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Mold

flood with sandbags

Water Damage Prevention and Mitigation

By | Flood, Mold | No Comments

Water damage at a commercial site can prove to be a major setback for a business. Yet, it’s a problem that is not so rare. It can affect the smallest of salons to the swankiest of business centers. 

It’s impossible to predict a flooding event, yet you can take steps to mitigate the effects of flooding at your business premises.

Water damage comes in various forms, both big and small. Natural events like rain and storms can fill the place with knee-deep water. On the other hand, bad practices of staff and customers can clog drains and introduce complications. 

Whatever the case, here are a few steps that can minimize damage and reduce the chances of water damage at your property.

Preventing Water Damage

Water damage prevention method selection depends on your unique situation. For some businesses, it might be a matter of educating their staff, while for others; a reconstruction project might be required. Here are some tips that can help you prevent water damage in the future.

1. Keep Drainage System Maintained

A drainage system that’s working properly eliminates a lot of hassle. More often than not, water damage is caused by clogged drainage systems. 

You can educate your staff to maintain the drains by teaching these simple practices:

Do Not Sweep Debris Down The Drain

Educate your staff about not sweeping debris, small pieces of litter, torn-off plast ic wrappings, or other waste into the drain. People generally think that their waste en ds straight into the sewer, but that's not the case. Debris gets stuck in the P-trap, and eventually, the accumulated gunk clogs the drain.


Do Not Let the Drains Dry Out

When a drain is out of use, the P-trap water can dry out through evaporation. The gases from the sewer can fill the area with a foul smell. If a drain has been left dormant for a long-time, pour some water into it to prevent sewer gases from filtering back into the building.


Keep Bugs Out of the Drainage

To keep pest problems at bay, clean the drains with drain cleaners once or twice a month. Use drain stoppers or screens to stop the insects from making their way back out of the drain hole. Do not let pests breed into the drain hole because they multiply fast and can infest the entire building.


Schedule Cleaning for Drainage System

Don't wait for a major problem to occur. Schedule a day or two a month to clean all the drains on your property, whether it's dormant or active. It sounds obvious, but the drain is the last place our attention goes to unless it gets clogged and becomes a nuisance. It’s a good idea to get the drains professionally cleaned once every few years, especially if there are a lot of trees around your property, or your building has a lot of footfall.

2. Landscaping

A landscaping project involves reconstructions and repairs in the vicinity of your property to reduce the possibility of flooding. 

Your business premises will be inspected for constructions that can potentially hold water or block it from running down freely. Certain areas of your property can be elevated to direct the flow of water away from your building.

3. Employing Dry Floodproofing Techniques

If your building is in a flood-prone area, you can employ dry floodproofing techniques to protect your property. 

For example, you can use sandbags, and water-absorbent material or plastic sheets to divert the water away from the building. 

You can also use water-tight shields over doors and windows for protection. 

It might not seem like a permanent solution but it’s a fast and effective fix if moving forward with a landscaping project is not an option for you right now.

4. Raise the Electrical and HVAC Systems Above the Base Flood Level

Base Flood Level (BFE) is the elevation at which your property has a one percent chance of flooding, annually. To prevent hazards and electric malfunctions, have all your electric and HVAC systems raised above the BFE.

5. Install a Sump Pump

Sump pumps immediately start pumping out water in case of flooding. These pumps are placed in the lowest part of the building (often the basement). 

They have a float switch that activates them when the water level rises. The sump pump pumps the water at a safe distance from your property. 

Have the sump pump plugged into emergency power in case the power goes off. They work even when fully submerged in water, and thus can be of big help in a flooding event.

6. Get a Professional Inspection

If you have moved into a new building or had new construction done, you might have no idea about the areas in the building that might be prone to flooding. 

A professional inspector can identify construction faults and defects such as damaged spouts, dysfunctional drainage systems, grade sloping towards the building, damaged foundation, and areas where water can accumulate. 

Using this information, you can take preventative measures to protect your property against water damage.

Mitigating Water Damage

1

Identify The Risk

In the case of water damage caused by faulty faucets, or a leaking washing machine, you have less reason to worry.

