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.

 

 

Flooding hits Chestermere and Langdon Alberta

chestermere flooding

Severe thunderstorms cut power to traffic lights and homes while heavy rains inundated neighbourhoods Sunday morning, slamming Langdon and Chestermere with overland flooding.

Flooding hits Chestermere and Langdon Alberta

Parts of Chestermere & Langdon were under water Sunday. Residents in some areas of the city just east of Calgary awoke to water pooling in basements, streets and parks.

Alberta Emergency Management Agency advised Chestermere residents not to travel if possible.

Chestermere city staff are responding to reports of flooding and remain on “high alert” Tuesday afternoon after a thunder, lightning, hail and rain storm. The city said it had been monitoring water levels after a thunderstorm warning issued Tuesday, two days after flash flooding damaged over 300 homes.

The mayor also urged people to reduce their water usage until the city dries out, and stay out of intersections that are flooded.

The city said earlier on Tuesday it had applied to the provincial government to receive flooding assistance for residents affected by Sunday’s storm.

“City Council and Staff have been in contact with the Provincial Government in order to bring the flood situation to their attention and request funding help for our residents in what is a very difficult time for many people,” said Mayor Patricia Matthews in a statement.

In addition, the city is offering one free basement inspection per affected home for electrical, gas/plumbing and building to any resident affected by the flooding. Power had been restored to Chestermere and all roads were open as of 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. The city said tap water was safe to use, but urged people to scale back to “slow the flow to sewers.”

got mold? encourages people to get inspections done at the earliest that you can! Mold growth starts to occur within 24 hours, since it has already been 72 hours an environmental assessment must be performed, before you start moving out wet building material such as drywall and flooring a proper containment and negative air unit must be set up to avoid contamination of mold spores spreading through your home or office.

Trina Mitchell in Langdon: “So much water, it’s knee deep, so we brought out the kayaks.”

Trina Mitchell in Langdon: “So much water, it’s knee deep, so we brought out the kayaks.”

After flooding residents should:

  • Call your insurance company to report damaged property
    Take pictures of damaged property during/after flooding for insurance purposes
    If you are concerned about your insurance coverage, the City is applying to the Provincial Government for flooding assistance for those affected. It may take some time to hear back from the Provincial Government but the City will post any information we receive on our website, Facebook, and Twitter accounts once we hear anything.
  • CUI will be placing bins around the City for discarding damaged items. Visit www.cuinc.ca for locations
  • The City will be offering one FREE basement inspection per affected home for electrical, gas/plumbing, and building to anyone that needs it. Call them at 403-207-7075 to book an inspection. Homeowners may need to call other professionals for different types of inspections
  • Ensure power, gas, and water supplies/systems are checked by a professional before further use.

 

PDAP Mould Remediation Guidelines For Private Claimants and First Nations Residents

