7 Common Causes of Mold In Homes

7 Common Causes of Mold In Homes

Mold is an organism that grows both outdoors and indoors. Mold, outdoors, is an important part of nature. It helps in breaking down dead organic matter like fallen-dried leaves. However, mold growing indoors can be a big problem. 

Mold in homes does not only create a cosmetic problem but can also damage your home and cause potential health problems. Exposure to mold can lead to different health problems like allergies, sneezing, sore throat, eye irritation, headache, and more serious respiratory issues like asthma, shortness of breath, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD)

Mold produces tiny spores that float through outdoor and indoor air. They can enter homes through open doors and windows, carried by pets, shoes, and clothing, and spread through heating and air conditioning vents. But, you might be wondering what really causes mold growth in your home. In this article, we outlined the most common causes of mold growth in homes. 

Common Causes of Mold In Homes

Mold can grow just about anywhere in a home, but it will most likely thrive in areas where there are high humidity and moisture, such as bathrooms and kitchens. With the right condition, mold will grow and thrive throughout the property.

  1. Flooding

A house flood, whether it is caused by nature or humans, can bring a lot of water and cause serious water damage to your home. One of the unfortunate realities you will have to face after a house flood is mold growth. It is because it will take days or even weeks to completely dry out a flooded home, which makes it a perfect environment for mold to grow. Contact a professional restoration company immediately to mitigate the damage and prevent mold from causing secondary damage. 

  1. Persistent Humidity

Homes located in areas with high humidity have higher chances of experiencing mold growth. It is because of the high moisture content of the air. Furthermore, showering, cooking, and drying laundry inside your home can contribute to the increased level of humidity. Mold caused by humidity will most likely appear on your ceiling, drywall, under the kitchen sink, and in dark closets. Make sure to ventilate your home well and keep the humidity level below 55% to help prevent mold growth in your property. 

  1. Poor Ventilation

As mentioned, keeping your home well-ventilated can help prevent mold growth. Insufficient ventilation can lead to moisture build-up, and eventually, result in mold growth and problems like pollution. Make sure to open doors and windows when the weather permits or use fans when necessary. 

  1. Leaking Pipes

It is one of the most common plumbing issues homeowners face and has to deal with urgency. It is also one of the reasons why there is mold behind drywall and under-sink cabinets. Leaks can often go unnoticed, like leaks behind walls. So make sure to regularly check this area for any signs of water damage or mold growth. 

  1. Roof Leaks

 A damaged roof, due to wear and tear or severe weather conditions, can allow water to seep into your home and cause mold. A slow leak, when not addressed immediately, can lead to moisture build-up in your attic and ceiling, which then allows mold to thrive on walls and ceiling boards. Check your attic for signs of water damage. If the damage occurs, inspect your roof and fix it as soon as possible. 

  1. Condensation Build-up

A build-up of condensation happens when warm air comes into contact with cold surfaces like concrete surfaces, floor tiles, metal piping, and brick walls. If you notice the build-up of condensation in your home, make sure to adjust the humidity levels in your home. Or else, you might be dealing with mold damage. 

  1. Basements

 Due to the fact that this area of a home is located below ground level, it has the perfect condition for mold growth. Basements are consistently exposed to high levels of moisture, poorly ventilated, and frequently experience leaks or flooding. All these can provide the elements necessary for mold to grow. Thus, it is crucial to keep your basement maintained and properly ventilated to prevent mold outbreaks. 

 

Professional Mold Remediation Services

There are many causes of mold growth in homes. But, addressing these causes immediately can keep you from dealing with mold damage. In the case mold remediation seems difficult to handle, you can trust mold removal professionals at Superior Restoration. 

Superior Restoration is a certified mold remediation company. We have highly trained technicians that provide quality mold removal and remediation services both in residential and commercial properties. For professional mold remediation services, as well as water damage cleanup and restoration services, contact us today. 

