

Documents are very important to our well-being.  It is necessary to seal and protect everything from insurance papers, driver’s licenses, medical cards, etc. should be protected for the eventuality when they are needed most.  Don’t wait until the incident has come, but be proactive and protect your documents today.

 

Call Water Damage Zone today (877) 520-1923  your future bills may be a lot smaller, if you follow these simple tips. You can also visit our sister company for further information on restoration services at Best American Builders.

We specialize in the following services:

  • 24/7 Emergency Response, Water Extraction, Water Damage
  • Direct Billing to Insurance, Locally Owned and Operated
  • Water Cleanup, Water Dry outs, Visual Mold Inspections, Sewage Damage Cleanup
  • Sterilizing & Odor Removal, Licensed & Bonded #963976, Reputable Los Angeles based company
  • Image from depositphotos, ID 15892692
  • Shutterstock Sequence Number: US-041C159DA-1

Water Damage Zone, Inc.
Corporate Office
15115 Califa St. Ste. C
Van Nuys, CA 91411

Smoke Damage Is Harmful To Your Property And Health

Smoke Damage Is Harmful To Your Property And Health…

The most commonly downplayed effects of fires in homes and business establishments is in the general health condition of the people who come in contact with the remnants of the fiery event. Not only is there damage and destruction to property and valuable belongings, the person who comes in contact with smoke and fumes from a burned structure is greatly predisposed to developing a variety of health problems. Although these health problems may not be immediately seen nor felt, in due time and with the interplay of other aggravating factors such as the person’s diet, immune system functioning, and overall skin integrity, clinical manifestations will present. By this time, any preventive measures will be for naught and treatment modalities will be a costly affair to begin with.

Smoke Damage

It is almost always possible that small fires can occur right in the very confines of our homes brought about by any of, but not limited to, the following causes: a left open gas stove, leaking gas or fuel hoses, embers from cigars and cigarettes, and overheating appliances, among others. What makes smoke damage cleanup an intimidating task is that smoke and soot can move and penetrate into other rooms or areas of the house while from fires can greatly affect the paint of walls, furniture, and fixtures, carpet, upholstery, drapes, clothing, and other family articles which further adds to the extent of the damage.

Smoke damages the very complex structural network of fibers that strengthens and or solidifies a certain object by chemically reacting with the different molecules that make up the structure. What happens is that the molecular and chemical bonds between the various elements and molecules are broken down into component parts, rendering them unstable in the outside environment. Sometimes, smoke damaged articles still retain a certain amount of heat such that the burning process continues to damage and or weaken the structure and form of the article affected.

Health Concerns

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAHs are composed of over 100 different chemicals that are formed during the incomplete burning of combustible materials and other organic substances. In controlled laboratory experiments, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were shown to produce fertility problems among laboratory mice. The offspring of the lab mice also showed significantly greater rates of birth defects and low birth weights.

The same studies also revealed that some analogs of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons caused skin problems, body fluid abnormalities, and immune system defects among laboratory specimens. However, the implications are not readily generalizable to the human population because of ethics in research on human subjects.

Whether or not soot has really carcinogenic, mutagenic, and or even teratogenic effects on humans, it is relatively safe to assume that this byproduct of smoke from fires is something that should not be taken very lightly.

The Anatomy of Fire and Smoke

Fire occurs because of three fundamental elements that include air or oxygen, fuel or energy, and heat. Removing any of these elements and you can never start a fire, not even an ember. So, to start a fire, a highly combustible material must get in contact oxygen in the atmosphere to initiate a series of chemical reaction that, upon the application or introduction of the third element which is heat, fire is produced. Now, so long as there is a ready supply of combustible material vis-à-vis fuel load and a steady presence of oxygen in the atmosphere fire continue to exist because as oxygen and the combustible material react, they tend to give off heat, raising the heat element some more and fueling the fiery process in a vicious cycle.

In the birth of a fire, a heating element such as a match, a lighted candle, an electrical spark, or even friction, heats the combustible fuel load to very high temperatures, well within what is known as the material’s ignition temperature. By the time the combustible materials reaches around 150o Celsius (or 300o Fahrenheit), the heat already begins decomposing some of the cellulose that is found in the fuel load. The resulting chemical reaction releases unstable and explosive gases into the air which form what we see and are known to us as smoke. Smoke is primarily composed of oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon molecules. The materials that remain after the volatile gases have been released into the air as smoke make up the hardly recognizable char, as in “charcoal” which is made up of almost pure carbon. The combustible material which is left unburned or not turned into gas is called the ash and includes minerals such as calcium, potassium, chlorine, magnesium, and others. As such, charcoal fire can burn without the smoke as we usually use in our weekend barbecue activities.

Call Water Damage Zone today (877) 520-1923  your future bills may be a lot smaller, if you follow these simple tips. You can also visit our sister company for further information on restoration services at Best American Builders.

We specialize in the following services:

  • 24/7 Emergency Response, Water Extraction, Water Damage
  • Direct Billing to Insurance, Locally Owned and Operated
  • Water Cleanup, Water Dry outs, Visual Mold Inspections, Sewage Damage Cleanup
  • Sterilizing & Odor Removal, Licensed & Bonded #963976, Reputable Los Angeles based company
  • Image from depositphotos, ID 15892692
  • Shutterstock Sequence Number: US-041C159DA-1

Water Damage Zone, Inc.

