The Dangers of Overlooked Mold Growth in the Home

Problem Solved. Or Is It?

So you’ve had a little Austin water damage. You had a small roof leak, so you had it repaired, or, you had your plumber fix that leaking pipe, and you cleaned up all the water. So why should you be concerned about mold? Mold is a fungus that produces and releases microscopic spores into the air. As mold begins to grow your home, these spores are in the air that you and your family are continually breathing in.

 

Mold Needs Moisture to Thrive

Just like any fungus, mold requires moisture to survive and thrive. That is why if you have a water damage clean up problem it is imperative the all moisture is dried out as quickly as possible. If you are currently having moisture problems or have had moisture problems in bathrooms, kitchens, or basements, you should pay close attention to what we are about to share so you can understand how dangerous an issue mold can be?

Structural Damage To Your Home

Allowing mold to continue to grow in your home can result in structural damage to your home, but even more, and dangerous are the health problems it can and will cause. Since mold is living growing organism, it will eat away at any surface it is allowed to flourish on, including furniture, wallpaper, carpets, sheetrock, and wood. There have been several instances in the Austin area where mold went undetected and was allowed to infest homes to the point where the only option was complete demolition. This is the threat mold can pose to your home if it is allowed to continue to grow out of control.

Mold Can Harm Your Health

Some of the known mold species of mold found in homes are Aspergillus, Stachybotrys, Cladosporium, Fusarium, and Penicillium. Mold allergy symptoms can range anywhere from full blown out asthma attacks to irritated eyes, throats, noses, skin, and lungs. For others, mold exposure can cause hypersensitivity pneumonitis, headaches, breathing difficulties, diarrhea, headaches, sore throats, fatigue, and dermatitis. People with existing allergies, asthma or suppressed immune systems will become hypersensitive to developing additional infections.  Some molds even produce potentially toxic substances that are carcinogenic to humans.

 

Mold Remediation Is Not for Amateurs

Since mold can pose such a dangerous threat to you and families health, you should address any mold growth immediately. The right mold remediation techniques must be used or else further contamination will occur. Remember we are talking about airborne spores here. So, well-meaning DIY have unwittingly spread the mold while trying to eradicate it. Disturbing mold causes it to release more contaminating spores into the air circulating all through the home. Others have tried to use bleach to clean the mold. While bleach will clean the mold, it will not necessarily kill the mold spores. Further, even if it is partially successful, dead mold still causes severe allergic reactions.

 

 

Dealing With Central Texas Water Damage and Flooding

How To Best Deal With Austin Water Damage

As weather patterns change throughout the country, it often seems that springtime comes in like a lion and maintains a steady roar until the summer arrives. When it comes to water damage, there’s not much you can do proactively to protect your home, aside from purchasing a safe for your valuables. But knowing how to respond if and when you’re faced with such a situation can help minimize the damage to your home and protect your safety. Some advice that might be helpful if you experience a water intrusion into your home or office, after a disaster, timely water damage clean up can prevent the property from further damage.

Flooding_Austin TX

Water Damage:

Water damage arises from fire damage, broken pipes, blocked drains, malfunctioning appliances, storms and other causes. The appropriate treatment depends on the nature of the damage. Some water carries contaminates and should be considered hazardous (see sewage and Flood Damage, below). Whatever the origin, the prospects of successful water damage restoration depend primarily on the speed with which your building and personal property can be dried. Even clean water can generate mildew and other bacterial growth if neglected.

DO…

  • Stop the flow of water, at the meter if necessary
  • Call your local Austin water damage restoration contractor
  • Ventilate wet areas. Turn on air conditioning for accelerated drying in summer; in winter, alternate cycles of opened windows and heating.
  • Remove standing water from flat surfaces by sponging and blotting.
  • Take up saturated rugs and carpets when hardwood floors are at risk.
  • Stay out of rooms were ceilings are sagging from retained water.
  • Transport computers to a dry environment, remove cases and blow dry with low-pressure
  • Remove lamps, telephones and decorative items from wet furniture tops.
  • Open drawers and cabinet doors for interior drying, but do not force open stuck drawers or doors.
  • Freeze valuable books and documents to retard mildew growth until drying can be performed.
  • Place aluminum foil squares, china saucers or wood blocks under furniture legs to avoid carpet staining.

DO NOT…

  • Operate TVs, vacuums or other appliances while standing on wet carpet or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors. Serious injury may result.
  • Used heat to dry closed building interiors; mildew and expanded moisture damage may result.
  • Leave wet fabrics in place; space them apart and dry as soon as possible.

 

Sewage & Flood Damage:

Raw sewage and flood waters contain bacteria and other microorganisms which are extremely hazardous to human health. These can be transmitted by touching contaminated items or by tracking them into uncontaminated areas on shoes. Children and pets are especially vulnerable. Frequent hand washing is an important preventive measure. Absorbent materials such as carpeting and drywall may not be restorable after direct contact with sewage-contaminated or flood-contaminated water.

DO…

  • Treat all water-impacted surfaces and furnishings as toxic, until adequately
  • Keep children and pets out of contaminated areas.

DO NOT…

  • Track contaminated material into undamaged
  • Attempt to decontaminate surfaces with sprays and other over-the-counter germicidal products, which may not adequately disinfect contaminated surfaces.
  • Do not try to do it yourself; you are not equipped to deal with this type disaster

 

Roofing Inspection and Maintenance Program

Remove Debris

Roofing InspectionMost reliable roofing contractors will offer a free roofing inspection followed the details of an maintenance work that needs to be done. Here are some of the things covered in an professional roofing  inspection. Remove all debris such as leaves, fallen twigs, children’s toys and dad’s golf balls from the roof and gutter. Examine all roof/siding penetrations such as chimneys, wall flashings, ventilation units, exhaust fans, skylights, and valleys. Note any loose shingles/siding panels, note loose or damaged shingles. Check to assure proper ventilation has been installed and functioning properly. Clean ‘wash’ the roof/siding if needed, even shingles. ‘Algae Resistant’ coatings in the best of conditions will begin to stain over time, as will all the best sidings, including vinyl. You should be informed  ‘in writing’ of any repairs that need to be made.

 

Professional Roofing Inspection and Maintenance Will Save Money:

  • Prolonging the lifespan of your roof/siding/gutters by years.
  • Finding and solving problems sooner rather than later.
  • Decreasing your chances of interior damage that are frequently caused by roof/siding leaks.
  • Eliminate the cosmetic eyesores of missing and damaged materials.
  • Add a selling point should you decide to sell.
  • Possible discount point for your insurance company.

Recommended Schedule For Routine Maintenance:

  • Twice per year in a wooded area.
  • Twice per year in a high wind area.
  • Once per year if neither one or two apply to your area.

If your roof/siding/gutters are installed correctly, you can get away with less frequent maintenance, but your roof and gutters still collect debris throughout the year. Routine maintenance is an essential part of achieving the full life-span of your roofing system.