What To Do If Your Basement Gets Flooded Due To A Burst Pipe

What To Do If Your Basement Gets Flooded Due To A Burst Pipe

Nothing is better than having a home that is healthy and free of any troubles. However, unfortunate events, like a burst pipe in a basement, do happen. 

When a pipe burst in your basement, it is not too long before water could make its way to damage your floors, walls, and other porous materials. Being prepared with the solutions to horrible situations like this can help you recover faster. Read on to learn the steps on what to do if you end up with a flooded basement due to a burst pipe

Signs of A Damaged Water Pipe

In some cases, a damaged water pipe can show warning signs before it could seriously ruin your home. This includes;

  • Discolored water with a strange smell
  • Clanging noise when using water
  • A sudden increase in your water bill
  • Changing water pressure
  • Puddles under your sinks

If you notice any of these signs, it is important to act quickly to mitigate the damage and save your home from destruction.

First Steps To Take When a Pipe Burst 

First, Turn off the Power Supply to the Affected Area

Before you start cleaning your flooded basement, make sure to turn off the breakers. Entering a flooded area with the power on can put you at risk of electrocution. If you are unsure of how to shut off the power supply in your basement, call a qualified electrician before proceeding to the cleanup process. 

Turn Off the Water Supply

Also, you need to shut off the power supply. The quicker you deal with the water source, the greater your chances are for reducing water damage. In most homes, the main water shut-off valve is located near a water heater or in a crawlspace. 

Document the Damage

If there is major damage from a burst pipe, you should consider documenting the damage. Note that catastrophic damage like bursting pipes is usually covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy. Take photos and even videos of everything that has been damaged including the water-damaged items. Then, contact your insurance company and report the details of the damage.

Furthermore, contact a professional plumber to deal with the original problem, which is a burst pipe. 

How To Dry Out Your Flooded Basement 

Once it is safe to enter your basement and the water source has been addressed, you may begin your work. Dry the affected area as soon as possible to prevent water from causing secondary damage or even more extensive damage. 

Rescue Important Belongings

When there is standing water in the room, make sure to unplug any electrical appliances first before recovering your important belongings. Then, salvage the ones that are hard to replace or the most expensive items that have come in contact with water and bring them to a dry area. 

When it comes to drying water-damaged items, a good rule of thumb is to give them 48 hours to completely dry out. When they remain wet after 48 hours, it is best to discard them as they can be a breeding ground for mold growth. 

Remove Standing Water

Clean up as much water as possible. You may use a mop or towels for a lighter job. But, if you are dealing with an excessive amount of water, a wet-dry vacuum can be a great tool to use. 

Completely Dry Wet Areas

When it comes to water damage clean up, the most important thing is to dry out the water that is not visible to our naked eyes. This might include water that soaked in your carpet pad, in insulation behind walls, and the sheetrock. To completely dry out your basement, you may need to use a commercial air mover to remove water out of the walls, floors, carpeting, and even furniture. Also, you can use a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier is an effective tool in removing excess moisture from the air and drying the room quickly, which can help in preventing mold growth. If these machines are not available, you may set up fans to dry out the wet areas, or you may open windows and doors for proper air circulation. 

Furthermore, check walls for any signs of lingering moisture or mold and replace materials like insulation and sheetrock when necessary. 

Professional Water Damage Clean up and Restoration 

Coming home to a flooded basement can cause you to panic. But, by being prepared with information, tools, and resources as well as taking proper measures, you can keep your home from serious damage and save you from spending a lot of money for repairs. But, if the cleanup and restoration jobs seem too much for you, you can rely on us. 

We, at Superior Restoration, provide quality cleanup and restoration services. Our technicians are equipped with advanced tools and methods that can quickly and efficiently bring your home back to its original condition. We also proved 24-hour emergency restoration services. Call us today. 

 

Summer Home Maintenance Tips

7 Important Summer Home Maintenance Tips

Another summer is here, the season to live outside, take vacations, make memories and slow down on the pace of life.  But, while you become busy and are looking forward to summer vacations and gatherings, summer is a great time to upkeep your home and do some fixes.

