Are you procrastinating your water damage clean up?

Are you procrastinating your water damage clean up?

If mother nature can teach us anything is that weather can go from one extreme to another in no time at all. If you are from the Saskatchewan – Alberta area then you experienced many different weather issues this summer. From possible smoke damage from the northern communities to flooding from flash floods and heavy rain storms. Water damage can take its toll on just about any object reducing it to useless trash. The same can be said for the home. Prolonged water damage can cause a variety of problems later on including the development of severe mold infestations.

Assess the Damage and Environment Closely and in great detail – If you could have the flooded area cleaned up, Depending on how the flood occurred in the first place, there could be puddles of remaining water within walls, ceilings and floors that are the breeding grounds for mold. Without an in-depth examination and inspection of the area, you could be allowing mold spores to influence your home or business and could potentially cause health concerns for your family or co-workers. It may be worth the extra time it takes to investigate the matter further.

Make sure water is being detoured about 5 feet from your home.

Draining the Water Away – In a basement flood that is caused by appliance on the floor above, many people will take a screwdriver and poke drainage holes in the ceiling in order to alleviate some of the pools of water that could accumulate. Although this is a temporary solution during the incident, it can help you greatly when it comes time to inspect the actual damage. While it’s not a good idea to leave water-damaged drywall in the building environment, it could buy you the time you need to figure out when you are getting it replaced or having a professional take a closer examination of the area and professionally remove the materials. Wet building materials left for over 24 hours need to be removed by a professional.

Letting the water sit can cause rot! Make sure you properly clean up any water before it causes more problems.

Letting the water sit can cause rot! Make sure you properly clean up any water before it causes more problems.

Letting Water Drain Itself – In some cases, property owners have allowed a flooded basement to simply dry itself out as the water slowly drains away through sewage lines. Unfortunately, this has caused severe damage to the remaining drywall in the basement as black mold infests the area. It’s not a good idea to leave drywall in the building environment. It’s also not uncommon to see the mold itself spread on the walls where an appliance such as a dishwasher or fridge water feed line on the floor above is located. Many home owners don’t use the basement for much other then storage and a laundry area which should be checked every 24 hours, especially after heavy rain. Water can sit for days before they even realize there is an issue in the basement. If they do not have a sump pump in place the water can sit and damage the walls, flooring, appliances and any belongings they may have in the basement. Prolonged exposure to moisture can perpetuate the problem even further as the mold can easily spread to consume that moisture. Instead of spending the money and time to pump out the water and dry the area as quickly as possible, these property owners are now faced with serious damage to drywall, insulation and other building materials within the basement resale value of the property. Visually inspecting your home after major storms can save you in the long run of things. Have a professional come immediately to inspect your home if you believe you have water coming in!

Without an in-depth examination it is likely that you will be leaving pockets of water behind and this provides for perfect conditions for the growth of mold and bacteria.
We believe it would be worth a few dollars to have any water event evaluated by a professional prior to assuming that everywhere is dry. Water works in mysterious ways and wet always finds dry therefore it is always best to have a professional with the proper professional equipment come to assess the damage. Always remember it can look dry and feel dry yet still be wet.
Clean up water immediately from carpets before it traps the water in the sub flooring. Call a professional carpet cleaning company to make sure they do the job right!

Clean up water immediately from carpets before it traps the water in the sub flooring.

Carpets Can Trap Moisture – Although mold won’t form instantly if you spill a cup of water on the floor, leaving the moisture behind without cleaning and drying the area could facilitate an ideal place for it to grow. This is especially true in carpets and padding. While not every glass of liquid spilled on the floor will create mold, it does increase the probability exponentially. It is prolonged moisture that can develop mold to the point of causing physical complications – especially in asthmatics. Clean up any spills as quickly as possible in order to reduce the odds of developing molds within the carpet and padding. Large areas of carpet are obviously going to be a bit harder to clean up, especially when it has reached the point where the carpet needs to be replaced, the sub flooring will probably need to be replaced and quite possibly the surrounding areas should be assessed by a professional.

If a carpet has mold growth it also has harmful bacteria and should always be removed by a professional due to the fact that when removing a carpet that has mold damage the spores will release rapidly into the air creating an airborne contamination that will then be breathed in by building occupants.

