High Humidity and Water Damage
We all love the summer time for what it brings, hot temperatures, sunshine… high humidity, not so much. Most people don’t think that high humidity levels could cause water damage indoors. With humidity reaching over 90% in the summer, it’s very important to know what to do to prevent water damage in your home.
Water damage doesn’t have to be large amounts of water like a flood or a leak that saturates your building. Most water damage occurrences are very high moisture in the air, or in other words, humidity. Humidity over 60% indoors would start causing “secondary damage”, all soft pores material will start absorbing moisture and will get water damage. Mold growth will follow shortly after if the humidity levels stay high, as shown in the picture to the right. In this case, a condo was left without the AC running for days, humidity levels reached 100% and caused mold to grow on all the walls. Reducing the humidity levels indoors will insure your safety and prevent water damage or mold growth.
Tips for Keeping Humidity Level Down
Following some easy steps will help prevent water damage and save you a lot of money and headache.
- Check for Wet Areas Indoors
- Repair Roof Leaks Immediately
- Re-caulk your bathrooms every year
- Keep AC Running In the Summer
- Place Dehumidifier in Basement
- Treat AC drains with bleach before summer
- Treat Washing Machine Drains Regularly
- Water Proof Brick Center Blocks
- Keep Doors & Windows Closed at Summer Time
If all fails and you had water damage, call a professional restoration company like EnviroCare
to restore your property to better then previous condition.
Water Proofing Your Basement
Water is a wonderful thing, its a source of life on our planet and no one can exist without it, but it can also be a destructive force. Buildings in the United States require water proofing because they are made mostly from materials that are susceptible to water damage like wood or drywall, that’s why we build our structures in a way they would be impregnable to water, but water finds a way.
Think about it, water corrosion created huge caves in solid rock for millions of yours, your home is no match to the power of nature. Keeping water out can prove to be harder then it seems, water has all the time in the world to find a tiny hole it can seep through.
Water proofing is needed when you have:
- Cracks in Foundation
- Unsealed Windows or Doors
- Clogged Drains
- Unsealed Center Blocks
- Gaps in Foundation
- Inoperable Sunk Pump
- Unsealed Pipe Holes
- Massive Tree Roots
Water Proofing your basement is the only way to prevent water damage from the sources listed above. In the Envirocare water proofing process, different applications are used for different sources of water penetration. Not water proofing the basement will cause water to keep damaging your interior and potentially cause black mold and mildew to grow and make the home or basement inhabitable.
How To Choose A Water Proofing Professional
When choosing a water proofing professional, ask what they are going to do. What kind of process is going to be implemented to what part of the building, to keep water out. Some water proofing companies will only fix the immediate problem but wont have a long term solution. Always ask what kind of warranty they offer or don’t offer, to protect your investment. Remember, you are going to spend thousands on this project, if it takes a little more to go with a more qualified professional, go for it! Getting a better job will keep you safe for years to come.
EnviroCare has a proven method to keep water out of your basement. Call today for a free estimate and consultation.
EnviroCare & The Environmental Assessment Associations
EnviroCare Cleanup & Restoration is now the newest member of the Environmental Assessment Association. EAA members adhere to higher level of industry standards and go through meticulous background checks to insure each one is a high quality, educated professional.
The Environmental Assessment Association (EAA) is an international organization dedicated to providing members with information and education in the environmental industry . EAA represents thousands of environmental professionals who provide services to a wide variety of clients including lenders, federal & state agencies along with private companies.
EAA Membership and Environmental Impact
As part of the EAA membership, EnviroCare employees have to comply with strict regulations and uphold industry standards and ethical conduct. EnviroCare is one of many water damage restoration companies in the Washington DC metropolitan area. Using environmentally safe cleaning practices with zero environmental impact is one of the reasons for EnviroCare’s popularity with the local community.