PDAP Mould Remediation Guidelines For Private Claimants and First Nations Residents
Flooding in Southern Saskatchewan has had on impact on 1000s of residents. The clean up has begun, but of course with any flooding situation, mold is a concern.
According to the Government of Saskatchewan PDAP website:
It is expected that if the proper preventive measures are taken, most flood damages will not lead to the growth of mould. However, if mould is suspected after all reasonable precautionary steps have been taken, the services of a reputable mould remediation company may become necessary. The process will require an air quality test, estimates from contractors and the approval of your PDAP adjustor before the work can begin. You can read more about mould prevention and remediation in Section 3.6.4 of the PDAP Guidelines. (FAQ – Private Claimants – Including First Nations Residents)
Private Claimants can apply for assistance through PDAP. There is a dedicated section on their website devoted to this and can be found here.
When you scroll down to the bottom of their page, you will find a link, PDAP-General Guidelines. This document provides you with general claim guidelines and is very important to review if you intend to seek assistance from PDAP.
With respect to Mould Prevention and Remediation, pages 29, 30, and 31, specifically provide guidelines and information.
According to Section 3.6.4.1 mould prevention is the claimant’s responsibility. PDAP lists the precautionary steps that must be taken to protect the contents and building and assert that if such steps are taken then this should prevent the propagation of mould.
Section 3.6.4.2 states that if mould is still suspected after all the precautionary steps have been taken, the services of a reputable mould remediation company may become necessary. PDAP recommends that the steps listed below must be followed if you intend to contact Got Mold? or other restoration contractors for assistance.
1. The first step in determining if mould is indeed present in a building involves an air quality test. The claimant will need to secure a home inspector or air quality measuring service to perform this test before any remediation efforts begin.
2. If an elevated presence of mould does indeed exist, the claimant will contact a reputable mould remediation company requesting an estimate of costs to perform the recommended remediation steps needed to get clearance.
3. These estimates are to be forwarded to the claimant’s PDAP adjuster who will ensure that the scope of the repairs matches the quoted damage. With the PDAP adjuster’s approval, the mould remediation company may begin their work.
4. Claimant must get itemized invoices from mould remediation companies, outlining materials, labour, travel, mileage, hotels, meals, equipment, overtime hours and any sub-contract work. Failure to provide such documentation may result in limited assistance from PDAP.
5. Once the mould remediators have completed their work, clearance testing needs to be performed by an independent firm (not by the remediators who performed the work as this poses a conflict of interest) to determine if the required remediation was performed adequately. Clearance testing MUST be conducted while the containment materials are still up.
6. Once the clearance has been attained, containment materials may be removed and the repair process can begin.
7. If clearance cannot be given through mould analysis/testing, the contractor should not be paid until clearance can be made by further remediation methods and re-testing (and this at the contractor’s expense, not the client’s expense).
8. The claimant will then submit all applicable itemized invoices to PDAP, along with the favourable clearance test/report.
SUMMARY
If your property was affected by the most recent flooding and you believe that you took all necessary steps to prevent mold and still suspect that mould may be an issue, then PDAP can provide assistance. The Government of Saskatchewan has provided lots of information for potential claimants who want to get mould remediation done on their property, but it is important to follow the steps and procedures they stipulate. The links below should be reviewed if you intend to contact PDAP about a potential mold remediation claim:
PDAP Private Claims Process
FAQ – Private Claimants – Including First Nations Residents
PDAP-General Guidelines (Pages 29, 30, and 31 provide mould prevention and remediation guidelines)
Got Mold? Disaster Recovery Services, Inc. has been specializing in mold remediation since 2009 and has many happy clients. All of the steps listed above, we strongly recommend as well. Got Mold? prides itself on getting the job done right the first time and follows an 8-step process on all of our projects. When you are seeking the assistance of a mold remediation contractor, be sure to get YES answers to these 10 critical questions and be sure to compare apples to apples when you are making your final decision. If you have further questions or need assistance, do not hesitate to contact us. Peace of Mind is just a phone call away!

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.

    Regina, Saskatchewan Flood Update

    Regina, Saskatchewan Flood Update
    Currently Got Mold? has an experienced team of disaster recovery specialists in Regina. Our Senior Project Managers, Team Leaders, and workers from Saskatoon are working side by side with new employees that we have hired in Regina to meet the unprecedented demand for our services.
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    Regina, Saskatchewan Flood Update

    In fact, so many properties have been impacted by the flood that we have been inundated with requests for our water restoration services, many more than we anticipated. In less than 10 days, our staff has doubled because of the volume of work we are taking on. Our goal is to help as many residents as we can.
    The safety of our workers is very important. All of our staff are required to wear protective gear and most importantly respirators to protect their lungs. One of the key safety protocols we follow is a Fit Test to ensure that the respirator fits our new employee properly. Pictured below is one of our new workers experiencing the fit test procedure.
    Regina, Saskatchewan Flood Update, mold, mould, flooding, saskatchewan, alberta, manitoba, water, food, temperature, black mold, toxic mold, bathroom renovation, leaky shower, shower liner, moisture, contractors, sheet rock, tile, sewer backups, causes, prevention, education, awareness, sewage, sewer lines, houses, businesses, sewage water, drains, rainfall, groundwater, stormwater, overflow, tree, roots, moisture, cracks, sewer line, pipe, damage, tree, shrub, sanitary main, grease, hot animal fat, toilet paper, paper products, paper towels, disposable diapers, cloth diapers, feminine products, objects, flushed, backflow prevention valves, sump pit drainage system, cooking oil, clogs, replace, pipes, plastic, roots, proper, drainage, eaves-troughs, downspouts, slope, inward, outward, moisture, healthier, living, environment, bacteria, hazardous, health, insurance claim

    Regina, Saskatchewan Flood Update

    One of the key concerns for any property owner is to determine if their insurance will cover the water restoration service. If you have insurance, but are not sure, then give us a call because we can help guide you through the process.
    If your home or business is flooded, call us and schedule an appointment as soon as possible. The early stages of water damage restoration is particularly important because the objective is to remove excess water and begin the drying process to reduce the level of moisture. Ultimately, our goal is to mitigate the proliferation of mold which will begin to flourish within 24 to 48 hours if nothing is done. Since we are are an IICRC certified firm, we have the knowledge to ensure that your property is dried and cleaned up properly.
    We are anticipating many more calls for help and are constantly seeking new disaster recovery workers, so please contact us if you or someone you know needs a job.
    If you have questions, call us toll free, 1-888-909-6653 or use the form below.

    REGINA FLOOD NEWS