Without an in-depth examination it is likely that you will be leaving pockets of water behind and this provides for perfect conditions for the growth of mold and bacteria. We believe it would be worth a few dollars to have any water event evaluated by a professional prior to assuming that everywhere is dry. Water works in mysterious ways and wet always finds dry therefore it is always best to have a professional with the proper professional equipment come to assess the damage. Always remember it can look dry and feel dry yet still be wet.

When your carpets have mold in them and you are in the process of replacing  them, always replace the sub flooring as well. There is no sense replacing the carpet and keeping the moisture behind. Have a professional evaluate the living areas as soon as possible so you can have your living area or business evaluated as soon as possible.

 

 

800th Blog – Our all time reader favourites.

800th Blog – Our all time reader favourites.

800th blog

got mold?™ takes pride in educating people with the information they need about mold and asbestos related diseases and issues happening around the world. When the company started we believed that knowledge is power and don’t intend to put fear into our readers but rather, give them the education they need to know before renovations, when buying a home and what to look for even if you aren’t a home owner and possibly a renter. This is why we have so much information available to our readers on our website so that they can read up on certain things and make educated decisions and choices before the proceed to do DIY projects at home and potentially cause a health concern.

So, for our 800th blog we would like to share with you our top 100 blogs and pages viewed online. Thank you so much for all your reading. And, hope we managed to help educate you or a family member or friend. Remember to share – you never know who you may help!

20 Interesting Facts About Mold! 13,397
Interview With a Toxic Mold Survivor: Gina Lopez 12,709
What Are The Most Common Types and Varieties of Mold? 11,491
What is Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome? 11,389
What Should I Do If I Have Mold In My Apartment? 10,809
Contact 7,382
If Santa brought you a Keurig please have caution. 7,147
A History of Mold Illness: The Kelsey Best Story 6,550
The Mummy’s Curse and Mold 6,441
Rashes Caused By Mold 6,351
Really, How Much Should Mold Remediation Cost? 5,469
Blog 5,420
Regulations & Guidelines: Indoor Air Quality & Mould 4,204
Thinking of Buying A Home, Look For These Moldy Clues 4,136
Top 3 Reasons To Have a Mold Inspection Before Buying a Home 4,026
Why Do Ice Dams Cause Mold? 3,901
Don’t Spray Mold! 3,721
Interview With a Toxic Mold Survivor: Raffaella Tassone 3,674
Asbestos Testing, Sampling, Removal & Abatement 3,292
Mold Will Eat Almost Anything But a Happy Meal! 3,100
Mold and Miscarriage, Is There a Link? 2,962
Core Services 2,816
10 Interesting Facts About Asbestos in the USA [Infographic] 2,562
Mold on the farms – Farmers Lungs and Grain bin mold removal 2,245
Does Mold Cause Multiple Sclerosis? 2,206
Top 5 Reasons Mold Is Scary! 2,190
Mold Inspection 2,173
New Does Not Mean Safe! Buyer Beware! 1,983
Air Sampling 1,925
Mold Do’s & Don’ts 1,914
Killing Mold Is Not The Answer 1,895
Does Mold Make Animals Sick? 1,884
Our 8 Step Process 1,864
Services 1,809
Sewer Backups Part 1: Causes and Prevention 1,717
Why Restoration Professionals Should Avoid Using Bleach 1,707
Who Knew this Vitamin Could Prevent Mold Allergies? 1,637
Compare Apples to Apples: 10 Questions You Should Ask Your Mold Remediation Professional! 1,594
About Us 1,542
Do People Really Get Sick From a Little Mold in Their House? 1,541
Interview With a Toxic Mold Survivor: Elaine Kelly 1,530
Why Should I have an Indoor Air Quality Test? 1,480
Testimonials / Reviews 1,448
Health Effects of Mold 1,436
How To Prevent Mold in Your Basement! 1,435
Water Damage + Neglect = Mold & Potential Health Issues 1,340
Do You Know Where Your Water Main Valve Is Located? 1,328
If Mold Can Eat Wood, What Will It Do To Your Lungs? 1,328
#7993 (loading title) 1,317
10 Interesting Historical Facts About Asbestos [Infographic] 1,289
How Many People Die From Asbestos Each Year? 1,270
Stemonitis Fusca- a weird but amazing species of slime mold 1,235
Erin Brockovich Fights Toxic Mold 1,207
Really, How Toxic is Mold? 1,187
Mold in a garage? 1,161
Why Should I Be Concerned About Newly Formed Water Stains? 1,126
Why Should I Have a Mold Inspection? 1,113
Toxic Mold Survivor Update: Gina Lopez 1,088
Interview With a Toxic Mold Survivor: Dr. Janis Bell 1,082
Seven Tips To Detecting Mold 1,070
Can Mold Cause Parkinson’s Disease? 1,058
Who Does The Work? 1,056
Does Mold Cause Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)? 1,016
Actress Brittany Murphy & Husband May Have Died Because Of Mold 1,014
Brittany Murphy’s Mom — The HOUSE Killed My Daughter 1,008
Mold and Illness (40 Articles) 981
Almost All Sinus Infections are Misdiagnosed and Mistreated 977
Canadian Asbestos Regulations 957
Questions & Answers 931
Is Your Christmas Tree a Source of Mold? 919
Career Opportunities 909
Interview With a Toxic Mold Survivor: Karen Dean 898
Why Choose Got Mold?…Compare Apples to Apples…10 Questions To Ask! 897
Interview With a Toxic Mold Survivor: Beatrice Latherings 889
What is the Connection Between Mold, PMS, and Depression? 850
Three Key Reasons You Should Consider Thermal Imaging 835
What Causes Mold in an Attic? 833
Why Do Ice Dams Cause Mold Problems? 806
What Causes a Basement to Smell Bad? 802
Rocker Ted Nugent’s Home Completely Destroyed By Mold! 785
Act Now! Our Government is here to help. Deadline to file a claim for flooding via PDAP is Dec. 31st 782
Subscribe To Our Blog Updates! 780
Cancer Tumors Caused by Mold? 762
Doctor Talks About How Mold Makes People Sick 759
Five Most Common Indoor Mold Varieties 758
The Three Types of Molds 758
Renovating? Be Mindful of Asbestos and Mold 732
MOLD INDOORS: Killing it is Not Enough 727
Ten Health Risks of Mold 713
How to Deal With Household Mold [INFOGRAPHIC] 704
Why is a Shower Essential to Asbestos Abatement? 698
Mold Causes Asthma! 692
Health 684
Did Mold Kill Stacy Bowman? 676
Mold Made The Voice Star, Katrina Parker, Sick! 663
What is the Link Between Mold and Cystic Fibrosis? 650
Ozone Generators and Interior Mold Remediation: A Recipe for Disaster 639
Blindsided By Mold: A True Story About A Bathroom Renovation Gone Bad 631
How Do I Prevent Mold In My Basement After a Flood? 622
Celebrities Affected By Asbestos and Mold (12 Articles) 618