Below is a guide for the important home maintenance tips this summer. Following this guide can help you address common issues and keep you from spending money on repairs.

 

Summer Maintenance Tips For Your Home

 

1. Wash The Windows

Your home’s windows are great when it comes to letting the light into your living space and giving you the chance of getting the view of the outdoors from the comfort of your home. But, dirt can decrease its ability to provide those things and lessen its lifespan. Thus, it is important to give your windows some washing.

To clean your windows, you can use a streak-free cleaning solution and a squeegee. Or, you may also use a mixture of vinegar and warm water.

While washing your windows, remove the screens and wash them to remove any debris and bugs from the outside and to allow the light to get inside your home.

 If you are in doubt of what to do, hiring a professional deep cleaning service can be your best option.

2. Clean and Inspect Your Home’s Exterior

Maintaining your home’s exterior is one tough task, but doing this can help you catch up on issues that may lead to expensive damage.

Cleaning the exterior of your home depends on the type of material it has. Whichever, it is important to inspect the exterior for cracks or signs of damage. If you notice any signs of weakness, contact professionals to repair it. 

When done inspecting, power wash your exterior to remove any dirt, dust, and others that have the potential to damage your siding. 

3. Clean or Replace Your Air Conditioner’s Filters

Cleaning your air conditioner’s filters is important in keeping good air quality inside your home. Over time, the filters inside your air conditioner can become clogged and dirty which can have an impact on your health.

Furthermore, dirty air filters can block airflow and cause your system to work harder, which can lessen your AC’s efficiency and lifespan. Thus, cleaning your air conditioner’s filters is vital. 

Inspect your AC’s filter to see if it needs cleaning. If you notice any discoloration or dust on the surface, remove and clean them. Wash your filter with warm water and allow it to dry completely. If you need help, you can contact a professional to inspect and clean your AC unit. 

4. Inspect Your Fence

To protect your family from invaders and avoid extensive repairs and replacement, you should inspect your fences regularly. Check your fences to see if they need reinforcement, sealing or refinishing. If you notice any loose or missing boards, fix them immediately. Fix any minor issues immediately before they become a major problem.

5. Check the Grading That Surrounds Your Home

One of the most important maintenance tasks to do this summer is to inspect the grading of the ground around your home. The ground around your home’s foundation should slope away from your home. This allows water to drain away from your home and not inside your basement. 

 If you notice that the ground is not graded properly, simply add some topsoil to fix the problem. 

6. Clean Your Gutters

Cleaning your gutters may be one of the maintenance tasks that you dislike. But whether you like it or not, checking and cleaning your gutters is a must. Gutters have an important role in keeping your home healthy. They direct rainwater or snowmelt away from your home’s foundation, trim, and siding. But, if they are damaged or filled with loose debris like leaves, they eventually clog and overflow. This can lead water to seep inside your home and cause extensive water damage.

It is recommended that you inspect your gutters at least twice a year. As you check them, make sure that they are not damaged, clogged, or disconnected.  If they are clogged, remove any debris that has been accumulated. Then, wash them with water to make sure that you didn’t miss any blockage. Furthermore, it is also important to inspect and ensure that downspouts are in good working condition. Downspouts are necessary for taking water away from your home.

7. Check Your Home’s Roof

Another important home maintenance task is inspecting your roof. A strong storm or snowstorm may have left your roof with loose or missing shingles. Checking them now will ensure that you won’t deal with water damage due to water leak the next time it rains. If you notice any broken or missing shingles, replace them immediately. 

 

Performing seasonal maintenance to your home may require some time and effort. But by following these important summer maintenance tips you can keep yourself from spending a lot of money on renovations and ensure that your home is safe against water-related events. 

If you need help in cleaning and fixing damages caused by water, fire and molds, contact our team at Superior Restoration.