In case of flooding and drainage overflow, plan your action steps based on the quality of water. If the water is black, chances are it's coming from the sewer and poses a health hazard. Anything that the water touches becomes a health hazard too. Decontamination is necessary in this case.

Make sure to take precautions against electrical hazards before you begin restoration.

Move all the valuables and important documentation out of the building and instruct your staff to vacate if necessary.

2

Don't Wait for the Water to Dry Out by Itself

Water damage is often followed by mold and mildew growth. The longer you let the water stand in the building, the higher the chances of a mold infestation.

Standing water can also decay your furniture, walls, doors, and other belongings beyond repair.

Don't wait for the water to dry out by itself, begin the drying process as soon as possible.

3

Call a Water Damage Restoration Company

A restoration company can assist you with reversing the effects of extensive water damage. If applicable, the restoration company can also help you claim insurance money.

Restoration companies can salvage your belongings and restrict water damage by preventing the water from spreading. If the situation allows, you can operate the business while the restoration goes on in the background.

The speedy restoration will stop the problem from growing further and keep your expenses as low as possible. Soon, your building will be looking as new as ever, and you can resume business.

Harmful Effects of Water Damage:

Water Damage is not only restricted to wet floors and furniture. It can cause other damages such as:

Mold Growth
Stagnant water promotes mold growth. If left unattended for a period, mold growth can infest parts of the building that are not in direct contact with the water. Apart from being an ugly sight for the customers, mold growth can cause other problems such as structural damage, reduced air quality, and musky smell. You might need to hire a mold remediation company to eliminate mold and stop it from reoccurring.

Structural Damage to the Building
Flood and water damage compromises the integrity of the building. Standing water can eventually be absorbed in the foundation and weaken its composition. It also puts wooden furniture, doors, and windows at risk of decaying. Water damage to the roof, walls, and foundation speeds up the aging of the building.

Promotes Pest Growth
Stagnant water is a breeding ground for harmful insects like mosquitoes, drain flies, and cockroaches. These insects can multiply and infest other areas on your property and live rent-free. It can put everyone on your property and nearby at the risk of contracting diseases and allergies.

Can Require Costly Repair
You can avoid paying a hefty fee for water damage restoration by taking preventative measures early on. Often, neglect is the reason behind water damage, and a simple landscaping and repair project can easily fix it.

Electrical Hazard
On large properties, leaks can be too small to be noticed by your staff but can annoy your customers. However, if unattended, leaks in pipes and appliances can create an electrical hazard that can be lethal for your customers and staff. Taking prevention is the best measure against electrical hazards, otherwise, it might be too late before it comes to your attention.

Call us for Water Damage Restoration

Rainfire Restoration offers flooding and water damage restoration services. Our team can reverse the water damage and make things look as good as new.

We have a 24-hour response team to aid you in an emergency and minimize the damage to your property and business. We can also help you recover your belongings and property, and restore its value.

Our team is certified by the IICRC to perform flood and water damage restoration services. Though water damage and flooding is an unfortunate affair, Rainfire Restoration will make things as smooth as possible for you. If you have any queries or want our immediate support, call us now!

The Ugly Secret of Water Damage…. Mold

By | Mold | No Comments

Water damage is catastrophic enough by itself. It can taint the beauty of painted walls, damage structures, and make your house smell damp, and in extreme cases, make you vacate the house.

And if that’s not enough, water damage always brings another inconvenience in its wake – mold growth.

The sight of the furry, ugly-looking growth that gnaws on walls can make even the strongest-willed a little weak in the stomach.

Water Damage and Its Ugly Secrets

You can easily fix a leaking washing machine or a water heater. But what about a flooded basement with furniture and table lamps floating around? 

Causes for water damage come in various forms: Some are apparent, while others are not. However, all of them can damage your property and make a real dent in your bank account.

Benign pipe leakage inside a wall and even condensation from the AC – if left unattended for too long – can soon turn into a breeding ground for mold. And from there, the mold can rampantly spread and feast upon your walls and floor.

Water damage may seem minor on the surface. However, mold infestation is its ugly secret that can worsen things as time passes. 

To minimize water damage, locating and remediating the source of moisture or leakage is the top priority. When doing it yourself, take precautions against electrical hazards.