Mold and Mycotoxins: Often overlooked factors in Chronic Lyme Disease

“Lyme” Is More than Lyme Alone

Mold & mycotoxins can be linked to Lyme Disease

Mold & Mycotoxins – linked to Lyme Disease


In the recently released book “Why Can’t I Get Better?: Solving the Mystery of Lyme and Chronic Disease” by Richard I. Horowitz, MD, a compelling argument is made that there is much more to chronic Lyme disease than Lyme alone. In fact, Dr. Horowitz unveils his “16-Point Differential Diagnostic Map” which suggests numerous “nails” in the foot which must be explored in order to regain wellness. He further expands the concept of “chronic Lyme disease” by suggesting MSIDS, or Multiple Systemic Infectious Disease Syndrome, as a more encompassing term for the multiple underlying factors involved in chronic illness.

In my personal experience recovering from Lyme disease after a tick bite in 1996 in Northern California, the journey has been one of uncovering many stones and addressing numerous layers of issues that were impacting my health. While Borrelia, Bartonella, Babesia, Ehrlichia, and many other microbial factors did play a role, it was not until I read the book “Mold Warriors” by Ritchie Shoemaker MD in 2006 that I considered the possibility of mold as another key part of the systemic body burden that had unknowingly made me ill for so many years.

Upon further evaluation, it was determined that I had been living in an apartment for nearly ten years that was contaminated with numerous molds including Stachybotrys, better known as “toxic black mold”. Removing myself from this constant, daily exposure to an environment that was not conducive with my recovery was an important step to take. Moving to a safer environment was one of the best things that I did as part of my journey back to health. I do not think I would be where I am today if I had not discovered and addressed this ongoing, toxic environmental factor that was contributing to my then poor state of health.