Corporate Office

15115 Califa St. Ste. C

Van Nuys, CA 91411

 

Is Mold Toxic

When we hear the word “mold” we have initial fears of our well-being and that of our families as well.  It is necessary to take these fears seriously, but is mold really toxic?  It seems that due to recent studies that they potentially are not.

According to the CDC, molds themselves are not inherently toxic.  Certain molds can produce toxic substances called mycotoxins, yet many molds are neither toxic nor poisonous.  However this doesn’t mean that mold is not a serious issue.

Mold is always present.  It exists inside home and office buildings alike.  It can be found in the air we breath and on the surfaces of items we are consistently in contact with, yet there are few reports to say that mold is responsible for rare health issues such as memory loss.

The effects of mold that most commonly found in people are in the infections and complications in the upper respiratory tract systems.  These issues can be presented in the form of a cough, wheezing in light cases, and move up towards asthma in the more extreme cases.  People who have a sensitivity to allergies find that they have the most issues with the presence of mold.

Just because there are no links to toxicity for mold it does not mean that mold should be taken lightly.  For people who are sensitive to mold, it can be a very unbearable existence as nasal issues, irritation, wheezing and skin irritation can all be manifest with the issues of mold.  In more extreme cases, there may be fever and shortness of breath.  At the worst, people can routinely develop fungal infections in the lungs that will require medical attention.

If you find mold in your home, then you should take every precaution and step to clean up the mold in order to limit your personal exposure to the effects, but also your family as well.  In many cases, the mold can be a simple clean up using water and bleach.  Under no circumstances, never mix bleach with ammonia as this creates toxic fumes more harmful than the mold.

If you find that the potential issue is extensive or you just want to be sure you are finished with the situation, it would be best to bring in a reputable mold remediation company to assess your situation.  This company would be able to identify and suggest a course of action that could limit and eliminate the effects of mold in your home.

Call Water Damage Zone today (877) 520-1923  your future bills may be a lot smaller, if you follow these simple tips. You can also visit our sister company for further information on restoration services at Best American Builders.

We specialize in the following services:

  • 24/7 Emergency Response, Water Extraction, Water Damage
  • Direct Billing to Insurance, Locally Owned and Operated
  • Water Cleanup, Water Dry outs, Visual Mold Inspections, Sewage Damage Cleanup
  • Sterilizing & Odor Removal, Licensed & Bonded #963976, Reputable Los Angeles based company
  • Image from depositphotos, ID 15892692
  • Shutterstock Sequence Number: US-041C159DA-1

Water Damage Zone, Inc.
Corporate Office
15115 Califa St. Ste. C
Van Nuys, CA 91411

 

Problems with Hard Water

rusty water tap in ald abandoned house

What is hard water?  This is water that has a high content of minerals such as calcium and magnesium.  It is measured in degrees of 1 to 10 in the number of grains per gallon of water, and we notice it mostly through the spotting on dishes, the results on our hair and physical appearance.

 

There are many issues that can be created by hard water.  First off, hard water can contribute to clogging pipes and reducing the flow of water.  If you have noticed a white-ish buildup around your shower head and less water or lower pressure then hard water is working in the pipes.  This can lead to a buildup of film on bathroom surfaces which over time can be difficult to clean off. In the shower, hard water leaves your skin feeling as if there is a soapy film and residue that cannot come off.  It results in the skin feeling dry.  Hair cannot be rinsed properly resulting in shampoo residue leaving your hair looking dull.

 

For the appliances in the home, hard water can be difficult for any appliance using water to process.  It can shorten the life of refrigerators that offer water and ice cubes by accumulating in tubes and pipes.  More importantly, hard water can negatively impact your water heater through clogging pipes, but also by needing more heat for water as hard water is a poor conductor of heat.  This results in higher water and energy bills. Finally, the quality of your food can be affected by hard water.  When cleaned, glasses will retain a spotting and film on them that is difficult to remove and can influence the taste of the beverage.  Clothes also suffer hard water damage as they can be worn down by the presence of the extra minerals in the wash cycle.

 

What can you do?  One of the best things that you can do to combat hard water in your home is to install a water softener.  A water softener adds salts into the water through the process of ion exchange.  When hard water is filtered through the water softener filled with negative charged resin, the calcium and magnesium in hard water, which carries a positive charge, attaches to the beads which leaves the sodium in the water.  Sodium is exchanged for the calcium and magnesium turning hard water soft. When dealing with your water softener, make sure that you are constantly adding salt to the basin of the water softener.  This will ensure that the filtration process is always able to occur as it should.

 

If you choose to live with your hard water, then you should look into reducing the heat in the water heater to save on the life of the appliance.  Preventative flushing of the unit can also help its longevity and performance.  Use vinegar to remove white spots and on tiles, glass in the bathroom to remove mineral deposits.  Look for laundry soap and shampoo that are designed for hard water.

 

Call Water Damage Zone today (877) 520-1923  your future bills may be a lot smaller, if you follow these simple tips. You can also visit our sister company for further information on restoration services at Best American Builders.

We specialize in the following services:

  • 24/7 Emergency Response, Water Extraction, Water Damage
  • Direct Billing to Insurance, Locally Owned and Operated
  • Water Cleanup, Water Dry outs, Visual Mold Inspections, Sewage Damage Cleanup
  • Sterilizing & Odor Removal, Licensed & Bonded #963976, Reputable Los Angeles based company
  • Image from depositphotos, ID 15892692
  • Shutterstock Sequence Number: US-041C159DA-1

Water Damage Zone, Inc.
Corporate Office
15115 Califa St. Ste. C
Van Nuys, CA 91411