Why is IICRC Certification Important?

‘We are IICRC certified.’.  This phrase is commonly read or seen in most cleaning or restoration company websites. We are one of them. If you go over our site, you can read it in all areas.  But, what exactly is it? Why is IICRC certification important? Does it have any impact on how a job is done? Or, what process is used during the cleanup operation?  Let us discuss a little bit deeper the true meaning of it and the impact of it in the restoration industry.

 

WHAT IS IICRC?

As a consumer, we opt to find companies that value safety, integrity, excellence, and professional work standards. In most companies, there are certain organizations that are established to formulate professional work standards and provide continuous training and education. Same goes with the cleaning or restoration companies.  The IICRC has risen to do the job.

The  Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification also knows as Clean Trust, was established in 1972 to formulate health and safety standards and to manage the quality of work done by carpet and upholstery cleaners. It has evolved globally and eventually included all types of cleaning and restoration activities. It is comprised of more than 50,000 certified technicians and more than 6,000 Certified Firms around the world.

The Mission of the IICRC is to establish and advance globally recognized standards and certifications for the inspection, cleaning, restoration and installation industries.

The IICRC serves as an independent, certification body, that sets and promotes high standards and ethics, and advances communication and technical proficiency within the inspection, cleaning and restoration industries. The IICRC also ensures that when consumers hire a Clean Trust-Certified Firm or technician, they have hired experts who will provide reasonable assurance that work will be completed in accordance with the industry’s “standard of care.”

 

As the mission itself says, the IICRC makes sure that the technicians and firms should continuously develop their skills and improve their knowledge to provide an advanced level of service.

WHAT IS INVOLVED WITH IICRC CERTIFICATION?

The IICRC program offers a broad range of courses and training to appropriately tackle all areas of the property. It ranges from technical aspects such as, cleaning of carpets or remediating mold damage, to the wider aspects of the restoration business.  A greater understanding of each area is very vital to perform the most efficient ways of restoring a flooded room. Technicians are required to take multiple training courses and seminars every year to stay updated on the new equipment and to learn new methods. It is also important to keep their credentials. Each course differs on their length and intensity.  After the training, the trainee must take a standardized examination and get a passing grade before he/she can start performing the job.

WHY IS IICRC CERTIFICATION IMPORTANT?

Almost all trading industries that regard the safety and health of the consumers are required to get licensing, for instance, electrical contracting and plumbing. However, water damage industry is one of the industries that are not obliged to get licensing, thus this situation makes it possible for anyone or everyone to put up their own firm, and do the job without proper training, knowledge, and skills. However, restoration or cleaning a flooded room is such a complex job! We have seen this situation hundreds of times. The possibility of causing more serious effects of water damage is higher when the job is not done according to the standards set and regulated. We don’t want you and your family suffer from the aftermath of water damage.

Acquiring the IICRC certification is not an easy task. It requires a lot of time and investment and only those companies interested in the long term success would go through the long process. These IICRC certified technicians and restoration companies use advanced and up-to-date techniques in doing the job. They value training and excellence, thus they pursue continuous education to present excellent service to the consumers. Being IICRC certified provides consumer reassurance that they can acquire high-quality service and that professionals will do the job well.  Aside from the high-quality of service promised to the consumers, certified technicians are committed to performing the job with professionalism and ethics. So, no matter how big or small the damage is, it is important to hire professionals or companies that are IICRC certified.

Our Technicians are indeed IICRC Certified

We at Superior Restoration value the importance of training and appropriate knowledge in doing our job. We can assure you that our technicians are Clean Trust certified. They are committed to perform at the highest standard during the process and even after the process. We make sure that the quality of service we provide is incomparable.

If you need help with water damage restoration or clean up, please call us today.

Plumbing issues

There are many items that we use every day such as shoes and our cars. Eventually after daily use they will start to wear but one thing that we use every day but don't often think of is our plumbing system. It's just one of those things that we expect work every time and when it doesn't we can be left without knowing what to do. Here are two plumbing issues that you can have that if not dealt with quickly can lead to major water damage in the future.