The connection between those struggling with chronic Lyme disease and ongoing exposure to toxic molds and mycotoxins is quite clear. Dr. Wayne Anderson has found that exposure to Lyme disease can make one more susceptible to mold illness, and vice versa; exposure to mold can make one more susceptible to Lyme disease. Both have the potential to affect the immune system and make the other more difficult to treat.

Dr. Neil Nathan has found mold toxicity to be a big piece of the puzzle in a very significant portion of patients with chronic Lyme disease. Lisa Nagy MD has suggested that many Lyme patients have a damaged immune system resulting from mold or pesticide exposures and that a focus on Lyme and co-infections may not always be the right focus.

One of the downsides of “chronic Lyme disease” is that Lyme often becomes the focus of treatment when, in fact, it may not be the dominant stressor that the body is burdened by. The intent behind this article is to suggest a more expanded view of chronic Lyme disease and to consider that both environmental exposures to toxic molds and the production of mycotoxins resulting from fungal colonization in the body can be significant issues in terms of symptom presentation; as well as both the severity and duration of the illness.

What Are Molds and Mycotoxins?

Mold and yeast are both different types of fungi. Molds are multicellular fungi and grow in filamentous hyphae, or long thread-like branches. They produce airborne spores, and are often quite colorful. In nature, molds are the recyclers of organic waste. While they are closer to plants than animals, they cannot undergo photosynthesis and thus rely on organic matter for nutrition. They reproduce using both sexual and asexual methods. Yeasts are single-celled microscopic fungi that are round or oval in shape and are generally colorless in appearance.

They reproduce asexually via mitosis or budding. Yeasts are often used in fermentation of alcoholic beverages such as wine and beer and are used in baking. Some yeasts, such as Candida albicans, can be opportunistic infections in humans.

Mycotoxins are toxic chemicals produced by both molds and yeasts. They are believed to be used by fungal organisms as a protective mechanism; as a way to stake out their territory and to allow for further proliferation of the fungi. Additionally, within a host, they may be used by the fungi in order to weaken host defenses in support of persistence of the fungal organisms.

The environment in which the fungi live may be directly correlated to the output of mycotoxins. The more threatened the fungi are by the surrounding environment, the more they may utilize mycotoxin production as a protective weapon. Mycotoxins are not essential for the fungi to maintain their existence, but they do provide a competitive advantage. In some cases, humans get caught in the crossfire.

Mycotoxins in the body may be the result of external exposure to molds or internal, colonizing fungal organisms. They are generally found intracellularly and may be stored in body fat, myelin, tissues, organs, and other body sites.

While there are hundreds of different mycotoxins that have been discovered, some of the more common ones include aflatoxin, ochratoxin, citrinin, ergot alkaloids, patulin, fumonisin, trichothecene, and zearalenone. The focus of this article will be on aflatoxin, ochratoxin A, and trichothecene given that these can be readily measured via laboratory testing performed on a urine sample; providing a useful tool for practitioners working with patients with mold-associated illnesses.

Ongoing mold and mycotoxin exposure can be a very serious issue creating illness in the genetically susceptible. Sadly, the importance of evaluating for the potential of mold illness and taking appropriate corrective actions is often overlooked by many practitioners and patients alike.

Shoemaker’s Mold Contributions

Ritchie C. Shoemaker MD deserves tremendous credit for being the voice that brought mold illness to our awareness. His “Biotoxin Pathway” and treatment protocol have been instrumental pieces of the puzzle for many struggling with chronic biotoxin illness. Biotoxins are toxins created by living organisms. Mycotoxins are a subset of biotoxins and are produced by fungal organisms.

Visual Contrast Sensitivity (VCS) testing is often a very useful biotoxin screening tool that can be performed online. Mycometrics ERMI (Environmental Relative Moldiness Index) is arguably one of the best evaluation tools for the presence of mold in an indoor environment. Numerous lab tests were brought to our attention by Dr. Shoemaker’s work including HLA testing, which looks for genetic predispositions to various biotoxin illnesses, and markers such as TGF-β1, C4a, C3a, MSH, VIP, VEGF, MMP-9, and others. The information that a trained practitioner can ascertain from the results of these tests is significant in their work to guide a biotoxin-illness patient back to a higher level of health.