Mold Growth Needs the Right Conditions - And They are Easy to Fulfill

Mold is a resilient life form. To breed their colony, they only need small amounts of oxygen, humidity, warmth, and organic substance – dead or alive – to feed. 

You might be wondering what the organic material is in your house?

Well, it’s literally everywhere. Examples of organic material include:

  • Dead insects in air ducts
  • Dead skin cells
  • Microscopic organic debris trapped in the wallpaper
  • Wood
  • Paper
  • Pollen seeds stuck to surfaces
  • Organic residue stuck to dust and dirt

Food, warmth, and oxygen are ever-present in your house, so it’s not worth worrying about those factors. Yet, by simply keeping the fourth factor (i.e., humidity) under check, you can curb mold growth.

In the right conditions, mold starts germinating within 24 to 48 hours. In another a week or so, it becomes visible and begins to grow at an exponential rate.

During the early stages of mold growth, you can still scrape it off walls or use mold-killing products to get rid of it. No harm done. 

Severe cases of mold growth occur when you don’t treat mold growth for a couple of weeks. You can see large mold outbreak when:

  • A house is abandoned for months
  • A flooding event happens
  • A homeowner suddenly realizes a strange smell coming from the attic
  • The chimney has not been cleaned for weeks

Indoor Mold Comes in Different Types

Depending on the temperature and humidity, different types of mold can grow indoors. Some species grow on foods, others prefer wet areas like the kitchen sink and bathroom, yet others grow on walls and ceiling in humid conditions. 

Some mold species like Cladosporium, Aureobasidium, Penicillium can induce allergic reactions in homeowners. Other species are harmless to humans but ruin property. The consequences of an infestation can be black and pink spots on the wall, rotting wood, flaky wall paint, etc. Click here to read more about mold types.

Health Issues Caused by Mold

Severe health issues caused by indoor mold growth are rare. However, even if you are an overall healthy person, long-term mold exposure can still cause generic symptoms like runny nose, coughing, sneezing, sore throat, etc. 

People sensitive to mold can experience more adverse effects such as:

  • Allergic asthma
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Wheezing 
  • Coughing
  • Headache 
  • Fever 
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia

Mold growth triggers the growth of a host of other bacteria that can furthermore cause conditions such as:

  • Bronchitis
  • Allergic Funal Sinusitis
  • Chronic Rhinosinusitis
  • Allergic Fungal Sinusitis

A study conducted in 2010 found a correlation between dampness and mold and the possibility of contracting respiratory infections and bronchitis in residents. 

Infants and immunocompromised people living in damp environments with mold exposure are at the risk of developing complications like and fungal infections chronic respiratory problems.

Damage Caused to Property

Mold growth significantly depreciates the value of properties. 

It looks gross and can deter guests from visiting you. When people start making excuses to avoid your Saturday evening gatherings, you know those pesky fungi are to be blamed!

More noticeable harms caused by mold growth include:

  • Reduced indoor air quality
  • Peeling paint
  • Blackened walls
  • Cracks in walls
  • Lingering musty smell
  • Decaying wood 
  • Decreased output of HVAC systems
  • Stained walls
  • Soft and weak drywalls

If mold problems are left untreated for too long, this can result in huge expenses for you later down the road.

Remediation

Remediation begins with drying your home and controlling the source of water damage. Care is needed to stop the spores from spreading; otherwise, you may see another outbreak in a different area in another two weeks or so. 

Should you call a professional? That depends on your unique situation. You may be able to deal with mold growth that’s the size of your handkerchief. But can you locate and fix the source of leakage or humidity to prevent mold regrowth? 

The EPA recommends getting professional help if the mold growth is more than 3×3 feet. 

Reasons To Hire Professional Remediation Service

1

Prevent Regrowth

Mold remediation companies like Rainfire Restoration work on numerous projects across the year. Professionals can precisely pinpoint your unique reason behind mold growth and fix it. It could mean fixing leaking pipes and roofs, disposing of mold-affected articles safely, cleaning and disinfecting the surfaces, etc.
2

Restore the Value

It's practically impossible to sell a mold-affected house. The presence of mold indicates underlying issues like leakage in pipes and defects in building material.

