Water Damages and Your Property

Water Damages and Your Property

Water damages can occur for various reasons and can cause a wide array of problems for you and your property. From mold damages to structural problems, water damages can cause severe issues. Below, A&R Environmental will discuss what causes water damages and what you can do to prevent them from occurring.

How Do Water Damages Occur?

Water damages can occur from many different problems. Some of those include:
• Broken or Leaky Pipes
• Storm Damages
• Flooding
• Sewage Backups

If you have any type of water damages to your property, it is crucial that you call a professional cleanup company such as A&R Environmental. Water can seep into areas where you cannot see it. Areas inside of walls, beneath carpets, and in crawlspaces are common for water damages. If you do not have the proper equipment to find water behind surfaces, it will not dry. Once this occurs, you will have mold growth. Mold can cause a host of problems that is not only hazardous to your health but also damages the structure of your home. When handling water damages, the professionals will use pumps to pump all the existing water out, and then fans will be used to dry all areas of the home, including places that cannot be seen. Once all water is removed, water damage restoration can occur. Damaged areas will be removed and replaced. One replaced, the areas will be sprayed with special agents to ensure no mold growth will occur.

Mold growth can spread quickly throughout your property and cause severe respiratory issues. If you see any water or mold stains, you need to call a professional immediately. Mold will continue to grow and breed until it is entirely removed from the property. Mold causes structural damages and can make you ill. To avoid mold growth, call a professional for all your water damage cleanup and removal needs.

Mold Removal/Remediation – The Importance

Mold Removal/Remediation – The Importance

Mold growth can occur at all times of the year, but Summertime is the prime time for mold to breed and grow. Mold needs a warm and damp area to grow. Mold generally grows from water damages or condensation. Crawlspaces, attics, and basements are common places for mold growth. You will also see mold stains in areas such as kitchens and bathrooms because of the humidity that can happen in those areas. Below, A&R Environmental will discuss mold removal and remediation for properties.

Mold Removal and Remediation

Water stains and a musty smell in your home is the number one indication that you have a mold problem, but how should you approach it? It is crucial that you always call a certified mold removal specialist to check your home or business for mold. If mold is found on the property, it will need to be removed. Mold remediation should never be completed without the proper licenses and equipment. Mold can cause severe respiratory illnesses and, if not completed removed, will continue to grow and cause problems.

Mold removal is a complex job, as all areas that have mold growth will need to be removed and replaced. Once those areas are mold-free special anti-microbial sprays will be used to ensure mold does not grow back in those areas. It is important that you find the source of the mold growth since mold needs water to grow. Many times, it is from a roof leak or water damages that occurred and was not entirely removed. If there is a leak, it will need to be repaired so that no more damages or mold can grow. If your property has mold, it is important that you call a mold professional for removal. They use specialized equipment to ensure your safety, as well as make sure all mold is removed and will not return. If you have water or mold stains, give A&R Environmental a call today for all your mold remediation and removal needs.

Water Damage Restoration/Cleanup

Water Damage Restoration/Cleanup

Water is known to cause significant damages to properties. Water can spread quickly to other areas of your home or business, wreaking havoc as it goes. Water damages can occur from storm damages, faulty appliances, and plumbing problems. When it comes to water damages, it is crucial that you contact a water removal company such as A&R Environmental quickly. Our team provides 24/7 emergency services for businesses and homes with water damages. Before water removal begins, an inventory will be taken of the affected area. This is crucial for insurance claims. If items were damaged during the water damages, they would be removed to ensure they are dried and cleaned correctly.

Water Removal and Cleanup

Water damage restoration is completed in processes. During the first part, water is removed from the area with large pumps. Once water is removed, the drying process begins. This process is one of the most important, as all water must be dried to ensure mold does not grow. Air movers and dehumidifiers are the most common types of equipment we use for this process. At times we will use a heat-drying system to circulate heated air. The drying process can take some time, depending on the amount of water damages that have occurred. Once the drying is completed, the area will be checked with infrared equipment that can see water beneath floors and between walls. This is a crucial part, as all water has to be removed. Even a drop can cause structural rot and possible mold growth.

Water Restoration Process

Once the area has been thoroughly dried, we will clean the area with antimicrobials. This is completed so that no mold grows and that area is disinfected and safe for people to return to the area. Bacteria, fungus, and viruses can grow if the area is not treated properly. Once the area is treated any repaired can occur to any damaged walls or flooring.
A&R Environmental also provides carpet cleaning in the event your carpet becomes wet from water damages. Cleaning wet carpet is a major process that can take time to complete. If you have recently experienced water damages, give A&R Environmental a call. Our team is certified and licensed to provide complete water damage cleanup and water damage restoration services to both residential and commercial properties.