As mold removal and water damage gains more and more awareness with US home owners, many uncertified cleaning companies claim to be professional restorers but end up doing more harm then good. Its time to establish some ethical ground rules for cleaning companies, to ensure indoor air is kept harmless after an mold removal or water damage project.
Air Duct Cleaning & Indoor Air Quality
Most people don’t understand the importance of air duct cleaning or refuse to believe they need any maintenance at all. Well we now know that air duct cleaning and HVAC cleaning (or lack of it) is one of the determining factors of our indoor air quality. Our HVAC system is in fact the perfect habitat for microorganisms to flourish, its a closed system that rarely sees the light of day, its humid and there’s lots of organic material to munch on, ITS MOLD PARADISE!
Mold In The Air Ducts
Air ducts conduct cold or hot air throughout our home. Through the years, dust is accumulating to form buildup of organic material, coating the interior housing of the system. What is dust really? Well, I don’t want to gross you out but common dust is about 80% dead skin cells…! In other words, a buffet for any fungi, bacteria or dust mite. The climate in the air duct system is perfect, not too hot, not too cold and plenty of humidity, mold would just need to colonize in one place, release spores in to the air and reach the entire HVAC system and every room in the house which has a vent opening. Air duct cleaning would basically eliminate one essential ingredient to the mold cycle, the food. Once the ducts are cleaned, mold wouldn’t have what to feed on and most likely, wouldn’t grow.
EnviroCare’s Approach on Air Duct Cleaning
At EnviroCare, we include an intensive air duct cleaning with every mold remediation project. In every case there is black mold in the building, mold spores travel trough the air duct system to other rooms and areas. Removing mold from an air duct system is not an easy task, and should be handled by a professional. Using the right equipment is key, some air duct cleaning companies will use very basic vacuums to clean and will risk doing more harm then good. A source removal device should be used to clean air ducts.
No one can anticipate a flash flood, storm or a burst pipe, worst off are the damages left behind by the water. If not recovered rapidly water damage may result in rapid mold growth that will require professional mold removal. Water will go in to all building materials if you let it. After working as a specialist at EnviroCare Water Damage Restoration for over 10 years, I’ve learned water has a mind of its own and even after so long in the water damage industry, water still manage to surprise me.
Removing Black Mold Safely
If you have black mold growth, you will need to take steps to remove it ASAP. The EPA has issued new guidelines for “do it yourself ” mold removal projects if you want to take the risk of exposing yourself or others to toxic molds. The guidelines for professional mold removal companies, devised by the IICRC, are much stricter to ensure minimal exposure to mold toxins. A safe mold removal project should include:
- Careful removal of infected building materials
- Creating barriers to prevent contamination
- HEPA Filtration to purify the air
- Moisture detection & monitoring
- Mold Testing
- Mold cleanup, treatment & prevention
EnviroCare is obligated to follow the IICRC S500 and S520 standards for water damage and mold remediation. Following those standards ensures the safety of the occupants dwelling in the property and prevents re-occurrence of mold growth.
Removing Black Mold
A lot of people ask me, how do I remove Black Mold? Well, the answer is you don’t! In most cases, Black Mold is very hard to remove without harming yourself and those around you! The better way is to call a professional that can remove mold safely and without cross contaminating your environment.
The problem with removing black mold is dealing with microscopic contaminates that if in-hailed could cause allergic reactions at best, and a toxic inflammation or worst. Controlling microscopic spores is hard and could prove to be very complicated. Professional restoration companies like EnviroCare use heavy duty air movers to create Negative Air pressure in the affected area to prevent cross contamination, as an extra precaution, a professional will create a barrier between the contaminate area and clean areas, again, to prevent contamination.
In every mold removal project you must use protective equipment. The EPA and CDC recommend using a respirator of N95 rating or higher. For best protection in toxic mold removal projects, please use a P100 respirator and a full HASMAT suit including the hood. Remember, black mold is invisible and will attach it self to your cloths or hair, if not taking the right safety precautions, you will contaminate your home with black mold spores that will colonize and become a problem.