Professionals can restore the property or increase its value by fixing those issues and improving the aesthetics of your house.

3

Remediation of HVAC systems

HVAC ducts and vents are heavily prone to mold colonization. If you don't spot it early on, the spores can spread far and wide in your home and breed. Large mold outbreaks can clog the vents and decrease their efficiency.

With the right equipment, professionals can reach the farthest corners, get rid of the mold, and treat the conditions causing the mold in the first place.

4

Training & Equipment

Professionals spend hours learning rules and regulations, mold biology, removal methods, operating equipment, and isolation techniques. They are ready to deal with every possible situation in a cost-effective way.

Professionals can minimize the risk of infection by using PPE kits and reduce environmental damage by adhering to EPA guidelines.

5

Save Time and Money

It might seem counter-intuitive, but hiring professionals can save you a lot of money and headache, especially if there's a large mold outbreak.

On average, minor mold remediations can cost you about $500. When you are paying a professional, you are:

  • Saving money on buying equipment and mold-killing primer
  • Avoiding the risk of a second outbreak
  • Saving professional and personal time
  • Retaining the value of your property
  • Addressing the root of mold problem 

What to Expect during Professional Mold Remediation

Sometimes mold remediation needs only one day. Other times, multiple visits to your home are required. 

The remediation process begins with:

1

Cost Estimation for Insurance Coverage

First, you will need to talk to your agent to understand your insurance coverage. Home insurance doesn't cover certain conditions. So, make sure to clear all confusion about your insurance policy coverage.

Most likely, the homeowner's insurance covers only those mold growths that occur due to a covered peril. Mold growth resulting from neglect isn't covered by insurance. It's another reason that makes a mold-infested house unattractive to buyers.

We will evaluate the mold growth and give you and your insurance company (If they agree to cover the expenses) a remediation cost estimate.

2

Reconstruction


Our professional will begin mold remediation and, in addition to removing the mold, we will repair the damage to your home or business property. We will make your house or business livable again by eliminating odors and other signs of mold infestation.

Our services go beyond mold remediation. We will remodel and rebuild your home according to your preferences to make you fall in love with the new look of your home.
Rainfire Restoration’s team has the training and tools necessary to conduct all types of repairs to your walls, doors, frames, roof, and electrical circuits.

3

Mitigation

To reduce the risk of further damage, we will isolate the mold-infested site and articles to keep your belongings and property safe.

We will also clean and dry your home before beginning to work on mold removal. Moving belongings to another area of your house or a storage unit might be required.

We Will Make Things Easier For You

Mold remediation can disrupt your life, and we are here to minimize that! We are trained and certified in mold removal, and we always strive to deliver a cost-effective and efficient service to our clients. 

If you want a professional to inspect your mold problems, contact us today!

How Bad Can Water Damage Be?

By | Mold | No Comments

In just a blink of an eye, a flood can completely destroy your basement. The materials used to construct your home absorb water easily, this leads to damage and ultimately puts the structural integrity of your entire home in danger. The following issues are common but can be easily fixed and restored when you ask us for help.

Mold & Mildew

Molds are a large and taxonomically diverse number of fungal species in which the growth of hyphae results in discoloration and a fuzzy appearance, especially on food. 

There are many different kinds of molds but the majority of them, and the ones we need to worry about here in the western United States require wet/damp environments to grow. Once mold starts to grow, it slowly eats away at the thing it’s growing on (how disgusting). 

Mold spores contribute to dust found in your house or in the workplace. So in large quantities, mold can be hazardous to your health, potentially causing allergic reactions, problems breathing. Irritated skin and symptoms you get when you develop a cold. As well as mold, you might get bacteria, parasites, and other types of germs in your house too.

If you detect mold growing in your home or at work, mold remediation is one of the specialties the technicians at RainFire Restoration have,  and your problem is our priority.

Structural Problems

On the surface, structural damage may seem minor but just like an iceberg, the majority of the problem is usually located underneath and needs to be investigated. Doors and windows that don’t open how they should are signs that there may be structural damage present. A few other common problems to look for are:

    • Cracks in wood structures
    • Damaged wires, pipes, and gas lines
    • Wet insulation
    • Wet electrical circuits
    • Rusty metal pieces

As we clean up the mess, we will quickly and professionally alert you of any signs of structural damage to your house.

