Seasonal Tips for Spring
FLOOD SEASON IS HERE!

DISCONNECT POWER TO THE HOUSE
If the water level reaches a foot or more you should disconnect power to the house. Water levels may have reached electrical outlets, appliance feeds and appliance motors causing a shock hazard.

OUTFIT YOURSELF WITH PROTECTIVE CLOTHING
Water damage caused from exterior sources are categorized as Category III water damage. This means that in the water there may be microorganisms and pollutants that can make you sick. Outfit yourself with protective clothing, rubber boots, rubber gloves and a face mask.

PROTECT UNDAMAGED SECTIONS OF YOUR HOUSE
Isolate the damaged from the undamaged. Isolate the basement from the main levels of the house using plastic sheathing to mask off doors to those levels. When working in the contaminated basement use an exterior door or bulkhead with direct access. "REMOVE THE WATER" Using a gas or electric pump, pump the water from the basement. If you shut down the electricity to the house you will need a generator to power your electrical tools. Once you have pumped the water to surface level, use a shop vac to remove any remaining surface water and puddles.

REMOVE CONTENTS
You will need to determine salvageable items from non salvageable. A good rule of thumb is discarding all porous materials as they absorb water, such as clothing, upholstery, carpeting, stuffed animals, paper and boxed goods, and all consumables. Electrical appliances and tools that were submerged should be discarded. Hard furnishing and hand tools can be cleaned and saved. Use a disinfectant cleaner to clean salvageable items.

REMOVE BUILDING MATERIALS
Remove all sheetrock, carpeting, paneling, porous flooring material and insulation that are water damaged. A good rule of thumb when removing sheetrock is to cut 12 inches above the water line.

CLEAN THE AREA
Clean the remaining fixed surfaces that are contaminated using a pump sprayer and a good disinfectant (both can be purchased from your local hardware store). Spray all the remaining surfaces that came in contact with the ground water. Lightly pressure wash these surfaces and extract using a shop vac. If a pressure washer is not available, lightly rinse it with a garden hose and nozzle. Disinfect, spray again and let it dry. The best method of drying is to use commercial dehumidifiers, which can be rented from any rental company. Two to three days should be adequate. If using dehumidifiers, all openings to the space should be closed and the water drained into a basement drain or outside. Also, before you can use this appliance you will need to hire an electrician to isolate any damaged outlets in the basement and provide you with an outlet to power the dehumidifiers. If dehumidifiers are not an option, door and windows should be open, weather permitting, to maintain sufficient flow for drying.

 


Seasonal Tips for Winter
It’s that time of year again for Puff Backs,
Frozen Pipes, and Ice Dams.


PUFF BACKS
When you get that call from your insured your best advice to them is
“DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CLEAN IT YOURSELF”.
Puff back season is that time of year when overly stressed, improperly tuned, or un-serviced oil burners misfire, sending soot throughout buildings and covering ceilings, walls, flooring and furnishings. This oily substance, if improperly cleaned, will cause more damage resulting in higher clean up costs. That’s why you need to call on certified professionals, trained in soot and smoke removal.
FROZEN PIPES
January and February are the coldest months of the year. That means FROZEN PIPES. Frozen water pipes cause pipes to burst, resulting in water damaged buildings and contents. Fast response from a properly trained professional will minimize damage by proper water detection, removal and drying. Our technicians are certified in Water Damage Restoration and Applied Structural Drying.

ICE DAMS
After a heavy snowfall followed by several days or weeks of cold weather, ice dams can form and build up on your roof. Insufficient insulation and improper ventilation will cause the ice to melt from underneath, causing water leakage into the structure resulting in water damage to interior ceilings and walls.

THE FIRST STEP IN THE MITIGATION PROCESS IS TO STOP THE FLOW OF WATER. EVEN BEFORE CALLING, US THE SNOW SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM THE ROOFS EDGE APPROXIMATELY 4 FEET BACK.