Cholestyramine is used in many with Lyme disease and mold illness as a direct result of Dr. Shoemaker’s discoveries. Losartan, VIP nasal spray, and other useful therapeutic options have been introduced to biotoxin-illness sufferers through his work.

Dr. Shoemaker’s approach has benefited and will continue to benefit many suffering with otherwise unexplained illnesses. No article on the topic of mold illness would be complete without a mention of his important contributions, and while not the focus of this article, his work has been life changing for many; myself included. More information about his protocol, his books (Mold Warriors; 2005, Surviving Mold; 2010), and the recently introduced doctor certification program can be found on his web site. Several integrative practitioners now incorporate a combination of the Shoemaker Protocol with several of the other options discussed in this article.

Mold and Mycotoxin Symptoms and Associated Conditions

Symptoms produced in humans as a result of mold and mycotoxin exposure are widely varied and may range from no response or simple allergy to cancer or even death.

“Symptoms can be caused by mold allergy, mold colonization (or infection), or mold toxicity, or a combination of these. Until Dr. Shoemaker raised awareness around the toxicity component, we had focused exclusively on allergy and infection. It is the understanding that mold toxicity, with its marked, uncontrolled outpouring of inflammatory cytokines, produces the same wide array of unusual symptoms that we see in Lyme disease and its co-infections that has dramatically improved our ability to diagnose and treat a large subset of patients that had been previously struggling to get better,” said Dr. Neil Nathan.

The symptoms may be dependent on the types of molds and mycotoxins, the duration of the exposure, and the overall health of the exposed person. Mycotoxins damage the immune system and may make one more sensitive to bacterial endotoxins found on the outer membrane of bacterial cell walls. With an increased sensitivity, the body’s response to Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, and co-infections may be heightened and lead to a further exacerbation of overall symptoms.

Mycotoxins can cause coughing, wheezing, asthma, shortness of breath, sneezing, burning in the throat and lungs, and sinusitis. Memory loss, confusion, brain fog, and cognitive impairment may present. Vision problems, eye irritation, headaches, swollen lymph nodes, ringing in the ears, dizziness, hearing loss, fatigue, muscle weakness, multiple chemical sensitivities, joint pain, muscle pain, irregular heartbeat, seizures, depression, anxiety, irritability, psoriasis, skin irritation, fever, chills, sleep disorders, coagulation abnormalities, and numerous other symptoms have all been associated with mycotoxin exposures.

According to Dr. Joseph Brewer at the 2013 ILADS annual meeting, mycotoxins bind to DNA and RNA, alter protein synthesis, increase oxidative stress, deplete antioxidants, alter cell membrane function, act as potent mitochondrial toxins, and alter apoptosis.

Molds and their mycotoxins may negatively impact the endocrine system including sex hormones, thyroid function, and adrenal function. Mold exposure may lead to food allergies and chemical sensitivity. In some cases, POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) may be mold-induced.

Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome have both been associated with mycotoxin exposure. Other conditions that may have a mycotoxin component may include various cancers, diabetes, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, autism, rheumatoid arthritis, hyperlipidemia (elevated cholesterol), inflammatory bowel disease, Lupus, Sjögren’s syndrome, Crohn’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Raynaud’s Disease, kidney stones, vasculitis, and others.

It has been suggested that elevated cholesterol may be a protective mechanism of the body as a response to mycotoxin exposure. Statin drugs have antifungal properties, and one of the mechanisms through which they may help to lower cholesterol is through the reduction of mycotoxins as systemic fungal populations are reduced.

In those with chronic Lyme disease, it is difficult to separate the symptoms associated with mold and mycotoxin exposure from those associated with Lyme disease or even those associated with heavy metal toxicity. The overlap is significant, and as a result, all of these items must be explored as symptoms believed to be associated with Lyme disease may not be entirely the result of Lyme itself.

For more information check out BetterHealthGuy.com

Does Mold Remediation Really Improve Health?