Clogged drains

Eventually you will have to deal with the drains clogged. The drains the shower for example can eventually accumulate so much hair and other materials that your shower starts to overflow. When it comes to drains leading and from your home tree roots and dirt can often be the issue. If not dealt with promptly these issues can cause major water damage.

High water bills

Generally speaking your water bills will be regular as clockwork that if you suddenly noticed a dramatic spike in your monthly bill you may be dealing with a leak somewhere in your house. To determine if you have a leak to observe your water meter and make sure that no one uses any of the water in your home during that time. After a few hours of observation if the water meter has gone down then there is a leak and you will need a professional plumbing company to handle the job.

Another sure indicators if you suddenly feel a squelching feeling under your feet on carpet or on tiled floors the floor can become extremely hot or extremely cold indicating that pipers burst underneath it.

Every few months you take your car in to have its oil changed. They change oil have a look under the hood inspect the car and generally give it a good going over. How often do the same thing for your plumbing in your home or business? Twice a year? Once a year? Never? You cannot do this too often! The more often you inspect your plumbing or likely able to stop the problem before it starts.

The average cost of the plumbing system failure is usually more than $5000 after reinsurance deductible was paid, according to the IBHS study. Potential indicators of planning include an increased monthly Water Bill, banging noise from the pipes, sudden unexplained rust stains on walls or ceilings, moisture in the walls are on the floors and of course signs of wet soil erosion near the foundations of the building. Any of these signs are more than enough reason to call him a water damage restoration company. You may have a potential water damage disaster on your hand and the faster you get dealt with the faster you can go back to business as usual.

One of the most common ways to experience sudden water damage is to have a faulty toilet. When flushing toilet always wait for the valve to completely finish refueling the tank on the bowl. If you don't the next time someone flushes the toilet it may overfill. You should also inspect the toilets tank and supply valves at least twice a year. You may also want to consider a toilet that uses less water when flushing this may save you hundreds of dollars a year.

Understanding water damage: knowledge is power

The thing about water damage is that it can be odorless and undetected if you don’t know what to look for. For a new couple in their new home a wavy floor isn’t a bad sign, it’d just awesome to have a floor to call your own. In reality it’s something to be concerned about, water has been under those floorboards and warped them. Now there’s a black mold growing under their and their new home is a new toxin in their life. This couple had no knowledge of water damage, its causes and results they were not in a position to make an informed decision about buying or renting their new home. When it comes to report damages should always be an informed position.

What damage comes in many forms and can range from the merely inconvenient to the dangerous and everything in between. Before inspecting a property that you wish to rent or buy you should inform yourself about what to look for when it comes to property water damage. A quick search on Google will give you a lot of information to work with and provide you with a general idea of what things to look out for.

If only damage remains a vague subject that you only have to deal with when it is an actual problem then it will always be a problem. If however water damage is something that you know how to confront and know what to do when it presents itself then it is no longer a problem but merely an inconvenience. Understand your enemy.

To clean or not to clean that is the question: the dishwasher and water damage

Of all the appliances in your kitchen your dishwasher is often the most disappointing. Unless you have a new top of the line model you probably have the dishwasher that came with the house. Generally speaking leaves are serviceable machines but no Phoenix's. When a dishwasher is functioning properly it can save you a great deal of time and effort. Generally however, dishwashers seem to fail in their one and only task. After a long session of washing the dishes you open up the washer only to find that the dishes are by no means clean. What causes this?

One reason for dishes to come out of the dishwasher dirty is that the water that is being used to clean them is itself dirty. If your water is high in mineral content and you do not have a salt water filter then your dishes may be caked in a white powdery substance. These are harmless minerals found in the water being pumped to your home but it is not aesthetically pleasing. This can be cured by the purchase and installation of a saltwater filter system.