Electrical Problems

Are you having frequent electrical surges? How about sags and dips in power? Running to the breaker box and flipping a switch doesn’t always fix the problem.  Electrical issues are common side effects of home floods when those floods aren’t cleaned up quickly and properly.

RainFire Restoration’s crew has developed into water cleanup maestros.  Our RainFire Technicians are specially trained to clean up all kinds of messes, including floods, properly, efficiently, and professionally while protecting your unaffected belongings. Give us a call if you need help removing mold, cleaning your carpet after a slight flood, or cleaning up a flooded basement and RainFire Restoration will be there for you. 

Let’s Talk About Mold

Let’s Talk About Mold

By | Mold | No Comments

Let’s Talk About Mold

Let’s talk about mold.  I know, I know. This is the last thing anyone wants to talk about.  Here in Utah where it tends to be drier, many homes brush it aside and think we don’t have to worry about it.  Unfortunately, this isn’t true! It can be tricky and expensive to remove so we’ve compiled a few tips that can help prevent the growth of mold so you can refrain from having to talk about it in the future!

Moisture Control

The number one way to help prevent mold is to watch those areas that tend to get a lot of moisture.  Bathrooms are a big one. Basements that tend to flood. Anywhere that you have seen a leak, or maybe just a window that has a lot of condensation.  Keeping an eye on these areas and putting extra effort into drying them right away is a proactive way to keep the mold away!

Check Your Ventilation

In areas that do tend to get a lot of moisture, especially the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room, it is important to make sure that you have the proper form of ventilation to help air these rooms out.  Moisture that gets trapped in these rooms is begging for mold to grow. Dehumidifiers and AC units can be a game changer.

Get it Checked by an Expert

Unfortunately, mold is usually an issue in places that are difficult to see.  Under carpets or behind walls are the perfect place for an unwanted mold infestation to begin.  If you are worried about areas that have flooded in the past, or that maybe have had leaks, don’t hesitate to call in an expert! Catching the problem before it spreads is the best thing you can do! At RainFire Restoration, our experts are trained in identifying, containing, and remediating mold so don’t hesitate to give us a call to put your mind at ease!

Mold makes me sick!

By | Mold | No Comments

When I was in first grade, my teacher told us that if we ever opened a container of food and found mold growing there, we should throw the whole container of food away immediately. “Don’t just scrape off the moldy part and eat the rest,” Mrs. Jensen said (that’s not her real name, by the way). “You should always throw away moldy food and never eat it.”

Fast forward to when I was a Boy Scout. On week-long Scouting trips to the canyons, lakes, and mountains of Utah, it can be hard to keep food fresh. During one trip, we found some of our food was moldy. Some of my twelve-year-old peers suggested we eat it anyway. Into my mind came the warning of my first grade teacher: “Don’t just scrape off the moldy part!” I didn’t eat the moldy food, and I warned my companions not to eat it either. Not all of them listened, and they suffered the consequences. Those of us who didn’t eat it didn’t get sick!

The truth is, most folks don’t realize how bad mold can really be. My first grade teacher saved me a severe illness—perhaps even saved my life. Certain kinds of mold can be deadly (especially black mold), and most mold will make you very sick. I assume you probably aren’t eating mold on a regular basis (if you are, I strongly suggest you stop!), but ingesting mold is not the only way to be affected by it. Mold spores in the air can make you ill if you breathe them.

But you don’t have mold spores floating around in the air, do you? I’ve been quite surprised—most people aren’t aware that they have mold growing in their house. During home inspections, we commonly find mold behind walls, in insulation, behind cabinets, in food storage rooms, and anywhere else where there is moisture, a food source, and just the right temperature. Whenever we go out to remediate mold, we always wear protective gear, seal off the area, and clean ourselves up afterward with special chemicals. Why? Because mold can cause respiratory problems, skin irritation, and pretty bad illnesses. I don’t want that for myself, and I definitely don’t want it for you. You wouldn’t eat mold. Why would you live with it in your home?