Does Mold Remediation Really Improve Health?
He is SHOCKED at the improvement in health after 13 years of meds which could only provide him up to 90% capacity. SOMETHING else improved his respiratory capacity 26% and he is convinced it is the mold removal.
Unfortunately, despite growing research that shows the harmful effects of mold on one’s health, there are still mold minimizers that dispute this. One of the problems with the health debate surrounding mold, it creates confusion amongst consumers who are trying to decide whether or not it is financially worth it to pay a professional to remove the mold, particularly if the removal will be costly.
Aside from the structural and economic reasons to deal with your mold issue, there is research that supports the argument that getting rid of the mold will improve health. This is particularly important if any of the occupants suffer from asthma and other respiratory illnesses.
A study published in the scientific journal Thorax concluded that mold remediation – the removal of visible mold – improved respiratory illnesses.
Asthma and rhinitis symptoms and the use of medications to treat them were reduced in patients who took part in a randomized controlled trial to see if removing visible household mold would relieve their symptoms.
After a year the intervention group (those whose mold was removed) reduced their use of medications by 22 percent while the controls reduced their medications by 16 percent.
The intervention group also reported about 24 percent net improvement in rhinitis and rhino conjunctivitis symptoms than the control group.
The intervention group also showed an improvement in wheezing that affected their activities like sleeping and speaking (31 percent vs. 7 percent improvement reported by the control group).
Perhaps, most gratifying for our company is the fact that we have first hand accounts that mold remediation work we have done has impacted our customer’s health. In the words of one of our customers, Cherylee Highway of Saskatoon:
My son has had respiratory problems in the past. We have fought a big battle in order to restore his health. This past spring, his oxygen capacity was measured and the specialists told me that he was at 90% capacity and would likely never improve further but we are thankful for the 90% (as he was once at 63%). Well, today, we returned for our regular appt. and his lung capacity today measured at 116% — that’s right 116%!!!! Better than us!!
The Specialist asked me to check off a list of lifestyle and activity changes that we have undergone during the last 6 months. After looking over the form, I couldn’t really check anything off. But, it dawned on me that “Mold Remediation” was not on the list. I spoke to the Specialist about this and he was ABSOLUTELY FLABERGASTED!!!!! He then proceeded to quiz me about the process, amount of remediation required, the company that did the job, etc. He is completely convinced that the remediation process has increased the lung capacity of my son by 26%!
This improvement of quality of life is extraordinary, in this Specialist’s opinion and literally could remove Spencer from his case load at this time after 13 years of absolutely fighting for his respiratory life!! Throughout our conversation, he decided to keep Spencer on his caseload to follow through his progress since the remediation and forward. He finds this case extremely interesting.
He is SHOCKED at the improvement in health after 13 years of meds which could only provide him up to 90% capacity. SOMETHING else improved his respiratory capacity 26% and he is convinced it is the mold removal.
I thank you and your team so much!! I have also noticed an improvement in my health as I used to sneeze and sneeze — but NO longer. I have many new building materials in my home but they haven’t created any type of allergy, sneezing or breathing problems.
Thank you seems to be so trivial but I know no other words of gratuity to say for such a wonderful improvement in our lives.
Does mold remediation improve health? YES, it certainly does!
If you have questions, call us toll free, 1-888-909-6653 or use the form below.