How Does a Dehumidifier Work?

How Does a Dehumidifier Work?

A Dehumidifier installed to help prevent further damage.
The source of the water damage is from the homeowners dehumidifier.

As a Water Damage Restoration Company, This Is Asked All The Time

Dehumidifiers reduce the humidity level in your home by drawing the room air through the appliance and removing the moisture. The level of humidity reduction is regulated by the humidistat or by a control board with a sensor. When the humidistat or sensor detects a need to reduce the moisture in the air, 120 volts of alternating current is sent to the compressor and the fan motor.

The compressor is part of a sealed refrigerant system that compresses the refrigerant in gas form and pumps it through a set of condenser coils where the gas becomes a hot liquid. The coils dissipate the heat as the liquid travels through them. Once the refrigerant has passed through the condenser coils and the capillary tube, it travels to the evaporator coils as the refrigerant liquid enters these coils it expands into a gas which makes the coils cold. The gas flows through the coils to a suction line attached to the compressor. The compressor will then pump the gas back into the condenser coils where it once again becomes a liquid and the cycle continues.

At the same time the fan motor rotates a blade to draw the rooms humid air into the appliance where it condenses on the cold evaporator coils. The condensation accumulates on the evaporator and drips into a bucket or is diverted through a hose to a floor drain. The cooler air from the evaporator is heated as it passes through the condenser coils and is returned to the room.

Water vapor reaching its fail point on the window

This process continues until enough moisture has been removed from the air to satisfy the setting on the humidistat or the control board. Most dehumidifier models are equipped with a safety switch that will prevent the appliance from running if the bucket is full. If you suspect the dehumidifier should be running when it’s not, the buckets safety switch may be defective. 

You can use an ohmmeter to test the switch for continuity to help determine if the switch is functioning or not. Both the condenser and evaporator coils need proper airflow for the dehumidifier to work efficiently.

Over time these coils can collect dust dirt and debris so it’s a good idea to clean the coils regularly. Just be careful not to bend the fins. If you hear the dehumidifier running but no air is being exhausted, then it’s likely that the fan motor has failed and will need to be replaced.

If your model is equipped with an air filter, the filter will need to be cleaned from time to time to prevent frost from building up on the evaporator coils. Most standard dehumidifier models require the room temperature to remain above 65 degrees Fahrenheit for the appliance to work properly. As lower temperatures can cause the evaporator coils to frost over.

If the temperature in your home regularly drops below 65 degrees, you will need to obtain a model that is specifically designated for lower temperature operation. A&R Environmental uses custom made to our industry dehumidifiers for all water damage and mold remediation jobs. These dehumidifiers contain modifications to the conventional refrigeration system that result in cooling the process airstream to a significantly lower temperature, using various energy exchange systems. Visit our website to see a dehumidifier in action on a water mitigation job.

A&R Environmental’s Services: Mold Remediation

A&R Environmental’s Services: Mold Remediation

Did You Find Mold? STOP

When a preliminary determination indicates that mold contamination exists or is likely to exist, an assessment should be performed prior to starting remediation. An independent IEP who has no business affiliation with the remediator should be used for this purpose. A&R Environmental will only recommend companies who recognize our industry standards.
If the IEP conducting any activity such as assessment or post-remediation verification is not independent from the remediator, they should disclose in writing to the client that they are deviating from the Standard.
ANSI/IICRC S520 – Mold Remediation – Third Edition: 2015 Section 15: Post-Remediation Verification
Mold Damage

A Few Things To Know When Dealing With The Presents of Mold and Mold Removal 

 

1. INITIAL CONTACT – should be made when mold contamination is found, a moisture inspection should be conducted as soon as possible. Normally done by a 3rd party IEP (Indoor Environmental Professional) or IH (Industrial Hygienist)

2. INSPECTION PROCESS – can require a multi-disciplined approach involving specialized experts from different fields. It also may include but not necessarily limited to gathering information for moisture problems and potential mold contamination.

3. WORK PLANS & PROTOCOLS – performed by the contractor and IEP provide the basis for developing plans for containment, hazardous or regulated materials, safety, and health provisions, contaminated material removal and handling; and etc.

4. POST REMEDIATION EVALUATION – should be conducted by remediators to evaluate whether or not remediation has been completed. This evaluation involves implementing internal quality control procedures.

5. POST REMEDIATION VERIFICATION – should be performed by an independent IEP. If the IEP conducting any activity such as assessment or post-remediation verification is not independent from the remediator, they should disclose in writing to the a client that they are deviating from the Standard.

