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How to Prevent Mold Damage in your Home

Killer bees, harmful pesticides, rowdy neighbors, violent storms, and messy children. There are a lot of risk factors out there that put your home in danger. Mold may be on the bottom of your list of worries, but should not go unchecked. With its ability to cause sickness and destruction to the structure of your home, mold is a risk that should be taken very seriously. If left undetected, it will continue to destroy and rack up large amounts of repair costs. The best way to deal with mold is to be proactive. Here are some ways to lower your home’s risk for mold.

Keep moisture in check

The key to preventing mold in your home is concentrating on keeping condensation down. Find a setting on your thermostat that is cool enough to eliminate humidity, while also keeping surfaces warm enough to prevent condensation. Houselogic recommends keeping it at 78 degrees fahrenheit. You can purchase an indoor humidity monitor so you are aware of added moisture. The relative humidity in your home should fall between 35% and 50%. If it reaches over 60%, you can start searching for the source of excess water in your home. You may also want to check your AC unit to make sure it’s eliminating the moisture in seasons of high humidity.

Prevent standing water

Your eyes are your biggest ally in fighting mold. Doing a regular check for standing water under sinks, near kitchen appliances, in basements, and crawl spaces can stop the development of mold. Adding a plastic base to your crawl spaces can also help keep moisture in the ground. Lowe’s recommends checking for leaks and cracks in plumbing every 6 to 12 months to prevent water damage, which can quickly turn into mold damage. Taking extra care to ventilate bathrooms is always a good idea. A dehumidifier may not be necessary in Tucson’s dry climate, but can be helpful during monsoon season.

Keep it clutter free

The early signs of mold damage are often ignored because they can’t be seen. In areas such as your basement, where there may be a collection of stored items, mold can easily hide behind piles of unused boxes. Keeping your home organized and walls visible and accessible is important in the fights against mold. Increases in your water bill, stains on walls and ceilings, peeling paint or wallpaper can all be signs of water damage and mold.

For more tips on keeping your home safe, or help with restoring your home call Brewer Restoration in Tucson.

Mold Remediation: Stopping Mold in its Tracks

One of the long lasting effects of water damage is the fuzzy trail it leaves behind. Mold is not only a visual eyesore, but a health concern as well. It can be toxic and have an adverse effect on occupant’s health if not addressed right away. Identifying mold in your home can be tricky. You can check out our previous blog, “Signs There is Mold in Your Mist,” for tips on finding mold in your home. Once it is located, it’s important to come up with a remediation plan. You can call a professional, such as Brewer Restoration, to help develop this plan. Here are some of the essential steps.

Eliminate all the moisture

In order to put a stop to mold growth, you’ve got to find the source of the moisture. In the case of flooding, it can be obvious, while pipe damage and sewer backup can cause damage in unseen areas. Your local professional will have equipment to not only clean up the excess water, but to dehumidify the air. The relative humidity should be kept below 65 percent to prevent further mold development. Water can be hiding behind walls and in cracks in your house’s structure, professionals will have a moisture detector to eliminate every drop.

Test the environment

After the moisture is gone, the next step is assessing the damage. It may be helpful to take pictures of troubled areas to help identify what kinds of mold are present. Next, determine the size of the effected area. If the mold has spread to a large portion of your home or business, an evacuation may be necessary while the experts remove the mold. The New York City Department of Health classifies mold remediation into three areas: small isolated areas less than 10 square feet, medium sized 10-100 square feet, and large areas of 100 square feet or greater. Remediation can vary depending on the area size, but in general, the areas should be isolated, dust should be removed or suppressed with moisture, items should be tossed if they are porous, and cleaned if they aren’t. A wet vacuum, used to absorb moisture can be used as well as a HEPA or High-Efficiency Particulate Air vacuum for final mold removal.

Mold can seem like an overwhelming problem, but with the right help a remediation plan can help save the day. Contact Brewer Restoration in Tucson for all your mold remediation needs.

Water Damage Cleanup: What to do and Why not to Wait

Without warning, the swimming pool you always wanted as a kid has made its way to the most inconvenient part of your home. Whether it was a burst pipe or an unexpected storm, you may feel like you’re drowning in emotional stress. Before you abort the sinking ship or try your luck at forming gills, here are a few things to consider.

Stop, look, and listen

Have you magically grown a few inches in the last few minutes or are your ceilings lower? Take into account signs of danger around you. Being aware of sagging ceilings, wet tiles and further leaks can prevent injury and further despair.

Remember water is a conductor

After taking a few calming breaths, your first action should be to shut off your electricity and gas. Refrain from using any electrical appliances and use caution when navigating the flooded area. Your initial response may be to lunge into absorbing the water. Stop and consider the risks, they could be shocking.

Finding the source is key

Once your electricity is off, put on your detective hat and find the source of your water mischief. Once you’ve found it, put a stop to it. This could be as simple as turning off the main water line. This may require outside help if the source can’t be found in haste.

Get help now, less worry later

Your water, electricity and gas are off and you are ready to start the drying process. The problem is while you were collecting your valuables and stopping the flow, the surfaces of your home have absorbed water along with any bacteria it contains. Mold will start to form within the first 24 hours of the flooding incident. Calling a professional will insure your home is thoroughly cleaned, dried and safe.

Waiting increases damage

Although professional service may be needed and is available on a 24/7 basis, there are a few steps you can take to dry surfaces and disinfect the area right away. Especially if the water source is unpurified, clean walls and surfaces with a bleach solution. Disinfect dishes, clothing and other daily use items that were in contact with the unclean water source. Turn on fans, open windows, remove what you can from flooded areas and mop up excess water. Mold likes to grow in dark and soaked areas, so let in light and increase the airflow.

For more information on dealing with damage specifically from floods, check out this Red Cross brochure.

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