Important Post-Flooding Advice To Avoid Health Hazards

Important Post-Flooding Advice To Avoid Health Hazards
We need water to live, it brings us life. At the same time, water can be a destructive force which is a particular concern during times of flooding.
More than two weeks has past since the flooding began in Regina, Southern Saskatchewan, and parts of Alberta. Got Mold? has helped and is currently helping many flood affected residents. In the words of one of our happy customers:
I had to cut my holiday short this July (2014) because I got an emergency call that the sewage was pouring into my basement. Pouring it was because of the heavy rains in southeast Saskatchewan this summer! Well it finally stopped and I had made contact with the company Got Mold who said they would come in as soon as they can. Within a day or two my basement started to smell and look a lot better! Their staff are excellent, very professional, and able to handle these offending and hazardous materials in a very safe and sanitary manner. I would recommend Got Mold Saskatoon to anyone at any time. Thank you very much for such wonderful work. (Brenda from Regina)
The primary concern of Water Damage Restoration professionals, like Got Mold?, is not only to help bring your life back to normal, but to ensure that you stay healthy. In the areas we have surveyed and are working in, the water damage is extensive. Consequently, it is important to act quickly because mold, fungi and disease-causing bacteria thrive in water-logged environments.
There are three primary concerns caused by water damage: structural; mold and it’s impact on health; and the threat of hazardous bacteria.
1. STRUCTURAL
Indications that your home may be conducive to mold growth include the following: obvious water damage; condensation on windows; musty odors; water stains; new or increased allergy symptoms; cracked or peeling paint, loose drywall tape and/or wall paper; rusty metal (a sign of high humidity); and drawers or doors that stick.
Mold can literally eat the structure it is feeding on. In an earlier article, we mentioned that a home is an all you can eat buffet for mold because today’s building materials are the perfect food for mold: organic, dead material including wood, drywall, fabric, and paper.
In short, left unchecked, mold will degrade the structural integrity of your property and ultimately reduce its long term value if it is not dealt with.
2. HEALTH
Unfortunately, the problems caused by mold are not just cosmetic. We have written extensively on the health concerns caused by mold which are linked to Cancer, MS, Parkinson’s, Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, Depression, Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis, Mycotoxicosis, Asthma…Mold is Scary!
According to mycotoxin expert Dr. Harriet Ammann, exposure to indoor molds can damage the systems of your body in the following ways:
  • Vascular: blood vessel fragility, hemorrhage from tissues or lungs
  • Digestive: diarrhea, vomiting, hemorrhage, liver damage, fibrosis and necrosis
  • Respiratory: trouble breathing, bleeding from lungs
  • Neurological: tremors, loss of coordination, headaches, depression, multiple sclerosis
  • Skin: rashes, burning, sloughing, photosensitivity
  • Urinary: kidney toxicity
  • Reproductive: infertility, changes in reproductive cycles
  • Immune: Immunosuppression
  • As documented by our interviews with toxic mold survivors, long term and chronic exposure to mold has caused mycotoxicosis, literally poisoning their bodies. Furthermore, as pointed out by Michael Pinto, even a little exposure to mold can cause health issues. Bottom line, mold is a serious concern and you need to be aware of this.
    Mold is not the only health consideration, the other major issue caused by flooding is the threat of…
    3. HAZARDOUS BACTERIA
    Water provides the perfect environment for harmful bacteria to multiply. When you experience water damage, the longer you wait to begin dealing with the concern, the worse it can get. The more time water sits increases the risk of bio-hazard, meaning category 1 water can turn into category 2 water and eventually category 3 water, which is the most toxic.
    ACT IMMEDIATELY!
    To prevent the onset of mold and reduce the risk of bio-hazard, you need to act fast and begin the clean up process immediately. Ideally, you should hire a PROFESSIONAL restoration contractor and not just your contractor buddy and start the claims process with your insurance company.
    During times of crisis, and particularly because restoration contractors get over-whelmed with too many requests, many victims of flooding tend to take matters into their own hands. If you are forced to do this, then here are some key tips to keep in mind while you are waiting for your restoration professional to arrive:
  • Have the area cleared by emergency workers if you have standing water in an area where fuse boxes and/or electrical circuitry is submerged before attempting to pump out the water.
  • Turn off your gas line.
  • Wear an N95 or N100 respirator mask, available at most hardware and medical supply stores.
  • Wear rubber boots and puncture-resistant gloves. Ideally, don a polypropylene coverall.
  • Be sure to carefully dry any belongings you want to try to save.
  • Items that should be thrown out, particularly if they have been underwater include the following: carpet, carpet padding, and rugs; upholstered furniture; computers, microwaves, window A/C units, or any appliances that have fans; papers and books; and food items, including canned foods if they were in contact with flood waters.
  • We strongly advise against doing your own tear out primarily because you do not want to release potentially harmful mold or asbestos in the atmosphere. This will just make the situation worse and create more costly problems, particularly if asbestos is present and not properly abated.
    When you do meet with your restoration professional don’t be afraid to ask them how they intend to deal with your water damage restoration project. Professionals will:
  • Know how to assess the category of water and extent of damage;
  • Provide you with a scope of work that will assess structural issues based on the class of damage;
  • Outline what contents need to be removed;
  • How to deal with and remove excess water;
  • Provide you with a drying and monitoring strategy using air movers and dehumidifers; and
  • A sanitizing plan to ensure a healthy environment.
  • The primary purpose of water damage restoration is to restore the property to pre-loss condition. Once all the work is complete, hire a Third Party Environmental Consultant to perform post-remediation tests, particularly, if any mold, category 2 or 3 water was present. This final step will provide further peace of mind that the water damage restoration contractor did a professional and competent job. Once a PASS is documented on the clearance test, then confidently rebuild your property during the reconstruction phase and if you so choose, hire your friend, the contractor!
    If you have questions, call us toll free, 1-888-909-6653 or use the form below.