Understanding Safety and Health During Mold Removal

When determined that an indoor environment is contaminated with mold, remediation employees shall be protected from exposure. Having engineering controls, administrative controls, and safe work practices in place are the primary means for preventing exposure. 

During mold remediation, appropriate respiratory protection or other personal protective equipment (PPE) shall be used in conjunction with engineering controls to protect workers when engineering controls are insufficient, as indicated in 29 CFR 1910.134(a)(1). Reasonable efforts should be made to inform occupants of and protect them from similar exposure as a result of investigation and mold remediation activities.

Document Conditions and Work Process On A Mold Remediation Job

In circumstances where an entire building or system is fully affected as a result of Condition 3 mold contamination or when the scope of work can be determined without sampling or independent IEP inspection and assessment, engagement of an IEP for assessment may not be necessary. Furthermore, some mitigation services may be initiated before or during assessment of conditions or performance of remediation processes.

Mold Damage Scoping

Notwithstanding the foregoing, if health issues are discovered or apparent that seem to be related to the actual or suspected mold contamination, an IEP or other appropriate professional should be engaged by the property owner and the extent and Condition (1, 2 or 3) to which areas of the structure, systems and contents are potentially mold-contaminated should be assessed, documented, and reported to the client. To avoid all conflict of interest during mold remediation, the home or business owner should always have a 3rd party non-biased IEP involved in the process. Having this documented by a 3rd party IEP is the best way to protect all parties involved.

Controlling Contamination When Conducting Mold Remediation

The spread of mold contamination should be controlled as close as practical to its source. Methods of controlling the spread of contamination can be by use of containment and air filtration.
Mold Damage Containment
Initial moisture mitigation services may be performed to control amplification while ensuring that mold contamination does not spread from more-contaminated to less or non-contaminated areas. Erect containment in a manner that mitigates the potential for cross-contamination and exposing workers and occupants to contamination. Consider whether floors, walls, and ceilings require a polyethylene barrier erected over them; or if they can be left uncovered for later cleaning.

Mold Contamination Removal

Physically removing the mold contamination is the primary means of remediation. Mold contamination should be physically removed from the structure, systems, and contents to return them to Condition 1. Attempts to kill, encapsulate or inhibit mold instead of proper source removal generally are not adequate.
Physically removing the mold contamination is the primary means of remediation. Mold contamination should be physically removed from the structure, systems, and contents to return them to Condition 1. Attempts to kill, encapsulate or inhibit mold instead of proper source removal generally are not adequate.
Mold Damage

Remediated structures, systems, and contents can be considered clean (post-remediation evaluation) when contamination, unrestorable contaminated materials, and debris have been removed, and surfaces are visibly free of dust. The term “visibly” can include direct and indirect observation (e.g., using a white or black towel to wipe a surface to observe for cleanliness). Also, remediated areas should be free of malodors associated with microorganisms. At that point, it is probable that the structure, systems, and contents have been returned to Condition 1. After a post-remediation evaluation, the remediated structures, systems, and contents are ready for post-remediation verification. When verification that the structure, systems, and contents have been returned to Condition 1 and when it is requested or required, a post-remediation verification should be performed by an independent IEP.

 

Credit: ANSI/IICRC S520 – Mold Remediation

Understanding The Tools Used During A Water Damage and/or Mold Remediation: Part 1

Understanding The Tools Used During A Water Damage and/or Mold Remediation: Part 1

Water Damage to Hardwood Floor – Elevated Reading

Equipment Seen on a Water Damage or Mold Remediation Job

Can bring about some questions. Does that read for mold? What time do I turn off the equipment? And, how do you know when its dry? If you could see yourself asking questions to better understand what’s going on in your home during a time like this, then this blog is for you.

In this blog we will view 3 different types of equipment we use on almost every job. Two of which go hand and hand, the moisture meter and hygrometer. We will also show you and talk a little about the air scrubber. Stay tuned for future blogs, including other types of equipment used in the field. Enjoy!!!

The Moisture Meter & Hygrometer Intro…

When it comes to moisture on a water loss, we want to focus on both the liquid and gas phases. The instruments to use in our industry to detect such moisture are the Moisture Meter and Hygrometer. Moisture can be found nearly everywhere, including materials considered dry. Having control of the moisture is very important during a water loss to effectively dry the structure. Elevated moisture above a certain percentage can lead to secondary damage. The moisture meters and hygrometers displayed in the photos are listed below the photos.

More of our everyday equipment will be featured in a future post, stay tuned.