Dishwashers also have an unfortunate habit of overflowing, though this is usually due to human error. In a vain attempt to make your dishwasher perform the function for which it was intended you may put too much soap in it. After a very short while the dishwasher will start to foam up and the soap will escape, usually onto the kitchen floor. If not dealt with quickly this can lead to long-term water damage. Sometimes doing things the old-fashioned way, washing dishes by hand, is the right way to go.

The unknown factor: unexpected water damage from unexpected sources

Water damage comes in many shapes and forms and often from sources you could never predict. The weather is often to blame for unexpected water damage but other factors cause it as well. Children for example have a wonderful way of causing water damage wherever they go, as do pets. Not all of this water damage can be prevented but it can often be dealt with.

And the weather often brings water damaging to our lives and usually never in small quantities. A sudden flood or violent rainstorm can wreak havoc upon our homes. One major factor in dealing with flooding is to purchase the right sort of home in the first place. If you choose a home that is situated in such a way that all the water from a flood would gather around the house then you are simply asking for trouble in the future. If you purchase a home that is sufficiently raised up that water runs away from it then this is very unlikely to become an issue.

If water leaking into your home from above is an issue then that you should see to your roof. If you are not able to deal with the heights you should hire someone to reseal your roof. A leaking roof can cause more damage than you think. The water may be coming down in one area but the leak may be sending water all over the place and that water may be causing damage in other parts of the house. The more water you can keep out of the house the better.

When it comes to children, pets and water damage there are very few ways to prevent this damage. As the children get older they will become more aware and less likely to cause damage but pets don't progress in this way. Be patient and if you have a plan for dealing with damaging mind already then when it happens it will not be a major issue but rather a minor inconvenience.

I’ve got water damage what I do now?

So you've discovered that you got water damage in your home or business, congratulations! You have done what most people only do after much delay and have confronted the issue head-on. Water damage is an issue that needs to be dealt with on the hop because if it's not it becomes a bigger and bigger issue in the future. What do you do now? The first thing you should do is to resist the urge to panic. Panic is our body's natural response to a situation that is beyond our control but water damage does not have to be beyond our control.

The first thing you should do when you discovered water damage that is beyond your ability to deal with is to contact a water damage restoration company. You may think that the first person you should call is your insurance but in reality should call a restoration company before insurance. There is a very good reason for this. The water damage restoration company will assess the damage and give you a list of costs. You can then present this list to your insurance company and be sure that everything that needs to be covered will be covered rather than vaguely tell them that you have had damage.

After you have contacted both the restoration company and the insurance it's time for you to take on the hardest job, being patient. Water damage is not dealt with quickly if it is to be dealt with properly. Do not try and rush proceedings because if the job is not done properly the water damage may persist and come back to haunt you.

Battling entropy: replace, repair, restore

Everything breaks down over time. Whether it is our bodies or the very house that we live in time is the great killer of all things. When it comes to appliances, hoses, pipes, conduits, sinks and all other plumbing apparatus in your home entropy spares none of this. It is a fact of the universe that order will descend into disorder if given enough time. Then comes the plumbing of your home how can you prevent its eventual decline? Follow these steps.

Sometimes the best thing you can do is replace the damaged item. If a pipe for example is damaged beyond repair the only thing you can do is replace it. When it comes to planning and the practical place is a poorly patched repair will cost you more than a replacement in the long run.

Sometimes you are able to repair the damaged item. In this case a well thought out and enacted repair may be able to deal with the issue perfectly well. A damaged pipe may be repaired and may serve you well for years to come.

Sometimes an item was damaged before by water and is now able to be restored to its former glory. In cases like this be sure you aren't taking on project that is doomed to failure. Sometimes you can restore wooden flooring that has been water damage and sometimes it is far too far-gone to be restored. Pick your battles well.

Water damage does not have to be the end. With careful planning and the relevant knowledge you can reverse or even eliminate the effects of water damage on your life.