When the water flow into the building has stopped, contact us, the water mitigation professionals who can properly dry out the structure for you. It’s important to stop the water first, then call us to properly dry it out.

 


Mold Problem?
Advanced Answers From Advanced Cleaning & Restoration

mold

As a veteran mover and homeowner, I’ve seen a fair share of dream homes turn into nightmare scenarios after disasters like fires and floods. Of course, folks are always grateful if no one is hurt in these situations. And of course, after a fire or flood, homeowners know to contact their insurers as soon as possible to get their homes habitable again. But what can you do if your house is suffering from an undiscovered moisture or leakage problem that results in the need for mold remediation?

The statistics associated with health issues caused by exposure to mold in American homes tell a sobering story. Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency in association with the Berkley National Laboratory conducted a joint study that found indoor dampness and mold increased the risk of respiratory health problems by anywhere between 30 and 50%.

And the study went on to find that of the nearly 22 million asthma sufferers in the U.S., about 4.6 million cases are directly caused by exposure to dampness and mold in homes. Staggeringly, the annual costs associated with treating American asthma cases brought on specifically by this problem are $3.5 billion!

As luck, or fate, would have it, I’ve just finished successfully fighting a mold problem I never thought I would have to personally wage. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to observe Jason Mercer, Project Manager for Advanced Cleaning & Restoration, in action. Together with his crew, Jason performed such a superior job of mold remediation that I interviewed him in order to share what I learned with MyMove’s readers.

Jason’s a twenty-year veteran of the cleaning and restoration business, who, through experience and continuing education, maintains a host of cleaning and restoration certifications. Whether you’re currently in need of mold remediation or not, read his tips to protect yourself and your home from the dangers of mold, dampness and water damage

Jason’s Tips to a Healthy Home

Fix Leaks Immediately
Since standing water can easily lead to dampness and mold problems, any leak in your plumbing is an invitation for disaster. Regularly check your pipes to insure they’re in good working order. And if you find any leaks, fix them as soon as possible. Always remember: fixing a leak is far less costly than having to deal with a mold issue later.

Check Vents
It was Jason that climbed into the attic crawl space above my bathroom and found a major fault with the ventilation system. Basically, moist air was being pumped into the attic instead of outdoors. Had it not been for his diligence, I probably wouldn’t have discovered this problem until it was too late. From dryer vents to kitchen vents, check that they’re all doing their jobs correctly.

Clean Ducts
Consider how much time you spend at home with either the heating or air conditioning on. Now ask yourself: when was the last time you had your air ducts cleaned? Have all ducts cleaned every two to three years to help keep the air you breath at home as clean and healthy as possible. And for those who’ve recently purchased a home and don’t know when its ducts were last cleaned, don’t take chances. Get them cleaned right away.

Change Air Filters
From furnaces to vacuum cleaners, anything in your house that operates with an air filter attached to it needs that filter changed regularly. Check the recommended time interval with the appliance’s manufacturer.

Don’t Disturb Mold
If you discover, or even think you’ve discovered a mold problem in your home, don’t disturb it in an attempt to scrub or wash it away. Moving mold spores around can cause them to spread, which in turn can result in airborne spores that can contaminate an entire house instead of the one space where they were originally found in.

Consult an Environmental Hygienist
Don’t play a guessing game with your family’s health. If you believe you’re dealing with a mold problem, seek the help of a licensed environmental hygienist. He can conduct the appropriate tests and advise you on how to perform thorough mold remediation.

Hire Qualified Cleaners
Hire licensed cleaners who are trained and certified to deal with the problem. In the case of Advanced Cleaning & Restoration, it’s an Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certified (IICRC) business. In plain language, it means Jason and his team must maintain their licenses and certifications by constantly keeping up on training, education and product advancements in their combined fields of expertise.

As I breathe a healthy sigh of relief and thank Jason for his time, hard work and insights, it occurs to me that he and his co-workers earn the title of advanced cleaners every day they’re on the job.

For more information on this subject, see the EPA’s A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home.